Friday, December 6, 2013

It is the Little Things!

Well guys, I hate to admit it but the last month has been a bit crazy and I just thought I'd give you an update so far:

I took Tri-Sprintec for one month, had my period like normal with no other negative symptoms. The only difference I could see is that I did feel like my hormones may have leveled because I was not like an emotional rollercoaster. But I decided to not take it anymore.. like I have said before I wanted to try to go a more natural way. I didn't want synthetic hormones doing the work for my body. I want my body to learn how to use them on it's own! So this past month I have been birth control free. My emotions are back. All of them! My period is late, which I guess I had to expect. (Although, I was crossing my fingers it would be normal!) I know one month is hardly any time at all to see results, but for some reason I am just completely turned off by birth control. It just doesn't feel right for me, so I am listening to myself in hopes I am right.

I also took D-chiro-inositol (DCI) and Vitex while taking birth control. I am fairly certain that DCI helped a lot with bloating. I didn't feel bloated hardly ever. Before, anything I ate made me feel five pounds heavier and it was awful.  I am not sure about the Vitex yet, but I read that it is supposed to help with fertility and may increase the risk of pregnancy even while on birth control (which is not necessarily a risk for me, but I'm not quite ready for kids yet :)), so I quit taking it while I finished my birth control and now I am back on it. I have to order more DCI, so I haven't been taking it faithfully the last few weeks.

So here's the other thing: I have started to be more active, going to the gym and trying to be up and moving more so I have made some progress there but there is definitely much further to go! I've had my hit and miss days, but I KNOW I feel so much better when I get a workout in.

Then there is the diet*. Guys. This is the hard part for me. Why do I love food so much? Sigh... I have definitely consumed less carbs, and so that I think has helped with the bloating. I've noticed that when I have too many, I feel gross! So I do know it has an impact on me. Sugar.... not so much. I have a major sweet tooth. Major!

It sounds silly, but food has always been a huge part of my life. I love food, and I want it to be yummy food. I love veggies. I love fruit. But I also love cake, and pizza, and rolls... I know food is for nourishment, not entertainment or for self-gratification but that is what it has been in the past for me and I am finding it extremely difficult to change! I don't mean to say any of that as a pity party, and even I know I have the willpower to change. I am just going through the battle in my mind. Is it better to completely cut things off or is it better to allow yourself an indulgence once in awhile?

Anyway, so that is the update on how things have been so far! I am grateful for the little progress I have seen, which really isn't much, but it's there and I have to notice them to keep me positive! :)

*Sidenote: When I say "diet" I mean my day to day food intake. I hate using the term I am on a "diet" because it makes it sound temporary. I am not in this temporarily! I think that is why it is hard for me to say I will never have cake or pizza again, because I KNOW I will! :)

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Dam the Wagon!

"I've fallen off the wagon."

Ever heard this phrase? Ever use this phrase? Don't you sometimes want to push the wagon off cliff (after you have fallen out of course!) so that you CAN'T fall off anymore?

Well I am here to suggest that you STOP (thus the dam) and don't get on the wagon in the first place. Here is what I mean by that: usually when we say we are going to lose weight and change ourselves, we are only really thinking short-term. We go on a hard core strict diet that we simply cannot follow for very long and wind up on our backs. In the dirt. With chocolate all over our face.

If we really want to change, it can't be temporary. Often change is a slow process that makes us feel like ripping our hair out because it is taking so dang long. We want results NOW! We want to lose that extra 20 pounds yesterday, and in that process we can be pretty darn mean and harsh to our bodies.

This is what I want to emphasize right now: BE NICE to yourself! Go at your own pace. Make small changes. Push yourself but don't expect yourself to do everything all at once and expect your body (but probably mostly your mind!) to be able to handle it overnight. I am a pretty high strung person, and I will tell you that I have this strong urge to change everything. Go big or go home. All in! But I have also seen myself fall flat on my face too many times, and I know this strategy is only going to frustrate me more.

So, if you want that yummy piece of chocolate, then have it! But instead of having 2 or the whole bag, just really enjoy that one piece, put the bag back and walk away, or even better go for a walk to get your mind somewhere else!

