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About Sandavia

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  • Birthday May 27

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  1. Hi! I too am a Cyster (thanks @StarRuby for the name ). I was officially diagnosed with PCOS in December after a number of blood tests and an ultrasound to confirm the pesky follicles hanging out on my ovaries, though I was unofficially diagnosed years ago by a doctor who just wanted to put me on progesterone pills and call it a day... Really? This diagnosis (along with the preceding one of moderate-severe sleep apnea) led my fitness journey. I am just now starting to add metformin into my routine as they found an abnormally high level of insulin (but a normal level of blood sugar) in my blood tests. The first round of metformin did not work well: my stomach became increasingly sensitive and I ended up with lactic acidosis, which can cause ulcers and internal bleeding. They switched me from immediate release to extended release pills and this made a huge difference! Have any of you ladies that struggle with it tried that option? I recognize that a holistic approach is preferred, but in my case, where the increased insulin is already present, I need to take it to prevent diabetes (insulin resistance). I have cut out almost all of the processed sugar from my diet and very rarely drink alcohol now (I was a 1-2 beer/wine/drink a night person pre-diagnosis) and those, in combination with eating breakfast daily, and eating smaller portions in general, drinking much more water and working out 2+ times a week have seriously changed my life. I started here on NF and I've dropped about 40 pounds in the last 3 months with lasting lifestyle changes. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying any of this was easy, it was really hard. But some of the symptoms of PCOS, including the bursting pains and the fatigue, have improved so much! And because of that it makes it easier for me to move on from a craving and choose something healthier that won't cause spikes in insulin which spirals into more fatigue! Next week I'll be removing my IUD and switching to pill form birth control since that is the best known form for those suffering with PCOS. I haven't had a solid period in a few years between the PCOS and the IUD... I'm a little worried about that. But saying goodbye to the "goat hairs" (as my grandma used to call the thick hairs growing on her chin, and my mom's, which leads me to believe they also had PCOS in some form...) and these mood swings (that I really just thought were part of my personality?) sounds pretty fantastic. We have to do this for us! You do not need permission from your friends or family to take care of you! Just because taking care of you looks different than the way that they take care of themselves, it doesn't mean it's wrong. You do you, Booboo.
  2. Hello again! I'm a little late getting into the game here! A couple of the tools I wanted to bring from my previous challenges were the meal planning that I was doing so intensely during the last challenge and actually tracking my workouts. Unfortunately, like so many others on here, I was brought down by the sickness! All of last week I was down for the count with all of the debuffs. This really limited my workouts (to 0) but I maintained my eating and increased my vitamins for that week. I am back on the train though! I got in my first workout in a week, last night, and I'm feeling much better despite my lingering cough. For this Challenge: Meal Plan, Meal Plan, Meal Plan This has been so crucial to my lifestyle changes. Even though I haven't been as strict about the planning part, I've generally maintained my eating guidelines - no processed, hardly any added sugar, small portions = better choices. I have a couple of cheat meals a week (a girl's gotta live! and cheat days could destroy my whole week so I choose carefully), and I try to drink about 100 oz of water each day. Keep using my meal plan and plan future meals This helps with grocery shopping and making sure that I actually have snacks available! Tally in my water for the day It's really easy to forget to hydrate throughout the day. This way, I'm making sure it's happening and can chug if I'm behind! Any way to get it down. Food diary As I go, I check off things I ate and edit to other things if I didn't stick to my plan! This gives me a real look at what I'm eating so later I can see what didn't work and plan accordingly. Move. Push. Sweat. A LOT. I cancelled my gym membership because I realized I don't have the personality to really push myself - especially when I was around so many other people (empath problems). I'm not competitive at all and coaching doesn't work for me because I don't take physical criticism well, or worse, I underreport the discomfort/pain because "I can do it" and I overdo it and end up tearing or really damaging my muscles. No go. So what's worked well for me, after much experimentation, is workout videos at home. I bought the digital versions of 30 Day Shred and Yoga Meltdown, both by Jillian Michaels, and maaaaan do I sweat it out. I'm in the comfort of my home, it takes 20-30 minutes from start to finish, and then I can cool down and walk 20 feet to the bathroom to shower. Works way better for me so I'm much more likely to do it! Work out 4 days a week, even if it's just 1 video! Relax & De-Stress In all of the whirlwinds that have been happening lately, I haven't been doing a very good job at taking care of my sanity. The great bedtime habits I created a couple months ago have disappeared and I am back to a generally overflowing schedule. It's no wonder I got sick and I've been losing meal plan momentum! Time to turn that around and give myself back some clarity and time. This can be accomplished in a lot of ways but some of the items that seem to be good for me are: 3 days a week: Read for pleasure Take a bubble bath At home mani-pedi Color in a book Take a short hike Go for a drive This is it! I'm starting a little late but I'm on it! I'm excited to keep seeing results!
