Them’s be fighting words..

Them's be fightin' words!

Them’s be fightin’ words!

Wherever I go, you are there by my side,
never letting me stand on my own two feet.
You have comforted me in my failures and tainted my success’

I cling to you with one hand, fighting you off with the other.
Without you my life appears empty. And yet, I know it will never be full with you.

You are my constant, always have been. I cannot imagine my life without you but with you, I have no life

Who am I without you? How do I let you go?
My love, my nemesis, My joy, my sorrow

It is time to say farewell, to remove you from my life
The pain will seem almost too much to bear
But I know that freedom waits on the other side

I was browsing through some old journals when I found this poem that I wrote in 2007. It’s not a very good poem, but it was my attempt to put my feelings on paper. I wrote this at another time in my life when I was at a cross-roads with regards to my food addiction.

This poem not only represents how I felt at that time, but also how I am feeling now. But it also pisses me off, because it just shows how little I have progressed in this fight over the last few years. I am so tired of playing this same song over and over.

Here’s the good news….I am angry. How is that good news? Well as much as fear is a paralyzer for me, anger is my motivator. I know, it’s not the healthiest of emotions, but hey “I am what I am”. The one and only time in my adult life that I successfully got my food under control, and managed to lose weight, was because I was angry. I had been called fat ass one too many times in my life, and I fought back in the healthiest way possible. I lost the weight, instead of punching the guy in the face (which trust me was definitely an option in that particular instance.) Now granted, I didn’t manage to keep that weight off, but that was because I didn’t look at the emotion behind the food. This time I am going to do it both ways.

I am angry, because how much time and effort I have spent playing this same record. Imagine how much different my life could be if I have expended that effort elsewhere? I might actually be doing some of the things I have always wanted to do. Things that I don’t do, because I am ashamed of how I look or am always obsessing about how to lose weight. I don’t do the volunteering I want to do. I have always wanted to volunteer with an organization that helps educate people on the importance of healthy eating, but I don’t because I feel like a walking hypocrite. I don’t take the dance/exercise classes I want to because I am afraid of people judging me on my size. My weight, and how I think others perceive me because of it, has beaten me down my whole life. I am tired of it. I am fed up with it. I am angry!

So watch out body, your head is pissed off and isn’t going to take it any more. She is out to show you what you are capable of. To prove to you, herself and the world that you are so much more then your weight. Things are gonna get different around here!


The beginning of the plan…

Wow, what an emotional couple of days, but also a productive couple of days.

9781587610233I have been reading this great book that my specialist suggested to me, called The PCOS Diet Plan: A Natural Approach to Health for women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. I have to admit, I spent much of the first chapter in tears. The relief that was flowing through me was almost too much to bear. The stories of the other women, the symptoms that I have had for years (some of which I haven’t shared because I never realized they were relevant), it was so amazing to know that I am not alone. To know that other women have suffered from what I have suffered and that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. That there is a solution.

I have also been busy getting organized, starting to lay the groundwork for my plan. and cleaning and organizing my personal space. You know that saying a chaotic space is the sign of a chaotic mind? Well, I have a chaotic space…and I guess that means a chaotic mind lol. So I have been spending some time lately getting organized and purging some things. I set up a dedicated “office” for the first time ever. I was in design school for 4 years and have been working/freelancing for 5 years and have never had a dedicated space to work in. I always just worked on my laptop wherever. It’s still a work in progress, but at least the desk and computer are set up. And I finally set up an area in my basement where I can work out at home. Again, I always just had all my equipment scattered all over the house. I also finally threw out some garbage that has been sitting piled up around my house, the woman who cleans my house won’t know what hit her next time she comes lol.

The beginning of an office

The beginning of an office

Throwing out some garbage, that sounds like a metaphor for my life actually. I am physically purging my space, and hopefully as a result I am purging some of my emotional “garbage” as well. Actually, not hopefully, I know I am.

I have also started my health plan. Some of it is stuff I have already trying to incorporate, and some of it is more specific. This is what I have so far:


  • Continue to eliminate wheat and sugar from my diet. The book I have been reading suggests applying an 80/20 rule. Eating “clean” 80% of the time and allowing yourself treats the other 20% of the time. I like this idea, because it gives me room to occaisionally eat pasta, or a pint from Ed’s Ice Cream (the BEST ice cream) and not have to play that mental game where I beat myself up for days. You know the one. Where you are really good at sticking to your diet for days/weeks and then eat something that is not considered on “plan”. This then leads to an emotional boxing match, where you call yourself weak, a loser and say things like “you can’t do this, why not just give up” and then you often do just that. Well, if this is going to be a lifestyle change, and not just a diet, I need to leave room for the idea that I will occasionally want to eat ice cream and just allow myself that ahead of time.
  • Eating regular meals at roughly same time every day. I am learning that when I eat is just as important as what I eat. One of the main issues with PCOS is Insulin Resistance. Therefore, it is important that I try to keep my blood sugar levels as even as possible. This not only means not eating foods that will spike my blood sugar, but also making sure to eat regularly throughout the day so that they don’t plummet either. It’s similar to how a diabetic has to manage their insulin and blood sugar levels, which is why Diabetes is often a secondary condition of PCOS.


