Monday, December 31, 2012

2012...the year that changed my life

Well my blog friends {if is anyone out there reading this little thing anymore} it's been quite the year.

This truly is the year that has changed my life. I started out worried in January and now that it is December I am empowered! I now KNOW that I can do this ~ whatever "this" may be. 12 months ago I did not think I could do anything to change the path I was on....but my view on so many things in life has changed!

In 2012 my goal was to lose weight and inform myself about what PCOS is. I think I've done both fairly well. And you know, I don't want to spend a ton of time diving into the past. I did that a few weekends ago and it was hard to read what I'd written through the year. Or more, really, it was hard to remember what I'd really been thinking when I'd been typing.

But I can tell you this...I plan on 2013 being MY year!!

Fingers crossed...

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

you HAVE to be your own advocate...

...because no one is going to do it for you!!!

Part of the reason I got started on this journey is because I has someone (a friend of a friend, NOT a doctor) recognize my symptoms. I got lucky. I'd already waited about 5 years to start this process. I'd had my OB tell me to "keep waiting" even though I told her I had PCOS. UG. Okay, getting off my personal soap box. Kind of.

It really is up to you to...

You HAVE to be your own advocate. You HAVE to ask for what you want. It is up to you. Doctors {at least the ones I have seen} seem to be listening and treating less & less...and just writing perscriptions and getting you in & out. It is truly, up to you.

Case in point.

Last week I called my Endo because I wanted to re-run all my labs before my one year Endo appointment (Mid-January) so we could make some decisions at that meeting. I want to be a part of my decisions from here on out and I knew we'd me talking about if I need to stay on Metformin anymore. I left a message stating my intentions and got a message back saying that my 6 month check up had been so good they didn't think they'd need new results. It didn't sit right with me and on Monday I called again and left another message, again, about wanting to get these results. My reasons are simple. One ~ I am a data freak. I want to see that number go down and the specific levels get into the average range. Two ~ I have put SO much hard work in and I want to make sure it's working. I know it is...but I need to see it on paper. That's just how my brain works. Oh, and there's a third one ~ I've hit my Out of Pocket Maximum so the tests will be free :) But that's a small part of it. Seeing the numbers get smaller and smaller is the main reason :)

I got a message back today that they sent me all the lab slips and I will be go to go to get my labs done next week. I am SO proud of myself for asking what I really wanted. Can't wait to share (and see) the results!

Fingers crossed {the labs come back awesome}...

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

there's been a lot going on!!!

*a week off the wagon*
I had a week off the wagon, the week after Thanksgiving to be exact. I had been put on "barre3 rest" by my physical therapist because I strained my bicep tendon and kept using it so it kept hurting! For some reason...I couldn't get it together and ended up reverting back and sitting on my ass all day every day for a week. BUT I continued to eat well and didn't gain anything...

*no milk - minimal to no cheese*
For the past 2 months I've been milk free almost all of the time. There are still some items (prebought/processed) that I am sure still has milk in it but I haven't had cows milk from the carton in over 2 months. The milk was pretty easy to give up. Since I've stopped drinking cows milk I haven't had a single acne point on my scalp/in my hair. For, oh, the last 15+ years I've had acne in my hair. That's right... And now it's gone. All the way gone. I'm amazed.
The cheese...well, that's a different story. I've really, really {really} struggled to get off that. I've been off about 95% of the way for the past two weeks and I haven't gotten a new zit on my face since! It is amazing. My goal now is to reintroduce cheese in small, controlled amounts to see how much I can tolerate.
I'm not exactly sure what it is in the milk and cheese that made the acne stop. My PCOS specialist told me to try to stop - so I did. I definitely need to look more into the "why" part of it. But it's working so I'm not in a hurry ;-)
the cheese drawer. i pretend it isn't there.
*my first soy {anything}*
Last weekend we were out & about near Seattle {happy retirement to my father-in-law!!!} and stopped off at a coffee shop for breakfast. While there I decided to try my first soy hot chocolate. I needed a treat, or so I felt. And since it was a coffee shop, and not Starbucks, I decided it would be worth it. It was good...but some friends have suggested I try almond milk next time...which I will!

