Putting it All Together-hidden post from July 1, 2013

Well for the first time since I got back from H3 I had started gaining weight. Since I got back home, I had gone down another 6 pounds which may not seem like much, but I had been consistent with it.  Well, the past few weeks I became a little discouraged. I think that I was so excited to write a testimonial for them and was expecting to see it. It’s been almost 2 months and I still haven’t seen it anywhere.  The person who said she was going to contact me never did, and I felt a little bad about the work I put in writing it.  I fell really hard back into a lot of old habits. I started feeling like I couldn’t come out of it.  I gained about 10 pounds.  I began feeling hopeless.  On Saturday evening I was visiting with my oldest sister and niece, and while over there, I just lost it and started crying. I cried because it sucks that I have to put in so much work. I cried because I have so far to go, and I can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I cried because no matter what, there is no one else who can do this for me; it’s something that I have to do for myself.  I know that it’s not just me and other people have the same struggle, but in that moment it was just about me and my struggle.  I felt so overwhelmed.  I took out some of my literature from H3 and I began making notes.  I felt a little bit better.
I have decided to pick myself up and to make some small changes along the way.  I know it is not going to be easy, but I really want to be successful. I have joined in on the 30 day Green Smoothie challenge.  I have been in a BL weight loss challenge on Sparkpeople.  This week I posted a small loss instead of the gains I had posted for the past 2 weeks.  I have also joined in on an abs challenge on sparkpeople.  I look forward to success in all of my challenges.
If there is anyone else out there reading this, just know that it can be done.  There is nothing easy about it, but I believe in the end I will feel so accomplished. I have to celebrate the victories all along the way.  Keep up the fight.
Until next time,
It’s Me  

Hope for a Baby-hidden post from a June 20, 2013

Well, I’ll start off by saying that I have a new OB/GYN who happens to be a male. It’s a shame that he seems to care more about me and my desire to conceive than my female doctors. I hadn’t been sharing with anyone that I dreaded going to my doctors because they seemed to only look at me as a morbidly obese woman. I already know my weight and the fact that I am morbidly obese. They act as though I am the largest woman ever to attempt to have a baby. Well there are women out there who happen to be a lot larger than I am who have had no issues with having a baby.  My new doctor did not even mention my size. He just started talking to me about everything he could do to help me on my quest to conceive. I really appreciated his interaction with me, and it caused me to feel a little weepy. I feel like he is the first doctor to give me any hope.  He asked me if anyone had ever checked my tubes for blockage. No one has ever checked them. He needs me to come into the hospital for a procedure where they will check for blockage. He said that if there is blockage, everything such as the clomid has been a waste of time.  I look forward to the next step.

I will end this on a sad note. One of my college acquaintances who also has PCOS had recently announced her pregnancy on Facebook.  I was so excited for her and her husband especially knowing and understanding the struggle. I found out today that her pregnancy is no more. My heart really aches for them. I pray that they are able to get through this very difficult time and that they are blessed in the near future with a baby.  My prayers are with them.

