87: How to make sustainable lifestyle changes without guilt for not being perfect, food FOMO and feeling demotivated

Struggling with trying to not be a perfectionist when it comes to making sustainable PCOS lifestyle changes? Finding it hard to stick to changes because those around you aren’t living as healthily? Not seeing results and it’s demotivating you?

Change is damn hard. Whether you’ve been working on your PCOS for a couple of months or a few decades, switching up your lifestyle and trying to find out what works for your symptoms can be a mission.

It’s hard to find the balance between living a life that’s healthy for you and your PCOS root cause and not being too restrictive. The goal is to make sustainable lifestyle changes but that can be easier said than done.

If you’ve been a part of my community for a while, you’ll know I preach the 80/20 approach when it comes to working on and managing your PCOS symptoms. The reason being is because being 100% all the time doesn’t work (I can tell you from my personal and clinical experience) and because I want you to be able to get away with as much as possible! Because life is for living and we don’t get anywhere when we’re extremely restrictive on ourselves – it does more harm than good.

But how do you allow yourself to only be 80% rather than letting your perfectionist tendencies take over? How do you not feel guilty for that 20% of the time? What about when you feel like a burden when out with family and friends? Or will people judge you or think you’re weird for not changing an aspect of your lifestyle? How do you stay consistent when you’re not seeing any changes physically? What if those around you aren’t living a healthy lifestyle?

I put out a Q&A box on my Instagram a few weeks ago asking you all what you found hardest about lifestyle changes and living that 80/20 approach that I always talk about – and WOW, I had the most responses I think I’ve ever had! There were so many that we’ve decided to split this into two separate episodes. 

I also think this part of improving your PCOS – the actual habit change part – isn’t talked about enough. So in today’s episode of The PCOS Nutritionist Podcast, my wonderful colleague, Sophia and I, talk all about 80/20 and give you advice on your questions around habit changes (because we’ve both been through our fair share over the years!).

This episode is for you if:

  • You’re a ‘type A’ person and struggle with a perfectionist mindset
  • It’s hard for you to define the line between being 80/20 and slipping into old habits
  • You struggle with guilt when you let yourself enjoy that 20% of not eating for your root cause
  • Maintaining the lifestyle changes while with friends and family is hard for you
  • It feels like a science to figure out what foods to eat and not eat
  • Your doctor hasn’t been helpful in determining your root cause
  • You find it hard to stay consistent with your changes when you aren’t seeing results
  • Picking up after ‘breaking’ or taking time off PCOS lifestyle changes is really hard for you
  • You feel like an inconvenience to those around you with having a different way of eating and living
  • Finding time to prepare food and incorporate practices to help your PCOS amongst a stressful job, family and friends feels like too much to manage
  • Those around you don’t have PCOS or a chronic condition they have to manage so it’s hard for you to stay ‘on track’

Some things we cover in this episode:

  • Food guilt
  • How to manage the feelings of food FOMO
  • Differentiating between slipping into old habits and actually allowing yourself to enjoy that 20% of the 80/20 approach
  • Managing your lifestyle changes when you have lots of stress
  • What to do if you find managing the changes hard when out socialising
  • Understanding what foods to eat and what to avoid for your PCOS
  • How to manage those around you not having to make the same changes
  • Who to turn to if you’re unsure of your root cause
  • Consistency with keeping up your lifestyle changes
  • What to do if you’re getting demotivated by not seeing results
  • Managing your lifestyle changes when you have limited time