  • Dedicate myself to practising yoga 2-3 times a week. This is the first stop on my exercise regime because yoga has so many more benefits then just getting me physically active. It also helps with my neck and muscle issues, as well as helping me get and stay emotionally grounded. I can’t afford to go back to class right now, but I have enough knowledge and the equipment that I can do it at home.
  • Start working out with a personal trainer. My sister is a certified personal trainer, though it’s not her full-time job anymore. She has agreed to work with me once a week to start developing a workout plan I can do at home using my new home gym.

    My new home "gym"

    My new home “gym”

  • Walking 20-30 minutes a day. Every morning on my way to work, I get off the streetcar several stops early to pick up my coffee at the closest Starbucks. It is about a 20 minute walk from my office, though I usually just hop back on the streetcar. Now that the weather is nice, I will start leaving home a little earlier so that I can walk the rest of the way to the office. If, for some reason, that is not possible, on those days I will get off the streetcar early on my way home and walk the rest of the way.


  • Begin taking hormone therapy. My doctor prescribed me progesterone to help to begin regulating my hormone levels. It is not bio-identical, which I am not happy about, but I will begin taking the hormones while I continue to look for ways to get myself on a more natural regimen.
  • Continue to explore/research alternative remedies. I am continuing to read the book I mentioned above. I am also going to speak to my Naturopath at our next appointment about supplements or other homeopathic options that I might be able to add. I am already taking Vitamin D, Vitamin B Complex and EstroSmart. But will see if there is anything else I can do.
  • Be kind and loving to myself. This is the most important one I think. Without it, none of the others are going to be possible. If I can’t treat myself with love and respect, then I won’t be able to keep this up long-term, and it has to be that long. I just need to keep reminding myself to be patient. Be patient with my body, and be patient with me. It’s taken years to get my in this condition, and it’s not going to go away over night.

So that is the plan, so far. I am looking at this plan as a living organism, in that it will continue to grow and flourish and that it is something I need to tend and nurture. I thought about setting a start date for all this, but I realized that I just need to start it now. It doesn’t have to be perfection at first, it just needs to be incorporated into my life. The only goal I am setting is that within the next month, I need to be doing something that works on each of these items. This is going to be a marathon, not a sprint, and I need to pace myself so that I don’t burn out doing everything all at once and then give up entirely. Because giving up just can’t be an option.

Survey says…

So, you know that old saying “Be careful what you wish for” well…it’s true. I had my specialist appointment on Wednesday evening. As I mentioned the other morning, I didn’t expect to get an answer at that first appointment, but was just happy to finally be on a path to finding answers. Well, turns out that I did get an answer and it is definitely PCOS. The specialist was really great, she spent 45 minutes with me going over why it happens, what my options are and the plan going forward. A plan! How I love a plan!

When I left the office, I had a mix of emotions. Part of me was happy to finally have an answer, to know what is wrong and what we can do to try to bring my body back in to balance. But I was also feeling angry and overwhelmed.

Angry because for 4 years non-western medical professionals have been suggesting PCOS to me as a possibility, and for 4 years western doctors have been telling me that it’s not PCOS because of various reasons. Even my current family doctor who sent me to the specialist was convinced it wasn’t PCOS, but she was out of any other ideas. Yet, within 10 minutes of talking to this doctor, and having her review all my endless test results, she was certain it was. Even some of the test results that my doctor said were normal, she said were positive indicators for PCOS. Grrrrrr.

Oh well, it’s not worth staying pissed off. I have to let it go and move forward. But it is a good reminder, that you need to be your own advocate. If you know something is off with your body, yet your doctor’s keep saying everything is normal, keep pushing. Fight for your health, fight for you. Research, ask for tests to be done, ask for referrals to specialists. Your family doctor has a general  knowledge, we need to remember that.

As I mentioned, I have also been feeling overwhelmed since I left the office. Why? Well, as amazing as it is to finally have some answers, it does mean that I have going to have to start really taking the changes seriously. That this isn’t just gonna be some year-long diet that I do until I drop some weight. This really NEEDS to be a lifestyle change, otherwise my symptoms will never improve or will reappear. I need to learn patience. The weight is not going to come off quickly. There are going to be set backs. There will be some trial and error involving medication. I need to remember these are not failures, and give up completely, but merely bumps in the road that just need to be navigated.

