Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Count Your Blessings...and Your Inches

When I'm feeling down about what the numbers say on the scale or even where the measuring tape falls, I find it helps to go back and look at my journal to see how far I've come.

Not all milestones can be reduced to a number. What are the milestones you have accomplished? What else do you want to accomplish?

Here are some of my goals:
  • Train my brain to realize that fullness and satiety are different. Learn that fullness is a physical feeling, not a mental idea of how much I need
  • Lose the bloat and feel great!
  • Move down a size at Lane Bryant
  • Go faster and longer at the gym
  • Fit into certain clothes in my closet again
  • Fit into Express again (it's been since 2002, I can't even really say that I like a lot of their clothing, but it's still a goal)
Things I have accomplished already:
  • I've become more trim (see my friend Chris' blog about what muscle looks like vs fat here).
  • Broadened my fitness horizons by trying kettlebells and yoga
  • I finally get out and see the beautiful scenery Southern California has!
During UKC the scale really never moved in my favor like I wanted to, but at the end it was so rewarding when I learned I had lost 15 inches. Our relationship with the scale is that of a fair weathered fan. What got me through those six weeks was the energy I felt, the fact that I was moving down in sizes, other clothing was fitting better, and I actually felt that I can do this!

Just remember that losing weight is nearly 100% mental stamina and you are a strong human being who can accomplish nearly anything you put your mind to!

Monday, May 17, 2010

PCOS & Blood Sugar Levels

Just over a year ago I was surprised to find out I was pre-diabetic. Even though I was well aware that diabetes is related to obesity, I always thought I was one of those healthy obese people. (Yes, I know how that sounds!)

I hadn't even heard of pre-diabetes but was surprised to know that I began showing some symptoms years before. My blood sugar wasn't actually that bad. The majority of symptoms I actually show are related to PCOS, or polycystic ovary syndrome. PCOS and pre-diabetes go hand in hand for many women.

I was initially very angry when I first was diagnosed. How many times had doctors drawn blood and nobody caught my blood sugar levels were rising? How many times had I told doctors that I had heavy irregular cycles?

It just goes to show that you know your body and need to stand up for yourself. Most doctors probably hear menstrual complaints from most female patients so it probably goes overlooked a lot of the time. I am probably going on a rant here, but my mom had endometriosis when she was younger and was essentially told to "walk it off" at the time. Before she was diagnosed with leukemia she laid on the couch for months withering away. You have to be proactive in your health care. Don't resign yourself to an average or less than average fate.

A side note, my mom's doctor had run most of the tests that she could have and my mom has a lot of other conditions that affect diagnosis so I don't blame her doctor. But, being proactive in your overall wellness will help you in the long run. Doctors see dozens of patients a day, but you live in your body 24-7.

What have I done differently in the past year?
  1. Metformin. There are other drugs, but metformin is used to treat PCOS and pre-diabetes for most people diagnosed
  2. Cut out as much sugar or "white" foods as possible. Obviously sugar is a culprit of high blood sugar levels, but what many people fail to see is that the body breaks down fats and starches into sugar. White foods tend to break down faster than alternatives. For instance, your body will burn through white rice much faster than brown rice.
  3. Cut out as much gluten as possible
  4. Eat fruits and veggies. Above and beyond the nutritional basics, they are natural to your body
  5. Cut out processed foods. A lot of processed foods contain soy and
  6. Green Tea. PCOS can cause elevated testosterone levels which can be combatted with green tea. I love Starbucks' Green Tea so I drink it when I can (you can actually buy gallon bags like they get in the store to save money). I also take green tea supplements

For more information regarding PCOS visit

If you want to start seeing a doctor who practices alternative therapies try searching on American College For Advancement in Medicine's (ACAM) online search engine. The database includes doctors and other types of practitioners such as nutritionists who believe in treating the patient, not the symptoms.

EDIT: June 14th. Okay, so I encourage anyone who hasn't already done so to Google pictures of PCOS. It isn't pretty and thoroughly grossed me out and enraged me at the same time. Some friends of mine get regular ultrasounds too which are a great idea and I'm going to talk to my doctor about. When I was diagnosed my primary care doc was pretty vague and I think there is a serious discussion we need to have now.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Last Coke

Okay, I have a ton of draft posts that are really old now but I still wanted to share. Just keep in mind this is about a month oldnow.

One of my major addictions since childhood has been Coke. No, not "the hard stuff", a coke-a-cola. I have a feeling that as time wears on we will find out that soda is just as damaging as drugs in the long run.

I gave soda up as a New Year's Resolution in 2007 and went just about a year without a soda. I slowly started treatig myself to one every now and then and then in the past couple of months since the end of UKC, I have been drinking it fairly regularly.

A familiar feeling returned, the absolutely worst cravings ever. Bad food and soda go hand in hand with me, so why not go for the burger. Who doesn't have coke with pizza? What's worse though is the soda cravings. I remember sitting in class in college thinking that I needed a coke as soon as class was out. I sat there thinking my body language must make it look like I am a smoker.

When I gave up soda I started drinking a lot of water which is good, but I also started substituting it with juice which is also bad. Old habits die hard, I accidentally poured myself one the other day at lunch. I felt bad and bought it since it was already in the cup, but I threw it away before I even got into the office.

Here are some coping strategies I have found:
  1. Drink tea. I personally love Tazo Green Tea from Starbucks, I had 2 venti cups of iced tea on Saturday and Sunday and it helped take the edge off
  2. Read up on soda and what it does to your body!
  3. Suck on ice cubes
  4. Eat something sweet like fruit or sorbet or put fruit in your water
  5. Get moving! It always makes me crave water
  6. Occupy yourself with something. Preferably you should keep yourself active, but putting in a movie or playing a game should suffice in a pinch
  7. Journal about it! It will keep you on track as well as help you work out your dependency on soda. I fully believe a lot of people transfer addictions so even if you are only a casual soda drinker it may help you develop positive behavior as a substitute for other self destructive alternatives

Thursday, May 13, 2010

My Goals

Okay, so I haven't been on track which is an absolute shame (on me). I was looking at the calendar and realized I am "behind", it's amazing how it's so easy to say you are going to be a certain weight by a certain time, yet so hard to actually execute!

So, inspired by what Alysia said at today's LiveFit I decided to re-sync my goals and milestones and here's my commitment:

I have a lot of milestones and events coming my way, my cousin is getting married in September, but first I'm going in to Michigan to see my family for a wedding shower in June. Many of you know my big picture goal for UKC was to wear a "raunchy" (Alysia's term, mine was slutty) Halloween costume when I am in Las Vegas for Halloween, that still stands and I have to look good.

More seriously, I'd like to be 145-150 by Christmas and a healthy 135 by my 27th birthday, new year, new me!