Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Lowering Your Cholesteral

Here Are 11 Tips To Lowering You Cholesteral....

1. Set A Target

2. Consider Medication

3. Exercise

4. Avoid Saturated Fat

5. Eat More Fiber

6. Eat Fish

7. Drink Red Wine

8. Drink Green Tea

9. Eat Nuts

10.Switch To Healthy Margarine

11. Don't Smoke

I never thought at the age of 27 that I would have cholestoral issues. However, I found some old blood work from back in 2005, when I was 21, and my cholestoral was 234 which is even higher than it is now. I am concerned because 5 months ago my cholestoral was 191 and it shot up to 226 and my ldl bad cholestoral went from 110 to 134. In 2005 my LDL was only 126.  Anyway, at first as I was really upset wondering how could I lose 15 lbs and have my cholestoral go up? But, then I realized that I lost that weight up to October and I simply maintained it over November and December. So I was not eating healthy during those two months. Now, knowing this, I will have to make a conscious effort to work on lowering my cholestoral. I feel like I am 50 years old just saying that sentence. The above list is a great starting point. And, as always, I say better to know what is wrong then to not know and not be able to work on fixing it.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Not The News I Wanted

I would like to start this post by stating that I really hate having PCOS. Ok. Now that that has been said, I went to the doctor a few weeks ago to have routing blood work done. I found out that my estrogen levels have not signifigantly improved since the last time I had them checked. Also my cholestoral went from 191 to 226 and my LDL went from 110 to 134. PCOS causes heart disease, diabetes and obesity along with other wonderful things like infertility and hair loss.  PCOS can kiss my a$$. So the diabetes drug I take, Metformin also known as Glucofage, will now be increased to 3x per day. This is the drug that makes me sick. Also my estrogen pill will have to be increased. I have this image where I die of a heart attack while weighing 500 lbs - childless and miserable from taking ungodly amounts of medication everyday. I sound so awfully negative. I am just mad that I lost 15 lbs and all I did was get worse. Well ok how can I spin this? Talk about motivation to eat right and exercise ! I need to trust that once I get the right combo of life style and medication that I can beat this PCOS thing. Maybe I was starting to win and PCOS said no I must fight back. I have no idea. I thought losing weight would help, but obviously I am not doing something right. I am sad, but I will get over it.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Just Say No To New Year's Resolutions

Every year after the holidays millions of American make New Year's Resolutions. Now I am no scientist, but if I were to estimate I would say that 95% of resolutions fail. Also, I would guess that 95% of people make the same resolution every year. I am done with New Years Resolutions and I think maybe we should all be done with them. Over the next month millions of Americans will spend billions on gym memberships, diet foods, exercise equipment, stop smoking aids, info mercial gimmicks, self help books, etc. etc. etc. The only people who win are the people selling the stuff.

Change is not going to happen over night. Change doesn't come once a year in a spurt of national motivation. Change happens every day any day of the year. Change is deciding on this random Tuesday that I will work out that I will eat healthy. Change is making new habits slowly over time.

So I say to all my loved ones about to start their 50th new fad diet - Don't Do It. Stop and think about your life. Think about how many times you have tried and failed. Maybe its a sign. You know they say the definaition of stupidity is to try the same thing over and and over expecting a different outcome. So stop trying the same things over and over that don't work and figure out what does work. I will almost gaurantee you it isn't a fad diet or  it isn't a gimmick on tv. If there were a magic diet or a magic pill or machine that worked then we would all be skinny. But, we aren't - are we? It's not about what you do one month out of the year it is about what you do 365 days a year. If you take in more calories on average that you burn you will gain weight. So figure out a way to make small sustainable changes over the whole of the year instead of trying to fix it all one month out of the year. Remember change is a process and slow change is the best change. Good luck to you all!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The End of December

Well December is almost over. So final damage was 3 lbs. Not too bad for 2 months of not so great eating. So 14 lbs lost so far. I have 6 months left until my 28th birthday on July 4th. I would like to lose another 30 lbs by my birthday. That would be about 44 lbs total. I think this will probably require more time than I originally thought. It took me 2-3 years to put on the 80 lbs so it is not unreasonable to expect it to take about the same time to take it off. I still hold fast to my ideal of losing 1 lb per week. Losing weight slow is the best way to do it. The slower you lose the weight the better chance you have of keeping it off. I think I will take this next week to prepare myself for the New Year. I will work on my motivation and try and get my resolutions and goals in order. 2011 here I come !!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

December

Sadly I just realized that I didn't post anything for the whole month of December. Well there really wasn't anything to write about other than a whole bunch of food that I should not have eaten. I am kind of anxious for Christmas to come and go so I can get back to my plan and start powering forward. I think I will have gained 3-5 lbs for this month. Hopefully a lot of that is water weight and will come off quickly after Christmas. I went back to the dr last week for blood work. I haven't gotten the results yet, but hopefully my hormones are doing better. I know that for sure my hair is much better. I have even been getting compliments from people. The dr wants me to go back to the imaging place for another ultrasound of my overseas to check for more cycsts. Not very excited about that after the awful experience I had last time. I was thinking the other night how do you explain PCOS to a person who doesn't know what it is? " Well I have an endocrine disorder which is the hormone system of the body where my estrogen and testostorone and other hormones are out of wack and this causes diabetic insulin resistance, obesity, metabolic syndrome, hair loss, infertility, and painfull cysts in my ovaries." Man that sounds depressing. But, it is only as depressing as I let it be. So I really didn't accomplish much over the last couple of months. I lost 17 lbs over the first 4 months or so, but I find after about 4 months motivation really starts to wain. I don't see anything wrong with taking a break and regrouping as long as the end goal is still in sight. If it takes me 2 years to lose this weight and not 1 then fine that is just how long it will take. The end goal is change. Real change. Not a quick fix. This isn't a quick fix kind of problem. This is a process. I'm hoping for real change.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Kiss of Death

The words I have feared my entire life have finally been spoken......

"You have such a pretty face"

Why? Oh universe why did I have to hear these words. OK so you may wonder: Casey - why do you care if someone compliments you in such a way? Well lets break it down. There is a difference between "You are so pretty" and " You have such a pretty face". "You are pretty" means well that in general all around you are easy on the eyes. "You have such a pretty face" means well .....well..... it means you have potential to be very pretty if it weren 't for the fact that you are fat. Ok so yes, I can hear how petty I sound, and don't worry I write this post with a definitate undertone of sarcasm. But, I am not going to lie why I admit I cringed a bit when the compliment was given. I smiled. I said thank you. But, inside the skinny girl in me cried a little tear of loss.

I think it is best  maybe I write a short list of things not to say to an overweight person.

1. You have such a pretty face.  (and the rest of me buddy - what? not so much?)
2. Wow you've lost soooooooo much weight. (really thanks I didn't realize just how fat I was)
3. Oh my god I am so fat I weight 140 lbs (says the skinny bitch to the girl who is over 200 lbs)


Keep in mind we fat people might have more cushioning but that doesn't mean we don't have feelings. LOL

So all a girl can do when she is faced at this sad milestone, is use it to motivate her more. I am happy to say I did not gain any weight over Thanksgiving, and I am planning on staying strict on my healthy eating plan until Christmas. It would be an awesome holiday miracle if I lost weight over the holidays!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Week 20 - 32 Weeks To Go

Well I have officially fallen behind my goal. I am hovering at about 15-17 lbs lost so far. I should be at 19, and here it is about to be Thanksgiving and Christmas and I am petrified that if I can't lose weight during non-holiday months then how will I ever pull weight loss off during the holidays? If only it were as simple as just saying "ok I'll take 2 cheat days". Yeah right ! It's like the whole month is filled with holiday parties and food food food! And, not just any food , holiday food. Holiday food is the best! Just not the best for my butt.


I'm going to have to give this some more thought and try and come up with a game plan to win the war of the holiday bulge.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired

I have been taking an array of medications since July when I was properly diagnosed with PCOS. I would be lying if I said these medications did not make me feel awful. I am tired of feeling awful. It is nasuea, its a slow burn in my gutt, its spending half the day in the bathroom. I'm just tired of it. So I have decided to make this my new motivation for jump starting my weight loss again. I have heard, and I believe, that if I lose weight I may very well be able to get off of the medications that I am on. That would be fantastic!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Reasons People Lose Weight

"If losing weight were easy we'd all look great"

"I wish I was as thin as I was when I thought I was fat"


So what is it with people, why are we always trying to lose weight? I'm not going to argue that American's are overweight, but it seems like people who are healthy weights still complain and wish they could change. You know who I am talking about that size 5 friend who looks great but is always complaining they wish they were a size 3. I'm not going to lie, I've been that friend. I wonder if I had just stopped, gotten off the yo-yo diet train, maybe I would still be a size 5. Who knows? There is no way to know. But, it can't be healthy.

