August 2015 Goals

Well there goes another month. “Summer” is almost over and we’re already one week into August! Where does the time go?? Although without school, Summer is just another season of the same – gotta work, work, work. Anyway, this past month somehow I have been so busy at work and at home. I feel like I haven’t had much time to sit alone and read a book or blog much. I’m not sure where my time went. Weird.

I did notice I was more social than usual in July. We went swimming almost every weekend and then hung out with friends. A friend/sorority sister invited me to a fun event one night as well and I was completely free and said yes! Best decision ever. I get to catch up with her, have fun, and we meet new people. Every week there’s been some interesting story to tell. I think it’s becoming a weekly tradition so I’m adding it to my August goals. Be more social.

Speaking of goals, here’s how an update for July.

July 2015 Goals

  • Continue with C25K running program – Success! I didn’t do it every other day as I thought I would, but I did keep going. I am now on week 4!
  • No more fast food. I said realistically I’d try to cut back and do no more than once a week but that didn’t happen. However, I did eat less fast food than the month before, by a lot. I had also wanted to cut back on carbs this month but I didn’t do a great job at that either. There was a lot of ice cream outings after going swimming…it’s summer…and I couldn’t say no to toasted coconut ice cream. It’s da bomb dot com, yo.
  • Seriously start house shopping. This was the biggest disappointment of the month, possibly the year. We got our pre-approval and were trying to get info on some houses but everything was getting snatched up quick. Even a small 2 bedroom house was out of our reach!! So once again we’ve decided to hold off on this goal. We’re looking into moving to an apartment with a small fenced in area or leasing a house with a friend. This is probably the best move financially and hopefully the real estate market cools down some by next year. I was really sad because I was looking forward to home improvement projects and having our own real place.
  • Mid-year Spring cleaning. We did not even get close to tackling the living room closet. That thing is overwhelming. I don’t even know where to start. I did go out and buy a mop and finally gave our floors a real good scrubbing as well as the baseboards. Small steps…right?
  • Yoga date, rock climbing date, movie date, any kind of date. We did it!! On the last day of the month, but still. We tried a neighborhood burger place and had a nice time just chatting. Earlier in the month we also went to the library and spent time finding books together. Nerdy, but fun.

On to my goals for this month. We’re already a week in so I’m kind of late on this, but there’s no better day to start than today.

August 2015 Goals

  • Fitness/Health: Continue working the Couch to 5K program (3 days a week) & continue improving on weight training; Walk the dogs more (I stopped going on longer walks with them because it’s hot outside but that’s no excuse to deny them of exercise as well. I will just need to do the longer walks once the sun starts setting. I also finally had my follow up visit with my doctor and she confirmed that I have PCOS. In the two months before my follow up, I managed to lose over 10 lbs and lower my blood pressure. However, without the longer walks in July and eating more carbs, I ended up only losing about two pounds last month. I kept fluctuating between the same two or three pounds most of the month.
  • Diet: Stay under 100 g of carbs a day and stay away from dairy/gluten (inflammatory). When I go over in carbs or eat dairy or something containing gluten my PCOS symptoms flare up and it can get pretty bad. I haven’t stopped biting my nails all this past month and as I mentioned before, my weight loss kind of stalled. The hubster and I also want to do a fast food-free month. This requires advanced planning, including meal prep and having quick grab-and-go foods.
  • Home: Now that we’re putting our home purchase off we need to find a new place to live. I’ve already contacted a few places about renting a house and we’ve also checked out a few apartments. We also need to declutter and start packing. I do not want to wait until the last few days like we’ve done in the past.
  • Relationships: This month I want to continue seeing friends and not be anti-social. Hubster and I need to plan another date night and plan our anniversary vacation/honeymoon. He wants to go to Hawaii!
  • Emotional/Mental Health: I want to actually post on this blog at least twice a week. It’s nice having some time to just think and write but I don’t do it often enough. I also want to stop biting my nails and get my anxiety back under control.

This month already sounds busy if I actually manage to schedule my time efficiently. I should really get started on planning everything out while I have some free time.

What are some of your August goals?

Rainy Day Reflection

"Keep on keepin' on"

“Keep on keepin’ on”

I’m trying to improve my blogging chops and make this into something better, a place not only for me to express myself, but a place for my readers (even if few) to share and learn as well. In doing so, I’ve been spending a lot of time reading about blogging from other blogs via Pinterest. [Say that 3x fast.] This all brought me to update my blog and why I chose this name for my blog. While I’ve previously reflected on this, reading through it again brings up a lot of mixed emotions for me.

