I can’t believe that it has been an entire year! This has been one of the most exciting journeys I’ve taken and this lovely road still continues. I’ve had the privilege of meeting (via world wide web) some very inspirational, beautiful, cheeky, tenacious folks. I have a lot of fun things in the works that I am super excited about and I hope that you will stay for the ride. Thank you all for your support, encouragement, kind words, internet hugs, and smiling emoticon faces.
I often run into people that ask or assume whether I eat carbs or not. Just because I eat a Paleo/GF and sometime a strict Paleo diet doesn’t mean that I don’t eat carbs. We’ll take it back to the basics for a little bit and talk through what carbohydrates are, why we should eat them, and so on.
What is a carbohydrate?
Carbohydrates have 2 forms: sugar (like naturally occurring sugars things like fruit or milk, and added sugars or sweeteners), and starches (like starchy vegetables, beans, and grains, etc.). The body breaks down most carbs into sugar, which is absorbed into the bloodstream. As glucose levels rise, the pancreas releases insulin. Insulin is needed to move sugar from the blood into the cells. The 3 main things that insulin does is:
it helps muscle, fat, and liver cells absorb glucose from the bloodstream, lowering blood glucose levels
it stimulates the liver and muscle tissue to store excess glucose
it lowers blood glucose levels by reducing glucose production in the liver.
If you have PCOS and are insulin resistant, what is happening in your body is that your muscles, fat, and liver are resistant to normal levels of insulin so you have to produce more of it for glucose to enter your cells. It’s also helpful to keep in mind that insulin is a growth hormone so it promotes weight gain, which is why many of us with PCOS have issues with weight. This is why diet is one of the most important ways to manage PCOS. If the amount and the quality of the carbohydrates consumed are limited to more healthy options, you’ll be good as gold.
Next up, we’ll look into the different types of carbohydrates and which ones are the best options for managing PCOS.
Yesterday, I had to do the Lord’s prayer MANY times in order to stay on course. Particularly the “lead us not into temptation” piece. There were so too many things that I wanted to throw in the towel for and devour. Some of those temptations were (but aren’t limited to): Girl Scout Cookies, Cheddar and Sour Cream Chips, Mike & Ikes, Rice, General Tso’s Chicken, Shrimp Tempura, Green Banana Porridge, Natural Cheetos, and Fruit Snacks. But I am glad to report, I was on my best behavior! Instead, I ate a pear, 2 bananas, a plum, and scrambled eggs.
As I looked at myself in the mirror, I began thinking about how and why I make the food choices that I make. I am really feeling the freedom in choosing what I want to eat. I am determined not to live life as a compulsive consumer, but to treat every decision as a liberated choice. If I am eating healthily, it is because I want to empower my body to be the best version of itself. If I choose to indulge, I am choosing to enjoy the treat while feeling completely in control over that decision.
I’m pretty sure that there will be a moment or moments where I will fail, but this will always be my goal. I can never look back after this. Now that I’ve been given this particular diagnosis, I am responsible to myself and to my family for how I care for myself.
Our job isn’t to be or to strive for perfection. Just do the best you can.
I just wanted to throw a little encouragement for “throwback thursday.” My weight gain happened pretty swiftly for many different reason with PCOS being the root cause. I tried everything I knew before I was diagnosed with PCOS. After doing a lot of research, I was able to find out how to become healthy regardless of any diagnosis. There is no trick or easy way out. If you want to be healthy, you have to do the work. Eat clean and exercise. That’s it. Believe in you, do it for you, and start loving you right where you are. If you don’t learn to love you in the body you are currently in, how do you expect to love yourself into who you’ll become? You can do it!!! xo