You have been warned. This is NOT meant to blame or accuse anyone of anything. Sometimes–if you don’t let it out it eats you inside and makes it worse. Please, please PLEASE do not take anything I saw on this page personally.
Let the massive medical venting begin…
For the last 5-10 years I have been spending a lot of time working towards a better health. I can’t stand when people are reactive to their health until its too late (something I think describes my parents’ deaths a little). They have some debilitating disease that may have been prevented or at least protected against if they had watched their health. Instead they just kept living, no consideration what they put in their mouths and didn’t try to understand their own body which may have contributed to their demise. I don’t mean living in a box and watching every crumb you eat (though this sometimes sounds good with the route I’m going)…but I do mean at least not eating tons of unhealthy junk food. I also don’t like it when these same or similar people criticize those of us trying to do a good job but struggling because its not something they want to do or want to car about. I want support, not criticism. Encourage me towards the veggies and do NOT send me home with sweets or goodies because you feels bad or don’t want to waste. Enabling people on a health plan is painful.
Anyways…actually the last 2 years, since Shawn and I got engaged, I have been working hard towards a better lifestyle and preparing for the future for us and possibility of children…knowing full well we might have some difficulties having a family. This comes from a couple of places…come to find out my mom had whats called a “double uterus” where instead of forming into one upside down triangle shape when she was being formed, her came out looking more like a 3-pointed star. I also figured out because of this — why I mattered so much. But possibly as a result of this, or of other things including weight issues, I have managed to acquire my own diagnosis regarding reproductive health and I want to understand it, try and overcome it or at least get to a point where I can accept myself. And I don’t mean self-esteem issues. I love who I am now. But its frustrating when you result to giving into temptation when you are trying.
I have PCOS. Or poly-cystic Ovary Syndrome. And while “cyst” is in the title, it is not as crazy as it sounds. It is actually where micro cysts form in the ovaries, possibly eliminating ovulation and sometimes flush out each month. Why does that matter? Because thats what you need to have babies. Ovulation is the release of the egg from the ovary so the seamen can find their way. I’ll leave the rest to sex ed on what happens next. But you can see where someone who is trying to have children may have an issue. Let’s just add in one other thing–I have HPV. I have no idea HOW i got it… my gyno said you can have a wart on your fingers and spread it that way. Luckily I do not have the cervical cancer strand and my family is known for being a warty skin type so it isn’t out of the ordinary for me.
Now–here are some of the symptoms… (let’s count how many I have)– 1. Cystic Acne (check); 2. Male Pattern Hair Growth (check–sideburns, chin I have to pluck and i have a light colored mustache…) 3. Cholesterol issues (check..especially triglycerides, which is characteristic) 4. Overweight, possibly related to insulin levels and type 2 diabetes (almost there…but definitely looking like it) and 5. Irregular periods (i’m hit or miss… but possibly not ovulating based on this.) I have also had hormone testing done…they have confirmed I have readings consistent with my PCOS diagnosis, i have low progesterone (which is need for pregnancy) and my reproductive self is angry and upset. Grant it I know I’ve only been tracking it since July… I know my own history and know my patterns.
What’s frustrating is I’m trying to get an overall health approach to it. First, I changed my primary care. The one I have had for several years is a family doctor and doesn’t fit my needs nor does he address everything I would like. He’s old school…So moving on. I have a wonderful gynecologist…but her response is “just have fun” and try for a year even though EVERYTHING ELSE points towards this issue… My question is why do I have to wait to solve a problem I already know I might have. I’ve always been someone who wants to “attack” issues right away and work towards better-ness, not waiting-ness. Anger rising. So I went to a DO (say what you want–I feel better with her since I have several specialists already) who only proceeded to tell me my lower back/hip has issues, to go to my gyno on the PCOS issue (I’m bringing thins up at the next appointment) and noticed after some blood work that I have a vitamin D insufficiency (another pcos symptom.) So now instead of an allergist every week, its a physical therapy appointment 2x/week, allergist once a month, gyno once a year and me sort of lost in how to address my weight. I have considered getting surgery but you have to wait 1 year before going back to trying for kids–a year I don’t have since I’m older (31).
In my perfect world: I would have one doctor who can address my PCOS, unable-to-lose-weight-issues, pseudo-allergy, cholesterol, vitamin D, overall tendinitis/soreness issues without having to send me around and get pushed around by the doctors. Luckily, i have good doctors so I will be talking with my primary on nov 17th.
so THIS is why I’m trying a new health lifestyle. Also why I’m easing into it. Yet this is why I get easily upset about hot dogs and beer and things I know I shouldn’t be eating because I know what they have done to my body and what I want to do DOESN’T involve them. Yet I enjoy having hots dogs and such with friends because my friends DO MATTER. And the several diets I have been on have not helped me as much as I like either. I don’t like points on weight watchers. I don’t like eating purchased meals on NutriSystem or medifast. I have a hard enough time exercising and nutritional eating..which is actually the best way to lose weight in the real world with real food. Eating pale, carb free and such is dangerous for me because I’m on medication and close to a diagnosis of diabetes that is a result of INSULIN issues of which cutting out things in your diet can be severe.
I apologize–be prepared for a little venting… I have begun again the ever-present task of trying to lose weight. Especially since I had my gallbladder removed at 26 I realized I needed to change things. Just to give you a summary of what I have tried… not that anyone wonders about this but just so you understand why I might be quiet about this…here we go:
1)Initially, I just simply watching what I eat. No one told me what was bad or good, i just tried eating salad every once and a while. Tried low calorie of the veggie option. But honestly, if you’re someone with genetic weight problems and enjoys trying new foods, this isn’t a diet, its an excuse.
