Originally posted 2016-11-23 10:04:22.
Originally posted 2016-11-23 10:04:22.
Dear past Shelby,
Girl. I wish I could hug you so tight. I wish I could squeeze all that self doubt you have festering inside you out. I wish you could see all the things I see now looking back, and all the things mom told you all along. Listen to mom. She is always right. Except on the perm thing. That shit is whack.
I hate to tell you this, but you are wrong about everything. But it’s ok, you’re supposed to be.
A few things I want to tell you.
I’m proud of you. You’ll never regret choosing the right thing over the cool thing. Even if you spend your whole senior year at a lunch table alone. Choose the right thing. Again and again. You’re cool. I promise. You just don’t know it yet.
STOP filling your voids with stuff. Boys. Shopping. Drinking. Lots of drinking. Fake friendships. None of it will help. In fact most of it will make it worse.
Be nicer to yourself. Weighing ten pounds less does not make you a better or more interesting person. Weighing ten or twenty pounds more does not make you unloveable. For every day or every moment you criticize yourself, you are cheating yourself out of your fullest joy.
Be thankful for what you have. Dwelling on what you don’t have will only keep bringing you nothing. Gratitude is powerful. It’s changing my life everyday as I write this. It improves your health and relationships. Besides, life is a gift and you should be most thankful for that.
You’re going to have unimaginable losses in the years to come—don’t be afraid to face them head on. (Go to the funeral. You’ll regret it every day if you don’t.) You’re going to walk through a valley of grief but you’re going to come through the other side a stronger, braver woman. You’ll need these experiences to hold up the others when life knocks them down.
Nothing will go as you planned. None of it. Don’t freak out. All the forks in the road and life altering stuff that happens? It makes you one bad ass woman.
You won’t believe this now, but you are not going to be lonely. There are loads of unbelievably wonderful people in your future, and you will be overwhelmed with gratitude for the goodness and love in your life. You’re going to discover some things about yourself that will surprise and delight you, and this world will be a better place for having had you in it. So hang in there, kid. Remember, we’re all just winging it in life, and none of us is here very long. The journey is the reward, and it’s a wonderful journey.
Your older, wiser, cooler unpermed self.
Originally posted 2016-11-05 12:40:34.
PCOS sucks. There. I said it. It is the most common endocrine disorder among women, and it doesn’t just affect one area of your body. It takes over the whole damn thing. It can cause infertility, facial hair, male pattern baldness, anxiety and depression, infertility, insulin resistance that can lead to diabetes and the best part- it makes you more prone to being overweight, especially in your stomach.
Fun stuff, right?
Well add this into the mix. Society hates fat people. I said it. The society we live in tends to judge overweight people as being lazy and lacking self-control.
Can I tell you something? I am a woman with PCOS, and I have tried and fought to lose weight my whole life. Spoiler alert, it didn’t work most of the time. I tried every extreme, quick fix, straddling the fine line into disordered eating, only to see the scale budge a few pounds. After a while, your body can’t continue in that extreme state and quite frankly, it makes your body more prone for other issues. So I couldn’t figure out how to lose weight. It wasn’t due to lack of self-control, or being lazy and unmotivated. I just couldn’t understand why I couldn’t lose or keep weight off.
Well, I was dieting. All well and great, right? Wrong. Because with dieting I have found a cycle of stages we often find ourselves stuck in.
I am sure you are reading this and you can relate. Whether it was a 30 day magic shake diet or a year long one. I am sure you have gained weight back, or have felt like you failed your diet.
In fact, I am case in point that goes to show dieting can lead to disordered eating. Let me explain.
I spent most of my life hating my body. Here I am: overweight, unable to lose it, not understanding why I could work out and eat like other women and not lose, and being judged by a society that’s flooded with weight stigma and pressure to be thin. Yea, I disliked my body. And I wanted to change it. So I wanted to try anything to change it. ANYTHING.
Fun fact I didn’t know before my diagnosis of PCOS and my education and research: Most women with PCOS have insulin resistance. Insulin resistance makes it extremely difficult to lose weight. (See my last post about this.) Also, high levels of insulin in the blood turn off the satiety trigger ( the feeling of being full) which leads to tendencies to binge.
Here’s the lethal combination:
Did you know of all mental illnesses, eating disorders has the highest fatality rate? True story. But we aren’t here to discuss ED. Another day. Let’s get back to why we are here. The dirty word- Dieting.
This constant cycling of dieting to binge is disastrous on our bodies. The yo-yo dieting cycle causes higher insulin levels and higher inflammation levels in the body. With PCOS, you already are at a disadvantage with your predisposition to insulin resistance.
