there is purpose in this season

she hates me

A portrait at 34 with a very grumpy cat

Hello.  Hope everyone had a lovely holiday!  I turned 34 the day after Thanksgiving.  To be honest, I’ve never thought much about being 34.  I can barely remember how old I am on a daily basis and 34 is just one of those ages that just doesn’t seem as flashy as 35.  At the end of the day, I still feel like I am 17 years old and have no idea what the hee-haw I am doing :).

It is always nice to spend a few moments to reflect on the past year.  Not to dwell on the “what ifs” and “if onlys”, but to find gratitude in all the year’s blessings.  This year has had an abundance of wonderful things from simple and sweet moments to big, life changing decisions.

Let’s see where this next year takes me.  Perhaps I will find fame and fortune or maybe I’ll just continue trying to live a quiet and meaningful life in the craziness of sweaty, South Florida!

Health Update:

When I started working on my weight loss, I had a goal of losing 30 pounds by my birthday and  I was close- 25 pounds!  And you know what?  I am so happy at my accomplishment I don’t even care that I was 5 pounds away.  I am already planning for my next health goal, but for now am finding some much needed rest in my mind and body as I practice my new habits and decision making.  Time and time again I keep telling myself that this is not a race and to give myself a good solid year to reach my final goals.

My surgery and weight loss made me much more prepared for some fertility assistance.  We started our first round of clomid and will know if it was successful very soon.  In other news, I am absolutely despising my other medication that is giving me a “period”.  Although I only take it for 7 days, the last 3 months I have noticed a drastic shift in my mood for that week.  My anxiety triples and I feel sad and low.   After these next rounds of clomid I will seek another option because no one has time to have their mind messed up with medication.  I am also hopeful that as I continue to reach a healthy weight my hormones will do their thang and begin to regulate things.

Life is good and no matter the outcome of these next cycles and I am falling back to this mantra:

“There is purpose in this season”

Self Portrait 34 bw

Next Steps

Hello there!  I’ve been spending the last week with my nephews and oldest sister who came to visit from Colorado!  We had such a great time and I feel so thankful that I was able to take the whole week off from work and recharge with my family.  And nothing beats the view of those turquoise and blue waters to bring you back to the present moment.

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Last week I had a follow-up with my doctor.  We discussed how my progress was going on my new medication (induces a false period) which has been going just fine (minus the fact that I am still not used to having a period every 28 days!).  As we all know, having a period does not mean ovulation and my doctor does not think that I am ovulating on my own.  She was super glad to know I had been losing weight and reminded me that any weight loss can get those hormones to work better (down 21.5 pounds- yay!).

So what’s the next step?  3 rounds of Clomid.  I’m kind of nervous.  I am doing my very best to feel optimistic and be at peace with the process.  I’ll start the first round in a few weeks and if none of the cycles work, my doctor would recommend that we see a specialist.  Not sure if this will be a route we take, but I am trying not to spend too much energy even thinking about.

I’ve spent years thinking about this point.  I had of course hoped that a sweet baby would come naturally.  I’ve had dear friends go through fertility treatment and assistance and I have witnessed the challenging ups and downs that come with that.  My mom gave me some valuable advice the other day– to make sure that I only start this process when I am sure I have the strength to handle whatever the outcome may be.  I know I can’t be fully prepared for the future, but I am feeling ready for this next step.

Hope everyone is having a relaxing weekend!

It’s still summer.

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Hey there and happy autumn! Its only a cool 9,000 degrees here in South Florida today and everyone is feeling kind of grumpy about the weather.  But I’m burning my fall scented candles and am surrounded by vases full of golden Mums

I’m enjoying a nice relaxing day home.  Its National Indian Day today so I have the day off from work.  Yesterday was spent at the community’s Indian Day celebration and I was tuckered out by the end of it, being outside in the blazing sun and trying to prevent the tiny kindergarteners from getting concussions from our giant Jenga game!  My most favorite part of the day was watching a girl carry around a baby alligator the ENTIRE day.  I asked her what her alligator’s name was to which she replied he had no name and then said I could pet him.  I poked at his scutes and let his little clawed foot wrap around my pointer finger and then they darted off to play with her friends!

