#pcos, Body Love, Mental Health, Self Love

So, I’m Bigger Now. Does It Matter? | Weight Gain & PCOS

I’ve talked about my weight gain and my reaction to my now bigger body before, but just a few short minutes ago while I was talking to my husband, I had that oh so famously Ah-Ha moment, and I want to share this with you.

The conversation came up when I was telling my husband how I’m scared to see people from my life that was there to witness my “skinnier” and “fitter” days. I’m scared to hear what they’re going to say. I’m scared that one of the first words out of their mouths is going to be: “Boy, you really let yourself go.” or “You are so much bigger since the last time I saw you.”. All my life, I’ve never been skinny enough. I couldn’t wear this or that because I had a slight pooch. What are they going to say now when my slight pooch has turned into a lot of love in the trunk. I caught myself trying to explain that I have little control over my weight gain. It’s a health thing. It’s hormonal. I’m doing everything in my power to be healthy and 80% of the time I am, but my body is working against me. It doesn’t matter that I’m beyond active, that I don’t drink or smoke and barely consume junk food. Heck, I barely eat candy anymore. That doesn’t matter, because I’m a big girl now. I’m fat. As I was trying to explain or make excuses for my new body, anger started to boil deep inside my gut. Why the fuck am I connecting my worth as a person to my weight? Why the fuck does it matter? I’m sick of tired of feeling like I can’t wear skin-tight clothes or anything that shows my ‘fat’ because it doesn’t suit my body type anymore. I’m sick and tired of feeling that I need to hide my body. I’m sick and tired of beating myself up or hating what I see in the mirror. I have said all of this before. I’ve tried countless thing to accept my body and love my extra love in the trunk, but you know what, it was a lot easier to sing that tune when I was skinnier. Now, when I’m noticeably bigger (30kg heavier), it’s really fucking difficult, and it shouldn’t have to be. It’s really fucking sad because even when I had those abs when I flexed, I still didn’t like what I saw. I still didn’t wear those skin-tight clothes or showed off my body with confidence. I still felt ugly. It just doesn’t matter. I’m not going to be remembered for my body when I die. It’s not going to matter if I was short, tall, skinny or fat, heck let’s throw in yellow- or purple-skinned. My outer appearance is going to mean jack shit when I’m dead. It’s what is on the inside that matters. That’s what you should care about. And more importantly, that’s what I should care about.

It’s funny. I’ve never (Well, if we want to get technical I have for a few seconds but that was more a reflection of my own demons than about that girls’s actual body.) looked at anyone and judged them for their outer appearance, but why am I doing it to the person I’m supposed to love most in this world, me? I still have a long way to go, and I’m going to start challenging myself when it comes to accepting my body as is. I wasn’t put on this green and blue earth to constantly deprive myself of pleasantries, starve myself, and wish my body was different. I was put on this earth to be me. So, when anyone brings up my bigger body or my weight gain, I’m not going to go in attack mode or try to explain myself. Instead, I will ask: “Does it matter?” and if they say “yes” then that tells you more about them than anything else. You’re so much more than your outer shell.

Thank you for coming to my TED talk.

Love, Cassy xxx

#pcos, Body Love, Mental Health, Self Love

I’m A Worthless Human Being Because I Gained Weight

20 February 2019

I’m writing this blog after a really difficult day. I realize that these are my toxic thoughts now but I need to write about this. Writing is my therapy and maybe by writing out all my thoughts, I might gain a new perspective on things. I don’t know but I need to get these feelings out.

Today I found out I weigh 90kg. I feel sick to my stomach. I feel disgusting. I feel like I should go crawl into some hole and hide. No one can see me like this. No one can know I weigh so much. When I saw that number on the scale I wanted to cry. I bit back my tears and told myself, cry about this tonight. I’ve gained so much weight in this last year that it’s been an incredibly hard pill to swallow. After the big weight gain where the scale climbed 2-3kg a WEEK for two months, I thought that was it. I’m 20kg heavier but I will lose it. I was diagnosed with PCOS soon after that and it’s been one ugly mix of emotions since. I felt horrified that I gained so much weight. I immediately changed the way I dressed or constantly tugged at my clothes because I didn’t want people to see the obvious weight gain. Hello, oversized everything. And now, when I’m already so fragile, I find out I’m 10kg’s higher than that. I can’t hit that 100kg mark. I can’t.

