Sleepy sleep sleep

Sleepy sleep sleep

sorry for the lack of posting over this past week. my personal life is a little all over right now and its been making it difficult for inspiration or desire to write… let alone do anything but watch netflix.

however, i made a promise to myself i would in fact write today so here i am!

today i wanted to focus on something that effects so many people and can really have a huge impact on your life. sleep.

as a shift worker, i lack in the sleep department. having health issues, this only exacerbates so many of the issues that are going to come natural that has odd working hours. add life into the mix. well, sleep becomes a thing of the past at times.

for myself personally, i find my thyroid impacts my sleep, a lot. when my levels are off, my body more or less feels like its running on adrenaline and needless to say sleep sort of isn’t even an option. there is nothing worse than feeling so tired you want to die but staring aimlessly up at the ceiling.

the second issue…. shift work. working in the aviation industry i am a certified zombie a lot of days. i often have enough energy to use my brain for work, but the rest of the day, is more or less a write off. some days I start at three in the afternoon, the next day i’m at work for six or seven in the morning. and not being able to sleep the night before you need to get up at four am is a super shitty thing.

most people don’t get ‘it’. they don’t understand how i can function, and to be frank, neither do i sometimes. and the amount of caffeine i need to function on a regular basis has made me really prioritize my sleep issues.

sleep is so important in every aspect of your life, ESPECIALLY for your health. your body needs sleep to regenerate. your brain needs sleep for rest and so you can think clearly. after working out, your muscles need sleep to rebuild and recover.

without this most fundamental necessity in your life, its going to suffer in every way. i personally become a moody, emotional bitch when i haven’t slept. i give new meaning to the word bitch face. i am the bitch face. i drink gallons of coffee and energy drinks to try and compensate and my skin radiates sadness.

yes my skin suffers. and as i’ve made clear my skin is already the bane of my existence. nothing makes me more depressed then when i put on a pound of foundation and concealer and use higher on my eyes and i still look like i’ve stayed up for six weeks with quintuplets. just to be clear i don’t have children… shout out to all the parents out there who just find a way to deal.

lately another huge factor that’s destroying my sleep schedule is anxiety. i basically work on an anxiety curve i get to an optimum sleepless anxiety level where i no longer am able to sleep at all. then i hit rock bottom and i almost go into a depressed state where all i do is sleep. my goal is to never reach that, but you can’t control the weather, and you can’t control when life is going to shit all over you.

lately, things in my personal life have been extraordinarily stressful. plus i over think EVERYTHING. overthinking leads to four am deep thought sessions about how i could have stopped this, or prevented that, or changed something else. even when things aren’t my fault i just want to fix everything and make everyone happy, or help people, etc, and sometimes this makes it so i cannot sleep.

now, unfortunately there is no easy fix for this sleep dilemma i live through. i love my job and i refuse to make sacrifices in that department. i cannot control my health. i cannot control my anxiety even though i try my best to just ignore the thoughts in my head during the witching hour.

i do have a couple tricks up my sleeve though to help. i generally use medication to sleep as my last resort. i have and will probably use it in the future… but generally using meds to aid in sleep guarantees a shitty sleep and a worse morning after.

to start, when you’re sleeping like garbage booze is not your friend. alcohol is fun, it has its relaxing aspectss, but ultimately if your sleep is suffering so much so that your health and wellbeing are being affected, don’t drink. just don’t. you can pick it back up when you’ve got a couple nights of zzz’s under your belt. alcohol may put you to sleep initially but as you sober up it messes with your rem patterns and you’ll feel like crap the next day.

my next suggestion is something that i was actually given by a facebook friend a month or two ago when i reached out to the facebook sphere to see what tips and tricks other people used to help fall asleep and i LOVE it. buy a diffuser. any type, any brand, one that you smell and makes you think damn this is relaxing as fuck.

the one i bought was some random brand from winners. its a melon cucumber smell and honestly since i’ve started keeping it on my bedside table i’ve noticed a change in my sleep. the smell triggers a relaxing in me that with high anxiety and sleeping issues has been a major game changer.

i’m actually so impressed with how much the diffuser has aided in my sleep recently that i am going to invest in one of the electric diffusers so i can have a variety of oils to diffuse.

the next two tricks are melatonin and noise machines. melatonin and noise machines are for the super desperate nights where my brain will not shut off. some nights it hits around one am and my mind will not give me any rest or relief. melatonin is the great natural technique for assisting your body into sleepy time mode. the noise machine generally helps distract my thoughts until the melatonin can really click in and work its au naturale magic.