I think the problem is that people try and lose weight for the wrong reasons. Primarily as a physical goal to look better. I think if you lose weight for the right reason, i.e. health, you have a much better change of losing the weight and keeping it off. I also think that you have to set realistic goals. Going on the cabbage soup diet for a week or two is a recipe for disaster. I'm not going to lie and pretend that I am happy with the way I look, but I had to come to peace with myself before I was able to begin this journey. My goals are realistic. I don't need to be a size 3 to be happy, any size is fine by me as long as I am healthy and happy with how I look and feel.

So the next time I hear someone complain about how fat they are -- be careful I might just tell you what I really think ! And also, be kind, if the person sitting next to you weighs more than you than you might want to rethink your fat comments, you may just be hurting their feeling without realizing.

If you do want to lose weight, do it for the right reasons, and you may be suprised with the success you have.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Week 18 Day 128

18 weeks and 17 lbs lost. I think that is something to be proud of. My goal for this year is to lost 52 lbs total. I am just about on track to meet that goal. I am 1/3rd of the way there!

So far on this journey I have learned a lot. A couple of key take ways are:

Don't be discouraged if you're weight fluctuates by a few lbs or you don't see any weight loss one week. Often times the next week you will lose 2 weeks worth of weight.

Tracking your food is very important. Either by keeping a journal or using a web site like CalorieKing.com

The longer the weight loss takes the better chance you have of keeping it off. Learn to be patient, and it will pay off in the end.

Sharing your journey can be very helpful. The more people you have supporting you the better chance you have of staying motivated. If you feel accountable to more than just yourself that can be a great motivator.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Weight Loss

I am very happy this morning. I lost 2 more lbs. I jokingly said this morning that maybe all I really needed was to eat a bunch of Halloween candy. Anyway who care why my body decided to cooperate this week, but I am glad it did. Having PCOS sometimes it feels like my body is fighting me. Which really doesn't make sence, cause I am trying to get healthy. You would think my body would want to cooperate. I guess that is the whole point of having this condition, my body doesn't help it does the opposite. So we are down to 214 that is a total of 17 lbs lost. Yay!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Motivation

It feels like my weight loss journey isn't really going anywhere. So far I have lost 15 lbs down from 231 to 216 and I have just kind of been sitting here for the past couple of months. I don't know what I am waiting for. Some great inspiration to come along that will motivate me to jump start my progress again? I haven't given up. I haven't gained back any weight. But, I still have a long way to go, and I am not going to reach my goal unless I muster up the troops and go into battle. Right now it kind of feels like I rented a vacation home by the lake and I've just been waiting for a reason to get back to what I should be doing. Anyone got a life preservor they could throw me? Maybe a tugg boat they could pick me up on? I kid. I know the only person that can motivate me is well me. I need to search for some inspiration.

So how exactly have the past couple of weeks been? Well, Halloween candy should be illigal. Seriously we should do our kids and parents a favor and just hand out fruit. Yeah right. Also if work could be a little less stressfull then maybe I would cut down on the wine after work. I also tend to eat most of my food in the evenings when I know I should be spreading my meals out evenly through out the day.

I am worried about the Holidays. I am a sucker for holiday food and I love party food. I love having a big spread of food layed out buffet style. I could just graze all day. I'm like a cow. No pun intended. Ah well self deprocating humor isn't going to get me anywhere. What I am going to try and do is stay strong and strict over the next 2 months with the exception of Thanksgiving and Christmas. I am not even going to expect myself to adhere to any diet on those days. That would be diet suicide. If I can try and lose weight on the weeks that there are big celebratory meals then hopefully I can come out ahead over the next couple of months.

So this weeks goal is to norrow down some inspiration and motivation and get myself excited about losing weight again !

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Good Days

How do you make change happen? Change is hard. Change takes time. I think the longer it takes to make the change the better chance you have of that change sticking. Yesterday I had a good day. I ate healthy. I worked out. I didn't drink. I didn't feel sick. I took all my medications. It was a good day. Change is more days like that.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Deep Breaths

I guess I feel a little frustrated today. I didn't lose any weight this week. In fact I gained a half pound. I'm not going to cry over a half pound, but it sure would have been nice to lose some weight. So far I have lost 15 pounds and 1 pant size. I am very happy about this, but I have a goal and that is to lose 1 lb per week and over the past month or two my weight loss has been very scattered. I keep reminding myself that I don't have a normal body. I have PCOS and that means it is much harder for me to lose weight because I have a genuine endocrin disease. But, I can't blame everything on that. I also have to take personal responsibility for what I am not doing and what I could do. I could work out more. I could and should stop drinking. I could spread my meals out into more small meals through out the day. So I guess the question is -- how do I make myself do these things? If this were easy we would all be our ideal weight with no bad habits. Obviously this is not easy. Life can be so stressfull. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed. All I can do is take a few deep breaths  and keep on trucking. No matter what the final result is, I am doing this for a full year. I have commited myself to making this a lifestyle change and not a diet.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Motivational Chart

I think an important part of staying motivated is to picture in your mind your goal. I made this chart for myself. Basically it coorelates between what weight I am and what size I wear.


231          size 18
215          16
199          14
183          12
167          10
151          8
140          6
130          4



My goal for this year is to lose 52 lbs that would put me at 179 lbs and right around a size 12. Right now I am at 216 lbs and a size 16. Hopefully I can look at each benchmark and use that to motivate myself to keep losing weight. I think this is a great tool for anyone trying to lose weight.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Healthy Snacks

Sometimes it is hard to make yourself eat through out the day. Every book or atricle or nutrionist I have spoken to says that it is best to eat 5-6 smalls meals through out the day. I am guilty of eating a small lunch and a huge dinner and no breakfast many a time. Sean is even worse about it than me. Sometimes he won't eat all day and just eat dinner. It is easy to tell yourself "ok I am going to eat more through out the day" but half of the time I end up stating at the reridgerator feeling like there is nothing to eat. So I did some online research and came up with a few good snack ideas.

peanut butter and celery

peaches and cottage cheese
apple sauce and toast
granola and yogurt
1 egg in toast
rice cake with peanut butter
handfull of nuts and low fat yogurt
trail mix
a small bowl of soup
a bowl of ceareal
hummas and pit chips
baby carrots and cucumber slices \
a fresh fruit smoothie


These are just a few ideas. So when I went to the grocery store today I made sure and load up on all of these things, and hopefully this week  I will snack smart.

A Lesson In Forgiveness

Sometimes saying you are sorry can be really scary. I have never been one for confrontation. In fact I usually avoid confrontation at all cost. I've always seen confrontation as a bad thing, but sometimes confrontation can be a good thing. It can feel really good to say to a person that you are sorry. To admit that you did something wrong, and that you hurt a person, takes a lot. For me it is the fear of the unknown. What will they say? What will I say? What if they say something hurtfull to me? What if they don't accept my apology? I wonder how many friends over my life I have walked away from because of my own cowardice. And lets be real -- that is really what it is -- cowardice. At the same time, it is also a great feeling to stand up for yourself when you feel that you have been wronged. You can't change what happened, but if feels good to free the air.

Well now that I got that off my chest.

