It's one of those silent but deadly things.....nobody has a clue you have it. When/If you choose to share news of the diagnosis, many believe it is just another "woman" thing. Directly after my diagnosis many people I told thought it was just a fertility issue. If I had a penny for every time someone told me to lose weight, I would be rich.
For full and complete information regarding a diagnosis of PCOS please go HERE. I am NOT a doctor. I am sharing my experience with this disease in the hopes that it can help someone else.
After my diagnosis in Oct. 2006, my first and main goal was to get pregnant. If we hadn't been trying to get pregnant, I may never have been diagnosed in the first place. That goal was accomplished and Bear was born in Oct. 2007. For the next year I muddled along. I knew what I was supposed to be doing but honestly, I didn't want to do it. I was sticking my head in the sand....as long as I didn't admit I had a problem I didn't have to fix it. But reality set in and my wonderful doctor sent me to a nutritionist. She was fantastic! (and covered by insurance) With her guidance and support (and accountability), I began tracking what I ate and exercising.
Let me tell you.....I am a carb-a-holic. A PCOS diet is low carb. Low and carb are not words I want to hear in the same paragraph let alone the same sentence. I won't lie and say it was easy or great, but it works. I also posted my daily walks and distances on facebook for accountability. It helped that I could walk while pushing Bear in a stroller around town during the older boys soccer practices. The weight slowly slid off. Slowly. But I kept at it.
I was still chugging along when I found out I was pregnant with Abigail in September 2009. All that diet, exercise and medication (more on that later) had finally caused me to ovulate. Surprise! A wonderful surprise she was. After she was born in May 2010 I knew that I had to get back on track. At my 6 week checkup I had my doctor do my referal to Carol (I had to stop going while pregnant because she couldn't counsel weight loss while I was pregnant). I was so excited to go to my first meeting with her......I arrived, only to find out that my insurance wouldn't cover her anymore - and there wasn't any way I could afford the $90 a month (if I only saw her once a mont!) out of pocket. Bleh. I tried Weight Watchers for a while (at $40 a month it was almost affordable) but I missed the one-on-one accountability and eventually I just couldn't spent the money or time going to weekly meetings.
I don't do well alone. I've gained 15 lbs since Abby was born. I was just at my 6 month checkup and got the butt chewing from my wonderful doctor. I know, really, I do. It's hard to exercise when you don't feel safe walking down your road anymore (when soccer season gets here in Aug. I'll be without excuse). I hate exercise videos. Its hard to stop eating when life is just so screwed up and for a while the pan of brownies really does make everything better.
I KNOW that I would love to be a few sizes smaller....able to run after the kids without gasping for air......have a little self confidence rather than wishing I could fade into the wall. I KNOW that diabetes, heart disease and cancer are greater risks for me if I don't get this under control. I KNOW.
However hard it is for a "normal" woman to lose weight, it is twice as hard for someone with PCOS. The way our bodies produce hormones and process carbs....we are fighting a losing battle before the war ever starts. BUT we can WIN. I know women who have won. Discipline and hard work and they have been able to control with symptoms. They don't have to feel self conscious or shop in the plus size section. They don't have to feel inferior to the "thin" girls. They improved their health. I CAN do this.
Why is diet and exercise so important? The medication that helps PCOS, the main mostly prescribed medication is Metformin. Metformin has a nasty side effect of stomach troubles. If you don't use diet and exercise to your advantage then you have to take higher dosages of metformin. Higher dosages mean more nasty side effects. Let's just say the more metformin you have to take, the closer you need to be to a bathroom...always.
(((sigh))) So, I'm bound and determined to do this. For me. For my little girl (PCOS is genetic). Healthy habits now will help her in the future. I deserve to be healthy.