when all else fails, sometimes you may have to accept dealing with the issues in your life that are causing you stress. if you tackle the bigger issues head on, your sleep will be able to find its rhythm once again. you also need to remember you’re human. some nights will be restless or without sleep and there isn’t anything wrong with that.

if you are finding consistent issues with your sleep, go to a doctor. just the other day i’m pretty sure they drained a quart of blood from my arm because i haven’t been sleeping well and i haven’t been getting to bed either. i’m also finding i go to bed freezing and am waking up in the middle of the night on fire. i’m in my 20s, i have a few more years until that should be a factor.

the original tests showed nothing with my thyroid so i voiced my concern and now my doctor is testing everything from cortisol levels to my b12s. if you’re not sleeping its not healthy. maybe you have sleep apnea. maybe its something else all together. take it upon yourself to ensure that you are operating at your optimum.

xo bri

acne things

acne things

happy basically Tuesday everyone! writing todays been a struggle since i’m sick… AGAIN. i live in canada and lately the weather here has beens super hot and cold… literally. one day it was 20 degrees out the next day its snowing. thanks to temperamental mother nature and this inconsistent winter, colds have been worse than ever around here.

but today i want to start on something super close to my heart and something i plan on sharing a lot of information about including: how i deal, products i use, and tricks of the trade to making it seem like its better than it is. i’m talking about skin. as an honourary member of the my skins a piece of shit club i want to share as much as i can and let everyone else know they’re not alone in a daily bathroom battle against their face.

when it comes to skin i can’t win. its dry. its oily. it cracks. i have acne. its the fucking worst. theres no polite way to describe it. you think when you finally grow out of the awkwardness of being a teenager that the hormonal teeney-bopper skin goes away right?

i unfortunately didn’t experience this. to be honest, in high school i generally had okay skin. it wasn’t porcelain pretty but i could go out in public comfortably without foundation on. around nineteen all of this changed and its had a HUGE effect on my life as a whole.

late. onset. adult. acne. when i finally got to see a dermatologist this is what they called it. what to say about it really? besides the pills they pumped into me to help with the problem i was told to just wash my face and things would work out…. ummm how about no? sometimes no matter how hard you try and how many hours and products you invest into it, your skin just won’t cooperate.

living with skin problems is a huge hassle physically and mentally. its taken some huge tolls of my self-esteem.we live in a judge first ask questions later world. people do create an opinion of you based on first impressions. people tend to embrace beauty… and having terrible skin is a huge first impression.

sure no one is going to look at you and think i’m not talking to this girl her skin is disgusting. although their first thoughts may be closer to, ‘look at this poor girl’s terrible skin. thats so sad to have skin like that’. trust me, whether people mean to or not they do judge and appearances are important. the pity looks are wayyyyy worse. not to mention trying to establish yourself as a strong, working woman when you’re too busy stressing about how your face looks is no easy feat.

lets also clarify here. guys have these same issues and self-esteem concerns. this applies to guys just as much as it applies to women ESPECIALLY because at least we have makeup magic. guys actually have to brave the day and truly learn to love the skin they’re in. more power to them.

my acne is hormonal based. like most of my issues thanks to my thyroid, living with acne is something i’ve had to learn to accept. hormonal acne tends to focus heavy around your cheek and chin areas. this is why when you see someone who has had really severe acne, you tend to see pockmarks on the cheeks and even the skin near the temples.

hormonal acne is a doubled edged sword. you’re either battling the acne or you’re battling the aftermath. after many medications (this includes accutane  which i plan on posting about my experience with eventually) i have managed to keep my acne to a much more reasonable level.

the downside of it is the cystic acne that is associated with hormonal acne leaves deep scarring. severity of the scars are determined by how long and bad your acne is. it can also be affected by the sensitivity of your skin and ass luck would have it i’ve also been blessed with extremely sensitive skin sooooo basically acne kicks my ass.

the thing is, all of this takes a huge emotionally toll on you that you just can’t imagine or see coming. i never expected that at twenty i would be borderline depressed because i was so ashamed of what i looked like. i hated most pictures of myself, i hated leaving the house… i couldn’t even go out in public without layers of makeup on. i was ashamed about something i literally had no control over.

there were actually times when i would cancel plans with friends because i was too busy in the bathroom staring at my face and crying because i felt absolutely hideous. i basically was the beast in that scene where he sees the old portrait of himself and puts the claw marks through it. i more or less was locking myself away in my little castle because i felt like a horrid monster. trust me i know this sounds a bit dramatic but this is how much of a toll developing acne later in life had on my self-esteem and it was a huge struggle to move on from this mindset.

