Originally posted 2016-10-29 08:34:36.
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.
I debated whether to write about this topic. Not because I am ashamed, embarrassed or trying to hide it. In fact, it’s the exact opposite. I joined this big bad social media world in an effort to find other women just like me, dealing with PCOS, and who are not letting it control their life. And along the way, I have myself become a voice in this. And I am proud of that. I want to show other women with PCOS that they aren’t alone. We are all dealing with and struggling through the adversities we have been handed.
But on the flip side, I don’t want PCOS to be my identity. I am more than PCOS. We are all more than the struggles we are facing.
It’s off topic, but this came to light the other day at the gym. It was the strangest and coolest experience I’ve had. I saw two girls staring at me. THE.WHOLE.TIME. I was working out. I was thinking, “Can a girl get some squat work in without others creepin’ on me? Ya I know my gym clothes don’t match and my hair is greasier than the bacon pan sitting on my counter from breakfast- but c’mon. We are all here to get work done.” And I continued on, and went about the rest of my sets. And I found them in the bathroom, before I left, and one said ” You are that PCOS girl. The one with funny faces and great hair. On instagram!”
Oh fuck. Now I’m the asshole who thought they were judging me. Geeze, Shelby. Chill out.
And we chatted and talked for a good half an hour and I found out they both have PCOS and I made two new friends. And as we said goodbye, one of my new home girls said, “You are so much more than funny faces and great hair. I’m so glad you are real.”
**Am I putting it out there I am fake? Shit. We gotta fix that**
Dose of realness for the day: hair loss
My hair has always been my thing. Even when I was heavy and couldn’t fit in my clothes and had to wear stretch errrrrthing, my hair could always look good. It never betrayed me.
Until it did.
After I had my daughter, my hair was coming out. And I’m not just talking a little bit. I am talking handfuls and clumpfuls at a a time. I would wake up in the morning with a rat sized hair ball on my pillow.
To make it worse, I was heavier than I ever had been, I was in the the deepest, darkest pits of postpartum depression, and I was tired. Not the “didn’t get enough sleep last night tired” the “I’ve been up for 4 days straight crying and trying to take care of a baby who I think hates me because she won’t stop crying and I can’t fix it and my world is ending” tired.
I couldn’t believe that it was happening. As if I wasn’t dealing with enough issues already.
But one day, I just decided I didn’t want to let that be one more thing I was sad about. I may be chubby, and tired and crabby, but I WILL NOT HAVE BAD HAIR.
So I started researching. What can I do to get my hair healthy and growing and not falling out in chunks?
HAIR REPAIR STEPS WITH PCOS
BIOTIN: I started taking biotin. It is a vitamin that helps preserve and promote hair, skin and nail health. I still take it to this day. ( You do NOT need some fancy, 40 dollar MLM magic pill, I promise you. My biotin costs 4 dollars at Walmart, y’all.)
NIOXIN: To promote regrowth, I started using the Nioxin shampoo system. You can buy it from your hairstylist, buy it at a reputable salon or even on Amazon. It helps thinning hair and I saw tremendous regrowth in the months that I used it.
Clean eating: I started cleaning up my diet. When I cut the processed junk out of my diet, my overall health improved. But so did my hair. It’s so important to understand everything you put into your body affects the outside of your body. Skin. Hair. Weight.
FitnessFoxheadbands: I was in the depths of depression when my hair started falling out. I was sad and tired. I wanted so badly to feel confident about my hair when I felt so insecure about everything else going on in my life. I went to the internet in search of a headband that would not only cover my thinning spots in my temples, but be stylish, and wouldn’t pull to prevent even more breakage and loss and wouldn’t give me ‘headband headache’. I found the etsy shop FitnessFoxHeadbands. They were so cute, and so inexpensive- I had to try them. I am so glad I did. I am still wearing them almost daily, even though my hair has improved. I wear them to the gym. To Target. Out at night. I am not one to promote or discuss products, but I am so passionate about them. They truly helped me feel more secure and pretty when I was in a bad place.
*If you want more info on Fitnessfoxheadbands, check them out on instagram (@fitnessfoxheadbands) or at their website www.fitnessfoxheadbands.com and use my code SHELBYE and you can buy 4 get 2 free!
This morning I noticed my hair is thinning again, in my temples area. And I am going to restart Nioxin, and make sure my eating is clean and I am taking my vitamins. And I am going to be okay with even if I am doing everything right and treating my body the best I can, sometimes we can’t fix everything. I will do my best, and rock headbands until then. And I will be real and accepting of the fact that this might just be my hair. My hair will always be my thing. And I will make bald temples cool.
Originally posted 2016-01-30 10:50:59.
