An Update: Keto Lifestyle, Exercising Like Crazy and Thinking Too Much!

I failed… I am reading my last post and I am sat here chuckling to myself! I LOVE the optimism that I had but oh my god was I making things hard for myself!

October 6th was when I wrote the last post explaining that I was putting myself on a Keto journey, so technically I should be 1 month and 1 day into this now. HAHAHAHA! Definitely not. After 6 days of a Keto diet I packed it in. I felt so light headed and miserable and I had no energy whatsoever. It was such a struggle to get through the day at work because around 3pm I was hit with the worst migraine and the NEED to nap. Continuing with the Keto diet was just not worth it to me, I started it because as mentioned I was in a very ‘bleurgh’ place and I thought it could be a positive journey but for me it just was not. I came on my period as well for 2 days and the lead up to this I felt like I had been hit by a bus, the fatigue and aches did not help my motivation for persevering. I know with many things that you have to persevere to reap the benefits but I did not have any willpower.

For me the Keto diet was not just restricting myself to 20g-30g of Carbs a day but it was also a mental war. The mental energy that was zapped from me was too much. I constantly had to think about how many grams of Carbs and Protein and Fat I was consuming and this just did not work for me. “Fail to prepare… prepare to fail” could not be more appropriate in this instance, you really need sufficient time to prep all of your meals to reduce this thinking process and for me I lack the time to do this in my week. I value time with my boyfriend, friends and family over chopping veggies and meal prep in the kitchen.

I go to Dubai in 4 months and I began to put pressure on myself to lose weight, tone up, eat healthier but in all honesty, what is the point of doing this if I am stressing myself out and am not happy? This just does not work for me – looking back in the past, the times where I have lost weight, is where I have just not been thinking about it too much. Yes I was eating healthy and exercising but I wasn’t so obsessed with it. Day 6 of my supposed Keto diet, I ate a Weetabix because I felt so faint, and I gave myself such a hard time because 1 Weetabix biscuit contains 25.7g of Carbohydrates, almost 1 day’s allowance. I don’t like it when my mind goes like that … Dear Lord it’s only a Weetabix!!

I am lucky because I am not one of those people that dread the gym, I go most mornings before work, it changes my mindset for the day and it makes me feel good so trying to force myself to then go AGAIN after work was pure h e l l. Why was I trying to turn something that I love into something I dreaded? 1 workout a day is enough surely! I might have had a shot if I was going straight from work and my gym was down the road but after waiting for delayed trains to turn up and being on a train crammed against other people like some sardines for 40 minutes, the gym is the last thing I want to do!

Looking at my list of mini resolutions, I have actually upped my sleep. I really have felt so tired recently and I really feel like I need my sleep, I am struggling to wake up in the mornings, so early nights haven’t been hard to implement, I get to 9pm and my eyes need toothpicks to stay open, such a party pooper at the moment!

Overall I need to learn not to be so hard on myself and not to set myself ridiculous goals that I know I am just not going to achieve. I am going to continue to eat intuitively and exercising how I am, I need to listen to my body and not put strain on it by introducing a diet that is just not for me and does not fit into my weekly routine.

I do need a change in my life because I am still not feeling my best and I need some excitement and focus on something. I find it fascinating that when I feel like I need a change my diet and exercise routine are the first things to get altered and are what I associate with change. Maybe I need to start a new project or look for a new job… we will see!

 

Charlotte xoxo

Introducing New Habits

I’ve been feeling so ‘bleurgh’ recently. That is the only word that sums up how I have been feeling for the past month.  I  feel very vanilla and I don’t know why. I’m lacking oomph in everything, my diet, my workouts, my appearance, I just feel so bleak. All I want to do when I feel like this is sit in bed and scoff chocolate and biscuits. Yes I know, throwing myself a pity party and feeling sorry for myself. I seem to have acquired a double chin and a bloated belly, my mood swings have been crazy lately, bursting into tears many times in public for no reason whatsoever – my boyfriend said to me the other day “who are you and what have you done with my girlfriend Charlotte”. I’ve been selfish with other peoples feelings because I’ve been more concerned with making myself feel better, no matter how I do it, I have literally wanted to rip peoples heads off. The poor guy in Pret yesterday even got a glimpse of my dragon side because he was eating his food too loudly….. (in my defence there really was no need for him to be slapping his lips like that).

