#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!

download

#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.
giphy (1)

#WeighInWednesday: Down 3 pounds

Even though it has been pretty rough dealing with the nausea and vomiting caused by my medication, I am proud to say I am down 3 pounds this week! I am down 8 pounds in the past month since last visiting my Endocrinologist and being focused on doing all I can to reduce the amount of medication I am needing to take.

Things I did well this week:

  • Since dealing with the medication side effects, I have been drinking significantly less. Not only has this made me feel better, but I believe it is a big contributor to the weight loss
  • It has been a goal to get back on track with exercising and I am proud to say I got in 4 workouts in the past week – mostly walks or hikes with the dogs. It has been very peaceful to be outdoors and has also been a great workout
  • Medication has been a challenge for me because quite frankly, I get tired of 8 pills a day and 1 shot per week. Before my last appointment, I had decided to skip doses because I was simply exhausted from taking so much medicine. This past week, no matter how tired I was, I stuck to my medication. It has not been fun, but I know how important it is. My doctor put it into pretty hard to ignore terms for me…he said, “Either don’t take your medication and live to your 50th birthday, or take your medication and live to your 90th birthday.” I choose 90, thank you.
  • Even though I vomited nearly every day, I stayed active and positive. I understand the nausea and vomiting are side effects that I need to deal with for now, but I have refused to let them stifle my time or activities with friends. There have been some really hard days where it was clear to those around me I wasn’t feeling great, but I am proud of myself for getting up and getting out instead of wallowing in bed.

Opportunities for improvement:

  • Since dealing with being sick, I have been downing saltine crackers like it was my job. A lot of days, this is all my body can take after the medication along with Sprite (at least it is Sprite Zero with less sugar). I do not eat much meat, but my typical fish that I would order to stay low carb has not been appetizing to me at all. With meat not really being an option, I have eaten more carbs than I should like Pad Thai noodles, corn tortillas, or egg rolls. I definitely want to be patient with myself, especially since weight is still coming off…I just know these carbs are not the best for me and make it hard to stick to 110g of carbs/day that my doctor prescribed.

Goals for next week:

  • Next week, I start a new job! I am very exciting for this opportunity…it really is a dream come true for me. While at the new job, I want to be sure to get up and workout…starting this new chapter the right way with the 20 minutes of exercise my doctor prescribed.
  • Stay positive – I tend to worry about things I should not and as I start this new role, I want to be as positive and upbeat as possible. No matter how I feel or what may creep into my mind, I will be confident and positive.
  • Stay on track with my 110g of carbs a day goal. This will be hard because I am going to a music festival this weekend, but I will definitely try. The same goes for my medication.

How did you do this weigh-in Wednesday?

Health update: Scared, but resilient

jour·ney
noun
an act of traveling from one place to another.

Over the last couple of weeks, I have developed false faith that I was better. I convinced myself that December’s visit to the Endocrinologist was so good, that I could get back together with carbs on a regular basis. I have been evolving my diet the way I have in the past…after months of being good, I believed I was on the right track and could afford eating the way so many people around me do indulging in carbs on a regular basis.

I was wrong. Very wrong.

This morning’s appointment was eye opening. When I started this journey back in November, my testosterone level was at 90. The healthy rating for a woman is 30. If I did not get treated, I was on a path to have heart failure. In the next decade. After starting this blog and staying very disciplined in my carb breakup, I got my testosterone level down to 53. This gave me false comfort to allow carbs to creep back into my life…first, when I was stressed. Then, on the weekends. And ultimately, whenever I felt like it. My testosterone level was at 56.

My Endocrinologist is one of the kindest, most talented people I have ever met. Today’s appointment would have been terrifying if it wasn’t for his sense of humor, open dialog, and genuine concern he has for me and all of his patients. Even with his skill and kindness, today was still a very scary wake up call.

