Category Archives: Healthy eating

Gözleme all the way

Have you tried gözleme? If not you should absolutely put it on your ‘must try before I die’ list. Technically I do not have one of these lists (yet!), but it rolls off the tongue beautifully so I think it should be a thing 🙂

I have an amazing group of friends at my work. They are brilliant people and truly without them my day to day life would not be half as shiny. We often like to have lunch together and one of my friends had been eyeing off a gözleme place that has been under construction for some time now. Finally it opened, so obviously we had to go on the first day.

gozleme-potato

Potato, spinach & feta – SO GOOD!!!

Looks great on the plate and even better when you taste it. It is served on a wooden board with a wedge of lemon. We all loved it and have already visited again a couple of times. It is promoted as Turkish street food and is made fresh, you can literally watch them make it for you from rolling out your dough to placing the finished product on your board. It is completely tasty and the people that run it are (from what I can gather) 1-2 families who are all Turkish, spanning across 3 generations, which I think is really cool.

Last week we went there and were offered Turkish tea (or Rize tea), it was a promotion and you got a free cup with every gözleme. I was a little hesitant because I had been warned off Turkish coffee, but I promised to try new things this year so I did… and I LOVED it. It was super yum. It is served in this elegant tiny little glass with a teeny teaspoon and a sugar cube. My friend and I were only disappointed that there wasn’t more.

turkish-tea

Turkish tea with spinach and feta gozleme

Such an interesting contrast to be eating street food with your hands and sipping on tea out of an elegant cup like a posh lady.

9/10 will eat and drink again – A LOT.
It is probably not good that this is such a short walk from my work, but honestly it is not that bad for you is it?


Losing my habit

Many moons ago I was studying for my higher school certificate (HSC for the Aussies, final school exams that give you your marks to get into University for everyone else 🙂 ), I had always had issues with exam anxiety. It wasn’t that I didn’t study or didn’t try, I just got in there and somehow convinced myself things were trick questions or they wanted more than what was on there or had blanks. It was a bad time. My grandmother was also very ill and going through cancer treatments.

One day I went to visit my grandmother with my Mum and the doctor chose that day to tell us that she would not be getting better. I blocked up all my reactions and when we left the hospital I kept striding towards the car until my Mum yelled for me to stop. I sat down on a short wall and started crying. My Mum had her cigarettes sitting next to her and I just took one and lit it. That was the day I first started smoking.

I was a pretty considerate smoker I believe. I stood away from people and crowds when smoking. I held the cigarette away from myself and blew the smoke away from myself to reduce the amount the smell stuck to me. I would also eat a mint, wash my hands and give a spritz of perfume after a smoke and like any decent person I binned my butts.

Because my hubby, siblings and mother smoke I have always found it very difficult to quit or cut down. I would also use smoking as an appetite suppressant and didn’t feel I could quit and lose weight at the same time and because I was always trying to lose weight I never really quit.

I always thought I would quit when I got pregnant. For many years of trying I didn’t think of quitting. Then when we found out how much IVF was going to cost us I decided I didn’t want anything risking it not working and I just completely quit on February 15 this year. One day I smoked the next day I just stopped, that evening I was sitting at a table whilst my Mum and Hubby enjoyed a smoke and a cuppa together and it was hard, but I didn’t smoke.

I have now not smoked for 155 days.

I am so very proud of myself. It was not easy. It was in fact very hard to break a habit I had for over a decade. I feel I am healthier for it. I used to always get bronchitis in winter, I have not (touch wood) had anything awful so far this winter (although I also had the flu vaccine for the first time this year). Whilst all my colleagues have been falling around me I have marched on with sometimes mild flu symptoms. I have been an asthma sufferer for years and since quitting I have not had one attack. Not one use of my inhaler. That is incredible to me.

Between quitting smoking and the IVF meds I did put on about 8kgs (my IVF doctor was not pleased) and my eating was just out of control because I was using food to fill the smoking hole. Last week I signed up with weight watchers to help get my eating back on track. In the first week I lost 2.4kgs so I feel like this was definitely a good move.

I knew going in that quitting smoking would be a long road. I was prepared to put on weight and wait for my body to get used to being without cigarettes before attempting to lose it and now I am ready to build a new lifestyle that does not include smoking.

It was a massive part of my life. My husband who generally succeeds at everything he does lasted half a day. I am not mad at him for this because I know how difficult it is. I believe in him and know he will get there.

I have had difficulty because I used to use a smoke as a time of stress relief. Suddenly removing that from my life I believe had a bigger impact than the cravings. To deal I replaced it with watching Netflix and eating chocolate basically everyday. As a chocoholic I must admit I loved this, but my fat jeans did not. They no longer fit 😦 It also did not solve the problem because I was avoiding de-stressing by submerging myself in another world. It was all still there when I turned the TV off at night.

