Wow, what an emotional couple of days, but also a productive couple of days.
I have been reading this great book that my specialist suggested to me, called The PCOS Diet Plan: A Natural Approach to Health for women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. I have to admit, I spent much of the first chapter in tears. The relief that was flowing through me was almost too much to bear. The stories of the other women, the symptoms that I have had for years (some of which I haven’t shared because I never realized they were relevant), it was so amazing to know that I am not alone. To know that other women have suffered from what I have suffered and that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. That there is a solution.
I have also been busy getting organized, starting to lay the groundwork for my plan. and cleaning and organizing my personal space. You know that saying a chaotic space is the sign of a chaotic mind? Well, I have a chaotic space…and I guess that means a chaotic mind lol. So I have been spending some time lately getting organized and purging some things. I set up a dedicated “office” for the first time ever. I was in design school for 4 years and have been working/freelancing for 5 years and have never had a dedicated space to work in. I always just worked on my laptop wherever. It’s still a work in progress, but at least the desk and computer are set up. And I finally set up an area in my basement where I can work out at home. Again, I always just had all my equipment scattered all over the house. I also finally threw out some garbage that has been sitting piled up around my house, the woman who cleans my house won’t know what hit her next time she comes lol.
Throwing out some garbage, that sounds like a metaphor for my life actually. I am physically purging my space, and hopefully as a result I am purging some of my emotional “garbage” as well. Actually, not hopefully, I know I am.
I have also started my health plan. Some of it is stuff I have already trying to incorporate, and some of it is more specific. This is what I have so far:
- Continue to eliminate wheat and sugar from my diet. The book I have been reading suggests applying an 80/20 rule. Eating “clean” 80% of the time and allowing yourself treats the other 20% of the time. I like this idea, because it gives me room to occaisionally eat pasta, or a pint from Ed’s Ice Cream (the BEST ice cream) and not have to play that mental game where I beat myself up for days. You know the one. Where you are really good at sticking to your diet for days/weeks and then eat something that is not considered on “plan”. This then leads to an emotional boxing match, where you call yourself weak, a loser and say things like “you can’t do this, why not just give up” and then you often do just that. Well, if this is going to be a lifestyle change, and not just a diet, I need to leave room for the idea that I will occasionally want to eat ice cream and just allow myself that ahead of time.
- Eating regular meals at roughly same time every day. I am learning that when I eat is just as important as what I eat. One of the main issues with PCOS is Insulin Resistance. Therefore, it is important that I try to keep my blood sugar levels as even as possible. This not only means not eating foods that will spike my blood sugar, but also making sure to eat regularly throughout the day so that they don’t plummet either. It’s similar to how a diabetic has to manage their insulin and blood sugar levels, which is why Diabetes is often a secondary condition of PCOS.
- Dedicate myself to practising yoga 2-3 times a week. This is the first stop on my exercise regime because yoga has so many more benefits then just getting me physically active. It also helps with my neck and muscle issues, as well as helping me get and stay emotionally grounded. I can’t afford to go back to class right now, but I have enough knowledge and the equipment that I can do it at home.
- Start working out with a personal trainer. My sister is a certified personal trainer, though it’s not her full-time job anymore. She has agreed to work with me once a week to start developing a workout plan I can do at home using my new home gym.
- Walking 20-30 minutes a day. Every morning on my way to work, I get off the streetcar several stops early to pick up my coffee at the closest Starbucks. It is about a 20 minute walk from my office, though I usually just hop back on the streetcar. Now that the weather is nice, I will start leaving home a little earlier so that I can walk the rest of the way to the office. If, for some reason, that is not possible, on those days I will get off the streetcar early on my way home and walk the rest of the way.
- Begin taking hormone therapy. My doctor prescribed me progesterone to help to begin regulating my hormone levels. It is not bio-identical, which I am not happy about, but I will begin taking the hormones while I continue to look for ways to get myself on a more natural regimen.
- Continue to explore/research alternative remedies. I am continuing to read the book I mentioned above. I am also going to speak to my Naturopath at our next appointment about supplements or other homeopathic options that I might be able to add. I am already taking Vitamin D, Vitamin B Complex and EstroSmart. But will see if there is anything else I can do.
- Be kind and loving to myself. This is the most important one I think. Without it, none of the others are going to be possible. If I can’t treat myself with love and respect, then I won’t be able to keep this up long-term, and it has to be that long. I just need to keep reminding myself to be patient. Be patient with my body, and be patient with me. It’s taken years to get my in this condition, and it’s not going to go away over night.
So that is the plan, so far. I am looking at this plan as a living organism, in that it will continue to grow and flourish and that it is something I need to tend and nurture. I thought about setting a start date for all this, but I realized that I just need to start it now. It doesn’t have to be perfection at first, it just needs to be incorporated into my life. The only goal I am setting is that within the next month, I need to be doing something that works on each of these items. This is going to be a marathon, not a sprint, and I need to pace myself so that I don’t burn out doing everything all at once and then give up entirely. Because giving up just can’t be an option.