Week 7 Weigh-In and the Sugar Break Up

Fortunately, weighing in the day after Valentine’s Day isn’t as traumatic as weighing in the day after Christmas. However, it does have its drawbacks. I woke up this morning feeling like poop.

I know you are probably thinking I might be a little hung over from a romantic night spent drinking wine and gazing into my husband’s eyes. But sadly this is not the case. Instead I think I am hung over from the “free day” grease fest that took place yesterday. Sexy huh?

Not only did we go to Cherry Cricket to eat super sloppy greasy cheese burgers.. and fries… and onion rings. But we also had pizza and hot wings for dinner. We put Penelope to bed at seven grabbed a beer and nestled onto the couch (with Bridget wedged in between us) for a Bones marathon on Netflix.

When I woke up my fingers looked like sausages and standing on the scale was the last thing that I wanted to do.

I did it anyway and the scale read 207.4.

This isn’t bad considering what went down the day before. Plus the fact that I am capable of putting on a good five pounds of water weight at any given moment.

After weighing in I went downstairs and made my usual weigh-in day sugar coffee and took a bite out of one of the left over cupcakes from Bridget’s Valentine’s Day class party. That’s when I decided that sugar and I need to break up… again.

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After this one last fling.

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The rest of the cupcakes went into the trash and my body proceeded to spend the rest of the day rejecting the food that it had ingested in the name of love.

Seriously, it’s amazing how your body reacts to eating crap when you’re not used to it anymore.

March is coming up and this is always the month that I start to get excited about summer’s arrival. Since Operation Lululemon was such a success I felt like another challenge was in order.

I’ve decided to give up all processed sugars for the next 2 weeks. For the past seven weeks I have drastically cut down my sugar intake but I still allow myself the occasional indulgence every now and then. I’ve decided that it’s time to tighten things up a bit.

I’m doing this challenge for two reasons:

1. I’m about to start taking Metformin again to help with my PCOS symptoms. Metformin is great, but it has a tendency to give you diarrhea if you take it and eat sugar (not awesome). It also takes a while for your body to adjust to the medication so I figured I would have a better time with this if I just cut out all processed sugars completely for a while.

2. I am hoping to kick-start my body into a more aggressive weight loss. I’m hoping to begin March in the 100’s. This is pretty ambitious and I’m not sure if I’ll be able to pull it off. I just think that breaking out of the two hundred pound mark for the first time since having Penelope will do great things for my psyche in terms of motivation.

I’m also planning on limiting my bread and grain intake. This is only temporary and is served as a means of cleansing out the crap I just got done eating and restarting the whole weight loss engine. I’ll be focusing mainly on consuming fruits, vegetables, nuts, lean meats and legumes. I’m also going to focus on drinking more water. I think I may be a bit on the dehydrated side.

This isn’t an easy challenge and you’re going to have to rely on my honesty about how well it’s going. You’ll be able to tell if I’m sticking to it by the tone of the next few posts. If I’m a bit grumpy, you know I’m doing it right… nobody is chipper after a break-up.

I hate you sugar, it’s over! I didn’t mean it, I love you.

Oh man… and the cycle continues.

What’s Wrong With Me?

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The only time my stomach growls is first thing in the morning. During the day the only reminder I get that I need to eat is that light-headed yucky feeling that is usually correlated with low blood sugar.

I have PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) which is a very confusing condition for women and it’s hard to diagnose.  I don’t have all of the symptoms but I do have some and insulin resistance is one of them. I’m still really confused on what all of this means and how it affects me but I found an article this morning that helps out a little, Hypoglycemia and PCOS symptoms .

I’m pretty sure I’ve suffered from PCOS since puberty but I wasn’t diagnosed until I was 30. I got my first period when I was in the 7th grade and I didn’t get another one until about a year later. From that point on I would only get my period 3 or 4 times a year. At the time I played competitive soccer so they just assumed my lack of menstruation was just a side effect of being so physically active.

The symptoms got worse the older I got. I’ve previously written about the winter two years ago when I fell into a deep depression. During that time my body was thrown off completely and I didn’t know what was wrong with me. Mentally and physically I was completely jacked up. It wasn’t until I had a period that lasted for two and a half weeks that I finally took action by going to the doctor. It was so heavy and lasted for so long that I knew that something wasn’t right. At that point I realized that what I was going through wasn’t something that I just needed to snap out of. There had to be some sort of medical reason behind it.

During that doctor’s visit I was diagnosed with PCOS. They prescribed me Metformin for insulin resistance and Bupropn for depression. Within a few months I had dropped twenty pounds and was back to my old chipper self.

I couldn’t help but be irritated, because I had suspected this after having read an article in Women’s Health a few years earlier. At the time we didn’t have a family doctor so I just made an appointment with a doctor that took our insurance. I told him my concerns and talked about the article I read, but I couldn’t help but feel like he wasn’t hearing me. At my insistence he made an appointment to have a sonogram to check for ovarian cysts. It turns out I have “beautiful ovaries” with not a cyst in sight. Since that was the case they overruled any thought of me having PCOS and I just went back to dealing with all of my wacky symptoms in silence. That is, until I got the period from hell and switched doctors.