After our fresh transfer for IVF failed I went into a dark hole. I knew I needed to make changes to help my mental health and help me heal from this devastating result. So we took a break from IVF to allow my body to balance out all the hormones and we vowed to stop having timed intercourse for a couple of months (anyone who has had to do this knows what it does to your relationship and we have been trying to conceive for 4.5 years now) and I decided to make some changes.

So what has this loss of habit brought me?:

I no longer have asthma symptoms, I can breathe easier, I don’t get sick as often and if I do I get over it pretty quickly.

My decision to change my lifestyle began 155 days ago when I quit smoking. I knew I was in for a long journey, but so far it has totally been worth it. I have been going to Pilates for 3 weeks and love it. Yesterday I added in some treadmill work before Pilates which my body was not used to, but was very good to me. Pilates has also helped my headspace. I plan to increase the number of times I do it a week because I feel that this could provide me with the de-stress I have been craving. Long soaks in the bath have also helped with this and finding ways to spoil myself a little that has nothing to do with food or smoking has helped with the de-stress too.

The combination of quitting smoking and having a break from IVF has hubby and I connecting like newlyweds, we are coming up on 9 years together and 5 years married and I can with confidence say that our relationship is everything  have always hoped for in a marriage.

Whilst I put on weight initially I am now losing it slowly in a healthy way and filling my body with awesome nutrition to support the beautiful embryo we have frozen just waiting for transfer.

Making the decision to lose this habit has had many positive impacts in my life. It was one of the bigger challenges I have faced in life and I am proud of myself for overcoming it.

 

Response to the discover topic The Things We Leave Behind

 

 


A lull…

I know I have been absent. I abandoned you and I am sorry. The difficulties I discussed in my last post along with some not so good stuff going on at work that I am not aloud to talk about at the moment, but suffice to say that it is stressful stuff.

I have also just been really down and feeling quite lonely. I think whilst I love my new home moving there and not having the company of my parents has compounded the sadness of the IVF transfer failing. The place often feels rather empty and whilst I would like to do activities like unpacking and gardening and what not together, Hubby generally seems to like to get stuck into things separately which I guess is fine, but not grand for the whole lonely thing.

Just sad

We got the test results for our frozen emby and it is completely normal. HUGE sigh of relief!!! They sent me the report which I thought would list all the different tests they did on it, but it didn’t. We opened it and it simply had our names, when the testing was done, that it tested normal at the highest percentage, the GENDER and that it was fit for transfer. Yup that’s right, we were not going to find out the gender because I was worried I would get too emotionally invested in this life that might not come to be and we found out by accident. Meanwhile I was totally right, I tried not too, but all I can think about is this little life and what they might look like and how I would love to do the nursery. OMG SO BAD you guys, I have not had any of that too badly, but it is in high gear now.Hubby and I decided we are not going to tell anyone the sex (I reserve the right to change my mind about this) even if it works it is the one thing we feel that we would like to keep to ourselves.

I became desperate to have the next transfer work I decided I HAD to lose weight somehow and signed up to Isagenix because it worked for my friend. I did it because I was desperate basically. Well I learned my lesson, I did not react well to this system, it tasted awful and I gagged my way through the shakes and the pills. By day two I was severely (and uncomfortably almost painfully) bloated and had added 5+cm to my waist line. They kept pushing me to continue it and go on a cleanse day and said it was normal. I had a big break down to my husband and talked to him about my/our diet and lifestyle and that I was desperate to lose weight to give this baby the best chance at latching on. We talked for hours. I made the decision to return the Isagenix and look at another way of getting fit. This all happened during the two weeks I took off of work because I needed some head space. Weight watchers has previously been amazing for me and teaches you good eating habits. We decided to do this instead, I just have to wait for my refund for Isagenix.

So yes I have been struggling with some seriously sad feelings. Hubby actually wanted me to see someone because he said in 9 years he had never seen me like this. I think I just really needed the two weeks off to veg out, sleep and work through some shit (I am a GREAT bottler of feelings). I feel a lot better for it. Now I just have to send off the stuff back to Isagenix, get my money back, join up to weight watchers (or rather rejoin) and go to the Pilate class I convinced my friends to attend with me once a week after work (don’t worry I intend to do more than one bout of exercise per week 🙂 )

sleep

All the sleep!!!

What crazy things have you guys tried when you were desperate to lose weight? Did it work?


What now?

