Normal

Sooooo earlier this week I had an appointment with an endocrinologist at my local hospital for my PCOS. I was originally referred to a gynae last year, but after a follow up appointment earlier in the year I was discharged as I wasn’t ready to start looking into my fertility any deeper.

After a catch up with my GP and figuring out what I want to do about my PCOS he decided and agreed with the gynae that an appointment with an endocrinologist was the best option. I did some googling about what they look into for PCOS, but its all quite limited and not clear – apart from that they are there to help with hormone imbalances, which is what PCOS is.

I had been quite nervous leading up to my appointment, I know what my body needs to do to reduce the external symptoms, but will power is stopping me. However, even weeks where I am 100% on plan, nothing happens – perhaps I wanting results too quickly? It had left me wondering what else they can suggest – are they going to put me on more meds? Will they actually help me?

But what I keep asking myself is when will I be normal?

I get so cross at myself for asking that question because I am normal, for ME. My normal isn’t the same as your normal and your normal isn’t the same as your next door neighbours. Surely that is what makes us all unique and brilliant? I am trying to encourage myself and others to remember that we are enough as we are, there is no normal, but sometimes you can forget this.

Sat in the waiting room flicking through a magazine that’s over a year old, what comes on the radio? The Spice Girls. Instantly, any worries I have and all the fears I feel are banished. I am here, getting help for a problem that is the root of all my insecurities and makes me feel less of a woman. I am here to turn things around and put a step forward in the right direction.

In fact, I am going to treat you to a tune……

 

After that short Spice Girl break, we continue! After listening to my PCOS journey and medical history and some family medical history we get to talking. Initially we talk about about fertility & he sets the record straight that actually concieving wont be as difficult as I have been told before by previous GPs, dependent on how my ovulation cycles are I should be fine. Even if it doesn’t happen right away there are plenty of medications that can assist and he was actually really confident which is quite reasurring!

We got onto talking about hirutism and how much of a frustration it is for me, he advised that he could put me on a testosterone blocker which will help BUT that it does come with the risk of kidney failure and weekly blood tests for a long time. So I decided that at the moment I don’t want to take that risk on and would try something different, we spoke about how weight loss can have a big impact on the way that hormones work and he told me what I have been hearing for the longest time.

I need to lose weight, to reset my hormones and help my body.

I must have looked quite downcast & he reassured me that it is possible and I can do it as I have done before as I told him. I said that I am going to slimming world, but truthfully not really sticking to it but that I dont think Metformin is helping either. So his suggestion was to up my metformin to 2000mg a day & stick to the Slimming World plan & I should start to see results, when I asked him how much I needed to lost to reset my body, he suggested I look at what I need to do to get within a healthy BMI range. We agreed that I would go back in 3 months time & have bloods done beforehand to make sure that there wasn’t anything else hormonal going on.

So, I came away a bit disappointed that still the option is losing weight & thinking that losing weight would be the 1 think we didn’t discuss! However, this is it, I need to start looking after my body better, I need to fuel my body the right way to help it function better – that is the fix. Me.

Back to basics I go, I am writing everything down, I am counting my syns and healthy extras. I am back in the zone, not for anybody else, but for me. I dont want to SKINNY or THIN, I want to be HEALTHY. I want to allow my body to function how it should do, I have a goal, but I wont share it.

I just ask that family and friends are supportive and understand that if I say NO its for my HEALTH.

Whilst I am disappointed that I can’t get any more help than what I have currently, I would rather have to be the one to reset my body than put something into my body that could lead it to fail. I started to increase the metformin that day, its just 2 days in as I write this, currently no problems with my digestive system (what a win), but I am unusually tired and feel like you do before you get fluey, like a bit body achy. Hopefully my body handles the 500mg increase well and I see a great loss on the scales this week, but I am prepared.

I will update you all in a few weeks time with how things are going – hopefully it will be good news!

Love

Emma xxx

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Adventure

Last weekend I spend some wonderful time with one of my closest friends and her little boy, just before Christmas they moved to the outskirts of London from Liverpool (and Scotland before that) and I was overjoyed that they are that little bit closer and we can spend more time together.

However, when we were planning my little overnight trip up there Vicky let me know that they were now a Vegan household (with the exception of Ernie on occasions), so it would be a meat free weekend! I wasn’t overly fussed and she was kind enough to buy a pint of normal milk so I didn’t have to drink other alternatives if I didn’t want to. When she first told me I thought ‘oooo that’s weird’, but after learning more about it and her reasons behind it and how much more healthier she feels since doing it, I can understand why people follow that way of eating.

However – is if for me? I am not sure, I know a dairy free diet for PCOS suffers is ideal so perhaps that element I could take up, but not eating meat – I just don’t know that I could make that commitment. We always have meat with every dinner and I am not sure how I could cope with making 2 meals every night as there is no way Matt could give up meat.

