Posted in Life with doctors

Finally diagnosed …

I was in a car accident two weeks ago. A guy rear ended me and it wasn’t super severe. But since I already have neck issues and stiffness, I thought it best to get checked out. So the police officer had the paramedics take me to the ER. While there, the physician assistant sent me for X-rays and a CT scan to check for fractures; I had no physical bruises though I was sore on my back.

Fast forward to my results – the attending physician noted no fractures and stated that my images were consistent with someone who has Ankylosing spondylitis. Now, I’ve researched this condition on and off for a few years but this was the FIRST time a medical professional has ever said – yeah, you have this. The recommendation was to follow up with my primary care doctor which I did.

What is Ankylosing spondylitis? Easiest explanation is that it’s inflammation of the spine that can affect other joint areas as well. Since talking to my doctor last week, I’ve been poring over the research and I’m so angry that no one thought this might be a problem before. I’ve had two rounds of physical therapy for my knee and two rounds for my neck area. I’ve taken LOTS of aleve. I exercise and totally changed my eating habits and lifestyle yet I couldn’t have just ONE doctor to say – hey I’ve put two and two together and that equals this autoimmune condition????

So today, I just want to stress that you have to advocate for yourself. I was sent to see a rheumatologist who really listened. I’ve seen one before; he did a visual test and sent me for some bloodwork. Since I didn’t have the genetic marker and don’t fit the profile (I’m not a middle age white male), then he dismissed it. UGH! I’m so glad that the new rheumatologist listened, put two and two together and is working with me for a plan of action.

I’m fortunate – I work for a research doctor who is familiar with the condition. My cousin and a friend work in the pharmaceutical industry and provided more details on the medicine that is recommended. But so many others don’t have those resources at their fingertips. *sigh* and this is another reason for me to push with public health. Studies show that women of color don’t get the treatment that they need for so many conditions and just as often, they don’t even know what to ask for.

Whatever your medical state or condition, please advocate for yourself. Take the time to do the research. Keep pushing the envelope. It shouldn’t take a car accident or other incident for you to get the treatment that you need.

Posted in Overall health, Updates

Healthy with Friends

As I’ve mentioned, I really started focusing on new ways to get healthier in August 2018. But before that, I had tried so many times to lose weight and would get to a certain weight and get stuck! In the in-between times, I would just think – screw this – and eat or do whatever I wanted, even if it wasn’t healthy.

What I have learned in this health journey is that having others who are moving in the same direction as me is key. That being said – a memory popped up on FB today from 7 years ago with a good friend. In the “then” picture, she had lost 15 pounds and I had not even tried again.

And then there’s our now pictures. We took very different paths to achieve better health but look how far we’ve come! My friend is a workout queen, working her way down to a size 6. I am more the lighter workout (think yoga, walking, bike riding) person and am at a size 8. And we both changed our eating habits, though I am much more strict since I’m following the AIP.

And I have other friends who are working on their health too! Be that person who motivates others to make a change to become healthier 🤗. I recently read a quote that where you will be in 5 years will depend on the people you hang around. Get some friends traveling in the same direction as you. It makes a difference!!

Posted in supplements

Magnesium – Wellness Wednesdays

Welcome to the third week of Wellness Wednesdays! Today’s focus is magnesium. Allow me to remind everyone that I am not giving medical advice, but just sharing my journey that has allowed me to move toward better health.

What is magnesium? According to the Nutrition Source of the Harvard School of Public Health, magnesium is a mineral that “plays an important role in assisting more than 300 enzymes to carry out various chemical reactions in the body such as building proteins and strong bones, and regulating blood sugar, blood pressure, and muscle and nerve functions.” It basically helps with everything.

In PCOS, women tend to need more magnesium than the recommended daily dosage. It can be difficult for my muscles to relax and magnesium is responsible for that. Have you ever taken magnesium citrate? See how quickly your digestive system relaxes from that! And even though I don’t take the citrate form (I use buffered chelate magnesium), if you have too much, it can cause diarrhea. So I now take approximately 600 mg of magnesium daily and it has works wonders.

I can sleep better. My bowel movements are regular and easy, which has not always been the case. I’ve dealt with low motility and that is the worst ever. And of course, magnesium helps with the other 300 processes mentioned above that I didn’t even realize were connected until I started using it. I even use a topical magnesium spray for areas that tend to stay tight, like the cervical area or hips.

