copper IUD

Why I don't believe in "falling off the wagon" and why health isn't all about getting banging ass results

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I failed.

Or at least by all standards of the fitness industry, I failed.

The past 7 weeks, I've been rocking my latest fitness adventure -- a strength training and HIIT program. I've been working out 4 days a week, rocking my rest days like nobody's business and continuing to adopt my food freedom program principles.

You'd THINK that I would have seen these INSANE results -- AB CHECK HERE, am I right? 

We're all programmed to believe that we will dive into a fitness program and that by the end of it, we're going to be RIPPED. That we're going to shed the weight, get that six pack we've always dreamed of and we'll finally be able to zip up those jeans from high school we've been holding in the back of our closet for 10 years...

I know I used to believe that with every fibre of my being. 

And when I didn't see results right away, I sabotaged myself and deep dove into my binge eating spiral and would put on 10-20 lbs in a month.

That cycle plagued me for YEARS, until I changed up my fitness regime. Started rocking programs that actually worked and gave me long lasting results.

And all of a sudden, I actually FELT HAPPY. Not just because I lost a few dress sizes, but because I FELT STRONG. I felt active and alive and energized in a way I hadn't in years.

And for the past 3 years, I've continued to feel that way. Trying out new programs, feeling like a MF athlete and badass...until this program.

'Cause you see...I've been rocking this strength training program and as I head into my final week of it, I've seen no weight loss or physical external shifts. In fact, the physical shifts I have seen have been me feeling fluffy and bloated.

And you know I'm always going to keep it REAL AF with you babes, and my truth right now is that I've spent the last couple of weeks feeling like a total and utter FAILURE. Because your girl is as health coach, right? So if I can't walk the walk, how am I supposed to inspire and empower my clients and future clients to do so as well...right?

WRONG.

While you may not see any badass results from this, what you also don't see is everything else I've been navigating this summer. 

The past couple of months, I’ve been dealing with some intense shifts hormonally that have caused my body to feel out of whack.

2 months ago, I transitioned off of birth control pills to the copper IUD. I originally did so in April but my body literally rejected the IUD and I had to get it removed and a new one inserted (which, let me tell ya, is NO FUN). Luckily, the IUD stuck this time around, but my body has responded SUPER differently to this one. The first time around in April, I had no bleeding and no seemingly different experiences beyond my shifts in mood depending on where I was at in my cycle.

But this time, my bleeding has been incredibly different — I bled right after the initial insertion more than I ever have in my entire life. And since early July, I’ve had continued intermittent spotting and periods every other week.  

And the past few weeks, my body has been intermittently bloated AF in ways I’ve never experienced before (for all you gals who have dealt with this for years I FINALLY UNDERSTAND) and it’s been super uncomfortable.

I look in the mirror and that voice in the back of my head that tells me I'm not good enough, and I should just eat an entire box of donuts has been getting louder and louder...all because my BODY doesn't look the way I EXPECTED it to or the way SOCIETY TELLS ME IT SHOULD after finishing a workout program? 

I call bullshit.

I mean, I am ALL about celebrating different shapes and sizes and finding STRENGTH from the inside out, not about looking a certain way — and this gal? THIS IS ME TODAY.

The bright, energetic, sensitive, silly, playful, dedicated, focused, harry potter obsessed dog mama multi-passionate entrepreneur goofball who also happens to be bloated right now.

And she is JUST as worthy bloated as she is when she’s not. 

She's just as worthy when she's kicking ass with her workout program or moving slower and working out less.

She's just as worthy when she's eating a delicious pot of zoodles than when she's eating a MF cookie.

Our health and fitness journeys ARE FAR FROM LINEAR. Nor should they be.

And to expect our lives to constantly be moving that direction is unrealistic. Shit happens. We travel. We go into a crazy busy period at work. A loved one dies. We plan weddings. We enter new relationships that turn our worlds upside down. 

We accept that these things are part of life and that it's OK, but we have such a tough time acknowledging that it's also okay to have a fluctuating body?

LET'S GIVE OURSELVES SOME MOTHER FUCKING GRACE ALREADY and RID OURSELVES OF THE "FALLING OFF THE WAGON" BS WE'VE BEEN SPEWING TO OURSELVES FOR YEARS.