We went on an adventure on Saturday to Windsor and spent time exploring the Castle with Ernie which was fabulous! We even got to see where Prince Harry & Meghan are getting married and hosting their reception, which was pretty cool. The castle itself is stunning and Ernie was happy to tell both Vicky and I off for taking photographs when it’s very clear that no photography is allowed.

When we stopped for a bit to eat and a coffee, I was surprised at just how easy it is for Vicky to choose something vegan friendly. We took a little break in EAT and with fruit, nuts and crisps on offer Vicky was able to pick from an abundance of things to chose from including a Soya Latte. However, with me on slimming world it was more difficult my only options was a fruit pot and herbal tea if I wanted to keep my choices free of syns (I didn’t – I went for a Chai Latte & Granola Bar!), so I found myself more restricted than she was.

After a look round the shops we headed home via Tesco to pick up some snacks for when Ernie went to bed. Vicky let me know that we had Pizza for tea with picky bits and chips which I was overjoyed at – but none of it was syn free – however all of it is suitable for Vegans. Now, don’t get me wrong I am not saying everyone should follow the Slimming World plan, however it has made me see that it is really restrictive in certain situations and questioning is it the right thing for me? Don’t get me wrong I don’t want to eat Pizza and Chips every night (ok, I am lying I do), but perhaps I need to look at what I am choosing on Slimming World and reinvent the wheel a little bit.

My focus has been on syns and not on how much free food I can have, which we all know the more we focus on free food then less we need the syns. So although the Vegan diet isn’t necessarily one for me, it has led me to consider my own choices and look at what I am fuelling my body with.

Mine and Vicky’s days of booze and a cheeseboard when Ernie has gone to bed may be reduced now, but we can still spend hours chatting over bubbles and enjoy each other’s company. I am really looking forward to spending more time with her now she is down south for a while until her next adventure takes her away again!

Self Love

Recently I have been wondering if I have stopped caring about myself, my nails aren’t done as often as they could be, I don’t wax my “beard” as often as I used to and I honestly can’t remember the last time I brought myself some new clothes.

It has left me wondering, when did I fall out of love with myself?

I am going to slimming world, but even that after all the times I have been going over the past 10+ years, I have never struggled so much to lose weight and I am wondering if I have just resigned myself to thinking that I can’t?!

If I don’t love or care for myself, how can I expect others to?

This really hit me when we were getting ready to go to Budapest, normally I would have waxed my beard, put a new coat of nail varnish on my fingers and toes and perhaps brought something new to wear whilst we were away.

I didn’t and it was almost like I couldn’t be bothered to put the effort in, don’t get me wrong owning and running a house is hard work and that combined with a busy and sometimes stressful job means that I don’t want to come home and put myself through the pain of waxing, I would rather come home and write or watch a movie.

Then I considered if actually I am just getting a bit more comfortable in my skin and that what they say is true, the older you get the less you worry about what others think. However, I know that is not true, if it was I wouldn’t be pushing my GP and the entire NHS into doing something about my hirsutism and helping me to reduce my PCOS symptoms. So I have come to a conclusion.

I have stopped loving myself.

It’s true, the signs are there as they are with any relationship or friendship. The effort has stopped, I don’t put myself first (although that has never been the case), and I feel unworthy of nice things. I need to turn it around; I definitely feel that is why I have got myself in such tizz lately.

The Girl Power You are Enough Manifesto. | I promise to not be an asshole to myself. Hell, I promise to love myself. I will remember that my self-worth is not based on what I look like, how much I weigh, how many followers I have, or any other stupid crap that has nothing to do with who I am. I will empower other girls and women. I will be kind. Fiercely kind. I will have a sense of humor. I will do my best not to gossip, create drama, or judge others (or myself). I will remember that just...

Now painting my nails used to be my thing I would experiment with different styles and colours, for me it was a great way to be creative and just have some down time – Christ I even did a mini blog called Mani Monday a couple of years back – perhaps I need to get back into that routine? But whenever I did my nails, I felt good about myself, I felt that even if my excess hair was bad or I wasn’t happy with my appearance I knew my nails were always “on point”.

Why did that ever stop?

Self-waxing is horrible, painful and just takes a lot of courage, however I did this because I couldn’t afford the money to go and get waxed whilst saving and I also became unhappy with my beautician and if I am honest I actually felt embarrassed about having to going there. Now however, I still don’t have a lot of spare cash & I live in a different area so could find a new beautician, but the embarrassment of having to go for that reason is still deep inside.

I need to get over that.

