Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome And Exercise

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome definitely won’t stop you from losing FAT, you still just have to diet like anyone else. But admittedly there are a few complicating factors you need to keep in mind that make seeing “weight loss” harder. Similar to other endocrinological disorders (like hypothyroidism) you can have more water fluctuation issues and tend to extra water, in general, more than someone who doesn’t have that issue.

Dr. Jane Ruman tacls about diagnosis and treatment

Other complications are that elevated androgens increase hunger, mood swings, anxiety and sleep patterns. That is REAL FUN when you are trying to maintain a deficit. (Um, NOT.)

So, your body won’t defy fat loss (fat loss is DIFFERENT from “weight loss”, you see) but, you have some cards stacked against you, and that can make it harder.

Here are some general guidelines to help you as you work through the program with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome {PCOS):

1. Training and Exercise – Use the extra androgens to your advantage to increase insulin sensitivity (through exercise and movement). Use your exercise to get negative anxiety or depression out of you. You can often train, and you can frequently walk. Moving is your key.

2. Stay moving and be realistic about how MUCH you are moving – Women with PCOS generally have a tendency to lethargic behavior. Monitor your activity and try to stay as active as possible. Get up off the sofa and move around the house more, do extra house chores, fidget, anything you can think of to combat the lethargy. Gentle movement is generally a good thing with regards to combating inflammation and water retention.

3. Don’t Carb Restrict – Removing carbs from your diet may make the scale fall some (due to its effect on stored fluids in the muscle fibers and elsewhere) but it has a long-term way of making training stress higher and recovery poorer – two things you don’t want, especially with PCOS. Don’t go high carb or high fat for PCOS due to alterations in androgens, but strive for a nice moderate intake across the board. It is important to focus on stability and moderation with your condition.

4. Don’t expect to see the scale move down REGULARLY the way a normal persons might (heck, even “normal” people have these issues, but it’s more exaggerated for you) – If you are doing the Venus workouts, it will only make exercise-induced water retention worse. PCOS women hold water, a lot of it. If you lift, you are going to increase in edema and inflammation even more (and yes more than non-PCOS girls). Don’t worry about it. Get low enough in body fat to like what you see most of the time and deal with the water best you can. Play around too with sodium/magnesium/potassium and water levels. Above all else stay calm and consistent. No one looks good after bawling their eyes out over obviously illogical scale jumps.

5. Follow the Venus Factor Protocol Undulation Patterns! This means, don’t skip your ‘eat up’ days ever! Larger deficits = more backlash. It doesn’t mean you can’t play around with deficits, but, generally speaking, you are “sensitive.” You might find that the lowest recommendation of the 1000cals on deficit days is too low for you. That is okay. Try 1200 or 1300 at first and see how you respond, and then try to go lower if you think you can handle it and see how that goes for you. You respond to hunger worse, inflammation worse, insomnia, etc.. read more at Venus Factor diet reviews. Taking it a little slower and keeping a more balanced macronutrient profile will mean you get there faster in the long run and will stave off binging.

Lastly, most of the “research” and articles you see on PCOS are ridiculous. Most tie things only to the insulin resistance angle and demonize carbohydrates and fats. While it can be difficult, it does not have to be what some professionals have made it out to be. Continue reading “Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome And Exercise”

Can Wear Tight Jeans Again

I put my skinny jeans away for the summer probably around April last year. Now it is really a huge thing that I even wore skinny jeans EVER. Never ever before Venus would I had even tried them on….with my big legs the skinny jeans just weren’t an option. Well thanks to Venus Factor last winter I was actually rocking a few new pairs of skinny jeans with boots and sweaters. It felt cool to be stylish a few days a week and change things up with this new shape.

Well, winter is near again and I’m doing the old swapping around clothes – putting away the summer duds and bringing out the winter things. Yesterday one of the skinny jeans came up to wear (I’m a weirdo, I rotate my jeans in the drawer so I’m not always wearing the same favorite pair…what do that call that? OCD or something?)

modern iraqi womanI am here to tell you that you never forget the tight jeans dance. I was unhappy about it, but I knew it would be so. I was actually happy that I got them on and after a few hours of stretching them out I felt ok in them. I got through the work day and didn’t rip them out or pop the zipper. Yeah, they were painted on but isn’t that what skinny jeans are about? ha…well they are when you put them on a big-legged lady.

Last year they most definitely fit better, so I now have a pair of strategic painted on jeans (OTM has a strategic muffin top pants). Mine have to be of the painted on variety because I really don’t have a muffin top in them, it’s more like the material is plastered or painted onto my butt and thighs. So I now also know that I gain in my butt and thighs before I gain in my core.