Good news we have weight loss!!! I am down to 216. That is 15 lbs total. I have lost 5lbs since starting CalorieKing 2 weeks ago. I am so glad tracking my calories has started to work. Yay! Next week I hope to start exercising (I feel like I say that every week) but hopefully I can start working out and make it a habit.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Slow

Well I can say that my frequency of posts have definitaley slowed down. Hopefully that isn't refelcted in my weight loss. I have been diligently recording my calories every day in CalorieKing. Lately I have struggled with being hungry in the mornings and afternoons, and then I find myself trying to eat a days worth of food after work. Not good. I have to eat 1650 calories a day according my my weight and activity level. When I work out I have to eat even more. It is hard to eat when taking Metformin. Never thought I would be complaining about it being hard to eat. I think that what went wrong in September is that I didn't eat enough in July or August and my metabolism crashed. Then in September when I started feeling better and adjusting tot he medications I was eating more and not losing weight. Also one of the drugs I am on Spironolactone is a diuretic -- that is how is gets rid of the testostorone in my system. I missed about a weeks worth of that medication so very likely I gained water weight from that. So I have switched my weigh in's to Mondays and I am hoping I will have good news to report on Monday.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

268 days to go // 97 down

It has been almost a week since I started the calorieking web site. So far I have learned a couple things. I often don't eat enough, I eat too many carbs and I still drink too much wine. Now good news. I went back up from 217 to 221 in September (how I still really don't know), but I have gotten back down to 218. so that is still 13 lbs lost in 97 days. I know that isn't an amazing amount of weight, but I keep telling myself if I keep trucking along it will add up in the end. If I stayed on the exact pace I have been on for the past 97 days after 1 year I will have lost 49 lbs. My ultimate goal for the year is 52. I am 25% to my goal.  I think keeping a food journal, like calorie king, is such an important thing to do. It keeps you accountable, and it prevents you from eating too much or too little. I am hoping that in the next couple of weeks I can have some happy results to post.

Monday, October 4, 2010

CalorieKing

Well sadly I must admit that September was not a good month. Seems I have managed to put back on 3 of the pounds that I lost. I honestly don't know how, but I am determined to find out. So what I have done is joined the web site CalorieKing.com. I had used it before, and I think it is a great web site. It has a database that allows you to track what you eat and it keeps records and charts etc. for you. Now in the past I had minimal success because I had not been able to lose weight. Now I know that was because I had an underlying untreated medical condition: PCOS. So now that I am being properly medicated and treated I am going to give it another go. Tracking your food is very important for many different reasons. It is not just important to make sure you don't eat too much, but also that you eat enough. If you don't eat enough your body can go into starvation mode and slow your metabolism to a crawl. You also want to make sure you are getting the righ spread of carbohydrates, protien and fat. My hope is that by tracking more closely my food and exercise, I can figure out how to get the weight loss train rolling again. You know that old saying "the only person in the way of your dreams is yourself" Well I believe that. I am not going to give up even if I have to try a million times or a million different things. If I have to start over each month each week each day - I will. I am not going to give up or give in. I am going to make this happen.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Healthy Meal Plan on A Budget

There are so many nights that I struggle with "what to eat for dinner". Sometimes it is so bad I don't really eat dinner, I just snack on whatever is in the fridge. Or worse I cave and go spend $30-50 on dinner out somewhere. I came up with the following meal plan. It adheres to a low glycemic low fat low cholesterol type of eating plan. Total cost for 2 people 7 meals is about $78 per week. That doesn't include lunches. For that I make 1 large pot of soup to last the week. We also buy quality lunch meat and whole grain high fiber bread to make sandwhiches. Breakfast is eggs with a whole grain english muffin or a protien smoothie. Here is the menu:

Weekly Menu


Monday

Chicken and Dumplings

3 large or 4 medium size skinless chicken breasts (boneless or bone-in) 3 14 oz cans of low sodium chicken broth 3 chicken bouillon cubes 2 tablespoons (divided) + 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves (not ground thyme) 1/4 teaspoon ground sage ½ teaspoon salt (optional) ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 2 cups low fat biscuit mix/skim milk

Tuesday

Spaghetti

1 lb lean turkey , bell pepper, onion, 1 can tomato sauce, 1 package of whole grain noodles

Wednesday

Salmon with sweet potato and green beans

2 pieces of frozen salmon 2 sweet potatoes 1 package of frozen green beans

Thursday

Baked Chicken from Jim’s

Friday

Chicken and broccoli stir fry

Chicken , rice, fresh broccoli, stir fry sauce, chopped onions and carrots

Saturday

Grilled chicken with rice and vegetable

4 chicken breasts, jasmine rice, 1 package frozen peas/green beans/ corn

Sunday

Turkey tacos

1 package of ground turkey, taco seasoning, corn tortillas, green pepper, onion

Saturday, September 25, 2010

WTF?!?!

Well looks like I gained a lb this week. WTF!?!?! I am not going to freak out. I am not going to give up. I still have 9 months to go. This isn't a quick fix, this isn't a crash diet. I understand that I will not always see results, but what matters is that I keep trying. It is strange I actually worked out 5 times this week. Nothing crazy, just 20 minutes of cardio. I ate healthy. I could have taken my meds more at night. I will focus on that next week. I know that what is really important is that I lead a healthy lifestyle, and that this is about more than just losing weight. Although losing weight, even if it is just a pound a week, is very motivating. I also have to remember that women who have PCOS find it very daunting to lose weight. Our bodies just don't want to cooperate. What is important is that I focus on the successes I have had, that I keep working hard at eating right - taking my medications- and exercising, and that I don't let the scale define who I am or the progress I have made.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Pretty

I decided to do something that I haven't done in a very long time. I decided to go buy a new outfit. There was a time that I dreaded going shopping. It seemed every time I went to the store I was going up a size. Well yesterday I went to the store and I grabbed a bunch of clothes and went to the dressing room and tried them on. I went into the stall with some size 18 jeans and a couple XL shirts, I guess it was just habitual. There was a time not so long ago that size 18 jeans were tight, I just never had the courage to make the leap to a size 20. Well, to my delight, I had to go and downsize all the clothes to a size 16 jeans and size L shirts. What a great feeling to go down in a size or two! I love the jeans I got they fit so good. They are even a little loose in areas. 10 or so more lbs and I think I'll be down to a size 14. I just feel better. I feel better about myself. One thing I have truly realized is that how you feel about yourself is completely up to you and is not conditional upon you being a certain size. There was a time that I felt that anything over 150 lbs was horrible. I never appreciated what I had when I had it. My favorite saying is " I wish I was as thin as I was when I thought I was fat." Maybe I thought I would never weigh what I weigh now, like it could never happen to me.  Let me be the first one to say that you should never say never. I never thought or knew I had the codition I have. I had to struggle for 6 years to find a doctor that was able to diagnose and treat me properly. I struggled with uncontrollable weight gain. And, maybe you don't have a medical condition, maybe its something as simple as getting injured or having a baby, but weight gain can happen to anyone. What I have realized is that weight is not what defines who you are. Your happiness is up to you. When I reached 217 lbs I felt horrible, but now that I am back down to 217 lbs I feel so happy and so thankful. I will never take for granted what I have when I have it again. I feel pretty and happy not because of how I look but because of how good I feel about myself for all the hard work and progress I have made.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Day 76

Well it is day two of my 30/20 challange. Yesterday I did 20 minutes on the treadmill 2.5 mph at 3% incline. Today I did 10 minutes of the same and 10 minutes of heavy bag workout. I attempted to do some crunches and my stomach muscles laughed at me. Sean of course likes to make everything a competition so he is doing 30 minutes a day. I am glad that me working out has motivated him to work out. He has hit a plateau as well. He went from 245 to 223 lbs and is stuck at 223 for the past month or so. Hopefully working out will get both him and I out of the rutt we are in. I know that 20 minutes a day is not a lot of exercise, but it is 20 minutes more than I was doing before. Also if I burn 200 calories in those 20 minutes, after 30 days that is 6,000 calories burned which is 1.71 extra pounds lost. More than anything, my goal is just to make exercise a habit. There are so many positives to working out. It helps with cardiovascualr health. It helps alleviate stress. It burns calories and helps you lose weight. And, it even helps maintain blood sugar for people who have diabetic conditions like I do. As I lose weight I know I will be able to step up the amount and intensity of the exercise I do. I can start lifting weights again which should help tone. And of course the more lean muscle you have the more calories you burn through out the day. So 2 days down 28 to go on this challenge - 76 down 289 to go on this journey.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Motivational Quotes

"Having a strong desire or being successful does not mean that you are going to feel great all the time. No matter how enlightened I become, I will not be positive all the time. You have to understand the swing of the pendulum. It must swing back and forth. The only other alternative is to sit still in neutral, which is precisely what most people do."


~Thomas D. Willhite~

"Conquering any difficulty always gives one a secret joy, for it means pushing back a boundary-line and adding to one's liberty."



~Henri Frederic Amiel~


Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."



~Mary Anne Radmacher~


"You're on the road to success when you realize that failure is only a detour."



~Anonymous~


"Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in getting up every time we do."



~Confucius~

Plateau

Well I think I have hit my first plateau. So far I have lost 14 lbs, but in the last 3 weeks I have only lost 1 lb. I know at this point it is important to take a moment to reflect on the past 3 weeks to find out why and figure out what I can do to start making progress again.

