Store Policy Changes: Adapting to Life’s Obstacles

Originally, I planned to update everyone on the outcome of my endocrinology appointment for PCOS several weeks ago, but then the spider bite from hell caused all manner of delays and problems for me. Blogging took a backseat to catching up on the copious amount of backlogged work—an ongoing issue I will address later in the post. Speaking of Fred, after a final draining Tuesday, he looks significantly better and has drastically reduced in size. I think my immune system has officially killed him, so . . . ‘Eff you Fred and the spider you rode in on! Ultimately and perhaps a little paradoxically, I am thankful Fred forced me to ruminate on the results of my appointment. Under pressure, I’m cool as the proverbial cucumber, and when an obstacle arises, my instincts are to dispassionately find the best and quickest solution. In many instances, those are great qualities to have, but being able to compartmentalize emotions is at odds with processing how you really feel. When I first heard I had an auto-immune disorder, I was my typical “Can Do!” self and switched to research mode, selecting the best books from Amazon and developing a plan of action. During the reign of Fred, I couldn’t do anything, and I started to unpack those unhelpful feelings I boxed up and realized I needed major changes if I hoped to get better.

First, to everyone who disliked their endocrinologist, I’m right there with you. She spent fifteen minutes with me while I painstakingly explained my symptoms and how I needed someone to work with me systemically. She countered that she only treats one symptom at a time and for me to pick the most bothersome one. Um, all of them? Furthermore, she is the fourth freakin’ doctor to not run a full freakin’ thyroid panel. (I did not say freakin’ I assure you.) I mean, come on! I wrote down which tests I needed, and she literally told me my thyroid is swollen. Nevertheless, she did test for anti-thyroglobulin (anti-TG). Anti-TG tests how many thyroid antibodies your body is producing, meaning the higher their presence, the more  your immune system is actively attacking your thyroid. It’s called Hashimoto’s Disease. Over time, these antibodies can destroy your thyroid leading to hypothyroidism and dependency on synthetic thyroid hormones. Early detection, however, can halt or even reverse existing damage, and fortunately, I am in the early stage where the anti-bodies are still relatively low. Even if you have lower anti-bodies, you can still be highly symptomatic like I am. Moreover, once you develop an auto-immune disorder, you are more likely to develop another one later on. And some are pretty nasty. Other blood work revealed my glucose levels verged on pre-diabetes, my Vitamin D was on the low end of normal, and my triglycerides are so high I was told to watch for symptoms of pancreatitis.

Oh, and did I leave out the fact I was told all this by a nurse, not my doctor. . . over the phone . . . while I was at work. I thought an auto-immune diagnosis at least warranted a follow-up so I could, I don’t know, ask a freakin’ question? Nope. The doc prescribed Metformin and Gemfibrozil for treatment, the latter of which made me horribly, had-to-leave-work-early ill (Note to self: Stop taking new medications on days you work!). I’m supposed return in two months, but I’m thinking of canceling and trying someone else.

The diet changes outlined in both books were progressing well. I cut back on bread products with the ultimate plan of not eating it at all, avoided carb heavy meals, and interjected light physical activity into my routine. Of course, these are not easy changes to make when you are on medications. Fred ‘effed me up. Between the high antibiotics and the hydrocodone for pain, I was alternating between straight up not eating because I was sick from the meds (or the pain) to heading over to Highway 55 and eating a one pound burger with a large cheese fry. There may have been pizza thrown in there too . . . and yes, I am still lactose intolerant. I just didn’t care and pounded lactose pills like candy. I was actually super proud when I went to the doctor’s the first time because I was down five pounds in three weeks. That was the first time I had seen any progress in months. And then there was Fred.

However, while I was immobile on the couch in the early development of Fred, it finally hit me that things were not okay, that I was not okay. I knew something was wrong for years, and I derived a perverse satisfaction in finally identifying it as Hashimoto’s. I began an emotional roller coaster akin to grieving, feeling the hopelessness of yet another obstacle to overcome after a year of struggle. When was I going to catch a break? Once Fred was excruciatingly painfully excised, I realized I am tougher than I realize. I have already lived through two of the worst days I may ever experience. On the day my mom died, I didn’t think I’d be able to get up again, and then I nearly lost my brother. I survived. What’s a little auto-immune disorder or a necrotic spider bite in comparison? If I can survive those two events, I can do anything, and I came out of the experience with a greater resolve to be proactive about my health and stop getting so stressed out about things I can’t control.