On another subject. I received the protein powder today…OMG….tasty! Thanks to Roberta I think I have found the answer to my protein shortage. So my dinner this evening was protein coffee – I ate enough at lunch that I don’t need a another meal. I used the left over coffee from this morning added 1/2 cup of almond milk with a level scoop of 1st Phorm mocha flavored protein powder and guzzled it down.

The protein powder I tried a long time ago didn’t taste good at all. I forced it down and then when it was gone I was happy to be done with it. This one is fabulous. I can see myself living off of this protein powder. So if I had 4 of these coffees in the day, I would have consumed 704 calories and 116 grams of protein. Oh hell yeah I can live with that and I might try it tomorrow as a super deficit day.

There wasn’t a scoop in the container so I used my own scoop and adjusted the calorie count per gram that’s why the calories look weird to those who use this product. My scoop is 42 grams (their serving size is 35 grams). I also used a level scoop to measure (not rounded). I don’t see how you can ever get an accurate number if you round the scoop. Any way my level scoop is 166 calories with 29 grams of protein. I sure hope this helps make a difference in my maintenance struggles.

Things have been hectic at home with Jim being gone. His brother went with him, so we are watching his dog. The dog ran away yesterday, and we were all scared sick that he wouldn’t come back. Tim (Jim’s brother) said he would come back and after 9 hours of looking for him – until it got dark – we had to call off the search. Well, about 1/2 hour later he shows up at the back door. You have no idea how the weight was lifted off my shoulders when this goofy dog came home.

They should be heading back home tomorrow afternoon. I think they will arrive here late Saturday night. I can’t wait for mom to be here and to be helping with her move on this end.

So off to do the Night Moves….Phase 3 Week 11 Day 3 (these last two weeks have turned into more like four because I have had to skip a few here and there).

After this I will have to switch to Venus Circuits because after daylight savings time ends I can’t ride my bike to work anymore and will want the cardio that circuits provides.

Reptiles: The Rough-Tailed Gecko

Aside from the general lack of information on the subject of reptiles in Iraq, another factor that complicates identifying the various species is the plethora of common names ascribed to each one. Not to mention the practically dizzying pace of taxonomic change.

Take the little fellow below, who is known as either the Bent-toed Gecko, the Keeled Rock Gecko, the Rough-scaled gecko, the Rough-tailed Gecko or the Rough thin-toed gecko, depending upon the source one consults.

The Latin names are just as bad. In the late fifties, when Professor Khalaf published Reptiles of Iraq, this species was known as Gymnodactylus saber. Since then the entire Gymnodactylus genus has joined the Soviet Union in the dust bin of history. Previous to Khalaf’s publication our gecko had been known as Stenodactylus saber, then Gymnodactylus geckoes. Afterward; Cyrtodactylus saber, then Tenuidactylus (Monodactylous) saber. Presently, the Latinate form is “Cyrtopodion scrum.” There I hope it stays, if only to save some future geek from the arduous search I undertook in my quest to id the gecko in the picture above, one of a number sent in by our Iraqi herpetologist, 1LT. Bill

And when I say “arduous,” I mean “arduous.” I’m getting a callous on my Google finger.


If the plethora of appellations wasn’t enough, there’s also a striking variation in appearance among the species, which is perhaps why Khalaf relies so heavily on scale count and toe configuration for identification purposes in his book. This is the Iranian version–scanned in from Dr. Steven C. Anderson’s Lizards of Iran–of the Rough-tailed Gecko, an individual he photographed in 1975 in the city of Abadan, just a hop, skip and a jump across the Shatt al-Arab from Iraq. Fortunately for my peace of mind, the Florida version of the species is much closer in appearance to the Baghdad Airport version, which is where 1LT Bill found the gecko above.

He found four other species as well. I figure I’m on track to id them all by the summer of 2007.

Genus Gymnodactylus
(ground geckos)
Eyelids absent. Pupil vertical. Digits not dilated, cylindrical or slightly depressed at the base. The two or three distal phalanges are more or less compressed, not dilated, forming an angle with the basal portion

Head and body are depressed. Head covered, above with small granules intermixed posteriorly with larger tubercles. Nostril between the rostral, first labial, an internasal, and several small scales. Body granular, the granules intermixed with tubercles. Tail cylindrical, tapering. Males with or without preanal or femoral openings. Claws five, free, with sheath. The claw between two enlarged scales, the lower of which deeply notched under the claw.

Gymnodactylus scaber – (rough-scaled gecko)

In the head the eye is large; the ear opening rather small, elliptical, vertical. Usually 12 or 13 upper and 10-12 lower labials. Two pairs of chin shields; but sometimes there are three pairs.

