Sparkle, Sparkle

I finished the PCOS Diva Sparkle Cleanse last week. Over the course of the two weeks I lost about 4-6 lbs, depending on if my scale wanted to act up or not. I really missed having real food for all my meals, but at the same time it was nice to only have to plan and prepare one meal a day. Occasionally a snack or two, if I got hungrier. Overall, the cleanse was a good way for me to see some results for weight loss and that made me even more motivated now that I’ve started the October challenge with Shelby over at Surviving Shelby. Unfortunately, for me, the price for the cleanse is too much to purchase for myself, but I am glad I won it and was able to try it. My skin cleared up a lot. I have really bad pilaris keratosis (at least that’s what I think it is – going to dermatologist next month) on my shoulders and it started going away while I did the cleanse.

For my fellow PCOS cysters out there: if you have the money and would like to try the cleanse to kickstart your body into losing some weight and feeling better, I’d say go for it. Otherwise, I’d suggest trying a lower carb, clean eating diet and incorporating weight training for exercise. If that’s too much, take it one day at a time, and maybe just increase your overall activity level. Once you get the right foods in your system, the energy eventually comes.

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PCOS Challenge Symposium 2016

pcos-bolt-5k

PCOS Positivity support group pic

This past weekend I had the privilege  of attending the PCOS Challenge Symposium and Bolt 5K in Atlanta, GA (a Facebook support group I’m in raised the most money for the 5K!) My very supportive husband joined me and we made a quick vacation out of it. We both learned so many new things that will help me along this journey of treating my PCOS and wrangling in my health. We also heard a lot of things we’ve heard before, but hey, sometimes you just need to be hit with the same information over again to help it stick. At least I do…often.

PCOS is a syndrome that has many symptoms and they’re not all the same for everyone. There is no one official way to treat it and treatment plans can vary from traditional medicines to holistic and natural approaches. Every person with PCOS must have a personalized plan and it takes a lot of time, energy, and trial and error. Not to mention finding a team of doctors who are supportive, knowledgeable, and willing to work together to find the right treatment.

At the symposium there were several breakaway sessions with different topic choices. Dustin and I focused on the integrative health and nutrition/fitness tracks. There were also some on emotional/mental health and fertility but we didn’t do those since we’ve got to get a hold of my health before starting a family. There were also Q&A panels with leading PCOS experts that included health professionals and advocates. It was definitely a wonderful experience and I hope to attend the next one.

I purchased an awareness bracelet and was entered into a raffle. There were several prizes, including books, cookbooks, fertility treatments, fitness packages, electrolysis, and even a very popular detox program. Guess who won one of the detox programs?! C’est moi! That’s right! I was surprised because I never win anything in raffles and I almost didn’t even buy the ticket! While I’m not one for “detox” programs and living off of shakes I figured I’ll give it a try and report my results to my fellow cysters (probably via my instagram). I prefer real food but I’ve never tried a shake program so let’s see how it goes. This program consists of 2 weeks of shakes and supplements geared towards women with PCOS. We tend to have insulin resistance/metabolic disorder so sugar can be really bad for us. This program focuses on getting all the necessary nutrients and a little extra of the vitamins and minerals that can help with insulin resistance. It also helps to cut back the amount of processed sugars in the body.

So far I’m halfway through day 2. The shake tastes alright. I’ve done protein shakes before so I’m ok with the texture and taste. It’s a mild berry/vanilla flavor. My husband tried a sip and didn’t like it. He said it was chalky but then again, he doesn’t like protein shakes either (and he likes nato which is fermented soybeans so his palate can’t be trusted sometimes haha). By dinner I was a tad irritable and hangry. But I get like that whenever I start lowering my carb and sugar intake. It takes me a few days to adjust. So, for the next two weeks I’ll be doing two shakes a day and a well balanced meal with healthy snacks (as necessary). Fitness-wise I’m planning on going for walks during my lunch hour at work and I’m in a few daily and weekly step challenges via Fitbit. I did so much walking and hiking during our trip that I managed to lose over 4 lbs! But I also don’t trust my scale…She can be sketchy. I’ll try to update again when I’m done with week 1.

