I have been dealing with my PCOS and Insulin Resistance Symptoms for some time now. I have successfully reversed symptoms and been able to lose weight by modifying my diet and exercising but am yet to have been able to get pregnant. Recently I decided to try a product to specifically address my Insulin Resistance. It is called Chiral Balance DCI (D-chiro-inolitol). I have been taking the supplements for about 3 weeks now. My periods have been regular for several months (exactly 30 days) but the one thing I have noticed is that my breasts are significantly larger. Not complaining but my first thought was "I'm pregnant". But I just finished my period so that's not it. Being the curious person I am, I needed answers and found that PCOS, which is caused by Insulin Resistance, has the following symptoms:
Irregular or no menstrual periods (for women of reproductive age)
Irregular ovulation Acne Excess hair growth on the face and body
Thinning scalp hair or male pattern hair loss
Accumulation of un-ruptured follicles on the periphery of the ovaries (mislabeled as "cysts," often called polycystic ovaries)
Small breast size or underdeveloped breasts (hypoplastic breasts)
Deepening of the voice
Dark or thick skin markings and creases around the armpits, groin, neck, and breasts due to insulin sensitivity
Obesity, weight gain (often centered around the waist), and/or inability to lose weight
Oily skin and/or persistent acne
Pain in the lower abdomen and pelvis
There is no known cure for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. Instead, a variety of methods are used to manage symptoms. These may include:
Diet changes (limiting amounts of sugars and starches) to aid in insulin sensitivity
Hormone therapy through use of birth control pills
Medications to address insulin resistance, blood glucose levels, or fertility-related symptoms
Ovarian surgery ("drilling"), which is a temporary treatment to assist with the release of eggs
Of all the PCOS management methods, I have used Diet Changes and Weight Loss to treat my symptoms. I am against hormones. And now I am trying some medications to treat the insulin resistance. The medication I have chosen is DCI.
So what this new side effect from the DCI supplement tells me is that it is effectively reversing my insulin resistance. Thus, my breasts are returning to their "natural form". Glorious! Hooray for boobies!
Hope this is helpful in some way and I will share more results of the DCI supplements as I continue using them in conjunction with my beloved Shakeology and regular workouts (usually Brazil Buttlift or Chalean Extreme). So far, no bad side effects. Hoping for a bun in the oven in the next few months 🙂
Summer is upon us and its time to start my first official Summer Slim Down Fitness Group starting June 2nd. In this group I help you with meal planning/prep and keep you moving, literally. Participation is completely online in a secret Facebook group and your workouts are done in the privacy of your own home, but they must be done!!!! No ladies left behind! If you are truly READY, send me a friend request on facebook (http://www.facebook.com/jenngraham57) and message me for details.
Eating clean means to consume food in its most natural state, or as close to it as possible. By eating foods in their natural state, you remove a lot of exposure to toxins that are used in processed foods. Most important to recognize about eating clean is that it is not a diet, it is a lifestyle approach to food and its preparation. This leads to an improved life one meal at a time. If you follow these methods, you are on track to looking and feeling like a better version of yourself:
1 - Eat lots of Plants - Eat fruits and vegetables in their natural form or as close to it as possible. Preferably in the form which they were harvested. This means lettuce simply chopped and fruit freshly picked. However for some vegetables, you may steam or cook to change the texture if that makes them more palatable. For instance, I love broccoli but just like it a little softer so I steam it. It is still close to its natural form and actually it has been proven that steaming your vegetables breaks down the cell wall of the plant cells and makes it easier for your body to absorb the naturally occurring nutrients. Just don't over cook the veggies because then you do the opposite and destroy the nutrients. I like to steam until they veggies are bright green. If they are turning yellow, you cooked them too long.
2 - Include Meats - If possible get your meat from a butcher and not processed. If you want ground meat, buy it an ask the butcher to grind it for you. That way you know there are no mystery ingredients in your ground meat. Try to incorporate different types of meat like chicken, turkey, fish, etc. And limit your red meat to one day per week. Avoid canned or processed meat of all kinds and this includes: canned tuna, spam, and lunch meat (unless cut at a deli from a larger cut of unprocessed meat).
