Here we are, but not where we thought we would be 

Have you ever focused so much on taking a day at a time you don’t realize how many days have passed?

I started this blog over two years ago thinking that Pre-Diabetes and PCOS would be my biggest challenges – and they were not easy. Limiting what I eat, feeling jealous that others could eat whatever they want and not have concern…that was hard.

But the challenge has evolved. This evolution has kept me from writing because moving from a health struggle to an infertility struggle seems embarrassing and taboo. I have received guidance from some of my closest confidants to not share and just fight.

But I can’t. I am literally sitting in the back of a car with friends and family talking and I can’t engage. After choosing the wrong doctor with the wrong treatment for 5 months and now having to embrace more extreme fertility treatments – I feel overwhelmed. And isolated.

I know I am surrounded by love and support –  but truthfully no one knows what to say. To be honest, I can’t even articulate what I am going through as I work to balance the craziest combination of fear and hope.

So here I am again. Writing to you because you listen. You may be going through what I am or know someone who is. I am writing to you because you empathize. Because you  are a safe space.

While I worry about who knows me personally and is reading the start of a very raw and open testimony  I really think this platform is made for a place to articulate pain and get support.

So thank you. Thank you for reading and caring. Thank you for knowing every post on social media that seems perfect may be built on a foundation of struggles and pain. Thank you for being honest, open, and for withholding judgment. And thank you for allowing me to express myself.

A new normal – trying to stay positive 

It has been 16 months since I was diagnosed with PCOS and Insulin Resistance.

16 months. 36 pounds lost. 9 pills a day. 1 injection a week. 1 chemical pregnancy. 

While I know I have had a battle and I have been a successful warrior, I am feeling…exhausted. Exhausted from feeling like this condition is consuming my identity. Exhausted from frustrations of not being able to start a family. Exhausted from all of it to the point that I don’t even want to be around my own thoughts any more.

Tonight I looked back at photos of my self 36 pounds heavier and am feeling shocked at how I looked. During the heaviest weight of my life I will forever be immortalized in 3 different sets of wedding photos where I was honored to serve as bridesmaid. I look back and can see how far I have come, but wonder how far I have to go.

This blog and this community have given me strength when I have needed it most. Now as I wait (with some super fun GI problems from my medication) on the eve of an endocrinologist appointment, I am praying my levels will be ok. Praying for progress. And praying for the ability to give my husband a family.

I am so thankful I am alive. Thankful for my progress. Hopeful things will continue to get better. This journey really has no end. So I look to you – my strong inspirations- who continue to fight and succeed with PCOS and IR. Thank you for sharing your stories and voicing support. Thank you for reminding me I am not alone.

We can all do this – we won’t stop, we will keep fighting. 

 

Weigh-in Wednesday: New Year, Back on track

So December was fun. Lots of fun.

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I literally got back with carbs in a way that pretty much evolved us from exes to being married. All the carbs. I mean, I didn’t discriminate. I was an equal opportunity carb monster. Between work gifts, holiday parties, holiday dinners, and overall feeling festive I really went for it. Maybe I was trying to be like Santa and be as jolly as possible for December. Let’s just say I was committed.

One thing I seemed to forget during this food fest was that I had an upcoming Endocrinologist appointment in January and that my blood work results do not come with caveats or forgiveness. Nothing brings cold, hard honesty to your life like blood work. Nothing.

After returning from another ridiculous amount of carbs on a vaca in Orlando, I had my appointment today. Here is how it went:

Pros –  Last visit 3 months ago, my levels showed the start of Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. It is great the non-alcoholic is at the start of this diagnosis because I was about to REALLY regret decisions made in college. And my 20s. And my 30s. And last weekend.

While it is important to limit, alcohol, that is not the cause of this condition. What I did learn on Wikipedia is that this is the most common liver disorder in developed countries (around 30% of Americans) and is directly tied to my lovely Insulin Resistance (or pre-diabetes).

I was also down a couple pounds from the last visit. Down is always good…but when I am doing all I should be, I should be down a lot more.

Cons – My testosterone levels were higher than last visit. Luckily nothing close to what they were before, but definitely not as low as they should be. This brings me closer to needing insulin every day in full diabetes mode and also makes future plans for a family nearly impossible down the road.

PrintAs I work to be more positive this year I am going to take my cons and say the POSITIVE about them is that I have control over these results. These results are directly tied to the amount of carbs I am eating. I know FOR A FACT I have not been anywhere near my goal of 110g of carbs/day for the last 6-8 weeks. I wasn’t even keeping track.

I am happy to say that I also was NOT given more meds this visit. When I am not doing what I am supposed to, my endocrinologist finds additional meds to help make up for what I am not being responsible enough to do on my own. This visit, no more meds…just a pep talk on the reminder of why I need to stick to 110g carbs/day.

So here I am. Back at my desk. Eating a burrito bowl. Ignoring the Chick-fil-A my co-workers are eating. Ready to food journal. And under 30g of carbs for 2 meals and a snack so far today.

