Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Flax vs. Chia for ladies (especially PCOS ladies!)

http://pcosbusters.com/flax-vs-chia-the-breakdown/

Autographed copy!

My mom surprised me with an autographed copy for Christmas!

I was so shocked!   I can't wait to dive in and read this today - I became so busy at work that I didn't get a chance to read and now that I have an actual hard copy - it's ON!   Thanks, MOM!!!  

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Hashimoto's info...

Hashimoto's, yo.

Dr. P Appointment Update


Well.... we knew this was going to happen eventually.... my thyroid is in crisis.

I had some labs done about a week and a half ago.    All of my PCOS labs came back perfect, but as suspected, my thyroid is being a bit of a rebel.     My levels were NOT good and on Wednesday night Dr. P's office had called to talk of concerns regarding my thyroid even though we would be discussing it on Friday at my appointment.

After having Elliot, I went from having a thyroid condition to a flat out disease.    Specifically, Hashimoto's AutoImmune Hypothyroiditis.    It's annoying from time to time.   I knew I was "off" because I had the usual signs.   Dry skin.   Cold feet.    No movement in either direction on the scale.   Tired.   Easily annoyed.  

Because this disease can have an impact on my joints, Dr. P recommended I go back to my roots.   Swimming.    He wrote me a note to get my Curves membership cancelled so that I can join the YMCA.   I joined this morning and I'm really excited!   There are THREE water classes that meet after work at the VA location.    There are two that meet at the main location.   And there are two classes on Saturday's in the mornings ..... one of which meets when the kids korner child care is up and running.    In addition to this, lap swimming will be available (YAY!)

Even if I have a day where I don't necessarily "exercise" - a good 10-15 minutes in the Sauna would be good for me as well.

Within a few days the new meds will start making me feel better and back to normal (YAY!)    I am down over 30 pounds this year (even better!) and he is thrilled that I am gluten free.  

I'm really excited to get back in the pool!   I don't see Dr. P again until March and I'd love to be down another 20 pounds by then.   We shall see!



Sunday, November 10, 2013

Day 30

Day 30.... Starting at your toes and working up to your head, name each part of your body and how your illness has affected it, followed by something you like about that part of your body.

PCOS and Hashimoto's has had a physical impact.... all over the place.    I'm not going to go in any particular order.

Obviously my reproductive organs are impacted and I don't really want to go into too much detail there, but clearly something I love is they're finally working because Elliot is here!

My feet almost always have polish on the nails but I know my thyroid is acting up when my feet are ice cold.

My joints locked up a lot before I went gluten free but hey, I have nice soft skin!

My hair, because of pcos, can get greasy..... but it's pretty thick and hubby thinks it's perty.  

Belly..... not a fan, but I loved it when pregnant!

Day 29

Day 29:  What has helped you cope with the stress of this lifestyle?

GOD.   Yep, it's THAT simple.

Day 28

Day 28:  Name five things you have achieved despite your illness

1.   PREGNANCY (and naturally, at that)
2.   MOTHERHOOD
3.   NURSING (even if it was brief....)
4.  NEW FRIENDSHIPS AND RELATIONSHIPS
5.  SUCCESSFUL ADVOCACY

Day 27

Day 27:  What's the most helpful advice you have had?

It's actually my own advice.... trust your body.   Trust your instincts.   If you don't feel your doctor is meeting your needs.... then move on to a new doctor!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Day 26

Day 26:   Impact on friends, family, partner

I think above all this has impacted not just me but my husband.    Obviously, without going into too much detail, the infertility component was difficult not just for me but for my husband as well.   I'm blessed with a supportive and knowledgeable partner - that's for sure!    He knows me just as well as I know me, and for that - I am thankful!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Day 25

Five activities I've engaged in because of my illness that I probably wouldn't have done before:

1.  Water aerobics - I've always loved the pool and I absolutely love water aerobics but I used to think it was just for old ladies.   PCOS women need a balance of strength training and cardio and water aerobics affords this.

2.  Attending webinars - that's a first

3.  Signing up for various email lists

4.  Chat rooms/PCOS specific forums

5.  Studied natural healing

Saturday, November 2, 2013

day 24

Day 24:   Managing social life

Really, the PCOS and thyroid issues haven't impacted my social life too much.   Maybe some slight anxiety.   Through social networking I've been able to get help for any questions/concerns/venting needing addressed.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Day 23

Day 23:   What do you say to yourself when you need a pep talk?

I basically try to do something to relax me.   I typically pray, listen to good music, and just reassure myself that I am in good hands and to just take one day at a time!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Day 22

Day 22:   How do you feel you have been treated by the medical system?   Explain.

I've written about this countless times - but I was definitely unfairly treated up until I met Dr. P

I was NEVER taken seriously, I was immediately judged just based on my weight alone.

I am so thankful for Dr. P and his staff.   That's no secret.  In fact, I see him on the 15th!!!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Day 21

Day 21:   What networks/websites have you visited for support or information about this illness?

Click my "articles" label!

I did go on soulcysters from time to time but most of my networking has been done via email and facebook/twitter.  

The good news is the more PCOS is "talked about" online, it seems the more information is out there.

I can't imagine having PCOS pre-Internet.

I also have read a wide variety of books.   My favorite is the Savvy Gals Guide to PCOS

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Day 20

Day 20:   Have you met anyone with the same illness?    Has it helped?

Oh my goodness, yes!!!
I have met so many wonderful women/cysters with my condition and I truly can't imagine my life without them.   They've been a source of comfort, information and strength.   Definitely a blessing!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Day 19

Day 19:  How do you feel about the future?

I'm a bit concerned what will happen with my body and health as I get older.

I'm optimistic.    I managed to lose 30lbs on my own this year and while it's not "a lot" to a normal person, it's a lot to me.    I keep thinking I'll be at goal this time next year, and that's a nice thought!

I do want a second child but I worry about how that will work out health wise and also in regards to finances.     We teacher folk aren't exactly rolling in the dough.  


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Day 18

Day 18:  Do you think you are a better person through being ill?   Explain.

I do.   I think having these conditions and especially going through infertility has taught me to enjoy life.   To take time for me.   It has taught me compassion, patience, and understanding.    I take nothing for granted.   There isn't one day that has gone by where I haven't thanked God for Elliot.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Day 17

Day 17:  How would things be different if you weren't ill?

This is really a tough question because PCOS and Hashimoto's has impacted my life so deeply that I can't really imagine a "normal life."

Perhaps I'd be thinner?
Less tired?
Maybe actually enjoy running?

I'm really not sure....

Friday, October 25, 2013

Day 16

Day 16:   What is your favorite inspirational quote?

I have found many quotes that I find inspiring.
Such as, "I have PCOS, PCOS does NOT have me."

My favorite quote was actually part of the sermon my Pastor gave at our wedding.
He said, "Love God.  Love One Another.   Nothing Else Matters."

This was really important to me, and still is.   It helps keep me "grounded."

Science daily article

Science daily article about PCOS

Thursday, October 24, 2013

day 15

Day 15:  What would you say to people newly diagnosed with this illness?