Well I was right. This cycle didn’t work. It was a heartbreaking realisation. By the time we did our blood test on Saturday I was so positive that it didn’t work that I convinced Hubby to go to coffee after they had taken blood.

Meanwhile the woman who called me back to confirm the bad news probably shouldn’t be making bad news calls. It was completely awkward and if I had have been in a different place, i.e. no bad symptoms and still full of hope I don’t know how the phone call would have gone. I told them I wanted a month off for my body to recover. She even said weird things like ‘generally we find that younger women like yourself find more success with frozen cycles’ umm then why did we ever try a fresh transfer? Don’t say stupid crap like that to women hyped up on hormones who you have just told that a $10k IVF cycle resulted in nothing. Then she said some other stuff and ended with, ‘okay well we will hear from you when you want to proceed with treatment again, if you do want to contact us ever again’ err… what? What a weird ass thing to say. Sweetie, you people have my frosty babe… I am coming back for them.

If the FET transfer doesn’t work, or they come back and say that the testing showed it wasn’t a good quality embryo I think we will look at going somewhere else. I have done some research and it looks as though Primary IVF might be pretty decent, it is practically next to Genea and they bulk bill so the pricing is ridiculously cheaper. We could do more than 10 full IVF cycles on what it costs us to do one at Genea. I have talked to a few women who have gone there (IVF support group via Facebook) and they all love the place. If anyone reading this has been I would love to hear your feedback. Unfortunately they are apparently really strict on BMI so we might not be accepted by them.

The grieving process for this was really bad. It happened the first night I started bleeding. My husband had never seen me like that and had no idea what to do. I blame those freaking hormones. I literally had no control over my emotions and I completely lost the ability to rationalise anything. I was a CRAZY lady. I think it was quite therapeutic though. I am not a huge crier and don’t remember the last time I had a really good cry. Afterwards I was completely exhausted and in pieces, but I felt this wonderful calm and I slept like a baby.

It has made me realise I need to slow the hell down. Infertility is bullshit and as much as we march on with the grit and determination of an Amazon really a piece of us dies inside with every negative pregnancy test, every purchase of tampons and every pregnancy announcement from others who have seemingly blessed lives.

We are not stopping trying this month, but we are not doing a transfer. A month of no sex was torture and I am not going into another month of that straight up. No sex plus a tonne of crazy lady hormones made for a very challenging month and we just want to get back to chilling and being with each other. I have organised for two weeks off in June and Hubby is taking the whole month off. We have to/want to get our landscaping done. That will be a fantastic achievement!

There is a lot going on in my head at the moment. We are just so very busy.


Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and Harry Potter

2016

I have been a very, very naughty blogger. I have neglected you and I am sorry. Why have I abandoned you? Quite simply the crazy season was crazy and every minute I wasn’t committed to cooking, cleaning, celebrating, catching up or other such activities I was reading the Harry Potter series. I managed to finish the last book before the New Year.

I also realise I seriously owe you some 52 Books in 52 Weeks posts. I will get them done. Basically I am behind because I was reading too much and seriously surpassed my goal.

Let’s talk about resolutions… did you make any? I have done some over the past few years which were more like goals rather than resolutions and I will be keeping some of the ones from last year. So here are my goals for 2016…

  • 52 Books in 52 Weeks – yup, here we go again. I can’t tell you how much I enjoy this, but I need to get better with my planning and posting. I was doing well last year until about half way through and then it all fell to pieces LOL.
  • Try new things – I have really enjoyed this and haven’t done as much of it in 2015 as I should have so I am bringing this back with a vengeance. I do often tie this in to trying new foods (particularly healthy foods) which is a great thing, but I want to get some more activity things in there too in 2016.
  • Healthy lifestyle – This is something that one constantly works towards I think. It is a choice you make each day. Hubby was good enough to gift me the Garmin tracker I asked for so my first goal for 2016 health wise is to keep my steps up each day. I have also been chatting to a friend at work and may have talked her into joining the work gym and being my gym buddy… we’ll see what happens there. Sadly I gym better when my commitment has been made to someone else rather than myself. I am also going to explore more foods, ways of cooking and preparing and organising my meals better.
  • Get knocked up – This is probably my biggest goal for 2016. Someway, somehow I want to be knocked up by years end. I don’t think this is too much to ask really is it? This means more to me than pretty much everything apart from my family. Please let this be my year. Fingers crossed.

What goals have you set yourself this year?


The Final Truth

* Trigger Warning: I am going to talk very seriously about eating disorders. These are my experiences and some might find the descriptions of emotions hard to deal with. Oh and also I swear 🙂 *

This is a hard subject for me to write about, but I have been inspired by another blogger’s honesty and felt it was time for some of my own.