Peace out, y’all.

Namastay In Bed

It’s been a while since I wrote anything. There’s no particular reason, I just have been lazy about it. We are a quarter of the way through the year already, which is hard to believe. Wasn’t it just January??

A couple of things have happened since my last couple of posts. I took my driving test and am now a fully licensed driver. Woopee! I don’t get on the highway yet, but I don’t really go anywhere besides work, grocery store, and gym. I have yet to get back to riding my bike. However, I do think my knee is finally getting strong enough to do so.

I have been to the doctor a few times already this year. I did an at-home sleep study to test for sleep apnea because I have trouble sleeping and wake up more than I’d like. Turns out I’m ok on that front, so my doc referred me to an ENT specialist. I paid my copay and after about a 10 minute visit, I was diagnosed with a deviated septum. It’s probably not the cause of my sleep issues, but I’m sure it doesn’t help. As for one of my other doc visits, I wanted to talk to him about my thyroid. PCOS comes with many, many different symptoms. Many of these symptoms can also be shared with/caused by thyroid problems. Several women with PCOS also have thyroid disorders, so after a lot of webMDing and Google searches I wanted to rule out any thyroid dysfunctions. Luckily, all is well there too. My doctor simply reminded me how important sticking to a low carb diet really is for my health and weight loss. Darn.

As for exercise, hubby and I joined a new gym last month. My membership includes 12 sessions with a team weight loss class that meets three times a week. The gym has tons of group fitness classes throughout the week as well. There are spin classes, yoga classes, dance/Zumba classes, and strength group classes. I’ve tried out a few of them and as part of my New Year resolution to try something new each month, I finally went to a couple of yoga classes. I am in love with them! As a beginner, it was intimidating the first time because I was afraid of being judged for not knowing the pose names or being as flexible as others. None of that happened (that I know of). The classes I checked out were all relatively easy and great for a beginner like me. The teachers talked us through the poses and adjusted us as needed. The lights were also kept pretty low in the room to add to the relaxation. My goal is now to go to at least two yoga classes a week. I sure could use the stretching, especially after sitting at work for hours.

That’s a little bit of what’s been going on around here. I’m slowly working on pushing myself out of my comfort zone because change and growth can’t happen if I do nothing. One of my new favorite quotes that helps is: “Waiting for someone else to make you happy is the surest way to be sad.” – Jeffrey Benjamin. I don’t want to be sad and stagnant. Gotta keep moving and improving. 😀

 

 

November Late Update

It’s been a while since I made any kind of update. I’ve been in a bad rut lately. The only thing I kind of stuck with in October was biking to and from work a few times a week. The rainy weather doesn’t help much. Otherwise my diet and exercise goals flew out the window along with any kind of motivation I may have started out with.

I did get to go see a new doctor for my annual physical exam who I found via a local PCOS support group. He was great, took his time to explain PCOS and insulin resistance to my husband and I, and he prescribed some new medicines. I started low on one and had to slowly increase the dose over three weeks. I did get sick from it when I increased it twice but so far it seems to be working. I had bloodwork done and I no longer seem to be anemic for the time being but I have to continue taking iron supplements until I see the hematology specialist again in December. I’ve lost a few more pounds with the new medicine which is great but I know I could kick it up a notch if I really watch what I eat and get out to exercise.

Now for a more fun update… Hubby turned 26 a few weeks ago and we finally got around to celebrating with a few friends. This weekend we went paintballing. I didn’t think I was going to enjoy it as much as I did. The weather was great for the day and it wasn’t terribly crowded. I got shot a good number of times and am still hurting. Maybe I’m just too old for this haha. It was fun being active and hanging out with friends outside of the apartment. We are definitely looking forward to going again soon. Up next is my birthday in less than 8 days so I need to figure out what I want to do.

Any fun suggestions?

October Goals 2015

 The most wonderful time of the year is finally upon us! Fall is my favorite season of all. But, because I live in Texas, I don’t get to experience the beautiful leaves changing and crisp air for very long. It’s kind of a bummer. Thankfully, with shortening days, the heat is going away and the chilly weather is making a run for it. 

