Tag Archives: weight loss

I have it… and 1 in 5 of you will have it too

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is the most common hormonal disorder affecting Australian women.  1 in 5 women have it but a shocking 70% of women have no idea.

PCOS can cause acne, weight gain and excessive body hair.  Most women are too embarassed about seeing a doctor about any of these conditions so they are left untreated.  PCOS also carries an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and endometrial cancer and it also a leading cause of infertility.

Unfortunately, when women do end up going to the doctor, their symptoms are treated individually rather than investigating the underlying problem.  Personally, I went to the doctor several times spanning over a few years trying to get to the bottom of my weight problem.  Instead of looking into any possible hormonal issues I was advised to try Xenical (a horrible weight loss drug), exercise more and eat less.  Eventually a doctor advised I see a nutritionist and it was only then that the nutritionist suggested I get tested for PCOS.

PCOS is a confusing syndrome.  Not all sufferers have cysts on their ovaries and some women who do have cysts do not have PCOS.  In Australia you must have at least 2 of the following to be diagnosed with PCOS:

1. Infrequent or absent periods

2. High blood levels of male hormones or visible signs of facial hair, acne and male pattern balding

3. Ovarian cysts which show up on an ultrasound

If you have any of the above it is important that you see a doctor as they can offer you treatment which will in turn lead to a better quality of life and prevention of future diseases.

A few common theories around what causes PCOS are insulin resistance (which I have a mild case of) and high levels of male hormones.  Importantly, not all women who have PCOS have insulin resistance nor do they all have high levels of male hormones.  Another cause could possibly be genetics.

Sadly, 50% of PCOS sufferers are overweight or obese.  Overweight PCOS women rather than thinner PCOS women are at a greater risk of developing diabetes, heart disease and metabolic syndromes.  Therefore it is especially important to reduce body weight (hence my my own weight loss journey!).

Evidence has been reported in the American Journal of Sports Medicine that if a women sheds fat (in particular around her middle) she significantly lowers her insulin resistance and therefore may start ovulating as well.  Losing just 5% of total body weight decreases insulin and testosterone levels and can improve excess hair and acne.  Also it will give fertility a mighty boost.

It’s not easy though.  Many PCOS women report that after dieting solidly and working out regularly they lost minimal weight in comparison to what their non-PCOS counterparts would lose.   This rings true with me as well as according to the diet and exercise regime I follow I should be losing a lot more weight at a much quicker pace.   This is because insulin promotes fat storage in the body.  Unfortunately, experts say that there isn’t enough evidence that PCOS makes losing weight harder but I would like to invite them to live a day in my shoes and see what they think after that! There has been recent evidence though that fat tissue (which secretes hormones that influence metabolism and appetite) acts differently in PCOS women regardless of their weight.  Hopefully this will lead to further discoveries in this area.

After many failed weight loss attempts I finally signed up with a good trainer who is knowledgeable in the field of womens health.  She suggested I stop taking the pill.  This seemed to be a good first step as slowly the weight started to shift.  It’s not at a fast pace but I believe the key to keeping weight off for good is to do it slowly.

PCOS is extremely frustrating no matter what your symptoms are – infertility, weight, acne or excess hair – however with the right diet (low GI, fresh and whole foods), medical support and adequate exercise you could reveal the key to happier and more fulfilling life.

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Say no to yo-yo dieting!

Another excerpt from a great little article that I came across in Good Health magazine.  It really is a wealth of knowledge.  I do recommend you start buying it.  And I do recommend they start paying me for endorsing it.

Alternating between depriving yourself of food and bingeing leads to overeating, anxiety and addictive behavior, says The Stripps Research Institute Scientists.   I can’t tell you how much that has rung true for me.  Anxiety and addictive behaviour had a huge impact on my life so it was very interesting to know the links between food deprivation and these behaviours.   Read on…

They found rats alternating between a bland and high sugar diet began bingeing on sweet food while rejecting the healthier options.  On top of that, their erratic eating habits activated a stress gene in their brains leading to withdrawal like behaviours found in drug addiction.

Overall it is better to stick to a long-term eating plan than dieting on and off.

1. Ditch unrealistic goals

Sustained weight loss is achieved at a steady rate of 1/2kg to 1kg a week.  Sure, those diets that claim to shed 5kg in 2 days (Lemon Detox anyone?  Barf) might be tempting but the loss will not be sustained and you will end up the same weight as before (and then some!) as soon as you return to your normal eating pattern.

2. Take small steps

Adopt one healthy eating behaviour every week, whether it be starting a food diary (try www.calorieking.com.au), using smaller plates (portion control people!) or packing your own lunch.

3. Don’t be TOO restrictive

If you eat well most of the time it’s perfectly fine to enjoy a little of your favourite foods from time to time.  Yes, that’s right, a little.  This does not mean eat a weeks worth of food in one sitting (forgive me body for I have sinned!) nor does it mean rewarding yourself with food (cut to me eating ice cream because I worked so HARD at the gym! Bad Amanda, bad!).  I’m happy to report I now enjoy a little of my favourite foods from time to time.  😉

Music time!  New NERD album out June 15th.  First single – Hot n Fun feat. Nelly Furtado.  Getting me amped up for my first hip hop class tonight!  Yeah!

Dropping cm’s like they’re HOT

Great news today dear followers!  I am totally dropping centimeters like they are HOTTTT. Got my new measurements this morning.  Another 1.5cm from the shoulders, 3.5cm from the bust (implants anyone??), no change for waist, 3cm from the navel, 1cm from the arms, 1cm from the hips, 1.5cm from the upper thigh (my most hated area!) and no change for mid thigh.