When insulin levels are high, so are carb cravings. Ever find yourself saying, ” I need some freaking bread or I’m going to hurt someone!!” ?You can thank your body insulin for being a raging bitch.
So what do some in the PCOS world suggest? GET RID OF ALL CARBS ! THEY ARE THE DEVIL!
Let’s slow down. We don’t want to break up with carbs before we have to, right? I wouldn’t. For most, removal of all carbs is not necessary and in some cases, unhealthy. For myself, when I abstained from carbs I found 3 things:
Originally posted 2016-11-01 21:23:50.
Listen. I hear every day from someone in some form about carbohydrates. I have waited a long time to post this discussion because it is such a hot button topic in the PCOS community. But before I talk about my thoughts and theories on Carbs and PCOS, I want to make sure everyone understands what they are, and how they work in our bodies.
Carbohydrates are one of your three major macro nutrients ( the others being fat and protein). Carbohydrates are found in foods including fruits, vegetables, grains, potatoes, pastries, and candy. Carbs are broken down into sugar, or glucose, by the body once they are digested. This, in turn, stimulates the release of insulin.
Here are some examples of how you may have heard carbs described:
No wonder people get so confused!
However you want to describe them, you need to understand a little bit of the science of what they do in your body to understand which ones to eat.
Let’s talk about what happens when you eat carbs.
As carbohydrates are broken down and enter the bloodstream, they raise the amount of sugar (glucose) in the bloodstream. As you eat carbs, your blood sugar level rises, which activates the hormone insulin. Insulin’s job is to carry the sugar away from the blood to be stored
Here’s where PCOS starts to come into play.
Polycystic ovarian syndrome interferes with the way a woman’s body uses the hormone insulin. This condition, known as insulin resistance, can cause a build-up of sugar-glucose in the woman’s bloodstream. Your body may not be producing enough insulin to meet needs, so some glucose can’t get into the cells. Glucose remains in the bloodstream, causing high blood glucose levels.
The presence alone of insulin in the bloodstream sends message to body that extra fuel is available and goes into storage mode. You can’t be in storage mode and fat burning mode at the same time. The more “insulin sensitive” your muscles are, the more readily they will suck in sugar instead of having that sugar get converted to fat.
(PCOS lifehack : a great way to make your muscles more insulin sensitive? Strength training of course!)
Yum! Let’s talk food.
So we have said when you eat carbs, they are broken down into sugars. Women with PCOS often have insulin resistance, leading to elevated blood sugar levels. If your blood sugar is already elevated, and your body is in storage mode, intaking more carbs is bad, right?
Not exactly. Let’s go back to the types of carbs.
When you eat carbs, they are broken down at different rates. ( Carb breakdown rates are measured on the glycemic index.) Carbohydrates that cause your blood sugar level to rise rapidly are generally considered bad, or unhealthy carbs while those that are absorbed slowly and have little effect on blood sugar levels are considered good, or healthy carbs.
So back to the burning question…
My thoughts on carbs? Don’t let it overwhelm and confuse you. Simplify!
There are a few other things I advise my clients to do when thinking about how and what carbs to eat. (That is for another post.) But here are my Coach Shelby carb rules.
What are your thoughts on carbs? What is your experience with carbs and PCOS?
Until next time!
Originally posted 2016-10-31 14:28:53.
Originally posted 2016-10-29 08:34:36.
This week is National Infertility Week. I suffered from secondary infertility. For the longest time, I never told anyone. I suffered through it alone. But I was not alone. 1 in every 8 women suffer with some form of infertility. Start the conversation. You are not alone. You are not less of a woman. You are 1 in 8.
Originally posted 2016-04-24 20:57:49.
“So when is the next one coming?”
I don’t know. Ask my uncooperative ovaries.
“Don’t you want to give P a sibling?”
More than anything.
“Are you and S okay? Something stopping you from having more?”
We’re fine. Except the debt and the pressure and the sadness forcing a wedge between us. Nothing says intimacy like timed intercourse and shots in the butt.
Welcome to secondary infertility. Now that I am on the other side of the phase of trying for a baby, I feel like I can finally talk about it.
I never would have thought I would have to go through it. But, I am sure there are a lot of us out there that can relate. I had no trouble getting pregnant with P, in fact, he was a happy surprise.
So a year after we had him when we stopped the birth control, and entered into what we thought would be the fun “ let’s see what happens” phase, we were excited. I wasn’t defeated yet. I was positive that I had no issues.