  • Research
  • Make sure you have a doctor that knows their stuff.
  • Make sure you are comfortable with telling your doctor anything and everything
  • Trust your body and what you are feeling.
  • Do not take "no" for an answer - you know you - you know what it is you are experiencing - voice those concerns and get the medical attention you need.
  • Find some sort of support group whether it be online or in person.
  • Make sure you are eating healthy and not making the condition worse by polluting your insides with junk.   Eat as clean as possible.
  • Exercise daily - even if you only go for a 10 minute walk - do it.   
  • Pay attention to your body.
  • Have labs done at least every 3 months...

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Day 14

Day 14:  Give 5 things you are grateful for.

1.  GOD.   Enough said.   He dealt with my anger towards Him.   He helped me out of dark places.   My faith is so much stronger because of infertility, pcos, and Hashimoto's.

2.  My husband.  He's the love of my life.   He has loved me when I haven't loved me.

3.  My grandmothers (now in Heaven).   Especially the conversations with my Mommom as we were struggling.

4.  My friends, including cysters near and far.  

5.  Dr. P and his AMAZING staff

and all of these things lead to me being most grateful for the honor of being Elliot's mommy.   :)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Day 13

Day 13:  Has your physical illness had any effect on your mental health?   Explain.

ANXIETY.

I worry.   However, the problem is I don't worry "enough" to be medicated.   My anxiety is not crippling per say.    I worry over silly things.   For example - say I'm in a meeting in the school auditorium and I end up getting a seat in the middle or not an end seat.   I may then worry, "Oh my gosh, what if I have to get up to use the bathroom and crawl over all of those people?"    It's a silly thing to worry about.   And sometimes (not all the time) I worry about what people think of me.

Or if my husband doesn't answer his phone/texts/emails - it causes me to worry.

I think a lot.   However, I'm also a writer.   It's what we do.   Sometimes I think too much.   Too deep.   I'm too critical.   I often joke that I have no enemies because I am my own worst enemy.

Anxiety has definitely impacted my life - but luckily I know ways to deal with it now and the people close to me know how to help me with it as well.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Day 12

Day 12:  Briefly explain to a healthy person what it is like to live with this illness.

Briefly explain PCOS?   AND Hashimoto's?

My body is a bit broken.    Things don't function as they should.   When these things don't function, it impacts other things.   For example, when my ovaries decide to go on strike it can mean I have a rapid weight gain or a missing period or a violent period or a rapid weight gain with no period followed by a ridiculously painful and heavy period.    When my thyroid is acting up I can be extremely cold, extremely tired, and feel all-together horrible.    When both act up together, I'm in excruciating pain.  I'm broken.   That's the cliffs notes of it.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Day 11

Day 11:  Why do you believe you have the illness?   Bad luck?  A higher power?  Or something else?

It's truly my belief that everyone has a cross to bare.   For me, I have several all under the umbrella of PCOS.   Even my thyroid condition is a manifestation of the PCOS.

I could get angry and think I'm cursed or being punished, but that's just silly.

This is my challenge, this is something that has happened that is not my fault.
I can't change my genetics.   I can't change the diagnosis either.  

What I can do is pay attention to my body.
I can talk to my doctors about anything I'm experiencing.
I can network with other women and voice my concerns.
I can remain well educated and well versed and keep up on the latest research.
I can fight back by making healthy choices for my life.  

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Day 10

Day 10:  What little things make your life easier?


  • Having a doctor who GETS me and understands me now.   This sounds so silly but it took years to find this doctor and to find out exactly what the deal is.   Even if he retires (he's been doing this for almost 40 years) I now have that hard data PROVING the issues are there and exist.
  • Having a patient husband - he is incredibly helpful.    My husband gives me my medications so I don't forget and either take something twice or not at all.
  • Social networking - when I have a problem and I can't solve it right away - I can go online to one of my groups of cysters and see what the deal is - if anyone could relate.
  • Taking time to BREATHE and think things through.
  • Writing.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Day 9

Day 9:  Have you ever tried any alternative therapies?   If so, what?   Did they work?

I did try inositol and choline for some things and it was working but not working enough to bring on a strong ovulation.    I also tried cinnamon when I was on straight up metformin and metformin XR and that did not work at all.    The only thing that TRULY has worked for me thus far is being gluten free.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Day 8

Day 8:  Where do you see yourself in five years time?

I honestly don't know.
doing the same things I do now....

Hopefully with a second child?

I'm not sure, I've learned that if I plan God laughs.  He's in control.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Day 7

Day 7:   What was the biggest realization that you've had?

Well, don't hate me for this ya'll....

Everything happens for a reason, and it's in God's plan for me, and in His time.
God created me, it's not always my place to understand my body which was His creation and His plan.

I think back sometimes and think "If only someone took me seriously...."  
"If only my doctors listened....."
"If only we knew my progesterone issues sooner...."
If only...
If only....
If only....

But the reality is I learned from my miscarriages.
I learned from my pain.
I grew from it.
It changed me.

And my pain has helped other women.
I've gone through things that may have helped prevent the same things happen to someone else.

Maybe God was using my body as a vessel because He knew I wouldn't lose my faith in him.
He knew I'd get angry with him, and with myself and with my doctors....
But God created me and He KNOWS when I have a problem - I find a solution.

Years ago while going through infertility, if someone said to me - "Everything happens for a reason" I probably would have beat the tar out of them.   Or threw something at them.   Or even told them off.    There was such anger with infertility - anger out of frustration - out of pain - out of loss!    There's lots of "Why me?"   And "Seriously, God?   Trust me, I had it out several times with God.    I told God that He was being completely unfair to me.    But then it hit me.   Look what Jesus went through for me.    Look what God has done for me.    I had to let that anger at God go and direct it elsewhere.   I directed it at my doctors at the time.   I demanded answers.   And as stupid and corny and ridiculous as this sounds, I believe the God lead me on that path.    I needed to get angry.   I needed to find my angel in the world of medicine.   I think too often I took too much for granted and if there's anything that makes you stop and smell the roses, it's infertility.  

There were blessings in infertility.
Look at my ticker on this blog - I have several readers!
I've met amazing women whom I'm proud to call friends.
I've helped my friends.
I've networked.
I've given PCOS a voice and plan to continue to do so.
My marriage was strong but it made us stronger.
It made our love stronger.

And there is not one day that has passed in the past 2+ years that I haven't thanked God for Elliot.    I prayed for Elliot to exist, I prayed for him while in my womb and I pray and praise God daily for him.

It's funny, not too long ago someone made a comment to me about how they were surprised that I am still an advocate for PCOS and infertility after having Elliot.    I looked at them and said, "Wow... you really don't know me at all then....."

Maybe my diagnosis is part of my calling.

I've learned not to question God but to trust in Him and His plan.    He knows what's up.   Everything happens for a reason.    There are lessons.    And for me.... the lesson really wasn't fully learned until I held Elliot in my arms for the first time.   Don't hate me.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Day 6

Day 6:  If you could have told yourself something when you first remember these symptoms arising, what would you have said?

