I had a really rough day today. At about 2 PM I got a call from my doctors office to confirm that my blood work came back negative which means the round of fertility medicine I have been taking all month did not work. The hardest part is going through all the emotional changes and having nothing to show for it. I felt like a failure and it sucked.
The moment I got off the phone with the nurse, I broke down crying and wanted pizza. I seriously could not stop thinking about food for 3 hours straight. I went into a daze of depression and couldn't focus on anything but food and wanting to curl up in a ball on my couch and cry.
The way I handled it scared me. It brought back so many emotions of how I used to handle my life. It reminded me of the old me who ate to cover up how unhappy she was with life. The old me who let her health go so she could cater to those around her. The old me who was so unhappy she gave up.
I got home, made dinner, and went to the gym. I tried and tried to talk myself out of it but between myself knowing I needed to go and my husband motivating me I would not have went. I am so glad I did.
At the gym I kicked my own ass! I pushed myself physically and it felt amazing. Pushing myself to the point my muscles are shaking, pushes myself mentally in a way that helps clear my head. The therapy I receive while lifting weights is something I can't explain.
I left the gym stronger. Not just physically, but emotionally and mentally. Once again I have been knocked down, but I got back up and I will try again. I won't let the old me control my emotions. I'll keep fighting to become the healthiest version of myself. I left the gym lighter. I left the gym a better version of the new me.
I think one of my favorite words in the English vocabulary is, Passion. It holds so much meaning. It literally means, “Strong and barely controllable emotion.” It’s beautiful. Without passion the world would be boring and weak. We would have less enthusiasm for the things we do and the people we see.
A quote that has stood out to me lately is “Find something you’re passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.”- Julie child I love this. We should all find something that we are extremely passionate about and never forget how much we love it. Never let anyone make you feel inferior for your passion. Grasp on to it and never apologize for it.
A lot of times I feel like I’m being judged for my excitement for health and fitness. I don’t want to annoy people with my posts or pictures about it so I honestly hold back a bit. I can stress the reason for my passion behind health and fitness, but until someone has seen the way I looked or felt the way I felt, they never will fully understand.
My wish for everyone is find something(s) that they are completely passionate about. Something that you become a better person for loving it so much.
Carb cycling is an eating plan where you switch between high-carb and low-carb days. What’s even more perfect is you can incorporate a reward meal every day and even have a reward day! The idea behind it is that by alternating high and low carb days it trains your body to become a major calorie burner. On High carb days you are storing your body with fuel and on low carb days your body burns the stocked fuel.
As of this week I’ve started carb cycling. Honestly, I feel like it’s kind of what I’ve been doing all along, but in a different order so I’m going to tweek a few things to get more organized and see how it goes! I’ve read a lot of really good things about carb cycling including its benefits for PCOS sufferers with insulin resistance.
If you have ever watched the amazing transformation that happens on TV’s “Extreme Makeover Weight loss edition” then you have already seen what carb cycling can do. Chris and Heidi Powell love carb cycling and it is what they choose to do for the contestant’s body transformations. The results are amazing and I am so excited to try it out.
I have always said I don’t believe in diets or adding a bunch of fake supplements to help aid in weight loss. From the beginning, I have went into my weight loss journey with a natural approach. I feel that it has helped me educate myself about my body and what nutrients I need more or less of. Once I started tracking my macros I could feel my body changing and could tell how my body felt with not enough carbs or fats. One of the things that I will always take away from my weight loss journey most is the connection I have between my body and mind.
The thing that I found so interesting with carb cycling is that you get to cater it to your personal lifestyle. I checked out Chris Powell’s website www.chrispowell.com and read up on his approach to carb cycling. He has different options to choose from Easy, Classic, Turbo, and Fit. I would highly suggest going to this site and reading up on it for great, detailed information.