3 - Enjoy Grains - You NEED carbs so don't listen to people that do crash diets and are "carborexic" for weeks on end. Yes they lose weight but they put it all back on when they start eating carbs again. That type of diet is not a lifestyle and not sustainable. Eat grains that are "whole" and have not been broken down. Some great forms of grains to eat are: quinoa, Brown rice, Barley, Millet, Farro, Buckwheat, Kamut, Amaranth, and Oats. Follow a general rule that "white" is processed. The reason grains are processed is to remove the part of the grain with the shorter shelf life and leave the parts that will sustain longer. This is how companies have cut back on losing product because it has gone bad. Companies know it has less health benefit after being processed but it has a greater financial benefit for them. And make sure when you buy whole grain that it is really whole grain. This leads to my next point....
4 - Read Labels - A company is allowed to call a product "whole grain" as long as the main ingredient is truly whole grain. So as long as the bread is 51% whole grain, they slap it on the label. So read the ingredient list. The ingredients are listed in descending order of predominance. If the second ingredient is a non-whole grain, don't buy it because it is not a true "whole grain".
5 - Eat Fewer Ingredients - Read labels and try and buy foods that have fewer than 6 ingredients in the ingredient list. And make sure you can recognize and pronounce all of the ingredients. Companies like to add fillers to save money and they are generally loaded with sugar.
6 - Eat 5-6 small meals per day - Eating multiple smaller meals helps to maintain a good glucose level in your body and prevents sugar spikes. Granted, this is assuming you are eating foods that are not loaded with sugar. Regarding sugar.....
7 - Keep sugar in check - You are allowed to eat naturally occurring sugar (fruit for instance) but keep a limit on it. Fruit is 100% natural and also loaded with sugar. Limit yourself to 3 servings of fruit per day. Also be mindful that grains are a form of sugar. The grain is broken down into sugar in your body and then is used for energy. If sugar is not used, it is stored.....we know how that goes. Try and consume most of your grains and fruit before 2 pm so your body has an opportunity to break down the sugar before you go to bed. I think the French really got it right by making lunch their biggest meal of the day. Keep dinner lite, mostly protein and veggies.
8 - Drink your share of water - Your body NEEDS water to function properly. In fact, water is the most important thing you put in your body every day. There is no point in eating clean food unless you are going to give your body the water it needs to function and make the good food (fuel) you put into your body work to provide energy. To calculate how much water you should drink daily, take your weight in pounds and divide it by two. The result is the number of ounces of water you need to consume daily.
This may be very overwhelming if you are new to eating clean but don't let that stop you from making the good and necessary changes to reclaim your health. Just baby step your way along. Start by cutting out fast food while adding more meat which, yes, you need to cook. Sorry, you need to figure that out. Then start removing boxed foods from your diet. Then lastly, remove foods from the dairy section of the grocery store. This will be the hardest step but dairy is VERY processed. But if you cannot give it up 100% then at least choose harder cheeses and low sugar varieties. But for those of you that are 100% ready to eat clean, I like to follow the rule of shopping the perimeter of the grocery store. All the fresh food with be in the perimeter in the produce section and meat department. You can do this. Your body will thank you for it.
I used the principles of Clean Eating and Exercise to lose 40 lbs and naturally reverse my PCOS. So I know it can be done. See how I did it.
I love when my challengers are so proud of their progress in my Challenge Group that they start posting pictures on their facebook walls. This proud momma has finally ditched her baby belly and is totally ready for summer. She even bought a new bikini which she wanted to show off in this picture. It is these results and seeing how happy and accomplished my challengers feel after they see what they have done for themselves that keep me going as a Beachbody Coach. I help people reach their goals and dreams. What could feel better?
Do you ever get an itchy sensation when you start a new cardio regimen or just get out and run one day? It starts as a small itchy sensation on the top of your quad that eventually spreads to your whole thigh and even abdomen. It is annoying and really gets in the way of your workout because all you want to do is stop and scratch, which makes it worse. And it is no surprise that the itchy areas are likely your biggest problem areas. Let me explain why.