The two thing I am asked the most since starting to share my journey on social media are:
“How do you do your hair?” (Hair tutorial coming soon-I promise)
“How did you do it? How did you start?”
And I always have such a hard time answering. Because everyone’s starting point and journey is so different. My journey will not be the same as yours. Everyone’s body and mind set are at different stages.
I only have done what works for me.
And my answer is this:
I had to forgive myself for how I treated me in the past, accept and love who I was in the present, and strive and work towards being a better me tomorrow.
First I had to get my mind right. Get your minddddd right girl
One day, I just woke up. And I didn’t want to cry anymore. I didn’t want to hate my body anymore. I didn’t want to feel like I was hiding-under clothes, under jokes, under my own cloud of illusion that this wasn’t fixable. That I wasn’t worth saving.
I decided that I was going to quit blaming all my struggles on everything and everyone else.
It wasn’t my fault I got dealt the hand of PCOS. But it sure as hell is my fault if I let it stop me from being the awesome sauce I know I am.
It wasn’t my family or friends fault that they didn’t have it. But it was mine if I kept letting resentment and comparison to them keep me in a state of anger and depression.
It wasn’t my fault life had dealt me hard, scary life situations. Losing loved ones too early. A miscarriage. A relationship falling apart. Financial struggles. ( Okay, that one might be a little bit my fault- shopping is just so damn therapeutic, am I right? ) But it was my fault if I used all of these terrible and sad circumstances change the way I viewed my life and how I was going to live it.
So I just decided to not hate myself anymore and start forgiving myself more. I don’t mean to sound after school special. Trust me, I get it that you don’t just wake up and change. But you do wake up each day with the choice and decision on your outlook for that day. And all you can do is keep choosing the right outlook.
I started choosing the right mind set one day at a time. I would literally get out of bed, and say to myself, ” God damn it, Shelby. Today you are going to chose happiness-with yourself and with the world. Make the decision.”
And some days it was easy. And some days I wanted to throat punch my morning mantra self. But you just keep doing it. And eventually, a deliberate choice becomes a habit. And a habit becomes a mindset.
Second I had to embrace my physical struggles and work with what I had
PCOS sucks. I am going to say it. It FUCKING sucks.
Okay, now that my tantrum is over- PCOS is not an easy diagnosis to swallow.
I mean, don’t get me wrong- I was relieved to finally have an answer to why my body didn’t work like everyone else’s. I was glad to finally have answers. But at the time, no one, including doctors, knew enough or took it seriously enough to treat it. Especially if you weren’t trying to conceive.
I had to figure out on my own what was best for my body. I cannot stress it enough how important it is to be your own health advocate. If you don’t feel like your doctor is taking you or your condition seriously enough, FIND A NEW DOCTOR. I had to go to 3 different doctors before I found one who didn’t just say ” Here’s some birth control pills. You are going to put on weight and it’s not going to come off. Good luck.” ( No joke, I’m quite positive those are verbatim my first doctors words to me. Dick.)
And at first I felt so lost. If my doctor can’t tell me what the hell to do to get myself healthy, who can?
Well, I did. I researched. I connected with other PCOS women who have been through what I’m going through.
And I will not lie to you. At first, I fell for the quick fix shit. The ” drink this tea, you’ll drop weight in a week”. Or the “This magic wrap will instantly dissolve body fat and inches.”
SPOILER ALERT: None of it worked. Not a damn single one of them.
And you want to know why?
Because there is no quick fix.
So one day, after failing and losing more money on another one, I took my self loathing chubby butt shopping. I decided to go to LuLuLemon. Mind you, my ass didn’t have no money to be going there. After all, I just spent a butt load on magic shakes and shit. But I went. And I tried on the biggest size they have. A size 12.
It didn’t fit. I bawled in the dressing room. I ripped a few of the seams trying to get it off. I cried again thinking that this isn’t how I want to feel in my own skin.
And I bought that size 12. Not because I was determined to fit in it. Using an event or a date as motivation to get healthy is a guarantee to fail. I promise you that. It has to be a lifestyle change. It has to be for you, not 2 months from now on a beach in the caribbean, not you 6 months from now in a wedding dress- for you every damn day.
I’m rambling now-
But I just started making small changes. I learned with PCOS carbs are not our friends. I call bullshit. If I have to have acne, weight gain and struggles with infertility, can I at least get my pizza, dude?
But I cut down my carbs.
I started avoiding dairy.
I started eating as clean as possible.
Day in and day out, making baby steps.
I then started meal prepping and tracking. And they go hand and hand.
