#pcos, Body & Soul, Body Love, Story Time

I Have PCOS

This is probably one of the hardest blog posts I’m ever going to write. It’s something so very close to my heart and talking about it makes me feel vulnerable. This entire experience rocked my entire world and I’ve been an emotional wreck. The timing wasn’t the best either as I just found out my grandmother’s cancer is back and this time around there is just nothing they can do for her. It broke my heart especially when it dawned on me that I won’t ever see her again. I can’t go down to South Africa to say my goodbyes.

So how do I start? I’m trying my utmost best not to cry here but the tears are definitely going to roll pretty soon. This is an emotional subject to write. Somewhere, wait let me get the date and post, 8th of February, I publicly mentioned that I was diagnosed a hormone syndrome that was the culprit behind my weight gain, mood swings and acne. By that point I was sitting on the news for quite awhile. Wrapping my head around it wasn’t completely easy. When I started to learn more about it, well let’s just say I cried a lot. It’s been difficult.

I guess I should just say it. I have PCOS. Yeah. I said it. Some of you might be wondering what the hell is PCOS and why are you making such a big deal out of it? Fret not I have four books (I haven’t finished reading them all) that I cried while reading and they taught me quite a bit about the syndrome.

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Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal imbalance that affects an estimated 5 to 10 per cent of women of reproductive age across the world, and results in irregular or absent periods, acne, excess body hair and weight gain. It can also cause problems with fertility.*

PCOS can cause depression and anxiety. There is drugs to help with the symptoms and to improve fertility but there is natural solutions. Drugs comes with side effects and will stop working once I stop taking it. I don’t want to take drugs for the rest of my life so I’m very eager to solve or ‘cure’ my PCOS with my diet. The book I’m following is by Marilyn Glenville. Here is the link to her website and book. (I really wanted to follow my doctors recommendations first before I go off and do my own thing. He decided to put me on drugs but I’m still going to change my diet as Marilyn Glenville recommended in the book, Natural Solutions To PCOS, for the best possible result.)

https://www.marilynglenville.com/

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https://www.marilynglenville.com/books/natural-solutions-to-pcos-book/

I bought the book and three others on Amazon. I really enjoy Marilyn’s book. I watched her lecture and just really fell in love with her approach and overall success rate.

But let’s get back to my feelings. I’m surprised how detached I’m writing this but I can already feel the tears coming as I think of what I want to say next. PCOS scares me because I want children one day. What scared me the most is the infertility that comes with it. I read and seen so many women in support groups that has been struggling for years. YEARS. This one women has been trying for ten years. Not only do you struggle to get pregnant you have a very high risk for miscarriages. That terrifies me so much. I’m scared. I really am. I’ve wanted to be a mom ever since I could remember. I’m entering a stage in my life where becoming a mother is in the future. The diagnoses shook my entire world. So many thoughts raced through my mind and to be honest when I think about it too much I can’t stop crying. It’s just..what if? No let’s stop right there. I can’t put it in words. I just can’t.

PCOS has affected me emotionally, heck that is an understatement, but physically it has wrecked havoc on my body. My hormones are completely out of whack. I gained 15kg almost overnight. My acne is horrid. My mood swings borderline on she’s crazy and my self esteem is shot. I have excess body hair and the sudden weight gain has given me quite a bit of stretch marks. I don’t feel attractive. I’m scared that I’m failing as a women. Not only do I no longer feel attractive there is a possibility that we will really struggle to have our family. It’s heart wrenching. Okay I’m crying again. Can barely see my screen. I’m going to take a break.

My entire body aches. My energy is low. My acne and stretch marks is a daily reminder. I’m tired all the damn time and I’m constantly nauseous. I’m struggling with depression and I’m scared. I have days where I have no appetite and eating makes me want to throw up and then I have days that I just can’t stop eating. PCOS is completely out of my control and it will never go away. When I was diagnosed with celiac disease I kind of took it with stride. It was difficult as it was something so out of control and something that will always be there but…I don’t know. It seemed like well cut out gluten and make some sacrifices but overall it’s still good. PCOS on the other hand…it affected me on every single level and I will have to make a massive lifestyle change. My diet is going to have to change and hopefully that won’t spark up my old eating disorder…I’m scared and this is really hard.

