Me Too.

Anger. Sadness. Depression. Anxiety. Insomnia. Fatigue. Panic. Everything that I have been combating the last few months. In no way am I writing this to generate a huge response… , I feel that I just need to get how I’ve been feeling and WHY I have been feeling this way out there somewhere, written down, even if no-one see’s this at all. I just want to let this go and satisfy the initial aim of getting a blog, which was to share my experiences and treat this as a safe space and like my diary. I’ve been back and forth about letting this go live, this has been sat in my drafts for months! I’m even scared this is going to be too strong a topic for my blog. But this is real and these are my feelings that I have slowly built back up to being strong and positive, one day at a time.

In April I was signed off work for one month due to anxiety and stress. Unlike every other time my anxiety has kicked in, I knew the cause of this episode. My workplace. Or more specifically the Chairman of my workplace. Or even MORE specifically – the Father of my direct boss. I work in a family office and PA for the Daughter who is inspiring and motivational, hence this was a very tricky and difficult situation. I do not want to go into details as they are crude and really won’t make for a pleasurable or insightful reading experience but my work environment was all wrong. He was sick, often had toilet accidents (yes number two’s included!) and had a potty mouth that made me cringe and feel uncomfortable – this is not something I go to work for.

I pride myself for working hard and trying my best, but in this environment, I was tense, angry and frustrated. There was no room to even think in my own mind as it was just filled with degrading and disgusting comments that nobody should be subject to. Comments about my appearance, about sex, about my body – even though he was sick and apparently didn’t know what he was saying, this is still inexcusable and measures should have been put in place to protect employee’s from this behaviour.

After a few conversations with my direct boss (his daughter) and being signed off by the Doctor – I think she saw how serious this actually was. I had lost myself, I was emotional and angry and felt that she should be accountable for my welfare. I was left in an office with this monster when she chose to hardly ever show up (I don’t blame her, I question how she is still sane when bought up with a Father like hers).

One month off work did me wonders. I caught up on sleep. Walked a hell of a lot. Lots of time to think my own thoughts instead of my mind being possessed with anger and negativity. I’m so proud to say that I am through the other side of this anxiety hurricane I was experiencing. I am back to work (Yes with the same company!) My boss has taken measures to move my office so I am away from the chaos. There was definitely some settling back in issues and I was super nervous to return to work but 3 months on and I can truly say I am so glad that I found the strength to push through and speak up. My mental health suffered being in that awful environment and it is super scary having honest conversations (especially when blood is thicker than water!) but I was true to myself and made it through the other end.

Now.. onwards and upwards!

Charlotte xoxo

My 2019 Goals And Resolutions

It is the time of the year where we have all over indulged over Christmas, lived in a blur of not knowing what day of the week it is, and dreading the return to work. I have absolutely adored not setting an alarm, cherishing my sleep and spending quality time with my loved ones. But as they say, all good things must come to an end, and my end was facing reality and getting back into a much needed routine!

I’ve been really trying to put some resolutions and goals in place for 2019 and I think for the first time ever I have not set these around my physical appearance. My resolution is not to lose 1 stone in a certain amount of time. It isn’t to tone my thighs so my legs look better in that dress for my friend’s birthday. It isn’t to start going to the gym twice a day for January to lose the Christmas bloat that I gained through spending time with people who make me happy.

This year my resolutions are based around things in my life that I feel will help my mind and boost positivity. As mentioned in some of my previous posts my anxiety has been creeping back at certain points and I really want to get my mind back to the best it can be. I want to feel completely happy again eliminating any worries that could be feeding my anxiety.

I have been really open with my money problems and very poor spending habits in the past which has now left me with a horrible amount of debt and is going to hinder my future plans. I had a very honest chat with my Mum about this and I realised that not only am I putting this worry on myself but I am also causing her stress which absolutely breaks my heart. I feel like a complete failure and it is my Mum that is beating herself up about it as she keeps asking herself… “what did I do wrong.” Nothing Mum. This was all me.

