Our paradise island
Since our work schedule has been pretty hectic lately, we decided to take a short break from the heat, traffic and deadlines to have an ice-cold Latte at our favourite café – the Kenny Hills Bakers. Of course, we agreed on just Iced Latte and no pastries! Ain’t nobody got time for sugar 😉
When we walked in, my husband and I were overtaken by the delicious smells of freshly baked bread and brewed coffee. It smelled heavenly! There are display cases filled with beautiful cakes and all kinds of treats. However, we kept to our word and did not succumb to the lovely smells. Super proud of ourselves!
Just Iced Latte to beat the KL heat!
My Coffee date
On another note, I wanted to see what all that hype was about the new Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Foundation, so I got my hands on this cult beauty item to give it a try myself. So here I have on my face the foundation in the colour 2W2 RATTAN (warm / golden undertone). To date, I have tried this glorious foundation for about 3 times and so far, I am absolutely loving it! Here is my brief review of the product:
Short and sweet – I am impressed! A good 8.5/10 from me!
Since my blog is everything to do with living life as a plus size / curvy / in-betweenie woman, I thought I’ll be open about my journey with PCOS. This is because I know so many women out there suffer similarly as I do, and some are not even aware that they have PCOS. So, without further ado, let’s dive right in!
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is an endocrine (hormonal) disorder affecting roughly 5-10% of women out there. Symptoms of PCOS include acne, obesity, hair loss, amenorrhea (lack of periods), excessive hair in unwanted areas, infertility, erratic mood swings, ovarian cysts and trouble losing weight. This invisible illness also causes major health problems, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, endometrial cancer and insulin resistance.
In my case, I struggle with almost everything mentioned above, with an added disorder – Hypothyroidism (Click to read more)
Talk about a double combo!
When I was diagnosed with Polycystic-Ovarian Syndrome, I thought my life was over. I thought I would gain even more weight than I had, have a face covered in acne for the rest of my life, and never be able to bear children. Being the hypochondriac that I am, I felt trapped by this unknown “disease” determined on ruining my life, which resulted in the anxiety that I am still battling today!
Let’s rewind to when I first found out I had PCOS.
That first day I cried, and I cried and I cried even more. My Gynae spent an hour just
schooling scaring me on the drastic changes I had to make in order to regulate this disorder that was going to change my life. She mentioned scary words like ‘cancer’ and ‘IVF’ which got me thinking of the worst at that moment.
Once reality hit me, I was mad that I had to change my diet. I’m a huge food lover and I thought it was bloody unfair that I had to
cut down STOP eating food that others got to enjoy so easily. I was envious of people around me who could eat any carb and sugary food that they pleased and my “treat” was going to be greek yoghurt with sliced fruit (ew). I also found it so frustrating that my friends could lose weight so easily when I would torture myself at the gym and still not shed any weight.I was also tormented with fear – fear of not having kids, fear of my husband (then boyfriend) leaving me for my wild mood swings, fear of having those crazy diseases, and of course fear of not living the life I was comfortable with. All of this contributed to my anxiety and mild erratic attitude change.
Now that’s a load of negative emotions! But even though it sounds like it was a rough period of time for me only, but truth is, it also was a rough period for my nearest and dearest people. I am absolutely thankful that I got the support I needed from my husband, family and friends because these wonderful people re-adjusted their ‘system’ for me to make sure I knew that I was not alone fighting this battle. My mother stocked up on brown rice for the days I would eat at my parent’s house and she also made delicious healthy dishes just for me (God bless that woman). My friends knew my dietary requirements so they would opt to hang out at restaurants that catered to my diet meals. They also understood my need for ‘time-out’ moments after I explained how tough it is to deal with all the changes I was making and that I needed my solitary time to just relax. Even with all the bitch fits I was throwing, I would find random encouraging notes stuck on my door!
I remember those random days I felt miserable about my situation but somehow I managed to get through it with the help of my loved ones. I stopped comparing my life with others because that was leading to more misery. I turned my emotions around and decided to be positive.