My initial plan of attack was simple and effective: exercise each morning before work eventually building up to a solid hour, practice 15 minutes of yoga after work to stretch my leg and foot muscles, eat regular meals and snacks, maintain a normal sleep schedule, and follow the new dietary restrictions. The problem is I work over fifty hours a week every week. I am constantly kept late at the shop or am forced to come in early. As I write this, I am sitting at home. It’s 9:31p.m. (on my second editorial pass here with one more to go), and I have been working since 10:30a.m. I’ve had about two hours of breaks, including lunch, dinner, commuting, and spending time with my dogs. Tomorrow, I have a 10a.m. appointment and 6p.m. appointment. Because I leave for a camping trip for 4th of July, I have orders which must be done by Saturday night. If they aren’t completed by closing time, I’ll work late that night too.

This is my normal, and my normal is not healthy. I barely have time to shop for groceries or take care of personal errands. I spend so much of my time and my energy working that I have nothing left of me for anything else—no energy to exercise, to clean, to read, to brush up on my languages, to socialize, to travel, to experience, to live. I alternate between full throttle productivity at the shop to being incapable of getting off the couch at home. I am that damn tired. Part of this is from the thyroid issues. Being highly symptomatic, I battle my own limitations daily. Nevertheless, much as I would love to blame this entirely on my body, an entity with whom I always feel at war, this struggle also stems from an inability to say “No.” I put my needs behind everyone else’s, even strangers. Fred taught me that stops. Like for realsies.

I love my job, and I love my customers. But I can’t keep doing what I’m doing. I work harder now than I have ever worked in my entire life for a pay in no way commiserate with my time, and it is slowly killing me. My choices are to either shut down the store entirely and move onto other endeavors or find a way to make the store work around my life instead of the other way around. In this age where everyone expects more and more of a business, I realize making changes to ease my health problems can have long reaching ramifications, but I firmly believe we do amazing work. You do not get service like we offer everywhere, and whenever I hear someone say they are blessed to find us, my heart lights up with a satisfying sense of happiness and accomplishment. I received cards and flowers and hugs during Fred, and the outpouring of support was what made me realize I would rather take a chance by restructuring the store than to close it entirely.

During my period of introspection, I realized why I feel so overwhelmed. I work two full-time jobs. One job is the bra fitter who helps each and every one of our clients. The other job is that of the business owner responsible for handling the finances, placing orders, updating our online store with new inventory, posting blogs and content to social media, and so on. My dad has been kind enough to help with some administrative work, but he has his own responsibilities. Not to mention, there is only so much he can do. No one knows our shop like I do. On the fitting end, my aunt is not trained and has other commitments which prevent her from being able to take on extra work. Most of the work falls to me, and we cannot afford to hire anyone. Consequently, I need to manage my time and my energy more effectively, focusing on the tasks which yield the most benefits for the business.

Store Hours

With regard to management-related projects, I am working at a severe deficit. After all, it’s hard to establish a weekly routine when the pile of work that needs doin’ keeps getting larger with nobody but you to do it! I have many essential tasks which need to be completed when I can concentrate without interruptions for a few hours. Consequently, for the month of July, we will be closed Wednesdays for me to catch up on crucial projects like, ya know, counting the inventory for the first time this year, updating our financial books, and filing invoices instead of piling them precariously on top of the actual filing cabinet. After July, Wednesdays will be “by appointment only” indefinitely. I will take up to four  appointments which need to be booked by the preceding Saturday. These appointments can only be scheduled in a block format, e.g., everyone will be seen between 2p.m. and 4p.m., to ensure adequate time for me to complete my other work. Since Wednesdays are historically our slowest day of the week, I decided it would be ideal for completing work projects without severely compromising sales.

