Now....where do I start? How about with a re-introduction....I never blogged enough to really have anyone read me or make connections so I know I'm a stranger in a strange land here.
My name is Betsy, aka Gingerella. Why Gingerella? Because I'm a die-hard Ginger Rogers fan, that's why! I have ecclectic tastes and interests that sometimes contradict each other; for instance, I love all things old and antique-y and sometimes feel I was born in the wrong era.....but at the same time I love heavy metal music and am fascinated by drug culture. Don't worry, I've never used drugs....I'm just obsessed with reading about them! Strange, I know. Strange is me.
Recently some things have happened in my life to cause me to take a good long look at myself and realize that some changes are in order. It's interesting how motivation works.....here's a brief rundown of how this started going down in my brain 2 months ago:
- At work, I was forced to take a position in a different department, a move I didn't want but had no choice in.
- I hate my job now.
- I look for other jobs.
- The thought of starting over from scratch and going through the interview process makes me panic.
- I panic because I'm overweight and my hair is falling out and I don't think I can compete with younger, thinner, prettier women (even though I'm only 36).
- I've known I'm overweight and that my hair was falling out due to PCOS for a long time but refused to acknowledge it - if I don't, then it's not really happening, right?
- I realize this is something I can't ignore anymore, job situation be damned. Being bald is more devastating than being in a job I hate.
- I begin researching websites about PCOS and trying to learn everything I can about what is going on inside my body and why I'm losing my hair, and what I can do about it.
- I start to embark on a no-holds-barred health makeover.
- I continue looking for jobs, but nada. Devastating low self esteem and depression sets in.
- My back gives out, causing near-dibillitating pain for a month straight....on top of everything else.
- Health makeover takes a backseat as I self-medicate with junk food and wine to deal with the depression.
- Back is a little better now....the ability to move again and the need to rehabilitate my back through exercise has brought forth a fresh determination to get my health-act together.
- Re-tool blog to help with motivation!
And so here I am, ready to share with the world my struggles to get healthy.
What is PCOS, you ask? Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is an endocrine disorder that affects fertility and hormonal balance in women. Because of the hormonal imbalance, the eggs in the ovaries are not released but absorbed back into the ovaries, turning into cysts, hence the name. The disorder can have devastating symptoms (you'll notice I've used the word "devastating" a lot.....there's just no other word to describe it better) if left untreated. Not all women are affected the same way by it, but the most common symptoms are:
- insulin resistance (aka pre-diabetes)
- irregular menstrual cycle
- hirsutism (excess body hair in places women have no business for it, like face, abdomen, chest etc)
- male pattern baldness
I was officially diagnosed with PCOS in 2006; I say officially because I've had many of the above symptoms most of my life but never knew there was an underlying cause for it all. I didn't do anything about it though, just swept it under the rug and went about my business, not understanding that I was just harming myself more by not taking care of myself. I see my scalp showing through my hairs more and more each day and kick myself for not "getting it" back then. Yes, hair loss is my main motivating factor in getting my health in gear.....I know I'll benefit in other ways too but yep, my hair is the main focus right now.
To keep myself motivated I want to document all of this.....all the good, bad, whiney, ugly details as I go through this. You may get sick of my whining. You may flinch if I post something in gory intimate detail. That's OK. I don't like sugarcoating things. My posts will tend to be long, as I have a tendency to ramble, and my topics may be all across the board sometimes.....that's OK too. My blog. :) So anyway, join me on the journey if you wish, comments always welcome!