First week with diagnosed UC

*DISCLAIMER – I talk bout shitting a lot, that’s my life atm so if you’re uncomfortable with it probably don’t read on.

Those who know me know I like to bottle shit up. (Well, not literally at the moment but psychologically.)

The past week I’ve been up, down, here, there and every which way you could imagine, you might not of pick up on it – that’s okay I’m a pro bottler.

So after my UC diagnosis, which I made very public, I was taken back. The amount of love and support, yes that was bloody amazing! But more so the amount of people going through a similar situation. It’s insane! What was crazier was that EVERY situation was different. This tells me my journey will also be different. I was over whelmed with ideas on how to ‘fix’ what I have; it was all beautifully thoughtful yet slightly drowning.

I know everyone means well I do truly appreciate it but when people tell me I just need to eat healthy or say ‘I wouldn’t mind having what you have to drop a couple KG’s’ it really throws me off. Eating healthy doesn’t cut it and I wouldn’t wish this shit on ANYONE but more about that later.

SO WTF is Ulcerative Colitis? Long boring dramatic story short let’s do a simple google search…

Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease that causes long-lasting inflammation and ulcers (sores) in your digestive tract. Ulcerative colitis affects the innermost lining of your large intestine (colon) and rectum. The cause is unknown. UC is a chronic condition aka I’m stuck with this bad boy.

Symptoms I have include:
Abdominal pain
Bloody stools
Diarrhea (I’m preying for the day a see a solid poop seriously!)
Weight Loss
Malnutrition
Fatigue

So 48 hours after being told I have UC I went through a whirlwind of emotions I was in denial which lead to chocolate and donuts which lead to horrible toilet trips, I was motivated to prove I can fight this by watching documentaries and researching, I was depressed thinking, fuck will I seriously be stuck with this forever? I was happy knowing I had the same symptoms as cancer so I was drawn the less aggressive outcome, I was numb trying to keep as busy as possible so I don’t even get a change to think about it – resulting in me disassembling our mantel piece and hanging 3 hallway lights. Each emotion was lucky to last for a day before the next came in – I hadn’t just stopped to think. (Maybe that denial again settling in)

I hadn’t had a chance, the world stops for no one.

Until I had my follow up appointment with my Gastroenterologist.

Previous to this appointment I also had one with Nat my Naturopath.

There views couldn’t be any more different.

Seeing Nat first I felt feeling super positive, she asked me to cut dairy and to take a couple different caps as well as some liquid herbs – each having it’s special role to either help reduce my inflammation, reduce ulcer or just to get my gut in a good way. She said dairy will irritate my intestine and will make the healing process harder. She has dealt with people that have had UC and was super confident in getting me to a state where I can live normally again. I see her again in 2 weeks.

It resonated with me after seeing Nat and watching docos and researching it is SO diet related. I started to pay attention to my gut and what it was saying when I ate. After listening to it I’ve also cut red meat (hard on my body to digest), caffeine and seeds/grain (these are high in fiber, which can have an adverse effects for now and can also get stuck in my ulcers.) I reduced the amount of toilet trips to 3-ish. Unless I eat something my body doesn’t agree with then it goes back up – when that happens I need to take a step back and think what was in that food that triggered me? It’s a process of elimination. It’s different, interesting and I’m already learning so much and so happy with 3 loose stools a day compared to 7+. This is 110% the approach I want to take – listen to my body and feed it what it needs.
Wednesday came around – the day of my specialist appointment. I wasn’t scared because I knew a) he was just going to confirm what I have b) he was going to tell me medical is the way to go.

And boy did he ever.

Firstly he explained I wasn’t the worst case he had seen but he was also very surprised I didn’t end up in hospital due to blood loss and malnutrition. He thinks my UC has been there longer then the 3-months I had been having symptoms – maybe 6 months. I told him my diet approach and how it seemed to be making a difference. He bluntly told me ‘Changing your diet will NOT work.’ And that by the sounds of it I’m reducing too many foods and it will leave me will lack of nutrients and deprived. (I’m still eating all meals and I’m not starving myself!!) it was very safe to say that from 5 minutes into the appointment we were butting heads. He explained the seriousness of my condition and that the ONLY way to treat it is via medication.