  3. Sickness can definitely cause those pesky setbacks! Good job getting in the PT exercises despite your lingering plague! That's all it takes! Just one push at a time right?? Also!!! Congrats on getting in your thesis!!! Nice work!!!
  4. I completed the challenge with exciting results!! Isn't that crazy?! It is fantastic motivation and I am continuing the lifestyle even after the end of the All-In Challenge (cleanse thingy). This is the breakdown of my Challenge: Challenge Meal Plan: Success I stayed on track every day except for 1: I let loose during my work holiday party but for the most part I stayed on track: Ate within an hour of waking up and about every 2 hours after that. Drank about a gallon of water every day. Generally eliminated processed food. Meal prepped a couple times a week to have healthy snacks available. Challenge Workouts: 1/2 Success I've come to realize that my initial goals for frequency of workouts is extreme. I made so many changes to other parts of my life during this challenge that it was difficult to add something else so time consuming to my already overwhelmed schedule. I increased my frequency from last challenge but 5 days a week was more than I could handle. So for the next challenge I'm going to increase but make it doable. I'm hoping to exercise 4 days a week. Reading Challenge: Success This one was a lot easier than I thought; in combination with starting school (Business Law is a lot of reading!) and generally trying to read more often, I knocked this one out of the park. I will continue these habits and probably use pleasure reading (ex: fiction) as part of the self-care for next challenge. Overall I am super proud of this challenge and am excited to use these tools toward the future!! Onto the next challenge!
  5. This is seriously me! Every. Day. Whether it's washing the ridiculous amount of tupperware I seem to go through, or portioning snacks, or roasting broccoli and cauliflower at 10pm for lunches for the next few days (like I did last night), or somehow convincing myself to make dinner instead of going down the street for a cheeseburger... It's such a battle! But we're almost there!!
  6. Update: On the 18th, I was on the 10th day of my cleanse/diet/lifestyle change thing! Which concluded the 1st phase... Meaning I reassessed my weight and measurements... Drum roll please... I kept strictly to my food rules and worked out about 3 days a week while drinking about a gallon of water a day. This was a huge undertaking but it was clearly worth the effort for me! Meal planning (and snack planning) has been an interesting ongoing process and I've learned a lot of new recipes and healthy variations of things that I crave (like chili or spaghetti or ice cream!), I've kept workouts fresh by having lots of different videos, bodyweight set plans, and other tools like resistance bands available, and keeping my water bottle within reach all the time has really helped! All of that being said, I'm learning how to make these changes sustainable- I donated all of the processed food in my pantry and threw out any opened refrigerator items that my brother didn't want. I filled half my cart at the grocery store yesterday with fruits and vegetables and portioned out meats when I brought them home into 2-3 serving bags in the freezer to help prep! I'm two full weeks in now and I'm really excited about the results that I'm seeing and the support that I've received from every area of my life. I'm ready to keep going!
  7. Awesome! I've wanted to try kickboxing but I feel like I might need to wait until I have a little more stamina... Do you do group classes? Have you tried Tai-bo or any of those kinds of videos at home? Sounds like a productive weekend! How have things gone since with your challenge? School got mostly messed up due to weather problems - our snowpocalypse lasted a whole week! Classes were cancelled and our community college is about a week behind but the online classes are on track! I procrastinated a little (okay... a lot) and spent 7 hours this last Sunday on business law homework. Oops! But, even though it may have eaten through my brain, I did well, I just know I need to break it up a little! Otherwise it's great - my Accounting II professor also teaches at Portland State and is an adviser for the business programs there. He encouraged me to come talk to him in office hours about my associates degree plans vs. dual enrolling vs. transferring w/ junior status. I'm excited to get that stuff squared away as I'm getting closer to fulfilling the associates requirements!
