Self-Care September


Hello Cysters!!! Welcome to PCOS Awareness Month 2019! 

As women we are sometimes expected to be super human and taking care of ourselves can be made into a lower priority when there is so much to do! Further more, as women with a chronic illness, taking care of ourselves can be an overwhelming task at times. For the past 2 months, and even more intensely in the past two weeks, I have given more focus into what it actually means to really take care of yourself, by actually putting those skills into practice and working towards giving up the toxic thought that I have to be more that what my body can handle. I have learned so much from some wonderful teachers who I will talk about more this month, but I thought it was important that I started sharing the techniques that have been working for me so others can feel the great benefit of self-care. Let's kick it off with tip #1!!! 


Check back here and on social media to see more tips though out the month. See how many things you can do to take care of yourself and let us know what is working best for you!

Have a wonderful day and be kind to yourself!

πŸ’— Jennifer

Social Media Take Over!

Hey Cysters! Did you know you can see The Ovarian Chronicle content across 6 social media platforms? Here is where you can get connected and get involved in the PCOS discussion!

FACEBOOK

There are a couple ways you can connect on Facebook.

CLICK HERE to follow The Ovarian Chronicle's Facebook page!

CLICK HERE to join the private Facebook group. An ask anything, no judgement zone!

INSTAGRAM

CLICK HERE to follow us on Instagram!

TWITTER

CLICK HERE to follow us on Twitter!

LINKED IN

CLICK HERE to connect to my personal Linked In profile!

GOOGLE +

CLICK HERE to connect with me on Google +!

MY PCOS TEAM

CLICK HERE to join my team on My PCOS Team. This is a wonderful platform made up of thousands of women who have PCOS. Here you can share your stories, ask questions, find support, and so much more!

Thank you for your continued support and I hope your 2019 is off to a wonderful start!

πŸ’— Jennifer

New Year's Firm Decision

The New Year is always one of my favorite times of year. Out with the old and in with the new. A time for change. A new beginning. And as a super goal oriented person, I start crafting my perfect list of New Year's Resolutions the day after Christmas. A resolution is defined as "a firm decision to do or not to do something." But when is our resolutions ever actually truly firm decisions? There are years that just the act of writing down my resolution with out actually doing it once was enough to appease my inner perfectionist, but then there was that one glorious year that I gave up drinking diet coke and all other sugary sodas for a whole 365 days and then some. What makes it stick?

The truth is that I have written about this (and given advice on it!) before and the answer is... I have no fucking clue. If I knew how to make resolutions stick, I would be skinny, a marathon runner, a 10 times better artist, a piano player, I would have a fat savings account and this exact blog would have maybe 40 more articles posted on it. The funny thing is that I have heard the answer many times before from doctors, health coaches, trainers, nutritionist, and so on... they have all said the same thing. Take it slow and make it manageable. Basically don't try and change everything at once and introduce a small amount of new things each day, week, and month, and eventually all your dreams will come true!

So why the fuck am I not a skinny millionaire yet!?! Well, probably because my resolutions have not really been firm decisions, they have been thoughts, wishes, and parts of really ambitious lists and schedules. There have only been a few significant things in my life that I have considered firm decisions. To go to and graduate college, to move to California, to work in animation, to adopt my dog, to move in and create a household with Sam, and to start an art & writing career. I can count those firm decisions on both of my hands, or just one hand if I had six fingers per hand. I know I have made at least 25 New Year Resolutions before and the majority of them I can't even remember. Well actually I'm sure at least 15 of those were to loose weight so that covers the most of them, and since I am like 8 pounds away from my heaviest weight ever, those firm decisions were obviously not firm enough. Just like my thighs.

So this year instead of making a New Year's Resolution, I am going to make a New Year's Firm Decision. Yes, it is the same exact thing as a resolution by definition, but my success ratings with resolutions is not that great and my firm decisions in life have been successful so far with hard work and dedication. A resolution seems to be fad to bettering yourself, but a firm decision is a life choice that you will achieve at no cost and that will continue for years to come.

I will be sharing updates on my 2019 firm decision through out the year once I thoughtfully plan it out. Please share what your New Year's Firm Decision is in the comments!