Until next time,

It’s Me

My Experience at Hilton Head Health-hidden file from June 13, 2013

I have been overweight since I was a child.  I can remember on the first day of fourth grade telling a friend that I needed to go on a diet.  Looking back on it, it seemed like I was so old at the time, but was merely a young child.  As I got older, my weight problems have only increased.  Sure there were a few times where I was actually successful at weight loss, but the success was short lived.
I love watching weight loss shows because I enjoy hearing people’s stories and seeing their transformations at the end of their journey.  About two years ago, a show called “Heavy” came on, so I just had to watch it.  I enjoyed the show, and being from South Carolina, I was surprised to hear that the place on the show was located there.  I did my research and figured I would not be able to go there because it was not in my budget.  My husband said that he could send me to Hilton Head Health www.hhhealth.com or to one of the Biggest Loser locations.  I was interested, but I did not want to go because I felt it would be a waste of money since I was not mentally ready.  In those two years, I have auditioned for the biggest loser, done weight loss plans, and imagined myself losing weight, all without success. 
This year in January, I began working out in my home gym.  I overdid it and injured myself.  I was in and out of my various doctors’ offices and just still did not feel well.  I got to the point where I began to feel helpless and hopeless, and I felt like I really needed a new start.  I looked at H3 again and told my husband that I wanted to go because I needed somewhere that I only had to focus on myself.  H3 seemed like the most attractive place, and besides, I had pictured myself there so many times.  My husband and I put a plan in motion to get me to H3.  When I spoke with Michele Musulin and she was so friendly and encouraging, it made me feel like I would be right at home at H3. 
When it was time to go, I was excited, but nervous because three weeks seemed like a long time to be away from home.    Since Michele had already sent me the schedule for the week, I had gone over it.  I knew I wanted to try kayaking and I wanted to sign up for the hands-on cooking demonstrations.
During my first week, I tried the Shelter Cove kayaking, and I absolutely loved it!!! It was much easier than I thought it would be and so much fun.  It was so much fun that my cell phone decided to stay permanently on the adventure.  Kayaking was something I would have never felt comfortable attempting before my journey at H3.  Now I know it’s something I would try away from H3.  While there I also encouraged other guests to sign up for it. 
While at H3 I attended most of the available lectures as well as the hands-on cooking demonstrations.  I tried most of the workout classes.  There was such a wide variety of workouts; there is something for everyone.  Even when the classes seemed too difficult, I just wanted to push myself.  At the end of each class, I was always glad that I had pushed forward to completion. 
I am a person who loves good tasting food, so that was one of the more enjoyable experiences at H3.  They seemed to take pride in the flavor and variety of food offered.  Another thing I enjoyed was meeting all the great new people.  My favorite workout was probably Wii Dance because you get a workout that is just a lot of fun.  I also enjoyed the sunrise beach walks, water fitness classes, drums alive (really awesome class), kayaking, salsa dancing (I was pretty good.), cardio boxing (Thanks to Michael for encouraging me to try it.), and resistance band training.
Some of the most valuable things for me were the hands-on cooking demonstrations.  I attended the Grilling, Southern Comfort, and Desserts demos.  I love to cook and bake.  I especially love baking for others. It would be nice to have some ideas that I’ve tried that aren’t a caloric nightmare.  The classes that I took gave me some fresh new and healthy ideas to take home with me.  I also gained valuable information from the cooking demos, especially the pizza class with Chef Karla.  She provided lots of ideas. 
When I attended the Putting It All Together class at H3 on the Friday before my departure, I left the class in tears, happy tears of course.  I had been struggling with my triglycerides for a few years partly due to my insulin resistance.  This was one of the numbers that I was warned would probably increase before it decreased.  I was shocked to see that mine dropped a little over 50%; I was down 14 pounds and a little over 7 inches, and muscles that I had not seen in years were making an appearance. I felt so blessed in that moment just thinking about what a wonderful experience I had at H3.
When I arrived at H3, I met many great people, some with extended stays and others with short-term stays.  There were so many return visitors who talked about how wonderful their previous H3 experiences had been. I originally wished that I would never have to return to H3, but not long into my stay, I realized that it would actually be a great place to return for a boost from time to time.  On the day of my departure, as I sat in my car in the parking lot of the main building preparing to go home, I thought about how my stay at H3 seemed like a once in a lifetime experience because unlike some people, I don’t know if I’ll get to return.  I felt bad for the people who will never get to experience H3 as I did, but I also felt blessed for the opportunity.  I thought about all the changes, and I felt so grateful to all of the people that I met.  All the staff was so welcoming and just seemed to care about everyone’s well-being.
Since I’ve been home I’ve made the pesto pizza, stuffed turkey burgers, super soft chocolate cake with oreo cream filling, loaded baked potato salad, and my own version of the Andouille sausage.  I have been working out and tracking my food.  I keep thinking about the lectures I attended at H3 such as Mindful Eating, Nutrition for Health, and Goal Setting just to name a few and incorporating some of the things I learned in them.  I’m not saying that life is perfect since I got back home. I am still working 9 hour days during the week, but now I find time to work out. I try to make most of my meals healthy.  I think I will always hear the “Monkey Chatter” that Lisette  Cifaldi speaks of, but I pray that with the changes I am making, the “Monkey Chatter” will quiet down. 
They asked me to write a testimonial which I submitted about a month ago, but it hasn’t been posted yet. People wanted to know about my experience, so I am posting what I submitted to them.

Edit from August 2019-My testimonial has of course been submitted since this post. Below are a few pictures of some of the meals prepared there.

Stuff-hidden files from October 2011

I have been seeing this new doctor, who is an internist. I have heard good things about him. I got some blood work done. Everything came back really good. The only thing that wasn’t good is the insulin. I already knew that since I’ve been working to get it within the normal range for a while.  I was happy to know that I do not have diabetes. I think that is one of my biggest fears since I am at an increased risk for developing it with my PCOS.  My cholesterol was good as well.

I finally got finished with this 30/40/50 challenge that someone invited me to on facebook. It required one to do 30 pushups, 40 squats, and 50 situps everyday for 30 days.  There were many days that I was just going to quit, but I surprised myself by pushing through it. I plan on continuing with them. The situps were probably the most extreme, and some days I had to do modifications for some of the exercises, but nevertheless, I did make it.

I am hoping to be posting some amazing news on here soon, but if not, I already know what my next plan of action is. I have a full week left before I know anything.


