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

REDCARPET RAGING

The brownlow, the night of nights in the AFL world is now a time where we get to see the beautiful WAGS and who is wearing what, sure I believe we are entitled to our own opinion’s – if I don’t like something I’d turn to Matt and tell him ‘Oh I don’t like that!’ – I think it happens naturally to observe and form an opinion on what was observed.

What I don’t believe is okay is the 100’s of photos and comments I saw on social media criticising these girls for their outfit choices – sure have an opinion like I said above but don’t take it to the world of social media and bully someone who thinks they look a million bucks – it’s just f*cking wrong.

Using myself as an example but I’m sure many of you can relate at some point of your life – my wedding day I felt SO beautiful, I loved everything about the way I looked, the style of my dress, the way my body looked in it, my hair and make up (even tho it melted off) – similar to the red carpet I was the centre of attention.

Imagine logging onto social media the next day having comments left on my photos like ‘You look to skinny, that dress is ugly, what were you thinking?’

Do you think that would be a thing nice to see? Do you think it would affect me?

Why does it give anyone the right to bully/judge someone from behind the computer screen?

IT DOESN’T.

I tell you what these girls on the red carpet must have some thick skin so kudos to them – again for loving themselves in a world that’s constantly telling them not to.

It just really rubs me up the wrong way.

Stay Strong & Stretch,
Tel X (AKA disgruntled bridey)

10k Wedding Budget Breakdown

If you thought this blog might be about how to make your wedding under 10k it most certainly IS NOT!

As you know I LOVEEEE Pintrest and I saw a pin that had a breakdown for weddings titled – ‘The 10k Wedding Budget Breakdown’

I clicked on it – not because I want my wedding to be under 10k (ppffttt times that by 4 and we are nearly there) but because I was fascinated on how the hell it is even possible??!!?

The link listed each category with a limit you should spend if you were to have a wedding for 10K

Brides Attire: $1000 – With this budget it’s a second hand pair of Manolo Blahniks and a birthday suit. (alternations not included)

Rings: $200 – Pretty sure this is just the petrol money and parking to go around looking at rings right?!

Photo&Video: $1000 – I just can’t even.

Catering $1,500 – okay so I have 50 people lets do the Maths – 1,500 divided by 50 = 30 Per Head – Welcome to my wedding – entree is water, main is a bread roll and dessert is a slither of ice cream cake.

This was only some of the ridiculous list and it started to make me angry – this isn’t real life!! No wonder new brides-to-be are always shocked when it comes to weddings because they are misguided on costs.

I know everyone’s financial situation is different, I know people don’t want to spend a lot of money on weddings, I understand this and there is 100% ways to cut cost by doing a lot of DIY’s such as arch’s, sign boards, centre pieces ect…. BUT those above figures are a load of poppy cock.

TIPS NEW BRIDES-TO-BE

-Know what you want: I don’t just mean sort of, kind of ,have a rough idea of what you want, narrow that shit down before locking a place in. Where, when and all the usual yes but also what type of chairs, tables, colours, signage, flowers, decorations – the more you know the better so you can ask what will be included with your venue and what will be extra. I didn’t do this and I have a dumb amount of extra that I just assumed would of been included.

-Don’t budget: I know it sounds ridic but not as ridic as trying to stick to a 10k wedding and stressing out! Don’t rush the wedding – figure out what you want – save for it then do it that way you aren’t putting yourself under financial strain. Don’t go spending big on things that wont matter at the end of the day, but you don’t want to look back thinking damn I wish I spend that extra few thousand on a videographer. After all you only get one wedding right!?!

-Trust your gut: I’ve had to question a few things in the process and it has saved me over 1K simply by speaking up.

-Pintrest: Perfect for inspiration but just like all form of social media can be filled with rubbish like how to have a 10k wedding.

Anywho that is what I’ve found so far – less then two month away and I’m starting to feel like a wedding guru!

Stay Strong & Stretch,
Tel X

My date with the Spot Dr.

Since the day I could walk I would be out in the sun completely frying my skin at every chance I could in Summer – I was that 12 year old with white hair and a killah tan.

As I grew older nothing changed besides the fact I was forced to grow up and get a 9-5, which meant pretty much zero sun exposure (boooo!!!)

So before every holiday I would go to the soli (solarium) to tan up before I went away – it was 12 minutes of absolute bliss – relaxing in a nice warm enclosure that made you tanned. We all know life is better with a tan right?

Fast forward 3 years where soli’s are no longer an option (unless I want to pay a ridiculous price and do something slightly illegal)

And my skin now has more freckles then a chocolate freckle itself – I would always get told to put sunscreen on followed with the threat ‘you’ll have bad skin when you older’ and unfortunately they were right.

All the threats of getting dots, spots, dry skin and pre-mature aging they were bloody right!!

I saw a ‘spot’ doctor about 10 years ago – I got the all clear then but haven’t been back since… until yesterday.

I was nervous and convinced I had some sort of skin cancer.

After a very awkward close search over my body with a magnify glass thingy I got the all clear from any dangerous moles (YAY!) – yet I still had 5 raised ones removed.

3 on my back, 1 on my underarm and 1 on my face – the procedure was pain free as I was given a local aesthetic in each spot. It was done using radiotherapy and it basically smelt like I was on fire the whole time. So now I’m left with 5 burn like open wounds in which I need to keep covered and clean with a topically ointment.

The risk of scarring is super small if you look after the wounds while they heal and well I’d much rather some small scarring rather then being told I had some suspicious looking moles.

So while I’m walking around with a band-aid on my face know its not because I’m trying to look like Nelly – I’m not that cool – I’m just healing!

nelly

*If you can’t remember the last time you saw a ‘Spot Dr.’ that means it’s time to book an appionment…

Stay Strong & Stretch,
Tel X

4 Months out MY Wedding routine

Some soon-to-be brides like to pre-pamper themselves leading the big day others don’t give a f*ck.