I’m writing this four days before my first big appointment for my PCOS. We made the appointment soon after I was diagnosed but the waiting period was eight weeks. In these last eight weeks I’ve made a few changes but not a lot as I want the test results to be more telling if that make sense. I will explain in a bit. I’ve tried to keep up with my training more but at the same time I read so much about how this and that might not be good for PCOS so really I want more guidance. I’ve cut out almost all caffeine. In these last eight weeks I’ve had four cup of coffee. I’ve been drinking a lot of green tea and I’ve cut down almost all refined carbohydrates in my diet. I’m on a very low sugar diet. I check every single label for the sugar content and find the best product for me. But emotionally. I’ve been barely keeping it together. I cry at least four times a week about PCOS. I can’t open the PCOS book without crying my eyes out. I sometimes don’t really feel like doing anything and it’s just been so hard.

On Thursday the 29 of March I’m hopefully going to walk out with some future plans and more information. I’m not sure of the entire process as I yet have to experience this, I will add on to this blog after I’ve been, but I’m hopeful. Or I’m trying to be. My best guess is that they’re going to run some tests, see how my insulin resistance is (diabetes is at risk here) and over all what I should do, eat and etc to control my symptoms and balance out my hormones. Hopefully this will make me lose weight because barely any of my clothes fit me at the moment and fitting in my old clothes will really help my self esteem right about now. (PS, the appointment was a massive success. I walked out feeling hopeful for the future and a little less scared. The doctor gave me a future treatment plan. He ran some tests and in a week I will find out the results and then change my diet and drink the correct supplements from there. For now I’m just going to read all of my PCOS books and learn even more.)

I’m not sure what exactly I want to accomplish with this post. I’m not okay and PCOS is going to be a struggle but I guess I just want to say to my fellow cysters…you’re not alone and together we can support each other through this. And I also want to explain why I’ve been so absent and less like myself…I will definitely talk about what’s happening with my PCOS and what changes I’m going to make and etc. What products or stuff works for me and all that jazz. But for now I’m going to end this blog because honestly my emotions are just too much for me right now. As I’m writing this part still four days before my doctor appointment I’m really scared and overwhelmed so I’m just going to take the week off Instagram and Facebook. I don’t need social media to add to everything right now. It’s also my mental health week for the month so it’s needed.

Edit from future Cassy that already saw the doctor. I’m still scared for the future and I know I’m going to go through a lot of changes because of the PCOS but I’m feeling slightly more positive. It did help that when the gynecologist scanned my ovaries he saw that I ovulated recently. It just made me feel better about becoming a mother in the future…I’m not a complete failure. My body ovulated naturally. While I’m here I should explain something to those who doesn’t know what PCOS is, so basically I don’t ovulate normally. Where a healthy woman ovulates every month a women with PCOS will ovulated maybe 6 times in a year. Some even less. Some don’t even ovulate at all. There is drugs to induce an ovulation if you want to get pregnant. Not all of them work for every woman out there with PCOS and that’s when some woman struggle for years. That’s what scared me so much but walking away with the news that hey you have an egg in the basket just made me feel more hopeful about everything. I know that without those news I would be feeling a lot different right about now.

Edit from future, future Cassy that just got her test results back. Everything is GOOD! I don’t have other problems related to my PCOS. Feeling very happy right now!

Thank you so much for reading and I will see you in a click!

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Body Love, Fitness Tips, Plain Old Fitness Content

I Had My Body Analyzed

I weighed myself over the weekend and although I feel like I’m past the point of where the number on the scale effects me in a negative I hate my body kind of way. This time around it started to make me think. These last few months my body has been going through so much change. I feel like literally overnight I went from 64kg to 68kg. I was about 68kg when I started my bicycle training and almost instantly went up to 70-72kg which I explained as muscle growth but these last few weeks as most of you will know if you read my bicycle training updates I haven’t been that active but my eating habits staid the same. Now normally when I start to slack with my training but I still eat as I normally would I pick up 2kg at most but this time around? No baby I shot up to 76,6kg. Less than 9 days ago I was 72-74kg. Suddenly I’m 76,6kg?  When I write it out like this it kind of makes sense but at the same time I’m still a little baffled. I guess because although I can see I picked up a little fat and lost some muscle I don’t feel like my body changed so much in 9 days. The most logical thing I can think of is that my body is holding onto water and some of my muscles switched over to fat. I’m not expert (well not yet wink, wink) so this is all just guessing work.

Anyway as my body has changed so much I thought this would a be perfect time to take another body composition analyzer test. That and I finally feel in a good mental place to restart my bicycle training. I made a few adjustments because it’s quite clear the old training schedule wasn’t working out for me. I always stumble but once I find a way that works for me then I’m set baby but that’s a story for another blog post.