Now, I’m not going to lie and say it’s been an easy journey and that I don’t suffer bad days. I defo do! And sometimes that feeling of emptiness is unbearable. At the beginning of my journey, I would even tell my husband that he should leave me and find a woman who could give him kids! I no longer do that because, well what an idiot I was! On the upside of things, my husband and I have become a stronger and more understanding couple because of this challenge we face.
Despite those random days I have had, I can say I mostly feel proud of myself for taking care of my body. I don’t do it all the time and sometimes fail (i’m only human and humans have wants and needs!). Though I haven’t lost the weight I want to, I’ve remained stable. Every day I make choices about what is best for my health. I no longer obsess about what I put in my mouth as I do allow myself to splurge on greasy fatty food here and there. Ultimately, my goal is to feed my body nutritious foods that will regulate insulin and prepare my body for when I want to get pregnant in the near future.
I know that it may still be hard, but with time, I know making healthy choices will become easier. So far these few years of eating healthy, mixed with some ups and downs, have done more good than harm to me. So I thought sharing some tips on how I cope with PCOS would help some of you.
Here are a few tips I use to help me kick PCOS in the butt:-
Green tea is a must for me, and I drink it religiously after dinner. I personally prefer Japanese Green tea because of the robust flavour, but any green tea is good. Green tea is loaded with powerful antioxidants and rich in a compound called L-theanine, known to reduce anxiety and soothe the mind. Green tea is also known to help burn fats more effectively and ever since I started drinking green tea on a daily basis, I found that my digestion was better and quicker, possibly helping in the burning of carbs I eat too!
One of the most important benefit of green tea for PCOS is that it improves insulin sensitivity because insulin resistance is the key cause of this hormonal condition. So, to keep those insulin drops at bay, drink more green tea! All in all, green tea is loaded with healthy nutrients that I had to make drinking it a part of my daily night routine!
Side note:I also have started drinking lemon and ginger tea as an afternoon sip for a while now. This tea blend has done wonders for my digestion as well as improved my complexion!
Ok,ok! I’ll admit it! I hardly exercise these days and although I have a ton of reasons for skipping exercise, it is all excuses basically! However, I do substitute it with more walking. I opt to walk up and down stairs instead of taking the lift, and I sometimes would park my car further away just to walk a little extra. Oh, I also do squats when i wake up!
Anyway, exercise is very important for counteracting weight gain, a common symptom for people with PCOS. The combo of PCOS and weight gain can result in diabetes, heart diseases, sleep difficulties and all kinds of cancer, to name a few. With just 20 minutes of exercise a few times weekly, you can drastically reduce your chances of these fatal health issues.
Don’t get me started on this topic. I go through my day dreaming of indulging in endless supply of chocolate and ice cream and pudding and Stroopwafels and cakes!
But the sad reality is that people suffering from PCOS are insulin resistant, making diabetes a potential danger disease in our lives. By omitting processed sugars, we can decrease our blood sugar levels drastically, which also helps us cope with weight gain, severe acne, anxiety and depression and other annoying side effects.
What do I do to curb those sweet tooth pangs? Firstly, I use a reward system. I occasionally reward myself with an unhealthy sweet indulgence, which is a way I guilt-trip myself into refraining sugar the rest of the week. I also substitute unhealthy stuff with healthier options, such as dark chocolate, fruits and juices. At first it may be the hardest thing to do but as soon as you see results, you will be game on with the substitution trick, trust me!
Nasi lemak, Pizza, beer, greasy fries, KFC!!!! I want them all!
But sadly carbs can work against insulin resistance just as much as sugar does. But this doesn’t mean one has to give up on carbs altogether! Using the same substitution method to reduce sugar intake, I reduce my empty carb intake by eating brown rice, whole wheat pasta, couscous and other surprisingly delicious foods that are actually good for PCOS women.