First thing I am going to do is identify what I think I am doing wrong.

  • I am not always taking my metformin at night. My metformin is the diabetes drug I take that regulates my blood sugar among other things.
  • I have started to eat foods that I shouldn't be eating. i.e. McDonalds and chinese food yesterday ( it was free at work I had a hard time resisting) or the cheese and jerkey from Buc-ees last weekend
  • I have been drinking after work again to try and relieve stress
  • I have not been exercising ( I had planned to start this past week but I was sick all week)
Now to focus on what I can do to overcome these things.

  • Take my medication on time every day just like the dr. perscribes.
  • Only allow for one day a week where I can have a cheat meal. Every other day I need to stay focused on the low glycemic organic eating plan I have been on.
  • Only allow myself 2-3 drinks in social settings maybe once or twice a week and not drink to relieve stress after work or drink by myself.
  • Start an exercise routine. I challenge myself to start small, maybe just a 20 minute walk each morning or 20 minutes in the pool swimming laps. It takes 30 days to make a habit, and I need to make exercise a habit.
Now, on a positive note, I am very pleased that even though I was sick all last week, and I did not adhere to the eating plan like I should have, I did manage to NOT gain any weight. I have found that when I do eat foods that are un-healthy, I don't over do it. I find myself satisfied with smaller portions and that is a great thing. I know in the future, sometime next year hopefully, when I have succeeded in loosing this weight, I will need to focus on maintaining my weight loss. Learning proper portion controll and self discipline is essential in not just winning the battle but winning the war.

So I am going to do a mini challange to myself. 30 days 20 minutes. I challange myself to do 20 minutes of exercise each day for the next 30 days. If I succeed then as a reward I will buy myself with something nice, maybe a new necklace or something. Hmmmm I vote I lose 40 lbs and I get to buy myself a new guitar. Nice.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Progress

Week 10. 297 days to go. Total weight loss : 14 lbs. Last week I didn't lose any weight. This week I lost a pound.  Yeah!  I am still 4 lbs ahead of schedule. So I am averaging 1.4 lbs lost per week. I am very pleased, especially since I didn't eat perfectly this past week. For the most part I stuck to my very healthy organic eating plan, but Friday we went to Chesters and Sean and I split a hamburger and some chili chease fries. I must admit it was delicsious. What we did was instead of both ordering our own meal, we split a meal. Sean was like "what's the point of splitting a meal if we are eating bad anyway?" I figured that half of a hamburger is half as bad as a whole hamburger. And, suprisingly it was enough of a meal to fill us up. A whole hambuger probably has 750 calories plus another 500 for fries. No one should eat 1250 calories in one sitting. American portion sizes are just too big. There is an over abundance of food availabilty on our country. People don't know how to limit themselves to proper potions, and who can blame them when our food tastes so good and is so accessible. I've heard such horrible statistics about what the future looks like for Americans. Something like over half of our children will be overweight by the time they reach puberty and be at risk for juvenile diabetes. I don't know exact numbers, but they aren't good. I hope that I can get healthy and stay healthy and be a good example to my kids someday of living a healthy lifestyle.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Monday Monday

Well I must admit I didn't eat very healthy this weekend. Friday night I had enchiladas. Saturday we went to a wedding and I had a big plate of bbq. Then Sunday I had pizza. So in my defense I really didn't eat that much, but what I did eat was bad. It was so good though. So today is monday and it is back on the organic healthy eating plan. Because this is a lifestyle and not a diet, I've decided it is ok so splurge now and then as long as you don't binge and as long as 90% of the time you eat healthy. I also think that having "cheat days" is important to keep you from going on a binger. Once I adhered to 1500 calories a day for almost 4 months, didn't cheat once and lost 30 lbs. Then one day I had a milkshake. It was over. I was so mad at myself for having that one milk shake that I proceeded to go on a massive binge and gain back all the weight. I'm talking eating until I would feel like throwing up. I never ever want to do that again. So I will have calculated cheat days where I eat what I want, but without overeating. I hope this will keep be on the right track. I've got over 300 days to go and counting, but I am still going and that is what matters.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Progress

Week 9. I didn't lose any more weight this week. That is ok. I am not going to let it get me down. Last week I lost 3 lbs so I am still doing good in my book. Sean gained weight too so we are thinking maybe the humidity all week or something, cause we both ate really healthy all week. I think it is very important during a journey of change that it is ok to not have good weeks. Life is like that. It has built in checks and balances. Some people call it kharma, but it is just life's way of making sure we stay grounded. I had a frustrating week at work, but the week before was awesome. I'll take a bad week of work in exchange for overall goodness. I think I have made the mistake in the past of letting one thing define me, instead of always looking at the big picture. I have walked out on friends because I can't forgive one wrong thing they did. I have quit jobs over one single co-worker I don't like. And, I have given up a diet over one week I didn't lose weight or one day I ate something I shouldn't have. I am getting too old for that. I feel that the only way I am ever going to make this change and make it a forever change, is to always keep my mind open and not let little dissapointments define me. Instead I will choose to define my own situation.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Measure of A Man

I've been thinking more about my last post. What does it mean to be truly successful? I think I have decided that the answer to that question is an objective one. Success mean different things to different people. All that really matters is that you judge your success by your standards and not anyone else's. They say money doesn't buy happiness or love, and I think that is true. Yes you need a certain amount of money to live a comfortable life, but you never want to make too much money that you stop appreciating life. Life can be measured in many different ways. An artist can measure his success in paintings. A musician in songs. A teacher in students. A doctor in lives saved. A human being can measure their life in love. People they have loved and people who have loved them. Anyone can be successfull. Anyone can live a happy fullfilled life no matter who or what they are.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Success

What is the true measure of a man?

How do you know if you are successfull?

Is this even measurable?

"Would you like me to give you a formula for success? It's quite simple, really. Double your rate of failure. You are thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn't at all. You can be discouraged by failure or you can learn from it, So go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because remember that?s where you will find success."



- Thomas J. Watson
 
"The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather in a lack of will." Vincent T. Lombardi
 
I dread success. To have succeeded is to have finished one's business on earth, like the male spider, who is killed by the female the moment he has succeeded in his courtship. I like a state of continual becoming, with a goal in front and not behind.



George Bernard Shaw

Monday, August 30, 2010

Time Machine

Last night I went and played at Rileys. I had a wonderful time playing and listening to my parents and my brother play. My dad has this new song called the Time Machine. I must admit it had me crying like some kind of Hallmark commercial. In the song he talks about coming to a moment in his life where he woke up and realized the only thing that could help him now would be a time machine. See there had been a few bad years that had gone by. A lot of very important people in his life had died and it seemed like the world just stopped turning for a few years. In the song he details how he realized that you can't buy a time machine you have to build one. And as he talks it become clear that he isn't talking about a time machine to go back in time, because that of course could never exist. See this time machine goes forward. In this time machine you get to keep moving forward and start making better choices.  That is exactly how life is. We all have those moments where we wish we could go back in time and make different choices. But the difference is realizing that to simply have that wish to go back and change what cannot be undone is the catalyst that propels us into a better future. We can't get back wasted years but we can create better years. We can fight for the people we love. We can choose to be happy when life gives us things that seem so unfair. We can dream new dreams and work towards making them a reality. I truly believe any amount of wasted time can be made up for with more meaningful time. It is not the amount of time we are given in life that matters, it is what we do with time. I am a strong believer in quality over quantity. It is never too late. There is no expiration date on happiness or love. It is simply up to the individual to nurture that love and create that happiness. Any time. No time machine needed.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Progress

I am happy to say I lost another 3 lbs this week! Big smile =) . That brings the grand total to 13 lbs lost in 8 weeks. I've got 309 days to go and 39 lbs to reach my original goal of 1 lb per week 52 lbs lost this year. I am trucking right along. I am ahead of my goal by 5 lbs! I very well might surpass my original goal and be back down to my ideal weight of 150 lbs faster than I expected - as long as I keep taking this week by week and staying positive. The change is happening.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Living With PCOS

I guess I have "lived " with PCOS for years, but now I am really "living" with PCOS. Nothing is more frustrating than the 6 years I spent being bounced from dr. to dr. only to be told different things. I had an endocrinologist who said I was just fat. So I lost weight. Then I had a dermotologist tell me my hair was falling out because I lost weight. When I was finally diagnosed with PCOS by a reproductive endocrinologist about a year ago I was told to come back when I was ready to have kids. So I spend a year not treating or dealing with my PCOS and things just got worse. I gained another 30-40 lbs and I felt miserable inside and out. I hid. I stopped going out in public unless I had to. I distanced myself from friends. Finally I was able to get a dr. who offered treatment options. I now take numerous pills a day, I eat right, and I exercise.