And then, finally I started flexible dieting. It has been the only way of eating ( I refuse to say diet) that has been sustainable for me. With my history of disordered eating, telling me I can’t have something is fuel for my downfall back into that state. Because if you tell me I can’t have it, I want it more. And eventually, if you are restricting those foods, YOU WILL BINGE. With flexible dieting, I can still eat some of those foods, in moderation, if they fit my goals and macros. Win win when momma gets her wine.
And last but not least I added strength/weight training. I was a cardio queen. I was running 6 miles a day everyday, then spending the night watching my shows while running again on the treadmill. I had no idea why I wasn’t losing. I was stuck.
Then I did some research and found out that with PCOS, because of our higher testosterone levels and other factors, weight training was best to speed up our metabolism.
One day, I crossed over to the big boy side of the gym- and I never went back.
My metabolism has sped up, my energy has increased, I am stronger, and plus it’s just so much more fun than cardio. #Cardioishardioyo
Patience and persistance
I cannot stress this enough to everyone who asks me.
No my results did not happen overnight.
No it was not easy
Yes I wanted to give up. and did. several times.
If I could tell anyone asking who’s just starting just one thing it would be this:
It is not easy. It makes it even more difficult of a journey if you are battling symptoms of PCOS. You will want to give up. You will feel frustrated. You will hate your body for not doing what others can do in the same amount of time. You will cry. You will doubt what you are doing. You will feel like it’s not worth the struggle.
And you are not alone in feeling any of this. But here is my promise to you:
If you stop comparing your journey to others, and focus on you vs you, your journey is simplified ten fold. Others may be dropping weight and eating doritos and only working out when they walk their ass to their car and into their desk job. And you will want to shank them. Don’t. That’s their journey ( and apparently a very short one if that’s the only moving they are doing) Comparison is the thief of joy.
You need to stop giving a shit about what everyone else thinks. Your parents. Your spouse. Your girlfriends. Your boss. Social media. STOP. Just stop.
I promise you, when the only approval you seek is your own, life is so much easier-and a lot more fun. When you seek self worth and self acceptance from other people, and those people leave, so does all your validation. You have to find it within. The day you realize this, you are freed to become the bad ass bitch you are meant to be.
And lastly, if you need help or feel alone- know that you aren’t. This shit isn’t easy. Life isn’t easy. And knowing that everyone struggles and fights and cries just like you makes it a lot easier to get through.
And if you ever need a reminder, help, encouragment or just to talk- please know I am here. Reach out. Because I was you, once. And on bad days, I still am. We are all just trying to get our shit together. I promise you that.
Originally posted 2016-01-27 19:41:58.
PCOS Support Girl meet Surviving Shelby…
Holy Hell, this is terrifying.
It’s like a diary. But you all are my mother-reading every word and deciphering every thought. And I have no idea if you will read it or not, when you will stumble across it, how you will feel about what I say. Thrilling, right? Except you can’t ground me when you find out I skipped 6th hour to go get my belly button pierced at the local trade center with a fake ID vs. gaining all that valuable world history knowledge. Sorry, Deb. Hopefully you’ve forgiven me.
Anyway, here I am. It took me a long time to decide to jump into the blogging world. I have always enjoyed writing. I’m just not a writer. Not a good one, I should say. Please don’t assume that. I have terrible grammar, I cuss like a sailor, and I am the queen of run on sentences. If you are an English teacher, you’ll probably despise my writing style. But I guess I was always waiting for the right time. Waiting until I felt like I had something important enough to say or share.
But for the past year I have been on a journey of bettering myself. I like to call it the “Get Your Shit Together Shelby” project. After life dealt me some pretty shitty cards the last decade, I decided I could either fold and quit the game or I could take them, and build a bad ass house of cards on my terms. So here I am, saying ‘ Screw perfect timing.’ There will never be the right time for anything.
My promise to you and myself is I will always keep it real. This huge world of social media has so much to offer. But the one thing I found discouraging when I joined was a lack of realness. Sure, I’m going to post my triumphs. If I lost 5 lbs, Hell ya you’re getting a hair done, contour on point me in my gym shorts picture! I’m going to celebrate that shit! But I’m also going to show you the me that gained it back a week later because I fell off the damn wagon at Christmas, ate my weight in bread, and cried so hard her mascara is now black lipstick.
Because the truth of the matter is, not one single person you see on the internet is perfect. The lady with the perfect house that your adore? She’s battling infertility and crying at night in that pretty extra bedroom. The lady who has an amazing body, perfect makeup and looks perfectly put together every day? She looks like a troll when she wakes up too. The cute family of four who you see posting grand adventures every weekend and cheesing it up in hallmark quality family pictures? They are battling financial issues and contemplating divorce and go to counseling every Thursday. Really overdramatic examples but you get my point. We all want to put our best selves out there, but as a mother and a woman, I never want to set an example that being real and flawed and human is any less attractive of a quality.
