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.

Advertisements

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. 😀

 

 

The Year Was 1989

I’m reflecting on this past year because yesterday was my birthday, y’all! And Thanksgiving week is my favorite time of the year. Mostly due to the food and cake I get. 😉 Who doesn’t like cake? Weird people, that’s who.

Anyway, a lot of great things have happened this past year, as well as not so great. I married my best friend, I’m back down to the weight I was at the end of last year (I went up post wedding/Christmas), I’m up for a raise at work, and I’m figuring out how to be healthier. The not so good: didn’t buy a house like we wanted to and I was diagnosed with insulin-resistant PCOS (kind of good though because I can make a plan to deal with it before it gets worse).

And here comes a sad bit of this post. Sunday was a bittersweet day for me. It was a lazy day but that also meant I had plenty of time to do some thinking. 26 years ago my childhood best friend was born 2 days before me, but it’s also a sad day because she passed away in 2009, just a few months after turning 19. Until we were about 14 or 15 we celebrated our birthdays together at church since we were only 2 days apart. We would go shopping for our birthday outfits together and got the same thing a couple of times. Our brothers are also close in age by a few months so we’d always be at her house hanging out and her whole family is an extension of mine. She was a trip and I’m just super grateful I had the chance of having her in my life for as long as I did. But I also have this guilt when I celebrate my birthday because she doesn’t get to.

Which leads to my plans for this upcoming year. My goal, as usual, is to be a healthier, better version of myself. I want to focus on experiences and the people in my life because ultimately that’s what matters. The difference this year is I am determined to put my words into action. I’m already doing some research on local running groups and plan to sign up for a 5K in a few months. I’m not sure which one just yet, but I will kick off my training this week! That’s right. I’ll be starting off my 26th year of life with positivity and momentum! I’m restarting Couch to 5K as part of my training. I made it to week 5 last time. 3 weeks short of completing the program. I also hope to start date nights again with hubby, girls night with my ladies, hanging out with our friends more, and going to see my mom more often. It’s hard because everyone’s been busy this fall so we’ve got to plan in advance!

When all is said and done, I’m ready to kick this year in the butt and make it fantastic!

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! 😀

September Week 1 Recap

First week of the month is gone. Only three more weeks until we move! It’s exciting!

The hubs and I spent this past Saturday running errands. We went to a grown up furniture store and were scared away by the grown up prices. No, thank you! We noped right on out and headed to Ikea instead. We had a delicious lunch and took a look at some couches. Since we still have three weeks we only bought him a new desk chair. We headed to REI after to get him some safety gear after he took a nasty fall a few days before on his bike. We also got me a new bike. I’m in love!! We went on a night ride with one of our friends later on. It’s been about 15 years or so since I last owned a bike. I’ve had it three days now and I’m getting the hang of how to properly use all the gears.

Photo credit: REI.com (mine is a darker blue than this)

As far as my nutrition for this past week goes, I did well throughout the work week. I forgot we had a meeting on Friday morning and rushed to it so I didn’t have breakfast. About three hours later I was so hungry I got Taco Cabana.  I thought that might be better than a greasy hamburger and fries. For Labor Day, I was super lazy for the first part of the day. Eventually I got up and started doing dishes and laundry. Some friends came over later and we ordered pizza and I had some whiskey and tequila. Not much at all honestly. Basically one shot of each. When hubby got home it was time to bike ride but I almost didn’t go. I told myself I should since I was lazy earlier. Note to self: never eat pizza shortly before biking or doing any exercise. It made the bike ride awful. Seriously. I’ve learned my lesson.

This second week is going to go by pretty fast (hopefully) since it’s a 4-day work week! And it’s payday week! Woo-hoo! I’m excited to keep biking and get better. This week is also the first week of Camp Gladiator so hopefully that goes well and I get to meet some cool new people. 🙂

September Goals 2015

Today is the start of another month already. So many people I know have birthdays in this month, including my lovely mother and two of my nephews. I should really start the search for the perfect gift for her.

This month also marks the beginning of Pumpkin Spice EVERYTHING! I realized the other day I’ve never had a Pumpkin Spice Latte…ever! Maybe if I did, would I understand the obsession? I’m scared. 😛

That is going to be one of my goals this month. Albeit, a silly one. I’m allowed to have some fun, though, right? 😀

Full disclosure: I sucked at meeting my goals last month. At least for fitness and diet. :/ I lost my motivation almost from the start.

August 2015 Goals

  • Fitness/Health: I am stalled at week 5 of the C25K running program. I looked ahead and got scared. It starts with 3 (or 5, I can’t remember) minutes of jogging. From the start! Like, what?? If I don’t think about it I’m sure I could do it and I’m just psyching myself out. :/ I also gained back the two pounds I managed to lose in July. So much for that...
  • Diet: I did not stay under 100 g of carbs a day, often, or away from dairy/gluten (inflammatory). We did not have a fast-food free month. Especially towards the start of my menstrual cycle. With my already low levels of iron, I was really craving beef. So why not get a burger? How foolish. I also had pizza for the first time in months. That wasn’t too bad but I did eat more than I should have.
  • Home: We found a new apartment! This is one goal I managed to meet. We move in the last week of September. Our new apartment is smaller and less expensive, but it has a small fenced in area off the patio so we can let the doggies out to potty and not have to stand outside waiting. I can’t wait to go look at some new furniture and I’m already planning out the layout.
  • Relationships: I managed to go out with friends a few times this month. Hubby and I didn’t have an official date night, but we did find a new show to watch on Netflix and spent this weekend at his parents together.
  • Emotional/Mental Health: I’ve cut back on biting my nails. I’ve been working on being more conscious of when I’m doing it. Chamomile tea helps. I didn’t blog twice a week like I wanted, but I did write more than July.

Now, for September, as far as diet goes, I’m working on it one day at a time, one week at a time. 

September 2015 Goals:

  1. This month I’ll be focusing on eating more whole foods and less processed junk. I’ll be sharing what I eat on instagram to keep myself accountable, so please follow me if you want. I’ve searched Pinterest for recipe inspirations. I’ll be trying to follow a mix of Whole 30 and Paleo diets. One week at a time. (Except for this pumpkin spice latte everyone talks about.)
  2. Camp Gladiator is celebrating its 7th birthday this year and had a special. I grabbed up two memberships for hubby and I for under $30! That’s a one hour boot camp-style fitness class, with unlimited sessions, for four weeks. I plan to go at least twice a week, but most likely three times if I go with hubby on Saturday mornings. The weather is cooling down so I also want to take at least two long walks a week around the trail by my apartment.
  3. We’ve already started doing some packing and purging in preparation for our move. We have several bags full of clothes to donate and we’re not done yet. I need to get more boxes to really make a dent in all our stuff. Every time we’ve moved in the past, we have left things to the last minute and put undue stress on ourselves and loved ones helping out. This time I plan on having things ready to go and that way I can spend the last few days of our lease making sure the apartment is as best it can be to maximize the return of our deposit.

That’s really all I can manage to put most of my focus on for now. I’m really antsy to get home and pack something each day and I’m really excited about our new apartment. I’ll miss our current dog park because it was so convenient but the new place is right next to a major trail that leads to a recently renovated city dog park. 🙂 I can’t wait!!

Thanks for reading this absurdly long post. If you know me IRL, I’d appreciate your support by asking me how my diet or fitness goals are going every once in a while. And if anyone has any moving or packing tips, or if you’ve been to a Camp Gladiator session before, let me know your experience! 😀