It is their profession and they will have waxed worst areas! So I am going to check out beauticians in my local area and the prices and start taking care of myself a bit more, I know the hair has a massive impact on my self-confidence and my feeling of self-worth so if I can get that back under control it will be a step in the right direction.

We often are too harsh on ourselves and expect us to be capable of living a perfect life and have everything rosy with no problems. However, it is unrealistic, we will all fall out of love with ourselves at times and it is ok to recognise that, let’s just not set up camp and live there. I have been & if I am honest I have been living in that self-loathing camp for a while now but it’s not a great place to be.

So with a swift kick up my own backside, I am packing up my tent and moving on to somewhere better. Where I can be happier, stronger and more confident, a place where if I perhaps show myself and my body a little bit of love, it might show me how great it is in return.

I won’t lie, it won’t be an easy journey and I am sure I will make some backward steps along the way, but as I said in a previous post about my goals for 2018;

This is my year and I am NOT going to turn 30 as unhappy with my body as I have been in my 20’s.

Brunch Club

Hayley, Carla & I had our first brunch club of the year last weekend and it was great to catch up, I shared my plans for my 30th Birthday celebrations, Carla gave us some updates on her new job and wedding plans & Hayley (our budding photographer), shared updates on her recent bookings and her plans for my 30th Birthday gift! It was great to have some girly time and some good food!

Our venue of choice this month was Salt Cafe in Portchester Marina, a lovely little cafe on the waterfront – I had heard about it through friends on dog walks and I can imagine its a beautiful place to stop in the summer and watch the boats go by.

We got there just after 9am, so brunch was more breakfast this time, as Carla had work in the afternoon. We sat down and checked out the menu, I was still struggling a bit with a hangover and needed a cold drink so I chose Orange Juice, as did Carla – Hayley treated herself with an Elderflower Presse and a Latte!

Our minds then turned to food, I chose Welsh Rarebit with a fried egg and vine tomatoes, Hayley picked the overnight oats with peanut butter and maple syrup, whilst Carla had what looked like the best Egg, Sausage & Bacon sandwich I have ever seen. I came away stuffed and the walk back to Carla’s was quite nice after a filling breakfast.

We were there for about 2 hours and there was a constant stream of people in and out, a very bustling little cafe. There was even people sat outside with hot drinks, blankets and their pooches! I didnt get a snap, but just as you walked in the door they had ready filled hot water bottles for you to take outside on colder days – how lovely is that!

So, if your in the Portsmouth area and fancy a little treat in a place where you can sit and watch the world go by, head to the Salt Cafe – you wont go wrong!

Love

Emma x

Social Media

Well that is 1 month away from social media, I avoided Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Snapchat and my life feels so much better for it.

Image result for goodbye social media

Here are somethings I have learnt about myself since being “offline” for the first month of the year.

1. I am now actually present. When we sit down to dinner, watch a movie, see friends or if I am just reading a book I am present, attentive and alert. My mind isn’t on my phone, wondering if I have any new comments or likes, its in the moment enjoying other people’s company or actually paying attention to the book or movie I am watching. There is no mindless scrolling and being distracted.

2. Oversharing. I haven’t done this for a while, but I dont feel the need to share every part of my life. I update my friends when I see or speak with them and I am grateful for this platfrom that I can share my life with friends we dont see often or family. However, I really dont miss the oversharing that happens on social media, do I care that you had a Burger for dinner? No not really, but I would read it and probably like the picture anyway. Oh your in hospital & have updated your status to tell the world, I would hope as my friend that you would text me to tell me so I can talk to you privately. I just dont see the point in posting things for likes, comments and appreciation from people that you dont know or haven’t seen or dont even like – dont even get me started on “instafamous”.

3. The Hurt. Its no secret that everyone is passive agressive on social media, or will be a keyboard warrior at some point during their time – we have all done it including myself. You will post a status, quote or photo quite clearly throwing some shade at a situation or person knowing full well they will read it and it will envoke a reaction. It may then end up on full on rant between the 2 on your chosen social media platorm or the offendee may just take the high road and not retalitate but secretly end up in a world of pain behind closed doors. Either way, who is that helping? If you have an issue with someone, talk to them about it face to face or over the phone don’t air your dirty laundry in public, surely we are all better than that? Personally, I just dont see the point in it and I feel its led us all to revert back to being kids in a school playground – when are we going to start acting like adults?

4. Missing Out. I had MASSIVE FOMO at the beginning, I felt I was missing out on things that people would just post on social media assuming everyone would see and that would be the update. However, I soon learnt that actually if it was something I needed to know about I would find out one way or another. However, the only thing that may draw me back is the groups I was part of, that helped me to feel empowered and boost my confidence – that’s the only thing I want to see, I dont want to see the crap.

