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}...