Alright so below I’m comparing a body composition result that I took just after my arrival here in the Netherlands and before we started our serious bicycle training. It’s a good starting base. Anyway I’m comparing that test with the test I took over the weekend.

body composition test

Okay before I talk about the test here is some graphs with the exact same information. I couldn’t help myself. They’re so fun to make. Scroll along if you don’t share my joy.graph 1

muscle mass

fat

The numbers don’t lie however and it just goes to show how informative this test is. Basically I need to drink more water and eat less candy and I’m set. The lady that helped us stated that I’m kind of healthy but I probably eat too much candy and damn it’s pretty much spot on. I don’t really have a clear goal where I want the numbers to be if I’m honest. As long as I’m in a good place mentally, physically and nutrition wise I’m happy. Although the fat mass can go a bit lower but all in all I’m not upset about the test. I guess it comes with age. I’m making a joke about my metabolic age if that wasn’t clear. Fun fact it’s effected by the amount of water you drank before the test. She could see I only drank 40% of my daily intake around that time and as it was around 2pm I don’t think it’s too bad although I do tend to skip on my water intake but I’m going off track.

I’m very happy with the test and I don’t see myself as being unhealthy and obese (fun fact the second test said I’m on the heavy side. My response? Bite me!) and that’s the important part. I’ve been describing myself as healthy but on the edge for over a year now and you know what? I’m happy with that. Sometimes I eat more candy and cross the bridge and go into the realm of unhealthy and the next week I barely eat any candy and cross into the realm of healthy. Sometimes I’m in perfect balance and others not so much. It’s life you know. Stuff happens that throws me off and the last thing I should do is stress out about it so I’m taking life with stride and just do me.

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If you’re anything like me and half of the code names and extra stuff is like French then here is a link where the company itself explains a few things. Tanita is the machine behind the test if that wasn’t clear. Anyway check this website out. It’s very informative. — https://tanita.eu/tanita-academy/understanding-your-measurements

Body & Soul, Body Love, Self Love, Story Time

Why I Stopped Wearing A Bra

I haven’t worn a push up bra in over a year. 18 months to be exact. The reason why I decided to ditch the boob holder was pretty simple. One night, after a very long and exhausting day I came home and the very first thing I did was take my bra off. I can bet some good money that most women who wear or have worn a push up bra or a bra in general know exactly what I’m talking about. That incredible feeling of pure bliss as the bra goes flying through the air.

After hours of wearing the wire and fabric concussion; it left a dent in my skin. It hurt like hell. My skin was bruised and sensitive. It wasn’t my first time nor would it be my last time (well it was but that’s not a part of my point) that this happened. Much like the eureka moment with my shaving habits my thought process followed along the line:” why am I wearing a bra?” I was around eleven when I started developing breasts. I remember my mom started to encourage a sport bra but at that point I didn’t see the big deal of it. Or well till an older boy in the neighborhood made a comment about my growing breast. So I started wearing bras but the comfortable ones. Eventually I switched to push up bras for more support and a day wouldn’t go by without a bra. Approximately six years the first thing I would put on in the morning is a bra. It would also be the first thing that goes.

Anyway back to my aha moment. Why am I wearing a bra? Well because I’ve been wearing a bra since my boobs grew. It seemed very logical. It was expected to wear a bra. If you have boobs and you go out in public you have to wear a bra. It’s something society enforces ever since I can remember. At this point in my life I was making conscious choices about my body. I didn’t want to do anything to my body that I truly didn’t want to do. Do I want to wear a bra? It was a big hard no. I can’t express the level of comfort I feel without a bra in my life.

Free the boobies and go braless!

Now it’s not all sunshine and rainbows in the world of braless. I’ve gotten quite a bit of a response to my lack of bras.

“You can see your nipples.” Oh I didn’t know a nipple stand when it’s cold isn’t a natural body function. Insert a gasp.

“Your boob are saggy.” Maybe but what does that have to do with you?

“Your cleavage looks gross.” See the worry in my eyes.

There has been so much more but honestly my response is that this is my body. This is my choice. If you don’t like being braless than that’s you honey. If you don’t like seeing a women without a bra than that’s you sugar. If you think I look ugly or less feminine without a bra than that’s you honey. But here is the thing. This is my body and I will decide if I want to wear a bra or not. I have no idea if I will never wear a push up bra again. Maybe in a few years I decide to incorporate them again but for now I will stick to my sport bras.