Oh the joys of PCOS.

I have been thinking for a while that I need to change things up, I do really need to start taking care of my body and implementing a routine that is going to nourish my body and support my PCOS, this last month has spurred me on to take action because I am honestly so fed up of feeling like this.

I have been doing a lot of research and on Monday 15th October I am going to be trying the Ketogenic diet . A Keto diet (according to the information that I have been reading) supports PCOS. The Keto diet is essentially well known for being a low carb, high fat diet where the body produces ketones in the liver to be used as energy. Usually when you eat something high in carbs your body will produce glucose and insulin, so now (if done correctly) my body will burn fat for energy.

I know you need carbs in your diet to provide energy, and with my busy schedule I am certainly not going to be cutting them out completely. Therefore, I am going to be eating 20-30 grams of carbs a day, 60-70 grams of healthy fats a day and a moderate portion of protein a day. I am not saying that I am going to love this diet but with how I am feeling I am going to give it a go and give it a good chance.

As I am going to be starting a new ‘diet’ (I HATE that word), I also thought that I would introduce some new lifestyle habits and report back.

  • Drink 4 litres of water a day (I am going to be peeing every 5 minutes!!!) This may seem like a lot, but I drink 3 and bit litres already and want to up this!
  •  Aim for 7 hours of sleep a night. Last week I had 3 nights in a row where I was asleep for 9:30pm and oh my god did I feel better for it. Some nights I know this isn’t possible as i’ll be at my boyfriends and there is no way that he will be going to sleep that early, but I am going to aim to get 7 hours sleep at least 4 days a week.
  • Read  more as a hobby rather than aimlessly scrolling through Facebook and Instagram. I feel good when I read, so why not do more of what makes me feel good?
  • Meditate a little every day – even if this is only 3 minutes. I use meditation as a last minute tool for my anxiety and it does calm me down.  I want to reap the benefits of this daily.
  • Organise myself for the week ahead at the weekend- I am going to use a Sunday afternoon as time for self-love, self-care and organisation. I want to organise my outfits for the week, my meals and my diary so I know exactly what I am wearing, what I am eating and where  I am going! This should save me from doing this in the week and hopefully free up some time for those early nights.

I also tried a Circuit class with my Mum last week and I loved it so I am also going to be adding in one circuit class a week to my workouts. Working out makes me feel so good (YAY for endorphins!) At the moment I go to the gym before work and it is solidified into my routine so working out 5 times a week is not difficult for me. But I want to be doing workouts where I feel GOOD about myself after, not just hating life on the running machine, doing it because in fact, it is easier to get to the station from my gym in the morning then from home.

I am going to aim to incorporate the following workouts into my week, listening to my body if I need to rest and not giving myself a hard time if I don’t feel it.

  • 2 x Bodypump classes a week
  • 1 x Circuit Class a week
  • 2 x Cardio Sessions a week
  • 1 x Weights/Resistance workout a week
  • 2 x rest days

I tend to do Cardio on a Monday and Friday, Bodypump on a Tuesday and Thursday (sometimes even a Saturday if I’m feeling it!), Circuits on a Wednesday, rest on a Friday and Sunday … I will most likely combine the weight session with my Cardio session on the Monday, so I need add in 1 more cardio sesh over the weekend which is doable.

Anyway, I am going to be taking on these new habits from the 15th October 2018, I will be taking note of how I am feeling, what I am eating, how much I am sleeping and hopefully this can help me to find my sparkle again.

Charlotte

xoxo

I Tried a Gong Bath!

“What an earth is a GongBath?!!?”… were my thoughts exactly when I had an email through my inbox notifying me of the event. In a quest to manage my anxiety and make myself feel positive I am trying just about anything that claims it will ‘reduce stress’ and ‘promote relaxation’.

A Gongbath is a form of sound therapy  – basically a gong is played in a therapeutic way to bring about relaxation. I need relaxation alright so I thought “why not, lets give this a go!”