You are worthy just as you are right now my love.

And no matter where that is, all you can do is show up with grace, kindness and do the shit that makes you FEEL ALIVE and ENERGIZED AF.

Xo Your no BS soul sistah,

Amanda 

3 Reasons why Finding your Community is Key to a Happy & Healthy Life

Hi-ya, Live Your FYEs Lifers!

I've been laying low on the blogging end because I've been pouring so much heart and content into the pod (which if you haven't listened to yet, be sure to subscribe to Live Your F*ck Yes Life on Itunes or your favorite podcast app!) but I wanted to pop into your corner of the universe to share something that's been on my heart // and share some more personal updates that a lot of you have been asking questions about! 

(Which for the record, I love hearing from you guys! So never hesitate to reach out either on Instagram @amandakatherineloy or you can email me here!

I just got back from an incredible leadership retreat in Florida with 6 other coaches on my health & fitness coaching team and it was SO freaking good for the soul. We sweat together, we ate all the tacos and drank all the kombucha-ritas (like a margarita with a kombucha twist!), laughed our asses off, dug deep into our visions for our lives and businesses and had the most epic quality time 4 day sleepover extravaganza.

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And the craziest thing about it all?

I met all of these women on the INTERNET. Yup #blindfrienddating at its finest.

I've been going on trips and a part of this community ever since I decided to take the leap and become a coach myself in November 2015 and every time I go to a live event with these women, I'm so in awe at how they instantly become like FAMILY.

Truth? I always had a crazy hard time making female friendships growing up. I was bullied a lot when I was younger because I was the "chubby kid" and the girls I thought were my friends were AWFUL to me all through school. I made friends here and there (a few of which have stuck around for the long haul) but even through college, most of the female friendships I made ended up being insanely toxic. 

Can you relate?

I talk to so many women who ask me how I've found such strong female friendships and, outside of the few gems that I made in my schooling years, my answer always is COACHING. 

I started health coaching because I knew something in my life needed to change.

My health was in the shitter (I was knee deep in my orthorexia and binge eating days) and I was working 7 part time jobs just to get by and I just couldn't freaking do it anymore. So I grabbed onto one last ditch effort that I was HELLA skeptical of, but I figured that I would hopefully turn my health around at the very least. 

So I dove in. I expected the financial return. I expected to transform my health.

But I never expected the COMMUNITY that I would immediately be welcomed into with open arms -- a community of women that instantly felt like long lost soul sisters.

Women who are like me, but different.

Who teach me so much every single day.

Who accept me for who I am in every aspect.

And who have been there for me ten fold this year while I've been navigating one of the toughest and most overwhelming seasons of my life.

We come from all walks of life (teachers, actors, social workers, nurses, business women, dog mamas, etc) brought together by our dedication to self care via health & fitness and our desire to help others and make an impact in this world. 

And when you get a group of people together who are all showing up for a common goal, and who all bring SO many beautiful and different things to the table, it's pure MAGIC.

If you're feeling lost, chances are it's because you haven't found or created your community yet. One where you feel like you truly belong. And if there's anything I can recommend, FIND YOUR SUPPORT SQUAD. It'll transform your life in ways you never imagined.

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SO WHY IS HAVING A COMMUNITY SO IMPORTANT?

  1. ACCOUNTABILITY -- Have you ever tried going after a goal but lost motivation and never ended up accomplishing it? We live in a society that has taught us to become independent women, and while I'm ALL about throwin' my hands up at them independent women (*cough name that musical reference*) and consider myself quite independent, I spent SO much of my time trying to figure everything out on my own and I felt like I was endlessly hitting my head up against a wall. With my team, we share our goals with one another and hold each other accountable. There's no way I would be where I am today if it weren't for them endlessly empowering me to show up for my dreams. 
  2. SUPPORT -- This one is SO huge. I'm hella blessed to have an incredible support system. Between my husband, my parents and my best friends, I consider myself a pretty lucky girl. But there's something SO magical about going through the shit of it and having women who I've never actually met in person reach out with supportive words, care packages, the works. It's SO incredible and something I am endlessly grateful for every single day. 
  3. IT KEEPS YOU HEALTHY -- Literally. Having a community of people you're plugged into and surrounded by on the daily is SO beneficial to your health. My particular group ups the anti up 'cause we literally are all working on our health & fitness together but any community is HUGE from a mental health perspective. When we are a part of something bigger than ourselves, studies have shown that anxiety, depression and risk of death by heart attacks are significantly reduced. If that's not powerful, I don't know what is. 