But as each month passed, I started to worry.
How many months has it been? 11? No. That can’t be right. Almost a year?
I remained convinced it just wasn’t the right timing. It was going to happen.
What month are we on now? 22? Twenty two months? What are we doing wrong? What am I doing wrong?
Off to the doctor I went. As I sat there in the cold room, with tissue paper sticking to my nervous, sweating body I still wasn’t defeated yet. There’s got to be an easy explanation. A quick fix. I mean, I had P! I am fertile. I am ready. I am fine.
Not fine. I was diagnosed with PCOS. If you are new to my blog and don’t know what PCOS is, it is an endocrine disorder, that affects 1 in every 10, and is the leading cause of infertility in women. Not only did I have no idea what it is, but I was informed of all the things I WOULDN’T be able to do.
“You’ll struggle losing weight.”
“You may suffer from anxiety and depression.”
“You may not be able to conceive naturally. If at all.”
Liar. I have my son. You don’t know what you are talking about. This can’t be true.
I went home. I cried. I drank a lot of wine. I cried again.
And I didn’t know who to talk to.
Over the next year, I walked the journey of secondary infertility alone. Looking back, part of that was my fault. I felt inadequate, like my body was failing us both, so I couldn’t talk to my husband. We were already going through so much. Why remind him of one more thing we are failing at.
I didn’t talk to my friends. The friends that were struggling to have their first I felt guilty.
I already have my son. I am being selfish. Some don’t even have that blessing. What is wrong with you, Shelby?
I didn’t talk to my girlfriend’s who were having babies like it was going out of style. Every day another facebook announcement or a baby shower invite.
I can’t do this. I am angry. I am mad that their bodies aren’t failing them. I am mad that they think I’m like them. That not having another is a choice. This is NOT my choice.
I had a breakdown one day, as someone complained about being pregnant on Facebook for the 239847 time. “I can’t stand being pregnant. Is it over yet? Get this baby out.” I can’t remember all I typed back, but I couldn’t stop. As I chugged my last sip of my 3rd glass of Shiraz it was something that came out along the lines of this:
You ungrateful person. Some people are longing for that. Some people even know the beautiful gift it is to carry a child, and desperately want to have the privilege to do it again. And can’t. You should be more thoughtful with what you say and more grateful for the blessings that you have. But if you ever do fall pregnant again, and just ‘can’t do it’ I know there are many women who would gladly take that on for you.
I probably should have handled that better. Note to self: Don’t drink and Facebook comment.
If you are going through secondary infertility, you may be having the same feelings I did:
Guilt. Let me just say, I fully understand that I am luckier than some who are unable to get pregnant at all. But that does not lighten the burden of my pain. There is a stigma attached to secondary infertility that you should be grateful for what you have. You feel stuck in a state of wanting to grieve for your struggles and longing for another child all while feeling like you’re not qualified to have those emotions.
Resentment- Because I wasn’t talking about it with anyone, I built up resentment towards those around me who didn’t know the struggle I was facing. And, looking back, I know they couldn’t help me if they didn’t know the private Hell I was facing. But when you are experiencing it, all you feel is anger and resentment. Every time you are asked, “So when’s the next one coming? Times ticking.” It took every ounce of strength not to tell them,
As soon as the shots in my ass and the hormones that make me want to punch you in the face start working.
Alone- Looking back, I wish I would have talked about it. Maybe I would have understood that this isn’t something that is my fault. I would have known that what I was feeling, although confusing and terrible, wasn’t wrong. Or at the very least, I would have known that someone else is feeling that way, too.
The thing is- whether or not you are lucky enough to have a child, when you feel like you can’t do something as natural as carrying a child or feel like your body is failing at something it should naturally do, it hurts. It aches. It is scary. It is real. And no one should feel should ever feel guilty or ashamed of that.
Originally posted 2016-03-27 09:12:47.
Oh, Monday. How you mess with my emotions. I usually like Mondays. I am the weirdo who thinks of them as a fresh start. Everyone always starts something new on a Monday. A diet. A workout routine. A new job. They quit a bad habit.
Because, Mondays are our fresh start. It doesn’t matter what you did before then- they are your fresh piece of diary paper. Rewrite your story. Starting now.
So for me, Monday’s rock. Because when I slip up, and I do- alot- I can start fresh.
But today I was just not feeling it.
I had a great weekend. But it was filled with all the really bad stuff that is so delicious. Beer. Mexican food. Staying up too late. Skipping the gym. NOT skipping the queso dip. Cookie Crisp at midnight, because WHY NOT? You get my point.