I take metformin for blood sugar regulations.
Spironlocatone to reduce the testostorone in my system.
Mononessa for estrogen.
I take a Multi Vitamin, Cinnomin, Biotin, and Fish Oil.
And I use Rogaine every day like some kind of 50 year old man.


I don't have the option anymore to not care. I am thisclose to developing adult onset diabetes. I will lose my hair. I will not be able to have kids. I dont' want any of that. I find myself sometimes feeling sorry for myself. What did I do to deserve all of this? But we all have things that are not fair in our lives, and we also have things that are amazing gifts. Intellegence, beauty, talent -- I would like to think I posses those qualities. So I focus on what I do have to be thankful for. Also, by living this very healthy lifestyle, in the big picture I may end up healthier and happier than if I never had PCOS to begin with. How Ironic.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

How Do You Lose 80 lbs?

When most people want to lose weight the first thing they do is they set a goal. Most people set unrealistic goals. "I want to lost 20 lbs in a month" Then of course when they don't see the quick results they want they get frustrated and give up. Or like certain family member who will remain nameless *caugh* I have been guilty of this too in the past ..... they go all low carb lose 30 lbs and then put it back on. (not healthy -- not to mention all that red meat is bad for your heart) ....... So the real answer to "how do you lose 80 lbs" is ONE POUND AT A TIME.


That is how I am taking this. If you were to ask me what my goal is I would say "to lose a pound this week" Yes Ideally I would love to lose the 80lbs I gained in the past 3 years, but I know that if I set that kind of goal it would overwhelm me. So instead I set my goals smaller. Every week I meet or surpass my goal I feel good about myself. I know that before I know it my birthday will be here again and 52 weeks will have gone by. Whether I lose 50 lbs or 80 lbs -- it will have been done 1 lb at a time.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Patience

It is very strange that the years teach us patience - that the shorter our time, the greater our capacity for waiting. - Elizabeth Taylor

You must first have a lot of patience to learn to have patience


The strongest of all warriors are these two: Time and Patience. – Leo Tolstoi

Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.- Napolean Hill


You must learn to live in the present and accept yourself for what you are now. What you lack in flexibility and agility you must make up with knowledge and constant practice.- Bruce Lee

Our patience will achieve more than our force.- Edmund Burke


Taking things one day at a time really tests a person's patience. There are days that you think "man I wish things were further along". Or times when you get frustrated that you feel you have worked so hard but have not gone further. Change really does happen one day at a time - one decision at a time. They key is to be happy during the journey. It is not reaching the desitination who makes us who we are it is the journey. Having patience means accepting that things take time and being content in the mean time. Learning to have patience will not only make you a better person but it will make you a happier person.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Getting Excited

Something happens about a month or two into losing weight. You start to get excited. Clothes start fitting that haven't fit in a really long time. You catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror and you notice a difference. Then you start day dreaming. For me, I am starting to imagine what it will be like to get back down to my goal weight. How I will have an excuse to buy cute new professional clothes. I see myself being more confident. Maybe playing more shows or trying to get a show of my own. I want to get a tatoo. Don't tell my dad. I am going to have horrible strech marks and I was thinking how cool it would be to get tattoos to cover them up. Just a thought. I also have noticed that little things have changed. Today I went into the office and they had a pep rally for sales and I was chosen to represent my team at work. There was the best looking spread of cookies and punch and chips all spread out for the taking. I didn't even look twice at them. No interst. I see that now and I see sugar. I think about my insulin resistance and I think "that cookie is so not worth it". I hope tht after this journey is over I can find peace with myself. I hope that I make changes that stick. I hope I will always see that cookie as just "sugar" and that I never let myself slip back into this situation. I find comfort in knowing that this wasn't all "myfault". That I do have a condition that causes all the problems I have. But, I also take responsibility for the portion that was my fault. Choosing to eat junk because it tasted good over because it was good for me. Choosing to drink more than I really should drink. Choosing not to work out because I had lazier things to do. Life really is all about choices. Some choices are small choices that we make each and every day, like what we eat, or the words we speak - but over time they create who we are. So now I make new choices. Every day I find myself a little closer to where I want to be and I am excited.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Shine

Who told you
That you’re not good enough
You shouldn’t be putting up
With words of that kind
And who told you
That you’re not pretty enough
That you might as well give up
Well pay them no mind
Cause You are as beautiful
As the sky in the month of June
When the sun is setting
And the auburn light falls around you
But you only see
Only see what you want to see
And you can only be
As happy as you’ll let yourself be
Well you should shine
You should shine
You should shine
Cause you are beautiful
Who told you
That you’re not strong enough
To make it through the rough
And find your way home
And you who told you
That you’re dreams aren’t coming true
Well isn’t that up to you
And you alone
Cause You are as beautiful
As the sky in the month of June
When the sun is setting
And the auburn light falls around you
But you only see
Only see what you want to see
And you can only be
As happy as you’ll let yourself be
Well you should shine
You should shine
You should shine
Cause you are beautiful

Saturday, August 14, 2010

41 Days

It is hard to believe it has already been 41 days. It seems like yesterday I started this journey. Well so far it has been up and down. For the most part, it has all been good. The medications make me sick, but they also make me feel better in a strange way. My blood sugar is leveled out so I don't feel hungry hardly ever. So far I am down from 231 to 222 lbs. My skin is clearing up. I don't know about my hair because that takes time to grow back. I hope once this process is over I can get a realy cute hair cut and wear my hair down, instead of wearing it up all the time. I have started to imagine what is will be like to get to my goal weight which is anywhere from 130-160 lbs. Buying cute clothes. Dressing up. Going out and feeling confident. I find it very frustrating that just as my life professionally and personally was getting better and more accomplished, I was losing the battle with myself. I feel like if I can conquer this battle with my sickness I can be a person who really has a lot to envy. I will be happy and strong no matter what level I achieve. I think just the process makes you a better - stronger person. So 41 days down 324 more to go!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Life is Taking Chances and Letting Go

"Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans." - John Lennon

"If you wait to do everything until you are sure that it is right, you will probably not do much of anything." - Win Bordon

"The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.” - Michelangelo

"Dream as if you will live forever. Live as if you will die today." - James Dean

"In the end we get no more than we are willing to risk giving"


Everyday we take chances in life. We are defined by the chances we take. Those forks in the metaphorical road that we come to, sometimes every day. I am such a planner. Maybe it comes from having parents who are not planners. My little way of making sure that I have a sense of control over where my life is going. But, I know I can try to control things too much. I know that I can take few too risks. The world needs people like me. We are leaders. We make sure things get done, and loose ends get tied up. But, what about me? How many chances in life have I passed things up, because I wanted to take the simplest route or the route that made most sense. Now I am not going to jump out of a plane or anything, but I would like to see myself plan a little less and dare a little more.


"Trust your own instinct. Your mistakes might as well be your own, instead of someone else's."
~ Billy Wilder

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Progress

I am super pleased to say that I lost 3 lbs this week. That bring my grand total after 4 weeks to 8 lbs! That is awesome. My goal was only to lose 1 lb per week - so I am rocking! I have decided to adopt many of the practices that the PCOS diet recommends, but I am not going to go on it like a diet. I don't want to do "diets" any more or ever again. I want to slowly change the way I eat over time. One of the things I am doing is switching from regular coffee to green tea. I am also going to switch from Splenda to Stevia. I am going to try to not eat rice, pasta, potatoes, or wheat as much as possible, but I am not going to ban them from my diet. Every once in a while I really like a sweet potato or a piece of whole grain toast, and so, I will have one. What I am going to kick from my diet forever is processed carbs. Those things are so un-natural and full of sugar, our bodies were never designed to eat foods like that. I also am still showing a body fat percentage of 46%. I know that in order to lower my body fat percentage to 35% or less I will have to focus more on exercise, both cardio and strength training. I am still trying to get adjusted to the medications, which make me weak and nauseous, but as soon as I start feeling like my normal self I am going to make that a priority. Plus the exercise will help me to keep making the great progress I have been making.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The PCOS Diet

I ordered a 490 page e-book (more like a textbook) called the "Natural Diet Solution for PCOS and Infertility". It is a very comprehensive book, and it backs up much of everything is says with studies and research. It has detailed chapters on just about everything - from PCOS symptoms and diagnosis to diet and exercise. Now, the diet portion of this book is very extreme. Instead of spending an hour saying what you can't eat, let me just say what you can eat.

organic lean meat, eggs, nuts, fruits and vegitables.