I did tell myself something.... over and over again.... 'I'm surrounded by idiots!'

Seriously!

No one caught on to it - but I'm glad those days are O-V-E-R!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Day 5

Day 5:  How does being chronically ill make me feel?

Like a million-fucking-bucks!

Ok, seriously?   This question is stupid.

It makes you feel a bit crazy from time to time!
It makes you a bit pissed!
And sick!
And tired!
And annoyed!


Sunday, October 13, 2013

Day 4

Day 4:  Reaction of family and friends.

Telling my mom I had PCOS was interesting.   As a nurse, I felt she should have seen it.   Known about it.  Something.   But she really didn't.    I still don't know how seriously my family takes it because I think they see it as my "excuse" for being the way I am.   I know that as I began to lose babies, then it started sinking in to people that it was serious.    My Mommom is the reason I have a diagnosis, and she was my biggest supporter.    She understood every single thing I was going through, and I wasn't alone.   My Aunt Anne, also suffered from infertility.   In fact, she was a Dr. P patient!  (yep, he's older, ha)    My grandmother and my aunt were my biggest supporters as well as my Godmother.    My Pastor kept me sane and was incredibly helpful on so many levels as well.

As far as friends - through the power of the Internet I was able to meet many women just like me.   Women who have the same physical issues I do - and not just regarding weight.   Women who were built like me, bled like me, worried like me.... women who had experiences just like mine.    Women who knew the  pain of PCOS and the confusion.   Women who knew the heartache of loss.    Even though PCOS is no fun, nor is the Hashimoto's....I consider myself incredibly blessed .... without these chronic illnesses I wouldn't have met such extraordinary people.   Blessings in disguise.  

I have learned who to talk to about this and who not to.  

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Day 3

Day 3:  "How did you get your diagnosis?"

By being 1000000000000% STUBBORN AND DEMANDING!

I knew something was wrong with me since I was 13!

My family doctor and my family always told me I was being over dramatic.   I needed to eat better.   I needed to exercise more.   I needed to calm down and understand this is puberty and "these things happen as your body adjusts to being a woman."

By the time I got to college I found a new doctor.   They thought the best thing for me was to just put me on the birth control pill.   It didn't help with my weight woes.   I ate healthy.   I exercised at our gorgeous fitness center.   I didn't have a car until my junior year and I walked everywhere.   Weight either maintained or rose.

After graduation and before our wedding we moved to Ephrata, PA.   Met yet another doctor and he said, "Here!  Have some phentermine!   That will help!"    He never ran any tests on me.   I was desperate.  I took the medication and lost FORTY pounds in one month.   I also couldn't eat.  Couldn't sleep.  Was turning into a yellow (literally) raving bitch.   But hey!  Skinny jeans!   Score!   Hubby flushed the pills and the weight came back on in less than two weeks.   Not even kidding.   40lbs.  Just. Like. That.  Off. And. On.    I hadn't a clue what to do so I discovered weight watchers and that rocked my socks.    After being hired for my first teaching job and being married, we moved to Myerstown.

By this time I had had some serious conversations with my Mommom who really gave me a lot of insight I would have never known had I not come to her.   She struggled with infertility, too.   She struggled with a lot of the issues I have and she told me about PCOS being in an article she read about and how she knows she had it even though it was never diagnosed.  

I met a new doctor, got tested and voila!  PCOS.   And a bum thyroid!    I was 24 years old.... I went through over a decade of hell before finding a doctor willing to listen.    But little did I know that that was as far as it would go help wise until 2010 when I finally met Dr. Pellegrini.

I feel my PCOS is under such wonderful control now because of him and his staff.    They listen to me.   They know I know my body.  

Friday, October 11, 2013

Day two

Day two:   How have these illnesses affected your life?

PCOS:

PCOS has affected my life big time.      Growing up I always knew something was wrong with my body and no one would take me serious.   They thought I was over reacting or being dramatic and it made me feel completely insane because I knew something wasn't right in my body.    All doctors saw was a number on the scale.   My issues were chalked up to just going through puberty and that "this too shall pass" when in reality damage was happening, nothing was being corrected, and I suffered for it later in life after my wedding when my husband and I decided to start trying for a baby.

I had expected to have issues getting pregnant because I was over-weight, but I had no idea I'd have the hell I went through with chemical pregnancies and miscarriages.   Because I don't have the cysts on my ovaries, I think most doctors often overlooked a pcos diagnosis when in reality my body just screams it. Many women with pcos lack the actual cysts.

Even as I type this, I feel angry about the past which is completely ridiculous because I can't change what happened.   BUT I can be an advocate NOW for pcos awareness and IF my husband and I were to decide to have another child I now know what to "look for" if the baby happens to be a girl.     I just sometimes wonder "What if...." in regards to PCOS.    What if I would have been taken seriously?   How would my life be different?  

Thyroid:
When my thyroid is off it impacts my life mainly due to the level of exhaustion - I can't really function properly at all what-so-ever if I'm "off."     Prior to going gluten free I had joint issues and my hands locked up a lot.    That hasn't really happened (maybe once or twice) since being gluten free.    Also, when my thyroid is off my weight is just all over the place.   I typically know my thyroid isn't "right" when one of two things happens.   Either 1.) I'm super crazy tired, as in no amount of sleep is enough or 2.) My feet are usually ice cold.     When I notice these two things, I then step on the scale and if I have some sort of crazy gain that happened over night (literally), then I know it's time to get labs done.



I will say I am blessed with great doctors NOW and I know my body and I'm grateful.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Day 1

Day One:  Introduce yourself.   What illnesses do you have?   How long have you had them?

My name is Leigh Anne, friends call me LeLe.   I'm 31 years old and I've been married to my bff since May of 2005.    We have one son, Elliot, who truly is our miracle baby boy.  

I have a wide variety of interests.    I consider myself a life long learner and a memory collector.    I love to laugh and can't stand being bored.    I need to be intellectually stimulated at all times.    I speak fluent sarcasm.  

Now on to the fun stuff....
I am diagnosed with PCOS and Hashimoto's Auto Immune Hypothyroiditis.  

I have always known "something wasn't right" with my body since my teen years.    I never received a PCOS diagnosis until my TWENTIES which is flat out ridiculous.    MANY doctors simply told me I was just heavy and lazy and if I worked out for x amount of hours a day 4-5 days a week I'd drop the weight.   Well, I tried that and all it landed me was some mono.    Pretty much nobody listened to me, or took me seriously.    Very unfortunate.     I was diagnosed with the hypothyroidism when I was about 24.   As the condition progressed I became diagnosed as "hyper sensitive hypothyroid" and after having my son I went from having a thyroid condition to a thyroid disease.   My thyroid went absolutely nuts after I lost my milk supply and stopped nursing.    

Blogging challenge

A few "cysters" are participating in the challenge below.   I was asked to do it as well, and of course I agreed.    I'm hoping I remember to take time to blog each day.

PCOS and Hashimoto's are both considered chronic illnesses.    I hate the term "chronic illness" - let's just keep it real and say we have "issues" - HA!  

