Trinessa Birth Control

Trinessa is a triphasic form of birth control pill. Triphasic pills refers trinessato a pill set that contains three different dosages of the hormones estrogen and progestin (7 pills of each dose and 7 placebo pills).

During my time of trying to lose weight, I noticed there was a huge backslide every time I got my period. The week before it I would become ravenous and the week of I moved about only as necessary. I had an appointment coming up with my doctor for a follow up on some things. I decided to ask about ways to stop my period while I was there.

This is not the first time I have had this thought. If I could have my uterus removed, I would, but without a medical reason insurance would never cover it. Five years ago, my gyno said that since I did have symptoms of PMDD (premenstrual dysphoric disorder) that they could make a case for removal, but only after trying birth control methods for at least 6 months. This led to my trying the shot, Depo-Provera. I loved that it was just a shot every three months and then no periods. However, it ended up having the opposite effect on me. I started bleeding all the time.

new-girl

I was absolutely miserable and at the end of the first three month period, I wanted another option. We went with Yaz. It didn’t create a noticeable change. Random bleeding.  I was never able to get myself back in order so I ended up having to completely go off all options so my body could regulate itself. This of course ruined my chances then of getting a removal of the offending organ.

I told my new doc all this and she sat me up for an ultrasound to see if there was any reasongirls-on-their-period we could push for a removal and put me on Trinessa. I liked the fact that it had an up and down flow of the hormones somewhat like the body would naturally have. I found out after the fact that generally monophasic pills are better for skipping periods. I wanted to give it the old college try though. I started the pills on the first of August which was the first day after my period ended. My cycle runs longer than most at 35 days so I wasn’t set to have another period until September 4th.

It is now September 11th and there is still no period. Yay! Success! However, insurance is trying to kill me. I can’t get my next pack until the 15th and I only have enough pills to last until the 13th. This means I can either pay $33 for the pills or have a period. I am so excited that I haven’t yet had one though that I don’t want to ruin it. I also want to make sure I can go for an extended amount of time and have a period when I want rather than this just being a fluke.

periodontimeMy plan is thus – I normally take my pills at 10 pm every night. I am pushing the alarm forward 12 hours. I will have them at 10 am. This will give me a pill for tomorrow, the 13th, and the 14th. Then on the 15th, I will go pick up the next set of pills after I drop Sylar off at school. Part two of my plan is to call my doctor and asked to be placed on Lybrel which is designed to be taken 365 days a year without any placebos.

UPDATE (9/17): My doc did not prescribe Lybrel, but she did prescribe Seasonique. I will start that after my next pack of Trinessa which I picked up on the 15th. The pharmacist told me that insurance demanded I wait 25 days between refills. This sucks since there are only 21 days of normal pills, but makes me all the more happy that I will be switching to Seasonique.

I decided since I was going to have to wait to split the time in half. My last pill was on the 14th so it has been 74 hours since my last pill. I will begin the new pack tonight at my usual 10 pm time and then take 48-72 hours at the end before starting the Seasonique. I figured if I had to have a period, maybe doing it this way would make it lighter and not last as long. So far though, no bleeding. Here’s hoping it stays that way.

I wanted to write about this so other woman could know that Trinessafunny-girl-period-warning-favim-com-2344134 might be right for her if stopping her period is what she wanted. I want to stress that not every birth control is right for every woman. Each woman’s body is different. The levels of her hormones are different. What works for one, could make another very sick. Talk to you doctor and discuss your options. I am so happy to have the amazing doctor that I have. She listens and works to make me as healthy as possible.

What methods have you tried for stopping your period and what were the results? Let me know in the comments or on our Facebook page.

 

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DailyBurn: Workouts for Real People

I mentioned in the Tabata article (Tabata – Total Annihilation of Body A la Tortuous Agony) that I was using a program called DailyBurn. It was one of the apps that I saw on our Roku so I decided to check it out and learn what they offer.

I had to get on my laptop to sign up and had to enter credit card information. There is a 30-day free trial. You can cancel anytime within that 30 days at no charge.  However, after that you will be charged $12.95/month from that point on. For what is offered, I am happy to pay it. (Please note: the card used will be charged a dollar which gets refunded. This is to make sure you are using an active card.)

