Something about having PCOS makes me just freaking angry
Sunday, May 22, 2011
So, When you're not trying to have a baby, PCOS shouldn't be that bad, right? Eat healthy, exercise, you'll be fine, right? Yeah, not so much.
I guess for a woman with PCOS, I don't do so bad. My highest ever weight has been 175, which was heavy for my height (5'3.75), but not 'obese'. As of this morning, I'm 156.6, after coffee and muesli. I've always know what I should and shouldn't eat, and I'm generally pretty good about it. I'm a pretty active person.
What makes me annoyed? I've been taking metformin and spironolactone for about three weeks now. Three weeks ago, I weighed 162. I've lost five pounds and change in three weeks, without changing one freaking thing about my diet. If anything, I'm exercising less and eating slightly more than normal. The real kick in the pants is that about four pounds has been the last week and a half, now that I've worked myself up to a high enough dose to start seeing a difference.
I've always known that women who do exactly what I do and don't have PCOS are skinnier than me. I've always known that any exercise buddy is going to lose more weight than I do with less effort. I've *known* that, but seeing it on the scale actually makes me livid.
This probably isn't a rational response, but I'm angry. I was angry when I got on the scale this morning, and I'm angry now. I feel betrayed by my body. I feel so angry for having made so many different attempts to lose weight over the years that have failed, not because my effort wasn't sincere and diligent, but because my body was sabotaging me.
I've always had a bad relationship with my mom when it comes to my weight. It's something we've fought over for more than a decade. We've also fought over my PCOS diagnosis, since she doesn't think it's a 'real' disease. She also doesn't agree with taking lots of medication, at least not 'western' medication, so, no, I haven't told her I'm taking metformin, though I did tell her about the spiro, which didn't set her off. She's apparently going to send me some Chinese tea for diabetics. I won't actually take it if she does, because many 'natural' medicines contain the same things that go into our nice pills, just from different sources. I'll ask my endo if he thinks it's okay.
So basically, I feel anger on all sides. Why didn't I go to the doctor when I was a young teenager, suddenly gaining weight and with very irregular periods? Of course, things have come a long way since then, so there might have been nothing to do, but this is still frustrating as hell. I've hated my body for years. HATED it. That's not a great attitude to have, but when you're bombarded on all sides with the image of what you should look like and you don't fit that image, well, you feel shame, and that leads to hatred.
The worst was I knew I was doing everything right. I counted calories, sometimes obsessively. I exercised to the point of idiocy. I went through years of my life not remembering what it felt like to be 'full'. I felt like everyone around me was judging my failure. I felt like I just wasn't trying hard enough, wasn't doing something right. You keep hearing 'calories in minus calories out. Create a deficit, you'll lose weight!'. Well, for PCOS women, sometimes, that isn't enough. Every time someone would say to me, 'well, if you're not losing weight you must be lying about what you're consuming, or your exercise'(not on spark, for the most part), I would laugh with tears in my eyes.
Maybe part of my mother's attitude has crept in without my being aware. I feel like taking medicine, the visible outcome of which is losing weight, even if mentally I know it does more than that, is a cop out. I feel like I should have had the discipline to just lose weight, like a normal person. I still feel like a failure, somehow. Like, even if I lose the weight with the medicine, it 'doesn't count'. I've taken the 'easy route', even if it still isn't 'easy'. Maybe it's because I've lost over two pounds this week, despite taco night and having a cheeseburger, both of which involved beef(lean beef mince, but still. It was actually the first time I've had beef mince in something like three years). Both those days I wound up eating about 1700 calories, which is about 400 more than I usually average.
Maybe I would weigh a lot more than I do if I hadn't always been someone who ate right and exercised. I don't really know, but I probably would. I just feel so... I don't even know anymore. The word that keeps rising to the surface is 'betrayed'. I feel heartbroken and betrayed. I have dedicated so much energy so working against something that I couldn't actually control, and it feels like wasted energy.
I've always tried to feel pride in what I do accomplish. I like going for a run. I like feeling sore after a workout. I enjoy feeling strong. Those feelings only buoy you along for so long if you still feel awful every time you look in the mirror.
I feel like I need to completely rebuild my sense of self. I've gone through years of hating part of me. My stomach, my thighs, my butt... Hate, hate, hate. I need to change that attitude, but for the moment, I'm left feeling... empty. I don't know what to feel or how to react. I'm just going to have to try to find my way again.
Does that mean I'm going to change my life completely, park my ass on the couch and start stuffing my face? No. I've always enjoyed healthy foods and exercise. I think I am going to have to make a switch from flogging myself at the gym to just doing the fun activities I enjoy. Sure the gym is a part of that, but not at the expense of the other things like hiking, kayaking and running outside. I need to do these things because they make me happy, not because I will lose weight. I need to give my body some time to sort itself out. I want to see who I can be when I don't let my weight completely define me.
So that's the new goal. Enjoy being me. Would I like to lose weight? Sure. But I need that to be a side effect of living the lifestyle I enjoy, rather than the focus of every action I take. So, hopefully the metformin will help. Only time will tell.