 *50th barre3 class*
On 11/19/12 I took my 50th barre3 class. It was also my last one before I was "barred from barre3". As I've written before, barre3 has changed my life. I've lost inches, pounds, and insecurities. I've gain peace, some balance, and a place I can go and be happy. There is nothing bad about barre3, nothing.
left: April 2012 {before barre3}
right: November 2012 {50th barre3 class day}
-17.15 inches off my body from the left picture to the right picture
With all that's been going on with report cards, stresses at work, stresses at home, money, Christmas, presents, and battles within myself I'm super proud of the fact that I've lost 5 pounds in the last 8 weeks. Only 4.2 pounds to go until my HUSBAND has to go to barre3!!! He agreed {well, he didn't have a choice} to join me. And two of the other instructors have volunteered their husbands too!!!
*standing up for what i believe in*
At the end of November there was a story about a woman named Siobhain Fletcher who ha PCOS and grew a beard for Movember...the event where men grew mustaches to support prostate cancer. I thought it was SSSOOO brave of her to stand up, speak out, and support a good cause. In my eyes she was SO brave. Brave to do it and brave to speak out about it. Then...the women of "The Talk" on CBS played this clip. I was disgusted!!! How could they make fun of this woman who was so brave? They compared her to Larry the Cable Guy. I seriously had tears in my eyes and was hoping that she will never see the clip! I said my peace on their facebook page...but I hope they take me up on my offer {or someone else} and invite women with PCOS on to the show to inform the nation. I doubt it will happen ~ but you never know!
While haven't PCOS isn't easy I am proud to be part of such a strong group of people!!! I love my "soulcysters"!!! 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

so honored!!!

I was so excited to check my email the other day to see that I'd {little ole me} had been nominated for a "Very Inspiring Blogger Award". I was even more honored that it was a fellow cyster Lynne from Fighting PCOS Naturally who nominated me!!! I mean, a few weeks ago I wrote about being an inspiration...I guess others are seeing it too!!

And now that I have been nominated, it's my turn to follow suit! Here are the rules:

A) Display the award image on your blog. {check}
B) Link back to the person who nominated you. {check}
C) State 7 things about yourself.

1. I love my husband.
2. I turn the fire on year round.
3. I am a special education teacher.
4. I truly love teddy bears.
5. I am allergic to wearing perfume. I will get a stuffy nose the next day - every time.
6. I cannot wait to have my car paid off - hopefully by the end of summer.
7. I wish I could type here what I really want to say. But I won't...this will have to be good enough ;-)

D) Nominate 15 other bloggers and link to their sites. Then notify them of your nomination!
I know that I can't make it to 15 bloggers. I might not even be able to make it to 5...most of the blogs I read are foodie blogs. Though I am thankful for this opportunity and to be able to see some new {to me} blogs that are out there!!

Beth @ The B.E.T.H. Approach - She is a woman who has PCOS too and has lost weight the healthy way over time. She has been such an inspiration to me!

Lynne @ Fighting PCOS Naturally ~ I know she nominated me but what I love about Lynne is that she just says it how it is. I wish I did that. I mean, I do to my hubby, but not out here on the blog-o-sphere.

Amanda @ Impatient with PCOS ~ Amanda now has kiddos of her own but it is helpful to go back and look at her past posts to gain some information on how to battle PCOS.

I think that's all for now. I'm excited to see if the traffic from Amanda's blog helps mine at all! I definitely want to help people and inspire people. THANKS for the nomination Amanda!!!

Fingers crossed {that someone actually reads this post ;-)}...

Sunday, November 11, 2012

going crazy over clothes...

I've never been one of those people who has enjoyed shopping. If I go to the mall I want to have a purpose, a list, and a time frame. I suspect part of the reason I haven't liked shopping is because for ever {and still a bit today} have hated putting on clothes. Over the years I have found various articles of clothing that have been my "go to" items/stores...but that is all starting to change and I don't know what to do.

Well, today I had a good cry over it. That's right. It's overwhelming. This whole process is overwhelming. It's exciting but it's WAY more overwhelming than exciting. It's also expensive. Really, really expensive. Especially since before the weight loss there were so few places I could fit in while still looking nice.

I know I will be able to find a lot more variety of clothes now but the one of the things that made me have my little breakdown today... bras. UG. Without going into too much detail I hate under wire and have, for the past decade, worn a no-wire bra from Lane Bryant. It is perfect. doesn't fit anymore. And it feels debilitating. Shopping for jeans and shirts is getting easier but this - this is something I didn't see coming.

