foxyolive

Journey to the best health of my life (yes, the journey includes olives)


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Whitney’s big fat fabulous life

You probably know who Whitney Way Thore is.  Her dancing videos went viral.  She was the fat dancing girl.  She makes me smile.  Just because you’re fat doesn’t mean you can’t dance and doesn’t mean you can’t have fun!

Now’s Whitney is doing a reality show.  She’s so confident in her skin, but at the same time trying to better herself.  She is trying to lose weight, but she is not stopping herself from living.  I can identify with her in so many ways.  At the same time I want to take a page out of her book.  There are many instances where I do not do something because of my weight.  Whitney has reminded me that my weight shouldn’t stop me from living.

It is assumed that people who are fat are lazy.  That’s simply not true in so many cases.  If, like me, you have PCOS then this video will empower you and remind you that you are not alone in your struggles.  If you don’t have PCOS but would like a better understanding of it through the eyes of someone who lives with it then watch this video.

It takes courage to open yourself up to the world.  Thank you Whitney for putting yourself out there!

UPDATE: Unfortunately the YouTube video with the full episode has been removed. For those who are able to access the videos (USA residents) here is the TLC page: http://www.tlc.com/tv-shows/my-big-fat-fabulous-life/videos/my-big-fat-fabulous-life-sneak-peek.htm

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Sometimes things change

Photo by @Foxy_O taken July 2007 in Rurutu, French Polynesian Islands

Photo by @Foxy_O taken July 2007 – Rurutu (French Polynesia Islands)

I’m a strong believer in evolution. Not just on the topic of how humans came about, but also on the evolution of my mind. When it comes to food: I’ve gone from eating meat, to vegetarian, to vegan, back to eating meat, to the ‘forks and knives’ philosophy and now to paleo (and lets not forget all the random ‘diets’ during all these stages). My thoughts evolved over time and they were based on things I read and my personal experiences. I have never felt as good as I do eating paleo (Whole30 changed my life!) so I know this is the right way of eating for me.

In this post I said how I will beat PCOS the natural way.  I still will beat PCOS, but after conversations with my doctor I decided to start taking Metformin.  For those of you who don’t know, Metformin is usually given to patients with diabetes to help control their blood sugar levels.  It is also common for those diagnosed with PCOS.  Many people with PCOS suffer from insulin resistance and this medication can help.  I have tried for years to shift the weight permanently.  It has always been 1 step forward and 2 steps back.  After a lot of research and consideration I started taking Metformin about a month ago.  I suffered from terrible diarrhea for the first couple of weeks, but that passed.  I have not noticed any other side effects.  According to my doctor this should also help regulate my monthly cycle (which is extremely irregular).  My husband and I have been talking of family planning and this is one of the steps in that process.

I really want to stress that just because I’m taking Metformin does not mean that I am going to neglect my diet and exercise program.  Everything that I have read in my research tells me that Metformin works best in conjunction with a clean diet and regular exercise.  I still strongly believe that diet and exercise are the two most important things when it comes to my health.  I don’t plan to be on Metformin for the rest of my life, but I do plan to eat well and exercise until the day I die.


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PCOS awareness

Fight PCOS

I have PCOS and these are 5 points I would like everyone to be aware of.

1: There are lots of women with PCOS

There are more people out there with PCOS than you think – statistics say 5 to 10% of women are affected by this
hormonal disorder. However, the percentage is most likely higher because there are many women who don’t know they
have PCOS. It’s difficult to diagnose – it can take countless trips to many doctors before you are diagnosed. It took years before I was officially diagnosed in 2010.  In addition, your symtoms will probably not match the next person.

2: Insensitive questions can really hurt
The most insensitive question you can ask a married woman (and not just those who you know have PCOS) is if or when they’re planning to have kids. The truth: that is none of your business. Isn’t the answer obvious? Either they don’t want kids, can’t have kids or are trying and haven’t had any luck yet. Those are your possible answers. PCOS is one of the most common causes of infertility (one of the many symptoms). So, please, save the woman some possible heartache, and don’t bring it up. You might be making conversation, but you could be stabbing her deep in the heart.

3: Weight loss can be extremely tough
Many women with PCOS are obese (I’ve read that it is about 60%) and have a very difficult time losing weight.  For most of us the fat is beyond stubborn. So, before you look at an overweight person and make judgements (eg: lazy, eats too much, eats fast food etc) think twice. You have no idea what their lifestyle is like and whether they are dealing with any medical condition. Many of us are actually trying to lead a healthy lifestyle which includes eating well and a regular exercise routine. It just takes longer for us to get the physical results we want. I welcome you to come and train with me at the gym. I would LOVE to show you what I’m capable of.