I also want to add this as a little side note: there has been some scientific research about the subject. Here is a link to an article — https://www.women.com/shannon/lists/8-little-known-perks-of-going-braless-every-woman-needs-to-know

Otherwise my advice to you is to just take a second and decide for yourself if you want to wear a bra or not. Challenge what society expects from women. Take control and make your own choices when it comes to your body.

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Body & Soul, Body Love

How I Plan To Stop Body Shaming Myself

The other day I got to thinking about my body. Yeah I know. The warning alarms definitely sounded. These thoughts entered my mind and has yet to leave since I went court wedding dress shopping. I spoke about the event briefly on my socials while running on a little great dress high, but as time has passed those demon thoughts pushed itself back into my mind. My body is ugly. I’m too fat in my stomach area. I will be perfect if I lose more weight. I get so frustrated. I have all the tools and knowledge. I know in what area of failing. I know if I really put my all in it I can do it. I can lose that weight. I can finally have that toned and flat stomach with zero bloating. Then maybe finally I will be perfect.

What a load of bullshit. Fuck it. I’ve had these moments before. Some days I love my body even when I’m not as toned as I could be or have been before. On other days one dress can ruin everything. It’s not surprising. I’ve hated how my body looked for years now. It’s not suddenly going to disappear and never come back. It’s just not reality. Ignoring your problems and insecurities won’t make them go away. I’m just so tired of it. I’m tired of feeling uncomfortable and self conscious about my body.

“You will have the perfect body if you lose that last bit of stomach weight.” Fuck it. Fuck it all. Excuse my language but that’s just how I feel. I’m so sick and tired of counting calories, tracking my meals, forcing so many greens down my throat, counting down the time till I can eat again and saying no to that god damn cookie. I’m just so tired of it. I want to eat what I want to eat without feeling guilty or beating myself up about it. I want to be able to flaunt my stomach fat come bloating (instant six months pregnant bump) or not. I want to stop hating my body so much. I want to always love my body. Always cherish it. I want to stop preaching and start doing.

You know when I first started working on my body my goal was to lose weight, build muscle, challenge my boundaries, gain strength, push myself when I want to quit, eat healthy and enjoy life.

  • I have lost weight. I have gained some of that said weight back and then lost it again.
  • I have build muscles all over my body. For the first time in my life I have definition in my quads.
  • I have challenged my boundaries.
  • I have gained strength not just physically but in some way emotionally too. I can step back and access my emotions and not just have them run rampant.
  • And boy have I pushed myself. I have done that extra push up when my arms wanted to give out from under me. I cycled those extra 10km when everything inside my body wanted to stop.
  • I eat relatively healthy. I never go a day without some sort of vegetables and fruit. I make sure I get enough protein in.
  • And I enjoy life till this demon pops up and ruins it all. Fuck this demon. I won’t have you control my life anymore. I don’t want to care if I will never have a flat stomach or if it will take my three more years to have a full set of abs. My relationship with food has come a long way and still has a way to go.

I’m going to make a promise to myself right now. I’m going to stop caring what strangers think and say about my body. I’m going to shut that demon up when I even think about shaming my body. I’m going to rock my stomach fat because you know what? Life is honestly just too short. So I’m just going to do what makes me happy. I’m going to stay active, make conscious and healthy food choices whenever I can and I’m going to eat that treat. My body is perfect NOW.

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Body & Soul, Body Love, Self Love

Challenging Your Insecurities: Horrible Pictures

We all have that one picture or like fifty we just completely hate at first glance. Maybe it’s the expression on your face, or the triple chin you’ve having going on, or maybe your arms or to chubby, skinny and etc. The list goes on, it really depends on what your insecure about. I’m insecure about my face. I have a very long and oval shaped face and it is something I’m constantly aware of. I was teased about the shape of my face for years and compared to a horse. If I walked by someone would make a horse sound, it honestly was terrible. I would stand in front of my mirror, staring at my face at all angles. What angle do I like? What don’t I like? I eventually learned to pose my face in a certain degree angle as to make my face look less oval like.