Appointments

Routinely, I am asked for last minute early morning or late evening appointments, and I will now take no more than two per week. These must be pre-scheduled a minimum of three business days in advance, and I do not guarantee my availability. Furthermore, all Sunday and Monday appointments will be suspended for July. After July, I will resume taking the occasional appointment with the same caveat regarding my right to decline. Being a single, independent woman rocks, but it also means shit doesn’t get done at my house either. I have boxes from my October move which still haven’t been unpacked, a cedar chest which needs refinishing, a closet to purge, and Guilder to frame for it.

Emails

Email is my single biggest time sink, largely because of lengthy consulting questions from out of state customers. I have said before that I started this business to help people, but I have put that desire above both the health of my business and of myself. We are not a charity. We are a business. As such, we need to make money to continue improving our community, and every dollar we make adds to the store’s overall success. In six years, we have quadrupled in size. Imagine where we could be in another six! There’s the old cliche that “time is money,” but cliches often have a ring of truth,  no? Because my time is valuable and exceptionally limited, I need to manage it more carefully. As a result, I will no longer offer fit advice or consultations to new non-local clients. Words do not adequately capture how devastatingly difficult this decision was to make, and I wavered constantly. I felt like a bad person, an ungrateful store owner betraying loyal supporters and prospective customers, spitting in the faces of the people coming to me for advice because of the hard work I put into writing the blog and articles. After intense soul searching, I realized I either spend too much money and time working with someone for a profit not reflective of that investment or that it’s not financially viable for me help them. In the latter case, I can’t afford to send people oodles of bras to try on and send back. Online retailers have lower overhead and can absorb that expense, which ultimately means I offer free advice which benefits a competitor. Most frustrating of all is that I repeat myself constantly. I have all these wonderful, comprehensive articles planned to augment our Bra Naked Truth series but I spend so much time answering emails, I never have the opportunity to put keyboard to digital paper.

I really struggled with this decision, but we’ve become so successful locally, that I am failing miserably at handling just our in-store customers and all of the added administrative work. At some point, you have to step away. However, on my Wednesday Project List are those articles. It’s my hope that we’ll have so much great information on the website that you can read it and make better purchasing decisions without my help. I’ll also be including resources for further reading as well as links to places which provide free advice. Believe me, ladies and gents, I want to help you, but I need to help myself right now.

Meal Time

This change should be labeled “bad manners” more than anything else. In-store customers who’ve been here on a busy day around lunch time: Do you see me eat? Nope. Lately, I either skip lunch entirely or eat so late in the day it’s like an early bird dinner. Last Saturday, my lunch time was 4:30p.m. Breakfast was at 9a.m. The Saturday before that? I didn’t eat anything. Given my thyroid and insulin issues, this is not exactly a good thing. Now, I know I can’t just shut down the store and be like: Okay, shoo for 15 minutes so I can eat. Instead, I’m just going to eat my lunch at my counter between working with clients at a set time each day. I need to eat three meals plus two snacks per day, so I apologize in advance if I have to slow the flow of the shop to eat and/or for not sharing with the class. Maintaining consistent insulin levels in my system is key to helping me lose weight and control both disorders.

Sometimes when I post these blogs with store changes, I get an influx of emails from people thinking I am talking about them specifically or that they contributed to the problem. I don’t want any of those emails. This is my fault. I offered too much for too long. It’s been taking a toll since 2014, but I was too hardheaded to acknowledge it in a meaningful way. Until I recover physically, these changes are the only way I can keep the store open, and I am hoping with the added efficiency, our profits can get a boost to enable me to hire a staff member. I already have an amazing lady in mind.

Finally, in closing, please do not feel like I am not supremely grateful for the support y’all have provided me. I mean it. After Fred, I was like: “Screw it. I’m done.” It was everything all of you did for me that reminded me how blessed I am. Your generosity and warmth touched me in ways a normal job never would. I love all of you with all of my heart, and much as the store gets on my nerves, I love it too. So I am doing what I can to keep it open and thriving.

Erica

Store Policy Changes: Adapting to Life’s Obstacles
Erica

Erica is a lover all things lingerie and is passionate about helping people find the bra which fits and flatters. Side passions include reading, writing, hiking, dairy-free food, walking her Jack Russell terrorists, and dying her hair everything from black to red.


