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

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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

 

Weekly Update:Glad to see Spring! March 18, 2011

 

So I’ll fess up now, I had a bit of a re-laps into laziness for a bit there. It was so bad I just completely brushed off my weekly updates. For that I am sorry. I think part of it was that I had a bit of a gain period and I hadn’t fully lost it last week. I don’t think I really wanted to face it. However I am proud do say that I was able to kick myself back into gear and I got a 30 minute workout done this week. Did pretty good to!

 

For those that don’t know, I use my Wii Fit to track my weight and to do my exercise. I like it because it keeps track of everything from your BMI (which is actually a bit more accurate then my Doctors office calculations), it also keeps track of my activity and how much time I spent actually moving.  It then calculates out how many calories you burned. It makes exercising feel less like a chore and more like a fun game. My favorite activity as of late is the 30 minute free ride biking one.  To move you step with your feet on the board just like you would when you are riding a bike.  You work the same muscles but from the comfort of inside your own home which takes away all weather based excuses to avoid the workout.  Not only that but it keeps score for you. It has become my challenge when I do it to do my best to match or beat my high score. This forces me to keep pushing myself and work myself harder and harder. I am also noticing that the more I do it the easier it is to go further. I almost always end with my legs like jelly and exhausted beyond belief but it amazes me that when I started out my high score was 4-5 miles. I was overjoyed when I finally hit seven miles. Now? Well I actually hit 11.4 miles this week.  And on that ride I was shooting for 10.6 miles.  Part of me wonders if I could actually pull that off on a real ride. It might be something I would have to try sometime.

 

Well I have to say that when I hopped onto the scale this morning I was not expecting much. It is a rare day indeed when I show any kind of loss the morning after Aunt Flo rolls in. It’s not uncommon at all for my weight to go stagnant throughout the period.  I was overjoyed and immensely proud of myself when I saw the numbers for the week. It just goes to show myself that if you actually get off your butt and do the work the results will come. (Don’t you just hate it when logic comes back to rub it in your face?)

 

So on to the results for this week:

 

  • This Week: 1.4 pounds down!!!
  • Total Weight Loss: 31.4 pounds down!!!

 

I am very much not ashamed to say that I did a bit of a happy dance around my living room when I saw that number.

 

So dear readers it’s your turn to update me! What is your favorite way to get in exercise? What do you do to kick your butt back into gear when the laziness attacks? How has your week gone?

 

What does 30 pounds look like? March 7, 2011

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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?

 

Weekly Update: Dancing through the Potholes on the Road of Life! February 25, 2011

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Well dear readers my week has been quiet interesting and busy. Due to my birthday on Monday I spent the weekend celebrating with Friends, family and loved ones.  I refused to deprive myself and even caved and brought a few special treats to munch on throughout the week.  I set my expectations low for the scale and relaxed and enjoyed myself knowing that this is a rare occurrence.

 

My birthday was wonderful! It was filled with my wonderful friends and family and some great food. The best part of it all was the beautiful sewing machine that my husband gave me! I have been wanting to learn to sew for the longest time.  He conspired with my friends and family and I now have everything that I need to learn to sew. I am almost done with my first project!

 

But alas, it wouldn’t be my life without a few trips to different doctor’s offices and yet another referral. I had my physical on Tuesday. It was probably a mistake to go in for a physical the day after my birthday but I wasn’t thinking about that when I scheduled my appointment.  So yet again I had all the fun of fasting and giving up 4 vials of blood to the Vampires to test. I was subjected to an EKG and a Breath Test due to my asthma. The EKG was good. The breath test however, came back with results showing I have the lungs of an 84 year old. It is possible that the test was not accurate however I am being referred to a pulmonologist just to be sure.  Oh yeah we also get to tack on yet another medication to help with the asthma.

 

My blood work came back with a mixed bag of results. It would appear that my TSH levels (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) are perfect. Both my general practitioner (GP) and my gynecologist were happy with those numbers. However, apparently my cholesterol levels are still high.

 

My GP wants me to consider medication for it, but my gut tells me strongly not to.  This gut feeling was re enforced when I went to the drug store to pick it up and the pharmacist explained some very likely complications this cholesterol medication would cause with my treatment plan for the PCOS.  Needless to say I have declined the option for this medication.