The anniversary of my stepdad’s passing was a few weeks ago. The day came and went on as usual all around me. One thing that’s been bothering me is that I didn’t call my mom to see how she was handling it. Mostly out of selfish reasons. Talking about it out loud still brings stinging tears that I need to keep back. I’m “the strong one” in the family, or at least I feel like I have to be. Honestly, my mom even said this to me at the funeral… I was always the one asked to help translate, write checks, deal with adults, and fill out a countless number of documents for my mom growing up. Even now she asks for my help more than my brother’s I suspect. I was a grown up before I probably should have been. This was the situation until my stepdad came into our lives. While he had his faults, and that may be a post for another day, he truly helped us out a lot. So why would I avoid talking about him and all that he did for us?

I’ve been feeling super guilty that I didn’t publicly acknowledge this sad day. I also didn’t see much from distant family on that day and somehow that also saddened me. But then I find the rational side of myself wondering why do we (or is it just me) feel compelled to share everything on social media? As if this makes it more real, more “legit.” However, I know that just because we don’t talk about something or someone doesn’t necessarily mean we’re not thinking about it or them. In fact, it can be the only thing on our minds. *sigh*

Grief is different for everyone. Some people have to talk through it while others need to work through it on their own. Writing is my way to release the sadness and put it out there when my voice fails me. It’s my way of opening up, but at the same time keeping a distance. Oftentimes sadness and other negative feelings are simply pushed aside. These are to be dealt with later, not now. Sometimes, and this has happened before, this can backfire and it just takes one little thing to bring it all crashing down. My husband can attest to this. Keeping a smile on is difficult but something I’ve sort of got a reputation for it seems. Any kind of activity or survey where people have had to describe me usually has several repeated answers: Rosy is always happy, positive, outgoing, making us laugh, etc. While it’s a pretty big ego boost to see that my friends and family truly believe these things of me, it also has made me put pressure on myself to keep that positive outlook. At all times, at all costs. It’s probably something I’ll always have to deal with and learn to balance. For now, this will have to do.

“Houston, We Have A Problem.”

Beaches be trippin'!

Beaches be trippin’! No stinky seaweed!!

This past weekend, I was lucky enough to spend it with my mother- and sister-in-law. Girls-only weekend at the beach!! It was a much needed getaway for all three of us. I was looking forward to this all of last week. I needed a tan, bad. I was pale, y’all (compared to my college summer self who went swimming all the time).

Friday after work, my sis and I went to the in-laws’ house so we could leave bright and early in the morning and minimize traffic…or so we thought. As soon as we got to Houston we hit standstill traffic. A whole section of the highway was shutdown and they were diverting people off. After a lot of bumper-to-bumper traffic we eventually got to the beach(!!!). We spent some time out in the sun and water. Surprisingly, the water was pretty calm and warm. For the first time in forever there were no giant, stinky piles of seaweed out on the beach either. It was great! After an afternoon of soaking up the sun, we loaded up and headed to Houston for the night (My aunt- and uncle-in-law are the best! Uncle-in-law officiated our wedding <3). The next day we headed out to Galveston again for a baby shower and tried to squeeze in a few more hours of beach time before leaving our relaxing weekend behind. We were all set to head back to Houston and got stuck in all the traffic leaving the island. Just our luck. Spent another hour or two in Houston and decided we’d be good to leave late, right?! WRONG! Houston, I officially despise you and your traffic. What should have been less than 4 hours back to my in-laws’ home actually was 6 hours!!! Not to mention there was still the 45-50 minute drive back home from there. We spent the night at my in-laws’ and finally got home today. It was a crazy but fun weekend and we hope to return at the end of the summer with the guys. I just hope and pray someone invents teleportation soon. 😉

Next year we might go to a beach out of Texas. What are some good destinations?

Breathe In, Breathe Out

Last night was a bit of a rough night for me as I almost caved and gave up on my diet for the night. I had all sorts of anxious energy building up and I couldn’t stop picking at my nails or eating sunflower seeds. Eating them with shells on takes a longer time so I don’t consume as many. The more I realized what I was doing with my nails, the more I did it! I was also hungry but it was late and knew I shouldn’t eat anything else but since I was in need of something to do I wanted to eat. It’s part of why I’m at 255 lbs. It’s a struggle I’ve dealt with since I was little. I have to find ways to expend my energy and express my emotions in a healthy way instead of eating them away. Eventually I realized that I needed to relax my mind and made a cup of chamomile tea instead. I have a goal of getting healthy and I can’t give up yet again.

