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.
When we talk about eating for healing, the main thing we must begin to focus on is gut health. This form of living can be applied to anyone but i am specifically focusing on my PCOS-ers because it is SO SO important to have a healthy gut in order to have healthy and balanced hormones.
Gut health research, in relation to hormonal balance, is still on the rise. But it makes sense that let’s say you eat dairy and it causes bloating and discomfort. That in turn is causing a negative and inflammatory response in the body which in turn causes the imbalance in the body’s hormones. Gut health is one of the most overlooked elements of hormonal imbalance.
For me and my experience, gut health can be determined by feel. How do I feel when i eat certain food items? Do I feel sluggish, energized, bloated, normal, gassy, skin full of acne or eczema?…This is where the term “listen to your body” comes in. It sounds silly but it is very true! No one knows you like you. No diet can tell you how you feel. This is why I am not going to claim being on a specific named diet because I can pull foods from each food group and feel fine but there are certain foods that i just know will trigger sluggish feelings, cause me to be bloated and leave me with a face full of acne.
Heres some questions to ask yourself to determine the health of your gut:
- After you eat, are you feeling bloated, crampy and/or gassy
- Is your energy constantly low despite the amount of sleep you may get
- Do you have acne or dry skin (i.e. eczema)
Consider looking into your diet if you have answered yes to any of these questions.
There are certain foods that make these symptoms worse and it is not the same for everyone. A few common ones are (not an inclusive list)
If you are wanting to make changes but find it difficult, the most important thing to remember, if you don’t like it then don’t do it and if it doesn’t make you feel good then don’t do it! Let’s say you love ice cream but it makes you feel horrible. Instead of saying i can’t have ice cream, switch your wording to saying, ice cream does not make me feel good! Switching your mindset will make a huge difference in the end, especially for your mental health! If you want to try this but have no idea where to start, consider trying Whole 30 with (the most important part) the reintroduction phase. I do not have plans for a whole 30 soon but I have done it before which is why I am an advocate for this. The reintroduction phase allows you to slowly add food back in and you can tell if your body reacts poorly or if your body does fine, and from there you will know what food your body responds to best and which is best for you and your long term healing.
Healing with food begins with being in tuned to our bodies. After all, this is about holistic living.
Stay happy and healthy 🙂
PCOS….the inspiration to this blog. Let’s talk about it. Why is it such a big deal? Well hopefully if you are unfamiliar you have checked out the info page that gives a simple and brief explanation of what it is all about. I also gave a wonderful story of what led up to me realizing I even have PCOS on my about me page. Fast forward to now…Cue the sad violin song..I do not have a period, I can’t lose weight, and I got hair growing in places i rather it not be showing up to! I decided to stop my birth control because some day I want to be able to have some beautiful babies. I stopped using my birth control summer 2016 and since then I have had one period on my own. Oh man and at that one time that I did, I was sooooooo excited to get my period. I just knew that it was the start of normalcy for me. It came, it went, and never came back again without the help of medication. I was prescribed progesterone (provera) one time, got my period maybe 7 days after finishing the 10 day pill and that was that. Just a few months ago, my doctor gave me the choice of either restarting my birth control (refusing refusing refusing!!!) or starting metformin. Metformin is typically for diabetics and I questioned my doctor because why would I take metformin if I have a perfectly normal A1C? Due to the capability of PCOS causing insulin resistance, metformin is the so called magical drug. It magically give you a stomach ache. Flat out. No thanks! So that leaves me with…diet and supplements! Some diets I have tried are paleo, keto, high carb, low carb, vegan…you name it. The problem with trying is it was only a try. Nothing worked because I didn’t stick to anything. It is known that because of (heres that work again) Insulin resistance that PCOS causes, anything that has high amounts of carbs are not good for the treatment of PCOS which is why keto checks out to be one of the best diet cures. I personally am not interested in keto but I highly encourage you to try if that is what works for you. My favorite diet of them all was paleo. I enjoyed all the food and didn’t feel as restricted as other diets, while still focusing on whole food and lower carbs. The hope is to eventually adapt paleo-ish lifestyle…stay tuned in future blogs for progress on this…i hope :-). In addition to trialing diets, I have tried certain supplements known to specifically help women with PCOS. Ovasitol and Maca powder are two that I tried. Ovasitol…throw it in the trash. My goodness, stomach ache was way worse than the metformin. Curled over on my couch type of stomach pain. I spent a lot of money on that so i was pretty bummed I couldn’t give it a fair go. Maca powder, funny thing is when I took maca powder for about a month is the one time I got my period. I ran out and never renewed my supply. I plan to repurchase that and continue it again. The ultimate and biggest issue in the end, I cannot have kids without medical help if I do not find a way to solve this soon. Infertility is the biggest issue most women with PCOS have. The chances of becoming pregnant without help is low and the chance of miscarriage after conceiving is very high. My biological clock is tick tick ticking away so I would love to resolve this, holistically!