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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Be Healthy. Not Skinny.

Today this picture came up on my time-hop thing on Facebook….

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Initially I thought WOW I did so well on my weightloss journey then. Then over the day, my mind changed, my thoughts of these pictures changed.

  • Firstly, by December 2007 I was 3 stone lighter. The picture on the right in 2011, was after re-joining slimming world in 2010. This wasn’t a true reflection, it didn’t take me 4 years to go from left to right.
  • Secondly, in 2007, I didn’t think there was anything problem with my weight or how I looked. I was happy, until I saw a photo 10 times worse that that and realised I needed to do something.
  • Thirdly, in 2011 despite looking pretty healthy (back then I would have said thin), I still thought and felt that I looked like I did on the left.
  • Fourth, I am the same person in both of these photos. Same unhappiness about my weight, focused on a number on the scales not on the benefit to my health.

Right now, I think I am probably a stone lighter than the picture on the left, I would love to get back to the dress size on the right, although I keep thinking to myself if that was sustainable I wouldn’t be back on my slimming world journey.

Tonight, I put on 3lb and I am pissed. BUT it’s no-one else’s fault apart from my own. I have chosen not to go to the gym for 3 weeks, I have chosen not to be “on plan” for weeks. It is my choice. I can choose to let my weight continue to creep up, or I can do something about it.

I want to do something about it & if I write it down, it has to happen.

Tonight, I came back from group, I sat down and wrote down what I am going to eat for the next 7 days. I am going to stick to that and I should see a loss on those scales next week. I have researched classes at the gym and Tuesday is going to be my day, I am going to LBT AND Yoga and then I am also going to go to the gym every other week day morning. My weekends will be my break. My body needs good fuel and exercise to work properly, I know this and I know that I am stopping my body from working correctly.

So. As of tomorrow back on plan, back on an aim and just a kick start to get healthy!

Love

Emma x

Learning To Love Myself

1st June 2017

Walking through the doors of a local senior school, I feel numb. I know what to expect, I know the drill – but I don’t feel excited or nervous – perhaps overwhelmed by my sense of confidence and commitment. I take a seat in the new member area and Sharon makes her way over to greet me, like an old acquaintance she knows I have done this before and that I am sure I know what I doing. However, as not the only newbie that night, I listen to the new member chat intensely  ready to stay to image therapy and get weighed after. I committed to a 6 week countdown, saying to myself that every week during those 6 weeks I will lose weight, even its just 1/2lb each week it will be going in the right direction. So with a hope that the least I could lose would be 6lb I was happy. Standing on those black scales, I was filled with dread as I saw the number rise above what I thought I weighed. Being asked if that’s what you expected, I can’t imagine anyone ever says yes unless they have an understanding before. I think my response was like ‘urmmm, yeah? I am just pleased its a round figure!’ Yes, I smack bang on round stone marker (no, I am not sharing what one). Stepping off the scales and heading out confident that I do not want to ever go over that and to only go down I was determined and wrote every single thing down.

Yes, I was back at Slimming World.

8th June 2017

Stood in line waiting to pay, I text Matt telling him that I feel huge and that I dont think I have lost anything. However, he tries to reassure me, reminding me that I wrote everything down and that I have stuck to plan religiously so I will be fine. I stand on the scales……a new front number (I do a mini dance inside) then the lovely weigh ladies say ‘5 1/2lb off Emma – Well Done’. I think I must have had the biggest smile on my face EVER. I leave group adamant that I am going to get my half stone award the following week, thinking that perhaps 1 stone is achievable in 6 weeks?

15th June 2017

Had a weekend away with my sister in law a d we had a fantastic time – cocktails and yummy food what more could you ask for! So when I saw more weight drop off and the weigh ladies congratulate me on hitting my half stone with 2 1/2lb off!!! I was overjoyed, I was given not only my half stone award but slimmer of the week too! I was completely made up.

That’s 8lb in 2 weeks – not that I feel any different.

22nd June 2017

I have got complacent and started to sneak other food in, my dedication to the plan is slipping and so early in. That combined with the heat and my tablets making me feel unwell and suffering with awful headaches, I am really not confident when I walk through the doors. When the scales read just 1/2lb off I am disappointed. With myself. I know I should have tried to fight back and still gone to the gym, my body works best when dieting and exercising that’s well known with PCOS. I head home defeated by my own body and will for a better week next week.

