I have a facebook page where we everyone who has pcos can join together. You can find it here. Due to this facebook page and some other pages on facebook, I have found an overwhelming amount of girls have PCOS and are fighting to be healthy and happy.
I want to share more than just my experience with PCOS and Kirstin was willing to do a guest post. She is SO cute! And SO inspiring!! So read on!
Growing up I was not only raised to eat whatever I wanted, however much I wanted, but I also did not eat healthy foods whatsoever. I was quite active, played outside (as us children did of the 80’s & 90’s), before the technology world appeared. I didn’t play a lot of sports but as a freshman in high school, I tried out for X Country (hence the start of my love for running – stay tuned). However, I wasn’t able to continue after my freshman year due to that magical tree fairy not proving $$$ for gas in my car.
Fast forward to my 20’s… still skinny as a rail, and my lunches consisted of PBJ (all sugar), cookies, chips, soda (yuck just thinking about it), and lots of pasta, or whatever else I wanted. As I progressed to the ripe age of about 25… I started noticing some changes… gaining around 10 pounds a year and going up a pant size each year thereafter… just thinking I guess this is what happens as you reach closer to your 30’s. No big deal whatever. After dealing w/ some major personal stresses, being single again, I had ALL this time to hit the gym, aka keep my mind off other things. But the scale NEVER CHANGED. Racking my brain around what am I doing wrong??!!!
Then out of nowhere, that summer, I met my now amazing husband. Who loved the outdoors, camping, 4 wheeling, campfires = hot dogs, chips, and smores… oh my. And losing track of where the gym was, and my time. After a move to another state, the stresses of trying to find a new job, and planning a wedding, eating healthy and working out was not on the radar. We talked about kids but it wasn’t a priority right away (more info on that in a minute).
After buying our first home that had 3 ripe bedrooms waiting for occupancy… every woman’s motherly instincts kicked in. Time to start talking about a family. We tried for about a year… and something just felt off. I knew my periods were not normal, coming around every 40 days or so, but didn’t think anything of it. And I also knew it was time for a yearly exam and needed to find a new dr. in my new state anyway. I expressed my concerns with her, and she suggested I talk to their in-house infertility specialist. My husband and I met w/ him and he suggested we do some blood work, and conduct an internal ultrasound. Ok whatever, maybe this is normal?? Then the bombshell came, you have Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome – WHHAAATTT!!! And what is that?? Explaining to me I hold on to sugar and don’t process it like others, “insulin resistant”. He said you also have a “ring of pearls” around your ovaries which causes you not to ovulate, and release an egg. Even more awesome! And even more, your hormone levels are way off. Huge blow and extremely crushing. I came back to work and started researching what it was, and the probabilities of having children?? He then wanted my husband to do some testing as well… results = we both have infertility issues. Awesome I thought… with a million thoughts running through my head of why us? He gave us the options of not only treating PCOS but also what our options were to conceive. We discussed and decided to move forward… not realizing the extent and time involved. That lasted about a month… and I said no more… this is WAY too expensive… and I can’t go through this roller coaster.
So-on we went with life. If it wasn’t going to happen naturally than such is life. January 2011 I was at my all-time heaviest pushing 170 and wearing a size 12, and feeling disgusting. Started WW, and lost around 10 pounds or so… the hardest 10 pounds of my life btw. Then life happened again, my husband was critically injured in a logging accident, August 2011, and I had a home full of guests, and lots of eating. January 2012… I had, had enough… I hired a personal trainer and worked harder than I ever have before. The scale not moving much, thinking it must just be b/c I’m gaining muscle. But also, the inches… not so great either… thinking WHAT is happening. I’m eating good, 6 small meals a day, ugh. Maybe this is what happens when you hit those 30’s??!! This spring, it was time to go back for my yearly again, and I expressed my concerns, with my “shelf” of a gut, and not losing any weight no matter how much I did. She suggested Metformin; 500mg once a day, and twice a day after about a month. When I first started taking it, I felt awful, dizzy (worst feeling ever), headache, etc. Not being a fan of taking prescription drugs, even refusing to take Tylenol or Advil for even a headache, but if Metformin will keep the weight off, and help me feel a little more flattering, I’m going to give this a try, something has to work!
I have now been taking it full time, for a few months, and just within the last few weeks, have successfully gotten past this plateau, and I am almost to my goal weight of 135. I can fit into a size 8, and also feel amazing. I still watch what I eat, still work out 5-6x a week, and have been doing more strength straining, on the days I don’t run. I did my first race, 7.46 miles this spring, thinking I will run and walk when I can’t run anymore, and I ran the whole thing, best feeling ever. Now no medals were won, but by golly I finished that race in an all out sprint. I also, ran in the dirty dash in June, a 5k through mud, yes you read it right = so fun. And why not go all out, and sign up for my first ever ½ marathon in September. Hence my love for running.
As I look back, I HAD ALL THE TYPICAL SIGNS… oily skin, unwanted facial hair, and in other places it shouldn’t be, that weren’t so flattering… I have done lots of reading, but even w/ having PCOS, everyone is so different. We are all in this together. I am by far not perfect, I have my bad days, binge eat, and have days of feeling disgust, but I get back on the weight loss/maintenance train and push forward some more.
A huge thank you to Paige for starting your blog, and facebook page, for all of us to join together as one with PCOS. It’s great to finally have a resource to go to, to ask for advice, vent, or share what works for you/or doesn’t. The lucky ones that don’t have to live with PCOS, don’t understand, what we as a group understand together. Thank you.