Thursday, August 2, 2012

My fight with PCOS and how I have started to lose weight

This post is all about Poly cystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and a lot of what I have learned having it, and how to be healthy. I want to give you my back story. Most people I have talked to have similar stories and it might help us to relate to each other.
My story starts when I was about 13 years old. During that year I gained almost 50 lbs. (And none of it in my boobs!) Can you imagine being 13 years old and going from skinny to fat and still not needing to wear a bra! I was a wreck!
When I was 15 years old I was diagnosed with PCOS. My Dr was a 70 year old male. He told me that my body was fuel efficient and if the world was ending, I would outlive most people. He never explained to me why or told me what was going on with my body. He told me the only way I would lose the weight would be to work out and eat less. My Dr even made me memorize how many calories are in a pound so I would know how hard I had to work.  Then he put me on a birth control pill and told me to stay on it. And that's just what I did. I was on birth control until I was 19 years old.
Age 19 is when I stopped taking birth control. I was done watching my weight sky rocket. (Age 19 is also when I got my first zit... So I will admit that birth control did have its advantages)  As you know, one of the major sides of birth control is weight gain. At this time I gained another 40lbs.
I am now 19 years old, going to college and I weighed 200 plus pounds. I never weighed myself during this time so I don't know what I weighed, however I do have some of the clothing I wore then, and it’s too big on me now. All of my life I have hated exercise and 19 year old me hated it as well. So I forced myself to take a step class and a circuit training class. They were great, but I only took the classes for a semester. Once the class was over, I was done. I did not keep up on it.
Around age 22 I moved in with a girl who had PCOS and her Dr was putting her on a medication called Metformin that was causing her to lose weight. So I went to my Dr (the same old guy I saw before) and he told me that he had never heard of doing this, and was not going to help me out. If I wanted to lose weight I had to just eat less and work out.
So I got a new dr. They said the same thing. But he wrote me the prescription any way. This prescription was for Metformin. However he said, its not going to change anything. So take it if you want, or don’t take it. No difference. I started to take it and I got really sick. So I stopped taking it.  I was exasperated. I have a genetic disorder that makes me fuel efficient, makes me store fat, makes me chunky and feel ugly, and the one medicine that might help makes me sick.  I gave up and realized that I was going to be the chunky girl my whole life.
Around this time I got married and my husband’s sister is a runner. She got me hooked.  Over the last three years I have ran 4 half marathons, countless 5k’s, a few 5 miles runs, and much more. And did I lose weight. Yes. But not much. Did I tone up? Oh yeah. I lost a few pant sizes, but I am still a bigger girl, and I still want to be smaller.
The same time that I started running, I found a new Dr. She was young and she did her thesis on PCOS. I asked her “Why is it that I can work out two times a day and eat healthy and not lose weight.” Something has to be going on. And she explained to me exactly what the problem is.  I am insulin resistant.

Insulin resistant... Wha??   I had her explain it to me in kindergarten terms what it means. When you eat food, your body breaks it down turns it into sugar in your blood and then the insulin come in and turns it into energy. Diabetics cannot control their insulin, so some times their blood sugar gets really high, or really low. My body makes insulin, but it just does not care. My body will not let the insulin make that blood sugar into energy. Instead my body stores it, and you gain weight. I can eat the same things as a normal person and I will gain weight while they lose or stay the same.   (Remember.. this is in kindergarten terms...)
My Dr let me know that if we took a blood test right now, it would be normal because my body is resisting the insulin. I am making the right amount of insulin, just not using it. So do not even worry about taking a blood test. Just start taking Metformin. This will make my body use the insulin that I am making.
Metformin is not a magic weight loss pill, it’s not going to solve all of my weight loss woes.. However, it will help me to perform better. I should be able to have more energy and not store so much food as fat.  With this drug I have the chance to lose weight like a normal person.
This prescription however is going to make me pretty sick for a little while. But, its going to be worth it. I just have to stick it out. You usually take Metformin in waves. You start out with 500 mg. And it might make you sick. When I started taking it, I got headaches and super upset tummy and diarrhea…  but I found out if I ate healthy the symptoms were far less. After you start feeling better, usually just a few days, you up your dose.  My goal dose is 1500 mg a day. Lots of people are at 2000 mg a day. It just depends on your size.
When I started taking Metformin I weighed in at 197. That was on June 11th. Since then I have lost almost 10 lbs. During that time I have also been going to the gym at least once a day (Many times twice a day) and I have ran a half marathon. I lift weights three times a week and I do the 30 day shred on my lunch breaks. So I am not going to credit my weight loss all to Metformin. I did not start taking this drug and eat whatever I wanted, never work out and lose weight. However, I have worked out like that for years and never lost weight. And now I have. With Metformin all of my hard work has started paying off.
I am not a professional. I am not a dr. But I have been dealing with PCOS for the last 12 years. And I do know a thing or two about working out. And I do know what it feels like to be the chubby girl. I know what it feels like to have everyone around you say how fat they are now that they have had kids, and you don’t have any kids, and you are heavier than them. I know how it feels to eat 1200 calories and work out for an hour a day and not lose a pound all week. Yet your friend loses 4 pounds that week.  
I also know how it feels to finally lose weight. To FINALLY find something that will work. To have hope. To be NORMAL! And to have my hard work finally start working for me.
If you have any questions, please comment below and let me know. I want to make sure we are all in this together. It’s a struggle. And it’s heart breaking. But together, we can be strong. And we can become the person we wanted to be, living in the body that we love and are proud of!