Come back to read - comments motivate me!  


Monday, October 7, 2013

Gluten free update!

Going gluten free has truly been one of the best decisions I have made for my health.    My weight loss is at a stand-still right now and I'm actually 100% A-ok with this because I had a wicked case of bronchitis and the medications I was put on caused weight gain.   I'm "up" 4 pounds but I know it's not a true gain.    Even though I've had this minor setback with my weight loss, I'm feeling especially motivated.   Being gluten free has allowed me to feel less bloated and look less "puffy" if that makes any sense?

I think right now the most difficult thing I'm seeing in "Pcos world" is women thinking that going gluten free is going to immediately make them lose weight.   If you were a carb-a-holic beforehand, yes.   It will.   That's just how it will go down.   However, I was not a carb-a-holic, so therefore it is taking time.

I'm just really thrilled with my progress and the meal selections/variety.   It's not difficult at all.   And even though I'm not losing in pounds all the time, I'm seeing changes in my body .... literally!

Right now the big thing on my mind is when to TTC for baby number two.

We're thinking next summer ..... we'll see!   You know how that goes - "Man plans.   God laughs!"

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Because Right Now

"Because Right Now..."
Written by Leigh Anne Elizabeth Geib
A "poem" about PCOS advocacy and WHY it's so important.

-Because every woman has a story to tell, and deserves to be listened to.

-Because right now a woman is waking up to her period, and crying.  Another month of disappointment.

-Because right now a woman is learning her child is still born.

-Because right now a woman is miscarrying.

-Because right now a woman is feeling like less of a woman.

-Because right now a woman cries as she looks in the mirror at her body.

-Because right now a woman is googling like crazy trying to find a doctor who can help.

-Because right now a woman is standing on a scale, cussing and crying after working out so hard all week and eating so healthy and still seeing no change

-Because right now a woman worries about her marriage and why her husband stands by her when she is "failing" as a wife.

-Because right now a husband is having his sperm tested.   Because it has to be him, it can't be her - his bride is perfect in his eyes.  

-Because right now a woman is flipping out at someone for not understanding why adoption is not the answer.

-Because right now a husband holds his wife and says nothing.   Just holds her and wipes her tears.

-Because right now a woman is praying for a child.

-Because right now a mother is worrying for her daughter.

-Because right now a teenaged girl is contemplating taking her life.

-Because right now a husband is wondering how he can help.

-Because right now a father hides a tear after hearing the news his grandbaby has passed in the womb.

-Because right now a woman is taking her femara or clomid.

-Because right now a woman's insides are being torn up from her metformin.

-Because right now we need answers.

-Because right now we need hope.

-Because right now and forever this needs to be taken seriously.

-Because right now women are blaming themselves.

-Because right now a woman is peeing on a stick.

-Because right now she is seeing a positive result and she is happy and terrified at the same time.

-Because right now a woman is giving birth to her miracle baby.

-Because right now a woman is watching her baby sleep and thinking, "Thank you God, for never allowing me to give up."

Monday, September 2, 2013

Random fact

Worldwide, PCOS affects 6% to 10% of women, making it the most common endocrinopathy in women of childbearing age

3+ weeks!

Well, hubby and I have been gluten free for over three weeks now.    I'm feeling GREAT!   We did experiment a bit and had a small amount of gluten to "see" if we truly are gluten sensitive.... and we definitely are.   We were sick to our stomachs after having just a smidge.

I think our biggest challenge is social acceptance on some levels, mainly with family.    Gluten is not the same as glucose.    And gluten sensitivity CAN happen even if you were raised on wheat, pasta, etc....  perhaps that is why it happened.

I would like to say that I went to the ENT for a follow up and all of my sinus issues and flare ups as of this time ARE GONE.    He doesn't even see evidence of a problem.   Our next "hurdle" is good ole cold and flu season.   He does feel that gluten free can be thanked for such a clean bill of health.   We had a nice chat about the pros of being gluten free.  

Now that I'm done with the steroids and I'm done with AF, I'm hoping to see a loss on the scale this week.   I will say though that for the 2+ weeks I was on the steroid... I gained no weight!   I did have the typical AF bloat but no significant weight gain.

So now.... bring on the weight loss!    Here's hoping!   :)

Monday, August 19, 2013

Having a baby isn't going to save your marriage.... yea, I said it.

Lately, I've felt the need to write about this.    This topic seems to be everywhere!

Women who "accidentally" get pregnant to keep their husband.
Women who think having a baby will make their marriage improve.

Trying to conceive is stressful.
You grow up with this idea that one day you will find your prince charming.
You will have a beautiful wedding.
You will have a great life together and one day you two will decide to have a baby and you'll be pregnant.   And you will live happily ever after....

But the reality is, crap happens.
Just keeping it real folks.  
PCOS happens
Infertility happens
Stress comes.

When TTC you NEED to be on the same page with your partner.
You have to be.    You can't be doing it all (you need him for some things of course) - but you need to be on the same page with goals.   You need to COMMUNICATE about what you are feeling.   What you are experiencing.   What is frustrating you.   What is exciting you.  He NEEDS to do his best to be there for your appointments, regardless how major/minor they are.  HE needs to communicate his feelings too!  

When Mark and I started TTC we had no idea we'd have problems.   I knew something was wrong with my body since I was a teen but I thought I married a nice fertile man and we could make things work on our own.  We went through A LOT together.   He was there through it all.   And when we finally met Dr. P and got the real scoop, you can bet Mark was right there at those appointments.  

I get annoyed when women vent about how their husband won't get tested.    Yes, there is a pride factor.   But come on men, do it!   It's much easier for you to be tested first.    When I read things like this, I think to myself, "Oh man.... if THIS is uncomfortable for them.... wait until pregnancy DOES happen and life after baby!"

Unfortunately there are men out there who DO want children and their wife DOES struggle and the MAN does NOT get too involved, he figures "Okay, she's ovulating now.   She needs me now.   Literally."    Not the case fellas, you should be there all the time.   Be there with her to hear her thoughts.  Listen to her concerns.  Talk about long and short term goals.   Talk about the what is and the what ifs.  

Marriage isn't always roses and butterflies.   There are tough times.   The thing is you HAVE to communicate.   You have to say the things you are feeling regardless of how brutal they may be.  Thinking a baby is going to make all your marriage problems disappear is foolish.  

When you're talking about trying to conceive you are talking about a LIFE.  
You are talking about LIFE.
A human being.
A baby.
Someone who is going to be 50% you and 50% him.
If you feel having a baby is going to make your marriage better, you need to STOP.  You need to focus on your MARRIAGE first.   Because when that baby comes will be the true test.   There are frustrations with pregnancy and having a child.   You need to be a team.   100% of the time.  No exceptions.   I won't even bring in the stress of finances that can come with having a child....

I mean never in my dreams did I imagine the following things happening while pregnant..... and thank God I've got myself an amazing man..... but poor Mark!   While pregnant he....

