Hey there, welcome to episode 45 of the Nourished with PCOS podcast, where we’re doing a deep dive into a very common question:
“How can I find a balance between letting go of dieting and improving my health with PCOS?”
Sam’s podcast episode is packed with insights that encourage us to rethink our approach to health, challenge diet culture, and prioritize holistic well-being. Let’s break it down and explore the key takeaways from this podcast episode.
What Does Health Mean to You with PCOS?
When it comes to defining health, Sam urges us to go beyond the narrow definitions often based on BMI or the absence of disease. Instead, she encourages us to think of health as a dynamic mix encompassing physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects.
Health is not just about whether your labs are within range or you don’t have any chronic illnesses (this is impossible for most people). Health is all about creating a personalized understanding of health that aligns with our experiences and values.
Influences on Our Health Perceptions
We all carry preconceived notions about health that are shaped by our surroundings, from family dynamics to social circles. Sam prompts us to examine those influences and consider a broader perspective, opening the door to more inclusive and individualized views of well-being.
Health as a Continuum
The Association for Size Diversity and Health (ASDAH) has brought us Health at Every Size and they suggest a great way of thinking about health?
They advocate for a refreshing approach that views health as a variable, adapting to the shifts in our lives. Health looks different for everyone depending on your as an individual. This outlook frees us from rigid expectations that health is an end goal or moral value, and empowers us to embrace a more fluid vision of well-being.
Your Personal Dieting Experience
Sam raises a thought-provoking question: Has dieting truly contributed to your long-term health? By trusting our own experiences and critically assessing the impact of dieting, we can steer our health journey in a more sustainable and effective direction.
Balancing Risks and Benefits
Weight cycling and yo-yo dieting can come with a range of negative effects, from emotional distress to physiological changes. Dieting is actually associated with worsening inflammation, higher blood sugar, poorer heart health and depression.
Acknowledging these potential risks empowers us to make informed decisions, prioritizing well-being over short-lived weight loss efforts.
Addressing the Core Health Issues
Sam urges us to discern between genuine health challenges and the distractions often posed by weight-centric approaches.
If you have a desire to lose weight, make a list of all of the reasons why. Can you start addressing those reasons individually?
For example, if you want to lose weight because you want your jeans to fit then could a solution be to purchase clothing that fits your current body?
Or if you want to lose weight to lower your blood sugar, then could you focus on behaviors associated with lowering blood sugar? Such as body movement, increasing plants in your diet, and pairing carbs with fats and protein?
By pinpointing the root causes of physical discomfort or why weight loss feels important, we can pave the way for a more supportive and effective health journey.
The Influence of Diet Culture
Confronting diet culture can be a game-changer. When we recognize the pitfalls of diet culture and break free of these, we can cultivate mindsets and practices that genuinely support our overall well-being.
Summing It Up
Sam’s podcast episode offers a refreshing perspective that challenges the status quo, inspiring us to embark on a journey that places well-being at the forefront. By embracing individualized, compassionate, and sustainable health practices, we can navigate the complexities of managing PCOS and nurture our holistic well-being with grace and self-compassion.
Embracing health without dieting isn’t just a shift in approach; it’s a liberating journey of self-discovery and well-being. And Sam’s insights can serve as our compass, guiding us toward empowered and nourished living with PCOS.