All of these sounds so difficult to do at first, but becoming innovative with recipes is fun and when the food you cooked turns out great, it’s the greatest feeling ever! Believe me, some of my recipe innovations turned out better than using unhealthy options. Oh, and my husband who is quite fussy with food, seems to be ok with “healthier” options too, so that is a definite plus point!
If you are a woman with PCOS reading this, please know that you are not alone. Educate yourself about PCOS and do what you can to look after you. Though there is no way to get rid of it, you are able control PCOS. If you want to lose weight or get pregnant, please don’t give up on your first few tries, instead, opt to try different methods if all else fail.
Also, talk about it! I made sure I talked about it with someone. Though most of my dear ones didn’t understand, they sure listened. Try to lift yourself up in whatever way you know (exercise, spending quality time with family, vacations etc). Talk to your boyfriend/partner/husband about it because trust me, it is also hard for them to understand so just take the time to explain to them how they can help.
Before i end, I would like to remind my fellow cyst-ers this:
People who know me well would unanimously agree that I am a super laidback person when it comes to personal style. I
used to still do end up choosing comfort over style and most of the time, dressing up would mean putting on a t-shirt, jeans and a pair of boring flats. I also used to play it safe by opting for all black, errrthing black as I was conditioned to think that I would look slimmer in dark clothings. Being bigger than a typical Malaysian girl also made me crazy insecure about dressing up because it was so effin hard to actually find something that fit and look fantastic on me at the same time!
On rare occasions when I did find something that fit perfectly and made me look good, I would have to bear the excruciating torture of being uncomfortable in that attire. I swear, I have had my share of sucking in my tummy the whole time and sitting down in a very awkward slant to avoid tearing the zipper apart! Due to the lack of confidence that stemmed from all the horrible experiences I have had, I managed to convince myself that I should just stick to my old & unshapely clothes.
It was only when I discovered the delightful world of curvy / plus size fashion that I realised how tough I was on myself for constantly being ashamed of my body! Watching beautiful curvy / plus size women doing all the things I had always wanted to do but was too ashamed to inspired me to make the change. I took baby steps to creep out of my comfort zone to try new styles, learnt tips and tricks to style my body shape and invested in clothes that made me look great.
Currently, I am trying to live a life of wholesomeness (is this even a word?), find happiness in little things that matter and to be more body confident. So i thought, why not share my tips to inspire someone today!
Without further ado, here are 5 steps I took to help me find my style and feel more confident at the same time:
With Instagram being the ultimate platform for fashion inspiration and latest trends, it is important to always remember that comfort is key to confidence. Personally, I could never wear those Instagram cult crochet bikini tops that barely cover anything (although i do own one, thanks to Instagram) because we don’t want no Tatas falling out now, do we?
On the other hand, does anyone else feel the same kind of affection for culottes as I do? Culottes was an accidental purchase that changed the way I thought about flared bottoms, having always heard fashion advice to stay away from split skirts as they enhance the hips and butt! Boy, were they wrong! Culottes not only looks great on Curvies, the added advantage of air flowing between your legs is just wonderful, especially in this humid heat!
So yes, I am all for the latest trends and I encourage every person out there to experiment with new styles, get adventurous with colours and wear whatever the hell you want, just be comfortable in what you wear because there is nothing more awful than to see someone constantly tugging her mini skirt to keep it from riding up!
This was a stepping stone for me to start loving myself and accepting my body. It was quite emotional for me as I realised that for years, I was doing so much harm to my personal wellbeing due to my weight issues. All the courageous interviews of curvy superstars like Ashley Graham allowed me to rethink the concept of beauty. Speaking of Ashley Graham, she is my numero uno in role models because she is not only a smokin’ hot size 16, she also exudes so much charisma that put other more popular models to shame!
For those of you who are struggling to find a way to love yourself unconditionally, go do some research. Find inspirational bloggers / influencers that you can relate to for their similarities and what you are looking for, follow them on social media, and enjoy getting inspired! Read on how they deal with their body / weight issues, how they dress their problem areas and most importantly, admire all the beautiful people that come in all shapes and sizes! I guarantee you will somehow feel better about yourself because personally, I began to feel like I was not alone anymore, dealing with all these big girl problems and that it was absolutely unnecessary for me to hate myself. Also, do yourself a huge favour and stop following social media pages and reading magazines that make you feel shit about yourself. Who has the time to flip through pages after pages of heavily airbrushed thin, vibrant, wrinkle and jiggle-free models anyway?!!