I hope everyone has a happy, healthy, and humorous 2019!!!

πŸ’—    Jennifer

TOP 10 WAYS I COMBAT PCOS - #10

OMG! I cannot believe there are only a few more days left of PCOS Awareness Month!!! I have been working on this list to share with you all, but then all of the sudden I woke up and it was September 26th!!! Where did the past week/month/year go!?! So I have carved out some time each day for the rest of the month to finally share my top 10 ways I combat PCOS!

*I have not been paid to advertise any products mentioned below. These are all products I personally buy and use.

10. Thickening Shampoo

I was never worried about hair loss until about age 32. I always had really thick hair, so my problem was always too much hair. But I started to see thinning in the front of my hair line and it made me worry. I also started to see a lot of breakage in the shower when I washed it. I tried out Loreal's Hair Thickening Shampoo and I have been loving it. There is an added bonus of it being sulfate-free. Sulfates are a chemical component in most cleaning products, especially shampoo, but it is so strong that it could make your hair brittle and prone to breakage according to dermatologists quoted in this SELF article.

I would love to hear what you all do to help with thinning hair. Please comment below and lets share our knowledge!

Check back later today to see what #9 on the list is! Thanks for reading!

πŸ’— Jennifer

My new go-to place for PCOS Research

I am probably so far behind the times here, but I just discovered Google Scholar. From what I have read through so far, it seems to filter out all the mucky muck from the internet and just give you material that is backed with some sort of scientific evidence. With anything I write, I always want to make sure my research is accurate, and sometimes the internet can make that hard, so google scholar is now going to be my launching point for my research.

Wanna do some of your own research? Here are 4.530 Medical Studies, Journals, and Articles on PCOS in 2018 on Google Scholar!

Remember that you are in charge of your own body, so being informed is so very important when you have a disorder such as PCOS. Happy researching!!!

πŸ’—Jennifer

Spreading Awareness!!!

Hi Cysters! I hope you all have been enjoying PCOS Awareness Month and have been able to spread awareness to those around you. This has been a very special PCOS Awareness Month for me because I was chosen to be a PCOSAA Ambassador! I am so excited to get started spreading information to everyone who needs it. So what does being an ambassador mean? Well it means I get to go to events and talk to people about PCOS and provide them resources to get the proper tests to see if they could have PCOS. But that is only the start! There is so much more I have planned for my time as a PCOSAA ambassador. The first thing I am doing is raising money! This will give me tools to get started spreading information. I never ask for money for my blog, so of course, 100% of the money donated goes to the PCOSAA, specifically in this case for an ambassador kit that includes informational brochures.

If you would like to help me get started on my journey to help others click the link below to learn more and donate!

Thanks Cysters! Have a wonderful day!
πŸ’— Jennifer


HAPPY WORLD PCOS DAY!!!


It's September! That means it is PCOS Awareness Month!
It's a time to celebrate ourselves and spread knowledge to the world.
Check back all month for my tips on combating PCOS like the warrior you are.
With love & happiness πŸ’— Jennifer



Finding the Balance

Hello cysters and misters!

I am so happy to be able to take some time to write today. It has been about a month since I have posted, and after realizing that last night while talking to the BF, Sam, I decided I have to reevaluate the balance in my life.

Today is my Mom's birthday (Happy Birthday Mom!!!) and she is one of the main reasons why I have had success in my life. When I was in high school and was navigating through getting a handle on my creative energy that felt out of control inside of me, my mom said to me... "I am so proud of you, you are going to be the next Oprah." Since that day I have had a drive inside of me that makes me truly believe I can accomplish what ever I set my mind to. And not only accomplish, but do it in a way that is like no other... because going above an beyond is an understatement in my life.

