You are currently browsing the monthly archive for October 2010.

We’re down visiting my parents this weekend.  Jude has been an absolute beast.  He was WILD after we got in last night and stayed up until 1:30 am, I think his personal record.  He is going through a really trying phase right now and he’s an even worse traveler than normal.  My patience as a Mom is being tested in new and surprising ways.

We’re also here to attend a Halloween/birthday party for my cousin’s son.  At the party tonight, I was proud of myself for only having a few chips and dip and a little Snickers bar despite the copious amounts of goodies everywhere you looked.

I want to also add that I had one of those rare, ” I look really good” days.  I felt and looked thin and toned.  My jeans fit right and with less muffin top.  My face is clear.  This is the feeling that I am constantly chasing after.   It feels good to catch it, even if just for today.

Exercise – 30 minutes of fast walking outside

Mind/Body – The only relaxation I got today was while walking.  Jude took a long nap and I got a needed break from him even though I was working on lots of things (like last minute Halloween costumes).

Diet – away from home, so did not weigh

Breakfast – black/green tea with milk, 2 fried eggs, 2 chicken breakfast sausages, and 1 scoop cottage cheese.

Lunch – medium sized salad with roasted chicken, veggies, and apple and apple cider vinaigrette with multi-grain crackers.

Dinner – small bow of leftover chicken/veggie soup, cottage cheese, 4-5 gluten free crackers, small wedge of salmon and egg pie (my dad’s concoction)

Snacks – 1/2 grapefruit, handful of raw almonds, slice of cheese and multi-grain crackers, one fun size Snickers bar, 4-5 corn tortilla chips topped with cheese dip


Woke up with a splitting headache.  I was able to relieve it with Advil, but I felt extremely tired with malaise today, and that is not usual for me anymore.  My husband was still feeling bad from the family cold yesterday, so perhaps I still have some residual ickies too, despite several days of remission.  Jude is still not 100% either, so I suppose it could be the lingering virus.  In my hope of hopes, it’s ovulation brewing. I notoriously feel head-achy and sick with it.

I need to report that my skin looks very nearly perfect right now.  I am thrilled!!  My in-depth acne update is coming soon.

I also forgot to mention that my acupuncturist added a new supplement, Standard Process – Symplex F, to aid in ovulation when I saw her this week.  Since I never ovulated with the help of Ovatrophin PMG last month, Symplex F will replace it this go around.  I will note this on my PCOS Supplement Regimen page as well so it’s documented.

Exercise – none.  felt bad today

Mind/Body – Working on this blog for a few minutes was the closest I got to Zen today.  Busy, busy!!

Diet – forgot to weigh

Breakfast – black/green/spearmint tea with milk, 2 fried eggs, 2 chicken breakfast sausages, and 1 scoop cottage cheese (which Jude ate most of).

Lunch – Leftover lamb/veggie stew (no lamb left in it), gluten free crackers and almond butter, 2 roasted chicken tenders.

Dinner – leftover fajita lettuce roll-up from last night (x2)

Snacks – 1/2 grapefruit, handful of raw pecans, red plum and a handful of pecans and macadamias

Spent most of my free time today working on Halloween costumes and getting things ready to go out of town tomorrow.  I made a list a mile long and worked really hard to put a big dent in it so there is not too much left for last minute.  With all of the supplements and special diet additions, it’s incredible hard to leave the house for a few days.  Lots of preparation!

I was bad about eating my snacks today and pushed my limits a bit.  I have a hard time stopping when I’m on a task and I need to remember how this makes me feel when I neglect my eating.  I spun around this house like a top until I was exhausted and fell into bed.  Thankfully, most days I have more time to take care of myself AND maintain order around here.

Exercise – Self: Slim and Sleek Fast DVD – about 40 minutes with 3 lb. weights

Mind/Body – not much today

Diet – 113.5 lbs

Breakfast – half portion of gluten free oatmeal with 1 tsp almond butter, 3 ozs. greek yogurt, 1/4 tsp. raw honey, and a splash of milk.

Lunch – Chicken/veggie/lentil soup with whole grain crackers.

Dinner – Butter lettuce wrapper “fajitas”with lime/garlic marinated sliced beef, sauteed bell pepper and onions, shredded cheddar cheese, sliced avocado, and sour cream.  Slow cooked black beans on the side topped with crumbled goat’s Feta and cilantro.

Snacks – I can’t remember any.  Got too busy, I guess.

Writing from the backyard today while Jude plays.  It’s a wonderfully cool morning in Austin.