Signing up involves inputting your current weight, goal weight, gender, and age. After you answer a few questions about your fitness level and your goals, DailyBurn recommends a workout program for you. They know what they are talking about! Do the one they recommend. Learn from my Tabata catastrophe.

For me, they recommended their Cardio Sculpt program. My goal is to lose weight and gain strength so naturally this was a perfect fit.

I do want to mention some of their other programs for those who might be interested. There are five different courses that are for those needing an advanced workout. You know, the kind that would kill a normal human, but makes you feel alive? I assume. I really have no idea as I have never been at that level and will continue to avoid these for the foreseeable future. One is of course the Tactical Body Training which is the Tabata Hell I mentioned. Another is called Black Fire and the picture scares for me some reason…like if I fail (which I would) he is going to beat me with that stick until I learn to man-up.

DailyBurn-Black-Fire-Workout-Program-With-Bob-Harper_4

 

Thereinferno_hr is also Inferno and Inferno HR. The latter’s picture reminds me of a medical show. I guess because of the heart rate and colored overlay.

 

The last is Live To Fail. It is literally working out until failure. I am sure you know, but just in case, failure is an exercise term meaning “If I do one more, I will puke and die.”

On the opposite end of the spectrum is a program called True Beginner. I have thought about trying out one of their workouts, but I am in such a good place with Cardio Sculpt that I don’t want to chance getting seduced into something easier. From what I can tell though, it looks like a wonderful place for those getting back into working out or wanting to start getting healthy to start out.

Whatever you like to do, there is a program for it. Move is a dance workout. Pilates Phase One is available for beginners and there is a Pilates Phase Two for when you have mastered the first one. There is also Yoga.

One that I think is really awesome is the Beautiful Belly program. I know what you’re thinking. “But…I want to get rid of my belly, not compliment it!” BeautifulBellyNo worries. This is a program specifically for pregnant woman. They have yoga workouts listed for the whole pregnancy and for post-natal. I wish I had known about this when I was pregnant.

I almost forgot to mention a little extra information. When you choose a program, DailyBurn will provide you with a sample menu and recipes that will help you reach your goals faster.

The reason I say this is a workout for real people is because of those who are working out with you in the videos. They are not just going through some moves and pretending to work out. They are really doing it and sometimes they have to drop-down to a modified version of the exercise they’re doing or they might even have to stop for a few seconds. Many times throughout the workout, the instructors always say, “If you have to stop, go ahead. Take what you need and get right back into it.” Seeing these fit-looking people going through exactly what I am allows me to not feel bad if I have to stop for a few seconds in the middle of push-ups or revert to the child’s pose push-ups for a couple.

Every time I have done one of these workouts in Cardio Sculpt, I come out of it feeling energized and pleased with myself for making it through.

No matter what your fitness level you are, what life-stage you are in, what activities get you motivated, DailyBurn can help you reach your fitness goals. If I can do it, anyone can do it! It’s completely free for 30 days so sign-up and give it a try. Challenge yourself and be amazed at what you can do!

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Tabata – Total Annihilation of Body A la Tortuous Agony

I have started the DailyBurn program and I will talk more about that later. What I want to speak of first, is the first workout I tried from the DailyBurn library.  It is the first workout from the Tactical Bodyweight Training program taught by Cody Storey and is called Tabata 1.

Cody Storey
Cody Storey

Now, at the point that I decided to try this I had no idea what Tabata was. From the screenshot picture my thought was that it was some random martial art. The five minute preview didn’t look all that bad. I know now never to judge a workout on the first five minutes when they are only doing warm-ups. The instructor said it was only 4 moves, 8 rounds of each move, twenty seconds of work followed by ten seconds of rest. I thought, “Twenty seconds at a time? I can handle that!”

DailyBurn had suggested another workout program for me, but I needed a medicine ball for the first workout so I decided to go with Tabata 1 instead since it requires no equipment.

The workout starts off with some pumped up music and instructor Cody Storey saying a bunch of random things that make no sense because of the lack of context. Example – ” Control. Ninety Thirty. Tabata one. Four. Five. Four. The engine is on fire.”

Workout starts with bouncing back and forth. Easy enough. While bouncing, Cody introduces us to Nikola, Jose, and SayQuon who will be our workout companions. Next, we do some Spinal Rocks. These look easy, but I found them to be incredibly painful on the back.  I was working on a yoga mat on a hardwood floor so that could have been the problem. Next up were Shin Boxes, the Frog, Leg Saws, and Squats. These were all fairly decent. Spinal Circles were next which did make me slightly lightheaded.  Finished up with Chasing Arms and Arm Screws. All in all this was a good warm-up not meant to kill you.