If you tell yourself "I can never have chocolate or pizza or ice cream or hamburgers or bread or cake or white rice ever again!," then what are you going to find yourself wanting more than all the veggies combined? Those foods. Now you might have to let them disappear out of your mind for a little while at first to get the junk and toxins out of your body, but if you are a lover of bread you are going to want it eventually. In my own opinion, I think it is better to work your favorite foods in while eating healthy the rest of the time. Now, there may actually come a day when you realize you don't want those foods because you will be able to see the effect they have on your body and you just don't want them anymore. I've heard of that happening, and if it does embrace it!

If you do go way overboard, I read this suggestion from somewhere (sorry I can't remember the source):
    -Drink lots of water first thing in the morning. The water will help flush the bad stuff out.
    -Eat mostly veggies and lean protein the whole day and try to leave out fats.
    -Make sure to exercise and maybe work out a little harder or a little longer

Don't overdo it, and don't do it as a way to punish your body. It isn't about punishing, it is about providing the extra care your body needs.


Instant Gratification

We live in such a fast paced world, where information, fun, and anything else we want, is right at our finger tips. If I have to wait ten minutes for a response to a text, I start getting antsy and impatient. Sometimes waiting for a TV episode to go up on Hulu the next day is way too long to wait. I hate to wait for anything. And I think that's the general consensus everywhere.

The thing about being healthy and loosing weight is that it takes time. Sometimes a lot of time. And it's a slow, painful process, with little to show for it. So, what's the point? If it took this much energy to send or receive a text, we'd never text again! So, what makes it worth it? You do. You make it worth it, because YOU are worth it.

I have come to the realization that anything worth while in life takes time and a whole lot of effort. School. Do you know how long it takes to earn three college credits? How much work is involved? Let's not talk about earning an entire college degree. How about relationships? Do you fall in love over night? Can you build something that will last in an hour conversation? And as much as I wish that snapping my fingers like Mary Poppins would clean my house, or do my laundry, it's not going to happen. So, why should loosing weight and becoming healthy be any different? Sure, I guess you could go get lipo-suctioning, but what has changed? You will still eat the same, and have the same habits, so all that weight will probably just come back.

There is this movie called What About Bob. It's hilarious and far-fetched, but it teaches one good thing - baby steps. You have to start small, and build on that. Know that it's going to take time and effort, but that it's going to be worth it. You can get that degree, build strong, long-lasting relationships, clean your entire house, and get healthy! One day you will be able to say, I did it. And that's the best feeling in the entire world.

Friday, October 18, 2013

16 Things I've Learned

Ok, so I have talked about Katie Humphrey in every blog I have written so far. She has a video series on youtube called "90 Days to Freedom" that I have been listening to and the information and support and advice she gives is so inspiring to me. I watched all 90 videos within just 3 weeks, and I plan on listening to them over again because I want to get that information down!

So, I just wanted to briefly share some things I have learned through her videos.

1. Don't play the victim. It won't get you anywhere, and you'll wind up with a negative mindset.
2. Don't blame others or even yourself for having PCOS.
3. Don't limit yourself on what you want because of what other people say (or what you say to yourself!).
4. Be patient. The best changes that can transform your life happen slowly.
5. Exercise and do active things you enjoy. It doesn't mean you have to hit the gym hours a day!
6. There are natural supplements you can take to help your body function properly.
7. Don't make all the changes all at once. Small things will add up!
8. Focus on what you want rather than what you don't want or "can't have" because what you think about most is what you will get. (This applies to diet and everything else in your life)
9. When you mess up, forgive yourself and move on.
10. Eat foods in their most natural state.
11. Be very specific about what you want and visualize yourself already having it.
12. Do your research and do what you feel is best for YOU.
13. Be grateful for your body and the fact it has carried you through so many years and treat it kindly.
14. Find and give thanks for every good thing in your life.
15. Listen to your body, it knows what it needs.
16. Never give up no matter how discouraged or disheartened you feel. If something is telling you to keep going, there is a reason and you WILL make it.

