Friday, January 18, 2013

Fit Friday!

Getting Fit FridayHow exciting! I just found the Fit Friday link-up so I can find fitness blogger friends!

I've been continuing to use Noom. It poured today and yesterday, which didn't encourage me to exercise, but I did walk to the local shops twice. I got up late today, but once I did I barely stopped moving just doing various chores so even though I didn't officially exercise today, I don't feel like I had an inactive day.

For those visiting my blog for the first time, I'm Pamela. I'm in my mid-twenties and just moved to India. I'm about to get married. This is my new health and fitness blog. (I also have a lifestyle blog, the Songs on the Way.)

Looking forward to meeting all of you!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


We said goodbye to Nellie yesterday. She ended up being a poor fit for our family. It is very sad, as I was quite fond of her, but it was the right thing to do. She'll be happier elsewhere, her foster mom agreed it was the right thing as well.

Fitness wise, I haven't really done much exercising. I have kept track of my eating, but on that  app  I told you about, not written down so I can share it here.

So... not much of an update, but that's all I got and I thought I should check in!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

First Normal Post

Okay so to do a "normal" post... though I'm still deciding what a normal post should be like...

I'll blog about yesterday, Saturday January 12th.

Exercise Log: I did a ten minute workout using a "daily workout" app on my one. I also tried to consciously move more when I was doing stuff (like dancing around while playing with my phone.)

Food: Yesterday for breakfast I had chicken biryani (leftover dinner) and chai (tea brewed in milk) with sugar. I also had a banana.
For lunch we had mince (goat) made with potatoes, over daal (lentils with oil, tomatoes, and spices) and rice.
For a snack I had chai and a paratha (a form of bread) with jam.
For dinner I had sabji (vegetables- in this case green beans, tomatoes, and potatoes), daal, mince and potatoes, with a small amount of rice and some parathas.

I started using a weight loss app called Noom yesterday.

More excitedly... we got our dog yesterday! We chose to name her Nellie.

I am excited to start down this journey with you... and Nellie!

Friday, January 11, 2013

What and How

Okay folks, sorry for the delay.

So the goal of today is what I hope to do with this blog and how I expect it to work.

Basically I just want accountability. One of the reasons I called this Meaningful Activity is I want to make my days more disciplined and intentional. I want to be healthy in spirit, soul/mind/heart (people have various vocabulary) and body.

I want to give you a log and reflection of the exercise I do, food I eat, and general health stuff (like if I want to talk about my PCOS). I also want to find similar minded friends in the blogosphere because I find friends to be my biggest motivation towards healthy living.

I hope you'll partner with me as we move towards a healthier body.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Tooth About Why I Haven't Posted

Okay sorry everyone!

I have not forgotten this blog's existence, no worries. I know I said I'd do the "what and how" post on Friday, but stuff has happened since then. Also, the blogger app on my phone is only hooked up to the Songs on the Way (don't know if you can have two blogs, it's a very simplistic app) and I've not actually been on the actual computer since then.

Me on Sunday
The what and how post will have to wait. But this is a health and fitness blog, so I'll let you know that part of the reason I've not blogged has to do with my health. My dental health. On Saturday I woke up in pain with my tooth and told myself I needed to go to the dentist on Monday. I had plans for Saturday and Sunday and didn't want to try to get in earlier. I had known I needed to go to the dentist for a while but had procrastinated.

Then on Sunday I woke up with the left half of my face swollen. We were able to get me in to see Ryan's dentist, who put me on strong antibiotics and we scheduled the extraction for Tuesday evening. 

However Tuesday afternoon, the swelling wasn't entirely gone, so we rescheduled for today, Wednesday evening. So I'll be getting that done tonight.

That's not the only thing that's been keeping me from blogging, but I've been busy this week and honestly computer wise I haven't gotten on one. My computer (my netbook) has keyboard issues and it's a trial to type on. And Ryan's desktop is in his room, which he sleeps in all day. I've been waking up in the early morning, he sleeps until the afternoon, then we spend time together and then he goes to work and I go to bed. I haven't really had free time with the computer. And I wouldn't now either except Ryan is having trouble sleeping so I'm using that to my advantage.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Who and Where

In my last post I explained the 'why' of this blog. So I decided I'd go through the classic "Who, What, Where, Why, and How." Today I'll cover the 'Who' and 'Where'. Tomorrow will be the 'What' and 'How!'

Well, where is the easiest. I just moved to India!

swimming during a camping trip
I'm Pamela. I'm an American woman in her mid-twenties who is about to get married. I'm a passionate blogger and lover of Christ. As far as health goes, I have polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS.) It's amazingly common considering that it's rare anyone has ever heard of it unless they or someone close to them has it. I guess maybe because it's a feminine disease people don't publicize it as much.

Basically it's a hormone disorder, or I heard it called an endocrin disorder. It's not actually a disease, it's a syndrome. Which basically means it's a collection of symptoms that appear to be related, but it's not cut and dry in everyone. Like when I was diagnosed, I didn't actually have any poly cysts, which is the symptom that gave the syndrome its name. That said, I had enough of the symptoms that the doctor had no doubts, and I did eventually get the poly cysts.

I was diagnosed at 16, but looking at the symptoms I've had it since I was 13 or earlier.  The summer between my seventh and eighth grade years in school I suddenly gained 50 pounds (22.6 kilograms). In one summer. We went to the doctor, but they just dismissed it as me preparing for a growth spurt because of my age, despite the fact I'd just had one. Before then I'd never been overweight, though I'd never been thin. I was tall with a large, broad frame and a round face, so I'd been mocked for being "fat" by my shorter, willowy classmates even when I was completely normal. So I already thought of myself as large, and gaining weight just confirmed it.