He wants to put me on prednisolone ‘short term’ – aka 3 months. Side effects of this drug include: weight gain, increase body hair, insomnia, depression, diabetes and the list goes on.

I straight up told him I wasn’t keen on that option.

After the short-term treatment I would need to be put on medication for life – an anti-inflam called Mesalamine. I asked him if I could potentially wean off the medication to which the answer was no. BUT he did say this way you can still eat whatever without getting the symptoms. (My body is denying certain foods for a reason Mr.)

So this medication obliviously doesn’t help treat the issue but rather cover it up.

I questioned it all – he didn’t like it. I get that; he wouldn’t be in the medical industry if he didn’t believe medicine worked! He got the better me – I left feeling deflated and defeated – he has totally put down my beliefs as complete nonsense, after feeling so good about it all I left feeling extremely down. I got home to research more and I just felt this overwhelming pressure – I have to get better, everyone keeps saying how positive I am, how strong I am, I can’t be weak. The lid on this bottle was about to burst I felt tears coming up. Instead of crying I sucked it up and took a nap (tired as usual). Waking from the 30-minute nap with the same overwhelming feeling of what if I don’t get better? The negative feelings started to flood through – the lid had sprung open and once the tears started they weren’t stopping. I didn’t go into work, I couldn’t – if someone were to ask me how I was it would start all over again the endless amounts of tears.

The denial is finally over.

I’m now fully aware of the seriousness of this illness; I’ve come to terms with it and full accept it and a part of that is feeling the emotions that come with it, especially when it is all so new.

I’ll probably cry again, I’ll probably cry lots but I’ll also smile double the amount more and appreciate the love and support I’m surrounded with daily.

I’m still going to stick to my guns and refuse medical treatment. My body is screaming help me and I will in the healthiest, natural way possible.

I’ll trial this for 3 months and re-access after that.

I’ve been asked if I’ll blog my journey, yes I will but I’ll have them saved in a separate tab on my website – it is more for my sanity, it’s what I do and just putting all this into words has made me feel so much better. If you get something out of it then I’m glad but I won’t be flooding your news feeds with poor me or letting you know when my next UC blog is up – so feel free to check in any time, I’ll be here….

Sticking it to the world.

Stay Strong & Stretch,
Tel X

When it’s NOT okay, not to be okay…

So you know the famous saying ‘it’s okay not to be okay’ this is one of those circumstances where I believe the opposite.

This is a pretty personal story here but I feel like I need to get the message out so others don’t get stuck where I am.

Since the end of October 2016 I have some terrible gut issues. It involved me rushing to the bathroom multiple times a day, intense stomach-aches and a loss of appetite.

Thinking I had some sort of bug I let it ride out for a week but when the symptoms got no better I then deicide to visit my local bulk billing GP.

I explained my symptoms and what was going on and how long for.

She orders me to get a blood test and a breath test.

I did both of these things the very next day, a week later results came in and I had a ‘mild’ stomach infection – travellers diarrhoea – the doctor suggested from my recent trip to Bali which was a month prior to any symptoms occurring but she said sometimes the virus takes a little bit to kick in. She then said I seemed to be at the end of it and just to let it run its course.

A month later after Matt’s plea I went back – I was no better. I had started to notice blood in my stools so if anything (and after a lot of Google searching) I was getting worse.

Back to the same Dr I went, seeing as she now had my history and we can eliminate certain things. She ordered me to do a stool sample.

Again I did this pretty much as soon as I got home and had the results back two weeks later. The receptionist called and said the doctor wants to see me as soon as possible.

This made me nervous.

So I booked in that day.

The doctor called my name and I went into her office where we both sat down me expecting the worse and she just gave me a blank ‘what do you want’ look – she didn’t even remember who I was or what I was in for.