I know some of these things seem like they have nothing to do with PCOS but I think they have everything to do with it. Our body is in one piece, and everything works together for your good. So that means your health effects your emotions and your emotions effect your spirituality and your spirituality effects your confidence and so on and so forth. 
It is one thing to learn and listen to all of these things but in order for things to happen, I have to implement them into my life. I am so glad I found her videos and I strongly recommend you watch them, just to hear her experiences and knowledge if nothing else. 
Here is a link to her video series on YouTube:

Monday, October 7, 2013

PCOS links to research

I thought it might be a good idea to give you some of the websites that I have found to help me understand PCOS and what kind of treatments are available. Even though there is not a "cure," there are a lot of options to consider and you want to figure out what you feel is best for you.

Here are a few links that I read to understand what exactly PCOS is and how it affects women.
A basic medical analysis:
A fertility website with a more natural view:
A very good informative quide:

There are waaaaay more websites than that, but those are the ones I have found to be informative and helpful so far.

Personally, I want to treat PCOS as naturally as possible. The more research I do on birth control, the less I want to use it, although I am currently taking Tri-Sprintec. The reason I have found is that birth control uses synthetic hormones that balances everything so that your body doesn't have to. So basically, it gets rid of the symptoms, but as soon as you go off the pill, your menstrual cycles will be wacky all over again. I found a girl on youtube who goes into detail about her experience with PCOS and how she was able to overcome it through natural means.
This is a link to her profile on youtube, and she has a 90 day series that is incredibly insightful. and this is her actual website: and she has resources and several plans you can choose to follow.
She talks about the supplements she took from Insulite Labs, a program to overcome PCOS through supplements, healthy diet, exercise, and overcoming food addiction. This is the website for Insulite Labs:
The current natural supplements I am on are D-chiro-inositol (DCI) to help with insulin resistence and Vitex, which I got from this company:

I have been taking DCI and Vitex for about 2 and a half weeks. I haven't seen a huge change, I still have had some pretty strong sugar cravings (but it could be that I had PMS too!) but I haven noticed that I don't feel as bloated after everything I eat. I'll keep you updated on how it goes!

Thursday, October 3, 2013


When I first heard my diagnosis, I was completely ready to do anything it took to be healthy, and try to heal my body. That was 2 years, 5 months, and 22 days ago. Or 907 days, or, 21,744 hours, or 1,304,640 minutes have past since that moment. Time. Time that I have done things. And time that I have gotten tired of fighting.

I am a stubborn person. I get what I want. I try to be nice about it, but I have a hard time hearing no. But there are somethings that you cannot get, no matter how hard you try. I cannot beat PCOS from sheer determination. It helps, but I have to have patience, motivation, and a persistence. Eventually, I got tired of fighting. I forgot the feeling I had while sitting in the examination room. Or the fear when I saw the doctors face and realized it was more than just a routine thing. I have become relaxed in my fight. This is why it's so important to make these changes, and make them for life.

March 2011               March 2012                July 2013
I sometimes catch myself thinking, If I quit eating sugar and other simple carbs, and loose ten more pounds, my body will be great, and then I can eat those things again. It's hard to change things about yourself permanently. Besides being stubborn, I hate change. I resist it. I fight against it. Eventually I can accept it. This is what I am working on now. I need to run everyday. Every meal needs to be healthy. I cannot eat a whole bag of gummi worms, or chocolate, or a whole carton of ice cream anymore. No matter how good those donuts smell, I cannot have one. This is a lifestyle change, not a change for a few weeks, or months. We do this because it is healthy. Not just because we want to loose the weight.

I have come too far to back slide. And I still have a long way to go. I have figured out a few things that have worked for me. Things that get me out of bed, that stop me from grabbing that cookie, and things that get me to the gym, or pounding the pavement.