It was a conversation that we needed to have and it ended with her telling me that she knows I can pay off this debt if I put my mind to it. So my only real ‘solid’ resolution for 2019 is to make a dent in this debt. I am trying to be very mindful, save and really think about if I truly need what I have in my ASOS basket! It is so true that spending your money on ‘experiences’ rather than ‘things’ is worth so much more. Instead of Christmas presents this year me and my boyfriend went to Prague for 3 days, we got a really good deal and it was so nice to have an adventure over the Christmas break. Honestly the amount it cost us to go and explore a new City, which gave me true happiness was equivalent to some of my mindless splurges that give me 5 minutes of ‘joy’ but are quickly forgotten.  I think I’m going to do a review and travel post on Prague so that I change things up on here! I do not want to be all doom and gloom!

Some other things that aren’t so much resolutions but more things to try and maintain are:

  • Try a new spin class (I have been saying this for SO long) and after a few bad spin classes at past gyms I have been put off. But seeing the sweaty glow from people leaving my gym’s spin class has got me kind of jealous! So 2019 is the year to try something new!
  • Keep up with my running. I am definitely no pro here and I can just about run 5k (I am literally at throw up stage!) but this is comparing myself to a girl who couldn’t even run for 3 minutes this time last year. I am very proud of myself and want to continue watching myself improve.
  • Reduce the amount of heat I put on my hair. Silly one I know, but in the interest of keeping my hair healthy (and of course saving time) I am cutting down with the straighteners!

Anyway, here is to a happy and healthy 2019 everyone!

Charlotte xox

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

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 DONE THAT!!

The reason for this blog post (rant) is because of my PCOS that I have been aware of (battling) for 8 years now. I have read so much material my brain feels muddled with all the information I try and take in on this subject. I think it probably makes sense to fill you in on my story and go back to the beginning…

I started my periods at quite an early age, I was 12 years old. From the day I first started my period until the age of about 17/18 I was on the dot regular. When I say I came on my period at 11:05am on a Saturday each month it is no exaggeration. I went on the pill at 16 and even this didn’t affect the timing of my period I was still like clockwork. I then had some problems with my pills, first I was put on Cilest and I gained a ton of weight and had SERIOUS water retention, honestly I was wobbling around everywhere! I came off of Cilest and then was put on Microgynon. The weight fell off but the migraines… oh my god. I persevered with Microgynon until I was about 20 years old at which point I decided to have a break from the Pill (and contraception altogether). I broke up with my boyfriend at the time and I didn’t sleep around so I felt like it was a good opportunity to give my body a break.

I didn’t have a period for a 2 years! I thought my natural cycle would take a while to adjust to being off of contraception but I did panic and book a trip to my doctors after 6 months because along with the absence of my monthly visit from the painters I broke out in acne. It was getting me down, making me feel insecure and I didn’t want to leave the house. I was referred to the hospital and low and behold I was told that I have PCOS. I had the most unsympathetic doctor ever, who, when I asked what this is and how it would impact me replied… “Your’ll have trouble conceiving…” Thanks a lot. How insensitive.

I was confused and went back to my doctors who I felt was no help at the time. I was put on Metformin and told “don’t worry forget about it until you want to try for kids.” But how could I forget about it? I was put on medication for my skin which were no help at all, I was well and truly fed up.

One day last year my periods came back (alternative months but hey it was something!) I wasn’t on the pill so this was my real period not the artificial period that the pill provides. I was over the moon. I felt like my body hadn’t given up on me and although I used to moan about my periods when I had them, there is something about getting my period that makes me feel reassured and like I am a woman (as silly as this sounds).

I got into another relationship at this point so I had to think about going back onto contraception – I was so confused as to what would give me the fewest side affects and keep my period. The doctor I saw recommended the mini-pill (Noriday) – The mini-pill is Progestogen only. The doctor assured me that I would continue to get my period and I should give it a go – I trusted her so I agreed, this was a mistake. After 3 months of taking it I hadn’t had a period and when I went back to the doctors (a different doctor might I add) she said I wouldn’t get periods with the mini-pill. I cannot describe the anger I felt, I felt betrayed!

Anyway a year on and I am actually getting on with the mini-pill really well (aside from the fact I have no period). I booked an appointment more recently however because I’ve been experiencing extreme fatigue (literally so bad I fall asleep on the toilet at work if I shut my eyes!) Poor immune system, Aches, bland skin and hair, and finding it IMPOSSIBLE to lose weight when for the last year my diet and exercise has been very healthy and balanced (Yep…not even a pound shed). My doctor referred me for blood tests and I am waiting for the results but it got me thinking.. has this got anything to do with my PCOS?! Any thoughts and comments are much appreciated… I am pulling my hair out!

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.”