She was confused as to why I had come back and why I still had symptoms as my sample came back fine – she again put it down to traveller’s diarrhoea – and suggest a take some antibiotics that ‘should’ clear it up – again – mind you this is after 2 months of loose stools. I refused to take that as an answer. I had enough I wasn’t okay and she was passing me off as if I was. It’s not okay.

I demanded to be referred to a gastroenterologist.

She faxed through the referral and said they will give me a call. 3 days later I still didn’t have a call – luckily I had a copy of the referral so was able to call the specialist office directly.

They hadn’t received anything.

Unsurprised I continued on and made a booking.

What annoys me is if GP wasn’t sure on what I had why didn’t she refer me straight away? Why guess what I have not once but multiple times offering my medications? I’m seriously sick and she’s over here guessing that it’s traveller’s diarrhoea.

Since late October I have had ONE solid stool no joke ONE! That’s 3 months. I have lost 7kgs – put a couple back on over chrissy thank goodness. I’m not hungry. I’m tired. I can’t train properly. I need to go the toilet 5-7+ times a day sometimes more. Some days are worse then others where there is literally only blood – this makes me so nervous. I get anxious when having to leave the house, worried I might have an episode and need the toilet asap. I’ve had two ‘incidents’ and social events I haven’t been able to attend because I was too nervous there won’t be a toilet! I experience extremely intense stomach-aches that have me kneeling over. I’m really just fucking sick and not myself.

So back early November when I was told my symptoms were getting better I shouldn’t of just brushed it off. I knew my body wasn’t okay – we know our bodies better then anyone. If your gut (literally) is telling you to seek help do so and I in no means recommend going to a f*cking bulk billing doctor.
UPDATE: I had my colonoscopy today – a procedure where they put you under and take a look inside your digestive system.

I have a bowel disease.

Not traveller’s diarrhoea.

A bowel disease called Ulcerative Colitis.

Once the specialist told me this, my first words were ‘okay and how do I go about curing it?’

‘There is no cure’ he follows.

‘There is medications which can help the symptoms but no cure as such’ – he must have been picking up on my stunned face. ‘Book in for a follow up appointment and we can talk about your options when you’re feeling better and we have the biopsy report back’ he says filling in a long silence.

Fasted forward a few hours later and here we are after 3 long months I have answers – I feel no emotion, kind of numb about the whole thing. I don’t want to be on medications for the rest of my life especially if they have side effects – I’ll research into a more natural approach and hope I can get back into living life properly!

If you are to take something away from this girls I want it to be this: Be kind to your body, listen to it, trust it, embrace it – It’s more powerful then you’ll ever know.

Stay Strong & Stretch,
Tel X

Train insane and remain the SAME

If I’m going to sweat, drag my arse out of bed and become sore for up to 3 days I want it to be for a reason – that reason isn’t only to ‘look good’ it is too progress.

When you have been training for years and years – looking good just doesn’t cut it anymore – you become driven to get more specific.

You get to know your body and how it reacts to certain exercises, you start to decipher all the crap and only train for a purpose and specific result.

Take my current training goals for example:
-Improve posture – shoulders
-Build glutes
-Improve squat/lower body strength without building quads
-Get hardio fitness back up (FYI seriously dread this but it needs to be done!)

From these goals I’m able to map out 8 weeks worth of programming.

The first week is to test to see where I’m currently at and record all results (may be through a photo of my current relaxed posture, squat 1RM and a hardio WOD) then weeks 2-7 are for me to work towards the end outcome – the last week, week 8 is for me to re-test all my goals to see where I have improved and where still needs more work.

After the 8 weeks is up I’m able to sit down and re-access my goals to map out another 8 weeks worth of programming depending on where I’m at.

The process repeats.

And this process works.

But Tel I’m training everyday and I have been for months but I’m STILL not getting the results I want.

Well duh.

Either one of 2 things is happening….

1- You’re overtraining – Training everyday is just ridiculous, not necessary and could be the reason you’re not where you want to be – when is your body suppose to rest and recover? 3-4 days is plenty.