  • cleaned the puke out of my hair
  • figured out why I was puking (developed lactose intolerance, lol)
  • stayed up with me while sick
  • gave countless massages
  • helped me with my cravings
  • helped me get dressed when I was too darn huge to do so on my own
  • went to pretty much every doctors appointment
  • asked doctors questions he knew I had but had the "fog" and forgot to ask
  • dealt with emotions.....
  • the list could go on and on....
Then AFTER Elliot got here.... Mark was there to 
  • help me nurse
  • help me shower
  • he got up to rock Elliot to sleep and let me sleep even though he had work the next day
  • helped take care of my incision
  • was there to cover me when things "leaked" and Elliot needed to be tended to (no one told me that could happen, whoa!)
  • listen to my joys and sorrows
  • laugh with me
  • cry with me
  • celebrate with me
I will say I do feel being pregnant was a VERY intimate experience.
I never expected to LOVE my husband more than I already did.
And even now, with Elliot's second birthday approaching I still fall in love with him seeing him as my hubby and as a Daddy.

But my point is a baby will NOT save your marriage.

If there is tension.... find what the cause is... work to fix it.

If there is doubt or insecurity..... talk about it.

If you're not feeling 100% on one level or another .... address it.

Talk to someone whether it is your friend or pastor or mother, talk to someone....get those thoughts out and then find a nice way to approach your spouse and talk to them.

I give single mothers A LOT of credit.
I could not be a single mom.   It's a tough job!

Parenting is such a wonderful experience, and it's a job I love.    But I also know that you need to be on the same page.   You need to have that love.   That trust.   That communication.    

If you're feeling iffy about TTC or your marriage..... talk it out!   

Remember, a marriage is NOT 50/50.   It's 100/100.

fyi

Surprising foods that may contain gluten  

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Week one complete!










Week one gluten free has been an absolute success!

Mark and I are both down in weight, and we're feeling good.

This weekend we finally went to check out the local farmers stand/market down the road from us.   We also visited our local Natural Food Store.    We are seeing that gluten free does not necessarily mean low calorie or a "healthier" option - so we are very much so aware of labels and we've been reading them.

I think a big difference really has been time management.   We have meals planned for the whole week and the fridge stocked and ready to go with fresh produce and prepared gluten free lunches and snacks.

I'm curious to see how we do this week.   I am down two pounds and noticing some other differences, curious if they're "real" or not.   I am done my steroid at the end of this week so once that is out of my system will be the real test.

No complaints!   Feeling great!

My next read will be this book.   :)

Monday, August 12, 2013

Day 3 complete!

Day three of going gluten free is complete.

I'm learning a lot.   I've never been one to count calories, but thank God for the handy dandy scanner with the myfitnesspal app on my phone.   One scan-a-roo and bam!   Food logged!   

I'm not even missing gluten.   I do feel more energized already.   And I swear I'm peeing a lot more.   I have no major complaints other than I wish we had a Wegman's near by.    Don't get me wrong, I'm not going to buy a product just because it says "Gluten Free" or "GF".... but I'd like to make some homemade meatballs this week or a meatloaf and I can't seem to find gluten free breadcrumbs.   I'll stop off at a natural food store.    There is a rumor though that a Wegman's is coming.

I stopped off at my local Giant today after my workout.   I had inquired about a GF section in the store and they had said that all food is mixed in with the "normal food" (HA!).   The bagger gal was telling me how her mother went GF and lost a SIGNIFICANT amount of weight just by giving up the gluten and walking a little bit more - no major changes - but her RA improved and her weight went down.

I'm also looking into the idea of bento boxes.   A dear friend of mine uses them, and it seems so fun!


Book Review

I recently download a very simple book on making the transition to becoming gluten free.

Living Gluten-Free for Dummies was a very informative read!   I absolutely loved how straightforward and funny this book was.

Below are a list of points I highlighted in my Kindle:

  • Gluten and Glucose = not the same thing.
  • Gluten is a mixture of proteins in wheat, rye, and barley.
  • Foods with flour in them (white or wheat) are common culprits
  • Bad foods:  bagels, beer, bread, cookies, cakes, crackers, most baked goods, pasta, pizza, pretzels
  • Wheat free does not equal gluten free!
  • Wheat can be at the root of several health problems.   Even though 10,000 years is a LONG time.... wheat has only been apart of the Agricultural Revolution for a short term.    
  • Humans do not fully digest wheat.    They have to adapt in order to tolerate wheat.   Human's aren't cows.  We have one stomach with one section, not one stomach with four sections.
  • Gluten free diet can help relieve the following conditions:  fatigue, gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, vomiting, heartburn, acid reflux, headaches, migraines, inability to concentrate, weight gain, infertility, joint/bone/muscle pain, depression, respiratory problems
  • Celiac disease can be tested for.   You can test negative for celiac but still have a gluten sensitivity.
  • Best way to tell if you are experiencing a gluten sensitivity is to give up gluten for at least one week (recommended three) and see how you feel.   Then reintroduce gluten slowly and if you felt better without it, there ya go!
  • Villi in small intestines are restored when you go to a gluten free diet.    Some people with lactose intolerance find they can once again have dairy after some time gluten free.
  • You don't have to go broke going gluten free, you do not have to give in and by products advertised as "gluten free."   Meat.  Cheese.   Eggs.   Fruit.  Veggies.   Most nuts.  
  • Allergic symptoms to gluten can be respiratory causing coughing, nasal congestion, sneezing, throat tightness, and even asthma (THIS IS ME)
  • You do not have to have gastrointestinal issues to still have the sensitivity to gluten.   There are lists of over TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY extraintestinal symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, vitamin deficiency, headaches, irritability, fuzzy brain, infertility, abnormal menstrual cycles, dental issues, seizures, inability to concentrate, nosebleeds
  • Common misdiagnoses:  IBS, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Lupus, unexplained anemia, migraines, unexplained infertility, anxiety, depression, hypochondria, chrohn's
  • Why doctors miss it:   not enough exposure in med school, symptoms are vast and sometimes absent, physicians may thin the patients are exaggerating or just plain "crazy", physicians may be uncomfortable if they feel ignorant, routine blood tests don't pick it up
  • Blood test:  tTG-IgA, EMA-IgA, AGA-IgA, AGA-IgC and total serum IgA
  • Popular gluten free foods: beans, dairy, eggs, fish, fruit, legumes, meat, nuts, poultry, seafood, veggies
  • Key to success: MEAL PLANNING
  • www.glutenfreemall.com
  • www.glutenfree.com
  • Don't expect others to understand or take your lifestyle change seriously.   Remember this is for you.   Your body.   You know you.   
Popular restaurants with gluten free menus:
  • Bonefish Grill
  • Boston Market
  • Burger King 
  • Carrabba's Italian Grill
  • Chili's Grill
  • McDonald's
  • Outback Steakhouse
  • PF Chang's China Bistro
  • Ruby Tuesday
  • Wendy's
  • All you can eat soup and salad places
  • Breakfast houses
  • Steak Houses
  • Thai/Vietnames places

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Gluten Sensitivity and PCOS

Yesterday, I went to the ENT for some concerns I had with my allergies but also my acid reflux issues.   Last summer I had my face ripped off for the most part to have total reconstructive sinus surgery for a variety of reasons including inflamed/infected nasal polyps (gross, I know).    Well, my polyps are back and he truly believes that not only is it allergen induced (doing allergy therapy now) but he thinks it is a result of my GERD.   I've had GERD for years and have been told and have read it's sometimes part of the PCOS package.   I've never needed medication for it until now.