Resolutions are important…but this is more than that. This is to be well. This is to help my husband eat a healthier diet. This is for a future ability to have a child (ren). This is bigger than how good that carb dates.

3 months from now will be my next Endocrinologist appointment. Here’s to striving to beat my personal best and to being my healthiest self. We can all do it!

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References:

Wikipedia

 

#WeighInWednesday: Down 5 pounds from last week!

The nausea is not great. And the vomiting is even worse. And the breaking up with carbs is certainly the ABSOLUTE WORST.

But…

I am proud to say I am down 5 pounds from last week and am at the lowest weight I have been in years! I am down 27 pounds from this time last year! While all of the things I have been going through have been very tough, I have found that writing more frequently to YOU has made me stronger and more accountable.

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As I type this, I realize I was so hungry today I forgot to take a pic of my low carb lunch today for Instagram – but I have been posting a lot more of what I have been eating which has made me even more accountable.

I am sure you can agree…seeing results from working hard is the absolute best feeling. It keeps you motivated and helps you believe again in what you are doing. For me, I know that a drop on the scale means wonderful things for all my other levels which will make my Endocrinologist appointment next month that much more successful. This has been one hard journey with no end in sight, but as they say:

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Here is what I did well this week:

  • Food journaling – of all the things that have worked for staying low carb, the food journal has by far helped me have the most success. It has really helped me keep track of how I am doing and has really translated into results.
  • Delicious breakfast found – Since I have not been eating eggs for personal reasons and I need to stay low carb, I have been really struggling with breakfast options, especially on-the-go breakfast options. I started trying Luna Bars which keep me under my 30g of carbs/meal limit. They are delicious, good for being on-the-go, and low carb. I am pleased to say they help me kick-off my day the way a good breakfast should.
  • Stayed Low Carb, even when it was tough – Of course there were some exceptions with Halloween, but all in all I really watched what I ate and made low carb choices. I have found ways to splurge (like Popcorn or grapes), but splurging in ways that do not completely destroy my carb count for the day.

Here is what I can work on next week:

  • Exercise – a lot of this has to do with the fatigue and nausea I have had, but exercise just has not been happening. I have been trying to walk more around work (which is saying a lot – it is a big campus), but there is certainly room for improvement
  • Booze – While I have cut drinking out during the week for the most part, I really want to cut back on weekends too. As I get older, I have noticed many of my friends are transitioning from our binge drinking 20s to enjoy a nice glass of wine 30s. And there is nothing wrong with that. We are going to a wedding this weekend, so it will be interesting to see if I can keep this goal…but I will try!
  • Manage emotions – I had a bit of a breakdown at work this week…my first since starting this new job 6 months ago. This team is all about sharing frustrations, but I have always been more poker faced in the workplace. I think like most things, there is a happy medium…which I will be working hard to achieve. Like all workplaces, negativity can snowball very quickly, so it is important to me I don’t feed into any negativity around me and continue to identify myself as a positive person…no matter what.

So here is to positivity…and hard work…and being a bad @$$. Cheers to that.

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#MondayMotivation: Good start to the week after Halloween fun

Halloween weekend is certainly a TRICKy time for those of us counting carbs. My stomach has been pretty upset lately from RIPCupcakethe meds, so I did not really do any drinking this weekend, but I certainly got back together with carbs for a Halloween rendezvous. I don’t know about you, but I feel like if I do not let myself enjoy holidays when everyone else is, I go crazy. It is hard enough to order the salad when everyone else has pizza on a normal basis…so I give myself some breathing room for holidays. That being said, I had some chips, bread, fries, and did not go protein style with my turkey burger because…R.I.P DIET for this weekend. I will say that I tried to make healthier choices (i.e. wheat bun instead of white) and I also feel back in love with one of my favorite healthy snacks…red bell peppers with salt and pepper. SO good. SO healthy. All that being said, I certainly did not stick to 110g carbs per day. I am pretty sure a handful of fun sizes helped with that.

But now it is time to get back on track. And even though I am feeling especially irritable today (maybe it is just Monday, maybe it is meds, who really knows for sure…), I have been pretty good at staying on track. It is pushing 4pm and as I type I am snacking on cherry tomatoes and seeing that I am at 48g carbs. I said no to California Pizza Kitchen with co-workers. No to the Indian station in the cafeteria with rice and garlic naan bread. No to ALL the extra candy around the office. I am really trying to commit.

To top it off, I got a slow cooker done before going to work and will see if it is a good one tonight. Definitely staying low carb for this meal…and there is something about having dinner already done as I drove in for work that made me feel ready for anything.

So yes, I am irritable. Yes, I miss carbs. And yes, I really don’t know how I have been so good today. But I have been…and even though this lifestyle is overwhelming, I am living one moment at a time. And in this moment, these cherry tomatoes taste REAL GOOD.

Here’s to a good week!

