The Graceful Skinny

A homeschool mom of one sharing my thoughts, curriculum reviews, organization techniques, and planning ideas with others in the homeschool community.

Happiness All Around! January 6, 2012

Baby @ 9 weeks

 

I am pleased to announce that after two long years of trying, I get to now share the happy news that…. I’M PREGNANT!!!!!!!!! Over the life of this blog I have made subtle hints to the fact that we were actively trying for a child.  Many of the tests and medications I have been put on through this time have been in relation to solving the fertility issues that go along with PCOS and Hashimotos. .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Weekly Update: Getting back to the Swing of Things May 6, 2011

Getting back into the Swing of things, monkey, zoo, weight loss bloh The Graceful Skinny

I have decided that I am going to flat out refuse to let this wall that I recently splat against take me down.  It may have taken most of a month and practically 10 pounds to do it but there you go.  I have already lost about 4.4 pounds since my doctor’s visit last week.

After realizing the amount of weight that I was starting to gain I went through a mired of emotions.  I will be honest here and admit that I came very close to letting myself succumb to the helplessness and dejected feelings. But then I started noticing that not only was I not helping myself, but I was re-gaining the weight and fast.  I realized that if I didn’t snap out of it soon I was going to be starting back at the beginning of this whole process all over again. I couldn’t let myself do that.

So I have decided that I am getting myself over this stupid wall even if it’s the last thing I do.  I am going to make this happen! And today, for the first time in month and a half I got in my 30 minute biking activity in on my Wii Fit.  I didn’t hit the same top mileage that I was hitting but today’s score was within the top 4, which is a bit better then what I set out to do for the day.  I knew it was going to be hard so when I started I set a goal to at least make sure my mileage made the top 15 scores.

Imagine my surprise though when I got halfway through my workout and realized that I had missed it. I finally get how people say they enjoy their workouts, because to be honest, I have never really understood that before now. I mean really, who actually finds themselves actually enjoying the all out exhaustion and sweaty grossness that you get from workouts? Well, much to my surprise, me apparently. There is something truly gratifying about taking things into your own hand and taking control over the mess that is your weight. There is a message that the work out speaks.  The workout acts like a microphone that announces to the world and yourself that you are going to refuse to stand down and let the fat and the pounds win. I not only can do this, I am doing this! I can lose this weight and it is going to come off.

So to all of you out there struggling or feeling defeated like me, join me in the rebellion! Don’t let this crap win. We CAN do this and we WILL do this! And in the end, we will feel so much better because of it!

 

A deeper look into the medical issues in my life- Part 2: Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis April 18, 2011

the gracefulskinny weight loss blog hashimotos thyroidits conditions

Whenever I hear the name Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis I always get a mental image of some crazed samurai randomly attacking my thyroid gland. In reality that image is not too far off from what is actually happening.

Essentially Hashimoto’s is an auto-immune disease in which your auto immune system randomly decides that it doesn’t like the thyroid anymore and then attacks it every so often. This causes the thyroid to go crazy.

During an attack your thyroid is likely to go into overdrive occasionally causing Hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism happens when there is too much thyroid hormones (T3 and T4) being released meaning that your Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) levels are too low.

Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism are as follows:

  • Heat intolerance
  • Increased Metabolism (This will make you more likely to lose weight and less likely to gain.)
  • Frequent and or loose bowel movements
  • Thinning of hair
  • Change in Appetite
  • Fatigue

After an attack your thyroid shuts down and doesn’t work as well. This causes Hypothyroidism. Your thyroid becomes hypo when the thyroid is under producing the thyroid hormones (T3 and T4). This causes your body to over produce the TSH in order to try to get more T3 and T4.  This is why when the vampires (lab technicians) draw blood to test your levels they look at the TSH levels.  When your TSH levels are high that means that your thyroid levels are too low.