I get these weird coughing spells, or wet coughs from time to time.   Sometimes a random runny nose.   Or my voice goes caput for no reason.   Or I eat something and then I feel like my airways are closing.   I avoid fatty foods and greasy foods and dairy and red sauces but lately as I lose the weight, it seems to be getting worse.    I've been on prednisone a few times this year and it's not fun.   It's not.   But it is what works.   I've been gaining and losing the same five pounds for about 6 weeks now and I finally had it and went to see him.

I'll be doing prilosec in the morning, calcium in the afternoon and zantac in the evening to help this for now.    I need to keep working on my weight loss as well.    I felt so frustrated and upset because I work SO HARD and I feel like I hit a wall ALL.  THE.  TIME.    I'm also on a 12 day regimen of some pretty strong prednisone so I REALLY need to watch what I'm eating and my weight etc because prednisone is just a recipe for weight gain.   A lot of it IS water weight and DOES come off but it's always recommended to have a food journal with it to make sure your body isn't playing tricks on you.  

After having a good cry about being back on prednisone and having the polyps back (they're not bad, but they have potential to get worse - he said on a scale of 1-10 and ten being the worst I'm at a 5)....I posted in my weight loss group for feedback, help, support, etc....

Well, a friend of mine in there is GOING THROUGH THE EXACT SAME THING.  Her doctor swears she has a gluten sensitivity and the only way to assess for that is to basically reduce/give up gluten for at least a week (they recommend three) and then reintroduce it.   If you feel better without it and worse with it, then there ya go!   There is research supporting gluten sensitivity and GERD go together, but not too much.   The bulk of the research I saw was that gluten sensitivity can impact A LOT.

So it's goodbye to weight watchers and hello to something like Atkins for me now.   I've basically spent 5pm-midnight last night reading and reading and reading all the research out there and talking with friends who have experienced this and their friends as well.

The ENT (and the Internetz) has provided me with a list of ten things to help combat GERD.    Right now I'm on medication to help but the goal is to go OFF the medication.   I also need to talk to Dr. P (My RE) because it says in some of the research that acid reflux can be increased due to the birth control pill.... ironically after years of hell and infertility I'm now "hyper fertile" hence me being on the pill.  

Here is the list of 10 things to do if you have GERD and my feedback.  As you can see, I'm pretty disciplined and I'm really certain at this point that the Gluten and GERD thing go together.


  1. Avoid spicy foods, any foods with red sauces --- I do this!
  2. Eliminate all fast food and fatty food/greasy food ---- um, duh!
  3. Say bye-bye to soda, citrus drinks and caffeine --- I do not drink caffeine.   IF I do have juice it's always watered down to 1/4 juice and 3/4 water.   Soda is a rare thing for me and when I do have it, it's typically ginger ale (which ironically settles your stomach)
  4. Lose weight --- Story of my life.   I am pleased to say I just joined Curves and I have a trainer which I'm super excited about.
  5. Do not gorge yourself at meals --- I don't.   I'm the fat girl who never eats enough.   Go figure.
  6. Do not exercise after eating --- I don't  We do go for a walk after supper from time to time but it's a nice gentle walk, not a power walk.
  7. No snacking 3-4 hours before bedtime --- the problem with this is we eat supper at about 6/6:30 and I go to bed by 10pm.... gonna have to work on this
  8. No smoking --- ew!   I don't
  9. Elevate your bed --- I've done this in the past and it makes me more uncomfortable.   
  10. Communicate with your doctor - ALWAYS  
I will probably post more on this topic as this truly is a new adventure for me.

I will say to all my cysters out there, especially those of you TTC.... RESEARCH "Gluten sensitivity and PCOS"   I encourage all my hypothyroid and Hashimoto's friends to do the same as well.   

I've been reading like crazy!   While I'm not sure this IS the problem because I haven't "done the experiment" yet, my hypothesis is that we have found the culprit.   The more I read last night the more I found myself saying, 'Oh my God, this is me!'  or 'You have got to be $%#@ kidding me!?!?!'   

Action Plan:
  • Continued research
  • Food diary on myfitnesspal.com
  • Work with Rx regimen (prednisone for the first 12 days)
  • Reduce gluten intake/possibly eliminate gluten
  • Re-visit with ENT on August 29th
  • Write this down to discuss with RE
  • Take it one day at a time
  • Get better, feel better

Friday, August 2, 2013

Inositol

Posted for my cysters who requested some information regarding egg quality and egg quality supplements.

Inositol Link 1

Inositol Link 2


Saturday, July 13, 2013

PCOS causes Obesity (duh)

The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism Vol. 93, No. 1 162-168
Copyright © 2008 by The Endocrine Society 

Impact of Obesity on the Risk for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Bulent O. Yildiz, Eric S. Knochenhauer and Ricardo Azziz 
Department of Internal Medicine, Endocrinology, and Metabolism Unit (B.O.Y.), Hacettepe University School of Medicine, Hacettepe, 06100 Ankara, Turkey; Department of Obstetrics/Gynecology (E.S.K.), Staten Island University Hospital, Staten Island, New York 10305; Department of Obstetrics/Gynecology and Center for Androgen Related Disorders (R.A.), Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, and Departments of Obstetrics/Gynecology and Medicine (R.A.), David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California 90048 

Address all correspondence and requests for reprints to: Ricardo Azziz, M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A., Department of Ob/Gyn, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, 8635 West Third Street, Suite 160W, Los Angeles, California 90048. E-mail: azzizr@cshs.org.

Conclusion: Our results suggest that the risk of PCOS is only minimally increased with obesity, although the degree of obesity of PCOS patients has increased, similar to that observed in the general population. These data indicate that obesity in PCOS reflects environmental factors to a great extent. 

Context: Although it is well established that adiposity increases the severity of the clinical features of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), the data regarding the prevalence of PCOS in obese women and the change in body weight women presented with PCOS over time are scarce. 

Objective: The objective of the study was to determine whether obesity increases the risk of PCOS and whether the degree of obesity of PCOS patients has increased, paralleling the rise in obesity in the population. 

Design: We analyzed data from two consecutive populational studies assessing the prevalence of PCOS and a database containing all untreated PCOS patients evaluated at a university clinic between 1987 and 2002. 

Setting: The study was conducted at a tertiary care center. 

Patients or Other Participants: Participants included 675 women who participated in prevalence studies and 746 PCOS patients. 

Main Outcome Measures: Populational prevalence of PCOS according to body mass index (BMI) and change in BMI of PCOS patients over time were measured.

PDF OF FULL STUDY:
http://jcem.endojournals.org/cgi/rap...jc.2007-1834v1

Monday, June 24, 2013

Way to go, Cosmo!