The doctor reminded me that I am lucky. Many of the women she sees are suffering from serious secondary conditions that develop as a result of PCOS. They have developed diabetes, or are on blood pressure medication, or both. So far, I have not reached that point, but it would only be a matter of time. Especially given that both my Mother and my Grandmother developed diabetes in their 40s/50s. I wonder if maybe both of them were suffering from undiagnosed PCOS?

So, with a mix of emotions running amuck in my brain, I am doing what I do best – researching and making a plan. I am reading everything I can get my hands on about natural ways to control PCOS through diet, exercise and supplements. And, I am developing my personal plan. The doctor has hers, and I will have mine. I don’t have it all figured out, but will share it when I do. But the one thing it will be, needs to be really, is a loving way to nurture my body and my spirit. Details to come…

NOTE: I am adding this because I just thought of it. I would like to give special recognition to my dear friend Kelly Greer of Nutrigal. She was the first person who suggested PCOS to me over 3 years ago. If it wasn’t for her, I would never even known about it to suggest to doctors. She was right, my doctors were wrong. Thanks Kelly, I should have listened to you back then LOL.

Today is D-day

This blog is meant to be a chronicle of my journey to restoring balance, professional, physical and emotional, to my life. Sadly, thanks to an insanely busy week(s) at work, that has not been happening. I am realizing that I need to be more diligent in setting a plan, preparing ahead and finding time for yoga and meditation.

On a bright note, today is my appointment with the PCOS specialist. While I know I probably wont get any definitive answers today, it is a first step 🙂

In the interest of full disclosure, part of me is hoping to walk out with a “Yes, you have PCOS”. Not that I have want to have an incurable condition, but at least it would be a definitive diagnosis and a definite course of action. And I am a big fan of definites.

New Beginnings

I started this blog back in 2010 but never took it anywhere. Like a lot of things in my life I was full of big ideas and poor follow through.

I originally started this blog because I was having some health problems and was trying to find a way to chronicle my journey in getting better. However, I didn’t realize how serious my condition was and eventually just went back to living the way I was living. Fast forward three years and here I am in worse shape then I was before. Slowly my body is shutting down bit by bit. Doctors and Naturopaths haven’t been able to figure out what is wrong with. However, they have narrowed it down to two possibilities – PCOS (Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome) and Severe Adrenal Fatigue. One is curable but controllable (PCOS) while the other is curable but harder to do so. For both I have been told to do that same; avoid grain and sugar, exercise more, control my stress and hopefully lose weight. I say hopefully lose weight because unfortunately both conditions make it extremely hard to do. In addition, with adrenal fatigue, I have to be careful not to push myself too much because that could only make my condition worse.

Sounds like fun, huh?

The whole thing has been very frustrating and overwhelming, especially the uncertainty of it all. I don’t like uncertainty. I am the type of person who likes to know what is wrong, how to fix and then goes about getting it done. I like consistency. I like structure. Without both of them I feel lost. Unfortunately with life, and especially with my life right now, there is no certainty. That really pisses me off lol but I am slowly learning that there is nothing that I can do about it.

And so every day I get up and put one foot in front of the other and try to keep an optimistic point of view. I try to stay strong and not complain. I am the person that people look at and say she is “strong”. I am the person that people come to when they need help, advice or just an ear to listen. I don’t like to “bother” other people with my problems. Even my best friend of 22 years don’t know everything that goes in my head. I don’t like to be a pest, or at least that’s how I look at it. And so I keep shoving everything down and trudging forward. Unfortunately, there is only so much the emotion and physical body can take before it begins to crack. And I have cracked a few times.

Right now I am on the verge of cracking again. I have been feeling overwhelmed and annoyed by everything. I am trying to stay positive, look on the bright side and keep my stress and anxiety in check (oh yeah I also have an anxiety disorder  – I am real catch huh?) but have been really struggling. I know that I need to start talking about my struggles and getting it all out there. Otherwise I will stay locked up inside the bubble I call my brain and get so overwhelmed that I can’t deal anymore. I am the kind of person who can only ever see the hurdles in front of me and never the ones behind me that I have already cleared.

And so I am laying it all out on the table for all to see, assuming of course that anyone actually reads this. And if nobody does I am ok with that as well. If nothing else I will have a chronicle of my journey – the good, the bad and the ugly – for me to look back on and see how far I have come. I will have a record of my success, my failures, how far I have come and the things I still have to work on.

And so it is a new beginning – of my new blog, of my journey to health, of treating myself better and hopefully of my new life.



This post had to be rewritten since I accidentally reverted to an old draft copy. It is probably not exactly the same as the first one, but I tried to express all the same sentiments.