The session was hosted at the Montcalm Marble Arch – London. Mats, duvets and pillows were set out for each participant – I walked in and first thought I was attending a group napping session! There were some lovely touches which made the 45 minute session seem more substantial, vegan protein smoothies, provided by KIN Nutrition to refuel afterwards and also coco chocolate energy balls which were delish!

The instructions for the session were simple.. all you had to do was lie on your back with your eyes closed. The gongs are then played very softly increasing the volume as the session progresses. The temperature also dropped as the session went on, hence the need for the duvet…I was shivering at one point!

The sound of the gong is meant to lull you into an ‘effortless state of relaxation’, rejuvenate you and be transformative in unblocking emotions. These benefits sold the session to me, I thought I would be walking out a new woman!

In reality and in all honestly I struggled with the session, I found it so hard to relax, my eyes kept peeking around and my mind definitely wandered. Don’t get me wrong, some people when I spoke to them after the session, found it amazing – one person even fell asleep because they were so relaxed! I just feel as though my brain is too busy at the moment, I felt calm but I know that I did not truly immerse myself in this experience, my ‘to-do’ list seemed to be far more important to me and I just could not clear my mind! This is something that I really need to work on, I need to be able to switch off at times and the fact that I just could not do this worries me.

I think one reason for my struggle in the Gongbath session is that I am relatively new to meditation, I do not meditate daily and I use it as an ‘if and when I need it’ tool.  I use meditation as a coping mechanism when I am already at a terrible stage, with tightness in my chest and the inability to breathe. Those who were more familiar to meditating probably appreciated the experience more than myself. I definitely would be up for trying this again though, I think now that I know what to expect I would be able to let myself relax more and really let myself cherish the experience.

Writing this has sparked a thought … maybe if I introduce meditation into my daily routine I won’t use it so much as a last minute technique for managing anxiety, maybe doing a little daily will prevent me from having to do a lot when the panic strikes, when my chest is at the peak of tightness, when I can’t breathe and when my heart rate is up to 20000 bpm (Just kidding, that’s impossible!)

I suppose as they say, doing something is better than doing nothing, so let me try and adopt this mentality!

Any tips and thoughts on how to make incorporating meditation into my daily/weekly routine are much appreciated.

xoxo

 

 

 

Photo by Manja Benic on Unsplash

 

 

Setting a Five Year Plan

How do you make a five year plan when you want to squeeze so much in? I feel like I am still so young but am reaching a point in my life where I do really have to start making some adult decisions!

I am all for setting goals and aims to work towards, but right now my life feels so crazy and unorganised that I feel as though if I set some goals and put in place a five year plan then I am just setting myself up to fail. I hate failing.

I am ambitious and I work very hard, I constantly want my brain to take in more and with my career I am always looking for my next challenge. My personal life however I am very much the opposite, I feel scared of life, and I do things on the safe side and at the moment I feel as though I am stuck and not getting anywhere. If you had asked me five years ago, I could not see myself being in this mess…

If you ask me what I would like to achieve in the next five years it would be the below. I am 25 so I feel as though setting some goals and aspirations at this point in my life is significant, I am a quarter of a century after all!

Charlotte’s goals to achieve by 30 years of age: 

  • Clear all my debt
  • Have sufficient savings
  • Own a home
  • Be at the peak of my career
  • Be happy
  • Be expecting a child or be very close to having one!

I look at this list and with how quick time is flying, I truly believe five years is not enough time to achieve all of these and it is making me anxious and very nervous. I look at other people and think “how are you so together?!?!”

For example, as mentioned in my previous post, I’ve been suffering from anxiety because I have recently accepted and taken note of my debt. I really, really, really should have listened to my mum when she told me to set money aside for a rainy day.

How am I going to clear this debt AND own a home AND have sufficient savings? If I am focusing on excelling in my career then do I have time for a baby?  If I am stressing about these things then how am I going to be HAPPY?!

Life is flying so quickly and I never appreciated this when I was younger. Is it best to just live life day by day?

Is setting a five year plan unrealistic and putting unnecessary pressure on ourselves? On the flip side is this way of thinking just burying our heads in the sand and not addressing our problems?

I would love to hear some thoughts on this, I am such an organised and together person at work but when it comes to my own life I feel hopeless!