I’ve recommended the use of supplemental magnesium to family members. They both mentioned it to their respective doctors and their doctors agreed with my recommendations! One person, my mom, has seen improvements in her sleep as she is better able to relax, bm consistency and help with sciatic nerve pain that she was dealing with. I sent her the magnesium spray as well to help with areas that she needs to address.

I am not saying that supplemental magnesium is for everyone. Checking with your medical care team is a must. But it has definitely come through for me and been a game changer! Have you tried magnesium? If so, please comment below with your thoughts. I’ll see you next week! 🎊

Posted in Uncategorized

Non Scale Victory

I live about 20 minutes from a Gap factory outlet and let me say, this store has the BEST deals. Each week or so, there are a few highlighted items there. And the store includes all Gap brands including Old Navy, Banana Republic and Athleta.

A friend went yesterday and sent a text that some of the items were down to $1.99! So of course I went after work 😄 Because my sizing continues to drop, I try to find deals on clothing. And yes, I found some amazing deals.

But…the best discovery was when I picked up the size medium leggings and THEY FIT! 🤩 why is this such a big deal? I remember buying a pair of leggings a few years ago size XXL from the same designer, Old Navy. The bonus was that the leggings only cost $1.99!!

For those who need encouragement, let this be it for you: you can drop weight the healthy way. It may take time and it may not happen the way you expect, but as someone who had to buy “husky” clothing when I was in elementary school, this is a great win! (On another note, WHYYYYY was clothing labeled husky? That’s another post for another day)

Share with someone who needs encouragement or share your NSVs below. 🥂 to your good health!

Posted in Uncategorized

A Late Post

OMG- I was sitting here thinking “when is the one year anniversary for reaching the goal that I set for myself in the weight category?”. So I looked through some of my old posts and realized that it was in NOVEMBER last year!! Clearly I did nothing to celebrate because I didn’t know that it had been one year.

To recap, my goal was to get down to 175 pounds. And yayyyyy, I met that goal. And I’ve blown right past it as well. My last weigh in was 154 for a total loss of about 91 pounds. The only thing I’ve tried to do is be more consistent, get good quality sleep and incorporate some type of exercise on most days. Cooking at home more has helped a good deal; that’s been easier since I no longer travel up and down the coast.

But why do I mention all of this? To continue to stress that better health is possible. Have I hit all of my health goals? No. There are other indicators that I would like to improve but I believe that I will get there as I continue to work on them.

I’ve included a comparison picture from yesterday that I took before meeting a friend for lunch (one of the few times I’ve eaten out in some time) and from December 2018 after losing about 27 pounds. Share with someone who may need motivation to keep moving forward. If this chick can manage PCOS and osteoarthritis and still lose weight, you can too!

🥂 to your good health!
Posted in Uncategorized


In the latter half of August 2018, I decided to really work on my health and find more natural approaches to do so. This was after an expert in PCOS basically told me that I could just stay on birth control pills to manage it for the rest of my life! 😱

I came across the keto diet and did that for 3 months. However, since I have slow digestion, the program has WAYYYYY too much meat for me and I never felt hungry. But the keto diet was a great kick start to transition to paleo, which is basically what I still follow. Keto helped me stop a lot of junk cravings but I still wanted to feel better.

I started working with a nutritionist who specializes in PCOS in January 2019. And while working with the nutritionist involved revamping everything I had known in terms of food, what would work for me, motivation and habits, it was sooooo worth it.

When I started mid-August 2018 to make a total change and find something that was a permanent solution, I weighed about 245 pounds. Fairly accurate as I went to a gym and used the scale there. I’ve included a couple of before pics from earlier in 2018.

Summer 2018
April 2018 at a gala

Since that time, I’ve lost 81.8 pounds to date. This is the first time that I’ve ever released weight and actually been able to keep it off!! Ever! And no, I’ve had no surgeries or used any gimmicks. I just had to make real, sustainable changes with the guidance of my nutritionist.

I have improved health in so many ways – better sleep, more energy, less brain fog, better walking ability with osteoarthritis, less PMS, clearer skin, less hirtuism, better digestion, very few junk food cravings, and more confidence because I feel much better! I’m still a work in progress and have more goals that I want to reach but I’ve included recent pics from this month.

Summer 2020
August 2020 birthday celebration

I hope this inspires you to reach your goals! You can do this. And if you veer off track, the next day is a new one; the next meal is another chance to do better. Until next time, 🥂 to your good health!

Posted in Uncategorized

Slashing the Comfort Zone

Source: Shutterstock

I mentioned a few blog posts back that I was invited to be on a panel at a health conference. So this weekend was the panel! It was held in the Santa Cruz area which was my first visit there. I’d definitely go again when it’s a bit warmer.

