On some level, I’ve known for awhile what is most likely the cause of my frustratingly slow weight loss of late, and what I need to do about it. But I’ve been avoiding it because it costs money, and that’s not something we’re flush with right now. However, a wonderful friend (I’m so lucky to have so many of those, aren’t I?) encouraged me this morning to take the plunge, and even though Nate has been doing the same for the last couple of weeks, I realized as I talked to her today that I really have to do it. And that step is:
Go to the doctor.
Background: I have PCOS, and it’s one of the reasons why I’ve gained so much weight over the years. (It was diagnosed when I struggled with infertility while trying to get pregnant.) Without denying my own responsibility for my weight gain (and I certainly have plenty), the insulin resistance (IR) that virtually always goes hand in hand with PCOS makes it easy to gain weight (by increasing cravings) and difficult to lose. Because insulin is at the heart of the issue, low carb diets usually work best for PCOS patients, and they’ve always worked well for me. But for some people, PCOS makes it very difficult to lose at all.
In the past, I’ve always lost just fine on low carb diets. That’s why the past few weeks have been so puzzling for me. However, being that I started at my highest weight ever, it’s a logical guess to make that my IR is also at its worst. (One of the great – and most frustrating – ironies of IR is that it often leads to weight gain, and then when you gain weight, the IR gets worse, and then you gain more weight and so on.) There are medications that help to reduce IR (the same ones that Type II diabetics take, actually, as they are related conditions – only my blood sugar doesn’t get out of control, my body just has to produce way too much insulin to keep it there, and I end up with extra insulin floating around my body, wreaking havoc), and I have taken some in the past, but I’ve been off them for a couple of years.
There’s no good reason for that other than when I first moved here, I had NO time for a doctor’s appointment (I was working 50+ hours per week and doing the single mom thing while Nate was still in Detroit) to get my prescription refilled. And also, I was still coasting along on the euphoria of having moved there and had this bizarre optimism that everything in my life would somehow just sort itself out.
And then? Once Nate was here and the euphoria had rubbed off? Well, I just kind of forgot. Or when I did think about it, I rationalized that I was doing OK, and I shouldn’t waste our money on an expensive doctor’s visit and prescription copays. Or when I was feeling dark, I did my favorite thing and told myself that being fat was my own damn fault and that if I were just a better person, I could get healthy on my own. It’s amazing the ways I find to sabotage myself.
Anyway, it’s all very stupid, and I know that, but there’s nothing I can do to change the past. What I can change is NOW. So after my friend’s urging, I picked up the phone and made myself an appointment with my doctor for Thursday morning. I’m hoping she’ll just give me a new prescription without making me go through the miserable 3-hour glucose test which proves that I’m IR again. That test makes me SO sick. But if that’s what I have to do, I’ll do it.
And then my plan is to continue to low carb for a month or two and see what happens once the medication kick in. If my weight loss becomes more normal, then I’ll have a good answer, and I’ll continue low carbing. If it doesn’t? Well, then I’ll head back to the doctor to figure out what’s going on and what the next step should be.
But I feel better already simply knowing that I have a plan. Without a plan, I tend to wallow. This gives me something to focus on and gives me back a sense of hope that this is the time when I will finally successfully lose weight. I haven’t given up yet, and that’s a bit of a victory in and of itself!