And there you have it -- moral of the story? Community is freaking NECESSARY for the soul. Like chicken soup (did ya read those growing up too? haha)

And if you're a goofy go-getter who loves health & fitness, Harry Potter, dogs and laughing so hard you pee a little, then WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!? The Live Your FYES Life community is home, lady love and we'd LOVE to have you join us. Let's chat!!! 


LIFE UPDATES // 

HEALTH & FITNESS

I completed round 1 of 80 Day Obsession in April and loved it so freaking much that I decided to do it again. I love Beachbody programs so much because they always teach me something new about myself and what I'm capable of.

I've tried SO many fitness programs in the past (Tone It Up, BBG, etc) and I got SO bored and found my results never stuck -- whereas Beachbody programs always leave me feeling re-energized and engaged. And holy hell are these some of the best results of my entire life -- not just physically (because I feel stronger than I ever have), but mentally.

These workouts? They were my therapy. I found out 3 weeks into the program that I was BRCA 1 positive and these workouts got me through the tough days were all I wanted to do was curl up in a ball and cry. I'm SO grateful to this program for literally being my light at the end of the tunnel.

And I'm SO proud of myself and all of my clients who rocked the program alongside of me for COMPLETING THE PROGRAM. If you would have told me a year ago I would have showed up every single day, 6 days a week for 80 days, I would have said you were crazy. But I freaking did it. Was it "perfect"? Well, considering I don't believe in that word, I guess my answer would be NO. But I showed up every single day, rocked the timed nutrition (which my body LOVED) and have never felt more like an athlete in my life. Which coming from a gal who used to be picked last for gym every damn time as a kid, is something that brings tears to my eyes just thinking about.

The lesson? You are capable of ANYTHING you set your mind to. Really and truly.

And if you love structure and are looking to get hella amazing results and feel like a badass athlete, let's chat about you rocking this program alongside our Live Your F*ck Yes Life Wellness Squad!

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MY HORMONE LEVELS

It's been a month and a half since going off the birth control pill and transitioning to the copper IUD and so far, my feelings have more or less stayed that I'm happy with my decision.

My menstrual cycle hasn't come back like it had before, but I am having some kind of menstruation happening -- it's just very different than anything I've experienced before. (Much lighter and longer lasting and a different consistency -- which makes sense as my body is actually going through the process of ovulation now.) Other than that, not much else has shifted other than the shifts in energy throughout the month // let's just say, I get the whole concept of PMS-ing now haha. 

The only downside is that when I went to my one month follow up appointment with my doctor,  I found out that my IUD appears to have moved. Because it's a copper IUD, if it moves any more, I'm going to have to have it re-inserted (which for all of you who have had an IUD inserted you know is NOT a fun process), so that's unfortunate but what's going on!

 

And there you have it! I've got some things to share in the next coming weeks once I've worked through it all and it's official so stay tuned, but that's what the last month of my life has looked like!!

 

What's been going on in YOUR world, lady love?

I wanna hear! Let me know in the comments below.

 

Xo Amanda 

 

Why I decided to go off the birth control pill after 12 years

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I know this is gonna ruffle a million and one feathers but you know your girl is gonna give it to you straight and this has been a huge part of my wellness journey 

This time last year, I remember sitting in a coffee shop with my friend Jen talking all about the birth control pill. She had decided to go off of it 6 months prior and was sharing her experience with me and it got me thinking ... "why have I been on the pill for so goddamn long?"

I mean OBVIOUSLY to not have a baby.

But the reason I went on the pill in the first place? I was 15 years old and my doctor misdiagnosed me with PCOS and said "here, just take the pill. It'll help your symptoms."

And she was right, it did. And I didn't question it (and hadn't questioned it until recently).


But that conversation got me thinking about how I've been putting synthetic hormones into my body for 12 years of my life without question ('cause ya know, everyone is on the pill, right?) and that I hadn't even thought to question it. 

