Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Frustration About Diet and Exercise

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is extremely frustrating. My hubby hates for me to use that word, ha. Probably because I use it too often. But this time I honestly mean it. PCOS sucks.

I was diagnosed in 1997, but there were no doctors in my life who could tell me what I needed to do to help the symptoms. I wasn't able to take Birth Control pills, which was their standard treatment back then. I just gained weight, kept getting more dark hair on my face, chest and arms. The symptoms got worse and I never knew there was a way to make changes. I didn't seek ways either. Not really. I just tried to ignore it. I don't know that I expected it to go away, but I felt that if I ignored it, it was somehow less real. It was tough, though, because everytime I looked in the mirror, I saw a dark shadow of hair under my chin. It was heartbreaking on a daily basis.

Now, I've gotten the hair under control through laser hair removal, and while that is a great step forward, there are so many other symptoms that are not getting better. I still weigh 180 lbs. I have acne issues at age 34. We're having fertility issues. I'm always feeling tired. It sucks so hardcore!!

Dealing with fertility issues has pushed PCOS to the surface for me. I can't ignore it anymore. Not if I want a baby. And I do. So badly! Reading through different books and websites and talking to other women who have PCOS and are TTC, I think the solution is pretty clear. A strict diet of wholesome foods. Fresh fruit. No breads or pasta unless they are packed with fiber and whole grains. No fried foods. No sugars. No soda. Lots of protein combined with a complex carbohydrate. Basically, for me that means a complete and total overhaul of what I have been eating for the past 34 years of my life.

Then, on top of the major food changes, I know I also have to start exercising. It's such a hard thing for me. I don't enjoy exercise. I hate feeling sweaty and I'm so out of shape, exercising makes me so incredibly tired. I know what I must sound like saying this, too, but I want to be honest with myself and with anyone reading this who might be going through the same thing. I read online forums and people with PCOS say things like "I eat a carrot and gain weight." Maybe that's true for them, but I think for the most part, if you're eating the right foods and exercising, you'll find success. It's not impossible. But for me, the eating right and exercising feels like punishment. It feels like torture.

Some of the women I've been talking to online about TTC are so supportive, but at the same time, so many of them seem to have everything together. They exercise 5 times a week and are fit and thin. They eat right and are taking herbs and feeling good. They are in such a better place for carrying a healthy pregnancy to term. And they don't even have PCOS! I'm so scared I'm going to be the last one in the group to get pregnant - or that I'll never be able to have a successful pregnancy.

I just turned 34 this past weekend, and I realize more and more that I'm on a serious time crunch here. I don't have a lot of time to have a healthy pregnancy. Also, the more treatments we go through, the more expensive things are going to get. We can't afford IVF. Please, God, don't let it come to that! It's so terrifying. In a perfect world, I would have gotten my body in shape years ago and getting pregnant now wouldn't be difficult. But now I'm already in the middle of treatments. I'm already on cycle 3 of Clomid. I only have 3 more months of chances with this particular drug. I'm so scared I am wasting this fertility treatment. What if my eating habits and lack of exercise are going to keep me from getting pregnant no matter what fertility drugs I try?

I know there are tons of women who would read this and think, just eat right and exercise! What's the big deal?! Have some willpower, girl! And that's the way I talk to myself too. But the truth is that making such a huge change in my life isn't easy. Sure, I could do it for a week maybe, but then the hard work becomes a daily thing and I start to fall apart. I know I can make some small changes and try to change my life, but there's this time factor at work here as well. I don't have three years to slowly make all these changes. I need the changes now so that I can have a healthy pregnancy.

This has been a serious rant, I know, and much longer than I intended. But these are my fears. I'm so scared I won't be able to get pregnant for years because of these changes I have never made in my life. I can't turn back the clock. All I can do is try to make some changes in the months ahead and pray that it's enough to allow my body to carry a pregnancy.

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