In High School (and some of Primary School) bullies had me convinced I was fat and ugly, I was very good at hiding how much that affected me mentally. No one knew exactly how much I struggled because as it turns out I am an ace at bottling my emotions. Eventually I attempted to stop eating to lose weight convinced if I just lost weight I would be beautiful and the bullying would stop and when I found that too difficult I became bulimic. No one knew I had this problem, I was scarily good at hiding it and in fact managed to hide it in a family of 5 for many months.

Sometime later my best friend who I didn’t get to see often because she moved 40 minutes away was hospitalised because her organs were shutting down due to anorexia, seeing her that ill made me do some serious thinking. I knew about bulimics and had stupidly talked myself into believing that I wasn’t one because bulimics threw up everything and I only made myself sick if I ate something naughty. Seeing my friend hospitalised and being told she might not come out scared me good and I decided to make myself stop.

And I did stop. My girlfriend got better and we have since talked about our experiences, until recently she was one of two people that knew I ever had a problem.

The thing about this kind of illness is that the mental battle doesn’t ever completely disappear. To this day I know she struggles with it sometimes. So do I.

I have been on the infertility journey for four years come this New Year’s Eve, for most of that time I have managed to keep my shit together, but every time I go and see a doctor or a specialist and get told I need to lose weight and that I am not doing enough or working hard enough it sparks a battle I have to work very hard not to succumb to.

Do I over indulge in my everyday life, hell yes, and if I am truly honest it happens too often. To be even more honest *deep breath* I have recently come to believe that I think (particularly in the past) that some of my overindulgence is to prove I am okay. I know this sounds so stupid but it is sometimes almost a test, like “I can totally eat this cheesecake without having a war in my head”. Not all of it is this way and I think it is subconscious, I am not even positive as to whether this is true (mix this with being an emotional eater and I think you really have something); it is just a thought that has been circling for a while now. It is possible it started off this way (pretty sure that part is true), but has now just become my lifestyle, habits that I now need to go back and break.

For me it was also about control. As a teenager I felt so out of control of every aspect of my life, I couldn’t even succeed in controlling my eating, but I could control whether it stayed in my body.

This brings me to why I am bringing this up now. I had not made myself sick for many, many years, over a decade in fact without a relapse. Then the constant and intense pressure from the specialist started, if I do not lose 10kgs I will not be put forward for IVF.

Just to be clear, if I cannot lose 10kgs you guys, I might never have a biological child. Which means my parents and T’s wouldn’t get grandbabies from us and T will never be a father. That is a fuck ton of pressure to carry around with you constantly, every day and with every food and activity choice you make. Slowly but surely the little wars started going on in my head again, the wars got longer and the devil on my shoulder started to gain ground. Still I thought I had everything under control. Then I started to feel as though T wasn’t as serious and dedicated to having a child as I was. I felt like I had to have surgery to get my ovaries drilled and he couldn’t even commit to the nights we were supposed to have sex because his work kept calling him up. The prospect of the needles and complete invasiveness that is IVF had me terrified and I just felt that I had absolutely no control over anything.

Then one day… the devil one a battle.

A couple of weeks later he won another one.

The worst part about it was the complete relief I felt afterwards, then I felt ashamed for feeling so relieved. I was at a crossroads, I could see the two roads in front of me and I needed to make a decision.

One night cinched the deal.

T and I were supposed to have happy time that night, but once again something kept him away so I was left waiting in bed trying to stay awake. Instead of being mad at his work or at him for not telling them to call someone else I turned on myself and after berating myself with stupid friggen stuff that in reality was for the most part untrue or greatly exaggerated I felt a very strong urge come over me. I knew this was the moment. So I made a decision.

I held my body in a tight foetal position with tears running down my face until T showed up. It took a long time for me to get out what was going on. I danced all around the subject. Started with telling him how I felt about his commitment to trying for a baby and his priorities in regards to work. Then my feelings of complete terror surrounding going through IVF (the fear is real guys, I don’t know why, perhaps it is fear of the unknown, but sometimes it is paralysing which is ridiculous. I think I feel like IVF is our Hail Mary pass and if that doesn’t work it’s all over). Then finally I took a deep breath breathe and I told him.

I told my partner of 8 years (husband for 4) that I had been bulimic on and off for a very long time as a teen and that I felt it coming back. I told him everything you guys, what brought on episodes, the fact that I had already succumbed twice in a few weeks and that I was pretty fearful of the road I was heading down.

