Yoga is my BFF

12801092_10156519614140697_369452911248984335_nFor anyone that has talked with or seen me recently, they would know I have a new obsession. For those that don’t, I have a new obsession. Yoga.

I finally broke down after having my regular doctor, my psychiatrist, and my reproductive endocrinologist all suggest I try yoga. I signed up for a beginners workshop, as I’d tried the at home videos in the past and not enjoyed it.

Turns out being in a supportive studio is what I needed. After the beginners workshop I signed on for the annual pass and have been trying to attend a minimum of 3-4 classes a week.

I’ve also noticed a huge boost to not only my mental well-being, but my physical well-being as well. I haven’t lost any weight from it, but I have gained the obvious flexibility. On top of that though I’ve also noticed that my resting pulse rate has dropped to an average of 72, compared to an average of 84 before I started yoga.

The mental health part is no joke though. I feel significantly less stressed, and my anxiety has been easy to control. Bill also noticed during my last retrieval that my overall mood was completely different from the first time. I’m sure part of that was being proactive and going back to counseling and back on an antidepressant, but I also know a part of it is the yoga. I feel a difference in my entire frame of mind if I go too long between classes.

I definitely recommend anyone that has stress, anxiety, and/or depression to give it a try. Find a supportive studio that has yogi’s that really make it work for you, and you’ll be surprised how addicted you’ll get!

Finding a Therapist… Again

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I’ve recently gone back to finding a therapist. It’s not necessarily the thing one should stop doing when dealing with major depressive disorder, but a person can only take the frustration of finding the right therapist for so long before they give up for a while. With the holidays and another cycle approaching, I knew now was the time to pick the search back up as I’d been growing increasingly snappy.

So a couple weeks ago I went to my first session with the new therapist. Yesterday I had another session with her. 2 sessions in and I do think this one may finally work out. She’s already pinpointed a couple of my issues, and doesn’t let me use humor to scapegoat out of sitting with my feelings. She’s also reminded me that just because I might know about my issues, and some of why they are there, it doesn’t mean I need therapy any less. That even therapists have therapists. Knowing your issues and being able to manage them are separate things.

The thing she first picked out though, was something I didn’t really understand or acknowledge. My mind has used the idea of “being strong” to become a crutch to hide behind. I have always had to be strong for those around me, which has made my method of coping with everything to hide my feelings. Stamp them down, box them up, save them for later. Which has lead me to a point now where I don’t really know how to work through my feelings. My go to emotion is anger, because anger is powerful and forceful and strong. Anything else is just seen as weak. None of which is healthy.

Now comes the hard part though, figuring out how to retrain my thought process, and allowing myself to be sad, upset, frustrated, and not just angry and viewing everything outside of anger as weak. I don’t think that of others when they express those emotions, so why isn’t it okay for me to feel that way. Retraining 20 years of emotion processing. This is going to take a while.

Pixie!

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Gina: Well “Sinead O’Rebellion.” Shock me shock me shock me with that deviant behavior.

Debra: God, that is so clever. I swear you get smarter the shorter your skirt gets.

Gina: And you get smarter the shorter your hair gets, so it’s probably a good thing you went with that. It’s a wonderful look for you darling.


I did a thing. I chopped all my hair off.

It started a couple weeks ago when I scheduled a cut and color. I always think I want to grow my hair out, my hair reaches a bit past my shoulders and by then I am just so over it.

I decided I was also against spending an hour getting ready for work every morning.

So I consulted my husband, and verified with my BIL I could pull it off and chopped it all off.

Without further ado…

Before

Before

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After

Tattoo Coverup – Final Reveal

As some of you may remember, I blogged about having my tattoo covered up a few weeks ago. I had my next appointment for the shading and coloring on September 22nd. It has now fully healed and I want to share it with everyone! Without further ado, the final product:

Freshly done and still covered up the night of.

Freshly done and still covered up the night of.

The night it was done.

