Thursday, February 8, 2018

The Plan

Funny how the title of this post makes me think back on all the plans I had so carefully made that didn't quite work out the way I'd hoped -- a year ago this might have been The Plan to Make It Through A Third Year of Adoption Waiting, two years ago it might have been The Plan to Wait Gracefully in Adoption, three years ago (!) it would have been about The Plan to Adopt, period (as we just hit the 3-year anniversary of when we ended our fertility journey and registered with our agency), the year before that would have been The Plan for Egg Boot Camp, the year before that would have been The Plan for Donor Egg, and it just keeps going back and back and back until February 2010 when The Plan was just... Get Pregnant. Pre IVF, Pre-donor material, Pre-clinic switching, Pre-adoption. 

This is not a Plan about that, but it is related. This is The Plan to kick PCOS in the ovaries and take back my liver

These are the things I am doing to try to lose those pesky 15-20 pounds I need to lose so that I don't a) develop diabetes, b) have permanent liver damage, c) have an EVEN HIGHER risk of heart disease thanks to that bastard, Fatty Liver: 

1) Gym 3 times per week minimum, no excuses, 45 minutes to an hour total each time. 
2) Combine cardio with weight training. Build muscle. Muscle eats fat. 
3) Add in a fourth day of yoga, pilates, yoga-pilates blend. Make time to do this. (So far I suck at that part.)
4) When it's no longer icy, walk daily (other than the frantic walking in the halls at school). 
5) Replace GF bagel and whipped cream cheese breakfast with Pamela's blueberry oat bars. Bagel on the weekend, not every freaking day. Who thought that was a good idea? (Me)
6) Replace my delicious gluten free Amy's Organic lunches with something far less fatty and calorie-laden. Just because it's organic doesn't mean it's good for you. 
7) New lunch choice -- LUVO power plant bowls. They are gluten free, meatless, 300 calories or less, and real heavy on the veggies and fiber. I eat it and don't feel hungry for a really long time. And most of them are delicious! (The one I had today was a bit too cabbage-heavy. No can do.)
8) Attempt to snack on hummus and celery. Yes, celery. How freaking cliche. It's not a bad combo and I feel all diet-y doing it, even though I'm loading up the crunchy water with hummus. But it's Ithaca hummus, all cold-preserved and natural and flavorful and not-bad-for-you. So that's okay. 
9) If I must eat buffalo cheese dip, which has become a staple like milk in our house, no more than 4 corn chips of buffalo cheese dip for a snack. Count the damn things. No more mindless shoveling after a rough day at work. COUNT THE FOODS. 
10) Keep a food diary. I read somewhere that just by writing down everything that you eat, you eat less and eat better. Some kind of weird self-shaming thing I bet. It is working pretty well though. No one wants to write down "shoveled countless buffalo cheese dip corn chips into mouth for approximately 15 minutes straight." It doesn't look good on paper. 
11) Drink more water. Sometimes when you're hungry, you're actually just thirsty. Hydrate that effing liver. 
12) Add fish oil back in. We cleaned out the medicine cupboard in the kitchen not 3 days before this fantastic diagnosis came in, and there was a bottle of fossilized fish oil left over from pregnancy attempts past that we chucked in the garbage. I have this weird association between fish oil and Egg Boot Camp, but if I read it's good for your liver, well then dammit I'm going to take the fish oil. So I ordered new online. I love Nordic Naturals -- it's got lemon in the softgel and so if you burp, you burp lemon and not horrid fish. And I don't even burp with it because it's high quality triglyceride form, or so says the marketing materials on the bottle. 
13) Take a probiotic daily. Probably a good idea anyway, but I read that it can help Fatty Liver. So...in my belly you go, helpful live cultures. Apparently the daily yogurt I eat isn't good enough, because it has sugar in it, which negates the effects, but I don't like plain yogurt so there you have it. 
14) Be conscious of sugar intake and avoid as much added sugar as possible. 
15) Eat more fruits and vegetables. If I want a snack, go for that first. 

Probably the biggest part of this plan is MAKE IT DO-ABLE. If I just blanket cut out a shitload of foods, I'm going to be MISERABLE. And cranky. And crave crap. It doesn't work. Reducing, replacing, and increasing exercise on a more consistent basis should help me get there. 

I really wish that once you made these changes the weight would fall off fairly immediately, so that you could feel somewhat accomplished, or at least feel like the changes are worth it and actually doing something. I plan to weigh myself weekly and track it in my handy-dandy bullet journal. I have a whole fatty liver spread. Bet not everyone's bullet journal can boast of a fatty liver plan spread! Woo, yeah. 

