Shh, Here’s A Secret.

Full disclosure: I started this post 10 months ago. It’s been sitting in my drafts since then. Warning: this is probably going to be a long and emotionally-fueled post. As hard as it was to write the first part and update with the latest, I’m not sure if I’m ready to talk about this in real life – even with my closest friends. I love y’all and if I do talk about it it’ll be difficult and probably only online and maybe only bits and pieces. That’s just how I am. I don’t think any one person knows EVERYTHING about me, except Dustin. Even he gets things delayed. Sorry babe. Anyway, my last post touched on this whole topic a bit but these were some of my thoughts from earlier this year regarding our future.

10 months ago: My overall and deepest desire this year is to lose weight and be healthier. My husband’s #1 goal is to decrease our debt significantly. The reason? We want to start our family. :O Shocking! I’ve gone and said it!

Honestly, that’s not something I really like to talk about much but perhaps sharing it and just putting it out in the universe is what I need right now. For years I’ve jokingly told my mom and family we were only going to have dogs, no children, whenever the topic came up. First of all, I don’t need or want others’ input and opinions on when to start a family or how big of a family to have. Second, my husband and I would ideally like to have our stuff together before bringing a child into the world. But then again, my mom raised two kids alone for a while with a lot less than we have. My brother and I turned out alright (shoutout to my first frienemy for life). Finally, my body is in no condition for this but who knows if it will ever be.

This is the biggest issue I have to deal with everyday. I suffer silently. I know I’m not alone. I follow many women on Instagram and in my PCOS support group on Facebook who are in the same position. That doesn’t make it any less lonely. I fear that even if I lose weight I won’t be able to have children. Do you know how heartbreaking and depressing this can be? I can push the thoughts and negativity away most of the time. But there are some days it all just piles on and I can’t handle it anymore.

– That is where my draft ended 10 months ago. Obviously, I was not ready to share it then.-

Present-day: Last night I broke…and my poor husband… I am so lucky that he is understanding and most of the time has enough patience to deal with the crazy mess that I am. He let me break down and sob and stress out and have an anxious moment. He patiently watched me and let me be even while I obsessively messed with a strand of hair to soothe myself and rambled on and just poured my worries out. He knew I had to work through it but he knew that just him being there was more than I could ask for. It’s what I needed of him and he understood without me actually having to say anything. True love and friendship right there. After I basically bombarded him with all of this he was loving and suggested I keep working through the stress and anxiety. We walked our dogs then went to the gym. It definitely helped to work some of that energy off.

My rock 😍 

When the meltdown was mostly over, he asked why I hadn’t told him before. Like I mentioned at the start of this, even he gets things delayed. I told him I was trying to be strong (it’s something I’ve done all my life as “the oldest” child and still have trouble with).

Part of my worries regarding trying to conceive is everything that comes with my PCOS. The hormonal issues can cause infertility and miscarriages. I’m already high-risk due to my weight which also causes issues. Although side note – I got my lab work back from my doctor and all the basic stuff was fine!

The other concern is now that my husband has decided to return to school. Full-time. This means he’s quit his regular job, picked up a part-time job and therefore taken a significant pay cut. He’s in training now and we don’t know yet how much he’ll be working after Thanksgiving. It’s scary thinking about trying to afford a baby and paying off debt and our regular bills on less than we’ve been making. I know there are people who do it with less but like I told him yesterday, I want more than I had for my children.

*sigh* I could probably go on and on in circles but I won’t. I’ll leave it at this for now. This was therapeutic for sure and it actually does make me feel a bit better knowing I’m about to take this off my shoulders. 🙂

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Putting It All Out There. Maybe.

Hello again.

Since the last time I wrote, to my own shock, I actually DID start working out again. I will admit that I gave up after a few days the first week because I was so damn sore from my leg day workout. Weak. The following week I was just trying to get through that horrible time that most ladies get. Y’all know what I’m sayin’. So I pretty much was deadddd. But I’m back at it this week! It’s Wednesday and I worked out both Monday AND Tuesday. Today is a cold and rainy day here in the DFW area and I’m spending it indoors cuddled up with my dogs. No worries though. My workouts are home workouts that don’t require fancy gym equipment – just bodyweight or light dumbbells.

I went to my primary care physician this week for my annual physical and because they wouldn’t refill my medicine without checking in again. I still need to go back to get my blood drawn for labs because I was in a rush on Monday, so I should have results back early next week. My blood pressure was good (to my surprise) but my weight has obviously gone up since I saw him last year though. I had gone down some around May but I gained it back and more. Here’s to me being brave… *breathe* My highest weight is now roughly 289 (with clothes – that makes a difference right???) UGH! I don’t think I’ve ever told anyone my weight except my husband. This is really hard to admit. However, I think it’s an important step in my journey. By putting it out there I have given myself some sort of accountability as I don’t want to come back and say I’ve gained even more weight. I’m telling y’all, I really want to try this time. I want to lose the weight. I NEED to lose the weight and get healthier. There are a couple of reasons for this besides the fact that I’m tired of walking around feeling like Violet from Willy Wonka.

