One of my biggest obstacles that I had to overcome in my weight loss journey was PCOS. It caused me the most frustration and hopelessness with my body. I truly thought there was no way I would ever be able to gain control back over my body or my life. For the longest time I didn’t even know what was going on, or why. It took over a year for me to figure it out. During that time, I was desperate and miserable. It didn’t help that while my mind and body was in complete confusion, I was dealing with some pretty severe post-partem depression. But let’s rewind slightly…
What is PCOS
PCOS or polycystic ovarian syndrome is a hormonal imbalance. If your cells become resistant to insulin, you will end up with an excess of insulin. There is not an exact science on what actually causes this issue. However, it is much more common than you would think. I’ve heard the statistic is 1 in 10 women. If you think about how many women that you know, chances are a few of them have some form of PCOS. One of the common issues that comes from the hormonal imbalance is cysts on your ovaries. It can cause a whole host of different problems
My Symptoms of PCOS
Cysts – I had multiple cysts on my ovaries and fibroids all around my uterus. These cysts were big enough my gynecologist did send them to the lab to make sure they weren’t cancerous. Thank goodness, this was not the case.
Weight Gain – I gained excessive weight. No matter what I did I felt as if I was blowing up like a balloon. I gained 60 pounds in just over a year.
Heavy Periods – This was one of the most exhausting parts of the entire thing. I was having HUGE periods. Like bleeding as heavy as I did after having my oldest child. This would last for 2 to 4 weeks, and I would have 1 to 2 weeks period free before it would start again.
Infertility – I don’t want to complain too much about this. I was not ovulating regularly, and I did struggle to get pregnant. However, I was blessed where all it took to get pregnant with my second child was Clomid.
Like I mentioned earlier it took over a year for me to get an actual answer to everything that was going on. I could have figured this out earlier if I had been more vocal and stood up for myself. I called my doctor’s office so many times while I was bleeding and gaining weight. I never even was given the right of having a message given to my doctor. I couldn’t get past the receptionist. They would tell me that unless I was passing tennis ball sized clots, it was considered normal (mine were only golf ball sized). They told me that sometimes people had longer periods. After months of this I was fed up. I called and said that I needed an appointment with my doctor. When they asked why I told them it was sensitive, and I didn’t want to disclose. I was finally able to see my doctor. She did an ultrasound and found the cysts and a few other tests. I was diagnosed and put on metformin. After a couple weeks on metformin, my weight finally started stabilizing. It was such a relief to know that there was something more going on and it wasn’t just me.
Overcoming This Obstacle
If any of you have struggled with PCOS, then I’m sure you know just how difficult it is to lose weight. My weight may have stabilized but it was still a huge struggle to bring that weight back down. It took a year, then a pregnancy and another baby, and another year and a half after that baby for me to start successfully losing weight. Thing is that it didn’t just magically start dropping. I was working my butt off, all the time! Strict working out and dieting. The weight I was losing was so minimal I didn’t think it was actually happening for a couple months. I was losing half a pound a week for about 6 months. This only attributed to about 13 pounds in 6 months!!! Ridiculously slow! It was frustrating and exhausting, but I was not willing to give up. I was finally seeing numbers go down no matter how slow it was happening. That summer I spent a lot of time outside, working out and sweating buckets. I lost another twenty pounds that summer. I was ecstatic. I relaxed for a while and focused on maintaining what I had done and taking care of my family without being a basket case. For another year and half, I avoided continuing my journey. I was happy to be 33 pounds lighter and felt so much better. Eventually, I knew that I wanted to continue my health journey and have the best body and mind that I could. The next six months I focused on not just my weight but my mind as well. I was more interested in becoming an overall healthy and happy person. I’ve lost another 40 pounds and I feel better than I have ever felt. I am happier than I ever have been.
My Current Situation
In my last Wednesday weekly check-in, I mentioned a doctor’s appointment that I just had. This is the first appointment since I lost this last forty pounds. My cysts have shrunk to less than a third of the size. Some have disappeared completely. My hormones have stabilized, and I don’t need any medication currently for PCOS. My health has greatly improved my PCOS situation. It took a lot of hard work and determination. It wasn’t easy but I did it!