And I’m scared. I want to lose weight because I want to be able to feel comfortable in my own skin but I’m terrified I will become obsessed with fitness again. It was truly horrifying that the pressure of maintaining the weight loss or fitness journey did to my mental health. I get so overwhelmed these days. So much extreme thing has been happening to me this last year that I’m barely keeping my head above water. I can’t add that weight loss pressure onto my shoulders again. I will break. I’ve found a system that is taking steps towards the right direction but it slow and forgiving. It’s all that I can handle at the moment but it’s not enough. I’m not doing enough. I’m still gaining weight and I’m disgusting. I need to starve myself. I need to drink just smoothies for months straight. I need to eat, drink and sleep fitness again. I need to eat nothing and just drink water. I need to make myself throw up when I eat candy. I need to. I need to. I need to. These thoughts are disgusting. I look at my body and I hate it. I hate how that is just another thing in my life that I can’t control and I hate how it doesn’t feel like my body anymore. I hate how I’m scared someone will point out my weight gain out and I hate how I no longer feel beautiful. I hate that this weight gain makes me feel worthless. Like my life has no meaning because I have back rolls. I hate that I feel this way and I want to change but I don’t know if I can handle it now. It’s a constant toss up of 1) go big or go home or 2) one day at a time. I’m struggling to find a middle ground. I’m struggling to get out of this ugly and toxic loophole. I don’t want to feel like this anymore. I don’t want to be this big anymore. I tell myself I will be happy when I’m back to my fit body but the truth is, I wasn’t fucking happy back then. I still thought I was fat and worthless. I still bit back tears when someone pointed out my stomach. But now…it’s worse. Back then I felt confident and proud at least 70% of the time. Now, I feel like a worthless human being. I don’t really know what else to say. I think I’m just going to go to bed now. Maybe I will feel different tomorrow? I’m just so tired of feeling like this. It’s too much. Life has been so much. When am I going to catch a break?

***

It’s the next day and I don’t have clarity. I don’t really feel much better. I realize that I’m inching into a depressive state and what I thought yesterday wasn’t entirely true to what a really think deep down…but yeah. I still feel the pressure that I need to do something. What I’m doing isn’t enough and I’m scared that it will all get too much. I woke up, hungry. Already, my thoughts are like sit the fuck down you fat fuck. You’re not worthy to eat. It’s ugly and toxic. These feelings will pass and I refuse to surrender and do anything I will regret. I will fight these thoughts and feelings. I will fight this negative voice and when I come out of it the other side, with a clear and positive mind I will make adjustments to my way of life that isn’t anything too crazy. And eventually, over time, I will lose some weight but who knows? Maybe I will never weigh 60kg again and that’s okay…I guess. It’s baby steps.

Sorry that this blog is all over the place. I just feel like it’s something I should share. Maybe someone who struggles with the same thing or has struggled with the same thing will have some advice. Who knows?

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

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PS, I’m adding this as an afterthought because I don’t want to make anyone feel bad about their bodies. I’m not saying if you weigh 90kg you’re ‘fat’ and ‘worthless’. Nor if you weigh more than that. THIS is how I feel about MY body because of my weightgain.

#pcos, Mental Health, Self Love

How Kicking Coffee Out Of My Diet Improved My Acne | PCOS

I struggled with acne a lot when I hit puberty. It was truly horrible. Wait let me see if I can find a picture. I had this particular picture in mind and finding it meant deep diving on my old external hard drive. It was bad. Really bad. I’ve seen things.

Here is a picture of my mom and I when I was about twelve or thirteen. As you can see my entire face is covered with acne. I felt so self conscious about it, we went to the doctor and I was placed on the pill which I stayed on all the way till I turned nineteen. It helped with my acne a lot. I was in no way perfectly clean skin but outside an occasional acne pop up here and there my worries was behind me. Of course I scratched at my acne like crazy and now have scars on my chin that really comes out when I’m getting hot. They’re a nightmare in the summer. Is this even making sense? Anyway my point is I’ve had my fair share of acne problems that didn’t go away even when I was on the pill. Wait before I continue here is the picture.

