Thursday, February 21, 2019

I stopped taking Birth Control, here's what happened.

You might find this an odd topic to talk about, and maybe it's not for you - that's okay! The reason I'm writing about this today is because I found a lack of transparency on this topic from people I find relatable, people that are in this same season of life as me. Maybe because some find it taboo to talk about, but I know if I'm searching the Internet for transparency and answers - others are too. 

Last August I decided that it was time to give my body a break from birth control. My original Gynecologist retired several years ago, and to be honest - I haven't really found another one that I trusted and felt as comfortable with as him. I'm a firm believer in referrals, and checked out a recommended woman amongst my girlfriends but, I kind of felt like they were shuffling patients in and out as fast as possible and billing for anything and everything they could. As I entered my late twenties, I started having chronic headaches and said Gyno thought this could be attributed to the type of birth control I was on. So, we entered down a rabbit hole of trying one after another and nothing seemed to be sitting well with my body. Yes, my headaches were better, but I started grinding my teeth at night so badly that I would wake up and my temples were sore from clenching down on my jaw all night. It just didn't seem worth it anymore. At this point, I expressed my frustrations to her and she recommended just removing birth control all together. Shane and I had never entertained doing this as we didn't feel ready for kids yet - but I did like to idea of just giving myself a break and letting my body naturalize back to its normal state. 

So, this is what I did. However, no one told me what the side effects of doing this would be. Some are amazing, and some are very frustrating. Here are the biggest changes I noticed:



For years, I always experienced PMS and PMDD pretty negatively. My emotions were all over the place about a week prior to my menstrual cycle and no matter what I did, nothing seemed to be able to help that. I was mostly emotional for no reason, at times irrational, and super sensitive during this time. 


I feel like a million bucks where as this is concerned! I can't even begin to explain how much better I feel. I still get a little emotional leading up to my menstrual cycle, but not nearly like I used too. The PMDD seems to be gone completely, and the PMS seems minor compared to years on an emotional roller coaster ride during this time. I will say, the bloating and cramps are definitely worse and very uncomfortable but it's short lived (usually a day or two). 



Clear as day! I have always had super clear skin, and no problems with acne or breakouts. Even prior to birth control, I always had clear skin as a teenager - I feel very blessed for that. 


Girl, this is the worst side effect of stopping the pill. No one told me my skin would break out! Even if someone had told me that, I also probably would not have believed it would happen to me since I've never had skin issues. My skin started breaking out about a month or two after stopping the pill. It breaks out in the same spot every month (my chin), which is driving me bonkers! From what I've read, my skin should start to balance itself out, but it can take 6-8 months from the time the break outs started. I'm hoping this is true - but in the meantime, I'm taking every skincare precaution and step I possibly can to keep the breakouts under control (see my latest skincare post here). The second side effect I've noticed: I have always had bone dry skin - for years. When the breakouts started happening, I noticed my skin all of a sudden was much oilier than normal. This is also apparently (according to Internet sources) very common when stopping the pill. Oily skin also equals more breakouts - so they go hand in hand. 



Like most women, when I got on birth control I gained a little weight. It's a common side effect of starting the pill, but nothing alarming. I'm a very active and health conscious person, so it wasn't something that bothered me too much. 


I lost weight! However, I should state that I have no idea if getting off birth control is the cause of losing weight. It's simply a correlation I noticed timing wise. As mentioned above, I eat really healthy and workout regularly 6 days a week. My weight can fluctuate 3-5 lbs on any given day (I track it with my Fitbit app and the Fitbit bluetooth scale), however about a couple months after stopping the pill, I lost about 5 lbs total. 

Overall, I feel a lot better. Being that I am in front of a camera regularly, on stories etc. the skin issue does really bother me but I am hopeful it will clear up within the next couple months. Anyway, I felt like sharing my experience could be beneficial in preventative measures for those of you who are thinking about stopping the pill in the future, and am simply putting this out there in light of my own search for people with similar experiences. I wish someone would have warned me about some of the side effects so that I could have been better prepared. 


Monday, February 11, 2019

Hutchinson Shores Resort & Spa Review

Good morning! Today I'm giving you the low down on my recent stay with Hutchinson Shores Resort & Spa in Jensen Beach, Florida! It's no secret I love a good warm weather vacation, but this one topped the charts in the relaxation category. Hutchinson Shores is the first hotel to be built on Hutchinson Island in 20 years! Opening it's doors in 2017, this resort had one thing in mind - an exclusive experience you can't find anywhere else on the island. 


The hotel offers 178 luxurious coastal inspired rooms and suites with a range of view types. Our room included an oceanfront view of the Atlantic with panoramic windows opening onto a lanai that was perfect for enjoying my morning coffee and the breathtaking sunrises this little slice of paradise offers. We even spotted a few dolphins who were out to play! Rooms are outfitted with modern amenities, marble counter tops, amazing bathroom lighting (would I even be a blogger if I didn't mention that?), walk in showers, and the cutest little porthole that blends perfectly with the hotels beachy theme. I was super impressed with the "newness" of the rooms furnishings, and the comfort level of the beds!


Hutchinson Shores offers three different dining experiences that all embody the barefoot theme of their beachfront setting.  I personally had the opportunity to try out two of the three options and honestly cannot rave about the food enough! I know I've said it before, but food truly makes or breaks a trip for me and Hutchinson Shores Resort truly puts quality at the forefront of their brand. 


This is the resorts signature dining experience. It's an ocean front restaurant that offers high end seafood and Italian specialties. The decor at Drift is absolutely stunning! It's bright, airy, modern in design, and offers a variety of seating options allowing guests to enjoy their meal however they please. I tried a variety of foods here from Ahi Tuna, to my own personal pizza, and I cannot go without mentioning the most delicious salted caramel ice cream I've ever tasted - highly recommend testing out all the deserts. Drift also makes all their pasta in-house! Something else worth noting is that Drift has a stunning private dining room for events! If you're traveling together with a group, this space is perfect for a more intimate setting! Whether you're a craft cocktail lover or a premium craft beer connoisseur, this restaurant has something for everyone. They truly thought of everything.


This is the perfect spot to grab a cocktail and hit the beach, or watch the sunset over drinks with your significant other before dinner. It has a fantastic view of the Atlantic Ocean, and if you're asking me for drink recommendations, the Mudslide did not disappoint. 


There is so much to do and see at the resort and on the island! If you're looking to escape the hustle and bustle of Miami and trade in beer cans for craft cocktails, and traditional hotel rooms for modern luxury - you're headed to the right place! Hutchinson Shores Resort is located in a secluded setting on Jensen Beach (just north of Palm Beach) and is just a short drive away from other local attractions. Activities range from sunrise yoga, to deep sea fishing, exploring the areas lush golf courses, paddle board adventures, the pool, beach, festivals, and shopping in downtown Stuart. 


A relaxing vacation wouldn't be complete without the spa! Hutchinson Shores Spa offers signature massages, facials, ocean-inspired body treatments, makeup services and more. I had the opportunity to try out a hot stone massage myself, and immediately felt the built up tension from working out and hauling luggage around melt away. It's the perfect set up for a girls day, bachelorette, or to simply unwind and relax. 

And just like that, my first review of 2019 is complete! Overall, this is an amazing place to vacation. If you're looking for a calm and relaxing girls weekend, a babymoon location, a weekend away with your significant other, or a great spot for corporate events - I can't recommend this property enough. There is truly something for everyone here! If you're interested in seeing a little more about this trip, check out our short vlog of the trip on IGTV here



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