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I feel so round.

My mom has been dealing with several health issues for a while now. She was diagnosed with stomach ulcers, attributed to stress, many years ago. Most recently she was diagnosed with gout, arthritis (not sure which kind), and the scariest is Diabetes Type 2. It’s scary to hear because she’s had issues with her sugar before and doesn’t like to take medicine and she’s stubborn in her eating habits. She doesn’t live in the safest of neighborhoods so I’m glad she owns a treadmill but I’m not sure how often she uses it. My point is that Diabetes is a real threat to my health, not only due to my PCOS and insulin resistance but now it’s most likely always been in my genetics.

(NOTE: to my IRL friends and family, please don’t bring up what I’m about to say because it’s a difficult subject for me to talk about seriously…I know I joke about it and have been known to say I just want dogs but that’s just a front so I don’t have to delve deeper into the subject.)

The other biggest reason I really need to get my stuff together is that my husband and I want to get started on our family. It’s a touchy subject for me with my health and the possibilities. The what-ifs scare me. I might post about it another day, maybe.

But there you have it. This is more for myself, as usual, just to get my thoughts out and try and work through stuff. I’m working on getting my eating habits on a healthy track. I’ll be starting Victoza again – just a sample for now – along with my regular meds. I’m hoping it will get me started in the right direction along with my exercise plan and diet. Low carb is what I’m aiming for or at least fewer carbs and take out/fast food, for now, so please share any recipes or Pinterest boards if you’d like.

 

 

The Itchy Travel Bug

There’s been a slowdown at work today and I may have spent it perusing travel pins on Pinterest and travel blogs. In doing so, I realized I never really posted anything about our trip to Denver, CO last year, so I plan to share a post on that soon. This also got me wishing we could just pick up and go on a vacation! My job and bosses are super chill and allow me to have a lot of flexibility, especially when it’s our quieter seasons. Unfortunately, my hubby doesn’t have that luxury and has to ask for time off from his fairly new job way ahead of time. Sure, we could do weekend trips, except his new schedule has him with split weekends. Friday off, Saturday on, Sunday off. Woe is me.

It was about this time last year when I wrote another post about my wanderlust. We had a pretty great set of adventures planned in 2016 and luckily were able to add in a few extra trips: our belated honeymoon to Colorado was in February, Tokyo in April/May, Pennsylvania in October, and our bonus trip to Georgia for the PCOS Symposium was in September. My in-laws moved to Galveston at the end of 2015 so we spent several weekends with them during the warmer months.

This year we will probably spend some time in Galveston with my in-laws again. The only other real trip/vacation we have planned is for my husband’s cousin’s wedding. It’s a destination wedding so we’ll be traveling to Florida. I’ve seen photos of the white beaches and can’t wait to put up my feet and lay back with a mimosa or two in hand. It’ll probably be rum and coke but you get what I’m sayin’. Alas, that’s not until the end of JULY!! Until then I’ll satisfy my travel bug by reading more blogs and figuring out how to convince my husband that we NEED to get away. Perhaps on a cruise ship. 😉

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Exploring Downtown Galveston

 

February Check In

Hi again! If you’re like me, February was the new official start of New Year’s resolutions. January was a trial month. Everyone knows that. Moving on. This month, I

This month, I reeeeeally wanted to follow through as I am so, so very terrible at it. I made a pretty little tracking chart in my bullet journal and used lots of pinks and reds. Tons of hearts – it is the month of love after all. For about half of the month, I stuck with my highest priority goals. I took my medicine and supplements and logged my meals. I stayed around my carbohydrate goal in general but due to my lack of dedicated exercise, my calorie intake has probably been too high to really lose any weight. However, we managed to decrease our fast food spending this month due to forcing myself to take leftovers to work. It also helps that I have an AMAZING husband who offered to make me breakfast every weekday along with his.

 

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Eggs and uncured bacon every day with the occasional toast. This day included salsa and queso fresco. Yum!

Today I went to get some labwork done ahead of next week’s endocrinologist appointment. Hopefully, my results move in the right direction. PCOS is not fun and is very defeating. I haven’t had as many breakdowns recently so that’s good. I’m trying to stay positive and keeping in mind why I want to lose weight and get healthy.

 

I also got a new computer today! So this may translate into more frequent blog posts. We’ll see. 😉

Oh, one final thing: Everyone needs to go check out April the Giraffe on YouTube. I’m obsessed and absolutely way too invested in this live giraffe birth for my own good, but I need people to discuss the adorableness of it all with. Tweet at me or find me on Instagram so we can have all sorts of giraffe-related convos. 🙂

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?!

 

 

 

 

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.

PCOS Challenge Symposium 2016

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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.