I have had an interest in the whole spirituality/self-help book genre for many years now, and I particularly found these books to be helpful and comforting in the grief filled days following the loss of our precious first baby and the many months of infertility following.  I’ve been revisiting a few of these books lately, enjoying a chapter as I soak in the tub after my work-outs, and I’m struck at how different they read in my now, post-Jude’s birth, life.  I have read the Power of Intention by Dr. Wayne Dyer three times now.  The first time while I was still working in an office in NYC and having work conflicts.  The second time was when we were trying to conceive again after loss.  I just finished the book for the third time, and this round I read it with this experiment and my PCOS health goals in mind.  I don’t think I’ve ever been in such a good place when reading it and it seems to have better soaked in, like I was finally ready for it.  I think it’s natural to seek guidance when going through a hard time in life, and those are the times that I reach out for my books and self-care aids.  Then once I am over that problem, I kind of forget about it all.  This is the first time in my life that I am incorporating all of my tools (books, meditation, exercise, being outdoors, whole/clean eating, aromatherapy, etc.) in my regular, old, non-crisis life.  It feels like adding the right accessories to an outfit – the perfect and beautiful little additions that makes life worth living.  These are the things that keep a Mommy from blending right into the Elmo colored background.

Exercise – The Trainer’s Edge: Integrated Strength Training with Jeffrey Scott, about 40 minutes with 3 lb. weights.

Mind/Body – Just as I was reclining in an Epsom salt bath, Jude bust into the bathroom crying and looking for me.  He was content to play in the bubbles for a while, so I got a little more soaking time, but my me time was pretty short today.

Diet – 113.5 lbs (lost a few from my cold)

Breakfast – black/green/spearmint tea with milk, 2 fried eggs, 2 chicken breakfast sausages, 1 scoop cottage cheese

Lunch – chicken/veggie soup with multi-grain crackers

Dinner – leftovers: salmon croquettes, asparagus, roasted leeks/fennel/beets, lamb stew

Snacks – 1/2 plum and handful of raw almonds, green/spearmint tea with milk

Feeling better today for the most part and was finally able to get back to working-out.  It’s been driving me nuts that I had a 3 day dry spell since the last time I exercised and I’ve been worried than I would lose my endurance and have to build it up slowly again.  There was nothing to be concerned about though because it was as if I had not missed a day.

I remembered today the past attempts I’ve made over the years to get my PCOS in control and to make healthy and lasting changes for myself.  I would go about it very similarly to what I am doing right now, but my enthusiasm would quickly fade and I would go right back to the same old habits and routines that kept me from my health goals to start with.  I’ve been wondering what is different this go around and it occurred to me that I have finally learned the kind of self-discipline that comes with maturity.  And for me, complete maturity finally came to me when I had Jude and I was no longer simply living for myself.  I’ve grown more as a person than I thought was possible since becoming a Mom and I’ve had more than my share of Mommy hurdles to jump.  I’ve taken this personal growth and used it to change my health for the better.  Sure makes all of the hardships worth a lot.

Exercise – Crunch: Burn and Firm Pilates DVD with 3lb. weights

Mind/Body – Hot Epsom salt bath with lavender essential oil.  Read a few articles in a magazine while I soaked.

Diet – 114 lbs.

Breakfast – black/green/spearmint tea with milk, 2 fried eggs, 2 chicken breakfast sausages, 1 scoop of cottage cheese

Lunch – Chicken soup with tons of veggies and some leftover lentils.

Dinner – Creamy lamb stew with butternut squash, parsnips, and thyme.

Snacks – half a plum and a handful of raw almonds, half a grapefruit and a handful of raw macadamia nuts

Woke up feeling pretty puny again with this cold.  My husband, also sick, decided to work from home so he could blow his nose in peace.  Jude had his first real day of eating since he fell ill and that was a relief to see since he’s had only milk for days.  I have been stressing over and dreading his 18 month check-up since this last teething episode started, and it did end up being quite stressful today.  Jude screamed the whole time and I broke out in a flop sweat trying to control the situation.  It ended on a high note though, and I felt like a mama-warrior for standing my ground and advocating for my poor baby.

My acne is finally looking better.  I’ve been better about implementing my natural acne experiment regimen lately and refining it a little, and I think it’s working!!  Last Friday, I also started taking triple the amount of fish oil than I usually take after noticing from a few online sources that I could be taking much more than I have been.  Fish oil is supposed to really help with PCOS acne, so perhaps that is working too.   I’m going to give it a few more weeks before I do an official report, but I just wanted to make a note of it here.  Yay!!!!

Exercise – Still not feeling well enough.  I am really missing being able to work-out.  It usually gives me such a sense of accomplishment and I need the stress relief, especially on days like today.  I’m hoping my cold allows me to get back at it tomorrow.

