Good morning! I hope you had a nice weekend. I wanted to follow up on something I wrote in my post on Saturday about my current weight situation. I’ve taken some heat in the past from readers who wonder why I’m so concerned about my weight, especially in light of my history of disordered eating behaviors (binge eating as an adolescent, emotional eating that I still deal with). You should know that I’m in total agreement that managing one’s weight should be first and foremost about health. And, I also believe that everybody is different and what is the best weight for one person could be totally different for someone else.
But, something happened recently that has made me re-focus on my weight again. I haven’t talked about it yet because it’s quite personal, but I wanted to share my story in case there are others in a similar situation. <Note to male readers: I am about to talk female issues, so feel free to skip this post>. Without going into graphic detail, I had my annual lady physical three weeks ago and I mentioned my continuing, shall we say, hormonal imbalances and irregularities to my doctor. This is not something new, but I felt it was worth discussing with her since it had been a few years since we talked about it. Long story short, she did an ultrasound of my ovaries where she very clearly pointed out to me the numerous underdeveloped follicles on the surface. You might be aware of this condition, it’s called Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or PCOS for short (you can click here for more information on the condition).
The funny thing is, I’ve suspected for years and years that I’ve had this condition, it started for as early as when I was 12. In some of the pictures from my adolescence, I look very masculine with a heavy brow and other not-so-great features. I won’t go into details about some of the other side effects of PCOS that I’ve had in the past. This recent doctor’s appointment was the first confirmation of my status though, and it through me for a loop. Of course, I spent hours on the internet after talking to my doctor and looked into how Dr. Fuhrman treats the condition. The good news is that since getting pregnant is not on my agenda, I don’t have to worry about the infertility risk attached to PCOS. The other good news is that everything I’m doing (healthy diet, exercise, stress management) is the best way for me to deal with it (note: you should talk to your doctor about the best treatment for you if you have this condition).
Still, if you’ve ever been diagnosed with something, then you know how scary and sad and uncomfortable it is. I felt so sorry for myself when my doctor was looking at my ovaries and describing them as “cottage cheese.” (In my mind, I was yelling at her, vegan cottage cheese!). I felt sorry for myself that I’ve suffered for so many years with not feeling normal and dealing with the side effects of PCOS. I felt sorry for myself when I read about the connections between PCOS and thyroid issues, anxiety, weight gain, depression, etc., many of which I deal with.
After a few days of having a pity party for myself, I’ve come to realize that PCOS is just another part of me and something that makes me who I am. I’m trying to look at it from a positive angle and realize that maybe I can inspire other women who have this condition. Maybe I can continue to use diet and exercise to manage it? Dr. Fuhrman says that he has seen lots of women manage their symptoms by following a nutritarian diet. That gives me so much hope.
So that’s it, that’s been the impetus for my focus on diet of late. I’m still near my lowest weight since starting Dr. Fuhrman’s program going on two years now, even with the gaining of a few extra pounds. I’m still full of energy and joy and hope for the future. Mainly, I am grateful that I can talk about this and that there are natural ways to treat PCOS that start with the food on my plate.
That being said, I took some time this weekend to go back to basics with my diet. I had some fresh vegetable juice:
Cucumber, carrot, zucchini, ginger, lime and spinach:
I made a simple cereal of buckwheat groats, berries, kiwi and golden berries with some almond milk on top. Dang, golden berries are tart, they remind me of eating Sour Patch Kids!
I had a lunch made entirely of foods I got at the farmers’ market. Salad for the main entree (romaine, sunflower sprouts, onions, avocado, chopped veggies):
Fresh corn as the side:
And peaches for dessert:
Dinner was equally simple with a baked sweet potato topped with water-sauteed celery, bell pepper beans and a dash of tamari. Dessert was fresh grapes:
Now if that wasn’t a healthy and delicious day of eating, then I don’t know what is! I certainly don’t eat this cleanly every day, but it’s one of my top priorities, mainly because I just feel good after doing so.
Thank you for listening to my story and feel free to ask me any questions about PCOS; I’ll do my best to answer them. Tomorrow morning I plan to do another chapter of my Medical Terminology course, so I’ll see you back here on Wednesday with a new post. I’ll be responding to comments in the meantime and I’ve also started posting a lot more on my Facebook page, so please “like” me there.
Lastly, have you voted in the annual Veg News Veggie Awards yet? I’m not nominated in the favorite blog category, but I would looooove for your write-in vote (note: you have to get to page 4 before you can vote for favorite blog and then you need to continue to the end to submit your votes). I’m sure I won’t win, but it would be very cool to get my name in front of the editors and possibly get a nomination next year? Every vote counts and it only takes a few minutes, the link is here. Thank you!!!
Note: I’ve submitted this post to WIAW.