PCOS is related to insulin resistance... they're not actually sure why. And even though I had the PCOS first and it caused the weight gain, apparently the best advice they have for treating PCOS is to lose weight. Oh, yeah, and the hormones cause weight loss resistance.


So I battled my weight without any success in high school. I only gained. Then when I went to college I remember at the end of my first semester I got really into exercise... and gained weight. Which was probably muscle, but still, I lost no fat. Then in the spring I went on a super strict diet for a month...

all sweaty and endorphin-y after a workout
And gained two pounds.

After that I simply quit trying for a couple years. I didn't really gain much weight if I pigged out and didn't exercise... and I didn't lose weight if I exercised and ate right, so why bother?

But I did find I felt a little better after eating well and I liked the endorphin rush I'd get from a good workout (the first time I ever experienced it was freshman year of college. Before that gym class and exercise was the bane of my existence because I'm clumsy and nonathletic and it was only extremely painful, not fun. I'm still clumsy and nonathletic, but I can see the fun now.)

In the years since college I have gone on lots of exercise kicks. I found that one of the best ways as a broke person to hang out with friends was to go on walks. We'd got to a nature trail and conquer it. I've had some of the best times doing that. Also I would go as a guest with friends with gym memberships. Or would do exercise videos. The Bollywood dance videos that used to come on Discovery Fit & Health

A friend during a nature walk.
About a year and a half ago, I had been thinking about doing some walk or something for charity. And then my friend Hannah, whose daughter Sadie Mae had passed away earlier that year, announced she was going to have a 5K in Sadie Mae's honor. And I got inspiration. Why not do that trendy Couch to 5K program I'd seen people talking about and raise money for Sadie Mae's 5K? So I started "See Pam Run", because honestly I never run. I'm very overweight and so I figured people both loved seeing people getting in shape and helping out charities, so hopefully we could get somewhere with this...

So I started in earnest and did pretty well. Then I had to get a biopsy.

I'd been having my period nonstop for over a year and a half. At first, I wasn't panicked because the PCOS causes my periods to be WEIRD. I often only have a couple a year and when I do they are extremely heavy. I've gone over a year without one before. I've also had it happen where I had them every two weeks. So I didn't panic at first...

Then it kept going. And I compartmentalized it. Why? Because I was living in the USA, unemployed, pre-Obama Care and had no insurance. I couldn't afford a simple doctor's appointment let alone tests and treatment if it was something serious.

So I ignored it. Honestly I think I have ignored my PCOS much the same way. It's a way of coping, and helps with stress, and is a good way to function if there's something you can't do anything about, but PCOS is actually treatable and I've just been sticking my head in the ground. Anyway...

So I went to the doctor and he scheduled me for an ultrasound a few weeks later. That was agonizing. After bleeding for 18 months, my uterus was inflamed and I was crying... and they found a lump.

So then they had to give me a biopsy. Which literally had me sobbing and yelling. I couldn't walk for days, let alone run.

The photo I used for "See Pam Run"
Blessedly, the biopsy was negative, and sticking the needle into the lump (which I think was a fibroid tumor) disturbed it enough that I finally got rid of it and, with the aid of birth control pills, my period stopped.

Then Hannah ended up deciding to do a balloon release instead of a 5K, so I didn't really have motivation to get moving again...

But eventually I did, and I finished it this past August. And I blogged about it. And I found that when I'd not finish a week, I'd be doing other exercises and yet there wasn't "space" on my blog for that...

I didn't get too much exercising in after the Couch to 5K, just some walking with friends and crunches at home kind of stuff here and there because... I was moving to India! But I am an *avid* pedestrian and would rather walk, so long as the weather is nice.

And now I'm here. And I just got my period for the first time in 5 months (yay) after being here a month, which could be coincidence or it could be that Indian food is indeed healthy for me.

Me preparing to cook back in US
I've never had my own kitchen. Still don't have one. I don't have the will power to resist food I love for long, so when I was in college it was so hard with the cafeteria style eating, especially during stressful times. And at my parent's house, they are major snackers and always keep stuff around. And we'd do our grocery store shopping once a week, and I wasn't a part of it. I'd ask for something, and they'd say bring me home one or two meals to last me a week of lunches. So in order to get enough, I'd ask for the cheapest stuff... which in America is synonymous with the least healthy most of the time.

Here in India, I was anticipating doing the cooking. (I only moved here November 29th.) I bought a PCOS and a Diabetes cookbook (my future mother-in-law has diabetes, and consequently Ryan and I are both at risk for getting it, him by genetics, mine from PCOS. So I figured Diabetes friendly meals would be good for all.) However, his parents hired a cooking maid and so I don't cook here either. And they're like "you can cook when you want" but I can't really because again, I don't do the grocery shopping and I honestly don't know what half the spices are (they're not labelled) and I don't know how to make a meal out of cauliflower and peas. I'm used to American cooking.

So... that's the where and the who, I guess. Tomorrow I'll tell you what I hope to do with this blog and how I expect it to work!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Why a New Blog?

Me, out running the C25K
I decided to launch a new blog revolving around health and fitness.


Because a blog is a great way of having accountability when it comes to fitness.

Because the subject is very niche-y, and I think it'd be easier to maintain, and gain encouragement from, outside of the Songs on the Way.

Because I don't want to flood the Songs on the Way with too many daily posts. My rule of thumb is try to blog daily (but five or six times a week is okay), never blog more than twice daily, and try to only blog twice a day twice or less a week. But the truth is, when I tried to blog about fitness when I was doing the Couch to  5K or something, I'd find myself forgetting, or having another post idea that was more pressing to the vision of the Songs on the Way, and I got off track.

Because there are these awesome things called tabs, so I can link to this blog from the Songs on the Way and to the Songs on the Way from this blog, so they're not entirely separate.