In case you missed it, I went to a reproductive endocrinologist last week and the PCOS diagnosis I’ve been going on about for weeks was all but confirmed. Dr. K just wanted me to go for some additional testing to get a complete picture and to finalize her suspicions, and so I have a checklist to complete over the coming weeks. Step by step it’s getting done, but April 18 — the date of our next appointment — can’t come quickly enough. I want final confirmation that what I’m dealing with is in fact PCOS.
In the meantime, Dr. K told me to treat myself as a PCOS patient and make some changes. You know how I’ve been harping on and on about changing my diet for the last several weeks? Well, now I’m not just talking the talk. I’m really starting to walk the walk, and my family is along for the ride with me. Last weekend, my sister came over for a visit and Joshua got to have a playdate with his cousin; while she was here, I cleaned out my pantry and sent her home with four bags — FOUR — packed to the gills with crap. There’s just no other word for it.
Here’s a picture of three of the bags; the fourth was still being packed when the photo was taken.
Flavored pretzel nibblers. Lipton pasta sides. An unopened bag of Cheez Doodles. Cans of soup. Crappity crap crap crap.
I got rid of all of that stuff and then started texting my best friend Becca, who has PCOS, and researching online. Can I just say that figuring out a PCOS-friendly diet is seriously confusing?! There’s so much conflicting information out there. Don’t drink milk at all, because of the hormones in it; no, drink skim milk because you don’t need the fat; no, drink whole milk because you do need the fat. Dr. K said to use agave in place of sugar or honey; Becca and the PCOS Diva said to use raw honey. Some say peanut butter is bad, while others say it’s okay. According to some websites, whole wheat bread is the only green-light bread, but some others say that sourdough is acceptable, too. I’ve read that I should only eat organic meats, but I can’t really afford to spend the extra money on them. Even certain vegetables — all of my favorites, of course — are questionable to some sources.
And don’t get me started on sweets. Oh, my beloved sweets…
Fortunately, I have some books coming in that I hope will help me to figure out once and for all what is okay and what I really have to let go of. Amazon was uncharacteristically slow in shipping them, but they will supposedly arrive today. I hope they do — I could really use the help. I’m also hoping to talk to Dr. K again before our appointment and get some input from her. She is a doctor, after all, and she presumably has many PCOS patients to deal with. In fact, when we left our appointment last week I wondered if she actually has PCOS herself based on how comfortably she discussed everything.
For now, though, I have a pantry full of nuts, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, and other healthy things. My fridge is stocked with water, unsweetened (and frankly disgusting) almond milk, and plenty of produce. My freezer is holding meats and frozen veggies, as well as the ice cream I refuse to give up — I don’t eat it every single day, so I don’t really feel like I have to at this point. If Dr. K says I do, then I will. But for now, it stays and occasionally satisfies my still-sweet tooth.
And exercise? I purchased a jump rope today and found a set of exercises on Pinterest that can at least get me started. Hubs and I talked about a gym membership but, since I’m a stay-at-home parent, I only make a little pocket money from babysitting and that money needs to go toward paying my student loans. The lack of funds doesn’t really allow for a gym membership, so we’re going to find ways for me to exercise and bring my weight down at home. One piece of that puzzle is a treadmill: it’s a lot of money upfront but, once it’s paid for, we don’t have to put any more money toward it (whereas we’d have to dish out money on a weekly or monthly basis to cover the cost of the gym). We’re also planning to get a set of weights and we’ll both work with them; along with the treadmill, the jump rope, and Zumba, I think I’ll be okay. Consistency isn’t a problem for me, either. I enjoy the endorphins and having that little bit of time to myself, to take care of myself.
And so the journey begins. I have a long road to travel and a lot to learn, but I’m ready to go!