Let’s total that shall we?!

SHOULDER: -3cm

CHEST: -5cm

WAIST: -1.5cm

NAVEL: -5cm

ARM: -1cm

HIPS: -2cm

UPPER THIGH: -1.5cm

MID THIGH: same

I’ve also lost more weight since my last post and am now 600g away from my first goal!!  I’m so close I can SMELL it.  I can’t wait till the day comes (hopefully very soon) where I can look down and see a number I have not seen in YEARS.  It really is going to be one of the best days of my life – besides the marriage to my dear husband, of course!

I am on a high right now.  It finally feels like things are falling in to place.  I have to say I owe a lot to my fantastic trainer who has really helped me stay motivated and think outside of the square (www.newoutlookfitness.com.au – are you happy NAT??).

On a totally unrelated note, last night at soccer I got hit in the same poor breasticle not once, but TWICE.  Purple nurple anyone?  Ouch.

Okay!  That’s about all from me today!  Have a great long weekend everyone!

When the pimps in the crib ma…

Still going strong!

Quick update as I haven’t had a chance to write over the last few days! Been busier than a bee! Bees are notoriously known for their busy nature I hear.

So I’m still going hard at it, training 6 sessions a week and eating good healthy food! Had to miss soccer last week on account of the crappy ankle so that sucked. Oh and we lost. But the margins are getting smaller so that’s something! Here’s hoping I can play this week. Ankle is feeling a lot better so fingers crossed!

I’ve managed to keep that kilo off! I’m pleasantly surprised and hoping for more pleasant surprises at the end of this week! Melt baby melt! The measurements went really well too. 2cm from around the shoulders, 1.5cm from the bust (fare thee well bountiful bossom!), 1.5cm from the waist and 2cm from around the navel. So that’s a good start! No loss from legs or arms yet but I do feel them getting stronger and more toned.

This weekend is Easter. The word is akin to ‘torture’ to my ears. So much chocolate will be consumed around me. I will be surrounded by the scent of it. But I must be strong and say no to the sweet brown devil! Wish me luck on that one. Gah.

Accepting Success is harder than you think…

Something incredible happened this morning.  Something so amazing and unbelievable that I actually didn’t believe it but there it was right before my eyes – 1kg lost in 3 days.  I shock my head in disbelief, I moved my scales to other areas of the house, I picked them up and tapped them (because everyone knows the key to making electronical goods work properly is to tap them) but the result remained – 1kg down.   Have all my weeks of hard training paid off?  Have I finally mastered my diet?  Is my metabolism finally where it’s supposed to be?  I don’t want to sound like the queen of rhetorical Bonnie Lithgoe and scream a resounding “YES!” so  I’ll just stick with a “We’ll see” for now.

I find it very difficult to be excited about a loss.  I never know if in a couple of days it will creep back on therefore I don’t really celebrate them.  So when my trainer asked me today if I was going to write about it, she knew what my answer would be.  She immediately said “You go up there and press some words out!  You’ve worked hard and you deserve this!”.  So here I am writing about a kilo loss but still not really believing that it’s happened.  I’m so used to NOT losing weight that when it happens I’m like “Oh, er, um… maybe the scales are out?  Maybe it’s a fluke?”.  So I’m just going to ride this one out for a little bit and see what my results are like at the end of the week.   Maybe I’ll believe it more on Friday when my measurements are taken again.  I’m actually looking forward to it!

Now, dodgy ankle has become dodgier so therefore I have been instructed to stay away from soccer this week.  I have been icing it everyday and wearing an ankle guard but it’s still sore.  Boo!  I’m quite upset about that.  Who’d have thought I would be upset to miss out on soccer?  Maybe we’ll win.  Maybe pigs will fly.  Maybe I’ll keep this kilo off.  Only time will tell.

I’m really diggin’ Drake right now so I’ll leave you with his song “Successful”.

It’s all about the core

Today’s training session was all about… you guessed it, the core.

It was refreshing to find no crunches and no planks.  Instead we did exercises I had never seen or heard of before!  That’s something I really quite enjoy.  Of course we focused on my dodgy pelvis as well – lots of tucking and curling it under and lots of drawing the belly button to the spine.  It was a sweat free session but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t tough! You see I have the kind of spine that pushes the butt righhht out.  I’m trying to train it to bring the butt back in to where it is supposed to be.  I’m also sure the butt will look much better (and smaller) once in it’s appropriate position.

I hopped on the scales this morning.  Evil little bastard told me I had lost nothing (NOTHINGGG!!) in 2 weeks.  And I have been going pretty hardcore.  I am frustrated and getting to the end of my tether… I don’t know what else I need to do.  I guess I just have to give it more time.  A friend asked me today if it angers me as much as it does her that she sees skinny people stuffing their faces with whatever they want all day.  I replied that everyday I feel that way.  Oh well, at least they are fat on the inside.  Suckers.  Who’ll have the last laugh when they need to go on cholesterol tablets?!  Me!  That’s who!

It’s pretty hard to maintain motivation when you aren’t seeing results.  But I must press on.  There is no point getting all Skee Lo about it all… You know, “I wish I was a little bit taller, I wish I was a baller”… Except mine would go “I wish I was a little bit thinner, I wish I had a pasta dinner”.

And on that note:

Something fishy is going on!

Tonight dinner!

Basa fillets topped with cherry tomatoes, spinach and onions. Cooked in foil parcels in the oven for 15 minutes and voilà – 386 calories and under 10g of fat, this makes a delicious yet simple meal.