8 1/2lb in 3 weeks.

29th June 2017

Another week of headaches and nausea and no exercise. I know I am due a gain, I have eaten more carbs this week hoping that might help my body to get to some normality. Another 1/2lb off. Another rubbish loss due to lack of commitment. I kick myself until Sharon tells the group I have done fantastically well with 9lb off in 4 weeks, that’s a little over 2lb a week. A steady weight loss. However, 1 more weigh in until my 6 weeks are up, only a miracle will get me 5lb off and I don’t think it will happen, but I commit to getting my butt to the gym and drinking more water.

9lb off in 4 weeks

6th July 2017

More exercise……less writing down…..resulted in a maintain. Feels ok, but need to better next week. My countdown has finished and I am tempted to book next week as holiday BUT I dont. I want a loss next week and must try harder – I want to go to Goodwood in a new stone bracket.

9lb off in 5 weeks.

20th July 2017

Not been weighed for 1 week, I know I will see a gain. I start to stress out about it on the Wednesday, but come Thursday lunchtime I am ok with it. I know I wont have put the full 9lb on, I know I will still be lighter than what I was a few weeks back. I brought a size 14 dress for Goodwood and the zip goes all the way up. I got this, I’m on my way. Stand on the scales….its a gain as I expected, 1.5lbs – not too bad, thats still 7lb off I am still half a stone lighter. This week the plan is to lose that and if I can a little bit more, go harder at the gym and be sensible with food choices.

7.5lb in 7 weeks

27th July 2017

I had a kebab last night……it was great! I love a nice kebab – day before weigh in, not our greatest idea but hey you only live once! So I get to weigh in, hoping I have lost some of what I put on last week……1lb OFF! WAHOOO! That’s good – I am almost back to where I was. However, I did have a non scale victory – I tried my bridesmaid dress on, its a petite 14…..it fit and zipped right up! WIN! I put on my black skinnys for the first time in a while & they aren’t tight! WIN! Now to make sure I keep losing a bit more weight and keep active at the gym. This “diet” isn’t a quick fix as when I hit where I want to be I then need to maintain it and dont slip back! Onwards and upwards for this week coming!

8.5lb in 8 weeks

3rd August 2017

I feel huge today, feeling unwell most of yesterday has led to feeling bloated a lot today. However, I pay for another 6 week countdown. That’s me committed to a weightloss each week – no excuses. For some reason this week I didn’t look in my book before stepping on the scales, completely unaware of what I weighed in at last week. I step on and see what I think is a humungous gain, for the wonderful weigh ladies to say ‘4lb off well done’. I think to say I was in a state of shock is a complete understatement. The only thing I did differently this week was write it down, good or bad it went on the food diary, that tool clearly works for me! I didn’t stay to group as had prep to do for goodwood and then find out I was Slimmer Of The Week for the 2nd time! Wahoo! On a mission to get my stone award next week!

12.5lb in 9 weeks

10th August 2017

It’s our anniversary and I decide to stay to group – we aren’t really celebrating until tomorrow night, so I allow myself an hour to myself and stay to Image Therapy for the first time in weeks. I put on 1lb, I am ok with that my weekend was completely off plan so I am pleased its just 1lb. My commitment for this week moving forward? To write it all down and come in with a loss…..I will get my 1 stone award by my Birthday!

11.5lb in 10 weeks

Soooo we are heading into the last week of August and my birthday is fast approaching! I wont have time to update this post with weigh in’s moving forward and as summer is almost over I felt now was a good time for this to go live!

The aim was never to be focused by how much I weigh and that is still the case. I don’t care about the number on the scales what I care about is how I feel and how this impact on my PCOS visual symptoms. Whilst I am not fully ok with how I look at the moment, I am starting to see subtle changes that is building my self esteem. I will get there and it will take time.

This is not a diet. I am changing my lifestyle and its a going to be a long journey but that’s ok.

Emma xx

I Want To Be A Loser!

It has been a while since I have posted about my weight, Monday night I had my last weigh in before holiday. I put on, I knew I would but its OK, I lost – I didn’t see it coming. So I am pleased to say I am going to Vegas 10lb lighter than what I was when I started on this journey and that’s OK!

However, when I get back from holiday there are a few things that I would love to be thinner for, first thing is my Cocktails & Cupcakes Girls Night! Its late June and I cant wait, all my girls are coming over we are going to have the fire pits going, cocktails flowing and yummy cupcakes. I would LOVE to have got my club 10 award by then, its only 7lb less than what I am now, I can do that!