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When I came abroad as au pair I had to go onto a new pill and  my body just didn’t respond well to the pill at all. My periods were all over the show and really bad. My acne was flaring up like crazy and after about three months I decided to stop taking the pill all together. At this point my logic was well like I’m single and my hormones should be all together now that I’m older so let’s see how it goes without the pill. The acne was a bit better without the new pill and my periods took two months to return to normal but otherwise it felt like the best choice. I was regularly washing my face and never slept with my make up on (I only started to wear make up around this time anyway). The acne wasn’t as bad. I could handle it. Anyway I met my now husband and went back onto the pill for two months before I just couldn’t take it anymore. My body responded horribly to this pill (why I didn’t go to the doctor and asked for a different kind is beyond me). There is a point to this. You need to know my back story with acne. Also I’m too far in to go back now. To get to the point though, I always had acne on my face but once I went off the pill I had a little more here and there. It was controllable and I didn’t mind it too much. Flash forward to a few months and suddenly my acne was just ten times worse. I was basically two pimples away from my thirteen year old self but throw in back acne in the mix. I was still in South Africa at the time without a medical aid so I figured I can wait till I’m in the Netherlands.

Once I got here and returned to my healthier lifestyle, some of the acne approved but not all of it. When I started to gain weight like crazy out of the blue, my acne flared up again. This time it was horrible. I felt so self conscious and dirty about it and I tried everything. I started using face masks once a week (which made a difference) and a face scrub and cleanser everyday but the back acne, boy that girl was here to stay. No amount of greens and products changed that.

After I was diagnosed with PCOS, I did a lot of research. Some of my research showed that coffee (or well caffeine in general) is horrible for our hormones and can make our acne worse. At this point I was desperate to feel more like myself and just feel attractive again in any shape or form I can, so I kicked all coffee out of my diet. I immediately saw a response. My back acne completely disappeared and my face cleared up. Now I do have to add that around a month after I stopped drinking coffee, I started drinking supplements for my PCOS which also cleared up the last bit of lingering pimples. I now only get pimples when I’m on my period or when I eat too much junk food.

For those who would be interested in why coffee is so bad for those with PCOS here is a section from the main PCOS book I follow, Natural Solutions to PCOS by Marilyn Glenville (—https://www.marilynglenville.com/books/natural-solutions-to-pcos-book/ — ).

*If you have, by now, made the switch to unrefined carbohydrates, you will already be working hard to keep your blood-sugar levels on an even keel. It is the energy dips and troughs and long gaps between meals that trigger the adrenal glands into action, encouraging them to pimp out the stress hormones that are so harmful to sufferers of PCOS. But if you are serious about getting to the bottom of your PCOS symptoms, you really need to try to keep those adrenal glands as happy as possible. The key to adrenal health is to cut right back on caffeine. Anything containing caffeine acts as a stimulant that will make your body release more of the stress hormones and cause blood-sugar-levels to fluctuate. We know that women with PCOS have increased levels of the stress hormone cortisol, so it is vital to help reduce these in order to reduce insulin levels. Like alcohol, caffeine also acts as a diuretic, so if you drink a lot, you risk losing valuable nutrients like zinc (which is crucial for hormone balance) through your urine.*

I do need to add that in the same breath that I’ve seen other websites on PCOS disagreeing with the no coffee statement of Dr. Marilyn but if you have PCOS and your struggling with acne, I recommended just trying it for a month. I tried it, saw I benefited from not drinking coffee and now I only drink coffee every now and again. There is a lot of options out there for those addicted to coffee so not all is lost. I hope this helps. I will share the face products I use another time.

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

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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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Self Love, Story Time

My Husband Chose My Look For The Day | Bucket List

I’ve brought up my age and bucket list on here before, all in one title if I’m being specific. It’s been awhile since I’ve ticked something off my list and as we have quite an empty weekend I figured why not now? This is kind of a challenge floating around on YouTube but I’m also genuinely curious to see what my husband would put together.

So the challenge is basically my husband will go through my wardrobe, throw an outfit together but it doesn’t end there. He also gets control over my make-up, so what look I will be going for my eyes and lips. He also gets to choose how my hair is going to look; straightened, curled, up, down etc. He also needs to accessorize my outfit with some type of jewelry. Afterwards I need to go out and about in the public eye for a minimum of two hours.

The Outfit Process:

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We started with pants. I laid down all the long pants I own which I might add is on the low side and I asked Onno to pick his favorite three. He took his task very seriously and took his time choosing. “I don’t know the next round yet so I need to pick strategically.”