Wish me luck. Feel free to offer any suggestions you may have from your own PCOS weight loss journeys. Unless it involves cutting out dairy. That's not happening. I tried when we were trying to get pregnant and I just hate all of the substitute milks and cannot choke them down, and cheese. I love cheese too much. 

Thank you for the kind words of support! 

21 comments:

  1. Doing more than wishing you luck; cheering you on! It’s difficult to make such lifestyle changes, but you are doing this for an excellent reason and I have every confidence you will meet your goals.

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    1. Thank you! It is SO difficult, but I am trying to make it work. I think my replace and write it down strategies are working out well so far, I feel like I'm eating healthier and balancing intake and exercise wayyyy better. I just wish it would appear on my body faster, you know? Thanks for the cheering and the confidence!

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  2. No advice but good luck and I hope you can do it without cutting dairy. Because I agree that would suck!

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    1. Thank you! I bought one, ONE almond-milk yogurt today at the grocery in hopes that maybe it won't be terrible and maybe I can make a couple switches. Because cheese is not disappearing, but maybe other things can be a little less dairy-filled. But oh, cheese.

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  3. Okay, I won't say that my niece cut out dairy! Irony is, she used to be a dairy worker! And I know, cheese is too good. Plus, ice-cream.

    I also think #2 is really important. I don't do it enough (of course not).

    Yay to having a Do-able plan. That's the key. Not feeling deprived is the key. Now if only I could do that myself and not just say it!

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    1. Ha! Delicious dairy, I will cut down on you but not cut you out of my life, unless told it is the only way to save my life! And yeah, weight training seems to be the key to 40s+ fitness. It seems so awful that the older you get, the harder it is to see results from exercise. Booooo. We'll see how this all plays out! So far, not feeling so deprived, so that's good!

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  4. Hi there. This is hard. Lifestyle changes are hard and you have a great plan. And spring/summer is coming up, so you have a lot of delicious fruits and vegetables ahead of you.

    I had my hemoglobin a1c tested last October and it was 7--so diabetes. I made (am still making) lifestyle changes, including revamped diet and way more exercise than I've ever done, and I don't love exercise. It's been a lot of work.

    If you have a good thing going with the gym, don't change a thing. But if you're feeling like you want to switch it up, you might want to look at orangetheory.
    I'm kind of an evangelist, so know that I come from a very heart-eyes place, but it's been great for me. They are classes and each class is about 25 minutes of cardio and 25 minutes of strength training. Key for me is the instructors who tell us what to do: run faster, run slower, increase incline, decrease incline, etc., and during the strength training portion they show you how to do the exercises and help with form. I work hard because someone is there telling me/showing me how. No class is ever identical (but is the same basic format). You sign up for classes and if you don't cancel within 8 hours you get charged for missing the class. This is a huge motivator for me--I hate fines! There are people of all shapes and sizes, it's very much go at your own pace and it's very welcoming environment. In my experience, no one judges; there is no side eye snickering when the fastest you can run is a brisk walk.

    With exercise and diet changes (basically cut all the carbs, but you obviously have different requirements on that front), I've lost 25 pounds in 5 months. It sucks in some ways--I dreamt about pizza last night--but I feel strong for the first time in a very long time. Being in good shape--feeling and seeing muscles in my arms for basically the first time ever--is really empowering. I kind of feel like a badass.

    It's really hard, but I hope that you'll find making the hard choices and putting in the hard work really empowering (so, in sum, it's about the journey).

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    1. Congratulations on your changes and loss -- wow! So inspiring. I like how you put that, to look at this as empowering -- I have to power to change my destiny here and be more mindful about my habits. We actually have an orangetheory fitness near here, right next to my hair salon. I'm intrigued for sure, although running for me is not an option due to my crappy knees (and when I say crappy knees, I mean my orthopedic person told me I should consider a home without stairs, gulp), so I wonder how that would work. I can speed walk for sure. I used to run, and I LOVED it, but my knees can't take it anymore. They don't track right. :( Thank you for sharing your story and tips, I appreciate it so much! Best of luck to you as you continue down your badass journey (I am a big fan of badassery, so woo hoo!).

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  5. That's a really good plan! I read your other post first and already suggested reducing dairy, oh dear, haha! Yeah cheese is yummy and hard to cut back on. Best of luck with all the changes!

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    1. Ha! No worries at all, when you look up nutrition and PCOS you find a whole shit-ton of stuff about eliminating dairy, gluten, and "inflammatory" foods. Booo, hisss. Reducing dairy is better than eliminating it though, and I can do that. :) Thanks for the cheering!

