Saturday, June 29, 2013

Motivational Quotes For Weight Loss and PCOS

Here are some great motivational Weight Loss and PCOS Quotes. Enjoy!

Friday, June 28, 2013

More Great Health News

The scale has been my arch enemy for so long, it is such a nice change for it to become a friend who lets me know how good I am doing. Sean excitedly woke me up this morning to tell me he weighed himself and he was down to 260 lbs!!! That means he has lost 43 lbs! More importantly when we went to the doctor on Wednesday his blood pressure had gone down from 160 to 118 since about 6 months ago. AMAZING. Simply awesome. I've also noticed an improvement in his outlook. He is hopeful. I don't know how many therapy session I sat and lamented how much I wanted to help Sean, but I know I cannot change a person. All I wanted from him was some hope. I knew hope was the first step in getting healthy. Although you cannot change a person, you can support a person. I am glad I did not give up on Sean. He is doing so much better and in turn, the better he is doing the better I do, because I am less worried and focused on him and more able to focus on me and my health. I am down to 246.8, meaning I have lost 36.2 lbs,. I also lost another inch, for a total of 14 inches lost in the 12 weeks I've been taking my measurements. My blood pressure at the doctor was also down to 111/73 from 122/80. Sean was on the verge of being put on blood pressure medication. Now that is no longer an issue. I strongly believe that simply changing the way you eat is the best medicine. If you go to the doctor they will try and treat the symptoms instead of focusing on the cause. And sure a doctor will say "you should lose weight", but they can't make you lose weight - only you can. In my opinion persistence is the key to weight loss. There will be times you fall off your diet. Just get back on the next day. You can start over a hundred times if you have to, as long as you keep going. You will lose weight, even if it is slower than you would like. Trust me, after the weight is off you won't care how long it took.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Ten Things To Know If You've Just Been Diagnosed With PCOS

Welcome to the world of PCOS. Some of us find ourselves here, discovering we have PCOS, after years of knowing something was wrong with us. This includes countless visits to doctors who mis-diagnose us. Some of us get here after seeing a reproductive endocrinologist i.e. Fertility Dr. , after trying unsuccessfully to get pregnant on our own. Many of us walk the streets, still to this day, with no idea what is wrong. The symptoms of PCOS are so diverse and easily attributed to other things, that it is HARD to get a diagnosis. It took me 6 years of regularly seeing all different kinds of doctors. Finally I ended up at a Reproductive Endocrinologist to get the final blow. But, he had no interest in treating me because I didn't want a baby. I was only in my mid twenties. I wasn't ready. But what I was ready for was to get better. However, because there is so little support or knowledge in the medical community it got a lot worse before it starting getting better. So here are ten things to know about PCOS and what to expect.

1. Doctors are not your ally. You are your ally. Don't expect a miracle cure. They can give you birth control, Metformin and Spironolactone - but the real power is in your hands.

2. You have to be your own advocate. Literally form your own support group with yourself. Make a pact with yourself that you are not going to dismiss your disease the way the medical profession seems to want to do.

3. If you don't take control you're body will easily and quickly spin out of control. One time I eased up my diet and I gained 50 lbs in 4 months. One doctor I read said " A person with PCOS may eat 7 days worth of food, but the PCOS body metabolizes it as though you ate 8 days worth of food." This means you have to eat healthy, not just to lose weight, but just to keep it off. Think of your body like a giant Jenga puzzle. You must keep everything in balance. Balance is your friend. You have to take care of yourself like a prized stallion if you want to win this race against PCOS. Make yourself and your health a priority. Eat right. Exercise. Treat your conditions. If you have alopecia use Rogaine. If you have pre-diabetes or metabolic syndrome take Metformin. If you have excess hair growth or hair loss take spironolactone to regulate your testosterone. Get mental health help for your depression. Take the pill if you have painful periods or acne. I strongly believe the final answer lies in diet and exercise, but I don't discount some of the medical treatments out there. Metformin costs $5-20. Spironolactone $5-30. Birth control is free with health insurance and maybe $35 without. Rogaine is cheap as hell at Wall-Mart and Sam's. What I don't suggest is spending tens out thousands of dollars on fertility doctors, silly Chinese acupuncture and herbs or a nutritionist. I mean you can if you want to, but there are other ways.

