The two thing I am asked the most since starting to share my journey on social media are:
“How do you do your hair?” (Hair tutorial coming soon-I promise)
“How did you do it? How did you start?”
And I always have such a hard time answering. Because everyone’s starting point and journey is so different. My journey will not be the same as yours. Everyone’s body and mind set are at different stages.
I only have done what works for me.
And my answer is this:
I had to forgive myself for how I treated me in the past, accept and love who I was in the present, and strive and work towards being a better me tomorrow.
First I had to get my mind right. Get your minddddd right girl
One day, I just woke up. And I didn’t want to cry anymore. I didn’t want to hate my body anymore. I didn’t want to feel like I was hiding-under clothes, under jokes, under my own cloud of illusion that this wasn’t fixable. That I wasn’t worth saving.
I decided that I was going to quit blaming all my struggles on everything and everyone else.
It wasn’t my fault I got dealt the hand of PCOS. But it sure as hell is my fault if I let it stop me from being the awesome sauce I know I am.
It wasn’t my family or friends fault that they didn’t have it. But it was mine if I kept letting resentment and comparison to them keep me in a state of anger and depression.
It wasn’t my fault life had dealt me hard, scary life situations. Losing loved ones too early. A miscarriage. A relationship falling apart. Financial struggles. ( Okay, that one might be a little bit my fault- shopping is just so damn therapeutic, am I right? ) But it was my fault if I used all of these terrible and sad circumstances change the way I viewed my life and how I was going to live it.
So I just decided to not hate myself anymore and start forgiving myself more. I don’t mean to sound after school special. Trust me, I get it that you don’t just wake up and change. But you do wake up each day with the choice and decision on your outlook for that day. And all you can do is keep choosing the right outlook.
I started choosing the right mind set one day at a time. I would literally get out of bed, and say to myself, ” God damn it, Shelby. Today you are going to chose happiness-with yourself and with the world. Make the decision.”
And some days it was easy. And some days I wanted to throat punch my morning mantra self. But you just keep doing it. And eventually, a deliberate choice becomes a habit. And a habit becomes a mindset.
Second I had to embrace my physical struggles and work with what I had
PCOS sucks. I am going to say it. It FUCKING sucks.
Okay, now that my tantrum is over- PCOS is not an easy diagnosis to swallow.
I mean, don’t get me wrong- I was relieved to finally have an answer to why my body didn’t work like everyone else’s. I was glad to finally have answers. But at the time, no one, including doctors, knew enough or took it seriously enough to treat it. Especially if you weren’t trying to conceive.
I had to figure out on my own what was best for my body. I cannot stress it enough how important it is to be your own health advocate. If you don’t feel like your doctor is taking you or your condition seriously enough, FIND A NEW DOCTOR. I had to go to 3 different doctors before I found one who didn’t just say ” Here’s some birth control pills. You are going to put on weight and it’s not going to come off. Good luck.” ( No joke, I’m quite positive those are verbatim my first doctors words to me. Dick.)
And at first I felt so lost. If my doctor can’t tell me what the hell to do to get myself healthy, who can?
Well, I did. I researched. I connected with other PCOS women who have been through what I’m going through.
And I will not lie to you. At first, I fell for the quick fix shit. The ” drink this tea, you’ll drop weight in a week”. Or the “This magic wrap will instantly dissolve body fat and inches.”
SPOILER ALERT: None of it worked. Not a damn single one of them.
And you want to know why?
Because there is no quick fix.
So one day, after failing and losing more money on another one, I took my self loathing chubby butt shopping. I decided to go to LuLuLemon. Mind you, my ass didn’t have no money to be going there. After all, I just spent a butt load on magic shakes and shit. But I went. And I tried on the biggest size they have. A size 12.
It didn’t fit. I bawled in the dressing room. I ripped a few of the seams trying to get it off. I cried again thinking that this isn’t how I want to feel in my own skin.
And I bought that size 12. Not because I was determined to fit in it. Using an event or a date as motivation to get healthy is a guarantee to fail. I promise you that. It has to be a lifestyle change. It has to be for you, not 2 months from now on a beach in the caribbean, not you 6 months from now in a wedding dress- for you every damn day.
I’m rambling now-
But I just started making small changes. I learned with PCOS carbs are not our friends. I call bullshit. If I have to have acne, weight gain and struggles with infertility, can I at least get my pizza, dude?
But I cut down my carbs.
I started avoiding dairy.
I started eating as clean as possible.
Day in and day out, making baby steps.
I then started meal prepping and tracking. And they go hand and hand.
And then, finally I started flexible dieting. It has been the only way of eating ( I refuse to say diet) that has been sustainable for me. With my history of disordered eating, telling me I can’t have something is fuel for my downfall back into that state. Because if you tell me I can’t have it, I want it more. And eventually, if you are restricting those foods, YOU WILL BINGE. With flexible dieting, I can still eat some of those foods, in moderation, if they fit my goals and macros. Win win when momma gets her wine.
And last but not least I added strength/weight training. I was a cardio queen. I was running 6 miles a day everyday, then spending the night watching my shows while running again on the treadmill. I had no idea why I wasn’t losing. I was stuck.
Then I did some research and found out that with PCOS, because of our higher testosterone levels and other factors, weight training was best to speed up our metabolism.
One day, I crossed over to the big boy side of the gym- and I never went back.
My metabolism has sped up, my energy has increased, I am stronger, and plus it’s just so much more fun than cardio. #Cardioishardioyo
Patience and persistance
I cannot stress this enough to everyone who asks me.
No my results did not happen overnight.
No it was not easy
Yes I wanted to give up. and did. several times.
If I could tell anyone asking who’s just starting just one thing it would be this:
It is not easy. It makes it even more difficult of a journey if you are battling symptoms of PCOS. You will want to give up. You will feel frustrated. You will hate your body for not doing what others can do in the same amount of time. You will cry. You will doubt what you are doing. You will feel like it’s not worth the struggle.
And you are not alone in feeling any of this. But here is my promise to you:
If you stop comparing your journey to others, and focus on you vs you, your journey is simplified ten fold. Others may be dropping weight and eating doritos and only working out when they walk their ass to their car and into their desk job. And you will want to shank them. Don’t. That’s their journey ( and apparently a very short one if that’s the only moving they are doing) Comparison is the thief of joy.
You need to stop giving a shit about what everyone else thinks. Your parents. Your spouse. Your girlfriends. Your boss. Social media. STOP. Just stop.
I promise you, when the only approval you seek is your own, life is so much easier-and a lot more fun. When you seek self worth and self acceptance from other people, and those people leave, so does all your validation. You have to find it within. The day you realize this, you are freed to become the bad ass bitch you are meant to be.
And lastly, if you need help or feel alone- know that you aren’t. This shit isn’t easy. Life isn’t easy. And knowing that everyone struggles and fights and cries just like you makes it a lot easier to get through.
And if you ever need a reminder, help, encouragment or just to talk- please know I am here. Reach out. Because I was you, once. And on bad days, I still am. We are all just trying to get our shit together. I promise you that.
Originally posted 2016-01-27 19:41:58.