Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Wagon!

So, throughout this PCOS, weight loss, become healthier, exercise journey there is one thing in common for every part: the wagon. Its hard to stay on, easy to fall off and a bumpy road almost certainly leads the way each day... Now, I can't say I've fallen off the wagon...I haven't. I've had a sickly week. Last week, I was so sick with what I've eloquently dubbed "the crud" it lasted from last Monday, to this Monday and I only got two days of "real" exercise in--much to my disappointment. This week I can breathe better, but I just feel weak and exhausted....but, a lovely friend came to visit a week early: TOM. Thanks, TOM.

Needless to say, I've been feeling disappointed in myself over things I can't really control. I'm not being "lazy" by making a conscious choice *not* to be active, I feel like I physically can't right now... for running the risk of getting sick again. I've made some really good food choices. Maintained my weight last week (no loss, no gain. But I'm incredibly nervous to see the scale this week. I just had to let it out. Being sick sucks. And even the few days after getting better suck. I'm working on it though.

Silver lining:
I discovered roasted okra!
-Fresh okra (sliced or whole)
-Salt and pepper

Bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees

So, here's to feeling better and keeping on the wagon! And not beating myself up for things that aren't in my control.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Stress and PCOS...its all about STRATEGY!

Conflict is unavoidable. It's part of life.

The challenge is how we handle it. If you can find a way to successfully handle conflict, you will reduce the chronic stress that worsens PCOS symptoms.

Here are 12 ways to deal more skillfully with conflict.

1) Develop a win/win intention.

We live in a competitive culture. We want to "win". But in the competitive sense when someone wins, others lose. If one is right then the other is wrong. Being "right" does not create the best outcome. Start thinking about how good it would feel if you both could win.

2) Notice defensive behavior.

How? The first step is awareness. Observe the signs in yourself, and notice when they happen. Has your breathing become rapid and shallow? Do you feel a tightness in your stomach? Listen and be aware of your emotional responses.

Practice reframing the situation so you reduce the level of stress you're experiencing. When conflict arises, acknowledge your differences (if you must) and then move on to the things you DO agree on. Look for a common goal.

3) Focus on the present.

Step out of your past issues and focus on the issue at hand. Attempt to solve the problem and move on to create a new future together.

4) Evaluate the behavior, not the person.

"I feel it was inconsiderate for you to show up 90 minutes late without calling," is less damaging to the relationship than, "You are an inconsiderate jerk!" Explain your feeling further "I get worried when you don't call, and then I get upset."

5) Be specific.

It's not useful to generalize and tell someone "you never listen to me!" Be specific and explain how you feel, "I feel frustrated when you interrupted me just now. It's important to me that you understand how I feel."

6) Admit your role.

If you have contributed to the problem, admit it. You may have knowingly or unknowingly contributed to the conflict. Own it, if that is the case.

7) Focus on a solution.

Listen non-judgmentally and without criticism. Focus on listening and understanding. Be creative enough to find a win/win solution for both of you. If you are not part of the solution you are part of the problem.

8) Use "I" messages.

"You" statements cause the other person to become defensive. A "you" message is often perceived as an invitation to fight. "You are never on time!"

You could say: "I've mentioned your lateness a few times to you. I become anxious when you are late. I begin to feel that you don't value our time together." A well-expressed "I" message is not judgmental; it just expresses how you feel.

9) Don't infer intention.

"You did that because..." "You did that on purpose..." If you are interested in knowing another's intention, just ask.

10) Set aside judgment.

Judgments shut down communication. Being judgmental prevents a win/win solution.

11) Paraphrase.

Clarify and confirm what you heard and make sure you understand it. "So what I heard you say is..." "Let me make sure I understand you correctly, you got home with the groceries before you realized you forgot to get milk." "I'm not sure I understand you correctly; this is how I am interpreting what you said".

12) Have a sense of timing.

Know when to discuss things. Be intuitive. Know when the right time is to deal with conflict. Sometimes emotions (yours or others) can impair good communication and collaboration. Sometimes it's important to cool down first. Develop a sixth sense about timing.

Conflict is a rich source of opportunity when we let it be so. Instead of shying away from conflict and stuffing your feelings, embrace the rewards that a well-handled conflict can bring. The reduced stress will help you balance your hormones and thus lessen your PCOS problems.

Monday, September 13, 2010

6 Weeks of Changing....for the better!

I'm totally ashamed that I've neglected my blog for...well, a really long time...BUT if you only knew how much time I've been spending in the gym, you would forgive me!

To-date, I have lost 5.2 pounds total--with NO medications!!! I wish I could express how exciting that is for me...after two years of busting my butt to lose, I'm FINALLY losing for good! I keep telling myself that ONE day, I will get married, I'll want to have kids, and I'll want to be the best ME I can be....and I will!

On another note, September is PCOS Awareness month! While I'm very aware of my PCOS many women are not, so here are some signs:
-adult acne
-significant weight gain (around the middle)
-scalp hair loss
-hair growth in other areas (face, arms, etc.)
-blood sugar spikes

I can honestly say that over the last 6 weeks, while I haven't been "perfect" I've never felt so good in my entire life! I'm managing my PCOS with no meds, I've almost stopped drinking diet soda entirely (not that I've ever drank much to begin with)...I ran 2.15 miles today. Last Tuesday it was 1.75... 6 weeks ago I could only do .75 and my heart rate was crazy high! I'm sleeping better. I'm more focused. And I'm so excited about being healthy!!

Oh, and here's my new favorite thing: Big Green Monster
2 cups of organic spinach
1 tbsp flax
1 banana
1/2 cup grapes
1 cup soy milk

Yummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm! Skeptic beware, you can't taste the spinach and that is a whopping 4 fruits/veggie servings!

That's the great thing about WW--I'm learning to try new things! It takes me out of my comfort zone, and its teaching me to LIVE my life and feel amazing!

Anyway, I'm done for now... I'll try to keep this thing updated more often!!