I was also overwhelmed because my favorite store {where I spend a TON of money} wasn't very awesome with their return policy today. And it really hurt my feelings and changed what I had expected to happen today {which always throws me off}. The jeans I was going to exchange they wouldn't take back because it had been 4 months. Well, I tell you, that same store has taken things back that are 9+ months old! I was so mad I just left all the clothes I was going to get on the counter and walked away before I said or did anything I'd regret. I'm going to go back next weekend and make sure not to get the same lady as today. I'd really like to exchange the jeans but on the drive home I realized it was silly to want to return a few of the other items I'd bought 6 - 9+ months ago. It would be nice to have that money to spend but I suppose it isn't worth the hassle. I will try to consign them and get some money out of it.

And the brighter side of doing that is that is that someone else will get the chance to wear clothes that no longer fit me but are still nice. And I'll get a little money out of the deal. That's brighter than if it just got shipped back to the company and destroyed.

Fingers crossed {that I can find a new type of bra to wear. And hopefully find it without tears}.

my shoulder...

I've never had a problem with my left shoulder...until the last few months. I {unfortunately} think it is related to all the exercise that I've been doing. It first happened months {and months} ago doing a straight arm pull down with my personal trainer. It was a move we'd done plenty of times before but this time something tweaked. I, of course, ignored it for months until it got too unbearable this summer and went to a shoulder doctor. He recommended physical therapy, which I also ignored. Bad move.

Months went by, exercises got more extreme, barre3 {where you pull off a ballet barre for par of a class} became my obsession - and my poor shoulder just kept irritating me.

I finally hit my wall a few weeks ago and headed in to see my amazing physical therapist! I was secretly just glad that it wasn't for my back but turns out my shoulder isn't doing to good! After the first session she taped me up and sent me on my way...

TK taped up!

The reason I'm writing about this is to encourage people to take care of themselves. Don't wait for months to get something worked out if you know it isn't working well. Otherwise you'll end up spending your Friday afternoons doing this...

Getting hooked up to a steroid patch that has electrodes in it to push the steroids into my shoulder.

I now know that I need to take it super easy at barre3 and make a ton of modifications but I haven't been told to stop {so I'm not going to}! Yesterday I went to a barre3 class and just took it really slow and really focused on making my insides worked. I think what's been happening is I've been trying to go faster to theoretically get better results but I think going slower is going to work better for me. It helps my muscles fire correctly and make me really pay attention to what I am doing...which I need to do anyways!!!

Take care of yourself.

Fingers crossed {that this shoulder heals quickly}...

Saturday, November 10, 2012

me? inspirational??

I posted back in June about two of my inspirations and the very beginning of my journey {that I didn't know I was on} to be considered an inspiration myself. Back then, I didn't really see it or accept it or want it. But now, I believe it, accept it, and want to be an inspiration to others.

Years ago I was the lazy person who sat in front of the TV all afternoon/evening after work and a majority of the weekends. I ate almost all processed foods, fast foods, and drank SO MUCH DIET COKE. Like, 5 - 6 per DAY. No joke. I was 220 pounds, unhappy within my body, self-worth, appearance. You name it - I was probably unhappy with it.

Then, as you all know, I hit that tipping point, figured out I had PCOS and began my life change.

In the past few months I have had an almost constant feeling that I need to start doing more to spread my story. My PCOS story & my weight loss story. They really do go hand in hand. I don't want anything I say to seem like I am bragging or boasting, I really want it to feel like I am trying to inspire. Remember, I NEVER thought I could do this, and I have. And that, is amazing.

I have had a village of people supporting me but none as important as my husband. He really is a huge part of the key to my success. He's seen and heard all the tears, fears, triumphs, bad days, sweaty workouts and everything else that comes along with this journey. My favorite thing he tells me though, is that I am inspiring him!