When I told her about the experience I had with the other doctor she explained to me the difficulty in diagnosing PCOS… it’s all over the map. It manifests in so many different ways that it’s hard to pinpoint. It is just now starting to be recognized and a lot of the medical community is just as confused about it as we are.

When I got pregnant I stopped taking my medications. Because of this condition I bled for 8 months after having Penelope. If you think having your period once a month is bad enough to make you crazy try it for over half a year. I’m still trying to regulate my hormones after having her.

I am proud to say that through sheer force of will I have been able to make some progress. Through eating clean I’ve dropped some weight and I’ve been able to break that vicious grimlin inducing carb craving cycle that comes with PCOS. My face is clear and I’ve finally stopped bleeding. When I talked to my doctor about this she told me that extra fat stores can also throw your hormones off balance.

You’re fat because your hormones are out of wack and your hormones are out of wack because you’re fat. It’s like a really mean game of what came first…chicken or the egg.

Despite all of my progress, I still have random jittery light-headed anxiety causing moments due to this whole insulin… thingy. I’m still not clear on it.

I wish I could find the article that I had read so many years ago that prompted me to try to find answers so that I could share it with you. What I do remember is that it talked about how many women have conditions that embarrass them so much that they just live in secret with it. Many times those conditions are actually symptoms for health issues that you don’t even know you have.

The moral of the story…

If there is something about your body that bothers or embarrasses you open up and talk to your doctor about it. There is a good chance that this issue can be resolved and you will end up a more secure healthy person for it in the long run. Even if that means getting a second opinion until you figure it out.

The Between Holiday Challenge

Holy Mother of Mashed Potatoes! I had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We were orphaned this season because our families live in TX and MO so I spent the holiday with my husband and daughters this year and it was simply divine. Ever since I was little I couldn’t care less about the turkey all I really wanted to eat was mashed potatoes, rolls and pie during Thanksgiving. That really hasn’t changed even as I’ve gotten older so I wasn’t really all that bummed that I didn’t like the ham I prepared. Luckily Brent and Bridget loved it and Penelope noshed on squished peas so we’re not sure where she stands on ham glazes yet.

Today is the Saturday after Thanksgiving and I’m starting to wade my way between the holidays. This is usually a horrible time for me nutritionally because I tend to be an all or nothing kind of gal. A few years ago I was diagnosed with PCOS and it turns out that one of the side effects of this condition is insulin resistence. This means my body has a hard time processing sugar. Basically I’m like a gremlin. You know that 80’s movie with the cute fuzzy balls of cuteness that turn into crazy evil monsters with big ears if you spill water on them? Actually, I don’t really remember how they turn into monsters it had to do with water and midnight…

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(before sugar)

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(after sugar)

The point is I’m kind of like that. If I eat too much sugar I want more and more and MORE! This exacerbates all of my PCOS symptoms. I gain weight, I get depressed, and my skin breaks out. And the more sugar I eat the more weight I gain, the more weight I gain the worse the symptoms get. It’s a vicious cycle. By the time the holidays are over the symptoms are at their peak and when the Christmas lights and tinsel are taken down I’m plunged into darkness wallowing in my fat suit. The best way I can battle this is to limit my sugar intake and exercise. Throughout the rest of the year I’m pretty good at balancing this. But during this time of year my psyche is the meanest kind of Grinch possible. These are the things it whispers in my ear during the month of December…

  • It’s impossible to enjoy the holidays and try to stay healthy. It’s one or the other!
  • Every wintery activity isn’t complete unless you have hot chocolate in hand!
  • You have to make a thousand varieties of cookies and test them out pre-baking and post-baking to make sure that they will be good!
  • Why bother working out? You’ve eaten so much cookie dough that you feel really gross so it’s probably best to just wait until the holidays are over to be good!

Okay… so apparently my little psychological Grinch yells these things at me because I felt compelled to put exclamation points behind every statement.

Here is my plan to keep negative thoughts at bay and to prevent any chances of me becoming a gremlin. Here are the rules:

1. Once a week I am allowed processed sugar or carbohydrates in limited amounts. All other sugar sources will come naturally through fruit. This means I can make cookies and have a few but not spend an entire week polishing them off.

2. I must get out and move every day. This can mean a major sweat session at the gym or a simple walk enjoying my neighbors holiday decorations. Either way I have to move.

That’s it. I’m keeping it simple. No calorie counting just good old clean eating with the occassional treat. Oh and the best part… for every day that I follow through with my plan I pay myself $4 . I will spend this money on myself via pedicures, massage, clothes… the possibilities are endless. This is the typical price for a super sugary Starbucks of which I’m addicted to. I have a tendency to treat myself more often than I should because I don’t treat myself in any other way.  It’s time for that to change. This challenge is going from November 24th-December 21. I’ll keep posting to let you know how it’s going.