With all that said, how the hell and I supposed to (in no particular order of importance) work 50 hours a week ramping up a brand new animated series, write regularly on my blog, submit regular articles to PCOSAA.org, draw my Marion Ovarion toons, submit submissions for painting murals on electrical boxes in my town, continue working on a top secret writing project, continue to develop the children's cartoon I created to pitch to networks, continue my painting series for possible gallery shows, crochet the throw pillows for our living room, put together an outfit for a themed wedding in September, then shop for another dress for a fancy wedding in September, meal plan for the week, grocery shop for the week, do the dishes, clean my bathroom, walk my dog, clip my dogs nails, bathe my dog, go to the pharmacy, cook dinner, spend time with Sam, spend more time with Sam, spend time with friends, volunteer for a political campaign, call my Mom, and my Dad, photoshop something for my brother so he and his buddies can get a good laugh, meet with students, review resumes, get a hair cut, dye my hair, do some laundry, do my nails, clean my car, take my car in to get a repair, pay bills, watch Big Brother, start my evil crafting and cooking empire AND take over the world? Something has got to give!!!

The greatest thing is that through all of this, I know I am not alone. I have great support from loved ones and co-workers, and I LOVE every minute of it. I would not trade a single thing, and that's the problem, I love it all too much and there is no time to do it all. So that just means prioritizing is going to be a big factor in my life... and yours too if any of this is relate-able. (Just imagine if we had KIDS right now! OMG! Mom's & Dad's out there are true heroes in time management. Happy Birthday Mom!)

Okay so priorities... where do we start... WITH HEALTH!!!! Always with health. If we are not healthy, all the things we want to do become more difficult to accomplish. Even worse, if we are not here on this earth at all, then we REALLY can't get all of it done. So health comes first... great. That is much easier said than done. I can think of numerous times where I just grabbed some chips from the kitchen at work because I was hungry and "too busy" to find something healthier to eat. Therefore, meal planning and prepping needs to be a top priority. It will allow you the chance to run around like a chicken with your head cut off with papers flying everywhere while someone is kicking and cursing at the printer and phones are ringing and you have a famous person arriving in 10 minutes (dramatic reenactment of a Tuesday at my office), all while being able to grab a healthy trail mix out of your lunch box when your tummy starts to grumble.

The next thing I want to make a priority is my home life... spending time with Sam as we care for our dog and home together. This is my foundation and it is so important to me. Sometimes it is easy to give less attention to the ones that are closest to you when you are consumed with work and personal projects, because you know they will always be there for you when you are not working or done with your projects. Trying to incorporate your partner into your work or projects a little more builds a stronger relationship. Well "Duh!" you say, but try to be a little more creative with it. Sam is a super smart IT specialist (beep-boop-bop wizard) and I am in animation production, so we are going to learn a new animation application together. I also like to bounce ideas off of him when customizing our databases. And I do the same for him in return, I have learned so much about technology, Magic the Gathering, Star Wars, and so on, and it has made me a smarter and more creative person.

My home with Sam and Layla in it is my happy place. Caring for my happy place needs to be high on my list so that it remains my happy place. Putting care into my house hold brings me so much joy, but when I get "too busy", chores fall off the radar until it gets too messy to handle, and then it gets overwhelming to have to deal with so much with so little time. I worked with a woman who woke up at 6 am every Saturday morning and did her weekend chores. Then after that was done she could go back to sleep, read a book, basically what ever she wanted because her responsibilities were all taken care of. It made for a much more enjoyable weekend. Now I can't even get up at 6am during the week, so that may be pushing it for me, but the concept of getting all the adulting out of the way so you can act like a kid all weekend sounds like a nice way to live.

Next is of course work... we all have bills to pay so work must be a priority. If I was to maintain the lifestyle I have, it is going to require some hard work in there. Thankfully for me, I love what I do. It is not a drag to go to work everyday. Yes it can be stressful at times, but I'm incredibly fortunate to be able get the opportunities that I get. If you can make money at doing something you love, you have figured out one large fraction of living a happy life.

So those are some pretty big priorities and that is just scratching the surface into what makes us live balanced yet full filled lives. But what about fun!?! The things that make you experience joy, and laughter, and excitement. The things that you were born to love and no one can take it away from you. For me, those things are art and creative writing.  My own expression of what is inside of me. That is something that makes me who I am. Your passion in life is just as important as everything listed above and including it in your top priorities is crucial for your own personal well being. It keeps us grounded and gives us a sense of identity. Whatever your fun thing is... fishing, singing, video games, working on cars... make time in your life for it and it will bring you happiness.