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Sunday I am off to a conference for several days where I get to hang out with museum colleagues from across the state.  Should be good and hopefully bring back some new inspiration and energy.

I’ve had a lot on my mind lately, mostly work stuff, but I’m trying to put into practice staying in the present moment and not let myself get all twisted up into a pretzel.  One of the ways I’m working on this is taking time out during my lunch breaks.  I have made an effort to spend some quiet time, alone.  I am lucky to have a big, floor to ceiling window where I can look out at the cypress dome.  I sit in my chair, put a few drops of an essential oil on and then listen to a short, guided meditation — I use the app Relax Melodies.  It has helped so much to reset and start the second part of my day with a level head and positive outlook!  Of course I’m not perfect and there are some days, just 10 minutes after I finish that I get anxious about something else, but practice makes progress!

In other news, I am one pound away from my first weight loss goal of 20 pounds!! Yippee! 11 weeks in and I am still feeling great.  As I’ve mentioned before, I definitely have days that I want to quit my program or binge eat 100 popsicles, but I am proud of how far I’ve come.  I’ve also started to map out my next goals and what that timeline will look like.  However, I’m trying hard not to be too strict on those timelines because, ya know, life happens.  I am most excited that when my nephews come to visit in a few weeks I will have the energy to play and swim and keep up with a 4 and 6 year old!

I have another doctor’s appointment coming up and I’m looking forward to discussing next steps  (ovulation is on the docket) and maybe get some blood work done to see how/if my hormone levels have changed.

Well, enough boring chat for this Friday afternoon– I’m off to enjoy the rest of my day with Aurelia who has forgotten that just because I am home it does not mean she will be fed every 10 seconds.  I see some Netflix, an afternoon cup o’joe, and a couch nap in my future– and maybe some housework…maybe 🙂

 

 

15 down

rainbow mat.jpgHello. A health update here: I have officially lost 15 pounds (well 16.5 to be exact)!!  I felt like that was a pretty good milestone to celebrate– Woohoo!  The past 7 1/2 weeks have been a caa-razy rollercoaster of emotions but I am super excited for the progress I have made.  Yaaaay me!  I am halfway to my goal!

Weight loss is a difficult one, and sometimes I think the frustrations over the years have been felt more by those who love me the most.  From an outside perspective you just want to slap the person and say, “HEY! It’s not that hard to eat more vegetables!” But it isn’t that easy.  For me, it is just as much a mental challenge as it is a physical one.  I don’t really know why my brain got funny about food, but I can pinpoint it to when I moved to Florida.   I got caught in a downward cycle of doom and brain blocks and excuses:  I’m tired because I’m overweight.  I’m overweight because I am just too tired.  I hate salad. I’m always going to be overweight because I have PCOS.  I should just love me as I am.  I just don’t think I can do it.

Part of the health program I am on encourages interacting with others within the online community.  It’s especially exciting is to hear what everyone’s NSVs are– Non Scale Victories.  It’s a good exercise to help focus on your mental and physical health and other accomplishments that are not defined by the scale.

Here are mine:

  1. I can finally wear both my wedding and engagement rings!
  2. I sleep so much more soundly
  3. I do not have to use a safety pin to help close the gap on my button down shirts so no one gets an accidental peekaboo
  4. My skin is healthier
  5. Headaches and stomaches have significantly decreased
  6. I have not binged eaten in 7 1/2 weeks!
  7. I feel more confident in my clothes
  8. I do not crave sugar
  9. My energy has increased significantly
  10. I actually like zoodles (but do not like cauliflower in any shape or form (sorry hipsters))

There are still days I don’t want to keep going.  It takes a lot of work to change habits and sometimes it becomes overwhelming and you want to give up.  Not every day is going to be filled with perfect decisions but I am learning to arm myself with the right knowledge, confidence, and energy to always persist.  If getting my weight back on track will help my broken hormones then I have to persevere.

All creatures great and small

Hello.  Just a little life update here.  Work has been hectic, hence my quietness on the ol’ blog, but overall I am feeling A-OK!