The night it was done.

Few days later, mostly healed.

Few days later, mostly healed.

Fully healed, taken 10/20

Fully healed, taken 10/20

I had the tattoo done by Wendi Koontz at South Water Studios in Kent, Ohio. I think I may expand it into a half sleeve over time, adding some woodland creatures around it. I am beyond thrilled with how it turned out though and it has definitely given me the urge to get more work done. I have a ton of ideas, now to see them done!

Weight Loss

Broken Body by DestinyBlue

Broken Body by DestinyBlue

My weight has always been an issue. Since I hit puberty I have always fit under the category of obese. Activity level made a slight difference, but I’ve never been a size 2. I was so distraught in high school over my weight my Dad sent me to a nutritionist. This is the woman, who told me in the kindest manner possible, that I was just never going to be a size 2. I could be thinner, but never would I be rail thin, as I just wasn’t built that way. Satisfied by the nutritionist I let it go.

All in all (high school not included), my weight has never been a huge issue to me. I like myself, I feel pretty, so I’ve never let it be an issue. For me beauty isn’t about what size I wear, it’s about how confident I feel about myself. I’ve packed on alot of weight since my ectopic and starting fertility treatments. The majority of it is from comfort eating. I like to eat my grief, because it feels better then crying.

In an attempt to change things before my next transfer, I decided I would try something new. Counting calories and going to the gym has just never worked for me. I would follow it for a couple of months and see 0 movement on the scale. So after some research, and speaking to my RE, I decided to try a ketogenic diet. What this means is that I eat a high fat, medium protein, low carb diet. I try to keep my daily carb intake under 50 net carbs.

So far the hardest thing for me to give up has been sweets. I thought for sure it would be pasta or bread, but nope, it’s been the occasional sweet. In particular, ice cream. I do have my bad days, and I just let them happen. I let it go and move on to the next day and just don’t punish myself for it.

The other aspect to this of course is that it’s a mental struggle. Part of the choice for me is that so much of what I want my body to do is out of my control. But, I can control what I eat and how much I weigh. So in a way, this weight loss goal has also given me a way to have some control over my body again. Especially at a time when I feel like my body is failing me.

FitBit weightloss log dashboard.

FitBit weightloss log dashboard.

So far I have lost 31.6 lbs. For the first time in my life I feel like I have found something that works for my body. My goal right now is 200 lbs, and I’ll go from there. This is definitely a lifestyle change for me. I get to eat things I like the majority of the time. I do indulge my desire for pasta or a potato every now and then and I just account for it the rest of the day/week.  I’m just working on getting accustomed to the change in what I eat.

Anyone else out there follow a diet like this? What diet related lifestyle changes have worked for you?

Recognizing My Cancer Risk

3b07eafbcd6f2f44884562b9af736d91One thing I think I have skirted around since my surgery in June is the reality of my situation. That reality being I am currently at a 30% risk for ovarian cancer. It’s easy for me to ignore in day to day and to downplay the very serious nature of that risk.

Then I go to a doctors appointment and the discussion of what my plan is happens again. I get the stern face when I tell them I have a plan, but that plan still involves IVF. For right now, I know all of my doctors are okay with my every 6 months CA125 bloodwork and MRI. I also know at some point that will no longer deter them. I know that if I were done having children (which counting from when I started trying I should be!) I would have had surgery for a radical hysterectomy months ago.

But I’m simply not ready to give up. I want to experience pregnancy, I want to have the family I envision.

The other sad part in this equation is the fact that there is only one thing standing between me and my next round of IVF, my lack of insurance coverage. Right now $2500 worth of medication is what stands between me and doing another round of IVF.

So at the end of the day, the fact that my insurance company does not cover my current disease gets a large portion of the blame. If they covered IVF, we would have been through all of this YEARS ago and been done by now most likely. But instead I have to wait years between each try, extending the risk further and costing them more in screening me for cancer. Makes a lot of sense, eh?

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