  8. Ha! @otterbyte thank you! Did you get some more things done? After sleeping of course...
  9. We, here in Portland, are experiencing Snowmageddon. This is a picture of the lake at the park by my parents house: We don't get snow! This is weird! Even when we do, it lasts a day, turns into an icy mess overnight, and melts by mid-morning the next day. It does not cause school to be cancelled for almost a week, require chains on city roads, or cause gridlock so bad you only make it 2 miles in an hour. But alas, this has been the life since last post, on Tuesday. I've hit some crazy bumps with my scheduling due to the weather including getting to work yesterday and finding that the lunch that I had planned to eat had gone bad! Wah wahhh, but I made it to the store (because I bought chains yesterday) and was able to pick up some organic, lower sodium, no sugar added chili! And it was delicious! I was pleasantly surprised. And despite the horrific drive home, I made a healthy dinner and got in a tiny workout! I might also have a little more energy today, if you haven't noticed all of the exclamation points already... School... Is a lot. It looks like the law class is just frontloading a lot of information and then the rest of the term will be pretty consistent. But it feels like a lot of work with all of this meal prepping (fun work) and how busy it is at my job right now (work work). I've mostly cleared my schedule for this weekend so I'm going to get some relaxing in to hopefully calm my stress and get some real workouts in so I don't feel like I'm losing my grip. My failures (or game overs or whatever you want to call them) have generally been from burning out by trying to do too much at once without listening to my needs or slowing down- and having to give up. So being in tune with my limits has already been helping me a lot! Giving myself options, self-care, sleep, support! All very important for these big changes I'm trying to make. We can do this!
  10. My Accounting class is in person but business law is online! I'm a little nervous about that, especially because it looks like the workload will be very writing intensive. But I'm excited to learn new stuff! And I think the material will be interesting enough to keep me engaged. That's a really good idea- scheduling it! I'm operating under such a regimented schedule with my meals right now, it wouldn't hurt to throw study/homework time into my calendar! And if I don't need it, well, more video games for me! Ooh I'll have to look into that series too! I am a bit of a digital book hoarder. haha so maybe I should just add it to my wishlist for after the Atlantis series. And the rest of the Dresden series! The water... Is crazy. I was not prepared. But I did get in my gallon yesterday and am over halfway right now so I know I'll hit it today too! It's taking a lot of adjustment but it's been going pretty well so far. I set myself up really well by portioning all of my snacks in baggies and bringing them to work! There's no fear of people stealing your food here (I'm lucky, I know) so I just put it all in a drawer and go grab carrots or grapes or nuts or boiled eggs or hummus or whatever, whenever it's time. I cooked too much of my first meal so I've already pushed into the next scheduled meal on my spreadsheet- which is okay because I totally forgot about going to pub trivia tonight! So I don't have to cook tonight afterall! Plans are all fine and dandy but I think learning to improvise, and actually stick to my food guidelines when I encounter a bump, has been the best lesson! Grocery store out of broccoli? Fine, I'll get brussel sprouts instead. Can't make it to the store to grab the hummus I was planning to? That's okay, I'll just eat these snap peas I brought just in case I needed them! The supplements have been interesting to adjust to. They're all things I've at least heard positive things about before (and some I was already taking in some form) but I'm not seeing change yet (it's only been 2 days). One of the major ones added is fish oil... It smells funny but seems to have lots of positive effects! The biggest challenge I'm encountering is that my energy is lacking because I've cut out so much sugar but I know I'll adjust. Just gotta keep at it! My sleep habits have been helping with that! I slept 8 hours last night and have felt way better than I did yesterday! Just gotta keep listening to my body and making adjustments where I need it. The thing I am most looking forward to is seeing the change. A friend, who is also doing the cleanse, suggested doing measurements, taking pictures, and weighing myself before the first day- so I did. And it was a powerful experience. I've noticed a difference, even in the last few months, but quantifying my current status was absolutely a fuel for the fire! I'll be comparing my numbers on day 10 and day 24 and I'm interested to see the results!