While I travel and speak to groups for work, this was WAY out of my personal life comfort zone. I’m typically the one behind the scenes or giving contributions through activities like writing- like this blog. Being part of a group was helpful so that I wasn’t the only person sharing my story. Whew! That could’ve been really stressful and anxiety producing but I just took a deep breath and reminded myself why I was there.

In wanting others to be healthier or work toward optimal health, I have to work on the mental health aspect of myself to do so. I’m probably about half extroverted and half introverted so I need time to myself to recharge. I’m not good at small talk but I have had a lot of practice with my current job so I’ve gotten better. Its just that I want to share my health journey with others so that they can know what is possible through proper testing, supplements, quality food, exercise and just living life.

And I was super excited to meet my nutritionist in person. All meetings are conducted virtually because I’m on the east coast and she’s on the west. That may seem odd but it works really well when I made the commitment to change. So after making the changes and having this yearlong journey to be better, meeting her and her team was rewarding.

Me and Robin, my nutritionist

So I didn’t just step out of my comfort zone, I cut a slash into it! And hopefully, this will continue to prepare me for what’s next in my future. Today’s lesson- it’s okay to move outside of my comfort zone sometimes to experience something new. The feeling of accomplishment afterward is a great boost for mental health, at least for me. And visiting a new place is always good! Share a time when you’ve stepped out of your own comfort zone-maybe leaving a comment can be a first step. 🥂 to your good health. Until next time…

Posted in Uncategorized

Flashback Friday

April 2017 / November 2019

I am so thankful for the transformation that has occurred; I am BEYOND thankful. I never thought that I could be in a healthier place but that didn’t keep me from searching. It took time, work, patience and self-care, but it was possible. And it’s worth it because I AM WORTH IT! That’s the one thing you have to tell yourself every day when you’re facing a challenge – you are worth it. You can do this. Don’t listen to the negative people questioning how or telling you that you can’t. I have those people in my life too (they’re in the family) but I had to learn how to check them appropriately and keep pushing toward my goals. You’ve got this! Share with someone else who needs to realize that they are worth it.

Posted in Uncategorized

Work, travel and exercise

For about half of the year, I travel a good deal for work. As I write this, I am on a train to New York penn station so that I can head out to Long Island. I enjoy the flexibility of working from various locations but it can interfere with attempts to be healthy and, especially, to work out.

Initially, I just considered the additional movement of the day as exercise. You know- airport walking, train platform walking, wandering the stores, campuses, basically anything that got me moving while out for travel. But now I try to be more intentional about actually exercising while I’m on travel. I pack my workout clothes so that even if the hotel gym has only one treadmill, I’m going to use that one treadmill. I prefer the recumbent bike but it’s not available everywhere. I also use amazon prime to do a couple of easy stretch videos if that works better.

And when the weather is warmer, I’ll incorporate intentional walking outdoors and walking in the pool before anyone gets in. A coworker even looked up exercise classes at the local YMCA while we were in training for a week- wow, that’s dedication!! What tips do you have for exercising while working and traveling? Share your experiences; I look forward to hearing from you. Until next time 🥂…

My newest tip…pack a light sweatshirt for the gym because it can be chilly in there!

Scenes from recent gym adventures-

Watching Home Alone while on the bike
Heading down to the gym
Post bike workout
Posted in Uncategorized


I finally reached goal! (Now on to how to keep it off but that’s a blog for another day) that’s a total of 71 pounds, beginning August 2018! I’ll post my update pic below from 70 pounds when I was pushing for that ONE pound.

One pound to go

Side note: at my highest weight ever in life, I never actually weighed myself but based on my clothing size, pictures and the weight I was when I finally weighed myself, I’ve released about 100 pounds total. My highest was about 12 years or so ago.

I’m in a couple of fitness groups on Facebook and the women (sorry, guys) in the group mentioned how they planned to celebrate reaching their goal. I had never considered it but decided that was a great idea. This is probably the most consistent I’ve been with anything ever and I wanted to mark the occasion with something that I would remember. So after contemplating many options, I decided to buy a piece of jewelry with a ruby gemstone. Among many things, a ruby signifies health, wealth and wisdom which all played a role in this journey. I NEVER buy jewelry so every time I see this, I’ll be reminded of the grace given to accomplish this goal.

Celebration jewelry

I have not set any new goals yet but I hope to focus more on mental and emotional health- baby steps. Share any celebrations that you’ve had recently! 🥂 until next time…