Starting Off Right-hidden files from Jan. 1, 2013

I have started the New Year off right with working out. I worked out for a little over 70 minutes.  I got in 45 minutes of moderate activity and 27 minutes of vigorous activity.  I chose several workouts to do b/c I get bored fairly easily. I did some Wii workouts:  Walk it Out, Hip Hop Dance Experience, and Just Dance 3. Then I got in some walking on the treadmill. I must admit that I feel accomplished.

I have gained back some of the weight I lost before going on the cruise, 7-8 pounds. I expected that because I ate quite a few times on the cruise. When I got back into town for the holidays, I continued to eat A LOT. I am not disappointed, because it’s not like I was doing anything not to lose weight. I still have not given up, and I am looking forward to my workouts. I hope that this attitude continues.

Just know that while I have not had much recent weight loss success, it has not deterred me.  Like I’ve said previously, “I cannot afford to quit.”  If you are on this journey as well, remember that you can do it. It will take some time and dedication. How can I be discouraged when I know that I have not put my all into my weight loss journey?  Maybe there is some fear that is coming along with it like, “What will I look like?” “Are people going to start asking me all kinds of questions about my journey?” Previously I was invisible until I began losing weight. Then people started acting as though I was someone important. I didn’t like it. I was still the same person on the inside. I hated the attention, and I didn’t like new people talking to me because of something so superficial. I want to be around real people. This is still so early so I don’t know how things will pan out this time around, but I am here trying.

Sorry for rambling all around,

It’s Me

Issues-hidden files from 2009

So since about the age of 15 I have been having issues with my cycle. I kind of had to do a self diagnosis b/c at the time, doctors weren’t telling me what the problem was. They just gave a quick fix, birth control. It wasn’t until 2006 when a doctor finally told me what I had. It was as I suspected, PCOS (Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome). This year was the first year that I really put forth any effort to lose weight. From January-March of 2009, I lost a total of about 30 pounds. I was working out like crazy to do it. Then afterward, I continued working with a personal trainer for months, and I couldn’t lose a pound. Finally I began gaining the weight back. It has been somewhat discouraging, but I will be going to the doctor this week to hopefully hear about what can be done to get better results. I am hopeful because I would really like to have children. I don’t want this to be a hindrance. I also came to the realization that my personal trainer will not listen to anything that I have to say. He doesn’t understand that there are other ways to measure progress such as measurements. Well, actually he knows, but he just hasn’t taken out the time to do it. He is more focused on those numbers on the scale. That might be fine if I didn’t have the issues that I have. I realized that I can’t continue to go to him and be made to feel like a failure b/c it is seriously annoying me and discouraging me. It’s causing me unnecessary stress that I don’t need in my life at this point.

That is all for now.

Slight breakdown-hidden files from September 2011

Well, today my hubby and I went out to eat for lunch.  He’s been trying his hand at photography. He was talking about being the photographer for a friend of his who is pregnant. I was like, “Hey, I thought I would be your first pregnant photo shoot.” I really don’t care if he has someone else first, but then I was like, “Well, since it looks like I won’t be pregnant anytime soon, that’ll be kind of hard.”  He doesn’t really say much about me not getting pregnant except that it’ll happen. At the rate I am going, it won’t. I felt so sad and started tearing up. It’s really sad sometimes just thinking about it. I want to be stronger than that food. It’s like I’ve always used food as a crutch, and it’s hard to back away. When I really feel down, watch out food. Sometimes I can be powering along making good choices, and then I will just turn around and foul out.

I have definitely been fouling out for the past several months. I can’t even say what month I started Weight Watchers, but it was closer to the beginning of the year. I think it’s been at least 5 months now. I have lost and gained the entire time. These past few weeks, I’ve been gaining. It has really gotten out of hand. I have got to get a handle on it before it is too late. I feel discouraged and embarassed, but I continue to go because I figure I will eventually make better choices.

Anyway, I have been getting my insulin checked every few months because of the insulin resistance that comes along with PCOS.  The first time I got it checked, it was at 120 when the normal range is 0-24.9. I was pretty far away from the norm. the last time I got it checked, it was at 27.1. It has been around that number for quite some time now, so my doctor increased my dosage of the metformin xr. What a bummer. She has encouraged me to get the lap band surgery saying that with PCOS, it is going to be very difficult for me to lose weight and keep it off. How friggin discouraging. She has told me that a low carb diet will work best for me. I just have to love myself more in this life and believe that I am worth it.

The 100th Day of School T-shirt

Back in the day, I used to be somewhat creative.  I always liked creating things.  I once took the old computer printer paper that was connected, some yarn, and cotton and made a pillow with some decorations on both sides.  Of course I couldn’t actually sleep on it, but well, it looked nice.  Anywho, fast forwarding quite a bit, since starting to work, then getting married, then having a child, I felt like I lost the creativity that I once possessed and just have no time or zeal for it.  When my son was in daycare, they started having home projects.  Since he was so young, clearly the expectation wasn’t for him to do them alone.  So, I started feeling a little excited about the projects. 