So waking up, I was the epitome of bloating. Not even my leggings were having it. Try again later when you’re not filled with salt and poor life decisions. We ain’t THAT stretchy girlfriend.
I felt exhausted. My body hurt. I regretted all the fun choices I made. And then I remembered it was the half way point of our Dietbet.
Shit. I have to take my progress pictures. What am I going to wear? I think the internet would frown upon a pantsless progress picture.
So I found the stretchiest pair of leggings I owned. I talked myself up.
It doesn’t matter what you look like, girl. It matters how you feel.
Oh right. I feel like shit.
I’m not doing this. I’ll take them later.
And then I immediately said
Get your ass in front of that mirror.
I was not going to put off progress pictures today. Because I am going to own every part of my journey. The good. The bad. And the bloated.
And let me tell you, I stress all the time don’t overthink what you see on the internet. Especially when it comes the weight loss and fitness pages. All those girls you follow on instagram? They took 2348235 pictures before finding that perfect lighting, perfect angle picture.
The results of my progress pics? Not great. But, not bad either.
I took them, took a quick glance at them, and then put my phone away.
I refuse to pick myself apart anymore. I have stretch marks. I have excess skin and fat pads. I have flaws.
But I also have things that no one can see in that progress picture. I have self love. I have self forgiveness. I have self acceptance.
And those things, are more important to me than how I look half naked after too many tacos.
So with that, I put on my running shoes, I turned on my gangsta rap, and I got outside. Sunshine is the cure for so many things. It’s my crack. (Crack is whack, kids.) It energizes me. Makes me happy. Makes me feel like I get accomplish anything.
I woke up not wanting to move off my couch let alone work out. But I changed my perspective, and put in 5 miles.
So here’s to Mondays. To fresh starts. To starting new. Starting over. Starting over AGAIN. Here’s to fresh diary paper. Here’s to forgiving your past, and focusing on your now, while moving toward the future.
Originally posted 2016-02-29 12:38:52.
Hi, I’m Shelby and I’m a recovering habitual quitter.
Well that felt good to get off my chest.
am was the girl who quit. My older sister was pretty and popular. My younger sister was smart. And I was the quitter. It was my thing.
I quit Daisy scouts before even going in because I was too afraid to go in the classroom filled with blue vests. I quit dance team one year because I felt like I would never be as good as the other girls. I’d quit jobs. Quit relationships. Friendships. I was a full blown quitter.
And once you get labeled something, you almost feel like people expect it from you. So many times I would want to sign up for a new activity and my mom would say,
“Now Shelby, if I pay for this, you’re not going to quit again, are you? ”
Well yes, mom. I probably will. The minute it gets scary or I feel inferior, I’m gone.
“Of course not, Mom.” Rolls eyes.
Two weeks later I quit.
I mean it’s like riding a bike. Once you have quit something, it gets easier and easier.
And I am not just talking about jobs or relationships or daisy scouts. I quit on myself.
Maybe it was because I was insecure. Maybe it was because I didn’t like myself. Maybe because I was scared.
But for whatever reason, I couldn’t stop.
When it came to my health, I was the typical yo yo dieter.
Try this magic shake. *Drinks one sip and checks if i’m skinny* Shit, this doesn’t work.
Do this workout dvd. *Can’t breathe or jump or move my body* Screw it. This is a joke.
Calorie restrict for 2 weeks to fit in a dress. *Dress doesn’t fit* Eat the entire kitchen.
See it’s so easy to give up. But eventually, you get tired. You get tired of people expecting you to fail. You get tired of failing yourself. You get tired of starting over. It’s just fucking exhausting.
It wasn’t some grand epiphany. Nothing significant or monumental happened to make it happen. But one day, I just got tired of my own bullshit. I thought to myself,
What will happen if I stop quitting on myself? What if I forgive myself for my mistakes? What if when a lightbulb burns out in my house of life, I don’t try to burn the whole thing down?
And I just stopped giving up on myself. It didn’t happen overnight. It was tiny choices and decisions made each day, each hour each minute.
*You can finish this mile, Shelby. Move your ass*
*Answer your damn phone. Your anxiety is not winning today.*
*So you didn’t lose this week. But you feel better, don’t you? You are not stopping.”
*So you ate a whole cheesecake? That doesn’t mean you don’t get your ass up and work out. You fell down. You aren’t staying down.*
*Share your story. Don’t let the people who don’t understand it make you stop sharing your heart.*
And just like that, I started realizing how strong I am. Strength truly comes from within. Proving the nasty mean voice in your head that tells you you aren’t good enough, wrong.