I guess I’m a bit of a rebel, so I’ve decided to try my own Carb cycling routine. Again, the reason I like the idea of carb cycling is because of the personalization you do for your own goals. I have a set fitness routine and I feel it’s important to have my high-carb days on my intense work out days such as leg day, so I’ve catered the plan to that. Here is what I will be doing:
Sunday- Low-Carb Cardio
Monday- High-Carb Shoulders/ Full cardio
Tuesday- Low-Carb Arms/Less cardio
Wednesday- Low-Carb Rest day
Thursday- High-Carb Legs/Full cardio
Friday- Low-Carb Cheat meal Rest day
Saturday- Free day! Extra 1000 calories Back/Full cardio
With this plan on your low carb days your calorie goal should be around 1200-1400 and 1500-1900 on high carb days. Your total calorie per day should be based on your weight and activity level. It won’t be the same for everyone. On High-Carb days you’ll want to aim for 1 gram per body weight. So a women weighing 165 pounds would need 165 grams of carbs. On Low-Carb days you will aim for .2-.5 grams per body weight. The best way to track these numbers is with a calorie tracker app like myfitnesspal.
I get that new plans can be a bit overwhelming. I remember feeling like this with macro counting. It takes time, discipline, and a bit of extra work but it pays off in the end. It’s all about finding a routine with meals and how and when you’ll enter your data. Some like to wait until the end of the day to enter in your daily meals others like to enter it throughout the day as you consume the food.
I’ll keep you all updated on my progress throughout the carb-cycling process. I hope to see some good results and get even more in tune with my body!
I have a confession. I’ve lost 145 pounds without stepping foot in a health food store. Crazy, I know, but I have never ever stepped foot inside one before. In fact, they scare me. I feel like they are full of scary food like dried crickets and things I can’t even pronounce. It took me a while to figure out how to pronounce Quinoa (Keen-wah). The fact that I pronounced it qua-een-o-ah for a long times makes me want to climb under a rock from embarrassment. I prefer to stick with my trusty ol’ Wally world and small family owned markets that I know like the back of my hand.
I do believe that health food stores have great qualities. I mean the fact that it’s full of nutritional foods and goodies make it a health junkie’s heaven. Plus there is no temptation, everything there is “healthy”. So why don’t I shop there? Besides the fact that I don’t like change and I’m scared of crickets, it’s because I feel I have better options for myself.
When I first started losing weight I lived in a really small town. We have one grocery store in town and if you need something that they don’t have, it’s an hour each way to the closest Wal-Mart. I got good at choosing healthy food from a small selection. As long as the store you’re in has a produce, meat, and dairy aisle you can eat healthy.
Costco has a great selection of Organic food that I love to get. They have organic produce, snacks, meals, etc. Remember this, just because it’s organic does not mean it is right for you. Make sure to read the labels and make sure the organic item does fit into your calorie and macro count.
The city I live in now is getting a new health food store and I am pretty excited to conquer my fear and go shopping there. I know a few of my co-workers shop at another health store and they always come back with some cool things. I will update you once I’ve shopped there and let you know what I think of it.
IIFYM stands for If It Fits Your Macros. Macros are the 3 macronutrients that our body needs to sustain, Fat, Carbohydrates, and Protein. Each macro is needed in different ways depending on your activity level, metabolism, and other key factors.
I chose to start focusing on this technique because it seems to fit the way I have been doing things from the beginning. But instead of allowing myself one cheat meal, I can have a cheat meal everyday as long as it fits into my macros. It allows so much more freedom in your diet so you don’t feel restricted. Basically you eat what you want to fill your daily macro goal.
I know what you’re thinking “So I can eat like crap and still drop weight?” Umm no. Far from it. In order to hit your macros which are usually high amounts of protein, lesser carbs, and even less fat you cannot hit those goals eating chips and brownies all day. To hit your macro count you have to be smart and eat a lot of normal body building foods like chicken breast, fish, eggs, dairy, whole oats, fruits, and vegetables.
When I say that you can have a cheat meal once a day if your macros allowed I’m meaning you’ve been strict with your food intake all day and have macros left which allow your cheat meal. I use the app www.myfitnesspal.com to track my calorie and macro intake. To change your macro intake to fit your personal settings go to your main screen on MFP and find the goals section. There you will see nutrition goals, click on that. From there, go to the advanced nutrition goal option and it will let you manually enter what your goals are. Once those are updated you can click on nutrition throughout the day and it will show you how close you are to hitting your macro goal. Easy peazy!