Day 1- Lower body
Day 2 – Upper body
Day 3 – Full body
Day 4 – Extra hardio (depending on how keen you are and how much coffee you had that morning)

I personally found the best results when I trained 3-4 times per week (this is coming from someone who use to train everyday, sometimes twice a day!) I know it’s scary to cut days out of your programming but trust me you’ll have more energy and you body will thank you for it!

2- You aren’t eating enough – If you are training hard but aren’t fuelling your body it isn’t going to benefit you. Does a car run without petrol?

Common mistake we make usually revolves around carbs – you heard somewhere that in order to loose weight/tone up you must cut them. Sure cut them and you might drop a few kg’s but as soon as you add them back in prepare for a blow out.

Carbs are energy. So if you have no carbs in your body you will not get any faster, fitter or stronger because you don’t have the energy to do so.

When you train hard and limit food your body doesn’t like it. It gets confused and when you do eat it’ll hold onto whatever it is and store it because it doesn’t know when it’ll be fed next.

By eating healthy balanced diet with carbs, protein and fats you are allowing your body to be fuelled properly – it will no longer need to store foods because it knows it’ll be fed soon and just like I said above you’ll have more energy and you body will thank you for it!

Hopefully those few pointers can lead you in the right direction!

If you need more help with training or food I’m taking on my next group of girls for my 4 Week Health and Fitness Plans starting MAY – Email me chantel.graham18@hotmail.com or comment on this post for more info!

Stay Strong & Stretch,
Tel x

How to avoid a holiday BLOW out!

I know you’ve at some point been eating really well & training super hard for an up coming holiday – makes sense – if you’re anything like me you’ll going to some tropical, hot location which means you’ll be in a bikini almost daily and if you’re not in a bikini it’s minimal clothes to get you through the 40 degree heat & you want to be looking fabulous, lean & toned!

#amensister

But what happens when you work so bloody hard and are looking phenom.com only to start eating absolute crap from the moment you get into the car on THE WAY to your holiday destination – your hard work won’t automatically go completely down the drain but you will bloat & feel pretty puffy when that bikini comes out – let alone 3 days into your holiday when it’s all about food & cocktails with the occasional movement when you need to rotate from tanning front to back…

Some handy tips I have for keeping me lean whilst still downing a sex on the beach:

FASTING – So if you’re a huge breaky lover this already sounds daunting I know! But you have two options – late dinner late breaky/brunch OR early dinner early breaky – fasting (not eating for a prolonged period of time 12-16 hours) gives your digestive system a chance to catch up on all the crap you’ve been shoveling in, will leave you feeling flatter, more energetic & you’ll actually be hungry for lunch!

BLACK COFFEE – So traveling o/s can leave you constipated (ew poo) by starting your day with a black coffee it helps combat any toilet troubles. *ovbs avoid if you have the opposite issue!

SWEAT – Get a sweat on daily – includes dancing of course..

WALK – To the beach, to the cafe – where ever it is walk!

GREEN CAPS – It’s likely you won’t eat as many veggies as you usually do when you’re on holidays so I find a travel friendly greens supp such as 7.2 Greens Caps is an easy way to get my daily nutrients in.

NO CRAP TAKE AWAY – You’re in a wonderful location with beautiful local dishes & you eat Maccas!!? WHY?!? Try and eat as the locals eat.

BIGGER MAINS LESS SNACKING – Pretty self explanatory eat bigger main meals wity entrees if you please and then don’t snack between.
BE ADVENTUROUS – I’m AWLAYS down for lounging by the pool (currently what I’m doing) it’s great to mix things up by adding in some activities such as stand up paddle boarding, sublogger-image-1320949969rfing, swimming & hiking just to name a few!

So there you have it easy to follow tips to help you keep that holiday blow out away – now bring on the #bikiniselfies

Stay Strong & Stretch,Tel x

PS – Sex on the beach is a cocktail for anyone worried about what I get up to on the beach!

Enough with the ‘CLEAN FOODS’

You’ve no doubt come across the word clean eating, especially when it comes to the fitness and food industry….

It just makes me cringe every time I see or hear it!!!

I HATE that word – ‘clean’ since when was food dirty?!