I shared with Dr. Marcus that I have been exhausted. I was exhausted from staying on the diet and feeling so limited. Exhausted from taking so many pills every night. I admitted that I have not stuck to 110g of carbs today, had not been regularly exercising 20 minutes a day, and even have been skipping medication on days I am over taking pills. Admitting all of this to him was obviously imperative for him to help course correct, but more importantly, it caused me to be honest with myself.

In addition to staying on track with my carb breakup, Dr. Marcus made the following adjustments to treat my Insulin Resistance and PCOS. Every case is different, but here is how we are approaching my journey to health:

Increased Metformin from 500mg to 2000mg. I am not happy to take 4 times as many pills. (larger pills are available, I am just not a strong pill taker). I have read various posts from many of you about Metformin side effects which had not really been bad for me before. I will be interested to see how side effects progress with this higher dosage.

strong>Exercising 20 minutes a day is imperative. Time to look back at my tips to wakeup in the morning and exercise. The epic battle with the snooze button will continue.

Now for the newest and for me, the scariest change. Once a week, I will now need to give myself an injection. For those of you that have been following my journey, you know that I am terrified with needles which is why the Glucose Tolerance Test was so difficult for me. Each week I will be injecting myself with Tanzeum. My doctor was very open to discussing this medication and we decided it would be the best thing for expediting a cure for my PCOS and Insulin Resistance. I will admit that when he mentioned this, I hit the cap on holding in my emotions. It was hard enough to hear that if I did not get my diet and health in order, I would likely not make it to my 50th birthday in 20 years. Then learning that my results needed pushing and it was time to introduce injections…I lost it in his office. He kindly listened and coached me through how to use this prescription. I was shaking in fear to give myself my first shot…but I did it. I really did. I feel braver and stronger for being able to do this. As much as I hate needles, I will do whatever it takes to be healthy again. For those of you interested in learning more about this prescription, check out this

Thursday Progress: No change on the scale, but changing my attitude.

Starting this blog has been one of the best decisions I have made in a while.

I have felt so supported by so many of you. Thank you for your words of encouragement, hope, and care. This community has really reminded me how wonderful it is to connect with people all over the world that are sharing in your experiences. Even though the last few weeks have been harder than usual, sharing and connecting with all of you has made me feel more motivated than ever.

This morning’s weigh in was steady with last week. It is definitely not the number I want to be at although I am pleased that I have not gained more weight since last week, especially considering carbs and I were on again/off again this week.

I have my check-in appointment with my Endocrinologist next week, so I know I need to get back to taking control of my life. If you have been following my blog, you know I am TERRIBLE with needles, so whenever I need to go to my Endo and have bloodwork done, I am less than pleased. All that being said, I think being back in the lab and having to go through a blood withdraw may be the wake up call that I need that I do not have the luxury of choosing when I feel like following my diet. If I don’t make improvements, I will only get heavier and sicker.

Successes this week: 

  • While I had a couple meals of weakness, overall I was better about making low carb choices. My husband and I found a new spot that does amazing chicken wings in 3 different sauces for Happy Hour…I will keep trying to find new treats like that to indulge in
  • There was a nice success at work this week that helped me feel motivated to get back on track. If I want to be my best self in all facets, it really starts with a healthy body and taking better care of myself.

Opportunities for next week:

  • Get back to treating my conditions more seriously and sticking to more disciplined low carb diets. It really is such a rabbit hole if you let yourself go and eat with no care or concern. I need to remember this is a lifestyle I must accept and treat it as so.
  • Exercise. But seriously. I know this is something my Endo will bring up next week…at minimum I should try to start the week right so I can let him know I am trying to get workouts in.
  • Take better care of everything around me and not give in to feeling tired. If I take better care of me, I know it will help me be a better wife, friend, and worker.
  • Stay positive. So many of the things I worry about never even happen. I need to have faith and stay thankful for all the blessings I do have. Dwelling in negativity is helping me or anyone around me.

Definitely a week with more opportunities than successes…but I do feel focused and ready to take back control of my health and life.

