That's right. You guessed it. Tomorrow, I'm going on a DIET. Ugh! I abhor that word. Really. Whoever invented it should be ... well, I'll save the end and maintain my ladylike charm.
This isn't just any old diet though. I'm actually excited about this diet. Scratch that. I'm excited about this new eating plan, which will be a better label for my purposes.
You see, I have something called Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS, for short). I have been asking for a diagnosis from my doctors for darn near four years now, so I was finally relieved to have the diagnosis confirmed a few months ago. If you know anything of PCOS, it ain't good. If you have PCOS, I'm sorry for you, and me. It causes fertility problems, cycle problems, and a host of other unsightly and downright embarrassing symptoms that no woman should have to deal with. Ever. Period. To put it bluntly, PCOS makes you a hot mess.
Here's a good example all my girls reading this can relate to. Take two women: let's call them Fiona and Vivian (two names I downright love). Say Fiona and Vivian eat the same exact diet for a month. You'd think they would both either maintain their weight or gain roughly the same amount of weight, right? WRONG! You see, Fiona has PCOS. Thus, Fiona can actually GAIN weight while Vivian (who is PCOS free) will NOT gain weight and may even LOSE weight. You're screaming it with me, right? How unfair! Unjust! Downright awful. That, my friends, is PCOS. It caused me to gain 20 pounds in one year. I kid you not. PCOS causes insulin resistance (much like a pre-diabetic state), so those of us who are blessed with it have to be super-cognitive of what we eat.
Herein lies the need for the new eating plan (the aforementioned "diet"). In seeking a natural remedy for my PCOS symptoms, I stumbled upon this wonderful book The Natural Diet Solution for PCOS and Infertility. This book is chock-full of explanations about PCOS, the foods we eat, and how it is all intertwined to either help or hurt those of us with PCOS. If you have PCOS, I would recommend you get the book (it's available online as a PDF) and read it promptly. I devoured the book in one evening and it's nearly 500 pages. Good stuff.
The new eating plan starts tomorrow. So, if you have the pleasure of interacting with me face to face, I'm pleading for some grace this first week (if not for the entire month, depending on how well I adjust). This eating plan is like the Full Metal Jacket of eating. There is no cutting corners, there is no cheating. It's strict as Mommy Dearest. It allows mainly fruits, vegetables, lean meats, eggs, and some nuts and healthy oils. That's it. Here's what it doesn't allow (I hope my keyboard doesn't short out from all the tears that fall as I type this): processed foods (of any kind), grains, soda (of any kind), and, here's where my heart actually aches: DAIRY. No dairy of any kind. No milk. No yogurt. No butter. NO CHEESE! Oh dear Lord, spare me the agony. A life without cheese? What kind of life is that? It's nearly unbearable.
As I regain my composure, I realize that man does not live by cheese alone. Or was it bread? Heck, they're both good, so it doesn't really matter. I must remind myself that I'm doing this to heal my body, to bring it back to a more natural state of being so that it can function properly. There are so many foods I CAN eat on this plan, it's ridiculous. So I will focus on that. I'm actually excited to toss out the processed foods, as we've been eliminating those bit by bit for a while. And the soda needs to go, too. It's unnecessary.
I'll be going this plan for a month, to start off. Then, if I feel ready, I can reintroduce some foods here and there (obviously not the processed ones though, or the soda). I'm resting on the notion that I will be energized and feel empowered by fueling my body with nutrients and vitamins instead of processed "foodstuff." I have heard great things about the restorative properties of this diet, so I am looking forward to those.
I'll be making many new recipes in the next month, so I'll be sure to share those that succeed and might be pleasing to someone else's palate. I'll also report on how the plan's healing properties are working for me in case someone would like to try it for themselves to alleviate their own PCOS symptoms, or just in an effort to be more healthy.
If you have any healthy eating tips and/or recipes that fit the bill, please send them my way. I can use all the artillery I can get for this war. Seriously. I'm a foodie, so this is not going to be easy. But it will be worth it.
Wish me luck!