Mind/Body – Got a few minutes of reading and writing at nap and before bed, but that was about it.

Diet – 114 lbs.

Breakfast – small latte, 2 fried eggs, 2 chicken breakfast sausages, 1 scoop of cottage cheese

Lunch – Chicken soup with tons of veggies and some leftover lentils.  I made this to help nurse our colds.

Dinner – Fresh salmon croquettes (made up a new recipe and they were insanely good – so much better than canned salmon), pan roasted asparagus, leftover fresh purple hull peas from last night.

Snacks – 1/2 apple and a handful of raw almonds, green tea with milk

I’ve now completed the second month of my PCOS experiment.  Building on the momentum I started during the first month, I’ve made even more progress.  Beginning at about the 6 week mark, I began to start actually looking forward to exercise and I know now that I can call working-out a habit.  This has fulfilled a lifelong goal of incorporating regular exercise into my life, something I have never been successful with ever before.  On the odd day that I am not able to work-out, I really miss it!

My body has continued to get firmer and smaller, despite not losing any additional pounds.  I can easily see and feel muscle definition in all muscle groups of my body.   I can now safely say that it IS possible to gain muscle and lose fat at the same time and not have the scale budge at all.  Some online sources say that women could never build muscle fast enough to have this happen, but as we all know by now, women with PCOS are different!  See my body measurement comparison below if you don’t believe me.   I only started taking my body measurements on 10/7/10, a little over 2 weeks ago, so my results are not complete for the month report, but I will measure monthly for the remainder of this experiment.  I was astonished by my preliminary results though!

One of the biggest developments has been in regards to the way my abdomen looks and feels after meals.  My post-meal bloat had really improved during the first month, but this month things have gotten even better.  I can eat a full meal without my stomach swelling at all or appearing thicker.   I would often look pregnant after eating before starting this experiment and this would adversely affect my self-esteem on a daily basis.  This problem is completely gone and I’m going to wager a guess that it’s because I am healing my insulin resistance since central weight gain is a common symptom.  See the reduction in my waist measurements below.

The other most pronounced change that has happened this month is an almost complete recovery from my daily bouts of hypoglycemia.  I read an interesting article on that finally explained to me how my hypoglycemia is related to PCOS.  I had always thought that Cysters were supposed to be fighting high blood sugar and so my own low blood sugar was a mystery to me.  Here’s a little excerpt from the article.  “One of the first things that happens with PCOS, before you develop full blown insulin resistance, is hyperinsulinemia (elevated insulin levels).  This extra insulin is always in the blood, which means you may have more of a tendency than average to experience drops in blood glucose.” Now that I know how it all works,  I feel an even greater sense of accomplishment that I have taken a step in reducing my increased risk for diabetes.

I have continued to feel stronger emotionally and my ability to handle stress well has increased more this month.  I am able to handle many tasks at once and juggle the demands of being a mom with my own health and wellness needs.  It’s been a very difficult month for my son and without this experiment to keep me on track, I might have thrown in the towel a handful of times.

Let’s take a look back at the success criteria for this 6 month experiment, noting my progress:

1) Ovulation and Menstruation – I have not detected ovulation yet based on taking my basal temperatures each morning.  I have had major ovarian twinges and sharp pains a few times this month along with other ovulation signs and symptoms, but for some reason, my body just cannot do it.  I’ve also had a few days throughout this month where I have had some very light spotting, but no period.  I’ve never had any sort of spotting before that was not associated with my period, so this is quite unusual.  We are still actively trying to stimulate ovulation at acupuncture each week along with taking my supplement regimen to regulate my cycles.  This goal is still a work in progress.

2) Stable weight and body measurements – I have maintained my weight (within a 1-2 lb. fluctuation) the entire month and my body measurements have only gone down, which obviously I don’t mind.  My mid-section is not bloated and I have been able to wear the same size (or smaller) clothing throughout the month.  This goal is more than accomplished!

3) Little or no acne – Last month I was experiencing quite bad hormonal chin acne for the first time in my life, but after my acupuncturist added B6-Niacinamide to my supplement regimen on 9/28/10, that has stopped.  I am still breaking out like usual on various areas of my face though.  I wrote an acne blog post earlier this month, on 10/10, where I talk about all of the natural remedies that I’m experimenting with to help my acne.  I will be updating that post with more in depth progress in a few weeks.  Again, I think I will probably not see major improvement in my acne until I have a regular cycle, and that might still be a while.  This goal is still a work in progress.