Some things that can be helpful, that aren’t eating a bunch of calories, are:

  • Drinking herbal tea
  • Art therapy (I’ve found getting out a coloring book helps keep my mind unwind and my hands busy)
  • Doing housework (There’s always something to clean)
  • Doing some light exercise to expend energy
  • Taking a hot bath with epsom salts and essential oils like white jasmine or lavender
  • Writing/journaling (I kept a diary/Xanga/Myspace blog from middle school through high school just to think things through on paper and in writing – I forgot how much it helped)
  • Talking to someone
  • Yoga – I really want to try a class to get the basics down

I have to take this one day at a time…

What are some other relaxation techniques y’all use?

PCOS? Say what??

After my last post I got a few messages from concerned friends. I guess I should have expected that since I have some of the greatest friends ever. 😉 I guess I can try to give y’all and anyone else who’s curious some more information on what PCOS is and what I might be dealing with for my future. [Side note: We won’t know for sure until we do a hormone test or more blood work next month at my follow up appointment.]

PCOS is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and is characterized by ovarian cysts, irregular menstrual cycles, and/or an excess of male hormones. A woman does not have to have all three of those to have PCOS. The hormone imbalance seems to be what causes a lot of the annoying symptoms women with PCOS have to deal with. These can include male pattern balding or thinning hair, acne, abnormal hair growth (such as sideburns, chin, chest, stomach, etc. – basically “unladylike” hair growth), weight issues, etc. It also causes insulin-resistance which is what I’m just learning more about.

While my husband and I aren’t planning on having children just yet, much to my mom’s disappointment, a big concern for many women with PCOS is the possibility of infertility. I know when I hear that word it almost makes it sound like getting pregnant is impossible. Luckily, infertility does not equal impossible. I’ve read many women’s stories online and via social media about their journey with PCOS, for weight loss mostly, and with dietary and lifestyle changes they’ve managed to lose significant amounts of weight, get healthier, and get pregnant. My husband and I want me to be at a healthy weight before having kids anyway so understanding what we could be dealing with early on really helps. I have a better idea of what I need to do for my body to work at its best.

The crazy hormones can really mess with a person. I know for me I’ve dealt with anxiety, depression, and mood swings for a while now. I always just thought it was normal, especially around that time of the month. That’s why I can’t wait to confirm with my doctor if this is my diagnosis. It’s not ideal of course. I’d much rather have nothing wrong with me, but if I do have PCOS I’ll be a hell of a lot relieved. It gives me hope knowing that my emotional problems can get better or even go away completely, I can conceive in the future, and that having trouble losing weight and easily gaining weight hasn’t all been my fault. Insulin-resistance makes it much easier to gain weight (darn you delicious carbs!!) and much harder to lose it without cutting back on carbs.

Hopefully the above helps y’all understand a little bit more about PCOS. Apparently it’s not something a lot of doctors are looking out for, so many women suffer from it and don’t know it. After my last post, I seeked out other blogs and information about PCOS. One that really helped and had tons of great info is PCOS Diet Support. So if you want to know more check that website out too.

Sweet, sweet relief

After a while of dealing with some annoying and sometimes painful skin issues, I finally found out what is going on with my body. Sort of. It is a relief having a name for it (which I won’t mention because any Google search for it brings up HORRIBLE, almost traumatizing, images) and knowing that I can do things to minimize the effects. After describing my symptoms and concerns to my doctor, she said I most likely suffer from insulin resistance. She stopped short of outright diagnosing me with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) but that may change depending on my blood results.

I suffer from many of the common symptoms of PCOS, including emotional problems. It’s not something I typically talk to anyone about other than my husband and even then I don’t tell him everything because I know I sound crazy. I’ve always just tried putting on a happy face in front of family and friends. I tend to stress myself out and it’s most likely what has made my sleeping problems worse.

Luckily, now that I have an idea of what’s going on with me I can deal with it head on. It turns out a lot of the symptoms can be lessened or completely go away, including my skin condition, if I make a lifestyle change of lower carb diet and include daily exercise into my routine. If I can lose weight, which PCOS and any insulin-resistant disorders make more difficult (just my luck), I can take back some control. It really put into perspective a lot of issues I’ve mostly silently dealt with on my own and assumed I couldn’t do much about. For instance, last year when I was working out several times a week on my own, with a trainer, and watching what I ate and only managed to lose about 16 lbs. It was discouraging seeing all the hard work I was putting in and seeing little results. This ended up being part of the reason I gained the weight back. I kind of gave up and assumed it would take forever to see the results I wanted. Losing weight can be a really tough, emotional rollercoaster. At least for me it is.

I’m starting a search for online support, advice, and inspiration from others who have to deal with this.  I’m really hoping I can stick to my plan this time around…my health truly depends on it.