I am making big changes in my life. I am pursuing my dreams of helping others in their health journey-mentally and physically. I would have never in a million years thought I’d be 3 weeks away from completing what needs to be done to do that. I would have been on the wine wagon drinking away using the unused study flashcards as a coaster.
I am not perfect. I have a past. I have my failures. My flaws. My shortcomings.
I am a lot of things.
But I am NOT a quitter.
Originally posted 2016-02-26 14:32:09.
This month, I ran a Dietbet. I also must have been smoking crack or high on Christmas spirit, but I also committed #noboozeJanuary. And this month has felt like one long ass Monday without my wine. It’s been hard reintroducing the scale back into my life. I had broken up with her so long ago, and for good reasons. I was using it as the sole measurement of my success, and the truth was, it was hindering my progress. I gave it up and started using progress pictures and measurements and how I felt overall as gauge of my progress.
But I wanted to challenge myself. Not only to lose the weight, but also to break the mental mind game I had with the scale. I wanted to prove to myself that even if the number didn’t change, and I lost my 10 dollar buy in, I was still okay with myself because my success is not dictated by a number.
And most importantly, I wanted to help others. Even if I didn’t win, and didn’t drop a single pound, if it helped and motivated someone else to succeed, that was enough for me.
So the first weigh in happened right at prime chubby time- post holidays and all the carbs and wine and Christmas candy. I really gave literally no sh*ts about what I put into my body over the holidays. And the scale showed. I was up 6.4 pounds. And I was responsible for every single one.
Seeing the number on the scale, as well as the motivation I got from the 5oo women participating with me was enough to get my ass back on track. I got back in the gym. Not just when I felt like it. Every day. I tracked my marcos meticulously. I hit them most every day. And most importantly of all, I gave up the mommy juice.
I didn’t step on the scale for the first time until a week into it.
I have been kicking ass. The scale is DEFINITELY going to reflect it.
I am only down 1 lb? ONE?
And I knew it. Old habits were sneaking back in. I started doing the scale dance. ALL.THE.TIME.
*Step on scale*
Shit. This can’t be right.
*Step on scale again*
HELL NO. This thing is straight up lying to me.
Okay this is ridiculous.
*Trims split ends*
You get my point. The scale dance took over my life. And it controlled how I felt. So two weeks in, I finally did what was best for me. I put that thing back in the closet. I was not going to let it control how I felt about my progress. I knew I was kicking ass. I knew I was feeling good and healthy and making progress. I am not going to live in a state of being controlled by a plastic electronic device. Screw you, scale. You don’t know me. You don’t know my life.
This past week, I stepped it up. I started drinking all my water. I was getting extra time in at the gym. I ate cleaner than a ever. And most importantly I didn’t get on the scale.
Last time I checked, I still had 1.5 lbs to go.
I worked my butt off to try to get it off, but I also accepted that it might just not happen. PCOS can make weight stubborn and act like a rude houseguest that doesn’t get the hint to get the hell out. I had to be okay with it if it wasn’t where I wanted it to be.
So I woke up this morning, fully prepared for my goal not to be reached. I just chalked it up to a good motivation for the month, and was determined to keep on pushing.
I hyped myself up to get on.
For real? Let me just double check.
Oh man, scale. You just made my life. I hit my goal by the skin of my teeth (0.2 lbs)
I quickly snapped a picture and sent it in for verification.
I was ecstatic.
And I promptly went about making myself a plate of celebratory chocolate chip protein pancakes. I deserved the treat for this past month. And I started pulling down which bottle of wine I wanted to crack open tonight.
Until I remembered,
Shit. I am not verified yet. I might have to reweigh. And I won’t be where I was this morning after that glutinous pancake feast. Fool.
And I’ve been sitting here, stressing all morning. Waiting for the verified email to come through. Because I know if I got on that scale again it might not be as nice. I had pancake bites this morning that weighed 0.2 lbs. That .2 lbs stood between being a winner and being a loser.
And then I got my shit together, and realized- I’m not a loser at all. I kicked ass. I feel amazing. I helped others lose. I am proud of myself. So whether I have to reweigh or not, I know who the real loser is. The scale. Because it does not control how I feel about myself. Not today. Not tomorrow. Not ever.
If you are interested in joining my next dietbet, let me know and I will get you the link! We will start February 15th, just in time to bypass the Superbowl snacks and Valentine’s chocolate.
Originally posted 2016-02-01 14:19:24.
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