Now it makes me beyond uncomfortable when I see a picture of my face dead centre or from the side. It’s stupid really. It’s my face. It’s my first impression. It’s something that carries so much for me. It holds my eyes and with this I can see the world around me. The bright colors of natures landscape. It holds my nose and with this I smell the world. The delicious smell of coffee in the morning or the sweet scent or roses. The smell of the man I love. It holds my mouth and with this I taste the world. The sweet taste of chocolate and pasta. The  mouth I use to kiss the man I love every day. It holds my ears and with this I hear the world. The clattering of the rain and the beep of the oven. All these things I love so what makes the shape of my face so much different?

There’s nothing wrong with the size, the shape or its silhouette from the side. What’s wrong is my ridiculous insecurity about it. Something I want to challenge and change with time.

So here is step one, a photo I hate.

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This photo was taken on my wedding day. At that very moment I was truly happy. Yet when I saw this picture I hated it. It’s heartbreaking to know that my insecurities has such a deep hold on me. This is one of the reasons why I’m challenging myself like this. 

 

Body & Soul, Body Love, Self Love

Why I Stopped Shaving For Society

Last year in June, Onno and I enjoyed the hot Greece sun. It was our first real vocation together and boy to this day I look back to that week fondly. It was one of the best times I’ve ever had. We just celebrated each other, there was no stress to document every move or connect to the outside world. Simply just quality time together. It was a dream come true. The entire vocation just got oh so much sweeter when he asked for my hand. Okay now that you know a little back story I can talk to you why my vocation was so important. It was my turning point.

I was lounging at the poolside when my semi hairy legs caught my eye. It was no surprise, it’s been four days since the last shave. It just never stops. I just stared at those little bristles. I knew I had to shave them ASAP. I mean how could I possibly lounge in my bikini with hairy legs? I was getting ready to quickly head back to our little cottage to shave when it dawned on me. Why on earth am I doing this? My bikini line was irritated at the constant shaving and my arm bits burned a little. Because god forbid I have hair on my body. I kept starring at my legs, wondering if I should just quickly go and shave them. I would hate to be ugly or imperfect in society eyes. Again I asked myself: Why on earth am I doing this? Do I want to shave my legs right at this very second? I’m pretty damn comfortable right about now. The sun is feeling great on my skin and getting up now would require standing up and that’s just too much energy. So I asked myself the next question that changed everything.

Am I shaving for myself or society?

I made a vow to myself. I will only shave my legs, arms pit, bikini line etc when  I want too. I won’t shave it weekly to make sure I’m baby smooth. Why would I? I don’t mind body hair. I stopped shaving and weeks went by. I grew comfortable with long arm hair (even though quite a few people felt the need to express their distaste) and hairy legs. I didn’t care. I still wore my spaghetti top and shorts. Why the hell would I care if someone gets uncomfortable because I have body hair. Today I shave when I want too.

Sometimes months go by before I shave again. It wasn’t always easy to embrace the body hair. Some days I felt self conscious about it and on other days it empowered me. Screw society standards. This is my body and everything I do with it is my choice.

My Body. My Rules.

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Body & Soul, Body Love, Self Love

Body Best Friends Forever / BBFF

You are your own best friend.

What I mean with this is quite simple. When you’re feeling down in the dumps and filling your own head with negative thoughts stop yourself and ask this question: “Would I say any of this shit to my best friend?” Over my dead body honey. I will never tell my best friend they’re fat or make them feel guilty about their binge. I will never judge them for something they’ve done that I maybe don’t agree with. That’s not me so why on earth would I say any of this crap to myself?

When I catch myself with any negative thoughts about my body I imagine my best friend’s face and that I’m saying these words to them. In two seconds flat I’m beyond angry and over protective. I’m like oh hell to the no! Who the hell do you think you are with saying this type of bullshit to my friend? It doesn’t take me long to have a big Ahaha moment and just like that I snap myself out of the negative thoughts. I then proceed to tell myself what I would tell my best friend if they were saying these type of things about themselves.

“I’m fat.” Fat is just a substance in your body and guess what without fat you won’t be alive. So what if you carry a little extra fat? You are soft and great to cuddle with.

“I’m ugly.” No honey those thoughts are ugly. You are anything but ugly. You are a wonderful human being so don’t you dare dill your sparkle.

“I’m a horrible person.” Are you kidding me? Serial killers, child molesters, rapist and puppy kickers are horrible people.

“I ate two chocolate bars. I basically ate all my hard work away.” What type of chocolate was it?

So snap out of it. Look at yourself in the mirror and repeat after me.

I’m WORTHY!

I’m BEAUTIFUL!

I’m FABULOUS!

I’m AWESOME!

I’m a magical unicorn…