September was PCOS Awareness Month and I set myself the goal of actively improving my health after reading up on lifestyle changes that benefit a person with PCOS. Following my diagnosis last year, I admittedly did little research and didn’t change any of my habits. Because of this, my skin was the worst it had ever been and my weight was not something I was fully comfortable with. Using information from my PCOS research, I set myself the challenge of improving my diet and walking 10,000 steps a every day in September… so, how did I get on?
All in all, I’m going to give myself a pat on the back and say ‘not bad, Jess!’
I have cut down on dairy and gluten and I think I have done this well (at least, as an ex-cheese fiend I have, anyway). I still have some gluten and some dairy as I don’t want to cut either out of my diet completely in case I then become intolerant to them, but I have definitely cut down my intake enormously.
Gluten hasn’t been too bad to cut out simply because there are so many gluten free options nowadays and they all taste really good! I can’t tell the difference between gluten free pasta or normal pasta and so many restaurants have gluten free options, so adjusting my gluten intake hasn’t been as bad as I had expected.
I struggled cutting down how much cheese I ate more. Dairy free cheese tastes like someone has said ‘this is what cheese tastes like’ and the manufacturers have taken that description to the extreme. The taste is still growing on me, but I’ll get there… I hope!
I am not a chef – if anything, I’m a bit of a disaster in the kitchen – but I have found it fun to try out new ideas and food pairings. Some of my favourite recipes/food choices are shown in these photos – sweet potato noodles, gluten free tortilla chips with avocado dip, peanut butter and apple, chilli veg and gluten free quinoa rice and chilli avocado on corn fritters.
As for the 10,000 steps a day, that was hit and miss. With working from home, it’s not always easy to get steps, so on days I did less steps, I made sure I did some low impact exercise like yoga or Pilates. However, whenever I got the opportunity, I went for a walk around the local park and Jack and I filled our weekends with getting out and about. This level of activity in my life is something I want to continue to build on.
Whilst reading about these changes is all well and good, what has been the impact of them?
Well, even after just one month, I have noticed an improvement in all areas I was concerned about. My skin is SO much clearer now. In fact, the first week of making the changes, I met some friends for book club and they commented on how good my skin looked. Whilst I was never on a ‘weight loss mission’, I feel a little better in myself and have found that clothes that were a little tight before seem to fit better. I am looking forward to continuing with these changes and I am hopeful I will continue to see improvements.
All in all, this month has shown me that I can make changes and that they are beneficial. Sure, there are things I could have done more or times I could have been stricter with myself, but lifestyle changes don’t happen overnight. I never want to feel like my PCOS has taken over my life and is dictating my choices. I want it to be a part of who I am, but not all of who I am. So please, still invite me to your cheese and wine nights – I will be there!
If you like what you have read or what to keep updated with my PCOS journey, why not follow me on Instagram at @thegoodineverydayblog?