  11. Hi again, @Manarelle! This time I'm taking Accounting Principles II and Business Law. Both are going to be very helpful for my job and I think they will be more challenging than the classes that I took last time around so I'm excited! If I remember right, you're also taking classes, yeah? What are you taking? I'm still nailing down studying routines because I have trouble focusing, is there anything you do to kick your butt into hitting the books? I loooove the Dresden Files! A friend of mine got me into it and I'm reading them at a snails pace but it's coming along. Mixing in lots of other series in between. How many are they at total now? 15? Have you been reading from the beginning or did you get in late?
  12. Sleep is so fantastically important! One that I've been working on for the last year and it has changed my life! I may have to add that book to my list.
  13. When I hear CLEANSE, my immediate thoughts go to: Miserable and back to your old habits (and size) once you stop drinking carrot juice and start eating real food again. So when one of my best friends asked if I wanted to do a cleanse with her I was not interested at all until she sent me the info. This isn't a cleanse, it's a supplement enhanced jumpstart to a lifestyle change! And isn't that what I'm here for? I'm going to spare you the details (which sounds like a sales pitch) and I am in no way affiliated with the company. But I did a bunch of research about the supplements & vitamins, the ingredients, took it to a friend who's 100% organic and he even gave me the green light, blah blah blah... Basically, I'm going to take the magic mushroom and use it to defeat Bowser. This leads me to this month's challenge: Follow my Challenge Meal Plan. I generally followed the guidelines for the "24 Day Challenge" including the recommended times for the supplements and generally followed paleo throughout. I tried to plan varied meals and am going to cook for leftovers because the amount of cooking that I'll be doing is crazy and the amount of food consumed total will be much more than I'm used to (in frequency, not in portions). Water will be my friend. I'm going to be drinking over a gallon a day so I've started preparing for that early. I scheduled my meals and snacks around my work hours and my classes, that will be starting, so I will be setting myself up for success. Workout 5 days a week. Workout Spreadsheet Walk for 30 minutes twice a week. Bodyweight circuits three times a week with mixed cardio. Read 30+ minutes a day Textbooks (since I'm starting school again) Fun books (currently the Atlantis Plague, next Dresden Files book 4) Any of the other books I have lying around
  14. Bye bye challenge 2! My final numbers: Exercise/Move 4 times a week: 13/16 Eat 2 veggies or fruits (raw or steamed only) every day: 40/56 Arrive at work on time 4 days a week: 6/19 The exercise one is the one I'm most proud of. I didn't quite make my goal but I made a big dent and am trying to continue the habit of working in movement throughout the day, not even just going to the gym or going for a walk, but parking far from the store or taking the stairs, walking instead of driving or planning a hike instead of a netflix marathon. Eating more healthy foods has been great too and it's teaching me to food prep. Next challenge, a huuuge part of my "cleanse" will be prepping healthy food to keep within reach so this challenge helped set up the mindset to make that happen. Thank goodness for tupperware and ziploc bags! Work... I reeeeeeally need to work on this horrible habit. I'm lucky that I have so much job security but yikes! I plan to work that into my routine building next challenge as my routine will be key to my success. More sleep. More exercising. Better food. Better accountability. Hope everyone had a safe and fun New Years! Onto the next one.
  15. The holidays are a tough time for a challenge. I've been so impressed by some of the accomplishments that some of you Rebels have achieved during this chaos! While I'm not going to quantifiably meet any of my challenges, I have completed a couple of my side challenges and have learned some new recipes and techniques to make next time even better. I just cancelled my gym membership and am learning what works for me - mostly, at home strength training. I ordered a pull up bar (I'm ready for some hangs!) and have put my yoga mat and my very small collection of dumbbells in a place that I can see them. When I'm waiting for water to boil or before I put my shoes on to leave, I'm building strength or stretching my muscles, hoping to make the next set that I do more successful. I've got a cleanse to start on Jan 9th. Advocare's 24 Day Challenge. I will probably coincide that challenge with the next challenge here, tallying my results and updating what I'm working on. One of the hardest things that is going to come with that challenge will be the amount that I have to consume. Not just water, but protein shakes, meals, and other beverages. It's way more than I consume now (albeit much healthier) and it has really crazy checklists to incorporate more movement in my day to day life. I am doing this cleanse/challenge/thing with a couple of friends, one of which has done it before and will have some extra insight, and it will probably be a great jumpstart after the holiday craziness. This challenge isn't over. I'm going to keep adding vegetables, keep getting some movement in, and keep trying to go to bed at a reasonable time so I can get up at a reasonable time.
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