Last but absolutely not least is family. I touched on home life earlier, but this is more that just the family that lives with you, it is about your aunt in Michigan, or your cousin in Texas, and your dear old (haha) parents back home (Happy Birthday Mom!). I have missed a lot of milestones in my family's lives and the only way I can feel better about it is by reminding myself that the hard work that has pulled me away from them is all because and for them in the long run. It's not this year, but damn it would feel nice to be able to be rich enough to buy my mom her own little house for her birthday and be able to keep it up for her so all she has to do is garden and decorate and adopt dogs and live a happy, wonderful, stress-free life. There are a lot of family and friends that I would spoil rotten and bug the hell out of them if I has the financial means to buy them all cars and visit them on a monthly basis. In the mean time keeping in touch on the phone and online is the next best thing.

Finding balance in my life has always been one of my biggest struggles. I get so obsessive about one thing that nothing else matters at the moment and then 3 weeks later I emerge from the depths of my current project to find that I have not posted on my blog in a month, I am behind on laundry, my hair is out grown, there are no groceries in the fridge, and Layla's nails are so long she sounds like a tap dancing deer. So off I go, a creative release of 10 doog doodles and this exact post you are reading right now, lunch with Sam, a load of laundry, and a date with Amazon fresh to get groceries in the house... tomorrow Layla is in for a real treat! And of course a Happy Birthday phone call to my Mom, and all of the sudden I feel like I am on my way to balancing out the long hours I put in at work this week. Reminding myself more often that balance is so important will combat all the potential things that can tip my balance out of whack. At the end of the day, being able to step back from something and say, "This is the best I could do with the amount of time I was given and I am still proud of it" is a big accomplishment, and that's all I try to do... my best. And if I keep looking forward, and keep learning, and keep growing, then maybe my best will lead me to being the next Oprah after all. 

With 1/3rd love, 1/3rd comfort, and 1/3rd happiness,
 πŸ’—Jennifer




New PCOSAA Article and What's Coming Next!

Hi Friends!

Yesterday I spent the majority of my morning watching talk shows and the majority of my afternoon sleeping. It was amazing. But I spent so much time vegging out, that I totally forgot that PCOSAA.org was releasing another one of my PCOS articles! This one is about carbs... oh how I love carbs.

Click HERE for my brand new PCOSAA.org article!

Coming up next on my blog I will be sharing how my new job as a Production Manager at an animation studio in Hollywood called Shadow Machine is going. I am also in progress on my 3 part mental health writing series, look out for that on PCOSAA.org coming soon! And of course, more Marion O'Varion cartoons will be ready for you all to enjoy in the upcoming weeks.

Thanks for reading and sharing! Please leave your comments and let me know how you like the new article!

With love and happiness,

πŸ’— Jennifer

New PCOSAA Article! Learning From the Pain

Hello everyone! Pain is something that women with PCOS live with everyday, but are you listening to your pain? Check out my brand new article on PCOSAA.org on how pain led me to a PCOS diagnosis.

 Click here to read the brand new article - Learning From the Pain

I am also introducing some new artwork as well! ACTUAL live footage of my uterus during menstruation... SCARY!!!!!



I hope the rest of your weekend brings you joy and comfort! 

πŸ’— Jennifer


Mental Health & PCOS Writing Series: Introduction

Hello everyone and happy Saturday! I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend! Today I am giving you all a little introduction into my 3 Part Mental Health & PCOS Writing Series that I am working on for PCOSAA.org. Since one of the major symptoms of PCOS is anxiety, and I suffer from anxiety, I want to share information on mental health while also sharing some stories that you all can relate to.

First things first. Having mental health issues does not mean you are broken. Taking a day off of work because you have a cold and taking a day off of work because you need a mental break needs to be treated as the same thing... a sick day. Needing a mental break means you are human, it does not mean that you cannot handle stressful situations, or that you are not cut out for the job. It means that you are strong enough to know when your body and mind need a break and smart enough to give it that break it needs.