Symptoms of Hypothyroidism are as follows:

  • Cold Intolerance
  • Decreased Metabolism
  • Weight Gain and/or a significant struggle to lose weight
  • Fatigue
  • Drowsiness
  • Difficulty Concentrating
  • Dry Skin, Hair & Nails
  • Constipation

Over all it is easy to manage with proper medication and regular monitoring.  It might take a while for the doctors to find the right level of medication for you but once they do Hashimoto’s becomes more manageable.

Things to look out for with Hashimoto’s:

  • Hashimoto’s and other thyroid diseases are very commonly linked with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
  • It is not uncommon for Hashimoto’s to cause Nodules to form every now and then.  I have been told that they are mostly harmless and just a part of the disease but you never know.
  • Stress and weight can be contributing factors.

Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis while not commonly known about is actually the most common form of Thyroid disease.  It is estimated that it affects about 14 MILLION Americans and that it is seven times more likely to affect women then it is to affect men.

Celebrities with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis:

  • Kim Cattrall
  • Jillian Michaels
  • Linda Ronstadt (musician)
  • Nia Vardalos (actress/writer)
  • Oprah Winfrey

Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis can sound scary and overwhelming when you are first diagnosed but once you become familiar with what you are dealing with it becomes very manageable.

Websites that I have found useful in dealing with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis:

You can find Part 1 of my Medical conditions series HERE

 

What does 30 pounds look like? March 7, 2011

"Rachael" Gracegul Skinny weight loss diet blog medical conditions thyroid issues PCOS

In honor of FINALLY hitting the 30 pound down mark I thought I would take a chance to celebrate with what has become one of my favorite things about this blog.  That’s right folks! It’s another round of what does the weight look like!

So what is thirty pounds?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.

 

30 pounds down weight loss graceful skinny blog

 

 

My new Sewing Machine! This baby rings in at whooping 33 pounds. It’s heavy enough that my family has made it a rule that I am not allowed to carry it on the stairs. The first time I tried to pick it up it took me 3 times because it wouldn’t even move the first few.

 

Just think and I have been carrying that around! Crazy!

 

 

 

 

 

2.

 

 

What does 30 Pounds Look Like? Weight loss blog The Graceful skinny diet

 

If we talk in terms of Butter we are looking at 120.5 sticks of butter!  That’s more butter then even Paula Dean could cook with! Can you imagine walking around carrying 120.5 sticks of butter? I sure can’t! Yet, that is what I’ve been doing! I can’t believe it!

 

 

 

 

 

3.

What does 30 pounds look like? Thirty Pounds weight loss blog the graceful skinny

 

If we calculated out into M&M’s that would be 150,000 M&Ms! Holy cow that’s a lot of chocolate!

 

 

 

So now it’s your turn dear readers! What objects can you come up with that are 30 pounds?

 

Cautionary Tales and Reading Between the Lines February 24, 2011

 

Caution diet "Weight loss" "Thyroid issues" "medical issues" hernia IBS PCOS "Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome" blog life lifestyle "corn sugar" myths "diet myths and facts"

 

 

So here on my blog I have no problems sharing my view point and all that I have learned. This is especially true when it comes to High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS).  But recently I was watching some tv with one of the kids that I nanny and yet another of those stupid “Corn Sugar” adds came on.  Well, this ad and my skeptical annoyance at it raised the curiosity of the teen and she decided to poke around and investigate further.

 

In her poking she found the following website that can be found HERE .

 

At first glance my alarm bells started going off. It is very apparent that this is a commercially produced blog like sight. Yet when we looked for a name to see who runs the site we found that it is run by some official looking agency called The Center for Consumer Freedom. Their website can be found HERE .

 

They raise interesting claims that all of the hype about HFCS is false.  And on the Sweet Scam site under the Myths and Facts Section there are a lot of very broad statements about what is myth and very specific word bending with the counter point facts.

 

Still the sites do bring up the question, who in the end is right and how much of what they say is indeed true?