Then we went into the agonizing hell actual training.

photo_tabata_lettersflame

Cody explains that each of our work out partners will be performing at a different level (1, 2 or 3), but does not explain which is easier. I assumed it was Level 3.

I could not figure out the Quad Press at all. It doesn’t look difficult! I don’t know why I was having issues. This exercise made me wonder if my legs and arms are somehow not proportionate to my body. The last couple rounds I was just rocking because I wanted to feel like I was doing something. Regardless my upper legs were burning.

There’s a one minute rest period which seems like a gift from the heavens.

Next up was lunges. Since I thought Level 3 was easiest I started out at that, but Level 2 ended up being easier for me so I switched to that. Then the instructor mentioned “dropping down a level” and that Level 3 was crazy making me think I must have been wrong about it being easiest

Push Ups were fine. I did Level 2. All our workout friends ended up dropping down to Level 1, proving that it was actually the easiest all along. Twenty seconds does not seem like a long time, but when you’ve already done twenty seconds a few times it gets harder and harder

Another rest and next was Sprawls, which is basically a squat into a plank and back up again. At this point, I said, “Oh hell no!” I was done.

Walked around the house a bit to cool off. Had my shower and after workout drink and was okay, just a bit jelly-legged.

Then the next day came.

Holy screaming leg pain!

ace-ventura-spear-legs-o

I cannot begin to to explain the hell of this day because of my legs. As long as I had been walking around a while and on a level surface, I was okay. However, bending down hurt a lot. It was so fun at Wal-Mart as Sylar, who was sitting in the cart, kept accidentally dropping his coins. Finally, I told him to put them in his pocket because I was not going to pick them up again. The parking lot was fun, as well. I never noticed it before, but the parking lot is slightly sloping. It was a downward slope to the car. It was one of those situations were I actually started laughing because I felt like I was trying to walk on slightly cooked noodles. It was ridiculous. I was glad I had made the decision not to go to Dollywood that day. I would have died.

Sitting down was the worst. Once I was actually in the seat, I was great, but the getting there was killer. I walked up to my couch in the living room and just looked at my seat and whimpered. I debated just standing up all night. In hindsight I should have because Sylar picked that night to call me into his bedroom four or five times after I had put him to bed. It did allow me to experiment with different ways of sitting down. As it turns out, all ways hurt and one way hurt so badly that it actually brought tears to my eyes.

I did some research and it turns out Tabata is for people who are already fit and even then most people do not suggest it. The day after my day of hell I felt well-enough to try one of the workouts that has been suggested to me by DailyBurn. I made it through and it was a great work out.I felt energized afterwards so I will be sticking with that program.  I will talk more about that in another article.

So take one thing from this article – do NOT do Tabata! Unless you are super fit or want to experience intense pain in the form of jelly legs.

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Glow Fertility Cycle Tracker

GlowLogoThere are many great apps out there for tracking your menstrual cycle. I tried two and settled on Glow. After doing some more research, I have to say Glow is in awesome company!

 

As a woman who had to go through a fertility clinic to finally be able to conceive, I am happy to read about Glow’s program Glow First. Couples who are trying to conceive put in $50/month for ten months. On the 11th month, Glow will make a payment to the your choice of one of their approved fertility clinics to help you on your way. If you conceive within the 10 month time frame, the money you put in goes to the pool to help other couples who were not as fortunate. Unfortunately, this program is only for Apple users currently, but they are working on the Android version.

The app itself (which is available for Android) is very in depth. The home page is a daily log that informs you of your risk for pregnancy if you were to have unprotected sex, as well as how many days until your next period.

Glow App Home

With the Glow Fertility Tracker, you can choose to view the dates by month to easily see when your previous cycles began and ended. After not using this app for a while, I got confused when I logged in and used the month view to find out when my last cycle had began. The dates of your period will be in pink and your high fertility days will be in red. I got those mixed up and was trying to figure out how I was on day 47 of my cycle. I was thinking there must be all kinds of things wrong with me or even that I was somehow magically pregnant. I had periods since the last time I had sex, but there are many women who experience monthly bleeding during pregnancy (which aside from my son, no bleeding for nine months was the best part of pregnancy so I feel for women who have to deal with both). When I realized I had switched it up, I saw I was only on day 28 so I calmed the hell down. If I would have taken a second to notice, it tells you on the home screen what cycle day it is {facepalm}

The daily log consists of 16 questions which help the app suggest your fertility level as well as your overall level of health.

