I am blown away first off that I was even able to stick to something for 2 weeks let alone 30 days! This month has not been easy by any means and I am super proud of myself.
Why: Doing a whole 30 seems crazy. And it is. Seems restrictive…and it is. Ive told myself since competing several years ago that I would not go back to anything restrictive. But this was a little bit different…hear me out. Here’s a short background….I decided to stop my birth control a few years ago and after that is when i started to notice my PCOS symptoms. After being throughly checked by my physician with lab draws and an ultrasound, it was confirmed that that was the problem. I was prescribed multiple medications and they just made me feel like crap. So I needed to take it a step further. I had started doing extensive research and saw things like keto and paleo diets helping to lessen and even resolve PCOS. I had done whole 30 a couple of times in the past and loved the results and how I felt but this time, round 3, my life depended on it. Whole 30 is extremely similar to paleo except its more strict. Now only strict for 30 days as you start to reintroduce foods after and find your food freedom after the 30 days is complete. So being strict for 30 days, I could mentally get past that. My main motivation was my health and wellness. At the age of 30, not having a regular period, having acne on my face (embarrassing), having eczema on my body, gaining weight and unable to lose weight despite how much i worked out and how much i tried to change my eating habits…..all this was nearly depressing. So knowing what i knew about whole 30 and its benefits, I had to dive in and try it again.
What whole 30 was like: Uh well. It was hard. Every day was tough. There wasn’t a day that went by that I didn’t think about the desert I was missing. Or for goodness sake, the ease of eating out. Like wow you literally have to cook every day. Each day was a challenge, but that is what makes finishing that much sweeter. Again, my motivation being that I could solve my PCOS symptoms and more, I knew I just had to push through and there was no way around it. And Also, I had started building a following on my instagram which forced me to stay consistent with my meals each day. I found a way to make it fun though. On previous rounds of whole 30, I thought my meals had to be boring with just meat and veggies and a fat, but this time I got creative and made something new each week which kept the interest and fun going.
The benefits: SO MANY!!! By no means is everything just perfect with me and my body yet because in the grand scheme of things, 30 days isn’t really that long when we talk about the issues that I do have. The acne on my face has cleared up! The eczema on my skin is almost gone! I have FINALLY lost weight! Losing weight with PCOS seems nearly impossible until you actually figure out what you are supposed to do. I can sleep longer than four hours at a time! And I work night shift and so this is usually a huge problem! My season allergies have been extremely minimal. Practically absent. And they are usually TERRIBLE!!!! I wake up for 5am workouts! Uh what. Yea. I have done a 5am work out quite a few times in this past month. Im crazy I know. Lastly, I saved a ton of money NOT eating out! I didnt even realize but I have significantly more money with just grocery shopping and eating what I made from home. Its quite amazing actually.
The downfalls: Because its not all good and I definitely like to keep it real! You have to meal prep every day. Although I enjoy cooking and making new recipes, seriously cooking every day can be a drag especially when your tired, in between shifts, or just busy. Its hard! You have cravings and you fight the cravings every single day and nothing really helps except just getting over it. The first week I got sugar withdrawal headaches but that soon resolved. I felt nauseous toward the end and I concluded that I believe it was my hormones trying to regulate themselves just like when you become pregnant and you have a fluctuation of hormones in your body and in turn causes morning sickness, it was the same feeling. So much that I even took a pregnancy test knowing I wasn’t pregnant. Hahaaa but it was bad!
Ultimately, I am super excited with my progress. It makes me want to continue this lifestyle. Life after whole 30 encourages a reintroduction of all food groups and finding food freedom. I do not plan to do a reintroduction as i know how most foods make me feel, but I will be on the quest for food freedom because I know it will be much more possible to stick to this lifestyle if I am kind with myself and allow myself some choices in moderation.
Here is a photo of my progress
I FEEL SO GREAT!
Seriously, physically and mentally i am feeling stronger and better each day. So i did a plan of care about a month ago and there i stated that i was giving myself 3 months to have a normal menstrual period, clearer skin, and weight loss. I am happy to say in 1 month i have noticed improvements in all 3 areas….yes after not having a period since July 2017 i finally started my period!!! My skin although still a work in progress is so much better. As far as my weight goes, i lost my scale due to an upstairs bathroom flood into my apartment so I’m not sure number wise if I’ve lost weight but my clothes fit differently!
So yay i finally got my period! Funny story, i went to vitamin shop to restock my maca powder and the lady working there asks me “have you seen results yet?” Meaning have i gotten a period yet lol. I laughed and said not yet but i am hopeful and then boom. It’s here just 2 days later! I think my supplements combined with my improved diet, sleep, and stress control all had a factor in this. I hope to continue this progress with my hormonal balance!
My skin is visibly clearer. I was getting breakouts with huge areas of acne. It’s not 100% but it’s so much better than what it was! A great part of it i believe is the collagen peptides i have started using but again, the improved lifestyle with every area is what i think they key is. It can’t just be, i take collagen peptides but don’t fix anything else that could contribute to poor skin like a horrible diet and not enough water. It all works together.
The weight loss speaks for itself. Again. I have no clue how much i have lost but if i can visibly see in my clothes AND my very critical mother (who’s Mom isn’t lol) even says i am as well then that is all the confirmation that i need! So although before intentionally making an effort to balance my hormones, i was working out, i still needed to show improvement. Of course without the consistency in my workouts and my diet, i wasn’t going to see any change. And the diet specifically being paleo based or like i like to call it, paleo-ish. I told myself i wouldn’t limit myself on food. If i wanted it then i would have it and not feel guilty about it. But at the same time, that didn’t mean i was going to go ham on pizza every night because that is what i wanted to do. No. I made the focus my health instead of the focus being how i looked and that was a major game changer for me!