A traditional diet meal plan consists of a lot of boring foods which I absolutely hate. Using the IIFYM technique allows me to eat the foods I want in moderation and still hit my weight loss goals. Here’s a typical day for me
Breakfast- Oatmeal with almond milk, cinnamon, and truvia
Macros- 3 g fat, 28 g Carbs, and 5 g protein.
Snack 1- Hardboiled egg, 12 black grapes, ½ apple
Macros- 5 g fat, 15 g carbs, 8 g protein
Lunch- Chicken breast, whole wheat tortilla, Buffalo Wild Wings Garlic Parmesan sauce. ½ cup Cottage cheese.
Macros- 21 g fat, 19 g Carbs, 54 g protein.
Snack 2- Air popped popcorn with cheddar Jalapeno seasoning
Macros- 1 g fat, 12 g carbs, 2 g protein
Dinner- Crockpot Chile Verde
Macros- 21 g fat, 18 g carbs, 25 g protein
Post workout- Chocolate Protein drink
Macros- 1 g fat, 6 g carbs, 50 g protein
All that combined equaled 83 g carbs, 47 g fat, 136 g protein, and 1296 calories. I am still way behind my macros so I’ll add nachos, pizza, or whatever fits my remaining macro count. There really is so much flexibility with IIFYM!
I’ve done a lot of research on PCOS diet and it seems that everything points to a really low carb intake, however when I was eating 80 g of carbs a day like I read to, I had absolutely no energy. I couldn’t even run for 10 minutes because I felt so weak. I think the most important thing to remember anytime you’re changing your diet in any way is to pay extra attention to how you feel. Realize any changes that are happening in your body such as energy level, physical appearance like hair loss, how quickly you see weight loss, gastrointestinal changes, etc.
To some macro counting is a lot of work and it is. You really have to educate yourself and figure out what your body needs or doesn't need. I've changed my macro goals a few times because I could tell something was off. Honestly, that is why I’ve chose to stick with flexible dieting. I feel great, my energy level is up, I’m digesting the carbs okay, and my body is changing in ways I’ve wanted. At first it was a lot to get used to, but now it’s simple. I read food labels a lot and I feel way more educated about what is really in my food. I’m getting smarter and seeing better physical results…Winner, winner!
I don't follow the guidelines as strictly has most. My general logic to eating is as long as it's healthy, has nutrients, and actually helps my body then it's ok to eat. I've figured out its personal preference how you choose to live your life and eat your food so what works for me might not work for others and that's okay.
Here is a copy of my list of foods that I always keep on hand. I obviously add additional items depending on what recipes I'm having throughout the week, but these are my staple foods. If you want me to send this file to you by email let me know, that way you can edit it as you please!
I've been asked a few questions about this list.
1. Where do you typically grocery shop? I usually shop at Walmart, Costco, and a local market we have in my city. I pretty much get canned stuff and all my household things at Walmart. Costco has an awesome selection of organic fruits, vegetables, crackers, meat, etc. I love the Aidells chicken sausages! The market we have here has a really great section of the store that is pretty much like a health food store so I'll get chia seeds, flax seed, protein bars, coconut oil, etc from there. If we had a Smiths closer I'd shop there though.
2. Where do I buy lunch meat? I get Hormel Natural Choice lunch meat which is %100 preservative free. Costco also has some preservative free lunch meat, but I can't remember the brand. Preservative free goes bad faster since the preservatives don't lengthen the shelf life so take that into account.
3. What kind of bacon/sausage do you buy? First off, I always eat normal pork sausage and bacon. I have tried soooo many times to eat turkey bacon, turkey burger, and turkey sausage but I can't handle it. I hate the taste! Again, I just look for the healthiest kind out there. I don't eat a ton of bacon or sausage so I get what my husband likes since he eats more of it.