Inside our bodies are major blood vessels and smaller blood vessels called capillaries. There are millions of capillaries used as passageways for blood through our muscles and bodies. When you start a cardiovascular workout, your heart rate increases and begins to pump harder and increases blood flow. As a result, these capillaries begin to expand to allow greater blood flow to the muscles that are working. As these capillaries begin to expand it causes nearby nerves to send signals to the brain. These signals are new to that area since they have gotten little to no exercise and therefore required little blood flow. Our brain interprets these new signals as the need to itch. Annoying right? But don't worry, as your fitness improves the sensation should dissipate because you are in better shape. So once you start moving, and continue moving with regular cardio workouts you won't have to deal with the dreaded cardio itch.
I have experienced this itch ever since junior high. I remember every Friday, it was the dreaded mile day in PE (physical Education). I would be super red and scratched up by the time I finished my mile. It always started with me noticing the fat on my legs literally jiggling and within minutes the fat would start itching. As I got older and fatter, especially in the stomach area, I started getting the glorious itching in my abdomen as well. You can see in this video how the shuffle burpees have my belly fat jiggling and super itchy.
I recently set aside my heavy weights regimen and started on a cardio regiemen using a workout called T25 and sure enough, my legs and abdomen started itching. And I am not over weight. I just have not done high intensity cardio in a while. But I am not going to stop just because my fat is screaming at me, lol. Instead, I will push harder and grin and bare it. Within a week or so it stops. And the lesson learned is to always incorporate at least two days of intense cardio into my workout regimen. Focus T25 is the perfect 25 minute workout to get that done.
Checkout my story if you want to see my whole journey with weight loss.
Is inner thigh Gap a Big Deal? Heck yes it is!!!!!!!!
Inner thigh Chafing is a very sensitive subject for a lot of women and even some men. For those of you that do not know what I am talking about, it is the resulting rash from inner thigh skin rubbing together under hot weather conditions. It can happen in cold weather but is much worse when it is hot due to sweating and moisture in the area. And it doesn't take long for a rash to appear. I can remember putting on a pair of shorts on a hot day and leaving for school after forgetting to rub baby powder on my inner thighs and being in pain all day after lunch. I would be too embarrassed to go to the nurses office and ask for band aids. I would just walk kinda funny with my legs as far apart as possible and try to avoid walking as much as possible until I got home. At that point, it is too late for preventative measures and its time to medicate and wait the week for the rash to scab up and heal. Do any of these look familiar to you thigh chafing sufferers?
I speak from experience because I suffered from inner thigh rashes all summer long ever since I was in junior high. I would look forward to summer because it meant I could use my pool and quite honestly I can't stand cold weather. I am a tropical person, lol. None the less, the one thing I always hated about summer was wearing skirts and shorts. No matter what, when wearing a skirt, you were getting a rash unless you took preventative measures. As far as shorts, you could only avoid a rash if you got shorts long enough to cover the areas that would rub. Does this look familiar?
I learned to accept that this was just a part of my life and that I could not buy the cute shorts that I really wanted to wear. And if I did and happened to be good about using baby powder and keeping the inner thigh area dry, I always had bunching of the shorts between my thighs. I looked like the fat pockets on the top of my inner thighs were trying to escape my shorts, ugh!!!! I would be constantly pulling them down and they would eventually be all wrinkled between the thighs and just looked really bad. I knew that my problem was that I had no thigh gap. This is what my thighs looked like.
So I started researching Thigh Gap and found my future Beachbody Coach's blog. She had achieved an amazing transformation with a workout called Brazilian Butt Lift. That was enough for me, I purchased it. It arrived at my house within a week and I hit it hard. I followed the workout calendar and nutrition plan and really enjoyed the workouts. There is a lot of booty shaking and I really like dancing so this was a perfect workout for me because I was not bored with it.
I started to see and feel results after a few weeks and I remember getting crazy excited the first time I could see a hint of light between my thighs. It started at the very top and was very faint but damn it, it was happening. I completed the program and finally got my thigh gap.
I have since moved on to other Beachbody workouts but I always incorporate this workout into my routine because I have proven that it works. I have spent hours on eliptical machines at the gym and tried countless diets but this is what did it for me. Thank you Brazil Butt Lift!!!!