If i can have a take away for how my last month has been and why it’s been so good it would be shift your focus! Make your focus about your health and not what you wish to see and everything else will start to fall into place! This is what i plan to continue to do for myself
Last week was a struggle. I went back to work after being off for two lovely weeks. I was extremely tired every day, I was moody every day, I was hating waking up going to work, I wasn’t interested in much interaction with anyone….it was rough.
I couldn’t necessarily pin point one specific reason why this was happening. I could think of the many small stressors I was personally dealing with but its atypical for me to be mentally affected by that. Typically, I can handle stress and not let it effect me in my day to day.
Through healing my PCOS, I have created a plan that addresses issues holistically and that most definitely includes my mental well being as well. With that said, it is important that i recognize this was a low point in this past week, but also, what did I do to over come it? There were a few things that I made sure to remain constant since I have realized, I do not have control over everything.
- Sleep. Super important for me. As most people know, my job requires me to rotate day and night every six weeks. It is very hard to get a sufficient amount of sleep when you are on a rotating schedule. This was my first week on day shift, as I had just come off of 6 weeks of working nights. So this past week I set a bed time. I said 10:30 pm I am shutting my phone off, turning out the lights, and closing my eyes. No further activity after 10:30pm. With a 5:30 am wake up time, that gave me a good 7 hours of sleep, which for me is fantastic. In order to relax and settle at night, because this tends to be my issue, I got an essential oils diffuser. Ahhh so amazing and relaxing
- Next thing was my healthy meal planning. Each night after work, before going to bed, I prepared for work for the next day with my meals. If I didn’t do it the night before, It possibly wasn’t going to happen at all and I’d end up eating something not so tasty and beneficial from the cafe. This took much motivation because after being on my feet for 13 hours, the last thing I wanted to do was stand in my kitchen and put together a meal. But it was super important that I made this a priority.
- Staying organized with my planner. My mind tends to wander on the many things that I have going on or that I am thinking about but with my planner I can just stop and realize what is most important for that moment, and sometimes it is absolutely nothing at all, but my mind tends to worry when I don’t have to.
- Lastly, I took my supplements every day. I am usually really bad with taking my supplements daily, but I have made a conscious decision to make this apart of my daily routine so I found a system that has helped me to take them every day.
I think an important take away for anyone but especially for myself is that, I won’t always feel 100% happy and energized, and I will not always have control of my surroundings, but I can have control of my self environment and so I must take advantage of that when I am most vulnerable. Controlling the amount of sleep I get, the type of food I eat, and my daily organization allowed me to keep moving forward in my healing. And more importantly over any of that, putting my health (self) first. It is okay to be selfish.
That moment when you land back in Michigan and realize you are no longer in 80 degree and sunny weather and it’s time to get ready for the work week…sigh. Ah such a sad moment! I had 9 beautiful days in sunshine and warm weather but as the good saying goes, all good things must come to an end.
Being back from vacation isn’t all bad of course. I can finally get some grocery shopping done, cook in my own kitchen, and not live out of a suitcase anymore. Top priority, grocery shopping and cooking a good healthy meal because my goodness, how much crap did I intake in 9 days. Don’t get me wrong…I have no regrets but there is nothing like the feeling you get after being able to eat your own food from your own kitchen with your own wholesome ingredients.
Today I spent a good portion of my day jumping right back into my routine and that started with grocery shopping and updating my supplement supply. Lucky for you (wink wink), I vlogged a great portion of my grocery shopping. How fun! You can check it out right here!
There are a few things that are odd, for example, I typically do not go to three stores for shopping but I was gone for 9 days and I needed to get a lot of things. Also, I totally skipped filming in Meijer because what I got in there was unimportant things like Tupperware and an essential oil diffuser (because sleep goals).
The RN in me thought it would be fun to put my goals into a nursing care plan and share it with you guys so here we go…
Assessment: 29 Year old Female, without a period for 7 months now. Unable to lose weight and constant acne break outs.
Diagnosis: Polycystic ovarian Syndrome
Date: February 15, 2018
Plan/Goals: After 3 months of consistent interventions, Felicia will be able to demonstrate success by having a normal menstrual cycle, clearer skin, and weight loss
- Will eat foods that are best for her body including mostly plants (fruits/vegetables), Lean and grass fed protein and healthy fats. Decreasing the intake of sugar and being mindful of portion control while continuing the goal of not stressing when the diet isn’t perfect. It is food.
- Will exercise with a goal of 3-4 days a week at Orange Theory Fitness and with self created circuit workouts including a great mix of cardio and weight training
- Finding the supplements that will best help with the success of accomplishing the stated goal. Supplements that support balanced hormones, healthy gut, increased immunity, improved skin, and maximum energy.
- Daily skin care: wash face twice daily and use Mia for exfoliating. (I do still need to find a hydration/moisturizer. I prefer something natural. But that is TBD.)
- Keep a journal (or blog) of progress and set backs.
- Realize she will not be perfect in this journey and know that it is okay to learn along the way
- Be sure to have outlets for life stressors (such as work)
- Do yoga at least once a week
- Embrace all feelings and know that it is perfectly normal to be happy, excited, sad, mad, etc
- Use those around you to keep your uplifted and supported
- Set daily positivity goals and give yourself positive affirmations each day
- Get sufficient amount of sleep each day… 7 hours at least. (This is a joke since i rotate day/night 12 hour shifts every 6 weeks)
Now that I’ve told you, we can keep each other accountable on this wonderful journey. I will share what is working, what isn’t working and the progress I am making.