Just like physical ailments, mental health concerns should be treated with seriousness. Taking medicine for an upset tummy seems normal, but there is still a stigma around medication for mental illness. The meme out there I hate the MOST is the one that says taking a walk in nature rather than taking your mental illness medication will help your anxiety or depression. That is dangerous. That was written by someone who does truly understand what mental illness is.

Everyone human is different, so medication may not be the answer for your mental illness, however it is the answer for a lot of people. Finding a medication that works well for your mental illness is a relief in so many ways. It gives you a chance to feel comfortable without taking away a sense of your true self. It is lifesaving.

When I found prozac my whole world opened up to different possibilities. I could do things without my heart rate elevating. Imagine any simple task elevating your heart rate for no reason and how taxing that would be your body. Now imaging finding a pill that relieves you of that. I didn't realize life could be lived any differently. Prozac showed my body that it didn't have to live that way and for that I am thankful for it.

I was worried that people would find out about me taking prozac. Gasp! What would they think of me!?! But when I saw Carrie Fisher's prozac pill urn when she sadly passed, it made me think differently about it. She was a fucking legend. So taking prozac will not keep me or anyone else for that matter from being a fucking legend.


Clint Brewer/Splash News
Todd Fisher carries sister Carrie's Prozac-pill urn.

Please keep a look out for my 3 Part Mental Health & PCOS Writing Series at PCOSAA.org coming soon. I will be talking about how hormones vs. social influences affect your mental health. Mental health is a serious condition and if you need help please visit the resources below for more information. You are never alone.

For emergencies:
https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

https://mentalhealth.gov/get-help/immediate-help

For more information:
https://mentalhealth.gov/get-help

πŸ’— Jennifer

New article on PCOSAA.org!

There is a brand new blog post that I wrote up at PCOSAA. org!!! Click HERE to read some advice I have on dealing with unsolicited medical advice. 

Thanks for reading!!!

πŸ’— Jennifer

http://pcosaa.org

The Story of Glucose

One of the things my doctor monitors the closest is my A1C level, which tells her if I am at risk of or if I have diabetes. 2nd to cancer, diabetes is one of the scariest things when it comes to PCOS health risks. Many women with PCOS have insulin resistance, therefore many of them are prescribed a medication called metformin. I have opted out of taking metformin and decided to learn about my body and treat it naturally. (But that doesn't mean it doesn't work for others, I am happy it is available for those who need it and benefit from it) I think it is scary to me because I never really quite understood insulin and what it does in the body, and the only way I can convince myself I know what is going on, is to write a story about it... 
You see, in the world of your body, there is a gym called The Muscle and Fat Gym. It is pretty exclusive, only the sweetest Glucose Clients are able to attend the gym. Membership requires you to use an Insulin Personal Trainer. In fact, Glucose Clients cannot even attend The Muscle and Fat Gym without their Insulin Trainer accompanying them. Then one day some gluttonous suit at the corporate office of The Muscle and Fat Gym decided that the gym shouldn't be so exclusive anymore. He was like, "Hey, let's just let any Glucose Client in here, just think of all the money we will make, I LOVE SUGAR AHHHHHH!!!!" But the dumb ass kept the rules the same, each person still needed a high end Insulin Trainer. So for every Glucose Client they got, they had to hire another Insulin Trainer, Then the Insulin Trainers had to start taking on multiple clients, and the Pancreatic Offices where you hire Insulin Trainers was just flat out of Insulin Trainers one day. Eventually the current Insulin Trainers became overworked and quit. Now every time Glucose tries to get into The Muscle and Fat Gym, they are turned away because the rules are still "You must have a Insulin Trainer with you to enter." So Instead of going to the gym, Glucose Clients decided to turn around and go home via the bloodstream freeway... And that is why the 405 always sucks. Eventually The Muscle and Fat Gym closes down because of poor business management and you are carting your ass to Diabetesland. 
That's how I see it anyway... the point is keep your gym exclusive! Silly stories aside, diabetes is a serious condition and it must be monitored, or better yet prevented. Keeping an eye on your blood sugar levels can help you understand how your body reacts to food. Also look out for hidden sugar in things... especially carbs!!! Here is a link to actual medical information, because I really hope you are not getting your medical information from me. 
Feed your muscle and fat with only the best fuel.
 Jennifer