Charlotte

xox

 

 

Photo by Estée Janssens on Unsplash

Anxiety.

I honestly feel like I may be having a heart attack. My anxiety has been that bad over the past couple of days.

Today is the 4th day I am suffering with lots of worry,  an extremely fast heart rate and a tight chest. I’m not sure how much longer my body can cope with this.

My anxiety is definitely at its all time peak and I am knowingly having to take myself aside and calm myself down. I have been finding that the app Buddhify has been extremely helpful, in calming down my breathing and heart rate. There are so many options of meditation and controlled breathing exercises, so even if I am at work, I can take myself off for a few minutes so that nobody sees I have gone missing.

I’m not particularly sure what has triggered this surge of anxiety, I think I have got to a point where life has caught up with me and I am really worrying about the future. Will my money troubles stop me from getting a mortgage? Am in the right job for me? Will my hard work ever pay off?  What if I miss an opportunity because I am in the wrong place that day?

I do remind myself that there is so much more to life to spend precious time that I will never get back to worry about the above but I do believe you need to have a balance of reality and positivity.  I try and brush my troubles and worries aside and tell myself that life is too short and look at lovely quotes on Instagram and Pinterest and try and kid myself that reading those will make everything ok…but in reality that really isn’t going to solve my problems, or debt issues! I need to face these and solve them.. and THEN believe that life is too short and start living.

I think I may have even solved my question by writing this post… Having this realisation four days ago triggered my anxiety. I just need to learn to cope with it.

Life is definitely a journey and each year I can say I do learn so much about myself, but the more I learn the more I look back and think.. what were you doing Charlotte! I want to scream at myself, I wish I could go back and change things.. but I can’t.

So time to get on with it I suppose!

 

Photo by sydney Rae on Unsplash

Permanent Holiday Needed.

Rest is such a vital factor when it comes to leading a healthy and balanced life. It is just as important, if not more important, as eating healthy and exercising.

It is no secret that I do not sleep enough. I probably go to bed around 11pm and wake up at 5:10am. I am an hour shy of the recommended amount of 7-9 hours of sleep a night, and believe me, I am the type of person that needs my 8 hours sleep!

It was evident on my most recent holiday, that I was mentally and physically drained. I went away with my lovely Mumsy for a week, a week that we had intended to switch off and chill and oh my god did we do just that.

Packing my suitcase I had every intention to visit the hotel gym, go on a few long walks with my mum and keep up some sort of fitness regime so that I didn’t completely die when I got back in the gym when I was home. I had every intention to do this (as a quarter of my gym gear took up my suitcase!) but once I was away from life and my routine I just could not find the motivation to do this. I didn’t do ANY exercise for a WHOLE WEEK!

It was obvious my body needed to rest and recharge. I was falling asleep at 10pm most nights and I wasn’t waking up until 10am or 11am the next day. It was bliss. I laid on a sunbed all day (I definitely was not lacking Vitamin D at the moment), I read 3 books, I ate what I want, I had no stresses and I didn’t have to think about anything.

Fast forward 3 weeks and this new refreshed woman I had became is just out of the window. I am working my butt off at work, I feel like I need multiple duvet days and I can’t seem to get back into the gym . I mean I am going but I am just hating it, I feel even more tired and I feel stuck in a rut. I’m getting to bed earlier (I think that is down to Love Island having finished) and even though I am getting that additional hour, I still am really struggling to get out of bed in the mornings!  My snooze button has never been so active!

The good news is, is that I have had 2 periods come through, two months on a trot, which is positive – I’m on the Noriday  Contraceptive Pill which is meant to stop your periods so although this is good, I am a bit confused as to what is going on!?

From next week I am going to be upping my Vegetable intake, I’ve signed up to Hello Fresh UK so that my meals are pre-planned and I will be able to make healthier choices, I have had a glance at the meals and they are full of vegetables and balanced.

I will record my meals and see if I feel there is an improvement with my tiredness.

Other than that i’m not really sure what I can do to help other than, win the lottery, move to a sunny country and start my own business!

Anyway… roll on the next holiday, 33 days (not that i’m counting!)