Should I wash this donut before I eat it? Is it clean then? Will I go to dirty hell for eating this pasta because it’s not considered clean?

NO & NO.

Stop making girls feel bad by labelling foods as clean and pushing them to eat only these ‘clean’ foods.

IT does MORE damage then good.

This is the cycle –

-Females via social media become more aware of food & lifestyle choices.

-They are forced fed through ‘gurus’, raw treats, fads, detox teas, Internet & all other forms of media that you must eat only salads and ‘clean’ foods.

-Females become fatigued due to lack of food and become obsessed with what they eat.

-They punish themselves for eating a piece of bread or chocolate because it’s not ‘clean’.

-They go back to social media for ideas on what and how to eat and then repeat the cycle.

Do you know how many girls minds I’ve had to re-wire because of the worlds ridiculous ‘clean’ food rampage?!?!

Okay Chantel I get it – you don’t believe in the term ‘clean’ eating WE GET IT – so what do you believe in???

For LONG TERM health & results –

I am ALL for the 80/20 eating style – this is how I eat – I believe 80% of our food intake should be foods that help fuel the body and help make it run how it should – this allows you to train better, lifer heavier and it keeps you feeling and looking awesome! Your skin will glow, you insides will function perfectly and your energy will be buzzing.

Simple foods like rice, sweet spud, chicken, greens, veggies, fruits, meats, eggs – fresh produce that isn’t packaged or labelled ‘no fat’ ,‘no sugar’, ‘raw’, ‘super food’ OR ‘clean’.

I believe the other 20% should be foods your body just simply wants you know the good stuff that stops you being a crazy person – foods like pasta, pizza, wine & chocolate.

This combination creates balance with your mind and body – you should never feel bad for eating certain foods – with EVERY female that has ever had my guidance when it comes to what to eat they are always so surprised about the amount of food I request them to eat and are even more shocked that there is days where they can eat whatever they want.

For SHORT TERM goals & results –

When you have an end date to achieve something by e.g a photo shoot, wedding, comp prep – It is okay to become stricter on yourself knowing it is only for a small time frame BUT you need to know its only for a small time frame – you can’t expect to live off chicken and broccoli for the rest of your life. So you have a short term goal coming up? Out source the best person to help, listen to what they have to say – smash the goal then continue with the above 80/20 lifestyle.

Don’t let what you consume, consume you.

Stay Strong & Stretch,
Tel X

Rest & Recover diet – the good, the bad & the ugly….

One week post comp – it has been a pretty interesting week to say the least!

Eating healthy foods for almost 15 weeks then really upping the anti roughly 8 weeks out – I didn’t notice it at the time but my body was functioning in peak form.

I was complaining of being tired and exhausted at times but these were due to the fact I was training quite intensely and roughly 10 days out I cut carbs for one week which messed with my energy levels a dose of sweet spud and a good sleep fixed both of these things right up!

Being post comp and being on a what I would call ‘rest and recover diet’ for the week where I’m eating whatever I want, don’t get me wrong it isn’t like I’m going nuts and smashing all the chocolate I’m still eating as what people would consider fairly healthy with maybe a cheeky donut or two. I have noticed my body disagree with the intake of food I’ve been having strange reactions – I’ve had heartburn over the week… I’ve NEVER had heartburn, I’ve had headaches almost daily, my skin is looking dry and dull, pains in the back of my knees or what I would call growing pains, I’m itchy (this could just be the 10 layers of tan coming off), I’m bloated by the end of the day and even by the end of some meals (with what looks like an 8 month old food baby), my nose gets blocked randomly for no reason and I even woke up with an extremely swollen eye.

I remember some of these reactions use to happen to me pre comp – I didn’t notice them disappear but I’ve sure as hell notice there return!

So many people out there don’t know how there body should feel and function – we feed it highly processed ‘foods’ on an hourly basis – you shouldn’t be in pain, bloated and dull these are all ways of our body telling us what we are putting in it is doing more harm then good. I’m not saying start comp prep – far from it but seeing the difference in my body both internally and externally it is unreal!!!

