As a young woman living with PolyCystic Ovaries, I often get asked a lot of questions about how I manage the condition.
I’m more than happy to talk about my experiences but, I feel sometimes that women are very disappointed when I don’t have the “ answers” that they want hear. Women are always looking for tips and advice on how to cope. I’m going to be very honest, there is no “ magical cure” for the condition.
Everyone seems to be an expert on the topic, offering advice that sometimes is not only hurtful and insulting but, also dangerous. It takes a team of qualified experts, people who have various skills in many healing modalities. I have consulted quite a few experts, specialists and practitioners over the years. I have often felt frustration and humiliation, at not being able to find the answers.
My struggle with polycystic ovaries has been a battleground for quite some time. I have always been honest about my failings to find good health and the many unhealthy things I have done to try and manage the condition. From my experience the best way to manage this condition is to find the balance.
Firstly to balance modern medicine and eastern healing modalities. I have consulted a number of various practitioners, from Chinese medicine practitioners to having regular Naturopathy visits, all the while keeping an open and honest dialogue with my GP. Although he’s not a GP who has an interest in integrative therapies he has always encouraged me to find relief in any form of therapy. I will continue to try different healing modalities, different therapies and to research as much as I can about what is being developed in with the modern medical world. When it comes to research I may consult “Dr Google” at first but, I always follow that through with advice from both my GP, pharmacist and qualified healthcare practitioner. As I said before, I have spoken with many experts over the years.
It is also a constant balance every day, to nourish my body appropriately with the right whole foods. I have tried many fad diets, different diet regimes, juice cleanses and anything else you can think of to possibly get my nutrition in check. Like with many things in life the simple truth was often the most difficult to acknowledge. I need to eat good clean whole foods, nothing processed, prepackaged, artificial or any other modern conveniences foods I find myself bombarded with. This has meant many hours in the kitchen getting back to what it means to cook real food . It also means spending a lot of my time planning my meals, buying groceries and finding new recipes. With each new recipe there has been some massive failure in the kitchen, somethings just didn’t work out. Some moments you just have to pick yourself up dust yourself off and have a sense of humour about what I was you trying to create.
There is a lot of “noise” out there in regard to the kinds of diets that women with this condition should follow. I am currently going through the process of speaking with a nutritionist to try and get this balance right because I still don’t think I fully understand the best way to nourish my body. What I do fully understand is that I need to listen to my body and feed it with the foods that it needs the most. This may not be in alignment with certain people’s philosophies or ideals but, it’s what my body needs to function optimally.
Creating an environment where my body functions optimally has led me to try and find the right amount of exercise, with the right amount of rest. Again like with most things I think I tried every fad exercise, every new group fitness class and all the different types of exercise equipment you could possibly find. Yet again the simple truth is often the most difficult to acknowledge, it’s finding the balance between personal training and yoga. I can’t think of the money that I’ve spent, the hours that I spent doing exercise I haven’t enjoyed. A few months ago I made a simple decision every day I would move my body for at least 40 minutes, whether that was practising yoga, doing PT session or even going for a walk. It was a simple statement that every day I will move my body, and I will enjoy the physical movement that I do, that has led to a much better relationship with exercise.
This simple commitment paired with my new-found realisation that a diet rich in whole foods is what my body needs has led to huge improvements in my condition. It hasn’t been easy to move my body every day, the time required to cook wholesome meals requires me to plan not only my day but, also my week. The balancing act is far from complete, there is also balancing work life, family commitments, social engagements and adequate rest time (the list goes on). In an environment where life is constantly revolving around a “to do list”, I have now begun my greatest challenge and that is the challenge of time management. To have the courage to say “no” to social engagements, to stay home some nights and rest. To have the courage to book appointments and to stick to those appointments because I know my physical body will feel better after having had a treatment.
In the battle against polycystic ovaries you need to rally the troops, not necessarily to march off into war but, to know you are doing all that you possibly can to stay fit and healthy. So that you can do everything you want to do in life without the concerns for the condition. You need to consult as many experts, doctors and practitioners as you can, to arm yourself with as much information as possible to make the right decision for you. In the end you are the best expert to manage or health.