I thought I’d be one of the IDGAF brides and I’ve soon discovered well, I’m not!

So 4 months until the big day so what else have I done besides spend a lot of money?

#1 Naturopath: You all read about my visit to Nat the Naturopath in my last post..

Nat’s put me on:

Metagenics Lymphatox: This is a lymph node detox – to clear all the build up of crap in my body basically.

BioCeuticals Ultra Muscleze (Magnsium): To help stress, improve sleep, muscle soreness, cramping – what doesn’t magnesium do!!!

BioCeuticals Alpha EFA: My body is really dry – drier then it should be for a 25 year old who drinks 2-3L of water a day. So this is an indication my cells may not be holding fluid – like a dried up sultana really! These will help blood circulation and improve my skin.

I’m also taking:

7.2 Greens powder or caps: To compliment my green leafy veggie intake – I always just feel good after a greens drink knowing I’m getting in some more nutrients.

#2 Oxy Facials: Cailin from CAS beauty is my homegirl on this one – Using Intrceuticals.

Oxygen facial is a treatment used to infuse serums rich in vitamins and antioxidants deep into the skin – it’ll hydrate, plump and rid any fine lines.

One oxygen facial a month for now but this will be amped up leading into the wedding – so stay tuned.

#3 Skin Check: One of my lovely besties works at a day spa – Indera – in which a Dr comes out once a month to do skin checks and mole removal – I thought pre wedding would be a good time because a) Matt told me I have to, b) its been 10 years since I’ve last had them checked and c) if anything needs removing it has 4 months to heal. (I get this done tomorrow and I’m slightly nervous!)

#4 Water Intake: I was slack with this the last couple of months – only getting 2L average in a day – seems like a lot to some but I usually get in minimum 3L *stops to take skull water…. I find having pop top lids helps a ridiculous amount as does needing to get in my magnesium (which is a powder mixed with water) so I’m now back averaging 3L minimum a day.

#5 Pintrest: If you are getting married and haven’t discovered this yet – you’re welcome. Mate you don’t even need to be getting married – renovations, recipes, kids rooms, cocktails – you name it Pintrest has it. If my actual wedding turns out half as good as my Pintrest album it’s going to be bloody brilliant!

#6 Training routine: 3 times a week – main focuses on posture and staying lean by doing x1 lower body sesh, x1 upper body sesh and x1 full body sesh – each with strength focus, core and yoga at the end – maybe a little #hardio if I don’t talk myself out of it! One piece of advice here brides to be – DO PILATES AND LIFT HEAVY.

#7 Eating: Yeah this hasn’t change much yet – I was due for my period yesterday and ate 3 Freddo’s (one after breakfast, lunch then dinner) I also had a bag of Malteasers for lunch on Sunday – Judge me I don’t care. When I’m on I’m on but for now I’m wallowing in self-pity. #human

Things I’ve discovered about weddings:

-Destination Weddings aren’t cheap like they are made out to be.

-Whatever you want tell Matt it cost 50% of that price and buy it anyways.
#girlsrule

-I’m already getting upset that Bane and Austin can’t come.

-People are opinionated and unfiltered when it comes to weddings – never take it to heart!

Stay Strong & Stretch,
Tel X

Honesty is the best policy….

I haven’t really talked in depth about my food/training much since my fitness comp (which I started prepping for exactly one year ago!)

WHY?

I don’t really know?

I guess it is because I’m not as obsessed with my food as what I was in that point of time? Looking back now I can easily say I got too addicted and in a more specific term probably encountered a short term ED.

Flashback to mid comp prep and try and tell me I had signs of an ED I would laugh in your face and tell you I’ve got everything under control which was half the problem – I knew every calorie going into my body and if I swayed off my plan I would totally freak out about it and feel guilty, fat and failed.

You’re thinking – yes Chantel I too feel guilty when I demolish a whole pizza BUT it wasn’t like that I remember one night I was so hungry I ate an egg – literally one egg and I felt guilty about it?!?! DA FAQ?!? At the time it seemed so normal.

Roughly 4 weeks post comp I weighed the most I ever have – I weighed 65kg August 1st, I was 55kgs getting on stage and I always floated between 57kg-58kg pre-comp. November 6th I weighed in at 59.9kg and that’s the last time I weighed myself –I can now safety say I don’t give a flying f*ck because I think I look good.

It took me until August/September – so 2-3 months post comp to completely snap out of the mindset I was in.

Why am I talking about this so openly?

Why not?

A lot of females struggle day in and day out with their demons and I think if we were able to talk about it openly it would help so many.

Within the fitness industry there is a very fine line between lifestyle and addiction – I have experience both ends and will happily talk about it so others become aware and don’t make the same mistake I have….. I mean if I cant be honest and open what’s the point of me even blogging?!

WHAT WORKS LONG TERM:
-Train 3-4 times a week.
-Eat 80% for your goals 20% for your soul.
-Stop comparing yourself to others.
-Unfollow unhealthy ‘healthy’ social media accounts.
-Praise yourself for fitness goals (such as hitting new PB’s in the gym)
-Complement others not only on looks but on badass fitness goals.(like the ones above)
-Talk openly and honestly.

WHAT DOESN’T:
-High impact training daily – sometimes twice.
-Eating extremely strict with a lot of emphasis on macros and calories restrictions, maybe not eating at all.
-Always putting yourself down and comparing yourself to others.
-Being jealous of others there for be rude to them.
-Pretending like you’ve ‘got this’

Just some things to ponder on from one bad ass women to another….

Stay Strong & Stretch,
Tel X