You can't have beans. You can't have any kind of wheat not even whole grain. You can't have peanuts. Honestly reading this book made me crave a piece of toast.

I very well may give it a try, but I am definitaly going to have to psych myself up.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Progress

Weighed myself again today. Lost another pound. Feeling good. I didn't work out this past week, due to the fact that I am still getting used to the medications I am now taking. The Metformin really does ugly things to my stomach. I am hoping over time my body will adjust. I think about it like I am getting healthy from the inside out. I can try to fix the symptoms like I have always done, or I can take the medication necessary to fix the problem. As far as progress goes, I think I am doing pretty darn good. This is definitaly a slow process, but that is what I expected. Studies show the slower you make a change - like losing weight - the better a chance you have of sticking with the change. Time will fly by, it always does, and sooner than I expect I will see a signifigant change.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Food

I have never been one to get overly zealous when it comes to causes. However, Sean and I recently watched this movie Food, inc. and it really opened my eyes to the kind of foods we eat. I would definitaly reccomend the movie to everyone. A couple of things really got to me. First the fact that when fruits and vegtables are out of season companies simply spray them with chemicals like petroleom to get them to ripen. Also they give livestock hormones that make them grow faster than their bones and organs can keep up. These animals often cannot stand and live their short lives is horrible pain. Now I am not one to advocate vegatarianism, and I have no problem killing and eating animals, but there has to be a point where we don't eat animals that are tortured or pumped full of hormones. Lastly, I didn't realize how heavily our government subsidizes what are known as cash crops like corn and soy beans. You can actually buy corn cheaper than what is costs to produce. What this has done is cause so much of the junk food that we feed to ourselves and our children to be full of corn products like hugh fructose corn syrup. And, because these food are so cheap there is a direct correlation between income level and obesity. Why would a family buy broccoli for $2.50 when they can buy a bag of chips for less and feed more? Basically our governemtn is paying to support these corn farmers and in return we are paying for the side effects of a junk food nation with our tax dollars. More so, as a fiscal conservative, it makes no sense to me why we are even subsadizing these corn farmers. It should be a free market. The problem is these food corportation who run everything have gotten so big and have so many lobyists and donation dollars, there isn't going to be a change on the government level. What will have to happen is that everyday people need to start voting with their dollars. The movie had a great example of WallMart (don't worry I still hate WallMart for the way they exploit their workers). People started demanding organic food and dairy that did not contain HGH (human growth hormone) and WallMart listened. If WallMart will carry organic food than it can be done. Instead of fighting the big corporation or expecting the government o babysit us into health, we each need to take person responsibility for what we buy and what we eat. If everyone does their part, we can see a change.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Results

Well after one month of testing the results are back. I am happy to say it is nothing auto immune like we had feared, but simply what we started with - PCOS. However, there is a difference in this diagnosis than the last. When the reproductive endocrinologist diagnosed me about a year or so ago, I wasn't what you would call his ideal patient. I.E. I wasn't there to spend $50k trying to get pregnant. So he wrote me a prescription for hormones (birth control) and sent me on my merry way. Well things just got worse. When I sought help from my primary care dr. she was kind enough to look into it further. She must have ran every test in the book. I came back with an estrogen level of 10. Normal for my age is 200-400. They also found more cysts in my ovaries than they could count. This means that I do not ovulate and when I do want to have kids I will have to have fertility treatments. Also the stabbing pain I sometimes get in my abdomen is actually cysts that have ruptured. But, PCOS is a lot more than a woman issue. There is a very strong link between PCOS and diabetes. My sugar levels were at 116. Full blown diabetes starts at 126. The main treatment for this is a drug called Metformin. I will be taking this drug 2x per day. This drug has been shown to stop the painful cysts in the ovaries. It also bring down the blood sugar levels and can aide in weight loss. They actually don't know what causes the cysts or what causes the diabetes, it is kind of a medical mystery. All they know is that the two go hand in hand, and unless you get properly medicated it is a vicious cycle that just gets worse and worse. I also will now be taking a drug called Spironolactone 1x per day. This drug actually has a few uses - it is used as a diuretic to treat swelling and fluid retention in patients with congestive heart failure, liver cirrhosis, or kidney problems; it can be used for the treatment of high blood pressure; it treats low potassium; but, in my case it is going to be used to treate excess secretion of the hormone aldosteron (testosterone) by the adrenal gland. I don't actually have an overactive adrenal gland, but since my estrogen level is a 10 there is nothing to counter act the testosterone that my body does produce. This testosterone imbalance is what is causing my hair to fall out. I am really hoping that this helps and that I can get my hair to grow back, or at least stop falling out. Lastly I have been switched to a different pill Ortho- Cyclen. This birth control has no testosterone in it, that way I am only getting the estrogen that my body is not producing. The good news is that there were no signs of arthritis in my blood work, no signs of thyroid problems or anything else - all my organs other than my ovaries looked perfectly healthy. I did ask the dr. about my arthritis symptoms. The way she put it - my body thinks it is 70 years old. I feel like a post menopausal woman. Also, the dramatic and quick weight gain put a lot of strain on my joints. As I level out my hormones, and lose weight, coupled with standard arthritis treatments of exercise, weight loss, and pain pills, I should feel better. The dr. describes this process kind of like a train. At first we are just trying to apply the breaks. Once we get the train to stop we then work on reversing the train. But a train is heavy and it takes a lot of time and effort to get a train to stop. I am optimistic now that I have a 100% diagnosis and now a relatively aggressive treatment.

More About PCOS- Poly-cystic Ovarian Syndrome

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common female endocrine disorders affecting approximately 5%-10% of women of reproductive age (12–45 years old) and is thought to be one of the leading causes of female infertility.

The principal features are obesity, anovulation (resulting in irregular menstruation) or amenorrhea, acne, and excessive amounts or effects of androgenic (masculinizing) hormones. The symptoms and severity of the syndrome vary greatly among women. While the causes are unknown, insulin resistance, diabetes, and obesity are all strongly correlated with PCOS.

Polycystic ovaries develop when the ovaries are stimulated to produce excessive amounts of male hormones (androgens), particularly testosterone, either through the release of excessive luteinizing hormone (LH) by the anterior pituitary gland or through high levels of insulin in the blood (hyperinsulinaemia) in women whose ovaries are sensitive to this stimulus.

The syndrome acquired its most widely used name due to the common sign on ultrasound examination of multiple (poly) ovarian cysts. These "cysts" are actually immature follicles, not cysts ("polyfollicular ovary syndrome" would have been a more accurate name). The follicles have developed from primordial follicles, but the development has stopped ("arrested") at an early antral stage due to the disturbed ovarian function. The follicles may be oriented along the ovarian periphery, appearing as a 'string of pearls' on ultrasound examination. The condition was first described in 1935 by Dr. Stein and Dr. Leventhal, hence its original name of Stein-Leventhal syndrome.

PCOS is characterized by a complex set of symptoms, and the cause cannot be determined for all patients. However, research to date suggests that insulin resistance could be a leading cause. PCOS may also have a genetic predisposition, and further research into this possibility is taking place. No specific gene has been identified, and it is thought that many genes could contribute to the development of PCOS.

A majority of patients with PCOS have insulin resistance and/or are obese. Their elevated insulin levels contribute to or cause the abnormalities seen in the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis that lead to PCOS.

Adipose tissue possesses aromatase, an enzyme that converts androstenedione to estrone and testosterone to estradiol. The excess of adipose tissue in obese patients creates the paradox of having both excess androgens (which are responsible for hirsutism and virilization) and estrogens (which inhibits FSH via negative feedback).[18]

Also, hyperinsulinemia increases GnRH pulse frequency, LH over FSH dominance, increased ovarian androgen production, decreased follicular maturation, and decreased SHBG binding; all these steps lead to the development of PCOS. Insulin resistance is a common finding among patients of normal weight as well as those overweight patients.

