A Step-Wise Guide to The Hurried Woman
Energize Your Life and Moods, Achieve Successful Lifelong Weight Management, and Rekindle the Fire in Your Relationships
by Brent W. Bost, MD, FACOG
Section I : Fatigue - "Life must go on . . . but I can't remember why"
Even if you don't feel this way yet, it is quite possible that these feelings are "coming soon to a theater near you!" - they may be just around the corner. Most women who complain of any one of the three main symptoms of the Hurried Woman Syndrome - fatigue, weight gain, or low sex drive - will eventually complain of fatigue or a down mood, even if they don't have it at first. Many women have told me after treatment that they just didn't realize how tired they really were until they started finally feeling better!
If you are tired all the time, feel in a down mood more than you used to, or it just seems that a lot of the "joy in life" has become the "annoy in life", then Section I is just what you need to feel better.
Take the Attitude and Mood Self-Assessment Quiz
You'll find the Attitude and Mood Self-Assessment test in Appendix A of the book (it's also in the main section of this website). Women who are depressed need to seek immediate medical attention, while those who are "pre-depressed" have other options they can try first. This is a critical first step in assessing the underlying cause of your fatigue. Regardless of where your score falls, the results from your mood assessment test will help your doctor determine the best course of treatment for your fatigue and/or mood problems, after you have been evaluated medically.
Never assume that your fatigue is "in your head", until your doctor proves that it isn't in your body! There are several medical causes for fatigue that need to be looked at before ascribing it all to the Hurried Woman Syndrome. The most common of these are: anemia, thyroid disease, vitamin deficiencies, chronic infections, immunologic problems, and hormonal imbalances, such as menopause or "peri-menopause". Also, women who complain of a low sex drive will want to get a serum testosterone level checked. Each of these conditions need to be addressed in the work-up, and your doctor may want to look at other problems after taking your history and examining you.
Chapter 2 - "Medical Causes of Fatigue" discusses the more common medical areas for concern. I recommend reading it before you go to the doctor. This will make your visit more meaningful and hopefully get you feeling better faster.
Section II : Weight Control - "God must love calories - that's why He made so many of them"
Everyone should read this section on weight control for two main reasons. First, although you may not have a weight problem now, over half of the women in America eventually get one! That is a sobering statistic when you think about it. Most women who are 30 years old today will gain 20 pounds by the time they are 50. So, even if you don't have weight troubles yet, you may have them later. Now is an excellent time to learn how your body controls your weight, because if you later find yourself in the "lucky half" of women who have trouble with weight gain, you'll be prepared to deal with it --- or perhaps, keep it from happening in the first place. Second, you probably have several friends or family members who are constantly complaining about their weight. These women are on a new diet every time you turn around. Many of them have swallowed (no pun intended!) a lot of the misinformation that's out there for public consumption concerning good nutrition, the "right way" to lose weight, and to keep it off effectively. These people need your help! Section II contains valuable information that could help these women quit wasting their time on fad diets that don't work, and start a program of weight control that has been tested and proven to work, in the long-run. You can be a good friend by helping these poor souls finally find the answer to their weight problem. Share what you've read here with them, and encourage them to try it because it makes sense, and most importantly, it works!
If you are currently working on controlling your weight, the information you find in Section II on diet and exercise will be a revelation to you. It will also provide you with a road map to follow for lifelong weight control that actually works - Use it, and lose it! (What a refreshing change in strategy, eh?)
Chapter 9 - "Getting Started" outlines the ten-step program for successful lifelong weight control. It starts by assessing where you are now and where you want to go. It then guides you to finding the proper balance of diet and exercise that will get the weight off and keep it off - forever! Unlike fad diets that are complicated, inflexible, harsh, restrictive, and don't work in the long-run anyway, the weight control method presented here is simple, flexible, and adaptable to anyone's lifestyle. More importantly, it actually works. Don't forget to read the frequently asked questions (FAQs) at the end of this section. They will help show you practical ways to make the program fit your individual needs.
Section III : Sex Drive - "Not tonight, I've got a Pulse"
The first four chapters in this section (Chapters 11 through 14) will give you a quick yet thorough understanding of the differences between men and women and how these differences affect our love relationships, particularly the physical aspects. A lot of what you read won't be new, but perhaps it will give you new insight into why the two of you view making love differently and how to find that "middle ground" to experiencing a more fulfilling sex life. (In other words, how to make the darned thing work better!)
You should have your partner read Chapter 16 - "Low Sex Drive - Solutions for Men." You may have to bribe him to get him to read it, but if he does, it'll make a huge difference in your life together - not just in your physical relationship, but also in the "relationship part" of your relationship! Whether you're newlyweds, just dating, or been married for a hundred years, this section will help you revitalize your love and life together.
"Knowledge may be power," but applied knowledge is success! If you can use what you learn in Section III, you can improve your primary love relationship. Most marriages that don't succeed, fail for lack of effort in this area. There are simply too many things in this life that act to pull people away from each other. This is why it takes hard work to keep even the best marriage alive and happy. In fact, most couples only see improvement in their relationship when they decide to work on it, and lose ground when they don't. Yet, this is an area in which hard work pays off big. Make the effort now - unfortunately, most people get this right in their next marriage.
Section IV : "Becoming an Un-Hurried Woman"
The first step to eliminating unnecessary stress and hurry is to do some serious soul-searching, admit your limitations, and re-evaluate your priorities. Chapter 18 "Prioritize: Put the Big Rocks in First", will provide you with the tools to analyze your limitations, re-establish priorities, and do some long-term goal setting. After you've read this chapter, you'll need to spend some quality time alone, (and then with your spouse if you have one), thinking and praying about your short- and long-term goals, and how to reach them realistically, with the resources available to you.
Chapter 19 - "Simplify, Simplify, Simplify!" will show you strategies for removing the "clutter" from almost every area of your life. From managing your personal finances to doing the laundry, this chapter reveals practical suggestions for taking much of the unnecessary worry out of the things you own and the things you do. Doing this will allow you to "smell the roses" a little easier.
Finally, Chapter 20 - "Get Organized Now" will give you simple ways to organize and prioritize your everyday schedule, children's activities and responsibilities, as well as deal with discipline in the home.
To sum up the strategy - (1) admit to and identify your limitations and strengths, (2) use these to re-think and re-shape your priorities and goals, (3) simplify the things you own and your activities to minimize stress and maximize enjoyment, (4) organize what's left so you can achieve your goals and take control of your life rather than letting it take control of you, then (5) continually repeat these four steps to keep on track. This is not an exercise you do once and forget - life is constantly changing. You must periodically re-evaluate your situation to stay focused on your goals and ultimately achieve them.
The Hurried Woman offers you an integrated plan to conquer fatigue, improve your moods, lose weight and keep it off, and improve your marriage relationship both in and out of the bedroom. Use it!