4: PCOS has made me stronger, not weaker
I do not pity myself because I have PCOS and I don’t want your pity either. I am stronger and healthier than I have ever been in my life. Yes, it is something that I have to think about daily and it is something that affects me in more ways than I show on the outside. I have days where I don’t feel so great, but on the whole I stay positive. I am fortunate – I have fantastic support around me and those people help me through the toughest moments. What doesn’t kill you can only make you stronger. Period.

5: PCOS will not win
I will beat PCOS – the natural way, with no medication. That is the route I have chosen. It may not be the route that is right for everyone, but because of my history (PE caused by the birth control pill) I prefer to take as little medication as possible. Currently I do not take any medication. It’s a slow process that requires a lot of continuous research along with lots of trial and error. However, I have seen some improvements in my symptoms and it gives me great hope. I am determined to beat PCOS.

“The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a person’s determination.”
~ Tommy Lasorda


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I go to the gym – why am I still fat?

Today is Saturday.  Today is gym day.  In fact, I go to the gym 4 to 5 times a week.  I admit, there are a few weeks where I don’t make at least 4 times, but, on the whole, for the last 5 years I’ve been going at least 4 times a week.  In addition, I’ve had a personal trainer for the last 4 years (and he kicks my butt every Saturday!).  I should have the body of Megan Fox by now.  But I don’t.  Why is that?  Here’s what I think:

1. I suffered from PE (pulmonary embolism) and was on warfarin for 6 months

My PE in 2009 was caused by the birth control pill.  When I was taken into hospital they did not know if I would survive the night.  I was in hospital for 5 days.  Since then I don’t even want to have tylenol for a headache (read: hate any medication – natural remedies all the way).  Warfarin was mandotory, but my body did not react to well (read: crazy weight gain).  I feel like I’ve been fighting that episode ever since.  If I ever have another clot I’ll be on warfarin for life – that’s a scary thought that is constantly at the back of my mind.

2. I have PCOS

This is not an excuse, but I do find that my body (read: fat) is very stubborn.  For the longest time I didn’t know why.  I suspected I had PCOS, but every doctor said I didn’t (and somehow it was my fault that I was fat – and I believed them).  After my PE I was finally correctly diagnosed.  Since then I have tried everything to beat PCOS naturally – it’s a battle that I plan to win!

3. I have an unhealthy relationship with food

By ‘unhealthy relationship’ I mean that food is used to celebrate things, to fill a hole when I’m sad and to keep my mouth busy when I’m working.  My extended family still tell stories of when I’d hide and eat chocolates (read: I laugh it off, but its extremely embarrassing and a painful memory).

I”m much better than I was before.  I have to keep reminding myself that food is fuel.  That doesn’t mean that I don’t need to enjoy what I eat, but that does mean I am conscious of everything I put in my mouth, and consious of trying to make sure that what I put in my mouth is whole foods.

I can’t pinpoint why I have this unhealthy relationship with food.  I grew up in a home with a loving and supportive family.  There was no  big and terrible incident.  Maybe it’s because my extended family kept telling me I was fat (keep in mind I remember this from when I was as young as 4 or 5 – I have pictures and no, I wasn’t fat.  I just wasn’t skinny like my cousins); maybe it’s because when I was 10 I went to a family gathering and one of my uncles said I’d put on some weight (as opposed to “hello, how’s school?”); maybe it’s because I’ve been told I’m pretty, but I just need to – yep, you guessed it – lose weight.  Whatever the reason, I have spent my adult life trying to find a way to correct this bad relationship with food.

4. When I don’t see results I lose motivation

Like I mentioned, my body is stubborn and I’ve had a couple of bumps along the way.  My weight was 178lbs when I started with my trainer.  I’m now 236lbs.  This does nothing for my motivation.  My motivation is that the doctor told me that I probably only survived the PE because I had a strong heart.  I only had a strong heart because I had been regularly working out.  I owe exercise my life.  I know that this should be all the motivation I need, but the extra tight clothes (and bigger sizes) make it difficult on a day to day basis.

5. I didn’t discover “Paleo” until this year

I heard about the paleo lifestyle earlier this year and completed Whole30 to kick me off in the right direction.  I had amazing results – more energy, better skin, weight loss and, most importantly, I felt really good.  It’s the first time in my life that I’ve tried to stick to the paleo lifestyle since then.  I know that results won’t be overnight, but it feels like a relief to find a way of eating that doesn’t make me feel deprived (and is extremely tasty!).  It’s also great to know that I’m feeding my body exactly what it needs – good whole nourishing foods.

So, there you have it.  These are my top 5 reasons for still being fat.  I will write a post in the future that gives my top 5 reasons for feeling and looking great after reaching my personal health goals! 🙂