Universe – 1, Sarah – 0
I never doubt that the universe has a sense of humour.
For the past month and a half or so, since my PCOS diagnosis, I’ve been really carefully monitoring my health
Having a blood clotting disorder and chronic DVT means this is something I’m typically pretty tuned in to, but finding out about my polycystic ovaries and insulin resistance problem (and associated higher risks for diabetes, heart disease and a whole host of other things along with the hormone imbalance, mysterious weight-gain and MIA period I’ve already experienced) has meant a whole new set of things to monitor and adjust. Hilariously, most women who suffer from PCOs are prescribed hormonal birth control to quiet their symptoms, and of course, as a clotter that could kill me fairly swiftly. So. Natural remedies it is! In particuar, I’ve had to re-think my (already perfectly reasonable for the average person) diet and focus on carefully selecting what to eat, how much and when, in a way that for me feels overwhelming and a bit ridiculous.
As someone who has addressed weight and diet issues in an unhealthily obsessive (and just plain unhealthy) way in the past, this kind of strict monitoring is actually something I tend to specifically avoid. For a long time my scale has had a healthy layer of dust over its dial window.And that’s not just because of my very real aversion to dusting.
I love food, and my diet philosophy for years has just been very common-sense-based: Everything in moderation, junk extra moderated, lots of fruits and veggies to balance out delicious fats and carbs, and don’t worry about weight gain as long as your clothes fit and your bod feels healthy. It’s a good philosophy, I think, and one that would work if not for PCOS rearing its hirsute (yet also somehow balding? how is that fair?) head.
I’m sure eventually eating for my hormones will start to feel like natural common-sense, but for now it takes a lot of mental energy that I would just rather use elsewhere, and while I know I’m approaching the weight-loss side of things in a very healthy, sustainable manner, and I’m lucky that I am learning what I need to do to maintain a healthy body while I’m still young and energetic enough to tackle change, it’s really frustrating to see how slow the progress is.
I hate going to restaurants and not ordering my favourite creamy pasta or rich chocolatey dessert because I know what an overreaction my hormones will have to all that sugar and the havoc they’ll wreak on my body as a consequence.
But of course I know all too well that you cannot take your health for granted, and so I persist.
Which is why, Sunday evening found me roasting chickpeas for an hour to take with me as a high-protein snack to eat in the park for the Christie Pits film festival’s screening of A League of Their Own. Did I want the popcorn, chips, popsicles and bacon cheeseburgers everyone else was happily skipping away from the nearby vendors with? Oh yes, I most certainly did.
But no, I held to my resolve and opened my sad little tupperware container of under-roasted ‘peas, trying to will them into something more delicious. I turned around to pose for a photo with Red, and that’s when the yippy little lapdog some woman was allowing to run around the picnic blankets untethered, stuck his head in the bowl and gave them a thorough slavering lick.
And it’s why, if you look into my eyes in the above photo taken right after the incident, my mouth is smiling a happy feminist baseball-movie-watching-in-the-park grin, but my eyes convey “Good one universe. Sending a dog to lick my stupid healthy snack. You’ve bested me again.”