Weight loss is not easy. Especially for women with hormone disorders like PCOS. Follow this link if you would like to hear my whole weight loss journey.
I married my husband May 22, 2010. On the day of my wedding, I weighed 174 pounds and was wearing a size 10 dress that I had NO ROOM in. I did not feel fat on my wedding day. I absolutely felt beautiful but was uncomfortable in my skin. I just felt fluffy and toxic. I made no effort to lose weight for my wedding. In fact, I gained 8 pounds the year before my wedding day. On the day of my wedding, I tried on my dress and could not wear a bra because I as coming out of the top of my dress. None the less, I had an amazing photographer and felt beautiful on my wedding day. After all, I was marrying my highschool sweetheart so I was over the moon with happiness.
A lot has changed since our wedding and here we are almost 4 years later and both my husband and I are 40 pounds thinner. Not only do we look incredibly different but we feel like completely different people. We are not the party animals we were four short years ago. We have new values and appreciation for our bodies, life, and each other. Never in a million years did I think I would become one of those people that worked out all the time and read personal development books. I mean come on...... I hated reading. But here we are, two completely different people. We like the people we are now. We love the people we have become and are more in love now than ever before.
We decided to renew our vows because not only do we feel better in our skin, but we are new people. And these new people have different values and we felt it important to express those values through a marriage ceremony and re-commit ourselves to each other and our new life. Is it crazy that I actually had butterflies while looking out over the balcony at the site of my wedding renewal just minutes before saying my vows?
Our wedding renewal took place Jan 23, 2014 and was very different than our original wedding. We chose to escape to Los Cabo Mexico and have a romantic beach wedding like I had always dreamed about. It was very intimate and the most romantic day of my life. I have never felt so beautiful. This time I was not wearing a super expensive dress. Instead I was wearing a short white cotton dress I picked up at the good will for three dollars. This wedding was not about a big party or lavish gifts. It was purely about us. It was perfect.
After the ceremony, we had a beautiful dinner in a private bungalow on the beach with two amazing friends which also happen to be our Beachbody Coaches. How perfect that the very people that helped us find Beachbody and our new life are the same people to witness us renewing our marriage. Dinner was amazing and when we returned to our room, we found that the hotel had left petals on our bed and a drawn bath. I wont get into any further details but the night ended very well.
Why did I decide to do the Ultimate Reset?
I purchased the Ultimate Reset almost 6 months ago because I had heard how amazing it makes you feel and that people lose a lot of weight doing it. I figured that since I am a beachbody coach, I should at least experience it so I can have an honest opinion of the product. I also had a terrible dependency on caffeine. I was drinking about 12 cups of coffee daily and would get headaches if I waited too long to get my first cup. I knew this was a problem and very likely contributing to my infertility. Research has shown that excess of 2 cups of caffeine daily can make it more difficult to conceive and can cause miscarriage. Its no secret that I want a baby so I figured it was worth a shot to kick the caffeine.
Truth be told, I was dreading it and continued to put it off. I knew the diet was very restricting and that I could not workout for the full 21 days of the reset. As most people know, the diet part of any weight loss program is always the hardest because you are restricting yourself. It is always easier to add things into your life like working out than it is to remove things you love. For this reason I was quite content continuing with my workout routine and holding on to the last 10 lbs I could not lose because I was not committed 100% to my diet. My sugar cravings continued to plague and inevitably sabotage me from reaching my health goals and the Ultimate Reset sat on a shelf in my closed unopened.
My injury ended up having a silver lining
Well about two months ago I hurt my knee at work from lifting a really heavy backpack and carrying it on my back all day. It was too much stress on my knee and I further aggravated it by continuing to workout. It got to the point that is was so swollen, you could see the swelling through my yoga pants. And the day my puppy ran straight into my knee and damn near brought me to my knees was the day I said, I NEED A BREAK!! I was not happy about the idea of taking a few weeks away from my workout routine so I figured I would do my body a favor and take advantage and do the reset. If I could not workout my muscles then I would workout my organs with a detox. I started the next day.
Week 1 Was Hell!!!!