I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I have stupidly induced rapid weight loss for so many reasons. In my pursuit of “perfection”, I once lost 2 dress sizes for a wedding, only to pile on double the weight after the function. Why, you may ask? Well, I loved the dress and I wanted to buy it for the occasion but the largest came in a size 12. So i bought the dress, starved myself silly and fit it eventually!
Was it worth it? at that time, yes! I spent all my efforts trying to achieve a thinner frame but the harsh consequences of me starving and keeping away from food led me to balloon up due to post starvation binge-eating. For years, I avoided buying nice clothes because I convinced myself I would slim down and would not be able to wear them anymore, leading further to a series of dissapointments when I did not achieve the weight loss.
To avoid being such a drama-mama like I was, please be kind to yourself and do not self-negotiate. Instead, reward yourself to the things you like for the simplest reasons (a job promotion or a successful goal achievement), go shopping with good friends or family who will motivate you to look and feel good, get something in your current size and not a size smaller or bigger. Lastly, convince yourself that you deserve nice things no matter what the size charts tell you! Keep in mind that life is too short for self-negotiations and that the most powerful thing you can do for yourself is investing in YOU.
Everyone has their own special / favourite outfits. When I find a favourite outfit, I will “spam” on it until it loses its shape and colour! All I am saying is, it is not a fashion crime if you repeat a particular style or outfit that looks good on you. If you have found your go-to style, such as putting on dresses that help elongate your body frame or wearing crop tops that show off that curvy torso, then go ahead and rock that look!
As for me, I am obsessed with comfortable outfits like jumpsuits and summer dresses, and, if given a choice, I would wear them everywhere! I am still experimenting with new styles that work for me and have yet to find more trendy outfits that complement my body shape. Invest in a good full sized mirror, take outfit selfies and pictures to help you get a better view of how you look in them. This not only helps to give you the positive boost you need before walking out the door, it is also a great way to archive the looks that make you feel and look amazing for future references!
This one here is no picnic, y’all! It is the hardest part of making changes for yourself. However, it is not unachievable. With so many nosy people out there who have a million things to say about you, it is only fair that you learn to give less f***s about what they say and focus on yourself, right?
I am sure everyone out there has had to deal with unexpected negative comments. Here’s how I manage when I am faced with these unavoidable situations: I “throw away” negative thoughts in my daily journal before I sleep at night. This helps me “detox” all the bad thoughts I develop throughout my day. Alternatively, when interacting with a Negative Nancy who knows more about me than I do, I try to protect the positive space around me. If this weirdo’s negativity is intense, I usually choose to flight the situation. Note: It takes a lot of effort to master this skill and I am still learning to control that positive/negative vibe thing.
To conclude, confidence is something we build throughout time. Some of us take more time to build it and some are quicker at developing this trait. My dear friends, life is just too short for us to worry about what others think of us. If you are confronted by someone who tells you something hurtful, flash them your prettiest smile, and walk away. Nothing makes them more uncomfortable than a positive response to their hateful comments. Oh, last but not least, give yourself a pat on your back for keeping it cool and rising above these lowlifes!
Happy Tuesday, lovelies!
Hey there my beautiful friends!
I was contemplating for days whether to do a random “fun fact about me” post and I figured, hell yeah! It is fun to sit down and think of quirky bits about me. Also, a post like this may help my lovely readers get to know me a little more beyond pictures of me spreading love and positivity!
So let’s get started!
I enjoy knowing eccentric things about other people too. In fact, I would love to read some facts about my readers in the comment section as this would be a great way to get to know you guys a little bit! Go on now, tell me something crazy about you!
Have a blessed weekend, y’all!