PCOS may be associated with chronic inflammation, with several investigators correlating inflammatory mediators with anovulation and other PCOS symptoms

Women with PCOS are at risk for the following:



Sunday, July 25, 2010

The List

Earlier I challanged myself to come up with a list of 5 things I could do to be a better person and 5 things I could do to become a happier person. Here is the list.

To Become A Better Person

1. Be more firgiving and understanding
2. Volunteer
3. Donate
4. Conserve
5. Give off a more friendly first impression

To Become A Happier Person

1. Reward Myself
2. Find time for my music
3. Stop stressing about Sean finding/getting a job
4. Reconsiling with old friends
5. Losing weight


I think we should all try making a list of 5 things. It is a great way to take inventory of your life, so that you can guide yourself in the direction you want to go.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Update

I will be getting the rusults of all my lab work this Monday. What I am hoping is that they will find me some kind of explination as to why my hormone levels are so "out of whack" as Dr. Moreno says. Why my hair is falling out. Why I gained 80 lbs in 2 years. Why my joints hurt. Of course I don't want anything to be seriously wrong, but at the same time I hope they find some kind of explination. Ideally whatever it is will have a treatment. I feel like I cannot fully wage war if all I know are my symptoms, I need to know the cause. I am not going to get my hopes up too much, as I have been very dissapointed by dr.'s in the past, but I am cautiously optimistic.

Progress

Day 20. Week 3. I lost another pound! I am chugging along great. So far I have lost almost 5 lbs. Not bad at all in about 3 weeks. I have managed to cut out beer and wine. If I want a drink I will have a weak whiskey and diet coke with out caffiene tall. I think there is only about 50 calories in a shot of whiskey. I am also working very hard on dramatically cutting down on the volume of alcohol I intake. I did however have a margaritta on Thursday. You know whith my cheat meal of seafood chille realleno. Yes that would be the cheat meal where the girl decided to tell me how beautiful I was so I lost my appetite. Sigh. Only me. I had to go into work and we had a pot luck. So instead of setting myself up for disaster, I allowed myself to have a cheat day. I didn't over do it. There was no binging, but there was some awesome home made chocolate cake. That should hold be over for a while.

My goals for this week are pretty simple. I want to try not to cheat as much as possible. I hope to go on at least one hike this week. I also might try some yoga or pilates along with my water aroebics. Go me !

Friday, July 23, 2010

Beauty

Growing up you hear all kinds of sayings. It is better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all. You can't teach an old dog new tricks. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.


Yesterday the strangest thing happened to me. Sean and I decided to go out to dinner. We sat down, ordered our food, and were just sitting there talking. All of a suddon a young woman, about my age decent looking and dressed fashionably, walked up to our table. She says to me: "I know that you don't know me, and I don't want you to think this is rude of me. My husband already thinks I am crazy. But, I saw you walk in and I had to tell you that I think you have the most beautiful body. You have perfect porportions and you are not too skinny. Do you do something like work out?" Ok you should have seen my face. I sat there silent looking around the resteraunt for laughing kids, or someone who had put her up to this. But there wasn't any. All I could mutter was "actually I just recently gained 80 lbs, but thank you" Maybe I should have said " yes in order to get this body you must eat like a pig drink like a fish and smoke like a chimney" but I didn't. She smiled and apologized again if she had emberrassed me and returned to the table with her husband. I didn't know what to do. I thought about crying. I thought about leaving. I surely lost my apetite. I don't know why I had that reaction. I guess in all my self loathing, I have somehow convinced myself that I am such an abomination that to have a person tell me the complete opposite just throws my wolrd off of its axis. Even when I was skinny and in great shape, I never had a stranger come up to me like that.


I guess what I have realized is that beauty really is in the eye of a beholder. I talk a lot about perception. How everything is how you frame it in your mind. Two people can experience the same situation and tell two different stories. Now when I feel bad about myself, I will always remember that woman in the resteraunt. She covets what I have, even though I hate what I have. The women I see that I wish I could look like, very likely wish they looked different. Everyone wants what someone else has. Maybe part of the secret to happiness it to learn to love what you do have. Stop comparing yourself to someone else. Focus on yourself and achieving what is possible for you, and loving yourself every step along the way.

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Truth

I have been hiding in denial for about a year. I don't go out much. I avoid people from my past. I shun the camera like a 13th century palague. I think it is time to admit to myself the truth. I think that it is a very important step in the process of change to admit where you are starting from.

The Way Things Are


The Way Things Were
















Ok. I don't condone dwelling on the way things were but I do think it is healthy to admit to yourself just how bad things have gotten. The difference in these photos is astounding. Also I see the photos as motivation as to what I can look like and how healthy I can be.

Photos From Our Hike











New Things To do


So I managed to work out twice yesterday. I was looking for things I could do that were different but also easy on my joints. The first thing I did was try water aroebics in my pool. Man I tell you kicking aroung on a paddle board is hard. My legs were burning. I am still coming up with a good routine, but I did find a web site with the basics.




I really enjoyed it. I set up my portable Bose Dock so I was able to blare my Ipod by the pool. It was nice to work out in the water because not only did it not hurt my joints, but it was refreshing.


Later we went to the new Phil Hardberger park off of 1604 and Blanco. We stopped by Jason's Deli on the way and ordered off the lite menu. Then we had a pic nic followed by a nice 3 mile hike. I will say that my knees did hurt, and next time I will probably take some extra Aleve an hour before. I also brought my camera and took some nice photos.
On a side note Sean has done great so far. He started eating healthy about 2 months before I started. What did it for him, was he went to the dr. for night sweats only to find out he was pre-diabetic and his cholesterol levels were at 300. So far he has gone from 240 to 222. It is so not fare how easy and quick it is for guys to lose weight, but I am still very happy for him and proud of him.


Now we are in this together. We are going to try and go to a city park once a week. We might even make trips to other parks in other cities like Landa Park in New Braunfels or Zilker park in Austin. We will pack a healthy lunch and then go for a hike and I can take pictures. Sean brought up that this is a great habit to pick up for when we have kids someday. I agree. I am also going to try and do the water aroebics 2-3 times per week. I want to work up to exercising 5 days a week. Change happens one day at a time.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Progress

After 2 weeks I have lost 4 lbs. That is better than I planned. I don't expect to lose more than 1 lb per week, and I know that you lose more weight in the begenning. So if the weight loss slows down I will not get discouraged. A steady lb per week is all I need to make me satisfied. I still need to work out. I have been doing a lot of cleaning and house work along with cleaning the pool and I took the dogs for a walk one day, but that really isn't enough. The problem is I have very low energy levels and my joints hurt. Honestly I prefer sleep over exercise. Who doesn't ? I am going to put in an effort to exercise more. I completely cleaned out the exercise room, so there is no excuse to not go in there and jump on the machine or lift some weights. Fun. Not. I used to love to exercise. What happened? I need to learn to love to exercise again !

5 Things

I am going to challange myself to come up with 5 things that I could do to be a better person. I also am going to try to come up with 5 things that would make me a happier person. I will post the list as soon as I finish it........

Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself: I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn't arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I'm going to be happy in it.
- Groucho Marx

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Dr. Visit From Hell

i had to get an ultra sound on monday
it was horrible
i left in tears
they made me drink 32 oz of water
and then hold it for 1 hour
well it went over an hour
and I was in soooo much pain
so I tell the nurses I have to go to the bathroom
so they got all mad
and one of the nurses refers to me as
that little girl
to my husband
and then when i got in the room to do the ultra sound
the tech told me not to talk to her
it was un real
but I haven't gotten the results of the lab work
I am still waiting.
I might still have to do more blood work
but according to the dr they had me do the ultra sound b/c my hormone levels were way off