Not long after that is my cousins wedding in July. I don’t think its unrealistic to have hit my 1.5st award by then, I will have a new front number then and will be a lot closer to Target!

The next mission then is my Birthday, I would LOVE to be a Target by then, but I think that is unrealistic, so 2st is my aim! I would hope by Hayley’s Hen Night in November I would be a Target, I would have been on my Slimming World journey for 1 year  at that point and if I have hit my Target I would be a total of 2st 12lb lighter.

HOWEVER! With every goal there is the risk that you wont succeed, if I don’t I wont be letting anyone down but myself. So as a note to me – here is a reminder of why I re-started my weight loss journey!

– Level Out My Hormones To Aid With My PCOS

– Be In A Healthy Weight Range

– Be Happier In My Own Skin

I have even made the decision not to waste my money on FOOD! This means, not buying a cheeky subway after weigh in on a Monday or sweets or a quick lunch because I was too lazy to bring something from home! I am limiting my funds because I’m saving and I don’t want to waste my “fun” money on Food! I want to enjoy it, I want to buy clothes or go to the cinema or socialize with my friends. Food doesn’t give you any companionship or achievements, so why waste unnecessary money on it! I have even said that I am not bringing myself back any food from America, apart from for my Dad. I wont eat it and if I do eat it, then I am sabotaging my own weight loss!

Lets do this!

 

 

My Biggest Enemy

I have one enemy in this world and its something I have hated for 10 years now, its called

Hirsutism

I have touched upon this on blogs that I have written before about my PCOS, but as it is my biggest enemy and my biggest personal issue I felt it deserved its own special time on my blog! I am unsure if my excess hair is as a result of my PCOS or if it is hereditary as there are females in my family that also suffer from this.

For those of you that dont know what Hirsutism is, it basically means excess hair in an area that women may not necessarily grow hair, which isnt exactly the most attractive thing you can have, especially as a young woman!

I have been doing some research recently to see what the causes of Hirsutism are and its actually really quite interesting and has really opened my eyes to my current diet. Basically recent studies have proven that high levels of insulin increase the development of Hirsutism, looking on good old wikipedia it does state that the above theory about insulin goes hand in hand with observations that obese women are at high risk of becoming hirsute (so basically lose some weight!!).

Now I know that Insulin has something to do with diabetes, but I am not 100% sure how the body creates insulin or how I can lower my levels of insulin to help reduce my Hirsutism. So I am going to have quick google and share what I find!

Guess what – Insulin is another bloody hormone, because I dont have too many already floating around my body! Its produced by the Pancreas to help turn sugar into engery. Another effect of insulin is to act on the ovaries to cause them to produce the male hormone testosterone.

Interestingly enough some websites claim that Insulin is the cause of PCOS, stating that women with PCOS have Insulin Resistance, meaning our bodies are resistant to the normal effect of Insulin and as a result more Insulin is produced to keep blood sugar levels normal. As a result of our bodies producing more Insulin, causes our bodies to produce more testosterone causing fewer eggs to release from our ovaries, excess hair growth and can even be the cause of weight gain!

At this point in writing this, I have changed my mind. Insulin is my enemy……Hirsutism has taken a back step, I have realised I can get rid of him when I get rid of her (Insulin)!

Its Just A Big Merry Go Round!

Its Just A Big Merry Go Round!

So to knock Insulin and Hirsutism on the head I need to figure out how to lower my Insulin levels, all websites are pointing me to 2 things, exercise and dieting. I have to admit since breaking my foot last year, the gym hasnt exactly been my top priority, but I want to reduce my Hirsutism so I need to go back, in fact I might even go tomorrow before work! Dieting…..no one likes to do it, I have been doing Slimming World on and off for a long time now, so I know what I should and shouldnt be eating, I just need to put it into practice.

Here we go again……

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Confusing Diets & PCOS!

OK, as you know for as long as I can remember I have been on a diet of some decription – mainly Slimming World! However, I have a new issue – I have been doing SW for so long that I CHEAT and only to myself! I dont count syns, I eat more A or B options than I should and get annoyed when I dont see any results on the scales!

Recently I have been researching what diets are best for people who suffer with PCOS, as for anyone who has followed this blog from the beginning will know after reading will know that I was diagnosed with this condition when I was 16/17, so almost 10 years ago!