I love Cosmo - truly.   It's my guilty pleasure.    I love reading the silly articles and the informative ones as well.    I think I'm going to write in to Cosmo because this month THEY HAVE A BLURB ABOUT PCOS!!!   I'm super excited about this because so many women .... and teens .... read this magazine!     I'd love for them to do a full story on PCOS but this 9-12 sentence blurb was rather effective!   Especially the last sentence!


Saturday, June 1, 2013

Cyster Gifts from my Polish Cyster

I got a surprise package in the mail today from my Polish Cyster, Jen!

What a wonderful surprise!   It's a Hello Kitty Sandwich holder and another round container for my fruit!     This was much appreciated as I've had a gain [I truly blame stress] - I'm on the right track now and already down 1.5lbs from the 7 [ugh!] I gained!

Thanks, Jen!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Plate Percentages


I really liked these visuals I saw on Pinterest.    

I'm one of those "pinners" who pins a bunch of neat things here and there and then summer when I have more time I attempt to try what I've pinned.  


Monday, May 27, 2013

Prevention Magazine


The ladies in my weight loss group have been doing a month long healthy lifestyle challenge where we really just worked on stepping up our efforts.   One of the challenges we had was to purchase a health related magazine and then a reflection on some things we read.

I purchased Prevention magazine that I think is for an "older audience" but I still like it.   There is an article in there called "Surprising News about Anger" and it states that PEOPLE WHO REPRESSED THEIR ANGER HAD ELEVATED LEVELS OF THE STRESS HORMONE CORTISOL AND WERE 31% MORE LIKELY TO SUFFER FROM HEART ATTACK, CANCER, OR HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE.  The cancer part was a shocker to me but if there is anything I'm learning right now [and throughout this very trying school year] is that stress is no bueno on the body.   It really isn't.   When I'm stressed out it shows on the scale.    The article talks about the powers in venting whether it is on paper or verbally.   It also suggests punching something [not someone] as a physical release.

A second tid-bit in this magazine I enjoyed reading was about boosting your metabolism for people age 40+.   I really don't see why this couldn't work for us.   Basically, it's suggesting more protein and also recommended green tea.  However, it suggests VARYING the protein so pairing a low with a high.   And not eating the same thing each night.  
Low protein foods include avocado, asparagus, walnuts, almonds, spinach, quinoa and hemp seeds [eat, don't smoke] Medium protein foods include cheese and milk, black beans, chickpeas, edamame, tofu, eggs and cottage cheese.    High protein foods include tempeh, Greek yogurt [not blueberry though, right Jen?  ;)], Whey protein, fish, poultry, pork and leaner beef like bison.

And lastly there was an article on "the wild side" about choosing foods you can grow to help your body.   I loved the mentioning of garlic because Mark takes a garlic supplement for his blood pressure and cholesterol and his numbers have been phenomenal and no longer uses an actual Rx.   He takes garlic and ginger daily.    It even noted that when you microwave garlic you are destroying about 90% of the antioxidants.   

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Abbreviations

I snagged this from soulcysters.net considering not all of my cyster readers are on that site [yet, lol]

Below you will find a list of common abbreviations in the PCOS world.   

AF- Aunt Flo
AFM- As For Me
AI- Artificial Insemination
AO-annovulation
ART-assisted reproduction technology
ASA- anti-sperm antibody
ASAP- as soon as possible
BB- bulletin board
BBL- be back later
BCP- birth control pills
BBT- basal body temperature
BD- baby dance
BETA= Beta = Beta HCG - it is a bloodtest to see if you are pregnant or not. A quanatative beta just let you now Yes or No. A Qualitative beta gives a number of how much HCG (The pregnancy hormone) is in your system. Most doctor's like to see this number double every 48 to 72 hours when you are pg.

BF- boyfriend or bestfriend
BFF- bestfriend (too)
BFN- big fat negative
BFP- big fat positive
BIL- brother in law
BMS- baby making sex
BRB- be right back
BTW- by the way
BV- bacterial vaginosis
BW- blood work
CB- cycle buddy
CD- cycle day
CF- cervical fluid
CIO- Crying it Out
CM- cervical mucous
D&C- dilation & curettage- A d&c is a procedure where the inside lining of the uterus is scraped. It is usually done when a woman has a missed miscarriage (baby is gone but the body isn't passing it) or an incomplete miscarriage (some tissue passed but not all). There are other instances where it is performed

D&E- dilation & evacuation
DE- donor eggs
DD- darling daughter
DH- darling husband
DI- donor insemination
DIUI- donor intrauterine insemination
DOST- direct oocyte sperm transfer
DPO- days post ovulation
DPR- days post retrieval
DPT- days post transfer
DR- doctor
DS- darling son
DTD- do the deed (sex)
DW- darling wife
DX- diagnosis
E2- estradiol
EA- endometrial ablation
ED- endometriosis
FAQ- frequently asked questions
FHR- fetal heart rate
EWCM- egg white cervical mucus
ET- embryo transfer
FE- frozen embryo
FET- frozen embryo transfer
FIL- father in law
FRER- first response early
FX- fingers crossed
GD- gestational diabetes
H/A- headaches (as suggested by websissy)
HPT- home pregnancy test
HSG- hysterosalpingogram
HTH- hope that helps
IC- incompotent cervix
IF- infertility
IR- insulin resistance
IUI- in uterine insemination
IYKWIM- if you know what I mean
IMHO- in my honest opinion
IMO- in my opinion
KWIM- know what I mean
LAP- laparoscopy
LMAO- laughing my a$$ off
LOL- laugh out loud or lots of love
LSP- low sperm count
LPD- luteal phase defect
MC- miscarriage
MIL- mother in law
M/S- morning sickness
MWC- married with children
NPC- natural progesterone cream
O- ovulate
OD- ovulation dysfunction
OHSS- ovarian hyper-stimulation syndrome
OP- original poster (person that started the thread)
OPK- ovulation predictor kit
OT- off topic
OV- ovulated
PG- pregnant
PLS- please
POAS- pee on a stick
PUPO- pregnant until proven otherwise
RE- reproductive endocrinologist
SA- semen analysis
SAHD- stay at home dad
SAHM- stay at home mom
SC- sperm count
SO- significant other
STICKY- is a thread that the moderators want to stay at the top of a forum. MOst threads move down the forum when people stop replying. Stickies will always be at the top.
TCYOF-Taking Charge of Your Fertility (book by Toni Weschler)
TMI- too much info
TSH-thyroid stimulating hormone
TTC- trying to conceive
2WW- 2 week waiting period after O before PG test
TX- treatment
US- ultrasound

Monday, May 20, 2013

God's Love

I posted this before but felt the need to do it again....


1 John 4:8

God loves you not because of what you do, but because of who He is.
God is love (1 John 4:8). God doesn't have to pretend to love you; He can't not love you, because He is love.

In fact, the very actions of God exemplify what love is. The apostle John explains that this is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us (1 John 3:16). Only a few verses later, he further defines love: This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins (1 John 4:9).

Notice that God's love for you is independent of how you behave, who you are, or how you respond to that love.