And the past year, I've been going back and forth about it and out of fear of what would come of change, I never decided to make any shifts...until now. After all of the medical stuff going on with me and the incredible conversation I had with Claire Baker on episode 7 of the podcast and speaking with my doctor, I decided to officially go off of the pill. 

Now I want to preface this by saying this is in NO WAY a "you need to go off the pill" post. YOU are the only person that can make choices for YOUR body (and girlfriend, you 100% know what's best for YOU and where you're at in life), but I've been getting a billion questions about why I made this decision and what I'm doing now for preventative measures. 

So here is MY story based off of my personal findings, speaking with my trusted hormone experts, my doctor and MY BODY.


WHY I DECIDED TO GO OFF THE PILL

1. I'm hella health conscious (obviously). And after getting hella into nutrition, the body and how everything works, I realized how VITAL the health of a woman's' endocrine system (aka the collection of glands and organs that produce hormones) is for overall health. And I have been working so hard on implementing habits in my nutrition and day to day life to support this, but not my birth control method? My girl Jess over at Wholly Healed shares ALL about the negative side effects of going on the pill, so if you wanna learn more definitely check her out. 

2. When I found out I was BRCA 1 positive earlier this year, I was hell bent on doing everything in my power to arm myself with everything I could to prevent myself from getting breast or ovarian cancer. And I knew that certain pills have been associated with raising risks of getting breast cancer and I was NOT fucking around with that.

*what I didn't know? Being on certain BC pills like the one I was on (ortho trinessa or ortho tricyclen low) for upwards of 5 years can actually REDUCE your likelihood of developing ovarian cancer so that was a major WIN for me and my doctor. 

3. My gynaecologist recommended I make the switch. While I was pretty convinced through my own personal readings and speaking with hormone health experts, I also wanted to hear the input from my doctor and she gave me the green light immediately. 

 

OK SO I WANNA GO OFF THE PILL, BUT I DON'T WANT BABIES!! HALP!!!

I hear ya. Kev and I are NOT ready for babies anytime soon, so when we were looking for another option, we knew we still needed to have a form of birth control going .

Here are other some options other than the pill to consider:

Paraguard IUD  - this is the option I opted with for a few reasons.  

  • It's over 99% effective in preventing pregnancy, making it one of the most effective forms of birth control available. This is hugely important to us because if and when we do decide to have kids, we have committed to going through the IVF process so we can screen the embryos for the BRCA gene. 
  • It is hormone FREE. So your body goes through the ovulation process as it naturally would but the Copper IUD disrupts sperm motility and damages sperm so they can't join with an egg. Fun fact that I didn't know? Copper actually acts as a spermicide within the uterus, increasing levels of copper ions, prostaglandins, and white blood cells within the uterine and tubal fluids. Fun science facts for ya! 
  • It is good for up to 10 years and can be removed at any time.

Condoms - also a great option! 

Withdrawl...not so fun but if you're in a relationship or sex isn't on the table, there ya go! 

Fertility Awareness Method (FAM) -- if you want to learn more about this, I highly recommend the book Taking Control of Your Fertility 

 

HOW DO YOU FEEL NOW ABOUT YOUR DECISION?

So far, I am OVER THE MOON about it.

I stopped taking the pill and transitioned to the Paraguard 2 weeks ago, so I've yet to experience a full cycle (and have yet to see if my period is going to return right away -- I know quite a few women who waited a year for their period to return) so I will definitely do a follow up post in a few months but so far, it's been great.

The process of inserting the IUD? It sucked. Majorly. And I experienced pretty awful cramping the rest of the day. The heating pad, aleve, netflix and my pup Toby were my best friends that day -- so DEFINITELY do not go into work after you get it inserted. SERIOUSLY. 

But less than 24 hours later later and after a nights sleep, I felt good as new.

I've been following the My Flo app to track my cycle and so far it's been pretty on track! No spotting, weird cramping or anything like that.

And just knowing that I've taken action about this has taken a huge weight off of my chest.

 

So there ya have it!

As always, you know I'm an open book so if you have any questions, pop 'em in the comments below! 

And I'm curious -- what form of birth control do you use? 

Xo Cheers to living our f*ck yes lives,

Amanda