I joined several PCOS groups on Facebook and often, the discussions center around weight loss. When you have PCOS, losing weight can be challenging, at best. And many ask for help in these forums, as do many family and friends. They all ask- can someone (or me in particular with family and friends) help me? Can you tell me what diet you’re on? After telling them I follow a paleo type plan (often AIP as well), I let them know what to do first.
Can you guess? It’s not throwing out junk food. Or the number of workouts to complete. Or how to change habits. None of that- well at least initially. No, the first thing that I tell people is that they have to get their minds right. They have to want to make this change more than anything and they need a reason to stick with it.
My reason? Well I had two reasons to make a dramatic change. One- to figure out a way to lessen joint pain. Losing weight is key so that there would be less pressure on my knees. Each pound that I dropped is the equivalent of getting rid of 4 pounds of pressure on my knees! So at 71 pounds, that’s 284 pounds of pressure! THAT’S INSANE!!! My second reason was that I just wanted to feel better. It seemed no matter what I did, I was getting worse and worse. And while I didn’t know exactly what to do at first, I knew that I couldn’t stay where I was.
How did I mentally prepare? I read ALOT. I came across a book entitled 8 steps to reverse your PCOS. I joined the groups on Facebook. I started reading more about alternative therapies and how food is a huge deal for PCOS. I came across Dr. Ken Berry and his YouTube channel about the keto diet. While keto is not the most appropriate plan for me, Dr. Berry’s knowledge and zeal made me do more research. I prayed and cried- the cry part is hard to admit because I’m usually seen as the super strong individual. And I got a new job in which I work remotely which allowed me to rest as needed on my not so well days.
All this prep work led to me finally make the decision to begin working with Robin’s program for PCOS. She is now my nutritionist and I work with her one on one. But what most don’t know is that I followed her email blasts for at least two years before taking the plunge to begin the work. I had to get rid of the old thought pattern that only birth control pills could effectively manage PCOS (as told to me by a PCOS specialist in Baltimore who shall remain nameless). I was floored when the specialist told me that and basically brushed off my questions about diet and alternative therapy.
And I still need my reasons why I continue on this journey, especially when I’m hangry or lacking sleep or feeling emotional or overworked- whatever the situation. I don’t always feel like cooking. I don’t always want to feel and process emotions. I don’t always get enough sleep. And who wants to workout when it’s cold? 🥶 BUT I also don’t want to go backward and be in the state that I was in 1.5 years ago. So I have to follow what I know works most days; I’m not perfect and everyday will not be perfect but I plan around early morning flights or being stuck in an airport with very limited food options. Planning? That’s mental preparation put into action.
I could go on and on but I’ll just say it IS doable. As much as I joke that I don’t do a lot in managing PCOS, most of the work is renewing my mind everyday to do what needs to be done. The journey is worth it. There is a light at the end of the tunnel – better health. And it’s a lifetime journey in which you’ll have to prepare yourself daily. Share with others or leave a note about how you had/have to make mental adjustments. 🥂 to your good health. Until next time…