I have a sweet tooth. I don’t deny it. And I enjoy sedentary activities like reading and writing and video games. These are things I struggle with as I attempt to lose weight. But, when it gets down to it, they are things that I can control. My biggest frustration, and the thing that frequently derails me, is the one thing I have absolutely no control over. I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.
For the most part, I don’t think about the fact that I have it. I take medication every day and I keep an eye on what my body is doing, but most of the symptoms are cosmetic. Excess hair. Oily skin and acne. That sort of thing. The parts that aren’t cosmetic feel more like threats. I could develop diabetes. I could get cervical cancer. I could become infertile. All terrible things, but still just threats (though the possible infertility thing became a big deal when we wanted to have a baby). It’s all very vague and nebulous.
My weight issues are not vague and nebulous. And they aren’t purely cosmetic. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women (and men), and guess what increases your risk. Obesity, particularly extra weight around the middle. And guess what PCOS causes. Insulin resistance that leads to weight gain, particularly around the middle (more in the gut than the hips). It makes it easy to gain weight and ridiculously hard to lose it.
The medication that I’m on helps. I’m on an insulin regulator (doctors and nurses looking at my medication frequently ask me what type of diabetes I have). But even with that help, my weight loss will be slow. Not because I’m not trying. Not because I’m not making changes. But because my body chooses not to cooperate. And that can get really really discouraging. Every few months, it really gets to me, and I give up for a little bit. I don’t start eating everything in sight, but I stop trying so hard. And then, after a week or two of feeling like a slob, I get back up and exercise and kick myself back into gear.
But I never really stop being frustrated. I never really stop wishing my body would get its act together, just for a little while. I never really stop looking in the mirror and seeing my stomach and just thinking, “You might kill me one day.” And that makes it really hard to stay motivated.
So I went looking, and I found a community for people with PCOS. Because nothing helps like people who know what you’re going through. Hopefully, the next time I want to give up, I will have made friends who are going through the same thing and then they can kick my butt back into gear. Sometimes, that’s all a person needs.