4. PCOS causes many more things than just infertility. Weight gain, hair loss, hair where you don't want it, depression, acne, painful cysts in your ovaries, diabetes, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, etc. While it is the number one cause of infertility, it is so much more than that one symptom.

5. PCOS is a money machine for doctors- if you are trying to get pregnant. If you aren't trying to get pregnant, expect to be treated and passed around like a beggar. Medicine is a for profit industry. The real money in PCOS is in giving expensive fertility treatments to women who want to have a baby.

6. There is some crazy treatments out there. Don't get cheated. The very expensive and highly recommended Fertility Doctor I went to suggested I check out this acupuncturist and Chinese herbal medicine people who rented a room in their building. So I made an appointment. I made the mistake of not knowing the cost first. I just wanted to check it out. I am all for alternative therapy. Basically the guy looked at my tongue for 30 minutes and then we talked about this voo-doo medicine and then he charged me $200 out of pocket because insurance didn't cover this. Needless to say - I did not go back. I feel bad for the desperate women trying to get pregnant who probably spend thousands of dollars. The guy literally said "That's how I roll" when I shockingly said "$200 for a consultation!" Douche-bag.

7. You have the power to change your condition. PCOS is an endocrine disorder. It is all about balancing your hormones and your insulin levels. Proper diet and exercise are the #1 way to beat this disease. Women can control their symptoms and get pregnant without spending tens of thousands of dollars to the Fertility Vulchers.

8. You can't just lose weight and you are cured. You can't just take birth control and you are cured. You have to completely change the way you live and eat - forever. Or at least until menopause. I have worked tirelessly to loose weight and succeeded dozens of times, only to have the weight come back with a vengeance. You pretty much have to eat like a diabetic - low glycemic - all the time - not just when you are trying to lose weight, but also in trying to keep the weight off. The diet is the cure for not just the weight but for all the symptoms of PCOS. I can remember weighing 130 lbs wearing a size 3 and I couldn't figure out why my hair was falling out like a chemo patient. Now I know. My diet was off - therefore my insulin levels were off which caused my testosterone to be out of whack which caused me to suffer from alopecia. See it isn't just weight and it isn't just fertility.

9.  Try and see the bright side. Yes PCOS sucks. However, it can be a very good excuse to take excellent care of your health

10. Find support. There are web sites, more and more every day that offer support. Write "I have PCOS" on your facebook page and you will be inundated with other women messaging you saying "I do too - want to talk?" Here are some web sites I like.

