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Monthly Archives: January 2013

Stress Eating: A Non-Solution

Oh, Lovelies. Stress. How we all hate it, right? Particularly on Fridays.

It disrupts our hormones, alters our sleep patterns (which further disrupts our hormones), and can take away our level-headed sense of control if we let it.

I almost let it. I might still let it, honestly. But, I’m fighting. And, I’m pretty sure I’m writing this more for me than you, no offense. I still love you, but please forgive me if I ramble today.

You know your day is going to be stressful when it begins with a euphemism-filled phone discussion with your husband (who had just left for work but called because he knows what would have happened if you had talked face to face) about whether or not your beloved old puppy has reached “that time.”

We are pretty certain that he has.

Cue the STRESS.

When we first adopted our Lab as an almost-two-year-old pup, the mere contemplation of the far-off “final day” was enough to drive me to tears. Today, after sharing eleven years, two homes, the birth of our two children–the majority of my adult life–with his unconditional affection and home-warming presence, the idea of what looms overwhelms me.

I’m drowning.

Historically, I cope through indulgence. In all the wrong things for a girl with PCOS (or, anyone, really). Bread. Pasta. Cheese. Repeat. Bread. Pasta. Cheese. Repeat. Luckily, though, not much of that is in the house. I think…

However, Panera is two miles down the road, and I am ready to stress eat my way through their entire assortment of menus–a new doughy, carb-loaded, ooey-gooey cheese dish between each new round of sobs. 

But, I won’t.

I can recognize, even in my distress, that stress-eating is a non-solution. It certainly won’t cure our pup’s now-debilitating arthritis, clear up his fatty tumors, or improve his newly-slipping hind quarters. It won’t help his stubborn Labrador-ness climb the stairs to sleep close to his family every night, make his medication more effective, or stop him from groaning in his sleep. But it will deplete me.

Sure, it would taste amazing, but that’s about all.

Very likely, I’d wind-up sick to my stomach, experiencing sugar-crashes, crankiness, and fatigue. I can’t have that, because not only will Chance’s passing be mine and my husband’s to share, but our two children will need us to guide them through the loss of their best friend.

Can you say HUGE responsibility?!?!?!?

We may be blessed with our beloved pup for another day, week, or maybe even month if he is comfortable. However, the best way I know to be prepared for that inevitable time is to keep nourishing myself the right way, even when I don’t want to, so that I’ll be the best I can be for those who are going to need me to be strong.

Hug & kiss your furry family members, Lovelies. They are here with us for far too short a time.





A New Year: Two Weeks In…

Happy New Year, Lovelies!

Yes, I know it’s now two weeks into a new year; so, let’s not waste anymore time! Here’s what’s been going on in the Klien Street Cave….

Thanksgiving landed me in the ER. Twice. With the holiday’s heavy carbohydrate load–mashed potatoes, biscuits, stuffing, pie crusts, etc.–and my POOR food choices, my insulin resistance had a heyday, and my ovaries blossomed with debilitating cysts. I couldn’t find comfort standing, walking, sitting, sleeping, NOTHING. In fact, the pain and nausea got so bad, my little family of four had to leave a post-Thanksgiving celebration in order to bring me to the hospital where, overwhelmed with extreme pain, I started vomiting and wound-up on anti-nausea medication, an IV drip, and morphine before undergoing both a transabdominal and transvaginal ultrasound, accumulating over 700+ pictures of my internal lady parts. Lovely, I know.

I was sent home on Vicodin to deal with the pain of an ovary that was swollen to four times its normal size with cysts until I could follow-up with my OBGYN practice. I went to see a new doctor (the only one with an appointment available) at that practice the very next day. After spending about five minutes with me (and that included an internal and an examination of my ultrasound pics), he told me that PCOS doesn’t cause painful cysts and that I should follow-up with my PC physician, who didn’t have an appointment until the next day.

That night, the pain became so severe that I wound up back in the ER, back on an IV drip, back on anti-nausea medication, and back on morphine. This pattern was not one that I wanted to keep repeating. Even though I had worked so hard at keeping my diet clean and Paleo-focused up to Thanksgiving, I had lost control of my diet over the holiday, and my body was making sure that I knew what a mistake I had made–in quite the memorable fashion.

My PC doctor confirmed what I already knew: my pain was caused by the cysts on my ovaries. She put me on Metformin to help my body better regulate my insulin response, and she fully supported the idea that I should follow the Paleo way of eating as closely as possible–advice that, you can believe, I took to my very disappointed-in-myself heart.

Christmas came and went, and for ONE day only I allowed myself a few little treats with no relapse into my painful cystic state, but I still felt like I wasn’t doing enough for my health, because, even with a Paleo-focused diet and Metformin, the extra weight I’d accumulated wasn’t budging. Not one little bit. Gross. I hated the way I felt. I’ve never been thin–I don’t aspire to be, either. I’m too muscular for that. But, I have been at a healthy weight. And, getting back to that healthy weight became the focus of my New Year’s Resolution.

And this, Lovelies, is the point where I get truly excited. After much contemplation and even more searching, I have found something transformational: Bodymedia Fit LINK Armband.

My new best friend

Let’s be clear: I am not saying that this is for everyone. Nor am I saying that you should get one. I am simply offering insight into how this tool is helping me achieve the best me possible, when so many other products, plans, and methods have failed.

First, this armband is the perfect trifecta for me:

1. It provides centralized data for a multitude of different measurements. By wearing the armband, I can collect data about my calories burned, calorie balance (it syncs with MyFitness Pal), total activity time (both moderate and vigorous), the number of steps taken per day, and total sleep time and sleep efficiency.

2. It motivates me to meet the goals I set for myself. Because I set my own goals, I am immediately more invested; however, the LINK armband syncs with my iPhone5, and I can real-time monitor my calorie burn, my activity time, and how many steps I’ve taken. What is more motivating than seeing how close you are to achieving your goal? The activity manager feature even suggests additional activities to help you reach your daily goal!

3. It is flexible and supports my specific needs. The LINK does not require that I follow any specific program. No points. No mail-order food. No gimmicks. No false promises. The armband requires that I nourish my body the way my body needs to be nourished. For me, that means following Paleo. So, I plug all my Paleo-eats into MyFitness Pal and the calorie information is transferred automatically to my armband. I set my own step goal, and I monitor it throughout the day, parking farther away from my destinations and taking stairs when possible, because each step counts. I also set a daily activity time goal, and I work to meet the times I have set for myself. I make sure that if I’ve planned a workout that I keep that workout time like any other appointment in my planner, and I make sure that I play with my kids whenever the unplanned opportunity arises. Because, after all, activity is activity.

Second, it works.

One of the benefits is weight loss: 15 lbs. to date. Which, for someone with PCOS, who has been so discouraged by past experiences, 15 lbs. is an outstanding start!

As much as I love the results as they are reflected in my physique, I am enjoying the feelings of control and informed participation much more. For the first time, I am able to concretely see what is and isn’t working for my body. Pie charts, bar graphs, and percentages are my friends. I can make correlations and inferences by observing these data trends that I now have available–for instance, seven hours of sleep is my magic number. Every night where I have gotten approximately seven hours of sleep, I have lost weight. Less sleep=no weight loss. Information is powerful stuff.

And, Lovelies, do you know what is even better than my success? My husband has gotten onboard with a LINK armband of his own! We are on this journey as partners now (as opposed to me journeying and hubby hanging on for the ride), and our family is so much stronger for it!

I hope you are all having a wonderful start to your New Year, too! Make sure to share all of your New Year successes with us!

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