So here I am, in all my PCOS fighting, ED warrior, struggle bun rocking, wine sipping, mama bear, food loving, gym loathing (but I’ma still go yo!) sailor mouthed glory.
Welcome aboard the hot mess express!
Originally posted 2016-01-22 11:21:16.
Today I will sit around the table, surrounded by loved ones. We will do as we do every year. We will reflect and say one at a time the thing we are most grateful for in our lives.
I’m sure the regulars will come out.
And then they will get to me.
I know what I want to say. I’ve been reflecting about this for some time. I have been trying to figure out how exactly to express the thing I am most grateful for. So instead I’ll likely joke and say ‘leggings’ and or carbs and life goes on.
But I want to tell you. I think it’s important.
It is for me this year.
(Before I tell you, I want you to promise to hear me out? It is going to sound crazy. But…trust me, okay?)
I am thankful for PCOS.
Yes. You did not misread. I am thankful for the condition that has wrecked havoc on my body, mind and life.
Please Understand I am not trying to lie and say I am glad I have this diagnosis. Chronic illness isn’t something you can just sugarcoat with positivity and smiles and make it seem like it’s anything less than it is.
I am certainly not sitting here trying to convince you to give thanks that something bad has happened to you. I am not thankful for losing my aunt too soon. I am not grateful my dog is sick. I am not thankful for the fatal crash I witnessed last week.
I wouldn’t wish PCOS on another woman. If I was given the choice, I promise you I wouldn’t chose to have PCOS. If they woke up tomorrow and had a cure for it, I’d be in line. It is horrible sometimes. It has made for some bad, scary trying dark days.
I remember one of the dark days. On this August day, I wasn’t grateful for PCOS. Laying curled up on the floor of the bathroom, the chills of the square bathroom tiles were cold on my skin, I lay there. In that dark moment, as I fought between uncontrollable sobbing and fighting back the sound escaping my lips so no one would hear, I traced the tiles edges to make the time disappear. I wanted to disappear. As I did, I remembered something someone once told me.
I sat up from that floor, and thought,
“Shelby get through the next minute. It’s just a minute. “
I got through it.
I did it.
Now what?I have grown to realize it’s all in what you do in those ‘Now What?’ moments. It’s then when you have you decide. What’s next? It’s when you have to make a choice.
For me that particular August day, it was deciding to accept and face whatever ‘bad’ day/pain/fear/situation. I would find something good. If I couldn’t find something good, I would find something valuable.
That day was the day I got online and typed in PCOS Support. I was shocked at how little information there was available. Even worse, in the support forums, it was all so sad and negative. Women talking about all the things and dreams and happiness PCOS was going to take from them.
On those that I had to go school and face being called the ‘fat sister’ by the senior boys because I’d rather cry in the bathroom than tell my mom about it, I learned to be resilient.
I’d like to say it played a part in giving me my wit and sense of humor. Being the fat friend wasn’t easy, so I learned to be funny instead.
I learned patience, while I waited for an explanation year after year for why my body was acting different or didn’t feel right. I stayed patient while my body failed me cycle after cycle.
And when I had enough of feeling clueless about my own body, I became my own health advocate.
It’s really hard to love a body you don’t understand or feel comfortable in. It has been one of the hardest thing’s I’ve done, letting go of expectations of what to look like and hatred of my own body for not following suit but I’ve discovered self love. When you start to love yourself, amazing things happen. When you love yourself you forgive yourself. Self forgiveness lead me to bravery in ways I wouldn’t understand. But I chose to have to believe things happen for a reason.
And today, on Thanksgiving, PCOS gives me hope.
That August day I felt hopeless. I can’t tell you why I suffered that early loss that summer. I don’t know how I wound up feeling so alone and wanting to disappear myself, surviving by getting through minutes. I thought for the longest time that PCOS just wanted to take away everything good in my life.
So I don’t know what possessed me to seek out support online. On any other given day I probably would have joined in with the other women feeling victimized and letting our diagnosis take away from our lives. But I didn’t. Maybe I was ready to accept my diagnosis. Maybe I wanted to help.
Maybe I refused to let PCOS take one more thing from me.
Whatever it was, I wasn’t looking back.
And so I am grateful, because that day
PCOS Saved my life.
( It just took a really round about explanation to realize that.)
and when I get stuck in a ‘Now What?’ situation, I remember…
It’s a bad day, not a bad life.
Originally posted 2016-11-24 05:01:29.
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