Glow App Daily Log

If you’re looking for something to help you keep track of your cycle, whether to help you get pregnant or avoid it, I definitely suggest Glow.

 

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Relaxing Woman

ASMR – Trick Your Body Into Relaxing

Today I am going to discuss something that has been in existence as long as humans have, but has only been noted and talked about in earnest in the last 8 years.

Happy QuoteYou know that feeling you get when someone plays with your hair or lightly touches your skin? You start feeling pleasurable, relaxing tingles. That is called ASMR – autonomous sensory meridian response.

Not everyone experiences it, but it seems that the majority of people do. Most people know what I’m talking about when I mention tingles from someone playing with my hair. However, even those who do not experience the tingles have noted the benefits of partaking in things meant to trigger ASMR.

Tricking The Brain

Right about now, you’re probably wondering what any of this has to do with tricking your body into relaxing. Let me explain.

In your brain, you have some neurons that are referred to as “mirror neurons.” According to Wikipedia, “A mirror neuron is a neuron that fneuronas_espejo1ires when an animal acts and when the animals observes the same action performed by another.” Very little is scientifically conclusive about mirror neurons and there is even less known about ASMR. However, the ASMR community believes that when watching something relaxing happen to another person, such as a scalp massage or back massage, our mirror neurons start firing and we can feel the benefits of the relaxation.

It is true that it is not as good as going to a masseuse, but who has the money to do that all the time?

I can sense your questions. “Where can you even see massages though? Isn’t that kind of weird to watch someone else get massaged?”

It would be weird to be in the same room with someone getting a massage. Lucky for you the ASMR community is large, varied, and very active on YouTubeDemetri Massage. Videos are made showing massages taking place. The great thing about ASMR videos is that they use binaural recording, high quality audio recorders. By wearing earbuds while watching you become completely immersed in the experience. It’s one thing to see a massage, but when coupled with the sounds it makes those neurons fire even more, making that connection with the feeling of relaxation more intense.

About ASMR Types

I do want to take a minute to explain a little more about ASMR. As I said, it’s the feeling you get when someone plays with your hair. However, that is just one trigger. There are hundreds of triggers and not all have to do with seeing someone massaged. There are sounds that can cause that tingly feeling, as well. Tapping, scratching, clicking, and the one thing you will hear in almost any ASMR video, whispering. All “ASMRtists” whisper or talk softly in their videos. That is no different then going into a spa. To elicit a calm and relaxed response, spa staff will speak to you in a soothing and soft voice. Sounds triggers are also a good example of one trigger working for one person, but causing another annoyance. Two sounds that are common in some videos is tapping and crinkling. I enjoy tapping sounds, but oh, how I HATE crinkling sounds!

There are also ASMR roleplays. Rather than seeing something happen to someone else, the ASMRtist acts as if they are speaking and interacting with you. These are actually a lot of fun! There are many doctor roleplays, salon roleplays, and make up roleplays. I have seen some incredibly creative ones, as well though. It’s amazing how the ASMRtist can incorporate triggers into unusual situations.

A Warning

woman asleep in front of laptopA warning about these videos though, you may fall asleep while watching them. They are truly that relaxing and many sufferers of insomnia have found respite in watching ASMR videos to help them sleep. There was one video that worked wonders on me. I enjoyed it very much, but I never made it to the end of the video. Four times I tried to watch this video until the end, but I fell asleep every time. I can’t tell you how many times I have been relaxing to a video, only to wake up later to a blank computer or phone screen. If it happens during the day, I can be a bit groggy at first, but after getting past that I am refreshed and focused.

I will probably touch on the subject of ASMR more in the future, but I will leave it at this for now. I don’t want to overwhelm you with information. It’s good for you to just get out there on YouTube and explore it. I have included various links to videos throughout the page. By going from video to video you may find what you like best. That’s what happened to me!