Left ~ October 2011
Right ~ October 2012
85 pounds down between the two of us!!!
And it's not just my husband that I've heard from. It's doctors and friends and family and Facebook friends!!!
It's friends from middle school...
And friends from college...
And, would you know it, this friend has PCOS too!!! She's known for a long, long time but didn't know where to go or what to do or who to talk to. Now, we can have conversations and can support each other. She still lives in Spokane but it is do-able...
With all that being is the main reason I even started writing this post...
I have volunteered to be part of an AMAZING program called Power Up with PCOS. It is a nationwide {maybe even worldwide} company that was founded by a woman named Beth who has PCOS. She was tired of having no where to turn and not being able to find what she needed {support, answers, information} and so she started her own company. I've been following and gleaning knowledge from her website for months. It kind of reminds me of Sadie at barre3 who founded that company because she believed in that exercise style. I am addicted to barre3 and living with PCOS so I definitely see the connection in my heart :)
After my phone interview yesterday, I just did my first "volunteer training" today so it will be a bit before I know everything and it gets off the ground but I want to start spreading the word now. I don't even know how many people read this blog - or who you are if you do - but if you know someone in Portland, OR/Vancouver, WA with PCOS send them my way...big things are in the works!!!
I'll have more details in the weeks to come as I learn what my role will be. I have volunteered to be a Power Up meeting leader, to start a group in my region {because there isn't one}. It is my hope that this new journey will teach me more about this syndrome I live with every day, help me to meet people with PCOS, and help anyone who is just beginning this journey. I don't claim to know everything about PCOS but I want to. I want to figure out how to best live with this. And this is the next step for me. My friend K has taught me so much about PCOS. It's really because of her that I even went to get the tests as early as I did. I want to pay it forward!!!
Fingers crossed {that I can handle all this and help someone else some day}...

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

labeling & portioning!

Part of my success has really been watching how much food I put in my mouth {aka portion control}. Seems simple, right?!? Well, not for me. That's why I got to where I was. My husband is the same way and I am proud of how far we have come!

One simple thing I recently started doing is labeling and portioning the leftovers for lunch. Sometimes my husband {who leaves for work before I do} would accidentally take the smaller portion. While I was sometimes secretly happy that I got more food for lunch, I knew that wasn't what I needed {but don't let yourself be fooled, I still ate the bigger portion}!

To aide in this I've started to label the portions, that way my husband can't grab the wrong meal when he leaves at 5am!

My method is simple. Small square post-it notes and a pen. It isn't anything special but it is working to help us control our portions! And I'm proud of myself for not color coding the tupperware like the freak organizer in me really wanted to...

J = Jason and A = Annie. Trust me - this method is husband proof!!!

1 = 1 portion
1.5 = 1 and a half portions

My husband generally gets 1.5 portions because he is just overall a bigger eater and guy {and gets WAY more WW points than I do}. It took me until about, oh, last week to realize this. We were talking about a picnic lunch we'd been on a few months ago and how I'd packed him the same portions as me and it wasn't near enough for him. He said that sometimes he needs more than I do to function and it really got me thinking how true that statement was. I DON'T need a portion of a man because I am a woman. *insert lightbulb moment here*

For the last almost 9 years I've been serving up equal portions when I make food because I thought it wouldn't be "fair" if he got more food. All the while I was probably over-feeding both of us, myself in particular.

Fair isn't always equal - especially when it comes to portions between a husband and wife.

Fingers crossed {that I can keep up the portion control good thoughts}!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

the definitions of...

PCOS {Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome}
PCOD {Polycystic Ovarian Disorder}

One of the biggest struggles with PCOS is informing people what it is really about, if we even know ourselves. PCOS is a crazy web of various symptoms that can seem like "normal" symptoms but when added together, they can equal PCOS.

SYMPTOMS OF PCOS            * = symptoms I have
  • Infertility*
  • Infrequent, absent and/or irregular menstrual periods*
  • Hirsutism {increased hair growth on the face*, chest, stomach*, back, thumbs, or toes*}*
  • Cysts on the ovaries*
  • Acne, oily skin, or dandruff*
  • Weight gain or obesity, usually with extra weight around the waist*
  • Male pattern baldness or thinning hair
  • Patches of skin on the neck, arms, breasts, or thighs that are think and dark brown/black*
  • Skin tags - excess flaps of skin in the armpits or neck*
  • Pelvic pain
  • Anxiety or depression*
  • Sleep apnea
Growing up, almost all of the symptoms I had were considered "normal". What teenager doesn't get oily skin? Gain weight? Is depressed? The problem is my family, myself, and my doctors did not know that we are looking for anything. So we carried on. We didn't know.

Fast forward.

Part of my goal of writing this blog is to inform others. That's also why I like talking about it. I honestly feel that the more people I inform of PCOS and it's symptoms - the more people I can help. If I write or talk to 5 people and they heard of the symptoms and they think of someone in their lives that could be affected by PCOS and they talk to them - then I have helped.

Fingers crossed {that I can do a good job informing and educating others}

Sunday, November 4, 2012

my favortie coat {is mine again}...

