We recently received this email: "I have put on about 7-8 kilos and I am so depressed. I just lost all interest in taking care of myself. Because with my killing schedule, it is close to impossible.
But I really appreciate all your newsletters. You, your website and newsletters are the little bit of sunshine in what is a very dark cloudy PCOS war I seem to be losing."
PCOS Editor's Response:
This is the human condition. Life presents us with unwanted challenges. Some of us have PCOS. Others have cancer or multiple sclerosis. Yet others have to walk five miles a day just to get drinking water or wait in long lines to get a loaf of bread or go to bed hungry. And some of us have lost our jobs or gone bankrupt or had a breakup of a relationship -- or have become addicted to alcohol or drugs -- or injured in an auto accident. Or maybe a loved one is dying.
I would imagine most people on the planet (including me!) have at least one significant life challenge that has to be faced every day.
We are all awash in the pounding surf of present problems. As we gaze out, we can see future problems that will soon be upon us.
How we deal with these daily challenges will determine the meaning and quality of our lives.
We may not have a choice about the challenge that confronts us. But we do have a choice in how we respond to it.
For example, I want to attend a family reunion 5 days from now. But I've just had an increase in my chronic pain. It's so bad that I'm not sure I can survive the 8-hour trip to the reunion.
OK, so what do I do? Just give up and not go? That's one choice. But for now, I'm choosing to try to reduce my pain level by increasing my exercise and physical activity. Just before my trip, I will take pain pills and apply painkillers to the most painful parts of my body. I have no idea how all this will work out. If my pain level does not diminish enough, I may not go on this trip. But I'm going to try to make this trip regardless. I've been exercising and stretching for the last two days. My pain has diminished a little bit.
This is how I'm choosing to respond to a particular challenge.
How will you choose to respond to a work environment that makes it impossible for you to take care of yourself? Will you choose to let this situation continue? Or will you choose to change the situation in some way?
The trouble with PCOS is that it's unrelenting. It doesn't take a holiday just because we're in a difficult situation. PCOS demands that we do everything we can to be healthy, until the day we die. Unfortunately, there aren't any shortcuts or vacations available.
Of course it is thoroughly discouraging to gain unwanted weight.
And it's all terribly unfair. It's unfair that another person can eat the exact same diet as you, but you gain weight and the other person does not. It's unfair that you tried really hard to lose weight but can't. It's unfair that you inherited the genetic disposition to have insulin problems that cause you to store fat.
But as far as PCOS is concerned, we can't be discouraged for very long, or feel sorry for ourselves. We don't have the time for it because the added fat is producing inflammatory signals that only serve to worsen our PCOS-related problems.
Is there a solution to this vicious downward spiral?
The solution is to take time out to assess your challenges and develop a plan for changing and improving your circumstances. And then execute the plan.
Take a look at this article: Are You Ready to Make a Change?
Since you're under so much stress, don't try to do too much all at once. Forget about losing the 8kg. you just gained. Focus on one or two simple things you can do TODAY to improve your situation. It's the consistent little things that count. Can you find 15 minutes TODAY to take a brisk walk in a pleasant environment? Can you just do that one little thing? Today, not tomorrow?
We all get discouraged at times. I'm no exception. When I get discouraged, I often resort to Dr. Morita's approach: know your purpose, accept your feelings (whatever they may be), and then do what needs to be done.
See Dr. Morita Adds Meaning to My Life.
One final thought. No matter how grim your day is, find something good about it and focus on that. See The Woman and the Strawberry.
You've been knocked off your horse. That's what happened. Well, now just get back on your horse and continue on! You can do it. I know you have the inner strength and resources and wisdom to do it.
One step at a time.
Does anyone else have any helpful ideas? We'd love to hear your comments.
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