68.8… It’s my magical number. Its gorgeous, curvy sweeps secretly hold a long held goal of mine.
Why? Because I am a funny creature, I covertly hide an ideal inside. Maybe because I am a woman, maybe because I have been exposed to mass media manipulation about what a woman should really look like. Maybe because I am me.
I know the number that appears on our bathroom scale doesn’t define our worth, or even our size. When I go married 4 ½ years ago, I weighed 69.9kg. I was a size 10-12 (Aussie, that is), and I was fit. I attended gym regularly, became proficient with weighted squats, Russian lunges, and regularly bench-pressed more than many of the men. I jogged, trained regularly with a personal trainer and felt great. I was ecstatic that I’d made it under 70kg, if even by a teeny, tiny whisper.
However, my heart still harboured my magical number wish. What I really wanted was to see 68.8kg or less staring back at me on each encounter with those scales. Odd? Maybe.
You may think it’s silly really, and I completely understand your opinion. In fact, my logical mind whole-heartedly agrees with you! But at 166cm, this was the highest figure that represented a “normal” Body Mass Index (BMI) for me. Now I can hear the cries, “BMI is only a guide, and an often inaccurate one at that!” As a health professional, my intellect knows this. I’ve used BMI in practice, as a guide, for years. I know well it’s potential pit falls and the reasons why we may well be better without it. But, my heart couldn’t hear what my mind was saying. They seemed to be talking in different languages.
But this wish was deep seated.
When I was 17 years old, completing a very stressful final year at high school, I weighed 64kg. And of course, as we often do at that age, I thought I was fat. I look back now and wonder how, but it was just how it was.
Then the following year I moved to Melbourne to begin my 8-year love affair with University. Well, maybe love affair is the wrong term to use. It was tough. I moved away from my safe, supportive home, the home and life I’d known, away from my gorgeous immediate family, away from the quiet and the country.
The big smoke was less secure, and far more stressful. My food habits and options changed, dramatically. I couldn’t afford much at all. In the following years, I survived on pasta and sauce, and bread and butter and vegemite. I didn’t eat much, but combine this terribly PCOS unfriendly food plan, with the constant stress of just wanting to go home, and the effect on my waistline and the other parts of my body was profound.
I gained 20kg that first year. My weight fluctuated over the following years, up and down, down then up. I could never keep the excessive pounds off. I would lose weight, feel great and then tire of the unabated effort it took. I would fall of the wagon… No, if I were honest, I would kick that wagon right out of the way!! I would still spend the majority of my life being good, being careful, but I just wanted to live a normal life. I enjoyed going out for a meal without constantly calorie counting, or looking at food like it was outright evil.
But as soon as I lived this way, my waistline would expand quickly. My legs would fatten. My arms would become embarrassing to me. My face would become fat, closing my eyes and enlarging my chin.
Once, many years ago, a patient asked me if I was pregnant, and another commented that I had ‘beefed up since I last saw you.’ The weight gain would happen fast. Embarrassingly suddenly. I hated it. But I also hated living life like a food monk, depriving myself of any culinary enjoyment and a chance to get involved in the delight and participation of being out with others, without being the freak, the one who always ate differently. I have been vegetarian for a long time, and this was enough of an inconvenience in the early days.
And I’d still never hit that magical number, that figure in my head that I had marked out as ‘normal’. I’ve never worried about or wanted to be skinny. I just wanted to look like everyone else. I just wanted to be normal!
Even when I shed 26kg, I still didn’t feel completely contented. Don’t get me wrong, I was happy. I felt much better, and I looked much better. I knew I had achieved a great deal for my body and my future. I’d restored my menstrual cycle after 15 years without a single natural period. I started ovulating for the first time ever in my thirties. I cured my acne, reduced my excessive hair growth significantly, and eliminated my hot sweats, energy slumps and fatigue. I felt like a beautiful bride, and I have kept the weight off.
But that magical figure still loomed deeply in my subconscious mind.
I am convinced it is through the support and love of my husband, that I not only lost the weight, but also have kept it off. By those last few pounds… Well, they seem to be attributed to him as well.
Two weeks ago, we decided to undertake a detox. The aim? To help reduce Dave’s back pain. We’d watched ‘Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead’ (if you haven’t watched it, I recommend you do!) and his motivation kicked in. Perfect! I’d been waiting for the opportunity to detox with him for years!
When we reduce inflammation and fill our bodies with oodles of precious nutrients, we can significantly reduce pain, and other issues related to it. And although a regular detox is an important step and strategy for a woman with PCOS, I went on it to simply support him.
As Karma would have it, I stood on the scale yesterday morning. First thing, naked, before breakfast and after visiting the loo. It’s important to try and eliminate all variables when you assess your weight! That modern day torture implement, called the bathroom scale, turned instantly into a gorgeous, gleaming, infallible tool. 68.6kg! That figure. Those years of uncertain hope. The sheer relief. A buzz that lifted my soul and made me feel light.
But, really, the numbers shouldn’t matter, they don’t really mean anything… Other than we are all human, we all have our own personal wishes and wants that other people may not understand, and may even judge us on, and that love really is the answer!
From PCOS to perfect health, with love,
P.S. If you are a woman with PCOS ready to shed your unwanted, excessive pounds, I want to let you know it is absolutely possible! I’ve helped many women, as well as myself. I’ve created the revolutionary, PCOS specific Successful PCOS Weight Loss – The 31 Day Action Plan, designed to address all causes of PCOS weight gain at their heart and lead you easily and permanently to a suave and healthy body. Enjoy!