 

It just goes to show you that when it comes to your medical issues, you can’t just sit back and assume everyone else knows what they are doing 100% of the time. You can’t relax. You have to stay on top of things. Sometimes that might mean you have to get annoying, others it might mean that you have to get stubborn. But always falls back on you to fix the issues of the day.

 

Needless to say, I have been busy this week. Which is frustrating, because it means I haven’t had nearly as much time with my new sewing (to me) machine as I would have liked.  And while I could have easily have let all this negative news get me down I choose not to. I am choosing to focus on the good side of things.  But enough with that. You probably are just sitting there anxious to see the damage all that celebrating did right? I know that I was when I stepped on the scale this morning. It took me a moment to actually peak at the screen and see my numbers for the week.

 

Imagine my absolute shock and surprise when I actually did take a look at the numbers!

 

The Results for the week are:

 

  • This week: 1.1 POUNDS DOWN!!!!!!!!!!!
  • TOTAL WEIGHT LOSS: 30.5 POUNDS DOWN!!!!!!!

 

 

In all honesty, I think that is the best birthday present I could ever give myself! And it goes to show that you can indeed have your cake and lose weight to! I can’t describe how great it feels to finally break through the 30 pound wall. And in just 4-5 pounds more I will officially be out of the obese category! How great is that!

 

So dear readers now is the time I hear from you! How has your week gone?  Anything exciting going on with you?

 

Cautionary Tales and Reading Between the Lines February 24, 2011

 

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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.

 

Weekly Update: Aunt Flo takes a visit….. WILLINGLY! February 18, 2011

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So I am slightly frustrated that I have yet again come so close to reaching my 30 pound mark one week just to yet again swing back the other way slightly. However, there are a lot of factors in play this week and for the most part I feel pretty good.

First of all I woke up Saturday morning to the arrival of Aunt Flo. While usually we women would groan about that for me it was a rather good sign.  The royal mess up of blood work from a few weeks back had my doctor’s office swearing that there was no chance for a period this month and said I might as well go forward with a 5 day round of Provera .  However my spidey senses were tingling and despite the nurse’s confident assurances that the 5 day delay in taking the blood had nothing to do with the resulting low numbers, I had a feeling that there was a strong possibility that they were wrong and that the pregnancy like symptoms I had been experiencing were just a very strong PMS reaction due to the fact that this was my first naturally induced period in over a year.  Needless to say my skepticism paid off and Aunt Flo arrived upon her own accord on Saturday.  Boy was it nice to see her arrive willingly!

So on top of the fact that I have been on my period (and have always shown a gain the weeks were that occurs), we also had Valentine’s Day.  And Lastly I have been rather busy this week running errands and doing chores getting ready for my Birthday Party tomorrow night. (My Actual Birthday is Monday.) And when I haven’t been doing chores I have been outside enjoying my wonderful Birthday weather!  So I haven’t been able to get my usual workout in.

So what were my numbers this week?

  • This Week: 0.2 pound Gain
  • Total Weight Loss: 29.6 pounds down

Overall, it’s not too bad all considering.  Especially considering that usually when I have a week of Period Gain the spike is a lot more significant than 0.2 pounds.  I almost don’t even count numbers that small as a  gain.  So this weekend is my Birthday celebrations, and because of that I am not expecting much next week on the scale.  But I did learn from Christmas. This year instead of going to Costco for large amounts of over-processed crap, I went to my favorite little sandwich place that does some catering and have placed my order to let them prepare everything. It turned out a bit cheaper and it will be significantly better quality and will taste miles better. I even get the added bonus of not having to bake everything and deal with a dirty kitchen with guests arriving. I get to just sit back relax and be the Birthday girl.  I have to say it’s a win all around.  Not to mention that this place is always great about proper portions so by just giving them my head count they helped to ensure just enough food. This makes me less likely to have portion control issues.  It also leaves me with fewer leftovers after everything is all said and done. And while some of you might not see this as a good thing, it actually is.

So readers, anybody else have exciting plans for the weekend?