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#WeighInWednesday: Rollercoaster Ride

giphyThis last week has been a roller coaster…and not in the fun way. I have been having the hardest time getting into my groove with medication and diet. Maybe it is the fact there are carbs EVERYWHERE at work. Maybe it is the fact Halloween candy is everywhere. Maybe I am feeling extra tired. So many possibilities…all of which lead to a pretty steady relationship with carbs lately. I have had days that have been SO good with what I eat and remembering my medicine. Then there are the days when on my drive into work I realize I forgot my meds. Or I decide I need to eat that Reese’s Peanut Butter cup. And the cracker snack pack. And the bagel. Consistency has definitely not been great for me in the last week.

Despite the roller coaster, I am not up any weight from last week. I am still 4 pounds away from my lowest weight and 22 pounds from my goal weight…but at least I did not gain from last week.

Here is what I did well last week:

  • FOOD JOURNALING – Since I have felt like my carb rendezvous have been quite intense, I have been writing down what I am eating again. I have found food journaling has really helped me get control
  • GOOD CHOICES – I have had a few meals where I have very decisively avoided carbs and chosen something healthier. Even though everyone around me is chowing down on mac and cheese…and fries…and (sigh) you get it.

Here are my opportunities for the coming week:

  • EXERCISE – I still have not found a groove with a workout schedule. I know how important it is…I have nothing more to say except I know I need to be like Nike and JUST DO IT.
  • CONSISTENCY – Most of my life, I have been all about focused bursts of productivity and lulls of…well…not productivity. As a general statement, I need to focus on my consistency – especially with my diet.
  • CHOOSING JOY – I don’t know about you, but in the world of social media, it is so easy to compare. I have been really trying to focus on my blessings and not comparing to others. I am going to work to continually choose joy…and make that choice with a grateful heart.

No matter if you are fighting PCOS, Diabetes, staying on a diet, or just trying to be a functional, productive human…there are ups and downs. It is crucial to understand that and give yourself some breathing room. On this crazy roller coaster, we can learn just as much on the lows if we choose to…so here is to learning and some smooth sailing once I get my groove back.
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BirthMONTH weight gain is a thing…but here is how I am bouncing back

In my family, it is not a birthDAY. It is a birthMonth. Between family in different cities, cob3656cf7a880f148fe32701c852e025fa7fb1088882c59b826ad08b122dae222_1nflicts with work schedules, and the fact that we love a good celebration…festivities absolutely extend over several days, weeks, the month…whatever.

As we all know, a good celebration calls for a good carb or ten. Carbs and I definitely got back together and while I want to say I regret it, it was a glorious rendezvous. Sushi, pasta, sangria, cupcakes, cookies, fried chicken, french fries, bread…all of it. So. Good.

But then there is the whole consequence thing which is this case is 5 pounds I gained back. While this is less than stellar, I am surprisingly feeling OK about it.

Here is why I am OK with the weight gain during my birthMONTH and what I plan to do to get back on track.

My birthday was amazing. Maybe the best ever.

IMG_2569On my actual birthday, I got to go on a work day trip and was surprised with birthday treats during an important meeting. My husband spoiled me with my favorite restaurant, champagne, and a bag I have had my eye on. My birthday party was at a beautiful outdoor venue and I was surrounded by amazing friends including one of my best friends who came all the way from
Alaska to surprise me. Some of my friends I haven’t seen in a while told me how great I look from my 20 pound weight loss. Basically, I had a lot of reasons to smile. I looked great, I felt great, and really was counting my blessings for the progress I have made and the wonderful people I have in my life.

Now while that sounds all rosy and wonderful and I have a good snapshot I shared, the truth is that I was eating carbs like it was the zombie apocalypse. I really did not discriminate with any carbs and even a week after my actual birthday, I was still doing the same thing.

The truth of the matter is, it is time to get back on track. They say the first step is admitting the problem, and the problem is carbs. It is definitely time for us to breakup again.

Here is my plan to get back on track:

Since our work cafeteria is closed, we have food trucks coming to our campus every day. You know…pizza, tacos, tater tots, grilled cheese. It is basically as if carbs was sending me 2 dozen roses everyday and begging me to get back together. But this cannot be.

Planning ahead seems to be the best way to battle carbs. We will be out of town this weekend, so meal planning will be more challenging. But we will find a way! My husband has also gained a lot of weight…mostly because when my appetite was down from the meds he was eating what I wasn’t and as a true partner, he fully indulged in my birthmonth as well.

To help us both, we have been good about getting in our 20 minute exercise prescribed by the doc each night with evening walks. It has been good for our relationship and great for our health.

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I also just started a food journal today to really count my carbs to keep me aligned with my 110g/day goals. I have food journaled before and I have found it really helps with accountability. Not only do I plan to keep track of the number of carbs I eat, but I also plan to keep track of taking my meds. I have found as things get busier and busier, I have been worse about taking the meds I need to survive. I figure that if I take the time out of the day to commit to this, it will make me pay more attention and not be swayed by the delicious smell of food trucks or office bagels.

I also am planning to write more! I kept making excuses, but truthfully, sharing my journey with you all made me more accountable and ultimately healthier. I also sincerely hope this helps others in similar situations or just looking to be healthier get to their goals.

Here’s to a fresh start. Again.