I had stumbled across a massage video and I realized as I was watching it that it was causing me to relax as well. I went Googling to see if that was normal and many people stated experiencing the same thing. The video I was on linked to another video that was titled WOW, this sounds like your hair is being TOUCHED! Binaural ASMR hair play, brushing and massage. From that moment on, I was sold.

Have you ever experienced ASMR without knowing what it was? If you checked out some videos for the first times, which ones did you like?

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Strong Woman

Learning To Work Out

I had a bump in the road at the start of my journey, but I have been diligent since. I drink the 2 cups of water in the morning, but I don’t go walking. I opted for jump roping.

 

When I was in grade school, I remember “jump rope” days being the best days in gym, which as a pudgy girl I hated. However, I could jump rope like no other and had fun doing it. Naturally, I wanted that same kind of enjoyment in my work out now. There was one problem with my brilliant plan though.

Golds Gym Jump Rope

 

I’m not 10 years old anymore.

 

My much older body does not exactly move quickly or with much grace. It is a work out. I was definitely sweating, but I could only jump a few timed before I would mess up or the rope would somehow manage to hit something. I have decided I will try “jumping rope” without the rope. Obviously, it’s the movement that is the work out. The rope swinging around my body is not creating some kind of suction that is pulling the fat off me. This way I will be able to actually finish cardio on my own terms.

 

((UPDATE: A quick search for that picture brought me to the reviews. There were 4 of them, all 1 star, saying the rope was too light and too long so it kept tripping people up. Hmm. Maybe I’m not as bad as I think. I will stick with the pretend jump rope for now. ))

 

As for my strength training, I have been doing push-ups, planks, crunches, and leg lifts. Oh, the leg lifts. I have managed to up the amount of reps for my other exercises, but not leg lifts. They are still killer. I brought in Sylar’s dad as a consultant because I became worried I was doing my push-ups wrong. The workout seemed to really stress my wrists and lower arm while not providing my biceps with much burn at all. He advised me on a row type exercise. I call it “Starting The Lawnmower.” With one leg stretched out behind you and the other bent in front of you, you rest your elbow on your bent knee. With the free arm, hold a weight down towards the floor and then pull it back squeezing the muscles as you do. I will add it to my routine tomorrow and see what I think.

 

Oh, well, it actually is called the Lawnmower. Here’s a tutorial:

Featured Image from Jezebel.com

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Frank Medrano Calisthenics

Calisthenics – Could I Do It?

A video came up in my Facebook feed of some people doing calisthenic workouts. Calisthenics involves using your own body weight to achieve fitness. People who have been doing it for years are amazing!

 

Naturally, I know I cannot do that right now and honestly, I wonder if I ever would be able to. Actually, I didn’t even know if myself as a fat person could train that way. I googled “Can fat people do calisthenics?” And I found this video. I like it. I think he seriously overestimates the time frame, but he is honest and does give out good info.

 

Every morning, I head outside and feed my horses. I have decided to take his advice. I am going to drink two cups of water and then go feed the horses. After that, I will walk briskly for 15 minutes one way and then 15 back. I plan on doing more than that. I still like my Zumba DVDs and I don’t want to not be trying any calisthenics at all. I will be working on push-ups and other similar activities.

 

Anyone else want to try this out?

 

(Featured image is Frank Medrano – a calisthenics god.)

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Weight Loss

Starting the Weight Loss Journey (Again)

I have decided to try to lose weight…again. I have tried many times before, but usually give up after a while when I either don’t see the results I want or start to miss real food.

My Fitness Pal is my goal keeper. I will say that deciding to lose weight on the day you ordered breakfast from Hardee’s is kind of demoralizing. I have not had dinner yet and I only have 155 calories left for the day. You know how many calories I took in from one mean from Hardee’s? A whopping 1,440 calories. Those hash rounds are killer!

Live and learn. I won’t be making that mistake again.

I want to kind of chronicle my journey here. If you have any hints or tips, please leave them in the comments.

I know what I need to do is what Sylar’s dad does, which is eat Paleo, basically no carbs, massive amounts of protein. It’s a diet that lets you eat bacon. Do you know how amazing that is? If you want to know more about Paleo you can check out his site – BrainyCaveman.

Unfortunately, it is an expensive diet. Also, I like having sandwiches. I have tried changing some of my eating habits since he switched, but when we both went Paleo we ran out of money. Left us in a huge bind.

So I’m just going to change some things and see what happens. 🙂  Wish me luck!

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