This article differs from many of my other articles as this is a more personal one for me. It is something that I have been thinking a lot about and it means the world to me. When I am fighting my carb cravings or feel just too tired to eat properly. When I feel like PCOS has gotten the better of me (there are days when we all feel like that!) this is what I think about to help me find a new level of resolve and to just keep going. I think of my daughter.
I am blessed to have the most beautiful, miraculous 3 year old little girl. She was conceived naturally, in spite of my PCOS (miracle #1). I carried her to term and had a healthy pregnancy (miracle #2). She didn’t breathe for 12 minutes when she was born and we were told she had suffered a severe insult to the brain. She’s now a happy, healthy and on-the-go little girl who has no medical issues at all (miracle #3).
But, by sheer virtue of the fact that I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, she is more likely to have it too as there is a strong genetic component to PCOS (1). It just doesn’t seem fair, does it?
Even as I sit and write this, I can feel myself digging my heels in, my determination grow as I think, “This far and no further…” I feel a little like Sigourney Weaver in Aliens (check it out on YouTube here)
There is hope
The good news is that Gracie’s health is not predetermined and we both have a say in the matter. You see, she may well be predisposed to PCOS but there are environmental and nutritional factors that come into play as well. She may not develop PCOS at all, even though she is at risk of it (2).
We know that obesity is a high risk for the development of PCOS and this is becoming more clear as we have increasing access to an abundant and inexpensive supply of food. (1) We also tend to lead more sedentary lifestyles where we expend less energy than we consume, leading to a tendency towards obesity.
Research has also found that the quality of food we eat is important in the development of PCOS. We should be focusing on unrefined and unprocessed foods.
My Responsibility to my Daughter
So, with all of that in mind, this is what I feel is my responsibility to myself, as well as to my daughter:
- To make sure that there is always delicious, wholesome, unprocessed food available for her so that her body will be nourished and well-looked after. As a family, we will all eat well to ensure we are all functioning at our best.
- Teach her the skills that she will one day need to be healthy and independent, making wise food choices. So, I see lots of fun cooking and baking sessions in the future. I hope to instill in her a love of healthy food and all that goes into preparing it.
- Set a good example of a healthy relationship with food, fighting the cravings and using food to feed my body, not my emotions.
- Make activity and exercise a part of our every day life with frequent cycle rides, trips to the park, swimming and other fun activities. We will be an active and fit family.
- Always help her to see how beautiful she is, inside and out. Remind her that her beauty lies in her fierce determination, insatiable curiosity and compassion and quirky sense of humour.
- Try to set a good example for her, looking after myself and loving myself the way I hope she will one day love herself.
Sometimes, we don’t feel that we are worth the effort of changing our diets and lifestyles. Or we are too stressed or too busy or we just have too much on our plates to mange our PCOS. The way I see it though, is that we have a responsibility, not just to ourselves, but also to our daughters. If you don’t feel that you are worth all of the effort involved, I know you would do ANYTHING to make sure your daughter does not feel the full effects of PCOS.
So, it’s time to look PCOS in the eye and say, “Get away from her (and me), you b*tch!”
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