2) The Trends–I also looked into the trendy diets. Discussed Atkins with someone, talked about South Beach. Occasionally eating on their diet plan but not 100%. Hence, never worked. Moved over these quickly. I know for some people they work but let’s review this–a diet that tells you fruits are bad because their sugar (which is true) is basically saying its all bad, which a nutritionist will even tell you balance (food triangle soft of thing) is truly the best option. Besides, no sugar for me–see section below on low blood sugar…
3) Then, I was watching one day and they mentioned how the Mayo Clinic, after years of study, has created a “the perfect diet.” I laughed, but after listening I decided I would look into the program. It’s a book and a workbook. It was EXTREMELY helpful. I worked on eating better, became more knowledgable about WHAT I was eating and learned that losing weight isn’t just about input/output. However, you have to make a life change–I wasn’t ready for that (meaning I started school and lost my 3-5 hours of exercise time.
4) So in order to accommodate myself, I decided to join Weight Watchers. I lost 40 lbs sticking to the point system. But after a year, I got tired of thinking of things in points. Half the time I couldn’t figure them out and the other half I felt extremely hungry when I have would 2 points left in the day, eaten horrible all week and couldn’t sacrifice it. It was not difficult, I was just burned out. And I did not go to meetings–just like my mom its not the best for me to be going to a group of woman, not nearly as large as me, worried about losing 10-15lbs. I know there are people who need that–but for those of use with real weight problems–trendy support groups are too much “fake” and not enough community.
5) By this point I had worked with Shawn and he located a FREE app (Lose it!) that helps count calories. It’s effective, is a great tool of seeing what exactly you are eating and what you’re not. It was something–but not enough. I fluctuated too much. Then we got engaged and married, and I am a foodie at heart so I don’t give up good food for dieting on my wedding. Sorry–not changing that lifestyle aspect.
In addition to all these, I have not even begun to mention how my friends are trying to be helpful. Honestly, I appreciate everything everyone says. But saying “look, my way works better..” or “try this!!” when I’ve heard this all my life (not kidding, my pediatrician told my mom right in front of me that I was fat and needed to lose weight at 5 was not only insulting, but ill-productive. So even someone who I know cares about my health (like family and friends) doesn’t always help. Thanks though…(and as a joke–I always tell my friends you’re not allowed to complain about your weight, or think that you’re not skinny enough until you’re heavier than me. But I mean it because everyone else weights less than I do and I wish I could tell every friend I have that if you do not feel beautiful, it has NOTHING to do with your weight…)
Anyways, by this point I was going up and down again–absolutely frustrating. I have since had Elixis done (a non-evasive lipo) done and it is helping get rid of sedentary fat but its NOT a weight loss strategy. I also do not agree with the 500 calorie diets that have you eat tons of vitamins. I run into low blood sugar problems frequently so a diet plan like this doesn’t work. Also, I do not qualify for any weight loss surgery–I am just obese enough to be obese but not enough to seriously have a problem. And to be honest, they’ve been running my blood work for almost two years, no mention of diabetes, thyroid problems or anything else less my cholesterol which despite the weight I have managed to LOWER everything except my triglycerides which requires 1 thing–exercise.
Eventually I decided a dietitian was needed. I needed someone to bounce things off. And though she has helped a little let me say–It’s hard to speak to someone who is skinner than your left thigh. And she is not there for moral support really–its a health education, seeing the doctor kind of thing. She is just easier to interact with than my general practitioner who continually tells me the same story–eat less fat and oils.
Ok (breathe) — That’s the back story. No here’s where I am today.
Eating wise: getting there. I figured out with my tracking and reviewing that my vegetable intake is severely under par. I eat probably double the starch & bread than a need too. And of course three times as much if I’m trying to lose. I also realized I do not exercise. Some things are changing. I have tried to stock the fridge with veggies but its hard when you have birthdays and weddings and work parties. (and Honestly, don’t give me the “well you have to control yourself” kind of attitude because I can tell you I have not eaten cookies on a day when sweets abounded. Personally, I felt like I was the fly in the jar while the family was eating dinner. I also noticed I need to eat smaller meals more often. The big waiting game of dinner throws off my metabolism and causes me to feel like I have low blood sugar. I get irritable (ask my husband) and sometimes down right *^$*! so its not a good idea to go hours without eating in my book. Yes, I do have similar symptoms to Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCSD) and this is one of the things they tell you to watch out for…
Activity level wise: I have finally found something close to a workout plan. I do not want to higher a trainer because 1) too expensive and 2) I have discovered I know a lot more than I think I do and really don’t need them less the fact you are paying them for accountability as well. But again, $300 for only some sessions… I can make a bigger commitment than with cash.
We’re just going to see where this goes. My body is adjusting, I don’t feel fat (never have until my largest size–20lbs ago…) and I LOVE FOOD. And not the weight watchers I can eat but really not eat what I want because of stupid points commercial…I mean I would eat until I’m stuffed sometimes. I have done that–just to enjoy a good time. I may decide to post the occasional status report, but I don’t feel like doing that–I’ve already got enough people and doctors monitoring things. So Here we go God! Please help me! (man-if there was a way to take magical scissors and just get rid of the front belly, I’d be set for life…)