The past few days have been perfect for getting out and getting some exercise in. And I definitely need it. This past week we were in the process of moving apartments. Although it was so much better than our past moves, it was not perfect or anywhere near it. We were able to get rid of a lot of junk we had and donate other things we didn’t use often, but we still had a lot of things to move. Unfortunately, we ended up eating a lot of fast food during the week because we didn’t want to buy groceries. When we were finally done with the move and got back on our regular diets, hubby and I both started feeling so much better. We are still settling into our new place, but we really love it. Not only will we be saving money because rent is less, but we are also right next to a major trail in the city so we can commute to work by bike!

This month I will be bicycling to my job and back most days. I will sure get in my cardio! I also want to get back into the gym and pick my weight lifting up again. Since hubby injured himself on the bike early in September, we haven’t done any lifting. We think he had cracked ribs. I know I could have gone without him, but I didn’t. He still won’t be lifting for a while but I’m tired of not progressing in my weightloss journey. The only way to see results is to put in the work! For this first week, I will be trying out this 3-day strength training plan from Greatist. I am excited to get started. This, along with my cycling, should have me seeing results again. However, my diet has to be better than it has been to see maximum results. Sticking to what is supposed to be my new lifestyle/diet has been my biggest downfall. I just want all the crispy, fried things and cheese! And I have yet to try a pumpkin spice latte…

Please share any tips on how to stick to a healthy diet. 🙂

September Week 3 Recap

It’s finally moving week! I’m excited but also anxious. I need to finish packing and have almost run out of boxes. :/ We currently have no internet at home and won’t have any at the new place until the end of next week! Thank goodness for unlimited data on our phones, Miracast, and tethering. I should be busy packing/unpacking for the rest of this week and next to need too much internet access anyway. In the meantime, I have my bike to ride, books to read, and two very needy (but hopefully lazy) puppies to tend to.

Like I’ve said before, weekends are the worst for me. I ate terribly (I miss cheese sooo much!!) and felt bloated from it for a few days. I’m just now starting to feel better. Last week for exercise I went to my Camp Gladiator class and we flipped tires! Like huge big-rig tires. Those things were heavy! We had tons of fun though because our trainer had us working in teams and against each other with exercises in between. It was a rough session but I felt amazing after. Well, after I got home, ate, and had the chance to relax a bit.

This week we’re doing HIIT workouts and let me you, that is hard! Everyone was soaked by the end of the hour today. I was already lacking energy but know I’ve got to keep pushing myself and did it. For my meals, I’m sticking to salads with chicken for lunch so I have something quick and easy to take with me. Especially since packing up most of our dishes last night, I need simple meals that use the least amount of ingredients, utensils, and cookware. For me that’s usually chicken and veggies – therefore my dinner for the rest of the week. Tonight I ate eggs for dinner though. So quick and yummy!

Well back to packing I must go. At least I get to play with any leftover bubble wrap at the end of all this! 😀

September Week 2 Recap

2 weeks down, 2.5 weeks to go. It’s been a little bit more hectic around our home this week since we’re getting closer and closer to our moving day. Luckily, it hasn’t been too stressful packing stuff up and we’ve gotten a lot done. Well, more than we have before moving days in the past. I’m determined to have things ready to move quickly this time around.

This past week was much better for me in terms of my nutrition and fitness plans than the first. I planned out all my meals for the 4-day work week. I even took into account the two nights I’d be out later than usual due to my Camp Gladiator training. Friday morning I even managed to turn down some delicious looking donuts and donut holes at our work meeting. I knew I had my breakfast waiting for me as soon as it was over and simply sipped on my unsweetened iced coffee. Most setbacks on my diet typically occur on the weekend. It’s my biggest weakness simply due to a lack of a set routine. We had a lot of errands and packing/cleaning to do this weekend but I didn’t let fast food tempt me with its convenience.

Camp Gladiator has been definitely challenging, but fun. I’ve met some really nice people and everyone is so supportive. On Thursday, we were running and I was so tired but some of the other campers came back and motivated us to finish strong, with a sprint to the end. I know if I had been alone, I would not have pushed myself for that last bit. I can’t wait to go back tomorrow! I’m ready to kick this week’s butt! 😀