For me, clothes have been a constant - life long battle. There are few pieces of clothes I've ever loved. There are many more than I have hated. There's some I bought and never wore. In between have been the ones I've been wearing for years. Simple, hiding, solid colored clothes.

But this post is about one coat in particular and our journey together.

Our {the coat and I's} journey started in college - maybe 2003/2004. Definitely by the fall of 2004 we were a pair because there is this awesome proof...

Burton Women's Size M.
Apple Cup 2004. Cheeseburger apparently mandatory.
For years it was the only coat I ever had. And then I started gaining weight and I started needing new coats...
Precision Mountainware Men's Size M.

North Face Women's Size L.
The Black North Face had become my coat but my beloved Burton always sat in the back of my closet. Until one day...
I gave my Burton coat to one of my best friends.
Sabrina in the Burton coat. My in my NF coat.
I didn't believe that I'd ever wear it again but I remember saying as I handed it over "If I ever get back down to that size - I might have to ask for it back". I'm sure inside I rolled my eyes, and she did too. She's a size tiny and I was a size not tiny. I wanted to have to ask for my coat back but I didn't think I would have too...
But then, this new life of mine started. The inches melted off, the weight went down and my desire to have my beloved coat back grew big enough that I worked up the courage to ask for my coat back. It was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. I wrote this sappy email about how much this coat meant to me. I stated that it was something from my past that I never thought I would accomplish in my future. It brings back memories for me that are wonderful. This coat truly is my favorite coat and thanks to the kindess of one of my best friends - it is mine again.

It may be a little tight in the chest and I probably couldn't fit a sweatshirt under it like I used to be able too but I can wear it.
Fingers crossed {that one day it might be a bit too big}...

Friday, November 2, 2012

a little zip{loc}...

We don't have very much processed food around here anymore {I bought these for a party} but when we do, this is what happens. We've been portioning out our foods into Ziploc snack sized baggies. This helps us to not just continuously munch and to be very aware of what, and how much, we are putting in our mouths.

Use snack size Ziploc baggies to portion out processed foods.

Then put the portioned food back into the original container.

It's the simple things that have been helping us on our food journey. I hope this little tip helps you too!!

Fingers crossed {that maybe this is the last processed chip in our house in a long time}...

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

don't buy....

...the kind of candy you like. So I didn't. I bought 4 kinds of candy - 3 of which I do not like. The one I do like doesn't have chocolate in it. I might be one of the few women ever who don't like chocolate. Well, I only like it if it is paired with peanut butter :)

Fingers crossed {that I don't eat all of the candy I like}...

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

It's HERE!!!!

I have reached the 50 pound weight loss milestone! I feel shocked, amazed, thankful, grateful, gracious and probably lots of other adjectives that I can't think of right now... I almost jumped up and down on the scale I was so happy but then I realized it was glass! I definitely shed a tear or two ;-)

I really can't quite describe what this means to me. The last 10 pounds have been a struggle to get off. They didn't melt off like the first 40. I know...rough...but it's true. But, I feel proudest about these 10 pounds. I cheated and I stumbled but I obviously worked my ass off too.

I know the person on the left was me but I don't feel like I know her anymore. But at the same time part of me is so afraid I'll slip back into all of that. But the other part of me knows how happy and healthy I am now. I'm one year into this journey, as of yesterday. My "tipping point" was at a Halloween party on 10/29/11 when two of my friends inadvertently shoved my weight in my face. I had been ignoring how overweight I was and was spiraling out of control.

That day changed it all. I chose my hard...I chose the road less traveled. The path my doctors are even shocked I took. I chose to figure it out now - instead of later.

I choose health. That's my hard.

Fingers crossed {but maybe not because this life of mine is changing}...

And I couldn't be happier!!!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

this week i've fallen... every bandwagon I've been on for the past {almost} year. And I can't seem to get back on.

I can see when it started. As weird as it is, it was right around the time of the barre3 challenge. I was worried about this before I went in, that this would happen. It was too much info and trying to change too much at once. I've gotten here, to where I am now, by taking it slow and making small, conscious decisions. And I tried to change that and now I am just off.

Like, I've been sneaking spoon fulls of brown sugar - off. Eating Chex cereal dry, out of the box, by the handfuls. Last night I had baked peaches with ice cream AND popcorn. UG.