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  6. Sounds like a great plan! Have you thought about joining something like Weight watchers? They have an inexpensive online-only program that I am using. Also, sugar snap peas and fruit are my go-to snacking foods these days.

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    1. Mmmm, sugar snap peas and fruit. I am on a raspberry kick right now. The celery is not awful, also. Crunchy.

      So, I have this weird thing against Weight Watchers, even though it totally works and lots of people have lost weight on it, I grew up in a Weight Watchers house and hate the damn thing. It's changed a lot since people in my house used it, but I don't really want to go that route unless my own plan doesn't work. I love that it works for so many people (yourself included!) but it gives me the twitches. :)

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  7. You can pry dairy from my cold, dead hands.

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    1. Ha! Me too. I can eat less, but I sure as shit will not get rid of it. Too yummy. I'm trying the whole moderation thing first!

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  8. Sounds like a good plan for any of us!

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    1. Thanks! That's my hope, is that it's something sustainable that won't feel like horrid deprivation or boot-camp-y awfulness. I do this in the name of health, not to be a size I haven't seen in years. :) Which I'm hoping will make it more do-able.

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  9. Whew, I'm catching up on blog reading tonight, and just whew! You've had a ton going on!

    I can't comment on the PCOS aspect, but I'll offer a few suggestions that have helped me.

    1) Food prep. It's a lot easier to eat healthy if you plan out your meals AND prep the food. We try really hard to make up snack bags of fruit and/or veggies, plus pre-cut all of our veggies and such for dinner. It's a whole lot easier to grab a container of celery that has already been cut then it is to cut it when you want a snack. (Related, we really need to get back on track with this!)

    2) Regarding the gym, I very much agree with both weight and cardio, but I wouldn't hold yourself to 45 minutes. Depending on the intensity, you can get as big of a bang for your buck with a 20 minute workout as you can with a 45 minute one. Look into High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).

    3) If you're not super familiar with going to the gym, I'd highly recommend finding a personal trainer and booking a few sessions. S/he will help you set realistic goals for yourself, show you correct form, etc. I promise you that this is worth every cent. If this isn't an option, a class might be a good way to start.

    4) Buy good shoes (bonus points if they're cute, but function over style. Go to a running store and have them fit you. Plan to spend about $150, but you can usually save a few bucks on Amazon.

    5) Carry a water bottle with you everywhere. I like the metal ones that keep ice all day. You can refill it numerous times and always have cold water!

    6) Probably most importantly, don't beat yourself up if the weight doesn't fall off. Losing 15 pounds is a great long-term goal, but if you break it down into smaller short-term goals, it seems more manageable. Like, for example, maybe you could say you want to lose two pounds in February.

    Best of luck to you! We'll all be here cheering you on!

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    1. Thank you so much for all the tips, much appreciated! I do want to sign up for a session with the trainer at the planet fitness where I go, because I bet I can do things more effectively. They also have this 30 minute circuit workout with weight machines interspersed with steppy things you can jump over or step up and down or run around or what have you. That could be a good option, too. I feel like for me, I really like to feel like I've sweat a ton and even though I know the calorie counts on those machines are often bogus, I have goals I set for myself and it feels good to hit them. You are SO RIGHT with the shoes. I need new ones, because my heels are wearing out on mine. Good shoes are worth it, they totally can prevent injury. I have a glass water bottle wrapped in silicone for safety and we have one of those water bottle refillers in the cafeteria, so I've been trying to refill it at least once during the day (40 oz of water) and then drink at least 3 more 8 oz glasses of water in the evening. Some days I'm better than others, because I can get down to the cafeteria during a "free" period. I have to make it a priority. I am finding that meal planning is making a huge difference. I'm more likely to stick to it if I buy the stuff for defined meals only, and make those meals things that don't take forever and are healthful.

      Thanks for the cheering section! I truly appreciate it!

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  10. Orangetheory always offers a power walking (with inclines, usually) option. No running required! I was just lamenting a lifetime of low carbs, but like you and dairy, it’s not all or nothing. Good luck to us both!

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  11. Woooohooo! You go, Girl. Also, forgive yourself and just move on to a new day if uou’re Human like me and blow it now and then. We have to take our health and fitness very seriously. There is way too much cancer, heart disease, and diabetes in our family. Love you. On to victory!

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  12. Sounds like a good plan! No advice (though I'm reading this and thinking so much of it sounds great) but cheering you on and hoping it goes well!

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