Sunday, March 23, 2014

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

It is time to start blogging again! I recently had another friend diagnosed with PCOS and it has reminded me that just because I am at a good place with my health that I should stop talking about this disease. I know I have been silent for a bit. I am struggling with some decisions and in the meantime I have been eating like crap. Thank God I haven't gained but a couple of lbs, but I know if I don't make up my mind and make a change the weight gain freight train of PCOS will start again.

 The thing about life, is that sometimes the things we think we want are really just distractions from the things we truly need. Life is going to happen. You cannot control life. You may fall in love, you may have your heart broken, you may get overwhelmed at work, someone you love may get sick, you may get sick, your car may break down, and on and on and on. The thing about weight loss is that it has no effect on 99% of your life. No matter what size you are, life happens. You wake up at the same time. You breath the same air. You work the same job. You feel the same emotions. We, as a society have got to get over this notion that losing weight is the answer to all of our problems. In reality, dealing with our problems is a key component in losing weight and keeping it off. Weight loss should be just a small part of a much larger puzzle. Mental health. Physical health, Emotional health, Spiritual health. Balance. The key is finding balance.

I know there are some major changes I need to make to my diet and lifestyle. Most of them are actually related one of my other chronic conditions - interstitial cystitis. No one knows what causes it, so no one really knows how to treat it. Pretty much they throw the kitchen sink at you and hope for the best. I endured the catheter treatments and happily stopped. I still take medication - elmiron a very expensive blood thinner that somehow is magically supposed to help repair the lining of your bladder, hydroxyzine - basically benadryl on steroid to help with inflammation because some people theorize IC is auto-immune and Vicodin for pain when needed.

The main question is do I want to commit to taking this to the next level and eating the paleo auto immune protocol. It just seems so restrictive. I guess I should try it before I judge it. Also, I don't believe in diets. I have held firm in the belief that the reason I lost 100 lbs was that I didn't go on a diet. I simply modified how and what I ate into a lifestyle. What I think I might do is slowly remove one item at a time that affects my pain levels. I am going to start with diet soda. They want me to give up cheese. I am having a very hard time with the thought of a life without cheese. Is a life without cheese even worth living? I would also become one of those snobby people who doesn't eat gluten. I hate those people, except the one's who are actually allergic to it. They are cool. They are just doing what they have to do. It really does come down to a cost benefit analysis when it comes to what I eat. Is the pain that I might have from eating or drinking whatever worth it. I think for cheese it is. Diet soda I can replace with water and herbal iced tea. Slowly of course, as not to go through caffeine withdrawal. (Been there, done that, it is like taking bad acid- or so I imagine).

Here is the paleo plan that was highly recommended to me by a fellow sufferer of IC. On a positive note the paleo diet is very similar to the way I already eat except I eat gluten. I eat the shit out of gluten. Well I eat complex carbohydrates in moderation as long as they have a minimum fiber content. This is a very hard decision. I bought two books. I will read them and research the science behind it. I will try it and decide if in fact it reduces my pain, how much, and if it is worth the sacrifice.

The other question on my mind is just how much more if any weight do I want to lose. I have been sitting at my current weight, give or take a normal 5 lb fluctuation, for about 3 months. There was a point at the end of 2013 where I was losing weight so fast I couldn't keep up with my clothes. I like being a size 12/14. I love my curves and would never want to be what society considers skinny again. I think the most I would want to lose would be 20-30 lbs tops - if that. I am also in no hurry. I think part of my success in my weight loss has been the fact that I never had a set goal or timeline. I know that is the complete opposite of what the diet gurus tell you to do. But then again almost all diets fail. Maybe there is something to the notion of making your goal not a number but an action. By action, I mean, a daily goal of eating and living a certain way.Because I did not pressure myself,  if there was a week I got on the scale and I didn't lose any weight I never freaked out. This is where most people would feel like a failure and binge. When I would step on the scale and see I had lost weight it was more like a nice surprise. It isn't about a number or a size. For me it is about eating in a way that regulates my insulin and keeps my hormones in line. The side effect was weight loss. Just like when I ate wrong and my hormones were all out of whack the side effect was weight gain. I may not be the size I was in high school or college, but I feel more beautiful today at a size 12/14 than I ever did at a size 3. Even my stretch marks don't bother me much. They are to me a reminder of a battle I fought and won. I will fight this battle against PCOS for the rest of my life. It will never magically go away. But I accept this, and acceptance is the key to peace and happiness. That is, to accept what we cannot change. If there is something we can change, like the way I changed how I ate, then by all means kick ass and take names.

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