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31 thoughts on “Store Policy Changes: Adapting to Life’s Obstacles

  • June 30, 2017 at 4:03 pm
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    Thank you for your graciousness and all the help you’ve given us over the years. I am hoping for the best for you.

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    • Erica
      July 6, 2017 at 5:32 pm
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      Thank you, Lee <3 Hopefully with these new changes, I can heal faster and take better care of my health.

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  • June 30, 2017 at 4:13 pm
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    Healing thoughts coming your way. I am super impressed by you. When I was in the store the other day I heard a woman say “this is the first time I’ve tried on more than three bras without crying and leaving a store.” I just think about how much you help people feel more comfortable in their own skin, and I am thankful for all you do. Take care of yourself first! You can’t pour from an empty cup!

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    • Erica
      July 6, 2017 at 5:39 pm
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      Thanks, Laura! 🙂 I remember that day! It’s comments like that which motivate me to keep adding more inventory and plugging away until we eventually become the bra mecca I envision. 😀 It’s my hope that making these changes will keep us moving forward with less closures and more consistent, albeit fewer, hours.

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  • June 30, 2017 at 4:23 pm
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    Erica, I am glad you are taking care of yourself.

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    • Erica
      July 6, 2017 at 5:44 pm
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      Bahahaha! Yaaaaaaas! I actually have had calls on vacation or emergency emails wanting me to come in when I am not supposed to be there. Boundaries are a good thing, and I think finally erecting some will let us focus on new content here, better articles on the main site, and so on. 😀

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  • June 30, 2017 at 5:02 pm
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    Good for you for taking care of yourself. I had to do the same things after I suffered severe adrenal fatigue.

    Also, I’m not sure in your research whether you came across AIP (Auto-Immune Protocol), but you might look into trying your hand at that and see if your symptoms are affected. I think there are other people diagnosed with Hashimoto’s in the various AIP groups.

    Anyway, all the best to you. It looks like setting these boundaries will help you a lot on your road to healing.

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    • Erica
      July 6, 2017 at 5:47 pm
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      Pier, I actually am looking into the AIP for the reasons you mentioned! A friend of mine sent me some Whole 30 recipes, so I’m working on coming up with meal plans each week. I think I struggled the most with satiety, but I’ve read a cup of beef broth is excellent for adding to meals. My dad makes his own (and he’s a far better cook than me), and I’m thinking of having him make me a batch to add to meals sometimes. My big thing too is finding the energy to exercise. I feel like if I could get routine exercise into the picture (beyond what is contained in my job) that I would also do better physically.

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      • July 7, 2017 at 2:14 pm
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        That’s great, Erica. Whole 30 seems to be good. Don’t they have an AIP Whole 30? If you can stand to do the 30 day initial elimination and then add things back in one-by-one, you will really be able to see what takes your body out of balance. I am mostly grain-free these days. But sometimes I take in corn in the form of tamales or chips or popcorn. Corn is the worst thing for me. My body retains fluid and I puff up. Unfortunately, cheese and dairy are like that for me as well. It’s just that I feel so much better when I avoid such things. Certain things make my heart race when I eat them — I know those aren’t good for me. :-/

        As for satiety, fat and protein. I don’t go overboard with the fat (or protein for that matter) though because my body doesn’t like that either. But I’m not afraid to add a bit to the veggies. Also, even though legumes are to be avoided on AIP, I found that I can add certain types in when I pressure cook them (in my fab Instant Pot). They will definitely fill you up. My favs are great northern beans– and I just did them simple with a bit of duck fat (which is the best fat ever), salt, basil. Certain circumstances over the past half year have meant that I could not eat as I should and it shows. Take comfort in knowing that I will be working my personal program as you are figuring out yours. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or just want to chat and know you’re not in it alone!

        Oh, and yes, the beef broth will be good, especially if homemade (which the Instant Pot can do in 2 hours!). The collagen and minerals are really good for your system. Personally, I take Vital Proteins beef collagen peptides just about daily. I do like beef broth too since it’s got more stuff in it, but I’m just too lazy to make it! Also, if you haven’t tried the spiralized and riced vegetables, make it a point to. I need to get a spiralizer because buying them pre-cut is spendy. I really like spiral turnips and butternut squash. You can use them like spaghetti, especially if you just cook al dente. The riced cauliflower and broccoli is good. And I really like shredded brussels sprouts. Be sure to add a little bit of fat.