4. What's my favorite brand of whole wheat wraps? Spinach wraps? My favorite whole wheat wraps are Trader Joes or Wrap-Itz. If you don't have access to a Trader Joes there are other options just make sure the first ingredient is whole wheat and stay away from refined wheat in there! You can order Wrap-Itz from Amazon! Spinach wraps are deceptive. I just read that they aren't really that healthy because they use refined sugars and food dye to get the green coloring. There is hardly any nutrients in there. So those will be coming off the list asap :(
I get asked a lot if I ever eat unhealthy food. Umm yeah, pretty much every day. I like food. I like to celebrate special occasions with food. I like to reward myself with food. I don’t think there is anything wrong with eating unhealthy food, when done in moderation. There are some weeks where I don’t really have any craving for bad foods and others where I want every calorie loaded snack in sight.
When those weeks come along where I want nothing but bad food, I let myself indulge a bit more than normal. I don’t think it’s healthy to feel like you’re being punished for wanting a snack. Eat the candy and move on, don’t dwell on it. When I do eat really crappy I try to be really good the next day so my body doesn’t end up hating me later. These are my steps to get back on track:
1. Drink tons of water! I drink at least 80 oz everyday so I up that when I’ve binged.
2. Snack on fruits and veggies. Get creative and add healthy dips like hummus or peanut butter if eating fruits and veggies alone is too boring for you.
3. Exercise. Sweating out the toxins helps you feel so much better!
4. Don’t be too mentally hard on yourself. Know that you could have been worse and that you don’t eat like that every day. One bad day will not affect your goals in the long run if you consistently eat healthy and exercise.
5. Don’t expect perfection. For a lot of us who are on a weight loss journey we are dealing with more issues than just losing weight to look good. When you are obese there is typically an emotional, Mental, or physical reason we are that way. Thinking that all of sudden those issues are going to completely disappear after you’ve started your weight loss journey is unrealistic. You will mess up. There is no way around it. Move on and try to do better next time.
There you go. Those are my personal ways of recovering from a binge day of eating sweets, pizza, buffalo wings, ice cream, chips, etc. Yeah I’m sure there are days where I’ve literally ate every single one of those items. As long as you’re happy with the progress, don’t be hard on yourself for a bad day. As long as you have more good days than bad, you’re on the right track to being successful.
P.S. Mmmm Buffalo wings and pizza. My two food loves! Okay, okay I’m going to go eat my oatmeal and have a good day!
August will forever go into Nate and Whitney’s history as the month where we thought I had lost my mind. I was on my first round of these particular fertility meds and I was CRAZY! There was no telling what mood I was going to be in from one second to the next. I was happy, sad, angry, depressed, and hyper. All at the same time. I literally felt like I had completely gone off the deep end. I didn’t even want to be around myself, so I knew Nate didn’t want me around.
I ended up not getting pregnant that round which sucked, but I still felt okay about things. I am optimistic that things will happen soon. We took a break in September for financial reasons and for me to regain my sanity! October rolled around and we chose to try again.
The beginning of October I started Femara 5mg for 5 days. I went into this round with the mindset that I knew what to expect and I would control my emotions better. Which I have…. For the most part. Everything was going great. I felt good, minus a few hot flashes and one day of an awful headache, until the Café Rio incident happened.
One of my co-workers had given me a few full punch cards for free meals from Café Rio, so we decided that’s what we’d do for dinner that night. I ordered online and we drove to pick it up. I told Nate to drop me off at the door and I’d run in to grab it. We pull up and I try to get out, but my car keeps the doors auto-locked until the car is in park. Well that pissed me off that Nate didn’t think to put the car in park, he should know this, how dare he! (I’m totally laughing at myself right now btw!)
I finally get out of the car and walk up to the counter to get my order. Immediately behind me there are two young boys, probably around 7 years old, whining to their mom to get them a water cup. They were annoying and I gave them a deathly glare. I bought my food, grabbed my drink cups, and walked to the drink station. I was politely waiting in line, minding my own business, and suddenly those two boys ran right in front of me and started filling their cups up. I let it slide because they were still young enough to not know better. Then their big brother who was taller than me and looked to be about 15 comes along and starts pushing me out of the way. I completely lost it on this kid. I yelled at him and may or may not have used my big purse to push back. He wasn’t 7 and he definitely should have known better to butt in line at the drink station! I filled my cups up and walked out of there like a boss!
