Two weeks ago, I spoke at an event where, in passing, I mentioned that I have PCOS. Mainly, I was lamenting that pizza is just a memory in my life. Whah whah.

To most people, the acronym PCOS doesn’t even stick in their minds. But for girls who have struggled – with infertility, weight issues, hair loss, etc – it brings tears to their eyes. Or so they told me, after I came off the stage.

And immediately I told them about PCOS Diva. Here’s the thing about Amy- she doesn’t have all the answers about this particular disease, but she curates tons of the answers, and knows A LOT. At this point, I have done extensive research and reading and she really is the best PCOS website with the most information.

And as you’ll recall, I did the PCOS Jumpstart Program a few weeks ago. You pay $99 and get a full menu and shopping list, a schedule for the week, and access to daily classes – with tips, reflections, and the ability to chat with and encourage the other women in the same program.

Now that I’ve completed the Jumpstart Program, I promised you my thoughts, so here they are:

— I was surprised how much the week focused on self-care. I was unaware how much self-care matters when it comes to PCOS symptoms. But it’s true and I have seen it in my life- my symptoms rage when I’m stressed and tired, but when I’m well-rested and handling my stress well, I’m much healthier.

— If I have healthy snacks and foods in my house, I will eat them. If those are the options, I eat at home more and I eat better.

— Menu planning for a week is worth the work and effort- to make the grocery list and look at the week as a whole. BUT…

— Following a menu that makes 4+ servings per recipe gets tough for a singlet. So I ended up freezing some portions of food that I made- whether it was soups or granola bars- my freezer is packed.

— Because of PCOS, my body needs salad greens every day. Gross. I don’t like them. But if I can make myself eat a serving of salad a day, it’s good for my bod. And that’s the goal– to do whatever it takes to make my body do right and feel right, even if I don’t like the taste.

— I’ll be better at a PCOS lifestyle when Cadbury Creme Eggs aren’t in season. 🙂

— The supplements that Amy tells you to take have had a really positive effect on me.

— The week was challenging- there is a lot of focus that Amy asks of you. If it would have been a week when I was traveling for speaking, I would not have been able to do it. Even so, I was gone for the last 36 hours of the week and I was unable to keep up with the “class” portion of the program.

So what now?

Here’s the reality: taking care of PCOS isn’t a diet. It’s not. Not even a little. It’s a way we get to live- something I will have to (get to?) think about every day of my life.

So this week was a great reminder of what matters, how much my health deserves attention regularly, and Amy offers great recipes, but it wasn’t a short term “diet” or quick fix. It was exactly what it is called- a jumpstart.

If you have PCOS, or know someone who does, I really recommend the Jumpstart Program. Also, feel free to share these PCOS blog posts with anyone you know who may have PCOS. I’m happy to share my journey with others!  

(By the way, Amy from PCOS Diva hasn’t paid me or asked me to blog about this. I just kinda feel like there are enough of you out there reading and wondering what to do with this disease that I’m happy to write about what I have found helpful.)