over time i’ve learned that its not something to be embarrassed about. you can’t control it.  lately i’ve been trying once a week to have a day that i don’t wear any makeup at all. i call it my ‘give my skin a rest’ day. i more or less want to let my pores breath. even now on those days when i go out without my makeup on i’m so proud of myself because i’m soooo self conscious of the leftover scarring i still have. my flare ups reached a point where medication was my only remedy. plus i still get pimples all the time.

now every night when i look in the mirror i have to actively remind myself not to pick at my skin. even though i can see all the blackheads in my cheeks and in my nose or on my chin. no. its worse for your skin and there are SUCH healthier ways to deal with all of the hormonal chaos happening on your face.

don’t get me wrong, some days i’ll still look in the mirror and want to cry because when my skin is flaring up and i feel so ugly. its a constant battle of the mind. i’m super lucky though. on these days where i’m feeling like garbage i’m super blessed to have a very supportive boyfriend who reminds me that just because i have some acne on my face it never takes away from my beauty, even if i can’t always see it. sometimes you need the extra support and voice of reason… that’s totally okay. find someone who when you’re starting to feel down or depressed because of your acne that can remind you of how beautiful you are regardless. if you don’t have that? i can totally be that for you.

a lot of upcoming posts are definitely going to be skin related because its such a huge passion of mine. whether its great finds for dry cracked hands i’ve stumbled upon or my absolute must haves in my bathroom for attacking pimples, i plan on sharing products i’ve found have helped me along the way. i also want to talk a lot about makeup hacks for when your acne gets super annoying and how less can actually equal more in these situations.

always feel free to comment and post about your drama skin too. i’d love to hear from you. its always nice to know that other people struggle with the same problems and that we can all be here to talk to each other when its making us feel like shit.

xo bri

yes i’m a glutard

yes i’m a glutard

one of the most frustrating things that has come along with my plethora of auto-immune diseases is the fact that around the same time i discovered i had Graves Disease i also discovered that i was slowly poisoning myself with gluten.

let me start by stating, i would not suggest a gluten free life for the sake of it. a carb-free life sure when you’re trying to lose weight. even then, carbs have such a bad rap! good healthy carbs are so good for your health, i may just write a post about healthy carbs all on their own. but yes, a gluten free life, not so much.

firstly, gluten free foods like bread, english muffins, pasta, etc, only just started tasting good. when i first started changing my diet and lifestyle the bread was literally a bunch of seeds more or less fused together and when i used to put my gluten free bread in the toaster it would start to crumble as it cooked.

the major difference in the gluten free market came when Novak Djokovic started raving about how fabulous he was feeling after starting to live a gluten free lifestyle. he claimed he felt a million times better and that eating gluten free was a real ‘gamer changer’.

suddenly GF (gluten free) products were popping up everywhere and along with this came a better understanding for the general public about what being GF was all about. for myself this had two benefits: 1. the price of GF foods finally came down; 2. they started to put effort into making GF things that didn’t taste like cardboard.

how did they do this you ask? sugar. sugar sugar sugar. check before you eat. a lot of GF products are jammed with sugars… not all but many. often people claim they’re changing to a GF lifestyle to lose weight but they don’t realize just because you’re eating a GF chocolate chip muffin doesn’t make it healthy. chances are its probably worse than a regular chocolate muffin.

when people drastically lose weight when they start eating gluten free its because you become highly limited to what you can eat in general. especially when you’re on the go. plus many super tasty wonders have gluten hidden in the ingredients. just yesterday at my work we had a group rib fest. a coworker of mine brought his smoker to work and everyone was enjoying ribs while i ate kale salad. why? because most bbq sauces (especially bourbon bbq sauce) are jammed with gluteness goodness.

however… an issue i’ve come across since becoming GF became the super fad to the stars is that i’m constantly judged for how i have to eat. again, i don’t want to eat like this, i wish normal food didn’t make me sick or have to shit my pants, but it does. the other day at work a coworker of mine walked by and offered me some homemade fudge. when i asked if there was any gluten in it the response i got was “oh god you’re one of those gluten free assholes aren’t you”. nope, not an asshole just don’t want to be sick, thanks though.