        For more than two years, I didn’t have energy to exercise. In the middle of that period, I did start a formal body weight/kettle bell style program. But after several months in, it wiped me out. I had to quit. Then I decided that I would just walk, whenever I felt like it– even if only for 10 minutes. I also have a rebounder (the quiet kind with bungies) that I lightly bounce on for 5-10 minutes, here and there. And I have two kettlebells– 15lb and 20lb. I do swings, lifts, whatever. Again, just when I feel like it. I do believe some movement is necessary, but it is important not to push or else your system might crash before your body is truly able to handle it. Walking can be a good thing and you can build your time in minute by minute.

        As someone else on here said, I think that I really began to get my strength back after I dialed in the food specifics. And I had already been wheat free and almost all grain free before I initiated the AIP plan. There were other triggers that I did realize that cause my body to get inflamed (e.g., nightshades). It wasn’t until then that my energy increased and brain fog cleared.

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        • Erica
          July 7, 2017 at 3:34 pm
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          Yes, I think there is an AIP version of Whole 30 too, which I’ve been looking into as well. I’ve heard that some of the things which create sensitivities can be hard to pinpoint, and I have begun keeping a journal of what I eat and how I feel. Since I cut back on the grains, I’ve already felt a bit better, and no dairy also really helps. Getting processed food out is good too. Corn’s not my favorite carb, so eliminating it hasn’t been bad. I’m more of a rice/potatoes girl. 😀 I do have a spiralizer actually ($30 well spent!) which I’ve used to make zucchini/squash noodles as I adore pasta. I’ve even had homemade pesto from the garden which was delicious. I found this great recipe for breakfast too which uses potato hash avocado and a poached egg. I think I need to preprep stuff so when I’m tired or overworked, the temptation isn’t to just grab something unhealthy. I had never heard of the Vital proteins! How interesting! For Christmas, my brother and I gave my dad a pressure cooker/instant pot/rice steamer all-in-one which we’ve used to our benefits. That’s how he makes the beef broth, and it’s so tasty. He’s got a great recipe for Greek tomato soup too that makes me drool a little just thinking about it.

          With exercise, I’m struggling with thyroid based wired/tired cycles. Right now, I am pretty tired, but I’ll catch a second wind later only to feel like bed time at 8:30 but by 9:45, I’m wide awake again until 1a.m. Then I wake up super tired. I could understand the highs/lows if I was imbibing caffeine but I cut it out. The end result is I feel like I’m battling these periods of fatigue and then not having energy to work out. I think next week, I may just start getting up and drinking a little caffeine so I can get through something, even if it is just walking, and try to acclimate to that schedule. It’s one of the reasons for my decision to maintain more regular hours with less before/after hours stuff. When I was this weight the last time, I was sedentary, so I introduced some walking and dropped about 15 pounds pretty quickly. Then I was able to start doing other things like yoga or interval training, and I ultimately built up to feeling very strong with a lot of lean muscle. But I worked from home and had a flexible schedule. If I had an energy burst at 3p.m., I could just go work out and finish up whatever I needed to later in the day. Plus, I don’t think I had developed Hashimoto’s then either, and I don’t recall feeling as generally worn down as I do now. It didn’t help that the pneumonia did hurt my lungs too, so I’ve been trying to build back up from the infection. I know it will take time, and I am trying to do something I am terrible at doing: Be patient with myself. Thank you for sharing what works for you, and I’d love to swap recipes!

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      • July 7, 2017 at 2:37 pm
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        Also, I found that I did need a certain amount of carbs. But whole food carbs (like starchy veggies, maybe certain grains if you can tolerate them), not refined carbs. Many women who go very low carb find they run into thyroid and/or adrenal problems. I’m better if I remember to take in some carbs. Myfitnesspal and a kitchen scale were useful in helping me to figure out the macronutrients of my food intake. Also testing blood glucose before and 1 or 2 hours after a meal to see how you respond to what you’ve eaten.