This made me realize two things. 1. Women going through fertility treatments should come with a warning label. Like maybe a big sticker on the forehead that says “Jacked up on Femara and Freaking crazy!” or “Hormonal- stay away!” 2. No matter how much we try to control our emotions, we can’t. Our bodies are going crazy trying to produce eggs and all that fun stuff.
For all those concerned for Nates well-being, he is fine. As long as he has sports and food he will get through it! He has been amazing at trying to understand me through this process and I love him more now than ever. Having a support system as great as him makes me realize that I can make it through anything!
When I decided to start this blog, I essentially did it for me. I’ve always felt it therapeutic to write in my journal so I figured I would write here so people could see and learn from it. I never expected the comments that I’ve received. I’ve had complete strangers email me, write me on Facebook, comment on here and they have all been so nice and helpful. Thank you to all those who have went out of your way to comment, it really does mean the world to me.
I remember when I was first diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. I was scared and felt really alone. I didn’t know one person who had the syndrome and felt like no one could relate to me. I couldn’t really talk to my friends or family, especially my sisters, because they all had babies or were currently pregnant. It didn’t seem fair at all. I will be completely honest in saying that I had a really hard time being around people for a long time.
Having PCOS has influenced my life in a lot of ways. In the beginning it had my confidence at an all-time low. I stayed in a toxic marriage for longer than I should have because I felt like no one else would want to deal with my “baggage”, I ate my feelings, and I didn’t want to be active in anything. I look back now and realize just how happy I was for a long time.
After leaving my ex, I started on my journey of becoming happy. The first thing that I wanted to do was lose weight. Initially, it was all about appearance. I wanted to look pretty again. Never in a million years did I think that losing weight would influence me the way it has. I realize now that in order to look good, you’ve got to feel good. Staying active, eating healthy, and taking care of myself has led to the greatest blessing in my life… my happiness.
Having PCOS has made me try harder to lose weight which in turn has made me into a fighter. I fight to be happy, I fight to be healthy, and I fight to accomplish every single goal I have. I no longer sit back waiting for things to happen. I make things happen. Some might say that having PCOS is all negative (and for the most part that is correct), however there is something to learn in every single negative step in our life. We can either pity ourselves or step up and make lemonade out of our lemons.
I for one will not let this syndrome hold me back. I’ll stand up and fight for what I want. I will be healthy, I will positively influence those around me, I will control my emotions, and I will have a baby. I will do everything that PCOS doesn’t want me to. PCOS has not only made me into a fighter, it has made me determined. Determined to show everyone that nothing can hold you back, not even the monster we call PCOS.
Tonight I was watching Dancing With the Stars and there was a dance about bullying and those dealing with insecurities. It was a beautiful and emotional dance. I started crying and realized how close it hit home to me.
During high school I was never the skinny girl. I have always been thicker or "big boned" as some like to call it. I was always popular and well liked but no one ever knew how insecure I really was. I never felt as confident as I made it seem.
I remember my junior or senior year, someone put a note on my front door basically saying that they thought it was gross that when I sat down my shirt would rise up in the back and they could see my back fat and some other really mean things. I remember crying every single night about it. Some other boys were really mean to me too. And the funny thing is that all the boys that wrote and said these things were always my friends. We hung out all the time. If only I had the confidence I do now. I would have told them exactly what I thought, but instead I just smiled and pretended it was all okay.
If I could stand up and defend every single person who is being bullied I would. I would tell them that it gets better. I would tell them that once you graduate and grow up that this will only be a stepping stone to who you will become. The bullies will hopefully grow up and be decent human beings and if they don't they'll continue being miserable people who no one likes!
I believe that everything in my life has influenced me to become who I am today. I think that the bullying led me to marry young and be in an unhealthy relationship. The unhealthy relationship ultimately made me believe in myself enough to leave him, which made me motivated to lose weight. Losing weight made me confident enough to start dating and dating led me to Nate. Meeting Nate made me the happiest person I have ever been. Take that bullies!
Wife and Mom! I love all things fitness, nature, and design inspired. Infertility warrior and new mom through adoption. Living this busy life the best way possible!