When I signed up for the challenge I figured it was just about exercising and a bit more mybarre3. Well, it was A LOT about food. Food is my nemesis. It is my weakness. It is my devil. My brain does not do well with being told "what to eat". Now, I have to say...this isn't wasn't the plan was intended to do and I know that...but this is how MY brain took it. It went into OVERDRIVE and I made lists and bought all this stuff I'd never even heard of. And then I froze. I stopped. I stopped paying attention to myself. I stopped exercising. I stopped doing my mybarre3 workouts. I stopped caring - I guess.

This weekend I haven't really been tempted to give up, but I have temporarily given up on myself. I hope this is my breakthrough. I feel like utter shit right now. I know the decisions I have made the past few days are going to show up on that scale. And then I think I am going to feel worse. new plan is to get back on my old plan. Back to doing what I had been doing to lose 49.2 pounds in 40something weeks. I'm going to try to make each of the recipies for the mybarre3 challenge in the month of October. I'm going to keep their guide and start learning more about reading labels. I'm going to invest in more whole foods than I have already been doing.
I am going to let this setback week stregthen me.
***1 hour later***

When I am at home I STRUGGLE to make myself exercise. I find everything else in the world to do - except exercise. It's not even working out at home - it's working out by myself. There is a VERY good reason I pay people a crazy amount of money to make me workout. I am totally a "village" type of person. I need people to know what I am doing, I need attention, I need to feel like I am in a place where people are watching me so I better do my best.

That's one of the reasons I fell off the wagon. I tried to workout at home. I knew it wasn't going to work, it never has. I even posted on Facebook that it wasn't working... And that's how you know something is real...if it's on Facebook ;-)

At this stage in my weight loss/change/game I NEED my trainer, I need my barre3 studio, I need my newest place {FloresFitness} and their TRX classes. While I don't need/want to spend a lot {really, a LOT} on it, I HAVE to. It's just how I am and I need to accept that. Maybe someday it will change but for now - I need my people!!!

Back to classes I go. Wallet in hand.

Fingers crossed.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

day three ~ b3 challenge

Day three started off with a 10 minute routine - again, before the shower. After the routine, and again, before the shower I stepped on the scale and saw...


I almost jumped for joy but I realized I was standing on glass ;-)

My original goal {that, one year ago, I NEVER thought I'd make} was 170 pounds and I think it is safe to say I am almost there!!! Though, since I made this goal it has 'changed' to 160. So 10.8 pounds to go :) Hopefully by Christmas-ish. For my 'milestone' present I have decided to get myself something called a FitBit. It's like a pedometer on steroids...more on it later!!!

For the second part of the mybarre3 challenge we needed to workout {brisk walk, jog, hike} for 30 minutes. I knew I needed to get myself to the gym. I wouldn't have put in an awesome effort if I'd gone home. I really do need to be around others!! I went to the gym and did 10 minutes on the stair stepper at Level 5, ran/walked for 20 minutes. It would say it was about 40 run/60 walk. I walked at speed 3.4 and ran at speed 4.3!!!! I felt like I could have gone longer but I wanted to make sure that I saved my back because it has definitely been tight this week!!!

This new life of mine is pretty sweet. I think the weight loss, in a way, makes up for all that time we spent trying to get pregnant. It makes it tolerable.

Fingers crossed.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

day two ~ b3 challenge

Day Two ~ my first day of working out at home. And now I know there is a reason I pay good money to have other people make me workout. I SUCK at working out on my own. It look me over an hour to do the 30 minute one because I kept getting distracted or I was trying to cook dinner. Why I thought I could exercise and cook is beyond me!! It is really nice to have the "secret Facebook group" to check in with. Very motivational

day two ~ 10 min. turbo twist before shower {with a cat watcher that is probably currently plotting my demise}

a challenge dinner. chicken, asparagus, sun dried tomatoes, onion, garlic {didn't do the mushrooms}. I added pasta with some olive oil and garlic drizzled on it.

It will be interesting to see how my body does with doing barre3 6 days in a row!!

Monday, September 24, 2012

day one ~ b3 challenge

I was chosen to participate in the barre3 ~ 28 to Great Challenge and it's so amazingly cool!!! It is 28 days of mybarre3 {the online classes} workouts, food tips, and a "secret Facebook group" where we all support each other!!! Today was the first day...and I can tell I will be sore!

Today we were supposed to a 40 minute mybarre3 of my favorite instructors was teaching that afternoon and she only teaches in the afternoons once or twice a month so I chose to go to a class instead :-)

Here goes nothing!!!