I made the huge mistake of not watching the video that comes with the reset and just kicked the coffee cold turkey on day 1. The video tells you to ween yourself off of the caffeine and sugar. Well.....no slow transition for me. I had a killer headache for 4 days. It got so bad that I literally threw up. I was totally miserable. In the first week, you cut out caffeine, dairy, sugar, red meat, and processed garbage. I already ate pretty clean so the only things I cut out were the coffee and the occasional sweets(maybe 1 per day). So for me, week one was pretty much a caffeine detox. By day 7 I had only lost 1 pound. This was a little depressing because I had heard about stories of people losing up to 10 lbs in the first week and I wondered if I was doing something wrong but I just continued on. I had paid for the Reset and was finishing!!!
Week 2 - Life got better
For Week 2 you cut out all animal protein and are completely vegan. My meals consisted of fruit, veggies, and quinoa. I made a great effort to cook a lot of the recipes in the Ultimate Reset book and found some recipes that I will continue to cook. This was actually my favorite week. I didn't mind the diet any more because I was past the caffeine detox and my sugar cravings were very mild. For the mild sugar cravings I still had, Chocolate Vegan Shakeology came to the rescue. I had it every night before bed.
The best part of this week is that I finally started to lose some serious weight. And I was feeling the difference in how my clothes were fitting. My body just felt like it was getting tighter.
Week 3 - The Finish Line
For Week 3 you continue eating Vegan but cut out more of the grains and try to eat solely vegetables and fruit. I definitely missed eating protein but was not hungry during this week.
I also felt very CLEAR by week 3 if that makes sense. I used to feel tired and had a lack of energy most days but by week three of the Reset I no longer felt foggy. I did not have a lot of energy but was definitely feeling clear, fresh, and clean. By the last day of the Reset, I had lost a total of 8 pounds and 12.35 inches. A lot of those inches were from my thighs which is GLORIOUS!!!!
The day after the reset, I had my first protein in 2 weeks, an egg!!!!! Oh man did I miss my protein. Once I started eating protein again, I had incredible energy. This energy mixed with the clarity I developed on the reset has left me feeling absolutely amazing. I am able to push harder in my workouts now and here's the kicker..... WITHOUT CAFFEINE OR PRE-WORKOUT!!!!! So at the end of the day, the Ultimate Reset is worth doing. By no means would I do it often but I plan to do it yearly. Kinda like my own body spring cleaning.
I am on day 18 of the Beachbody Ultimate Reset and have seen steady weight loss since Day 1. I started this process at 143.8 lbs. I am 5'6 so that is a totally healthy weight. The morning of day 17 I was 137.3 lbs.
Today is day 18 and I am still 137.3 lbs. That being said, aunt flow started yesterday and is at her climax today. I usually gain about 3-4 lbs with my period from bloating and this happens every month. So the fact that I am the exact same weight is a really good sign. My periods usually last 5 days so I will be done with it the day after I finish the reset. I guess I will be completely flushed and detoxed. Nature's oil change, lol.
I also did not experience any pre-menstrual spotting. I usually have spotting up to 7 days before my period of just brown discharge, sorry if TMI, but I did not have any this cycle. The second I saw spotting, I was full blown into my period within hours. Another great thing I have noticed with this period is that my cramps are very mild. I am notorious for crippling menstrual cramps but they are very mild......definitely not complaining. I am also not breaking out like I normally do with my period. I know that all of the symptoms I normally experience with my period are driven by hormones and being that I have a predisposition to PCOS, they drive that too. So needless to say this is a fabulous bonus.
What I can conclude from this is that either the detoxing or clean diet are regulating and correcting my hormones. It is likely both. I can't wait to see where I end up with my weight at the end of the Ultimate Reset. I took pictures, measurements, and weight on Day 1 so I will share after I am done.
I have had quite the weight loss journey, click here to check it out
Sometimes I feel like Batman!!! I am an Electrical Engineer by day and Beachbody Bombshell Dynasty Coach by night. I love and am extremely passionate about both of my identities. I do higher level programming automation controls on one end and on the other I help change peoples lives for the better including my own. One day these two incomes will match. What do I do at that point?