The Magic Number

My magic number is 28.

No, it’s not pounds.

No, it’s not dress sizes.

It’s the number of years I

…fought an unknown condition.

…endured unbearable pain twice a month.

…spent thinking I was addicted to sugar.

…saw countless doctors who tried to convince me that my periods were normal and I was overly dramatic.

…took to gain the weight I now need to lose.

So, why do I think I’m going to beat this condition by doing exactly what I need to and have it play fair, when playing fair was never what it intended to do right out of the gate?  I am fastly embracing the idea that, for the first time in my life, I have a goal that I do NOT have complete control over.  Mrs. Type A Gargasz is having some trouble accepting that.

When I went to my meeting this evening the topic was:  What was going to be our big change this year and how were we going to break it down into smaller, bearable parts?

Good question.

I was good all week.  I weighed myself at home, obsessively, because I’m a little…okay, a lot…OCD.  It’s what I do.  Tuesday I was on track to have lost almost 6 pounds for the week.

Then I ovulated.

My official weigh in was  a loss of .8 pounds.  I wanted to scream.  I wanted to put on boxing gloves and beat the living shit out of something, anything.  If PCOS only had a face….

I walked into my meeting fighting back tears born of frustration and anger, conjured by my complete lack of control over my body.  I wanted to walk out.  I wanted to go to the bathroom and scream and cry.  I wanted to give up.

Then Stacy asked how I was.  All I could do was growl.  I didn’t want to get into the details because I felt a rant boiling just under the surface.  I simply told her my weigh in should have been better.  That, due to nothing I did wrong, it sucked and had only lost just under a pound.

Then she said to me, “Well, you LOST that because you did SOMETHING right.”

Her “rightness” washed over me.  While it would have been socially inappropriate for me to kiss the woman in public, it’s exactly what I felt like doing.

So, as the meeting wore on and Lynn, our fearless and loving leader, challenged us to find our big goal and break it down, the number 28 popped into my head and stayed there.  My goal became very clear.

Expectations:  My big change.

I have to change the expectations I have.  It has to be enough to expect to do my tracking, to follow my points, to be as active as I can in all the moments that I can.

I’m coming up on my year anniversary with Weight Watchers this May.  I’ve married my change to my broken down goal.

28 years.

That’s how long I took to get this way.

I cannot expect to lose it faster than that.

That doesn’t mean that I can give up fighting.  It simply means that I will not let PCOS win.  I will not let my expectations wane simply because my endocrine system has other plans.  That also doesn’t mean that I have to accept that daunting 28 year goal as the be all, end all.

You see, if I lose the weight before that goal of 28 years, then I win and PCOS loses.

I’ve got to take that goal one meal at a time, one day at a time.

So, PCOS, to you I say:


And not tomorrow, either.






About Miranda Gargasz

Miranda Gargasz is a freelance writer. Many of her essays can be found on sites like ScaryMommy, The Christian Science Monitor and The Huffington Post. In 2014, she published Lemonade and Holy Stuff and in 2016 she published Plus Size Mama: An overweight mom gets real about weight loss. She is also a contributor to Only Trollops Shave Above the Knee, and Lose the Cape: Never Will I Ever. Her debut novel, Haunting Suspicion, is being sent to agents for representation. She is currently working on her second novel, Dragonfly, about learning to love what you have before it's gone.
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11 Responses to The Magic Number

  1. Well said, Sista! So sorry you worked hard all week and got so little reward. But, if you hadn’t done what you did, you might have GAINED weight. Maybe next week the reward will come. Hang in there, Sweetie. Hope you are managing the snow and cold alright. I hear it’s been a bad winter.

    Hugs from Ecuador,

    • I keep trying to focus on next week and just put this past week behind me. Damn thing!…….Actually, here it’s been a pretty average winter. The only problems were a few days the temp was really low, but it’s Ohio. I’m not sure why everyone around here is so shocked. I think it’s because the last few years have been so very, very mild everyone has amnesia. I’m sure your Ecuadorian summer (or is it spring now?) is far better than the snow and -35 wind chills we’ve been having. When I’m cold I just think of you and Sara, enjoying your mountains, llamas and volcanoes. 😉

  2. Beth Ann says:

    You are working so hard and it has to be so disheartening when the weight does not go away like you want but keep going. I love what Stacy said and Lynn’s encouragement to break it down is perfect. Baby steps, right? Easy to say but hard to actually embrace. You are an inspiration and every time you write a post about this journey it makes me so proud of you. Keep on keeping on!

  3. ree says:

    You are my hero!!!

  4. natz994 says:

    This is exactly like me! The thought of being sugar addicted, I had that for so long! I think I started developing these symptoms when I was as young as about 8 or 9… the uncontrollable weight gain, the sugar cravings … always been irregular since i first started … I’m on metformin now which helps quite a lot, I start gaining weight again whenever I come off it. I’m trying to lose weight, started today (check out my blog if you like). It’s going to be a long journey with 80lb to lose! I’ve decided enough is enough, I HAVE to lose weight now, it’s getting to the point where I’ve been having operations to remove humongous cysts (and when I say humongous I mean it, I’m talking from my pelvis up to inside my ribs squashing most of my organs! So as you put it “Not today bitch”, today is the day I turn my life around and beat PCOS for good!

    • It is my personal belief that us “cysters” were born with this condition and that it only goes bonkers when the hormones for puberty get rolling. I was 38 years old when they finally diagnosed me and put me on Metformin also. I have not had the luck you’ve had with the weight loss, though. Metformin really helps with the pain I experience. That in itself is a Godsend! I’ve never had to have my cysts removed. They always seem to burst for me which is no picnic either. Here’s to fighting the good fight! We can’t let this rule our lives anymore!

  5. Rooting for you from here! Also, the bit about breaking things down into manageable pieces made me smile in light of a moment yesterday. We’d had a backlog of dishes for months before I finally devastated it two weeks ago. I took them down one load at a time, which I thought about while doing the only then required then. a whole counterful takes a lot right now, but a single load? Not so bad at all!

    • Good for you! It sounds so simple to break it down, but I always find myself forgetting to take it in smaller, less anxiety inducing hunks. The same could be said for writing and editing, huh?

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