Fingers crossed {that I can make it through the whole 28 days}!!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

major break through... at Barre3 I looked in the mirror {while I was super sweaty and focusing on engaging my abs while pulling my legs up one at a time during a push-up series} and unconsciously thought...

i am beautiful

That, my friends, was an earth shattering moment in my life. I don't know if I've ever thought this. I've tried to convince myself of it - only to often not believe it. But now I know...

i am beautiful {like me}

Thursday, September 13, 2012

who would YOU be at barre3???

Here's someone's take on who comes to barre classes :)

I'm happy that I was #13. I'm happy I started Barre3. I'm happy I'm heading towards #14.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

back to school...and out of synch!!!

Well, it's back to work for me... I love teaching but man, being a special education teacher can be a draining job!!!

I am definitely trying to be a creature of habit this year and so far it is kind of working...I really need to stop working 10 plus hour days so I can get to Barre3!!!
~creating habits at home~
~ making my bed every morning. I have never, ever, ever in my life done this. It isn't very pretty but it is done and tidy looking. I do it while brushing my teeth so many that is why it is messy ;-)
~ cleaning up my stuff in the bathroom before I leave
~ making my lunches at home the night before
I've been documenting my lunches on my Instagram Account. You can find me under the hashtag #annieslunchbox
first day of school!

~food management. Last night when I was making dinner I was triple-tasking. Making dinner, packing my lunch for the next day & cutting veggies for the next day's dinner!

Since I just started services two days ago I have yet to really go into a routine at school...we'll get there!!

My biggest goal is to figure out how to schedule and plan exercise! One of the nice things about Barre3 is that you can sign up online ahead of time and if you don't go/don't cancel you still get charged - which is really motivating to go!!! They have 4:15 times and 5:30 times most days which will eventually work for me (someday) when my schedule simmers down!! I've also been doing some mybarre3 and I am doing the "28 to Great mybarre3 challenge" starting next week!!!

I'm so excited to get started and see what it is all about!!!

If you're a do you fit exercise in your schedule?!?!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

my month of Barre3!

Thanks to the generosity of the barre3 community I was able to get an unlimited month at barre3 for just $99. See, once in a while it pays to be a teacher!

In the month of August I went to barre3 16 times out of 31 days!!! This was a big time commitment and health commitment and I am so thankful that I made it. Before I started my month I was able to do 3, 30 second plank holds with my personal trainer. AFTER one month of barre3 I was able to do three, one minute planks!!!! Amazing progress I tell you.

Part of sharing my story was sharing it with the staff of barre3. I felt a strong pull to let them know what they really meant to me. I was greeted back with loving and caring smiles and questions when I came back the weekend after I had shared my story with them. What had happened is I had let Carrie know and she has asked if I would mind if she shared and of course I said she was more than welcome too! If I can help one person go to the doctor or learn and share about PCOS I feel that I will have made a difference! I was honored and moved that Carrie and Sadie felt compeled to share my story further...on Facebook ;-)

To me this means even more people hearing about and learning about PCOS. It means more people in my village. It means that others can see that I am making positive changes. It makes me happy, proud, slightly shy, and overall excited!!!

And now I'm looking forward to my next venture with barre3...

I have no clue what the "28 to Great" means but I am excited to find out!!! I'll keep you all updated on here!
Fingers crossed!!!

Monday, September 3, 2012

after the workout...

Not that I was ever flexible before... but with all this new working out I've been doing my body is certainly getting tighter and tighter both in size and in flexibility. And while barre3 is AMAZING it certainly makes my muscles break down and build back up - which is the point it is just new to me! With the osteoarthritis I really do take care of my back but slowly but surely other parts of my body are starting to feel some strain. Here is how I take care of all my problem areas...

Giant Ice Pack...

a TENS unit. It provides shock to the muscles in my back to transfer and numb pain.

A Chinese pain relief liquid. It's from my accupuncturist and it's amazing.

A lumbar traction device. I had it for 3 months but insurence wouldn't cover it and they are $pendy!! Someday.

Little {walkable} ice pack.
I ice my toes {and back and knee} every night.
Foam Rolling.
{please ignore the mismatched comfies}
{My roller is from Target}
Foam rolling really helps to massage the muscles after a hard day. It is still sometimes quite the workout in itself because you have to move yourself around. You can use a foam roller so many ways! Most rollers will come with instructions on how to use them. I just do whatever feels good!