It was quite cute if I’m honest. The top three options was my black, dark blue jeans and my black leggings. Next up I took out all possible shirt options and asked him to choose his top three. It was interesting what colors he moved towards.

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He ended up choosing a three quarter sleeved light blue striped shirt – a shirt I often wore in South Africa in the colder weather. He also chose a long sleeved grey shirt which I have had for years now but I don’t wear that often. It’s a bit tight on my arms. Last but not least he chose a very summery and cool flow and large orange shirt that I stole from my mom. It’s one of those with the big little wings on the side. I then asked him to choose the actual outfit.

“I’m leaning towards the black with something colorful at top.” At this point I was really just hoping he won’t go for the orange shirt because well it’s raining and cold outside. He chose my leggings and the light blue shirt. Two things I would never put together as a public outfit. It’s very casual. Usually I go for a shirt that’s long in length that would cover half of my butt or a dress. Mostly because I want to hide possible canal toe or panty lines.

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For accessories I just asked him to choose one type so a necklace, bracelet or earrings. Onno leaned towards earrings and again he picked out his top three before making his final choice. I personally would’ve chosen the pearls or panda because it would suite the casual and natural look Onno was going for. Onno however chose the watermelons. I’m not mad. I love watermelons.

Unfortunately Onno had no choice when it came to my shoes and jacket. I only have one perfect jacket and shoes for this type of weather. It was cold and raining as usual here in the Netherlands in case I didn’t mention it before.

The Make-up Look:

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Next I gave Onno all my eye shadow pallets and asked him to choose his top three. He went for two very colorful pallets with the shirt in mind and one very natural earthy pallet. 90% of the time I always go for the earthy and warm tones for my eye look. He did the same thing with the lip products. He immediately leaned towards bright colors; red and almost all my pinks.

I think he played it very safe by choosing a pallet that I would use normally and matched it with a light brown liquid lipstick. I never match an earthy eye look with an earthy lip and I almost never really use this pallet mostly because it’s not so great.

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I used the bronzer shade on my lid in a oval shape and the purple metallic color in the outer corner of my lid to darken my crease. Now usually I would put a bright glittery color on my lid close to my lash line to brighten up my eye and have my eyes appear more open. I have hooded eyes so this is an important step I always take in my eye shadow routine. None of the light colors in the pallet was pigmented enough to show, so my eye look did turn out very dark.

The Hair Look:

Of course we can’t forget the hair. I really had to help Onno with this one because honestly the man is clueless when it comes to hair. I never really go all out with my hair. I have two looks I mostly rock when out in the public eye and I mostly have braided hair at home. So I just walked him through his options: my natural hair loose, my natural hair in a back pony, low pony, side pony, low side pony with the same options with straightened and curled hair. Two braids, one side braid, French braid, pony braid and all of those in a fishtail braid. Of course I brought up my messy bun which is my usual.

I never really straighten my hair or curl my hair with the iron mostly because I’m trying to grow out my hair and keep the damage to the minimal. Onno loves my straightened and curled hair and couldn’t choose between the two…so my hubby went for both. Bottom part of my hair straight with the top part in wavy curls. It took me a hour to do this. I would never think of specially styling my hair when it’s raining outside mostly because it’s a clear waste of time. What the hubby wants he will get.

Out And About In The Public Eye:

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With the jacket out in the cold I felt a little more comfortable with my leggings. We first ran some errands before going for a small date at a coffee shop close by. There I took off my jacket and I have to say the entire look was a bit too casual for me but because my hair and makeup was all done up it worked in a way.

 

Final Thoughts:

The experience was quite interesting and although I wasn’t entirely out of my comfort zone it was still something I wouldn’t easily put together. I do think we were quite limited with the cold weather so I definitely want to redo this little experiment/challenge in the summer. My summer collection is huge as you would expect from someone who is originally from a warm climate. All in all the experience was fun. It was great to tick something off my bucket list.

This next part is Onno’s final thoughts: “I had a lot of fun choosing the outfit of Cassandra today, it was very interesting to try and combine the different elements into a complete look. The final look was, mostly because Cassandra can pull everything off, stunning. It was also fun for me to think about parts of her look I don’t know a lot off, such as her makeup, and learn something new. Overall it was a cool experience to cross this off the bucket list together!”

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