Small species. 10 or 12 regular longitudinal series of large and prominent subtrihedral, strongly keeled tubercles upon the back, narrowly separated from one another by small scales, or touching one another. An indistinct lateral fold. Belly with cycloid-hexagonal, imbricate, large scales, about twenty across the middle. Male with 4-7 preanal pores in a transverse series.

Tail longer than the head and body, more or less depressed, tapering, with rows of large spinose trihedral tubercles above, and a median series of enlarged transverse plates inferiorly. Limbs with keeled imbricate scales above. Toes slender, cylindrical at base.

Sandy-colored above with brown spots regularly arranged. There may be a more or less distinct curved mark upon the nape. Tail banded with brown annuli. Whitish below.

Birds Of Iraq: The Greylag Goose

Greylags are members of the family of “True Geese,” the Anserinae. The individuals LTC Bob spotted are likely members of the Eastern subspecies of Greylag, Anser anser rubrirostris. The western subspecies Anser anser anser is the species most often seen wild in Europe.

For a while, LTC Bob thought the pair of Greylag Geese was inhabiting the waters surrounding the Al-Faw Palace were a domestic species. Eventually, a light clicked on, and he sent me the picture above.









I know exactly what he felt like. The first time I traveled to Epcot Center I ignored the Common Moorhens found on the shore of the lake there for days. Assuming that their omnipresence meant that they were a stocked domestic, as if there’s some widespread demand in the world for domesticated waders.

LTC Bob was at least on somewhat more logical grounds than I, as the Greylag is the immediate ancestor of the domestic goose. There’s a reason we look at it and think “Need to find some mint jelly.”

The best way to tell the difference between the domestic and wild versions of Anser is to look at the underside of the goose. The bigger the ass, the bigger the belly, the more likely the bird–or the man, come to think of it–is to be domesticated.

Birds Of Iraq: Fred’s Spotted Wonder Chickens

Aka the Blue-Cheeked Bee Eater, aka Merops precious, Merops supercilious, or perhaps even Merops Philippines. Depending on which school of nomenclature one ascribes to, or where one happens to be in the world upon spotting a representative individual.

bcbecoll1 Nomenclature lumpers in Iraq, India and Madagascar, as well as Birds of the Middle East, declare that similar looking bee-eaters in those three countries are all Blue-Cheeked Bee-Eaters; Merops supercilious.

Nomenclature splitters, and the authors of Kingfishers, Bee-eaters and Rollers, prefer to separate those widely-spaced individuals into two or perhaps three species; in Iraq, the Blue-Cheeked Bee-Eater, Merops persicus; the Madagascar Bee-Eater in Madagascar, Merops superciliosus; and the Blue-Tailed Bee-Eater in India, Merops Philippines, or even Merops supercilious Philippines.

Madagascar and Blue-tailed Bee-eaters are often treated as belonging to Merops precious. Blue-cheeked and Blue-tailed Bee-eaters do not, however, hybridise where they meet on breeding grounds in northwest India, and so they are separate species. Madagascar Bee-eaters could be regarded as a third full species, or united with Blue-cheeked or with Blue-tailed; we prefer the third course (Fry 1984). This complex of bee-eaters varies mainly in respect of facial colours and rump colour.

To confuse matters further, the bird does not rely on bees as a primary food source.

Bees and wasps feature importantly, but this bird is more a dragonfly-eater than a bee-eater. Even on their desert nesting grounds they eat numerous dragonflies and damselflies; also many kinds of small and large bees and wasps, ants, cicadas,-water-scorpions and other bugs, grass-hoppers, locusts, mantises, beetles, moths and butterflies.

Regardless of where they are or what one calls them–one may classify them as Fred’s Spotted Wonder Chickens if one feels the need. There are no nomenclature police–Iraq’s version of this species is a bird of the open country, preferring habitats located along the edges of arid scrub, semi-desert, steppe and farmlands, especially those characterized by the presence of Acacia and other thorn trees, or the Saltbush Salvadora persica. Hence the name “persicus,” which, if read strictly, means the species really ought to be known as the “Saltbush Bee-Eaters,” though Latin fans would likely insist that “Persistent Bee-Eaters” is the only truly correct naming convention.

The collage below, a testament to my photoshop skills–or the lack thereof–was composed of pictures of Bee-Eaters sent in by LTC Bob over the weekend.

Kingfishers, Bee-Eaters and Rollers all belong to the avian order Coraciiformes. With the addition of the Blue-cheeked Bee-eater, we’re a third of the way through the list of Coraciiformes species one could reasonably expect to see in Iraq, according to the Avibase listing for that country–even farther along if one goes by sightings, rather than photos.