A few months back I wrote a column in the Huffington Post on why I quit my diet. I didn't go in-depth into my medical condition because I felt it wasn't anyone's business. Now I'm thinking...that train of thought was a bit of a disservice to the ladies that follow my blog. So here goes...yes, I have PCOS. Now I'll explain what the hell it is.....
WHAT THE HECK IS PCOS
Annie and I are identical twins, and we've both been diagnosed with PCOS which stands for Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome. PCOS is a condition in which a woman's levels of the sex hormones estrogen and progesterone are out of balance. This leads to the growth of ovarian cysts (benign masses on the ovaries) some women stop having their periods all together and it is also a cause of infertility. PCOS can cause uncontrollable weight gain, thinning hair on the head, increased body hair on the face and other areas of the body. I've had large cysts burst and have had to make quite a few emergency room visits over the years. Not a pleasant experience.
PCOS HAS MADE ME INFERTILE
I'm infertile. I can't have children. I have a husband who seems to go on a rant about how much we hate kids, when people ask my why we haven't had a baby.
He's come to the realization that we won't be parents and he's fine with it.
He beaks off about the kid-hating..I think, to spare my feelings or to protect me.
He wants people to stop asking and to leave me alone.
I don't think Ryan could have cared less if we had children or not..though he personally leans towards "not."
I have always wanted a family and the news that I'm infertile was pretty heartbreaking..so I geared my life into career mode, and found fulfillment there.
( So family: If anyone wants to make me a god-mother someday....please ask me..it would be a total honour...my reasons for not procreating are far from selfish ones)
PCOS CAUSES WEIGHT GAIN
Let's get back to the PCOS.....it can cause some serious weight gain.
Women with PCOS produce too much insulin, or the insulin they produce does not work as it should. The inability of insulin to function normally is one reason why women with PCOS tend to gain weight or have a hard time losing weight.
I knew something was off with me when I was a teenager....I went from a skinny kid to overweight in a span of a year. When I eat anything that contains sugar I blow up like a balloon. Diets never seem to work, I would rarely lose any weight unless I completely starved myself.
PEOPLE DON'T BELIEVE ME
It's very difficult to have people call me fat..because they think I am a lazy person, or an overeater....I eat the same portions as my husband who weights around 150 pounds. We have a similar excericse routine...and yet he stays tiny.
It can be very frustrating dealing with the misinformed... I've been told that PCOS is something I made up, an excuse for my obesity. I'm here to tell you it's a disease and it's very, very real. I want to tell anyone who ever questioned me about my weight, or gave me advice on what to eat, or scolded me for having a piece of pie, or scoop of ice cream....to go fuck themselves. We are not the same.
It's a vicious cycle. To lesson the symptoms of PCOS..you need to lose weight, but it's impossible to lose weight because I have PCOS.
( Some people reading this right now are probably scoffing, and still think I'm making excuses)
WHAT SEEMS TO WORK.
I have done my research and a few things do seem to work...
Because my body has become insulin resistant, I switched from a diet like Weight Watchers to something that has been shown to reduce insulin resistance, basically low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet (LCKD) or the Atkins plan ( PS I HATE THE WORD DIET so, let's not use it)
On Atkins I saw immediate results..the weight came off quickly. Side affect... as soon I started to reintroduce food with sugar, the weigh tloss stopped. When I returned to eating normal foods, I ballooned up again.
So I have returned to Atkins, and this time, I'm hoping to stay in the Induction phase until I reach a weight where my body functions more normally.
I don't want or need to be super thin. I just want to get healthy. I would be very happy to be a size 14/16. I like who I am, and I like my curves and I want to keep them.
Another thing I have learned that a drug called Metformin may help regulate PCOS..I'm looking into this with my family doctor and I have started a supplement called Chromium, that also is suppose to help regulate my glucose levels.
(before you take any of my advice, consult your doctor first) :)
I'll keep you posted on what my doctor says about this.
Anyway, my daily struggles may be your daily struggles. If you have PCOS, I'd like to hear about what you've heard!