Anywho my rest and recover week has come to an end and I’m back into training and eating right for my goals – trialling out a 12 week program I’ve written up, excitingly still includes rest days, date night and a day where you get to eat what you want – now that’s a maintainable diet!! I’m super pumped about this girls!!!!

Now I’m off to finish my final R&R treat peanut butter ice cream with choc chips GUILT FREE!

Stay Strong & Stretch,
Tel xblogger-image-1676764163

POST COMP BLUES – FILLING THE VOID

Monday morning I woke up early, like 5 am – the house had sugar everywhere it was over whelming – I had some peanut m&m’s and then decided to make a greens shake I had a glass of it before realising I’m not even hungry.
I felt like a zombie and decided to go back to bed.
After another hour I woke up this time just lying in bed. I had nothing to work for? It was done, my goal was met, the deadline had past and the huge build up had only lead to another day where everything was back to normal? I was confused, overwhelmed, sad, happy – the whole process was so emotionally draining the thought of it being all over was too much and I started tearing up.
‘What do I do now?’
I felt lost. Matt came home from work and asked the question no one should ask when they can tell someone is upset…. ‘Are you okay?’ the sob turned into a full cry and the worst part was I couldn’t even explain to him why I was crying… poor Matt’s probably thinking I’m engaged to a nut job! I settled down and went to work – I felt so much better after work – I always do (again nut job!)
I was told about ‘post comp blues’ and at the time I was like as if I’m going to stuff my face full of everything and anything and love it once this whole thing is over!!!
It couldn’t be further from the truth – although during comp prep it was hard I may have felt tired at time it was also rewarding and put me into a routine. I now miss training already and surprisingly miss eating chicken and broccoli!!!
So do it again?
There is so many pro’s and con’s to the situation that make it not that black and white.
Pro is it gives me a goal and deadline to work towards – I now have more knowledge about the process and would obviously take stage looking even better. I love the fact that you work so hard and get to show off what you’ve worked hard for – I’m a competitive person so I now have that hunger to win.
Cons it is too consuming, I couldn’t have a normal social life, I was a shitty, temperamental person and I rather put my energy into my clients rather then my self. It was also an expensive process racking up over 2.5K over the 15 weeks!
In saying that I was to take this time to official thank my fiancé – words can not even describe how supportive he was the WHOLE time from the start where he told me it wasn’t going to be easy but at the same time telling me I’m too head strong and stubborn so I’ll get it done… right to the end where I was almost was over it and wanted to leave before my last stage walk. Mate, at times I was short, rude and down right nasty – he stood by me not once did he complain, want me to stop or sabotage me. I’m sure I snapped at him for looking at me, touching me and even eating in front of me. He listened to my worries and made me realised about 90% of the were made up scenarios in my head and wiped away my tears in my break downs – I’m so lucky to have you and even luckier to be getting married to you – you are actually the best human ever and I don’t tell you that enough!!!
So now what?
You’d think going back to normal eating would be a breeze – it has actually been a massive challenge the last 3 days I have had heartburn, headaches, body aches and have been bloated as hell all because I’m trying to eat what I use to pre-comp – my stomach has shrunk I can’t eat as much as I use to! I want to but I literally can’t! So I’m back to smaller meals and will increase portion sizes over time. Have I enjoyed my post comp feeds? In short not at all because they gave me the above symptoms I’ve felt like crap! I don’t even want to look at any sugar filled snack or will probably vomit!
How do I plan on filling my void?
With the comp over I want to put what I’ve learnt in both food and training into a 12 week guide – this is my next goal. This 12-week guide is not for comp prep it will be for girls who are already lean to take it to the next level of shredded. So I’ll by trailing the program on my self first before I realise it to others as I need to find healthier and more maintainable and realistic ways of keeping results earned, I’d love to hear if this is something you would be interested in as I feel many girls I train are not over weight they struggle to get that extra leanness about them and plateau easily… Inbox me or simply comment to let me know!
Stay Strong & Stretch,
Tel Xfitness comp