  • Set goals - these have to be doable. If it's just not eating sugar for just ONE day, and that is all you can do right now, then do it! Set long term goals, and then short term goals. Set goals for one day at a time. Along with these goals, write down why you want to do this, what it is that you want to achieve. 
  • Hold yourself accountable, report to someone if you need to. Keep a journal. Write down what you eat, when you exercise, things you do to resist the temptation, and go back and read it! 
  • Give yourself rewards. If you were good for a day, buy yourself a new Mp3, or nail polish. Or if you made it a week or two, get a new movie or buy yourself flowers. 
  • Find an exercise that you at least like to do, if not love. There's yoga, zumba, crossfit, running, walking, biking, swimming, and even Jillian Michael's workout videos. I'll admit it, I was ashamed to go to the gym once, so I did videos in the safety of my home. I am not an exercise expert or anything, but I can tell you that the recommended cardio workout is about 30 minutes a day, with muscle-strengthening exercises a couple of times a week. I would suggest doing at least 45 minutes of cardio if you can. Even if you have to walk around for the last 15. You can do this!
  • Get an exercise buddy. If someone is up early, waiting for you, you are more likely to get out of bed!
  • Fast paced workout music has saved me. I love 80's, angry girl music, boy bands... Anything with a  fast beat that will get me going.
  • Realize that this is going to be hard. That in a few days, or weeks you are going to hit that wall. You are going to crave sugar and carbs like you will not believe. You will want to give up. You will honestly be weighing the pros and cons in your head. Something that meant so much to you just a few weeks ago, is going to seem way too hard, and not worth it anymore. Fight back. Drink more water. Talk yourself through it. Call someone. This is worth it. You are worth it. Look back at your goals, and your journal. You've come so far! 
We are all human. We are not perfect, but we can do hard things if we are determined enough. Change is hard. But anyone can do it, if they will work at it. If you are stubborn, use that to your advantage. Be stubborn about doing what you need to, to be healthy. 

You are a healthy person, and you can do hard things. 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

New to PCOS

Some of the biggest issues I have had with PCOS so far is weight gain and anxiety. Weight gain is frustrating alone! I have gained 50 lbs in the last two years, and 40 of them have been in the last year. I was so frustrated with myself because I thought I was eating too much, being lazy, too stressed, etc. I am sure to an extent it was true, but I had no idea why it seemed like my weight was ballooning when my diet had not really changed much from previous years.

My anxiety is not just that I'm afraid of what this disorder is doing to my body, but also just anxiety in general. I have a lot of it! I am honestly not even sure how to explain my anxiety, its like an attack that happens whenever it feels like it. I think anxiety is a fairly normal emotion that we feel in life, and I wouldn't say I have severe anxiety but sometimes it does get the best of me.

Oh, and one more. I have felt so exhaustively tired! I literally have to peel myself out of bed in the mornings, and I often end up taking one to two hour naps during the day. It is so hard to want to get things done and have no energy to do it. I felt like I was nuts, and sometimes I still do. Today I feel good though, so I am going to take advantage of that! (I'm not sure if it is because fall is here and I love October or if the supplements are kicking in to improve my mood and energy, but I'll take it!)

Oh just kidding, one more: Irregular menstrual cycles. Sometimes I am not sure if I am grateful for the lack of them or worried. I honestly leaned more towards grateful, haha! But it was frustrating because I kept wondering if I was possibly pregnant or if one of my ovaries had shut down, or if I had some kind of cancer or serious problem. After missing 5 months of menstrual cycles, i decided it might be more of an issue than I thought. It also made me wonder if I was even ovulating, which having done some reseach it seems I probably am not.

Now that I have gone on complaining about my symptoms, it is time for me to figure out a plan. It is what it is, ya know? So What am I going to do about it? Because I don't want to feel like this my whole life. Maybe I will, maybe that is the trial I will have in this life. But I don't want to feel this way knowing I did nothing to try to solve it.

Having been recently diagnosed, I don't feel like I have a lot of experience with medication and diet yet. What is hard for me right now is trying to figure out what my symptoms are and if PCOS is why I am having them. I have noticed that medically, we tend to treat each symptom as if it is it's own problem. But I am beginning to wonder if all of the symptoms and struggles I have been having all go together with one culprit at the head: my health. Not just physical fitness and nutrition, but also my mental and emotional health, my social health, my spiritual health, etc. I am noticing that just like my hormones are out of balance, my life seems out of balance also. I don't think that my faith will cure me alone, I don't think friendship and support will cure me alone, I don't think medication will cure me alone, and I don't think a change in diet will cure me alone. Granted, I have a lot of sorting to do in my life to make sure I balance it all, and I may find it doesn't have as big of a difference as I think it does now but I am willing to try.