Romans 5:6-8 reminds us that God loves us regardless of where we are: You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Jesus represents God's love for us in what we now call the Parable of the Prodigal Son (see Luke 15:11-24). In that allegory, the father openly and lovingly receives his son even though the son had run away, squandered all of his money, and insulted the father. In the same way, God loves us unconditionally.

There is nothing you can do to get God to love you -- He already does. There is nothing you can do to deserve God's love, because, by sinning, you have turned your back on God and are fundamentally no different than the prodigal son. That parable is a clear reminder that God loves you not because of what you do, but because of who He is.

Hannah's prayer

"...Hannah wept much and prayed to the Lord...'I have been praying here out of my great anguish...'" ~ 1 Samuel 1:10, 16 (NIV)

This organization is absolutely fabulous.     

I am struggling right now with something infertility related.   Several people have come to me regarding a mutual person in our lives and their struggle with infertility.   They've told this person, "Talk to LeLe!  She's been through it all!   She may be able to steer you in the right direction."     She has not come to me, but I continue to pray for her.

I urge my friends to please understand that I'm confident that "our story" is "out there" and when it comes to infertility the rule is - don't jump in.    The pain of infertility is heart wrenching.   It HURTS.   And depending on the day your mood can change.   I pray that this person finds peace and guidance.   I pray that they don't lose faith in the Lord and know that God is with them and God's plan is greater than our own and God truly does know the desires of our hearts.

The fact that I have Elliot still blows my mind - even 18 months later.    It just does.   I remember the story my husband tells me when Elliot came out.   I was waiting for it.  The sound.  That sound of his cry.   And as I waited lying there on the table my blood pressure went incredibly low, as did my pulse.   The nurses were all about me.   And then in an instant that cry.   That cry I waited so long for.   That cry that filled my heart and made my wounds turn to scars.    That cry of God's Grace.   As soon as I heard it my heart and blood pressure went back to normal.    And the first time I held him to my breast I thanked God with all my being for being patient with me and for giving me this precious gift.    I don't take one day for granted.   Ever.   Even when he's naughty and pulls the cats tail.   

Slimmer face :)

It's really difficult for me to see "progress" considering I see myself every day but I'm really noticing my face is slimmer in photos so I thought I'd share a pic of me [with the make up on].


Sunday, May 19, 2013

Product Review

I am quite picky when it comes to choosing make-up.

I actually rarely wear it because of my skin issues [sensitive, sometimes oily] - I picked up this foundation and absolutely love it.   It's such a nice, light product.   There's no "line" from neck to chin/face and I don't feel as if I have mud shalacked on my face either.   It covers up my sun spots [read: I was dumb as a teen and didn't wear any SPF] and any discolorations/blemishes.  

On my journey to a smaller me, I've been working on all around health including skin care.  
I am also using Clinique's dark spot corrector and I'm a clinique gal for face washing as well.  Oh and I use this, too!  :)

I know it will take about 6-8 weeks to see a noticeable difference, but I feel like I see one now.
We shall see!   My hubby is too cute, he doesn't see any of these "Flaws" and I rarely ever wear make up so this is a bit of a change for him.   :)

How to Recognize Thyroid Issues

How to recognize thyroid issues.... Great visual.  

Saturday, May 18, 2013

JOY


Stealing Joy

It's not our circumstances that steal our joy; it's our attitude during our circumstances.
It is easy to think "If I could just get a new car, a bigger house, a better job, or more money, then I'll be happy." We tend to view happiness as a commodity attainable by wealth. However, as the old saying goes, "money cannot buy happiness."

Indeed, no amount of money or things will ever give you lasting joy or contentment; that's because joy and contentment are not based on circumstances. Therefore, if you're not content with what you have, you won't be content with what you want.

Although at first it may seem difficult, it is very possible to be content even during harsh circumstances. Paul said, in Philippians 4:11-12, "I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want."

In those two verses, Paul is saying that he could be content—that is, have joy—regardless of his circumstances. Joy should not be dependent on circumstances; it should be present regardless of them.

When Paul said that he could be content "in any and every situation," he truly meant everything—even the tough times of testing. In 2 Corinthians 11:24-27, he lists some of the tough times that he has endured: "Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers. I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked."

Even in all these things, Paul had "learned to be content." Clearly, it's not our circumstances that steal our joy. You, too, can learn "to be content whatever the circumstances."

Stop thinking that you will have joy after you buy a new house, after you get married (or have children), after you buy a better car, after your in-laws treat you right. Don't put off joy until after everything goes your way; decide to have joy now! For you can have joy whatever the circumstances!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Peace Out, Belly Fat

Belly fat is a huge issue for women with PCOS.    Pun intended.    I was reading this article on foods that help blast belly fat and I thought I'd share a few with you.   


Cherries!!!
You may surprise that those little tart cherries can help you to burn out your belly fat, doesn’t it?
In a study conducted by the University of Michigan, it was found that a diet containing tart cherries may help lower symptoms of heart disease and metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a term used to refer to a group of symptoms which increase the risk of a host of heart diseases, diabetes and belly fat. In the study, the animal subjects had reduced cholesterol levels and a fat content of only 54 percent compared to the non-cherry fed group of 63 percent belly fat. Tart cherries have also been identified to have antioxidant properties.

 Apples!!!

I believe that you heard enough “one apple a day keeps the doctor away”. However, do you know apples can also help you to keep you in shape as well?
In a Brazilian weight study, subjects who ate three apples a day while dieting lost more weight than those who didn’t. This fruit contains pectin, a compound that is known to inhibit colon cancer. Apples are packed with nutrients and are a rich source of vitamin C, beta-carotene, dietary fiber, phytosterol, flavonoids, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.

 Avocados!!!
This fruit has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. It contains the amino acid lecithin – which helps in preventing liver overload – and aids the memory and helps balance weight. In one study, it was discovered that people who ate a considerable amount of avocados showed clear improvement in health. It balances cholesterol levels and prevents heart attacks and strokes.

Watermelon!!!
In a study conducted by the University of Kentucky, watermelon was found to have a significant effect on artery plaque deposition because it altered blood lipids and lowered the risk of developing belly fat. The researchers in the study observed that animal subjects in the experiment who had diet-induced high cholesterol were given a supplement of watermelon juice while another group was given a typical diet with water. Eight weeks later, the animals given watermelon juice had lower body weight than those who were just given water. It appeared that there was no decrease in muscle mass and the weight loss was due to abdominal fat loss.

Celery!!!
Celery is a negative calorie food containing only eight calories. It is high in vitamin C, calcium and is best enjoyed raw. Enjoying fresh celery juice before a meal can even help you lose weight. It contains apigenin, an active compound that slashes the risk of ovarian cancer.

Bananas!!!
This is a fruit you can enjoy as a nutritious snack without ever worrying about gaining weight. Like apples, it contains a fiber called pectin that is known to inhibit colon cancer. It also contains vitamin A, C, E, B6 as well as potassium, calcium and magnesium.
Bananas, depending upon the size, contain calories between 75 calories to 135 calories only.

Since joining weight watchers...