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  • June 30, 2017 at 5:04 pm
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    Erica — as someone with Hashimotos Disease (15 years since diagnosis) and now Rheumatoid Arthritis (4 years since diagnosis), I applaud your strength and wisdom to recognize that — if you do not take care of yourself, there will be nothing left. I look forward to getting to your shop from here in Durham, where I have lived for 2 years. (Attempting to slow down, but doing a lot to support others). It will be great to meet you — having made a fitting appointment with an appropriate lead time. ;-). Stay strong. Be well. And take care of you.

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    • Erica
      July 6, 2017 at 5:50 pm
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      Thank you for commenting, Carol! After doing more reading on it, I am obviously happy to have it, but I am glad I got a diagnosis now rather than continuing to struggle. Depending on what day you want to come down, you can always walk-in too, but you’re welcome to take advantage of our Wednesday appointment times too. 😀 I look forward to meeting you as well and hope you continue to improve on your own health journey!

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  • June 30, 2017 at 5:48 pm
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    Erica – You must take care of yourself first, Please don’t think for a minute you are letting any one down. I have heard from people that are so grateful for your fittings and how it changed their lives. Please let me know if and when you can make a new appointment for my fitting.
    ps: I agree with you about endocrinologist,I have been there.

    Take care of your self!
    Fran

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    • Erica
      July 6, 2017 at 5:52 pm
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      <3 I look forward to meeting you at your appointment Fran! I appreciate how supportive my customers and existing customers have been, which has give me more confidence that this is the best thing for me and the shop right now. I figure the sporadic closures because I can't stay healthy will be more harmful than making some ongoing changes.

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  • June 30, 2017 at 8:26 pm
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    SO love you, Erica!!! SO love that YOU are loving you, Erica!
    So love the Princess Bride reference- hahahahaha
    Love from your loyal East TN fan <3 <3 <3

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    • Erica
      July 6, 2017 at 5:53 pm
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      Awww, Tami. <3 And of course, I had to make some kind of movie reference, and Princess Bride is one of my faves. 😀

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  • June 30, 2017 at 9:47 pm
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    Erica, You are super woman! Stand your ground, and we will still be there supporting you and your business. You’re the best! Eating well is so good for you. Check out The Next 56 days program. Clean eating, high protein, fruits and lots of good food. No gluten also. Maybe it will help some. But just know that the changes you are making will be okay. Hugs and enjoy your time away. You deserve it.
    Gwen

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    • Erica
      July 6, 2017 at 5:54 pm
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      Thank you, Gwen! I’ll have to look into that program. I have been dabbling with Whole 30 recipes and following instructions in my books, but I think it can be hard sometimes to stay satisfied. A lot of recipes on these programs are so friggin’ boring. My friend Amber and I were discussing how there needs to be a cookbook with more unique recipes for people with dietary/lifestyle restrictions. *hugs back your way*

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  • July 1, 2017 at 1:43 pm
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    This is entirely appropriate and so SMART, E. BTW, as a person who has made major lifestyle changes to manage a chronic condition, I can say that my biggest success has come not from exercise but from diet (though both are very key!). If you can only prioritize one, esp. with pre-diabetes, make it the diet. If you give up all grains (not just gluten, but any grain including the ones that sound super healthy), sugar (except for fruit and occasional tsp of maple syrup or honey), booze (except on weekends if you’re me!) and all processed food, you will likely feel tremendously better very soon. Some people also need to give up dairy – as it’s the glutinous proteins in dairy and grains that tend to cause the problem for peeps with auto immune disease – esp. that which is encountered along with metabolic issues i.e. the PCOS and diabetes. I bet you will not need the metformin after a month of clean eating. But getting from here to there may be one of the most unpleasant things you ever encounter. Esp. if you are a sugar addict and an emotional eater, as I am. I’ve written quite a bit about this on my blog over the past couple of years. FYI – I did just what I have suggested to you (I also don’t eat many beans, fwiw, to keep carbs at bay because I’ve done genetic testing that shows I’m carb sensitive but NOT fat sensitive), I eat 70 per cent of my calories from healthy fats and I’ve lost about 20 pounds in 4 months – and I don’t exercise anywhere near as much as I did before I started the new diet. No time. Overall, I probably eat more calories than I did before I gave up the sugar and carbs. I’m never hungry but I have to plan my meals carefully or the whole thing falls apart.

