Did you make a New Year’s Resolution this year? Perhaps you’re like me: not terribly prompt (hence the April post about New Year’s resolutions), feeling overwhelmed with all the changes that need to be made to various aspects of your life (Physical health? Check. Mental health? Check. Spirituality? Check. Finances? Check. Work situation? Check. Education? Check. Social life? Check.), generally feeling like there is not enough time in the day to do all that you need to accomplish, and thinking that you may be coming down with the flu.
Or maybe you’ve already got those things all figured out and you never get the flu. If so, this is probably not the blog for you. However, if you’re in the same boat as me, well, let’s get a plan together rather than moping.
As I was thinking about all the things that need to change in my life–I came to the harsh conclusion that nearly all of them revolve around one thing. One very hard thing. One thing that has been impacting my life for as long as I remember. If you have PCOS, odds are that this same thing has severe impacts on your life too. I need to loose weight. I can’t go on like this. Something needs to change.
Here’s My Mid-Year’s Resolution…
Weigh under 200 pounds by April 1, 2015
Being under 200 pounds will move me from the definitely obese BMI category to the overweight BMI category. Striving to be overweight–now there’s a goal to be proud of! 😉
Getting to less than 200 pounds won’t be the final destination, but it will be a giant step in the correct direction. And it certainly won’t make anything worse than it is now.
Now, this is not my first try at this. This is not my tenth go at it either. It’s probably somewhere between my 25th and 50th concerted effort to loose weight. But I’m not giving up. Here is my plan…
1. Weigh myself every morning
About 18 months ago, I had several meetings with a dietitian through a program that my health insurance sponsors. While I was meeting with her, I used an app on my phone to track my calorie consumption. When I was tracking calories and consistently eating 1350-1400 calories per day, I was still not loosing weight. Really. And I promise that I was accurately measuring calories and not cheating. So, clearly my current metabolism needs were less than that. We only had a few meetings, and on our last one she recommended that I move to an 1100 calorie per day diet. Calorie counters will say that I need over 3,000 calories per day to maintain my weight, but I was maintaining weight on half that amount. My metabolism didn’t agree with the calculators. That’s the joy of PCOS.
So, how do I figure out what my metabolism needs? Daily weights. Weight loss isn’t some mystical magical equation. Calories consumed have to be less than calories used. That’s how it works for everyone–even women with PCOS. It’s sort of like time. Everyone has 24 hours per day in which to accomplish their daily work. Everyone also has to consume less calories than they use in order to loose weight. I will weigh myself every morning. If I weigh more than the previous day, then I consumed too many calories and/or moved too little. If I weigh less, then I’m headed in the right direction.
Deciding to weigh myself daily is not something that I chose lightly. I sometimes get annoyed with all the emphasis on weight rather than on overall well-being. Weight is a number, an important number, a number that has some reflection on health–but it is NOT a number that shows your overall health. Weight is just one of many numerical health indicators. I don’t want to be obsessive about the number on the scale. But the fact of the matter is, I need to loose weight. Yes, it’s just a number–but it’s a number that needs to change. So, weighing myself daily will help me understand my unique body and what it needs.
Along that vein, does anyone know of a reliable bathroom scale? I weighed myself this morning, brushed my teeth, and then weighed myself again. Apparently toothpaste has magical properties, because I gained six pounds in two minutes. I’m now in the market for a new scale. If you have one that you like, please tell me about it in the comments.
2. Eat food that I prepare myself, except for 2 times per week
I’ve tried various diets with meal plans and suggested recipes, and they’ve never worked. They just don’t fit into my life and I get bored. I know how to cook, I enjoy cooking, I like making my own meal plans each week, and abiding by someone else’s plan doesn’t seem sustainable long term.
I need to find ways to make my food preferences work for me. I don’t need new recipes with weird ingredients and gross flavors. I just need to consistently prepare meals at home and watch my portion sizes. Another perk to cooking things myself is that I know what goes into them. It’s gross to think about all the chemicals and animal by-products that end up in processed foods.
I disliked tracking calories on the app mentioned above because it made it easier to eat processed foods rather than preparing meals . Even though the app had a lot of foods, they didn’t have everything. It was easier to scan a barcode on a frozen dinner or enter information from a fast food restaurant than it was to enter 20 recipe ingredients and weigh the serving size. I need to learn how to do this on my own with real food. I’ll do my best to post some of my favorite healthy recipes here for you to enjoy too. There’s terrible lighting in my apartment, so I make no promises of elegant photography.
3. Walk for a minimum of 2 miles, 5 days per week
No, this isn’t a perfect workout plan. Marathon runners need not apply. It’s a start though. And that’s what I need. A start. As I loose weight and am able to move more easily, I plan to increase my exercise and add strength training. I absolutely love the free Map My Run app because it measures my mileage while letting me explore to my heart’s content without getting lost. I don’t go anywhere fancy–just the neighborhoods that surround my home. I tend to wind through them until I’m pretty well lost, and then I pull out the app to find a route home. It’s nice to be out and about, and to see more of the everyday happenings in my city.
Well, there’s the plan. Do you want to join me? What’s your weight loss plan? Please share your tips, comments, advice, and goals in the comment section. Weight loss is the #1 thing that can help women with PCOS. And we can do it. We won’t loose weight as quickly as women without PCOS; but, that’s okay. Slow and steady wins the race.