I have read up of the typical symptoms of PCOS and can see myself in them so much & I want to do something to reduce these for me today, tomorrow and 10 years time! Here are the common symptoms of PCOS as per the NHS Website:

irregular periods or no periods at all
difficulty getting pregnant (because of irregular ovulation or failure to ovulate)
excessive hair growth (hirsutism) – usually on the face, chest, back or buttocks
weight gain
thinning hair and hair loss from the head
oily skin or acne

What i didnt realise is the risks that having PCOS can impact, women who suffer from PCOS are more at risk of the below as well:

type 2 diabetes – a condition that causes a person’s blood sugar level to become too high
depression and mood swings, as the symptoms of PCOS can affect your confidence and self-esteem
high blood pressure and high cholesterol, which can lead to heart disease and stroke
women who are overweight may also develop sleep apnoea – a condition that causes interrupted breathing during sleep

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Out of that list of 10 things, hand on heart I can say that at least 4 of those effect me and I want to do something about it, I want to be healthy for me. The big one that scares me on there is the difficulty of getting pregnant, I would love to one day (not in the near future) have a child and become a family with my significant other, but just like learning to save properly, I need to take this into my own hands and get something into action NOW!! Sitting around for the next 2 years carrying on as I am wont get me to a healthy weight range, it wont stop the excess hair growth, it wont stop my hair being thin, it wont stop my moodiness (especially about my weight) and it wont take the risk of diabetes or high blood pressure away either!

I have been looking at diets online and its really confusing, what is the best one out there and what should I be doing for me. Some of you will be reading this and saying ‘it depends on the person, different things work for different people’ and yes you are right, but unfortunately I am not the sort of person that can read a diet and go ‘Ok I know what I can/cant eat now’ I am not a good cook, so I need something written down so I know what I can and can’t do – which is why a slimming club worked for me, but I just dont think Slimming World is the right place for me at the moment.

As I write this, I have made the decision that I am going to book an appointment with my GP and get this all under control, request to see a dietician/nutrionist to help me things moving and get this show on the road! In the mean time, whilst I await an appointment (because it takes FOREVER!) I am going to cut carbs, diary & junk food out of my diet and keep exercising and just try to stay focused on the end goal. I know I can do this, I have lost the weight before I just need something or someone to help me this time…..maybe going back to Slimming World will help?!

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Get It All Off My Chest!

Hello All!

I seem to have been neglecting you all for a while and I am sorry for that! My brain has been going into over drive recently with lots of things whizzing around that I am trying to make sense of! I won’t bore you with the details, actually I think I will!

As you have probably guessed I LOVE to do my nails and whilst I was hunting round various Sephora stores in Rome, I thought to myself “oooh I want to get a home gel kit” which then turned into “oooh maybe I go back to college and learn how to do nails and maybe do it as a side business”. I have researched various different course and companies and looked at all the start-up costs, but realistically I would be spending out approx £1000 until I have either fully trained myself up and got all my equipment and then is it really worth it? Would I get the business? Would I still love doing nails if I did it up to 10 times a week? At the moment, it’s a no; I have managed to talk myself out of it. It’s still very much in the back of mind and maybe something that I do look at in the new year – I think I need to stop being so negative about it and just actually do something for me once in a while!

I have closed a door in my life that I was keeping ajar as a “just in case”, that clearly wasn’t worth leaving open. The only thing about that is that I am going to have to amend my bucket list – what with I’m not sure – but I will keep you updated!

I have also been looking into my finances and trying to make sure that I can actually start saving for a mortgage, I started doing really well, then I brought Little Dot and went on holiday, but I have started again and I have been looking into fixed savings accounts where I can’t touch the money for 2 years. I am pretty jam packed for the next couple of weekends so on my next free Saturday I am going to go into all the banks and see what they can offer me so I can start properly getting my finances in order!

I have been thinking about my bucket list and some of the things I have left, mainly learning Yoga or Pilates/reach size 12/run the race for life. As I broke my foot I haven’t been to the gym for some time and I was planning to go back this week but I recently got an email from my gym to say they were closing the gym for 10 days due to an upgrade! So I am going back 1st September and I am going to GO FOR IT. We have 8 months till Vegas, so 8 months to lost about 1/1.5 stone and tone up. I can do it!

Phew that felt good to get things off my chest!