So that is where I am right now in this journey. There are many different roads I can take, and I am working on figuring out which one. I wish I could take all of them at once if it was possible, but I'd probably end up worse off than I am! Right now I am willing to try birth control (Tri-Sprintec is the one I will be taking), but I do not want to have to take it for the rest of my life. I mentioned in my about me section that my plan is to lose weight and change my lifestyle by being more active, finding new activities I enjoy, and eating better. I am hoping the birth control will help in that process, along with some supplements I am trying (D-chiro-inositol and Vitex--which I just read may partially reverse what birth control is doing... so we'll see).

Welcome to Our War

PCOS has been like a war for me. Some battles I have won, and I have lost a lot.
The hardest part for me was being at the beginning of the road, looking down it, and wondering how in the world I was going to get started on what needed to happen.

I had just returned from serving a mission for the LDS church, where I had gained 50 pounds. When I got home, I stopped eating sugar, white flour, white rice, and white pasta. I started running every day, and I wasn't seeing a difference in my weight. At all. That's when I first suspected that something was wrong.
My doctor first put me on Sprintec - a birth control - and within a few weeks I had dropped around 20 pounds! Even one of the techs at the hospital was amazed! But after that initial weight loss, I was back to fighting for every pound to come off, I think I was able to get about five more off, but it was a long, hard road.

The biggest difference came when my sister started the Medifast diet, and  lost a lot of weight. I decided to try it, a year after my diagnosis. Within two weeks of being on the diet, I'd lost 15 more pounds! Through running every day, I have been able to maintain most of the weight loss. Throughout the diet, my energy levels went up a lot, I was able to sleep better, and I felt a little less crazy.

My biggest problem was, that despite the weight loss, I still had teenage acne, facial hair, and no energy.  I did a lot a of research and came across the supplement D-chiro inositol. It was expensive for how much it suggested taking every day, but I was willing to do whatever it took. The only difference I noticed was a pain in my bladder area that was persistent. My energy level never changed, and I was always exhausted. I did some more research and came across another inositol - myo-inositol. From what I read, it was supposedly the better choice for treating PCOS symptoms. So, I ordered a bottle, which happened to  be A LOT cheaper than the D-chiro! Again, I didn't really notice a difference, but I have never tried to become pregnant through any of this, nor have I had my hormone levels monitored, so I can't really say for sure that it didn't make a difference, but I never noticed one.

I decided that I needed to see a different doctor, a young gynecologist that knew more about PCOS, (my previous doctor had gone to medical school many, many years ago, and didn't really know a lot about it). After talking about a few things, mostly how "I don't look like the typical woman with PCOS." So why was I having so many problems? She prescribed Gianvi, a new birth control, telling me that it would help the symptoms better than my other birth control. Soon after, I decided to make an appointment with a dermatologist, who has put my on another oral medication, and a couple of topical medications. I have also had a few laser hair removal sessions done, but those are expensive and I had to travel a couple of hours. My sister owned the Remington home laser thing, and she let me borrow it, I bought some cartridges, and it has actually worked pretty well!... When I remember to use it!

My current medications have helped a lot! My acne is TONS better, my awkward hair growth has diminished, and I don't feel crazy, at all. I still struggle with sleeping and energy, but I haven't been concentrating on my diet lately, so there is always room for improvement there! Hopefully this blog journey will help a lot with that. Also, just a note, when I turned 26 and got kicked off my parents insurance, and before I got my own, I started taking Sprintec again because it is A LOT cheaper, but it made me INSANE and super depressed. I am back on Gianvi, and a lot happier! You just have to find what works for you.

Feel free to ask me any questions about anything! You can comment below, or you are even welcome to email.