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.

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! 😀

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! 😀