Although, currently I am in severe agony over 3 mosquito bites on the side and bottom of my left foot– does anyone else agree that this (and your fingers) is the absolute worst place to get a mosquito bite?  I woke up 3 times in the middle of the night with my foot throbbing and itching.  Working in the Everglades is a beautiful experience, but the mosquitos are from the Jurassic period and WILL CARRY YOU AWAY!  However, most of the wildlife I get to see is amazing and this week I finally got to see something other than the “normal” wildlife.  I saw a  b e a r !  Oh my- talk about a cool experience.  Luckily I was in a car, but I secretly wanted to give it a giant hug.  Florida black bears are small and skinny compared to some of the other species of bears and my native Floridan friends say they tend to be quite shy (I’ll take their word for it).  My next goal is to see a panther– preferably from a safe distance!

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I also saw this caterpillar, obviously just as exciting as a bear.

In terms of my health, I am feeling great!  I am officially on my 5th week of my new program and having a health coach to encourage and keep me on track has made all of the difference.  I am down 11.5 pounds, have so much more energy, am drinking 80oz of water daily, learning to cook new foods, and overall feeling  p r e t t y  proud of myself.

Sometimes I honestly can’t believe I haven’t had pasta in 5 weeks.  To some that may seem like an easy task, but when I started 5 weeks ago, food had a massive control over my mind.  I won’t lie, it still does, but I am working through all of those things as I rebuild healthy habits.  I’ve realized that I am stronger than I ever gave myself credit for and that I am capable of accomplishing really hard things.  There are days that are a struggle and I want to give up, and that’s ok.  There are also much more easy days than hard days now.  I am constantly reminding myself that small accomplishments over significant time bring to pass great things.  So ‘YAY!’ to me and ‘YAY!’ to you for achieving small things!!

(Also I’ve learned that I hate salad.  I don’t truly believe that anyone can really love salad 😉 )

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Well, I am off to accomplish more small things like the laundry mountain.  Hope everyone has a great weekend!

 

 

Health Odyssey

leaves

Hello.

Whew.  What a week it has been.  I can’t recall the last time a week has pushed me to my mental limits.  But it is a beautiful Sunday morning and I am thankful for a new week!

Aurelia and I are just basking in the morning light.  The tiniest snoring noises and fluttering purrs are coming from her as she takes her 2nd morning nap.  With fresh brewed coffee in my favorite vintage mug I am working on my grocery list for the week.  PS–Why does it take me an hour to make a grocery list?

This past week I also began a serious change in my diet.  I recently reconnected with a childhood friend who does health coaching on the side.  My twin sister- who hears my daily woes and excuses of my lack of good health- urged me to reach out to her.  After my surgery I knew that I needed to pull up my boot straps and start making some solid, long term decisions that would have a positive impact on my health.  I don’t want to be that person anymore that just complains and does nothing about it—so I’m doing something about it!

I’m really excited.  Like, super duper excited!  I’m on day 5 of a completely new way of eating.  I’m drinking 80 ounces of water compared to my previous 8 ounces I used to consume.  I’m eating 6 times a day and ingesting lots of vegetables and protein.  I’m retraining my brain to understand what my body needs and that food is fuel.  I’m on day 5 of no pasta and I actually don’t feel too sad about it!  My body was in detox mode the first several days and there were moments of wanting to give up, but I just took it one minute at a time.  Friday I came home from work with a splitting headache, achy body, and a mood that compared only to an irritable dragon.  But today I am feeling great!

I was thinking the other day about the word journey.  H E A L T H  J O U R N E Y.  I don’t know why, but suddenly I don’t like using that word to describe what I’m doing.  I think its because it makes it seem too easy, like its going to be this blissful, sun-drenched, paved road ahead–frolicking down a path with a basket full of perfectly ripe peaches and shiny green vegetables and positive encouragement from all of my woodland friends.  But the reality is that this is tough.  I’ve let my PCOS symptoms dictate my life.  I’ve developed 10 years worth of bad habits that are so ingrained in me it makes me worried to think I won’t be able to break them.  I have become so comfortable with my discomfort that the idea of transforming is terrifying.  But I’ve dug up some courage and I’m going to give it my best try.

Day 5 of my health odyssey and I am on my way.