PCOS brings along a train full of baggage. Once you discover that you have PCOS, you suddenly feel like you must eat only organic GMO-free gluten-free calorie-free vegan locally-produced foods, exercise for fifteen hours a day, and sleep for precisely 8.75 hours per night. That’s all while dealing with the maddening amount of body hair (Oh the hair! It doesn’t stop!), popping zits and finding makeup to cover your now red-splotched face, inventing ways to get some sort of volume into the ever-decreasing quantity of hair on your head, purchasing clothing in manatee sizes, and oh let’s not forget that your neck and elbows are brown and look like you’re incapable of bathing. All the while you still need to maintain your family, work, social, educational, religious, and community life. It’s enough to drive a person mad.
If you were just diagnosed with PCOS, or you’re just getting back on the wagon, here are three reasonable things you can do today to help things get better. Will they solve all your problems? Nope. Will they help? Absolutely.
Step 1: Go for a walk. Get up off your rear, put on some shoes, and head outside for a walk. Right now. Walk to your mailbox, around the block, to the library, or to that one house with the pretty garden. If you feel up to it, go farther. The main point is to get up and move. Right now. This is not a marathon. It is a simple walk. No fancy clothing or gear required. You can do it.
Step 2: Make a list of symptoms. Are you back from your walk? Oh–that’s right. You skipped step 1 and didn’t go for a walk. Well then, GO FOR A WALK. Even if it’s midnight and it’s snowing. Go. Walk.
Now that you’ve gone for a walk, let’s continue. The next step to dealing with PCOS is to write a list–on paper–of your current symptoms/frustrations related to PCOS. Just grab whatever scratch paper is closest to you right now (an envelope or piece of junk mail works fine), and get started. The list will likely include things that you know are related to PCOS, and things that you think may be related but you are unsure about.
Once your list is near completion, number the items from most concerning to least concerning. Put a #1 next to the symptom that bothers you most, a #2 by the second most bothersome symptom, and proceed down the list.
We will talk about what to do with the list at a later date. For now, just write and number the list, and then put it somewhere that you will remember.
Step 3: Make dinner, from scratch, tonight. I know, I know. You can do it though. Food cooked at home seems to have an element of magic beyond just the value of the ingredients that are used. You will feel better when you prepare your own food rather than grabbing something from a drive-through or tossing a frozen pizza in the oven. Don’t worry about calories or anything else right now–just focus on cooking a meal from scratch at home tonight. Consider a salad with grilled chicken, stir-fry with rice, or fajitas. If you rarely cook at home and feel unprepared to do so, try checking out recipes from AllRecipes.com or America’s Test Kitchen.
That’s it. 3 steps you can do today to begin feeling better. Before you go to bed tonight, pause for a moment and think about how you feel. If you feel better than you did last night, consider doing items #1 and #3 again tomorrow. Good luck!