Then I started sobbing and asked him if he thought less of me, he said of course he didn’t. Then I begged him not to tell my Mum because I was ashamed (ahh fuck it now I am crying). This is ridiculous because my parents would never judge me for this, but I didn’t want to let them down. I also didn’t want to feel like everyone was watching me looking for signs of it worsening. For anyone who has suffered with mental illness or eating disorders (and I am sure many other illnesses) you know exactly what I am talking about.

I made a deal to talk to T when I started having these feelings to try and cut them off before they become all-consuming to the point where I lose another battle.

Interestingly since I have told him the one big thing about me that I have never shared I have not had one instance of being even close to relapsing. I feel as though knowing that even in this we are facing the battle together has made me stronger.

Addition:
I actually wrote this post 2 days ago and once I finished writing it I realised I should speak to my Mum so held off posting it until I had. She was okay and we talked about strategies to help me and everything. I feel better for being able to talk to her, but I really hadn’t wanted to add to her worries.


Specialist blues

I am apologising in advance for any snarky or sarcastic comments I make in my post. I am a little upset and scared about the outcomes of our appointment and it turns out that sarcasm is my go to dealing mechanism 🙂

Friday we went back to the fertility specialist, it was not fun and parts of it I got annoyed with. He wasn’t impressed that I stopped taking Eutroxsig instead of doing his suggestion of seeing a hair loss specialist. I explained that within 2 days of ceasing the medication my hair had stopped falling out and I had stopped sweating rivers and that by trying it this way I had saved myself over $350 that would have been spent needlessly because the hair loss was not because I am fat (which is basically he told me before). He still wasn’t impressed and told me he would give me a different medication to see how that goes, but that I really, really need to be on thyroid medication and that not taking could affect my fertility (apparently freaking everything I do or do not do affects it – who knew my reproductive system could be so finnicky).

He asked me how much weight I had lost and I said, “another 5kgs so 10kgs in total”. He said he wouldn’t count from before he started seeing me so I still needed to lose another 6-10kgs before IVF would be approved for me. WTF? That kinda made me feel like how hard I had worked to lose those 10kgs didn’t matter at all! He just wove them off like they were never there. Rude skinny man, he obviously has no idea the torture of trying to be healthy and lose weight when you have PCOS, Insulin Resistance and thyroid problems, how insensitive and douchy! Before we got married (pre-diagnosis) I went to the gym at least 3 days a week for cardio and weights, Zumba 2 days a week, pilates 1-2 days a week, I ate EXTREMELY well and as the due date got closer I actually ended up going to a shake diet because I just was not losing any more weight… in the end I could only just dip below the 100kgs mark… with all of that work I still couldn’t get smaller than that. That is seriously de-motivating. Meanwhile in the couple of months since we had seen him Hubby had ONE piece of homework… to go and get a blood test done and he never did it. The damn Doctor didn’t even mention it. I brought up whether there was more we could do to help his sperm and Doc says, “oh he has 3% normal, so that should be okay”.

Then comes the fun part, he wants me to have laparoscopic ovarian drilling, he seems to think that I have endometriosis even though we have found no trace of it on scans and I don’t have symptoms. He seems to believe that it could be significant basically because he has no other excuse for why we are not pregnant after over 3 years of trying. I asked about checking for tube blockages and he said they can do that at the same time because then I will be knocked out for it – which to be honest is kinda nice because I wasn’t looking forward to that test.

The problem isn’t ovulation because I am ovulating which is why I was confused at first because he just said, “we are going to move forward with ovarian drilling” and I was like, well hang in there buddy, why are we drilling for oil when it’s coming out of the ground of its own accord? But apparently he suspects endo and feels that even though I am ovulating perhaps the endo is creating a hostile environment for fertilisation or some crap. I have done a bit of reading on the process since and a bunch of the stuff (even the pamphlets he gave me) all say it is to start ovulation in women with PCOS who do not respond to medications. If I have endo and it gets rid of it I suppose I have to do it right?

The only time I have been admitted to hospital was to have my wisdom teeth removed and I had a panic attack just before being wheeled in. You guys I am totally freaking out. Hubby and Mum are all, it’s nothing, just keyhole surgery, we both had out appendix and gall bladders removed and we are fine. I get this and I know that there is a very low risk, but Jesus, they are going to be burning off parts of my freaking ovaries… thems the baby egg makers.

If any of you have been through this surgery I could really use some positive stories that have come from it.

I also have to still lose that weight so I am thinking I will have to get super strict and serious, I might have to develop my own challenge around this so I can make it work. I got the other medication last night too and started taking it this morning, early days, but I will let you know if I need to raise wig money 🙂

I could totally rock this look right? I loves me some purple!

I could totally rock this look right? I loves me some purple!