 

The big key for me is both sites repeated statements of any sweetener is fine moderation.  But the big issue here is, HFCS has found its way into every food imaginable.  It’s in so much that if you don’t do your very best to avoid it you quickly become inundated with this said harmless “Corn Sugar”. To avoid this junk all together you either have to spend a fortune buying expensive high end organics or you starve.  And for someone on my kind of budget high end anything really just isn’t an option for daily life.  You have to fight for moderation.

 

So dear readers, what are your thoughts on sites like these? In your opinion who is indeed the real “sweet scam”?

 

I for one will take the words of caution from my many doctors and my nutritionist as well as the many articles I have found myself, including an article done by Princeton. (If you missed that Blog post, you can find it HERE . The more I look into these new sites the more I see the falsity in them.

 

My Christmas Battle Plan! December 22, 2010

With the count downs nearing zero I know that I am not the only one with the challenges of weight loss on my mind. In the months since I have changed my diet I have learned that in situations like the holidays, the route to best success is to have a plan of action.  If you go in knowing what to expect then you are better likely to find success.

So what is my battle plan for Christmas?

I have come to terms with Reality and the Facts of Life

So in light of all of the events of Christmas colliding with my body’s adjustment period for the new meds I am setting my sites low. It is not realistic to expect me to show significant weight loss with these factors coming into play. I may gain this week. I can be okay with that.

 

I will NOT ignore my regular check ins

My ensuring that I still have to step on the scale and post up my results for the week no matter how I have done I am re-enforcing my need to stay on track. It may be Christmas, but that does not mean that I have to throw EVERYTHING out the window because of it.

 

I CAN make good choices and still indulge in the Christmas goodies

I feel I am saying this a lot lately, but it doesn’t change its truth. I have CHANGED my diet; I am not ON a diet.  That subtle difference is the key to everything. Going ON a diet is not a permanent, at some point I will go off. My change in diet is forever. It is not realistic to expect me to never indulge in the goodies of Christmas ever again. Instead I will make good choices where I can not worry about the times where I can’t.  It is all about portion control.

 

I will NOT skip meals

I am realizing more and more the dangerous effects of skipping meals. Not only does it make you feel crappy but extreme hunger makes your thought process foggy and increases the chances of a bad decision.

 

I WILL remember that Christmas is not about the food

While the food does make Christmas that much more special, the real reason Christmas is so great is because it means spending time with friends and loved ones. I don’t need to be eating to enjoy that.

 

And finally,

 

I WILL NOT let the stress of the season get to me

Letting myself get stressed will get me nowhere but sick. I will stay relaxed and enjoy myself without over taxing me or my husband.  I will remember that God is in control and take a deep breath and relax.

I am hoping that with these tactics in play that I will be successful at having the best possible holiday that I can.  Have you thought of what YOUR battle plan is going to be?

 

I Laugh In The Face of Illness! December 15, 2010

 

 

 

 

 

There are so many people who are so confused when they see me laughing and joking about bad news. So why do I laugh?  I laugh so I don’t cry. Because if I did not laugh the only other option is to let the stress get to me and cause more issues.  I laugh because everything is always easier to handle if you throw a joke at it. I have always felt that laughter was good for us, but recently I have come across an article that verified just how good laughter is for us.

 

Did you know that laughter doesn’t just affect us mentally but it has physical benefits as well? Apparently when we laugh it not only increases serotonin but it also decreases stress hormones. By decreasing our stress hormones our immune system works better.  Laughter also improves the heart by increasing blood flow and helping to decrease cholesterol and blood pressure.

 

It also works your stomach. And because it takes muscles to laugh and smile you are burning calories while you boost your mood.

 

I have found that it is just so much easier to keep a clear head and deal with all that is coming at me when I can find a way to laugh at it.  Don’t let yourself fall into the trap of stress. Laugh your way out and life will look so much better.  I promise!

 

So while you are going through all of the stress of Christmas Craziness, give it a try. Let out a laugh. You will be amazed at how much better you will feel.