More Success No Complaints

My most recent foray into getting healthy started at the beginning of May 2013. I had gained back some of the weight I lost during the fall of 2012. I was back up to 260 lbs. My measurements were Chest 50 " Waist 45" and Hips 53". Before this I was pretty much bed ridden, with no energy. I knew that I had to start slow, and start with changing the way I ate. So I have been eating a low glycemic diet, while allowing myself one cheat day a week. We try and avoid processed foods and eating out and focus on fresh foods we cook at home. I also started taking organic vitamin supplements. It has been seven weeks and I have more energy than I have had in a very long time. My house is clean. My fridge is stocked. My garden is looking good. I've also been working hard at finding a new job. That in and of itself is an accomplishment I am so grateful for. But, that is not all I have to be grateful for. I have lost 11 lbs in those 7 weeks. I am down to 249. I know to some that may seem like not a lot of weight, but my goal is slow steady and sustained weight loss. Not a crash diet or gimick. My measurements are also improved. Chest 46.5" Waist 40" and Hips 48.5. That means I have lost 3.5 " on my chest 5" very impressive inches on my waist and 4.5 " on my hips.  That is 13 inches is 7 weeks. WoooHooo!!!! Overall from my high weight of 283 lbs down to 249 lbs I have lost 34 lbs. I am very pleased. The next phase of my getting healthy plan is to start exercising. Sean and I are going to do DDP Yoga together. I will tell you how it goes. And I am going to do Zumba for cardio. I am starting with low impact exercise. My main goals are to increase my energy and strength. Things have also been great for Sean. He is down from 302 lbs to 267 a weight loss of 35 lbs. I am very hopeful that the DDP Yoga will help rehabilitate in a sense his body. My main wish for him is decreased pain. Sean didn't want to exercise, so I had to get creative. I found DDP Yoga through YouTube and the inspirational video below. Sean loves wrestling. He watches it while I am sleeping since I can't help laughing when I try and watch it. Something about Diamond Dallas Page has got him motivated. He reads the booklet all the time and now is getting on me to get going. Mission accomplished. Hopefully my next post I will have more good news to share. If there is one thing that I want to get accross in this blog is that having PCOS or being disabled like my husband, does not mean that you are helpless. You have the power to choose what you eat and you can exercise, even if it means starting simple. Slow and steady wins the race. The most important thing is to stay motivated. Good luck!!!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Three Diet Tips That Actually Work

Well, I had a couple of frustrating weeks where it seemed no matter what I did my body refused to lose weight. I am happy to report that I am down 7 lbs since I started eating healthy again. That means my total weight loss is 30 lbs !!!! I have 53 more lbs to go to meet my wedding day goal. Which is 5 months and 27 days from now, or 25.86 week. If I can lose 2 lbs per week I just might reach my goal. So, I've been on a diet since I was 13 - Thank You PCOS (sarcasm) - and I have a few tried and true tips that actually work. They are realistic things we can all do to improve our eating habits and lose weight if needed.

1. KEEP FOOD READY. I don't expect anyone, unless you are a professional body builder or athlete, to go as far as cooking all your meals in advance or anything. However, the worst thing you can do when you are on a diet is to not have food that you CAN eat ready for when you get hungry. Trust me, if you get caught hungry and there is no food in your house you can eat, you are going to be the first one in line driving through some fast food joint because you are starving and your brain is telling you EAT OR DIE ! So make sure your kitchen is stocked with healthy meals and snacks that you can turn to instead.

2. COOK IN BULK. When you are really really hungry the last thing you want is to stop and have to spend an hour fixing a meal. I like to keep meals/snacks ready for when I need them. I don't pre-plan every meal or anything, but I like to be prepared. Some of my favorite things to fix in bulk are: tuna fish (like a freaking gallon), barracho beans, cut up celery sticks to eat with peanut butter, baby carrots and home made ranch dip made from low fat sour cream, chicken soup ( I cook a whole chicken, de-bone it and make a high protein, low carb and very filling home made soup) and turkey chili in the crock pot. For sugar cravings I keep sugar free chocolate vanilla swirl jello pudding (60 calories)  which I love to mix with a spoon full of peanut butter and I also keep sugar free jello ready at all times in the fridge. And of course, don't forget, fresh fruit and veggies are staple snacks.

3. GIVE YOURSELF A CHEAT DAY ONCE A WEEK. A healthy diet should be for the long haul. It's about replacing bad eating habits with healthier choices. However, there is a reason bad food tastes so good. Our bodies crave the naturally high caloric and fat amounts. It is my humble opinion that if we try and ignore these cravings all together, then we are setting ourselves up for disaster. Like eating a gallon of ice cream at 3 in the morning disaster. That is why I think a controlled cheat day is essential. Give yourself one day a week where you can eat what you want, just be careful not to eat too much. For instance going back to the ice cream example: have a bowl of ice cream - don't eat the whole carton. Foods should never be labels "bad" or "evil", everything is ok in controlled moderation.

Good luck to my fellow travelers. We can do this ! Living a healthy life is a choice we make every day. Here is to good choices.