METFORMIN

What really are the benefits of taking Metformin? I know that most young ladies with PCOS, are prescribed Metformin to lower blood sugar levels and to maintain elevated insulin levels but I have been taking Metformin for 6 years now and it has hit me that I do not know too much behind it.

Of course I did the odd google search when I was first prescribed Metformin but it struck me that my level of knowledge on something I am putting into my body everyday is minimal.

Do I even need to be taking Metformin?

My last visit to the Doctors’ (for something unrelated to PCOS), the Doctor (a young lady who had just graduated medical school) said that it was pointless me taking Metformin and asked if would like to be taken off of it. I said no because I was fed up chopping and changing my medication, I didn’t want to confuse my body even more.

But thinking about it now I am wondering if she was right. I’m not hugely overweight (according to http://www.whathealth.com/bmi/chart-feetkilos.html I am just – (79kg and I’m 5ft 10), I eat healthy, I exercise 4-5 times a week and I’m not trying for children at the moment (maybe another 3-5 years!).

I have been told by the Doctor to take 1 x 500mg dose of Metformin a day which is the lowest dosage prescribed. I have researched and can see that the most effective dose of Metformin is 3 x 500mg a day.

It is a confusing topic and some people advise staying on Metformin even though I am not trying to conceive yet. I feel like I have convinced myself now that taking my one tablet a day is doing something to help with my PCOS but i’m not sure if it even is – my head is scrambled and I am not completely sure what to do!

Any advice/thoughts would be much appreciated.

Charlotte xx

 

PCOS. Help!

I honestly feel like I am fighting a constant battle when it comes to my health. My doctors are awful and I seem to always leave with more questions that I went with. One time, my doctor even GOOGLED my symptoms in front of me and diagnosed me from that. AS IF I HADN’T ALREADY […]

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And so the journey begins….

Thank you for getting this far and most likely stumbling across this blog and finding it by pure chance.

I am not quite sure where to begin. Perhaps lets start with why I am doing this… why have I decided to create a new blog at this point in my life? I’m 25, I work 9am-6pm Monday to Friday, I’m up at 5:20am to get my sweat on. I get home at 7:45pm and by the time I have eaten, showered, sorted out my bag for the following day, it is practically bed time. My boyfriend and friends take up my evenings and weekends. I most definitely would say I am a busy bee and I do not have a lot of time to spare!

I think first and foremost it is important to share my thoughts and mindset which has led me to finally starting a blog of my own. I am embarking on a journey of self-love.. a journey that began a few years back. My mum had Breast Cancer and I practically went into hibernation for a whole year. I emerged back into reality a year later, 3 stone heavier and on the brink of depression, I was happy to sleep my life away and I was honestly scared that I would never have the capability to feel happiness again.

One day 2 years ago something clicked and a huge anxiety came over me … I was WASTING life. I was letting each day slip away and I had nothing to show for it. I prepared myself for a long journey to get myself back on track and oh my god what a journey it has been. At that time 2 years ago, I probably failed to prepare myself just how long it would take me to get back to “Charlotte” – I am definitely well on my way and I am the happiest I have been in a long time. I think the most important part of that has been acceptance. Accepting that I do not need to be the same weight I was four years ago. Accepting that I will have bad days. Accepting that I won’t have the motivation to go to the gym every and accepting that some days I just need to devour a HUGE bar of chocolate.

Anyway, as much as I am extremely happy right now I do feel stuck and in limbo and I don’t know why. I love my job and I work extremely hard but I feel like nothing in my life at the moment is for ME. I’m stuck in a routine of 9am-6pm ,which lets face it… is really 5am-9pm (Yes as mentioned I am that annoying person at the gym doors waiting to be let in at 6am!)

I’m rambling a ridiculous amount here so lets stick to the point. What am I going to cover in this blog? I am going to document anything to help me clear my head, a strange sort of therapy I suppose. I have PCOS and continuously want to learn about ways and methods that may help, perhaps I try these myself and share my findings. This blog is basically going to be an insight into my brain. How I’m feeling, what I’ve been doing.. this is my creative get-away and as the name of this blog suggests… This is my Haven.

“A plan is not always needed. Sometimes you just need to breathe, let go and trust the universe.”