Dear Carbs – you are great, but seriously back off. I am walking away as much as I love you so I can be happier and healthier. It would be great if you could keep your distance and let me get stronger. xo Me

PCOS and IR: Not an easy lifestyle

SPOILER ALERT: This post contains the whole truth and nothing but the truth on how the last week and a half have gone.

Having PCOS and Insulin Resistance is hard. As in VERY hard. The last couple of months I have tried to be positive. I have followed the rules the best I could. I try to look on the bright side and take each day with a new level of faith. But it is hard and I have not been doing well.

Sticking to 110g of carbs a day is pretty hard. Especially when you work in an office where there are free carbs around you everywhere and cafeteria options that are hard to ignore in all their carb filled glory. It is hard to ignore the free bread or tortilla chips on a table when you go out to eat and your friends are enjoying the carby deliciousness. It is hard to not take the easy route with food…so many carb filled options are typically the easiest to get when you are in a rush.

And the ovulation. Every 10-14 days. I mean…come on. The cramps, nausea, and exhaustion have been out of control causing me to crave even more of what I shouldn’t eat.

If all this isn’t enough, I am in a new role at work that is BRAND new to me. While it is exciting to learn something new every day, it is also exhausting. I find myself more insecure than I have been in a long time wondering if what I am doing is right. I am working so hard to please everyone and exceed expectations. All while fighting Insulin Resistance and PCOS.

I wish it would all just go away and I can do what I have done in the past…if one diet doesn’t work, choose another one. But that is no longer an option. Insulin Resistance and PCOS are real which no way around them.

So if I can’t go around these challenges…I need to keep fighting and find a way to go THROUGH the challenges. While the last couple weeks have been so hard, I know I am a fighter and I know I will get healthier. Now time to go meet a friend for dinner and ignore the free bread…

Thursday progress: Staying steady

While Thursday morning weigh-ins are typically most joyful when I am down from the last week, I must say I am almost equally pleased that I did not gain any weight from last week’s weigh-in. Valentine’s weekend was filled with a crazy about of carbs and cocktails which ended up snowballing into over carb indulgence for a majority of the week. Last night was also a very late work night, so I ended up not having dinner until almost 9pm. In the past late dinners typically mean a heavier weigh-in.

All that being said, the more I read and hear from many of your stories about PCOS and IR it is clear to me that I need to be patient with myself. The cravings, exhaustion, and pain are all very real things that I believe I (and many of you) are very strong to battle. While I really just want to stay in bed all day with my dogs while cradling a baguette topped with pasta and french fries, I know that I am strong enough to get up each day and fight. Will all battles be won? No. But I am I fighting? Heck yeah.

SUCCESSES THIS WEEK:

  • While I gave into carbs more than I should this week, I also was really strong and turning down incredibly accessible carbs. I don’t know about you, but my office has free carbs. Like all the time. Yesterday I went to get more tea and what did I find? Catering size platters of chow mein. And rice. I mean… Also, while my husband enjoyed a turkey club with waffle fries last night, although I was exhausted and wanted the same, I indulged in grape leaves (a little rice) and had a curry chicken salad for dinner. I call that a win.
  • As a person who struggles with mornings and is typically late if anything is earlier than noon, I was proud of myself that I was EARLY for an 8:30am meeting this morning. I got up with enough time to get myself together and rock my presentation. If I can do it for my company, I should be able to do it for myself with morning workouts. While I truly hate waking up, it does make me feel more prepared for the day when I get an early start. This morning definitely motivated me to get up tomorrow morning (especially since it is a later start) and get my 20 minutes of exercise in.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR NEXT WEEK:

  • Carbs and I are not going to be involved next week. We just aren’t. I really want to commit to the next week between my food, medicine, and exercise to really see the great results I get when I do those things. If my weight stays the same, I am going to need a moderate restraining mechanism to keep me from all the carbs I missed and want to eat out of frustration of no progress…but we will cross that bridge when we get there.
  • Since my weeks for progress start on Fridays, I will plan to wake up tomorrow morning and get those 20 minutes of exercise in. I CAN DO IT.

How did you do this week?