GF has a stigma now which in my opinion is ridiculous. some people choose a GF lifestyle and if that makes them feel healthier, power to them. i don’t get that choice and if i choose to ‘cheat’ i pay for it later. even my boyfriend didn’t really believe it was actually a real thing when we first started dating. but one time when were out drinking in niagara falls i ate something i shouldn’t have and ended on my death bed. the poor guy just hugged me begging for me to tell me how he could help. he couldn’t, we had to wait out the storm until i was better. now when people ask if its actually real or if i’m just exaggerating he’s the first one to come to my defence about how sick i can get.

what is being celiac like? what does it do? basically it makes stuff with gluten become poison to your body. it kills the villi in your small intestines so you stop absorbing nutrients. when i was in high school and still eating gluten regularly i ended up so sick one night after dinner my stomach swelled up and became as hard as a rock. back to the hospital i went with no answers in sight.

it wasn’t until a friend of mine from germany who also had celiac disease came and told me to get tested. she figured i had celiac disease since i had the exact symptoms she had. after some more testing it was official. i was what my friend termed a ‘glutard’. europe was way ahead of the game when it came to testing and diagnosing people with celiac disease and not just writing it off as IBS (irritable bowl syndrome). looking back through my families history its probably a genetic thing.

i never met my grandmother on my mom’s side but throughout her short life she suffered greatly with stomach and bowl issues. every time she went to the doctor they told her she had some for of IBS and to just not try to eat so much salty things. and since i figured out what the hell was attacking my insides a few of my cousins have realized that they have it too (the also have auto-immune diseases). some times it just takes being educated about these things to figure out its affecting you.

i won’t go into details today into celiac disease testing but if you think that its a possibility for you talk to a doctor. if you have other auto-immune diseases, trust me, they’re totally related.

thats all for today. i’m on break at work and i have about ten more minutes until i’m back to airplanes. i’m planning on posting some of my favourite GF snacks in the next week or two (they’re great hacks for commuters on the run). being super busy becomes one of the most complicated parts of being GF.

and if you are one of those assholes who just eats GF to be trendy don’t let anyone make you feel bad about that either. you’ve helped those of us who have to eat that way. plus, don’t let anyone ever make you feel bad about trying to keep your body healthy too many people in this world treat their body like shit. fuck them

xo bri

its the hormones, i swear

its the hormones, i swear

happy family day long weekend to all my canadian readers! todays post is going to be less light and fluffy and more down to the nitty gritty.

for anyone that is new to the roller coaster hormone ride created by thyroid conditions you’re totally not alone and you’re definitely not crazy (even if you feel like you may be acting that way sometimes). 

my entire life i was always described as being a ‘bit’ high strung… basically i was borderline a crazy person. think more along the lines of i would literally have a breakdown and panic attacks on the regular for no reason. my family and friends just thought this was just my psycho personality since it was the way i had always been.

i’ve always been type A, i still am, however the difference between a complete breakdown when you’re late for school versus the OCD you feel when your room is disorganized are two very different extremes. (side note: when i start to act insane even now this is often a huge trigger i need to go to the doctor)

the point that finally pushed me over the edge and really started to concern my family occurred when i hit puberty. by the time i hit fifteen it was weekly visits to the hospital because my body was rejecting me in almost every way. i was no longer able to sleep at night yet i was so tired i couldn’t focus, i was having extreme heart palpitations, vomiting almost all of my food, panic attacks, shaky hands, my body was completely weak, my skin was so dry we thought i had psoriasis…. and really this list could go on.

i went through months of testing, blood work, even as far as switching doctors (i plan on writing a post on this later because its so important that people don’t feel stuck feeling sick with  a doctor who isn’t listening to them), and finally someone found an answer for me. i had a thyroid condition called Graves Disease that had been affecting me for probably most of my life.

i won’t get too sciencey in detail since to be completely honest i don’t  quite understand the full details but Graves Disease is an auto-immune disease that affects your thyroid. specifically it gives you hyperthyroidism and by the end of my teens i finally had an answer to my never ending problem.

hyperthyroidism is a condition where your thyroid is producing too many hormones its supposed to make, so your body is living in constant overdrive and stress. they test your blood for various hormonal things (again not a doctor, i work in aviation)which they refer to as levels. when your ‘levels’ are too high your whole body suffers accordingly and it basically turns me into a mood swinging psychopath. on occasion i still have moments where i feel super all over the place. even now when my levels are off i truly believe my boyfriend is a saint because i go from a cuddly angel to complete exorcist in the blink of an eye.

www.endocrineweb.com defines the symptoms of hyperthyroidism as:

  • fatigue or muscle weakness
  • hand tremors
  • mood swings
  • nervousness or anxiety
  • rapid heartbeat
  • heart palpitations or irregular heartbeat
  • skin dryness
  • trouble sleeping
  • weight loss
  • increased frequency of bowel movements
  • light periods or skipping periods

if you find yourself experiencing a lot of these conditions take it upon yourself to look into what is wrong with your body. thyroid conditions aren’t as common in younger women, so it took much longer than it should have to diagnose me. there is also a thyroid condition that is basically the polar opposite of what i have called hypothyroidism and a huge sign that you are developing this condition is a drastic weight gain. i won’t speak in detail about hypothyroidism since its not a burden i’ve had to bare but the internet is a great tool for research .

i would love to say that this was a simple doctors figured out what was wrong, i’m now on medicine and i’m better sort of thing, but that unfortunately isn’t the case. every six months i get my blood tested and visit my endocrinologist to make sure my body isn’t spazzing out on me. my auto-immune disease is believed to be the reason i have celiac disease and the reason why in my 20s i developed adult acne. like anything else you learn to live with these things and a huge help has been meeting other women who have experienced the same health issues i have. its made me feel less alone and definitely less like a hormonal crazy lady.

feel free to comment with any questions or if you also suffer from a thyroid type disorder and just want to talk a little about your story, i’d love to read them! 

xo Bri

post numero uno: hola

post numero uno: hola

a good friend of mine recently talked me into starting up this blog. she’s a blogger and has been telling me for months that just because you have no gift for writing doesn’t mean you can’t start. so i’m giving it a shot, people may hate it, but whats the internet without some spelling errors and trolls. my goal is for this to be super informal,  possibly fun, and a place for people to take some of the experiences i’ve had and maybe relate to them. whatever direction it takes will be wonderful, i only hope that one or two people may benefit from things i’ve learned along the way.

last night i attended an event with my friend from Classy on the Run for  David’s Tea and Me to We celebrating their 1 year partnership. while there drinking some fab cocktails i ended up chatting away with a woman who happened to have a lot of the same health issues that i do. this actually started off as a conversation about skincare and hormone imbalances  and became the topic of the evening. afterwards i was inspired to share a little about what i went through/ am still going through and how a lot of it has turned me into the fabulous ‘basic bitch’ i am today. and really how i really don’t give a shit when people try to use that term to offend me.

in high school i was diagnosed with a variety of autoimmune diseases after spending months and months in doctor’s office after doctor’s office. one doctor even had the nerve to tell me i was lying about feeling sick and my pitbull mother kicked his ass to the curb and we chased down real answers. i was tested for, and diagnosed with, hyperthyroidism or Graves’ Disease as well as celiac disease. i will do a post at a later time on this more in depth and  include a lot of my symptoms. but yes so basically i was now gluten free before gluten free was a thing and the only reason i even knew where to start was because a girl in my grade was from Germany and GF (gluten free). europe always knows about the upcoming trends before we ever do. gluten free for me isn’t a choice. i would never wish celiac disease on anyone and yet now i get judged as an asshole all the time for having to eat the way my body has made me.

flash forward to my 20s where i started getting acne for the first time in my life, became highly depressed, went as far as trying accutane (demons work that shit is) and still battle shitty skin on a daily basis. i still am in and out of doctor’s offices, i can’t live the savage life of all of my other friends in their 20s, and i randomly end up sick all the time because of my terrible immune system and the abundance of gluten in EVERYTHING. and all of this has changed my lifestyle so much. i gym (when i have the energy) which i hated when i was younger, I eat very specific things, and i have a beauty store in my bedroom/bathroom to help coverup the marks on my face from deep tissue acne and prevent it from continuing.

a lot of these things get associated with being a stuck up bitch or ‘basic’. i’ve learned to embrace the term basic as meaning i put effort into my health. i do also like some of the prettier things in life so i won’t stretch and say i don’t fit said definitions as i’m drinking my David’s Tea and texting with my furry phone case. my friends all call me basic bear and i own it like a badge of pride.

bracing has two meanings according to the dictionary

  1. the definition of bracing is something invigorating and fresh
  2. bracing is defined as something that provides support to a structure

i see this blog as being both; adding something fresh to a term that is often meant to be a knock on things that you like and the way you choose to live your life and creating a supportive space for other people like me with health issues just trying to enjoy their life, their friends, and work their ass off in this crappy economy for millennials. i have no idea what direction my posts are going to go and this is all a trial for me so please try to bare with my blogging growing pains!

this is probably the longest intro ever but oh well. i have a lot of ground to cover and i’m a scatterbrain so this is me just trying to keep things sensical at best.

xo bri