Progress

It has been about 2 weeks so far on this little journey. I have had both good days and bad days. I haven't really strayed much at all from the healthy eating plan. I did have some wine 3 nights of the past 2 weeks. Ideally I would like to stop drinking during this process, and if I choose to resume it would be in great moderation. I haven't gotten there yet. That is why this is a journey and a lifestyle not a crash diet. Change takes times. The slower the change the better chance you have of it lasting. If you build a house too quick and don't take the time to lay the proper foundations , the first heavy winds that come by will knock the house to the ground. I have been knocked to the ground many times in the past. Why do diets fail? The first time I lost a signifigant amount of weight I was 15. I think I went from 170 lbs to 125 lbs. It was great I was counting my calories 1500 per day along with exercise every day. Then one day on a cheerleading trip I caved and ordered a strawberry milkshake from McDonalds. It was over. I gained almost all the weight back within a few months. I guess life is filled with Strawberry Milkshakes. A stressfull day. A break up. Boredome. Whatever. I don't know why one strawberry milkshake or one bad day for that matter has the power to ruin months and months of hard work. I think in order to successfully lose weight and to stay healthy you have to learn recovery skills. If you have a bad day, the next day you start over. Same thing with life. If you have a horrible break up, you don't give up men all together and join a convent (although the thought had crossed my mind a few times). No you give yourself some time to heal and then you get right back out there. If you get fired from a job you don't move back in with your parents until you are 50. No you find a new job. Bad things in life happen. There is no avoiding that, but it is how quickly you get up and how much stronger you stand afterwards that really matters. This time I don't expect perfection out of myself. I just expect change.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Frustration

Life is filled with ups and downs. You have good days and you have bad days. I tell myself we need the bad days to appreciate the good ones. Life challanges us. It is hard to controll your emotions. How do you break a habit you have had your whole life ? I don't know the answer to this, I guess I am still trying to figure it out. It helps when I remind myself that "anger is just hurting on purpose". When people are rude to me, or if something happens that isn't "fair", it is so easy to get eaten up inside. But, really, that person or that situation didn't hurt you -- you chose to hurt. You chose to be angry. And, I guess, unless you plan on doing something about it, there is no point in sitting around sulking. If you can't change it - let it go. I tell myself to put it in perspective. Is it really the end of the world? Is is really even a big deal? I don't even remember 99% of the things I have cried over in my life. I guess they weren't really that important. All that matters is that you learn from your experiences in life. If someone hurts you - you can't change them - so you either stop letting what they say or do get to you or if you can't you remove them from you life. What is the defination of stupidity? - "Trying the same thing over and over expecting a different outcome". Change.

"I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure it to try and please everybody." - Bill Cosby

"People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don't believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can't find them, make them."
George Bernard Shaw

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Action

There is a very simple rule in life - you cannot get what you do not ask for. You can wish. You can hope. You can light a candle, hold your breath, and even stand on you head. You can sit back and watch your life like a movie waiting for the good part, and every once in a while, you might get some good action scenes - maybe a little romance, but you are still just a member of the audience when you should be the main character and the director. There are 2 kinds of people in this world: Those who let life happen and those who make life happen. I want to make my life happen.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

yummy

Today's lunch was a chicken salad.

1 grilled chicken breast cut up over a bed of baby spinach and romaine with cut up cucumber and tomato topped with a sprinkiling of flax seeds and Newman's Own light tomato vinagarrette.

Karma

I have this very strange habit, and I am really not sure where I picked it up. But, I like to buy lottery tickets in hopes that I will lose. My thinking is every time you lose it uses up some of your bad luck and karma and leaves better karma for more important things -- like your life.
Probably not what Bhuda had in mind, but its my own version.

People have all different kinds of superstitions and opinions. I have heard that bad things come in 3's. (but I have also heard that celebreties die in 3's so I think that knocks some vailidity off there) When it rains it pours. You get what you give. So basically we are all a little bit Bhuddist. Just kidding.


I do though strongly believe that your life is a direct result of your own actions and thinking. The attitude you have and the perceptions you make are just about as important as the choices you make. And, of course, it goes both ways. I see people (not unlike myself) who constantly go on and on about how un-fair life has been to them. How they can't catch a break. Or, they can't figure out why their relationship is going no-where when they want more so bad. Perhaps, really , life isn't that un-fair ....perhaps we just see it that way. And maybe, if we brought more positive choices and thinking into our lives we would see more positive outcomes. What is that corny BeeGee's song lyric - "if you give a little more than your asking for your love with turn the key " Ha Ha sadly that grossly high fallsetto voice does speak the truth. We aren't going to get from the world more than we put in. As soon as we realize that, and change our thinking, the world will respond.


So I decided to make this change and it is more than just losing some weight. It is about the journey to try and become a better person. Already I have seen positive things happen in my life for really no obvious reason, and I can only believe it must be karma. In fact I got a call on my day off from work, from my manager, saying I was getting a promotion at work. How awesome is that ? I am so thankfull. When your attitude changes, the world around you changes.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Day 5

mmmmm..... whole grain cream of wheat ........

And as I am eating this cream of wheat I looked up some nice quotes about change .......


"Be the change you wish to see in the world" - Ghandi

"Change is the essence of life. Be willing to surrender what you are for what you could become "

"Change is inevitable. Except from a vending machine." - Robert Gallagher

"Any change, even change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomfort." -Arnold Bennett

“We cannot change our past. We can not change the fact that people act in a certain way. We can not change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude." - Charles Swindoll

"Things do not change. We change." - Henry David Thoreau

"Other things may change us, but we start and end with family." - Anthony Brandt

"Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely."

"Change is the only constant"

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Goal #1

According to everything I am reading, in order to achieve change you must first make a goal. More so, you must define the goal specifically and it must be measurable. Also you must make a plan with steps to follow and incremental evaluations to follow your progress.

ok so here goes......

Goal # 1

To lose 50 lbs by my next birthday July 4th.

Incremental evaluations:

1 weigh in each week on Sundays with incremental goal of losing 1 lb per week.

Motivation : to be healthier.

Plan: clean eating. Little to No red meat - just fish or chicken. Little to no processed carbs. Lots of fruits and vegitables. Little to no fast food. Cook meals fresh daily. Lots of lean protein, beans, fruits, and vegitables. Eat when you are hungry, don't starve yourself, but also be concious of portion sizes. Very basic. Also - Exercise. (gradually work up as your body allows)

Passive - Aggressive - Assertive

I am taking this skill soft class at work entitled "Professional Assertiveness" and it is all about being a more productive member of the work force by being a better listener and also learning how to give constructive critisism. There are three types of individuals Passive, Aggressive and Assertive. The goal being to be assertive. I guess I always considered being assertive as best being described as standing up for one's self. I wasn't 100% sure so I looked it up.

as·ser·tive
Inclined to bold or confident assertion; aggressively self-assured
1. confident and direct in claiming one's rights or putting forward one's views
2. given to making assertions or bold demands; dogmatic or aggressive

In being an assertive person you must do 3 things ....

1. Act supportingly
2. Act proactively
3. Act fairly

I think I am good at acting proactively and fairly, but need the most work on acting supportingly. I've always had the kind of mentality that if it isn't getting done the way I want it or if I think I can do something faster or better, I tend to just do it myself. But really, in doing that I am not truly helping the person I am trying to help. Instead, I am doing it for them and they are not learning or growing. In the end, I end up doing it because I am too impatient to let them try and learn.

Now when it comes to contructive critisism I am the worst. I hate getting critisism and I hate giving critisism. Well at least out loud. I am not much for confrontation. I think in order to be able to give contructive critisism and be more assertive, I need to first learn how to take it. If you look at it more from an angle of respect, that it is hard for a person to confront you to tell you something with good intentions, then maybe it will be more easy to accept.


I think that all of this really does go beyond the workplace. Being more assertive and less aggressice and/or passive should be the goal overall, not just the workplace. Listening to family and friends - supporting them. Offering constructive critisism when it is asked for and usefull. Being honest and fair. Standing up for yourself, not enabeling anyone you love or care for to continue in any kind of path of self destruction. There is a whole lot to being a better person, but I think this is good information. Thanks skill soft. =)

Waiting

I have never been good at the waiting game - you know that thing known as patience. Not one of my virtues. Maybe God said "I will make her a really good singer, but to balance her out I will make her grumpy and impatient". I don't know. So my last dr. appointment was June 21st. Granted there was a holiday in the middle there, I would really like to hear something back from my lab work. I have called twice. Each time the nice lady on the end of the line say the dr. is reviewing the results and will get back to me. Ok. I can respect needing time to properly review and research. I can only assume that if something were really wrong they would have called me by now, so I will be optimistic. I must remember I have been seeing doctors for 6 years about the same thing, and no one yet has put a finger on it. Extreme weight gains, hair loss, the estrogen levels of a 90 year old, weakness, depression, increasing joint pain, and stomoch pains are my main symptoms.

So far after 3 days of healthy eating I must say that I do have a noticeable increase in energy. However, today my stomach is really bothering me. It is like a slow burn in my gut. It could have been the coffee I had this morning, I am not sure. I do have Gastritus. Who knows.


So I wait. wait. wait. wait. wait............