After seeing some successes following my no mirrors challenge, I decided it was worth trying to extend it and see what would happen. The goal was to continue doing what I had been doing through the end of the year. The only change really was that I didn’t completely shut myself off from the mirror. I did keep most of my bathroom mirror covered from the chest down but stood my body length mirror up right so I could see if I wanted to.
Aside from being better to myself mentally and paying better attention on the inside, I did quite a bit of research. Because I have PCOS, I find myself always trying to find new studies or treatments since every doctor I have been to has said the same thing about the condition, “Lose weight and your symptoms will subside.” Anyone with it knows how much of a joke that statement is. The best suggestion I can give anyone about their health is to be their own advocate. No one will care about the things going on with your body more than you. No one will be so motivated to find a treatment other than you. No one is suffering with your symptoms but you.
After being obviously dismissed on several occasions, 2015 was my year of research. My goal was to find my own way of dealing with my problems. Much like Lorenzo’s Oil, if you haven’t seen that movie it’s a worthwhile watch. I started taking Metformin, for insulin resistance, back in April. In June, I added Inositol to my daily regimen. From those two alone, my back had smoothed down quite a bit and I wasn’t constantly bloated any longer – what a huge relief!
I wasn’t losing a ton of weight but I definitely could feel a difference in how my fat was being stored, as strange as that sounds. My back was thinning out for the first time in ever, my stomach didn’t feel as wide as it had before, and even my shoulders seemed to be smaller. Every little bit is progress!
So when I stopped looking in the mirror at my stomach, it was also about me not focusing on what had been. I knew my body was changing now that I was adding these things to it and that was a good thing. I needed to move on from the past in order to enjoy the future.
In the last couple of months, I also added vitamin D, vitamin B, and fish oil. I knew a few years ago I had an extreme vitamin D deficiency but found out recently that it’s very common to have with PCOS. Taking Metformin can deplete your vitamin B so I make sure to get extra. Fish oil seemed to have lower BMI results for those with PCOS in studies than those who did not take so I added that actually just in the past week.
I also have been massaging my problem areas, namely neck/stomach. Not for the sake of doing it but whilst in progress I am concentrating on what I’m doing. I usually do that once or twice a day and I really feel like that has been making an unexpected difference. What just started as a random addition to my initiative turned into a viable feel better activity. For the first time I am being more cognizant of my neck and chin and side profile, all of which usually afear me. A slimming out neck? What is this life?
I’m proud to report that my efforts resulted in a 16lb decrease from where I started going into 2015. While that doesn’t seem like a ton, most of it was lost in the last few months of the year. I’ve lost another pound in the last week! These numbers aren’t astronomical but considering I haven’t changed my eating habits or activity level, it’s definitely noteworthy.
It’s also worth mentioning that 2014 was a massive gym year for me. I joined a gym and started working out 4x a week for the first time in over 2 years at that point. I was eating uber healthy, working out quite a bit, and stalled out with weight loss. In fact, by the end of the year I had actually GAINED weight. GAINED. All that hard work and energy meant nothing.
The feeling you get when you get on the scale after being so diligent and seeing that the scale went UP is gut wrenching. How? Why? Doctors kept telling me to diet and exercise and I had tried so hard all year to do so. By the end of April 2015, my heart was no longer in it. I only went to the gym a few more times after that and put that energy into finding other assistance. That’s when I discovered Metformin.
A month later, I moved right next to a park so from then on I get my exercise by taking long walks in the park. I worked out, counted calories, drank water, and even had a few sessions with a personal trainer in 2014. I gained a good 10lbs. Yes, I know about muscle vs fat and scale but a whole year of that and to only gain? Then, 2015 was all about me finding alternatives, listening to my body, enjoying being outside, and being mindful of what I eat but not obsessed over numbers. I lost 16lbs.
With this more positive and hopeful outlook, I feel better about my body and the direction I’m taking it. I plan to continue checking in to document progress, in case this can help someone. I’m in a great place mentally compared to a year ago when I realized I had not made any visible progress at the gym. It’s important to be active and healthy but it’s also important to be able to see progress, it’s motivating just like how I’m motivated and what I’ve achieved so far.