I have also started a facebook page we can all get together on and help each other out. Here is a link:  ( I am new to this, so let me know if I need to start a different type of page) 

Pin It!


  1. Omg thank you so much for writing this blog. I too have PCOS and was diagnosed in 2009. Most recently this spring I was put on met too. I have finally got past my plateau I've been fighting. I contine to eat good and workout, and love running too. Thank you, I'm so glad I am now able to connect with others that knows what it's like. :)

  2. I went to the dr today, and she told me that she thinks I have PCOS. She told me this a year and a half ago, but she said it was no big deal, there really wasnt anything to do. I am supposed to get a blood test tomorrow. I am going to do just to rule out anything else. Hypothyroid runs in my fam so I have been researching that, and hormone imbalance. But when I came home and researched PCOS it makes sense. I really think this is what I have. I have for years, battled to lose weight, with NO luck! It is so frustrating! Thank You for your post! I hope I can ask you some questions if I am diagnosed!

    1. Branda! I am so glad you found me! If you are diagnosed, please send me any and all questions that you have! Like I said above, I don't know everything, but I have been fighting PCOS for a long time and I finally feel like I am winning. Have a great day!!

    2. So I just found your blog again! My blood tests came back that my fasting insulin level was at 90 the first test and 97 the second. I just read this post again and noticed that you said it doesn't matter what the blood test says. It will come back normal (mine did), but your body still isn't using the insulin correctly! This just registered with me. I still have not lost any weight and have been working out eating well, low carb. The dr. that did the blood work said metformin wouldn't help me. That I just need to eat 1200 calories a day. My bmr is 1800. So I refuse to starve myself. I dont know what to do. Do you have any suggestions for me? Thank You!

    3. Hey Brenda,
      I spoke with my nutritionist and we both agreed that you should NOT starve yourself. You NEED to eat food. However be very careful. Make sure you are eating foods that are low in calories but high in nutrient. Chicken, brown rice, veggies, fruits. This way you can eat as much food as you want and you will never be hungry. You will be stuffed! And you will still lose weight. In fact, he said if you ate clean for one week, only fruit, veggies and protein you would be able to train your body to burn fat rather than store it. I am going to be posting more about this next week and more in depth, so keep an eye out for my next posts. And remember, potatoes are not a veggie! :)

  3. Hi-

    Just wanted to let you know my situation. I was told my thyroid was low-underactive. I was put on thyroid meds at 157 pounds at 5ft 3 inches. I was still not losing weight then put on Metaformin even though my blood test showed I wasn't glucose resistant or having PCOS and I did lose 25 pounds in 4 months with diet and exercise. However I have been at my current weight for months unable to lose more than a pound a month with drastic diet changes and a lot of exercise. I don't know if it is a combination of the thyroid, children, or age but either way it sucks....just don't give up!

    1. Awe thank you!! I am hoping that I can stick with it this time and kick some butt!!