Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Fight Like A Girl!

I'm just glad there is a name for it. Other than - Laziness. 
About 15 years ago I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. I had never heard of it, and sort of wish I never had. That was.. until this year.

You see, my doctor said there really wasn't much you could do about PCOS, and when your doc tells you something like that, you really feel like what is the point?

Then I decided to do some research, trying to understand my struggle and figure out if there was anything I could do. I did not want to accept the fact that I could not lose the weight. I refused to believe that nothing would work. So I dug a little deeper.

I read The Zone and discovered the hormone - inflammation connection. I read more about the Mediterranean Diet. I looked at the side effects and figured out that there is plenty I can do. No, it will not be very fast, but I am not completely out of the healthy girl game.

Perhaps I should back up a bit...
I was an active kid. I wasn't always the weight that I am today. Heck, I was even an active teenager and early adult. I was a dancer. A pretty good one at that. 

I would spend many nights out of the week in dance class, with even more opportunities on the weekend. Rehearsing for ballet recitals, going to theater camp and getting even more opportunities to dance there - I was on the go. I weighed 110 pounds when I graduated from high school. I maintained that weight for a few years (fluctuating between 10 - 20 pounds as the years progressed. But the point is - I was a healthy weight for 1/2 of my life. 

In college, I did adjust my lifestyle considerably, and not necessarily for the better. I drank beer. I ate a lot of carbs. I did not exercise as much, however, we did walk everywhere and went dancing during the week. 
I'm about 22 here. 
I began to notice a slight change in my weight around 22 years of age. I decided to give birth control pills a run, and in the 3 months I took them, I ended up gaining close to 20 pounds. The about two years later, my therapist put me on imipramine for Panic Attacks. In that one year, I gained 30 pounds. I came off both pills, but never lost the weight. 

Time went on, and I began working in the "real world." At this point in time, I ended up in the plus size section for my 5'1 frame. I was wearing a 12 - 14. Steadily adding 10 - 15 pounds a year, with very little change to my diet and exercise. I did not, nor do I, eat large portions. I have tons of energy and I love exercise. 

About a size 16 here

A few years later - a size 18

Finally, I had to have a hysterectomy. (Cervical Cancer Scare.) While undergoing the surgery, my gyno diagnosed me with PCOS. I had many of the tell-tale symptoms: Unexplained weight gain, hair growth in not great places, skin tags, and some discoloration of my skin under my arms, etc. Later, they did an glucose tolerance test (different from your basic fasting blood sugar test,) and I was diagnosed with Insulin Resistance (also known as Metabolic Syndrome.) Second doctor said the same thing to me, "There is not much we can do about it."
So I got mad. Madder than hell, really. Though my body was slowly transforming, I was still that thin girl inside. I took Zumba 4 nights a week. I started Weight Watchers. I worked my ass off. I lost almost 30 pounds. 

When I was exercising and doing Weight Watchers. Slowly, some of the weight was coming off. I am a size 20 here.

Then something happened. I lost my job in Birmingham. I lost the money to go to the gym. I lost my husband. I began to just lose... in general. Just not the weight. 

Highest weight ever here. 
I moved home and sort of yo-yoed my way with the dieting. Down 15, up 20. Down 6, up 8. Back and forth. I'd start... then I'd stop. 

Then I met my S.G. Someone who also is struggling with losing weight, however, his was simply lifestyle. He encouraged me to join him on a healthier lifestyle. We did a ton of research and shared with each other what we have found. I joined a gym and just started moving again. I gave WW a try, then quit. (It was more me just being lazy and sort of giving up.) But something happened a few months ago. It was a now or never sort of moment. 

I dropped a size and began making a few healthier choices. I was determined to do better.
Now I have settled on an exercise routine and back on Weight Watchers (and applying what I learned from the Low-Carb/Zone/Mediterranean Diet.) This time.. might be the one. 

I refuse to let PCOS control my life. 
I used to have the best body of most people I knew (thank you Dance!) And I KNOW I can do it again. It won't be easy. It will take time. But I have a goal, and if you know me, I'm stubborn as hell. No one is telling me what I can or cannot do. 

September is PCOS awareness month. So many women live with PCOS and have no idea. I want to change that. Maybe you struggle with your weight, have had trouble conceiving, have some of the weird symptoms I mentioned above. It is important you get a diagnosis and do something about it. PCOS leads to so many terrible chronic diseases - IF you do not slow it down. 

If you have any of the above symptoms, do not hesitate to talk to your doctor! 

I'll keep you posted on my journey. I'm determined. Man.. am I determined.
#fightlikeagirl #cysters #pcos

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