It’s Official…

…I am at my highest weight, ever! It’s depressing and shameful, but not all that surprising. There is so much I could be doing for my health but haven’t been trying hard enough, or at all if I’m being honest.

Over the weekend I took a look at my goals and figured out which ones I was on track with and which ones I wasn’t. I saw a meme the other day on Instagram: January was a free trial month. My knee is healing and I’m moving around more now. Slowly, but surely, my daily steps have increased. I restarted my supplement regimen and am taking my medicine more consistently. For the most part, I’ve really cut back on dining out this month as well.

January wraps up today and tomorrow is a new day. A new month. A fresh start. I’m going to continue my progress on the things mentioned above that I’m doing OK at. Changes for the month include starting PT for my knee, focusing on nutrition, and decluttering our apartment.

For physical therapy, I’m supposed to be working on my range of motion. This means hitting the gym at my apartment complex and becoming friends with the stationary bike for at least 20 mins a day. Alright, that’s easy enough, right? Then why haven’t I been doing it?? This HAS TO BE a priority if my knee surgery is to truly be a success. I don’t want a messed up knee.

Logging my food will probably be my best bet to get my nutrition on track. How can something be fixed if you don’t know the extent of the problem? Decreasing carb intake is the main goal of logging my meals. Insulin resistance makes it difficult to process carbs normally and has really lead to weight gain, especially around my belly. A ketogenic diet has worked the best for me previously in trying to lose weight. However, that was difficult because the best foods in life are carb-ilicious! Paleo, Whole 30, and Clean Eating are all fairly similar to me and I’ll be using their recipes and meal ideas as starting points. I will be trying to cut back on carbs to my previous doctor’s recommendation of less than 100g. Gotta go home and dust off our little food scale.

The last major change this coming month is decluttering and getting rid of stuff. Having a messy home can cause stress, even if you’re not consciously aware of it. Why do you think so many people clean when they have a big project to work on? Yes, it’s procrastination, but it is also a way of clearing your mind and allowing creativity to flow. We have a small apartment and two dogs. We’re not hoarders but we’re also not neat freaks. We have more clothes than we need (mostly my husband – in my obese state, I currently hate clothes shopping). This leads to piles of laundry and I hate putting up laundry so there are clothes all over the freaking place. I also have lots of art and crafts type items that I don’t use. I keep them around “just in case” a project needs them. Unfortunately, I’m all ideas and no execution. I’m just tired of seeing all the cluttered spaces around our home because it overwhelms me to the point that I don’t even know where to start and give up immediately. But no more!  So buh-bye. You gots to go, stuff.

Who’s with me on pushing the restart button to the year?!

 

 

 

 

Vroom, Vroom, Vroom

For those who don’t know me IRL and read my last blog post, you’ll see that I don’t have a “real” driver’s license. I’m 26 (when the heck did that happen!?) and don’t drive. It’s not like I live in a super pedestrian-heavy/friendly location like NYC. I live in Texas! It takes forever to get from one place to another, especially if you live in the suburbs and not downtown.

While most kids are learning and eager to drive at 16, I wasn’t one of them. By the time I should’ve been learning to drive we only had one car. My stepdad was the one who drove us most of the time and my mom is terrified of highways. There was never any real reason for me to drive plus when I’d go out with friends we took the city bus to the mall or caught a ride with someone else. I did try learning to drive at one point but it wasn’t that great of an experience. My stepdad and I had our squabbles and butted heads a lot. He tried teaching me, for like 10 minutes, but we argued a lot so it didn’t work. My mom was too scared to teach me. I sometimes drove the car from the entrance gate of our apartment to our parking spot. That was until I happened to hit the tire of the car next to our spot (no damage done) and then I never wanted to drive/park again!

Flash forward a few years to college. I lived on campus and we had a bus that stopped by the grocery store and for the most part I worked on campus throughout my college years, so no need to drive. My friends had cars so if we went anywhere that’s how we’d get there. Eventually my boyfriend (now my hubby 😉 ) got a car and he drove us when we needed to go somewhere.

As the years have gone by and I’ve gotten older, driving has been an increasing cause of anxiety for me. I’m more aware of how much driving is really a privilege and not a right (as many teens may feel). Cars can be deadly weapons if not used correctly. Even if you’re the safest driver out there, your safety is not entirely in your own hands, unfortunately. Nowadays with all our technology, there are so many more distracted drivers causing problems for everyone. I know in the grand scheme of things I might be overly dramatic on this topic, but once again, this is where my anxiety starts. I’ve had a few driving lessons in the past two years but I just don’t really get behind the wheel much. I have a driver’s license with the B restriction – I need to have a licensed front passenger 21+ years old (I didn’t take the driving portion of the driver’s test yet).

That changes in 2016! 2016 is my “hashtag no excuses” year. I want to work towards being the person I’ve always known I can be. This driver’s license goal was kind of pushed on me because of my bicycle accident 6 weeks ago. My bike had become my main mode of transportation to and from work. Since the injury, hubby takes me to work and my sister-in-law and her boyfriend pick me up. It’s embarrassing to be 26 and not be able to drive myself. Not to mention I feel bad for taking up their time and gas as well. So I’ve registered for my driving test! DPS seems to be backed up so the earliest test day I could get is halfway through February! Until then I’ve at least got several weeks that I can practice driving more. I won’t be driving on the highway anytime soon (another fear I got from my mom) but at least I would be able to run errands close by, leaving more time to spend together when hubby is home.

My goal for now is to practice at least one day this week. I’ll increase it as the weeks go. I’m excited but also very nervous. Wish me luck!

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!

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.

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.