The essence of knowledge is, having it, to apply it.
Knowledge is of no value unless you put it into practice.
- Anton Chekhov
In my pursuit to learn about PCOS and how I can better handle my symptoms, I have gained quite a bit of knowledge. Seriously I even read a freaking encyclopedia on the syndrome. (Okay so it really just felt like it!) However, I could have all the knowledge in the world about PCOS but if I don't do anything with it, it is worthless. That said, putting all this into practice isn't necessarily the easiest thing to do! I've had to spend a lot more time planning meals, preparing healthy side dishes and such. I mean I've tried to eat more vegetables, fruits and whole grains in the past few years, but I never thought this much about food and whether I was doing okay with my carb load and such. It can take a lot to get use to it!
I decided to start this new dietary way of life in mid-May. I use an online calorie calculator (that also tracks pretty much everything required on a nutrition label) to help me. Each day I can make a notation about how that day went. I love this feature and have used it. It is nice to see where I have been and also make notes of where I need to improve/things to watch out for. I will be heavily relying on those notes to help me write future posts about how I'm doing on this plan.
For about a week before I started my new dietary plan I felt like I needed to be eating ALL afternoon. Granted I thought this was a pregnancy thing, but it never stopped. I could seriously snack for 3-4 hours and never be satisfied. I went through almost a whole box of cereal during this time... plus several other things! I honestly felt like I NEEDED to eat, but at the same time I did not feel hungry... I don't like the combination of those two signals!
When I started my dietary plan I still had those cravings, however I decided my health was worth not eating all afternoon and limiting my carbs (since I tended to eat only carbs all afternoon). To start my plan I calculated my Base Metabolic Rate (BMR) and added 300 calories - recommended extra calorie intake per day for pregnant women. That totaled 2000 calories - well actually 1999 but I figured I could round up ;). I also figured I should be eating 225 grams of carbohydrates every day (I only count carbs in fruits, dairy, grains, and sugars. I do not count carbs in proteins or vegetables... unless the protein is breaded!)
I have since learned that my above calculation was flawed... of course it would be. :). I learned this because I did a search for an online BMR calculator. I just clicked on the first link that came up and after it calculated my BMR it said, now you can calculate your daily calorie needs... Which happens to be from 1.2 (sedentary or little activity) to 1.9 (think professional athlete) times what the BMR number is... So I was eating 2000 calories which is enough to maintain my weight with a sedentary lifestyle. Which worked because I wasn't feeling so well the first week and a half on my new eating plan and thus not doing any exercise or related activity (at least I wasn't purposefully losing weight!) I have since adjusted my calories for each day and my carbs limit as well. For now I try to eat a minimum of 2200 calories and a maximum of 250 carbs (just what I count in the carbs category...) Another part of this equation is that the online calorie calculator I use also subtracts exercise from the calories eaten so I can adjust and eat more for the amount of exercise I do. (Of course if I wasn't pregnant I wouldn't worry about eating extra calories!)
But let's be honest about me and exercise right now... it is hard! I can do prenatal yoga, but I can't simply go on a walk. I have an issue with my Sacral-Illiac joint while pregnant and walking tends to aggravate it. As do most other physical activities. Doing yoga can sometimes prove... interesting. My toddler decides that it is not time to exercise occasionally and dealing with that while trying to do yoga does not help me have a good practice. Other times he 'needs' the modification props I use to help me in my basket-ball belly state (I typically get him a pillow and blanket so I can at least still use those). Thus motivation slips quite a lot. I know I SHOULD be doing it, but the reality of it is that sometimes I just can't handle it. I have been discussing this with my husband and we're trying to come up with a game plan... but haven't yet.
This is part of my series on PCOS and learning to understand and live with it. *I am not a medical professional, nor do I have a lot of knowledge of PCOS other than what I've read. This is just me, my opinions, how I understand PCOS and how I am dealing with it.