Fast forward a little more to Pre-K….So my little man started Pre-K this school year, and he has had quite a few projects.  This particular project was to create a t-shirt for the 100th day of school.  I was a little nervous about this one because although I’ve created many things, I’ve never really decorated fabric, or at least not that I can recall.  These days you can find ideas for just about anything on the Internet.  Pinterest is normally my top choice.  I found tons of ideas on the 100th day of school project and showed a few to my son.  He decided he wanted a monster on his shirt, so I had to decided how to execute.  I bought all of the supplies I needed in advance at Hobby Lobby so that I could finish the project early enough in case of problems.  The shirt was looking pretty good if I do say so myself. 

The morning of the 100th day of school arrived.  The shirt was so stiff, but I was able to get it on him.  

Then before we left home, at least three of the 100 googly eyes had fallen off.  I could see that more would probably fall off; however, I was not truly prepared for the sight of the shirt at the end of the day.  There were hardly any googly eyes left, and those “glue” spots had my skin crawling every time I saw it or even thought about it.  Ugh!!!

He told me the eyes were falling off everywhere, and he even gave some to his friends.  I think those eyes were being found for days at school and around the house.  I hid that shirt for some months.  I finally took it out and washed it, and the only thing left is the paint that outlined the monster’s face.  That made me laugh all over again.  

Although I felt it was somewhat of a fail, it wasn’t a total fail because we did count out 100 of those googly eyes and glue them to the shirt.  His shirt did make it to school.  

Have you ever tried your best and had a similar outcome on a school project with your child?  Leave a comment and tell me about it.  At least you know you’re not alone.  Like what you’ve read so far?  If so, like, comment, and subscribe.

Until next time,

It’s Me

Parenting Guilt

Growing up with PCOS and learning more and more about it over the years, I knew there was a possibility that I would be unable to conceive or that the road to conception could be filled with hardship.  I  prayed to God to bless my husband and me with a healthy child, and he did.  It almost seems like I was nobody before I became a mother.  As a parent, you know there is someone who depends on you for love, care, guidance, and so much more.  My son is now four, and this journey has not been easy.  There have been the late nights up worrying when he’s sick. I can normally tell when a fever is coming.  There are those moments of worrying about whether he will stand up for himself instead of letting others run over him.  Since he’s started school, I wonder/worry about him making friends.  I worry about the testing they’ve already started although he’s just in Pre-K.  I am always doubting whether we’re doing enough with him at home with teaching him things.

Then I have feelings of inadequacy surrounding the important role of parenthood.  I also have feelings of guilt because I feel like I don’t have enough time to spend with him because I work full time.  Then I have so much cleaning to accomplish.  Some things never get done, and some are like a vicious cycle.  I feel like I’m forever washing clothes or dishes.  I feel drained at the end of the work day; drained and frustrated.  I feel like I’m just a shell of a person when I come home.  There are some days I feel overwhelmed, and I struggle with finding/making time for myself.  I want to be a happier person so I can be the best wife, mom, sibling, etc.

It’s so easy for people to judge.  For instance, if it’s cold outside and you send your child out with a light jacket instead of a coat, people will think you’re a bad parent.  They don’t know that sometimes it’s taken everything to get the child into a light jacket.  Children can be very head strong, and they are also very intelligent human beings.  I like for my son to be able to make some decisions.  There are days I really have to laugh at the debates we have.  He’s somewhat of a know-it-all, and he’s come by that honestly.

So, the other day he wanted to go outside.  Anyone who knows me knows that I am not an outdoor person.  It was nice and warm out, so I took him out there.  He was playing in his playhouse initially.  Then he decided to play with the hose by the pool.  I told him countless times to stop.  I warned him about falling in the pool.  He told me that he wouldn’t.  I decided to do a workout while we were out there.  I noticed his antics with the hose were becoming increasing aggressive.  He kept looking at me as if he expected me to say something to him.  There was a splash, a cream, and then crying.  When I looked he was climbing out of the pool.  Um, for the record, the pool is cold.  Thankfully his head didn’t go in the water.  The only reason this boy was crying was because he thought he lost his new toy in the pool.  Once he realized it was in his pocket, he immediately stopped crying.  I ran him a warm bath.  As we talked about him falling into the pool, he told me that I was the one who kept us outside so long when I knew it was dark.  It wasn’t, but yeah, my fault.  We went outside the next da, and he said he would not be playing with the hose again because he didn’t want to fall into the pool ever again.  I love that boy so much.  He really keeps me laughing.  Although the journey hasn’t been easy thus far, and I don’t expect it to get easier, it has been very rewarding.

Hopefully we’re all doing the best we can.  I just pray that my best is good enough.  I’ll try not to beat myself up about it so much.

Until next time,

It’s Me