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    • July 1, 2017 at 3:15 pm
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      I agree with all of this and it’s pretty much my approach (and a bit of the AIP approach). Managing the inflammation is key and a lot of it comes from the gut and what gets through into our systems.

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    • Erica
      July 6, 2017 at 6:29 pm
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      I need to read through those posts! My ability to keep up with other bloggers has been so dampened this year because of the illnesses, and I feel like I have missed so much useful content. Hearing from other people going through the same or similar experiences has given me access to more resources as well as to provide me with perspective on what it’s like going forward. As you mentioned in the follow-up comment, these are not temporary changes but long term ones I need to focus on for the remainder of my life if I want to stay healthy. It’s a sobering realization that you don’t get to eat whatever you want or that you will feel the repercussions if you break the food rules of your food. Fortunately, I don’t eat much sugar (although I do use local honey in my tea), but I do have to cut out some of the carb-loaded elements like bread, tortillas, etc. Like you, I’m gonna enjoy my booze on the weekends. 😉 However, I cut back on that too and am working on eliminating anything processed. Both of the books I’ve been using as resources (Hashimoto’s Protocol plus the original PCOS book) recommend the same type of diet: higher fat consumption for fullness with veggies. I just love my carbs, but I love having energy and being able to stay fit/healthy more!

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  • July 1, 2017 at 1:46 pm
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    I should say – this is not a diet but the way I’m going to have to eat forever to keep early-onset bone degeneration and systemic inflammation under control. i just happened to lose all of the weight I’ve put on in the last 5 years due to “perimenopause” aka – my body not being able to keep up with the onslaught of processed carbs any longer. I’d hazard to guess that’s why so many women put on weight at midlife, their systems just can’t take it anymore.

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  • July 1, 2017 at 4:38 pm
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    Yay, you! Being a small biz owner can take over your life. I live in a small, remote city and people are very loyal to the small businesses in town. Most of the ones who manage to stick around in this tough spendy environment have done what you’re doing: it’s very common for them to be closed on Mon’s or Wed’s for all the reasons you outlined here. Customers are pretty supportive of that, too. They aren’t expecting a 24/7 Walgreen’s type experience. The convenient hours, say 11am-7pm, more than make up for the fewer days open, often a Wed-Sat schedule. This is common for local bakeries, restaurants, hair salons, even the marijuana shops.

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    • Erica
      July 7, 2017 at 1:31 pm
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      Thanks, Alicia! I know a lot of small business owners have needed to revise hours, especially ones who are one-person stores. What I’m banking on here is that revising the hours to help my body recover and become stronger will mean fewer but more consistent hours versus our current rapid fire and unpredictable closures. 🙂

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  • July 4, 2017 at 5:32 pm
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    Sending you kind thoughts from the uk for your recents set backs! Glad Fred is gone for good! I think you are making the best decision for your health and wellbeing because at the end of the day, you cannot carry on when you are continually ill. All the best! X

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    • Erica
      July 7, 2017 at 1:54 pm
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      Thank you, Alex. <3 <3 All the best to you and your family too!

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  • July 21, 2017 at 4:24 pm
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    So, I randomly found your blog while looking for bra sizing conversion and then was DELIGHTED to find that you are actually located only a little bit down the road from me (I’m in Durham). I would love to come in to get some advice on some more budget-friendly bras (and hopefully maybe one with an actual cup, the only underwires that ive found that truly fit me seem to be the all-lace variety). Should I make an appointment?

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    • Erica
      July 21, 2017 at 5:53 pm
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      Hi Ellery! How cool! You don’t have to make an appointment and can walk in during store hours although we can also reserve fitting rooms during those hours too (a great idea if you plan to stop by on a Saturday!); however, if your hours do not coincide with ours, then yes, an appointment is an easy way to visit the shop! I look forward to meeting you and hopefully helping you find a good bra. 🙂

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