4) Stable and positive emotions – Considering what a stressful and complicated month it’s been, I have come through on the other side of it as strong and confident as ever.  This new found positivity is gaining momentum and I’m able to have a good day even when things are not technically going well externally.  I still need to work on occasional angry and bitchy hormonal outbursts, but I have faith that these will resolve completely before long.   I am going to call this goal accomplished for now!

Body Measurements:

1) Natural waist:
a- 27″ on 10/7
b- 26″ on 10/23

2) Lower abdomen (around fattest part of tummy):
a- 32″on 10/7
b- 29 1/2″ on 10/23

3) Lower hips (around largest part of butt):
a- 35.75″ on 10/7
b- 35″ on 10/23

4) Individual thigh circumference (around thickest part of one thigh):
a- 20 3/4″ on 10/7
b- 19 3/4″ on 10/23

Woke up feeling worse today – very sore throat, runny nose, painful sinuses, and general malaise.  Jude is not feeling well either, or my husband for that matter, so it’s been a rough day around the Womack household.  The one highlight was a request for pancakes.  I balanced the inherently high carbohydrate content of pancakes and syrup with a fried egg and two chicken breakfast sausage links and it did not seem to spike my blood sugar much, if at all.  I also kept my portion small and in control and was very judicious with my syrup usage.  It’s nice to know that I can enjoy a carby treat every once in a while and not get sent back to square one.

I published my Second Month PCOS Progress Report today.  Check it out!

Exercise – Short walk, but did not feel well enough to continue

Mind/Body – At the very end of the day and once Jude was asleep for the night, I enjoyed a nice steamy Epsom salt bath and was able to read a whole chapter of my book in peace.  It felt wonderful!

Diet – forgot to weigh

Breakfast – small latte, 1 fried egg, 2 chicken breakfast sausages, 2 small/med gluten free pancakes with butter and organic maple syrup.

Lunch – leftovers: pork loin with onion and grapes, white beans, two grilled shrimp, and shredded Brussels sprouts.

Dinner – Half a grilled NY strip steak, oven roasted golden beets/leeks/fennel, fresh purple hull peas

Snacks – 2 glasses of water with a large splash of apricot nectar – low appetite from illness

Today marks the second month anniversary for this experiment.  We were out of town visiting my in-laws most of the day and so no exercise and two meals of restaurant food that I am hoping did not set me back too far.  My father in law commented on how thin I looked upon first seeing him, so that’s always nice.  On the way home I started feeling quite ill, with a sore throat and fiery sinuses.  Jude was absolutely impossible while we were gone (and yesterday as well) and I was fairly exasperated with him until I realized that he had probably been feeling the same symptoms for the last few days that I was just getting.  My husband is now feeling puny as well, so I assume it’s a family wide cold or horrible hay fever from a record breaking ragweed season here in Austin.

I will be writing and posting my second Monthly Progress Report shortly.

Exercise – on the road and out of town

Mind/Body – none to speak of

Diet – 115 lbs.

Breakfast – black/green tea with milk, 1 fried egg, 2 chicken breakfast sausages, 1 scoop cottage cheese

Lunch – Cobb salad from a restaurant – greens, bacon, boiled egg, blue cheese, grilled chicken, avocado, tomato – no dressing

Dinner – restaurant meal as well – 2 chicken enchiladas with ranchero sauce and a side of refried beans, 2 or 3 tortilla chips with salsa, 1/8th of a glass of red wine

Snacks – iced green tea with milk, small cup of coffee with milk

Some days I can feel the blessings in my life so distinctly.  I usually feel this way when everything is going my way, but today that’s not the case.  Jude would not eat anything I fixed for him, had a runny nose and diarrhea, and screamed from epic diaper rash every time I changed him, but yet I felt the sun shining on me all day anyway.  I wish I could bottle this un-squash-able sense of well being.

Exercise – Crunch: Burn and Firm Pilates  DVD with 3 lb. weights

Mind/Body – Nice and relaxing Epsom salt bath with lavender essential oil.  Read a really enlightening chapter in my book and was inspired for the rest of the day.

Diet – 115 lbs.

Breakfast – black and green tea with milk, 2 fried eggs, 2 chicken breakfast sausages, 1 scoop of cottage cheese

Lunch – Huge salad with roasted chicken, veggies, fruit, and cheese with homemade apple cider vinaigrette and multi-grain crackers

Dinner – Roasted pork loin with sauteed black grapes, Vidalia onions, and balsamic reduction.  Wilted spinach with crock-pot white beans.  Very small glass of red wine.

Snacks – 1/2 black plum, handful of raw almonds, 1/2 almond Bumble bar