However, in light of all the negatives that I have realised social media has brought to my life over the years, it allows me to keep in touch with family and friends around the world that I dont see as often or perhaps we dont talk to a lot and that is the side of social media that I really do like. I have thought a lot about my return to social media over the past few weeks and I have made the decision that its not healthy for me to have the apps on my phone. I will fall back into the same trap that I was in before so I wont do it, its not good for me and its not good for my relationship with my friends and family & I actually find it really irritating when people sit on their phone mindlessly scrolling when they are meant to be spending time with me.

So, moving forward any Facebook interactions I will make will be when I am using my laptop or iPad, Twitter & Snapchat I can live without. However I am undecided about Instagram, I do like to see people’s photos and I am more selective about who I follow, so I am going to see how I go without it for a little longer & actually if I am continuing to be ok without it then so be it.

I never thought 1 month away from Social Media would have such a big impact, but it really has and for the better. So if you are thinking of giving something up for lent, dont give up chocolate, give up social media you will soon remember how life was without it!

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Love

Emma xx

Budapest 2018

We recently spent a lovely 4 days in Budapest, it was a trip to celebrate Matt’s birthday earlier in the month and it was nice to have a few days away together and explore a new city.

Although I booked the trip, I didn’t really set us with an itinerary and we just went with the flow, as soon as we arrived and checked into our hotel we started to explore straight away. Not wasting a minute of our time there we did most of our exploring on foot, that way you get to see so much more and often things you wouldn’t expect. I wont lie, the weather was bitterly cold, but dry at least apart from our last day where we were lucky to experience the wonderful European city in the snow!

I love sharing our little trips with you all, especially our photo’s however, first up is some little things that we did in Budapest that we wanted to share with you all!

  • Don’t take the Budacastle tour by the Buda Hill Funiclar, on our first day we were spoken to by a lovely tour guide that for just an extra 1,000 ft you can get a tour up that will take you all round and you can get on an off wherever you want. However, we soon realised that actually everything at the top (this doesnt include the Citadella), is within walking distance, so if you dont mind a walk and exploring on your own the just get a return trip on the Funiclar and enjoy the walk!
  • When you go to the Central Market Hall, go upstairs first hunt for some souvenirs to take home and have some real Hungarian street food. We did downstairs first, which was great we had some pastries and Duck scratchings (not pork!) before heading upstairs and deeply regretted it. We wished we had gone up there and stuffed our faces before going down to see all the meat, fruit, pastry and cheese stalls!
  • Buy yourself a hop on, hop off ticket for a bus tour – more so in the winter. Its a great way to get around town and with city sightseeing we got a 48hr ticket, including boat tours cheaper than the budacard! We just wanted it for a trip to the Citadella and up to Heroes Square and Szechenyi Bath rather than rely on taxis and walking in the cold weather.
  • Don’t forget your towel & flip flops when visiting a thermal bath! We ended up buying flip flops, which ate into our spending money, but it was so worth it! We paid for a 1 person with a locker and 1 person with a cabin, the cabins are pretty small but we took turns to get changed and it did us fine. We were really lucky, there was no cue and the baths weren’t busy at all, we visited on Saturday morning around 10 am so we were really surprised that it wasn’t full and busy!
  • Head to Szimpla Kert for drinks late afternoon, the best ruin bar in all of Budapest just enjoy the atmosphere and once your done, just walk around the Jewish Quarter there are plenty of places to eat and drink that you cant go wrong – there is something for everyone!
  • Drinks – if your drinking beer and are happy to drink the local stuff (we drank Dreher) then your fine, its around £2 a pint, less if its happy hour. However if your drinking long drinks (vodka/rum), or wine its a bit more expensive. I dont usually drink beer, but in a bid to keep our costs low I decided to give it a go and actually it wasn’t too bad!
  • Food – now, I am not sure if we have expensive taste and we like to eat in nicer places, but we didn’t find food to be much cheaper than we would pay at home which was surprising as everyone said it was really cheap. It didn’t bother us too much, we tried Goulash which we both wanted to do, ate at Beef Heaven which Matt wanted to try and had Breakfast at Circusz which was my choice!

We had a really nice time in Budapest, the history and architecture is amazing, food and drinks were good too! Would we return to Budapest? Possibly not, but that’s purely because we felt we did everything we wanted to do, however I hear the Christmas markets there are amazing so perhaps a return visit just for that?

Love

Emma

Where We Stayed: K+K Hotel Opera – great location!

Where We Drank: Szimpla Kert, Ellato Kert, For Sale Pub, The Pointer Pub

Where We Ate: Beef Heaven by Tuning, Circusz, Spinoza, For Sale Pub, Bazilika Cafe & Restaurant, Hard Rock Cafe (we always eat at one its tradition!), Pizza Me