Tuesday, October 20, 2015

An Enemy More Common Than You Think

Since being diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) in 2013 (and developed in 2012) I have been a journey to fix most if not all of the problems it causes.
I always wondered what caused it, I had very normal physical health up until I started birth control in 2011. After a year of battling the emotional issues caused by the birth control, I decided to get off of it. However, 4 months after being off of the BC I was still having a ton of issues! Issues that I had never experienced before. I went to the doctor in the spring of 2013 and received my diagnosis. I naturally assumed the birth control caused the PCOS, however recently this year I discovered that my great-aunt on my mother's side had it as well. Giving truth to the fact that PCOS is mostly hereditary.
I already had a relatively healthy lifestyle. Not big into processed foods, junk, sodas, sugary things in general. I ate lots of vegetables and was relatively active. But I knew I needed to do more. I tried all kinds of diets with no success to speak of. Finally November of 2013 after being at a point of complete disgust with myself I switched to gluten free. I won't say that it is what has caused the big part of my weight loss but it definitely detoxed my body preparing it for weight loss. I stuck to the gluten free all through the holidays, missing out on most of my favorite treats. It paid off. As soon as January arrived I went hardcore gluten free with balanced portions and calorie control.  The weight began to drop. I lost 10 lbs and then it stalled. I decided it was time to become even more drastic, I started working out hardcore at my gym. I added a weight regime to my cardio. I also switched to keto/low carb.
By June of 2014 I had lost 30 lbs. I went from 203 to 173. Not only was there weight loss, there was overall health improvement. The brown spots, acne, hair loss, excess testosterone, mood swings, depression, all eliminated.
I have maintained my weight since then and I haven't suffered from depression in 2 years. Eating a combination of low carb/paleo/gluten free has saved my life. I am happier for it. I still occasionally enjoy some things that aren't on the recommended diet .... such as pizza ( a personal weakness for me) but mostly I remain strong and faithful to my health regime.
Having moved around a lot in the last 2 years, my exercise routine has changed quite a bit. However, I still manage to get in no less than 30 minutes a day of exercise and definitely shoot for 1 1/2 hours five days a week. I had a gym membership when in lived in Kerrville, Texas and when I moved back to East Texas my husband and I started a joint membership so we could encourage each other. We have since moved again, however this time it is further out in the country making a gym membership not quite worth the extra drive, plus harder for us to exercise together. So 2 months ago we started jogging every evening and every other day we add a weight routine to that. I have also in the last two weeks added an ab workout (which is working wonders btw). We have also increased our jogging to 1 1/2 miles a day. That is really an accomplishment for someone who loathes jogging with passion.
If I could give any advice to my fellow PCOS sufferers, it would be this: Even if it is only 30 minutes a day of exercise, it will help you. If it doesn't help with weight loss it will help with self esteem, energy levels, hormone levels, it will reduce stress and minimize if not eliminate depression. Don't give up on yourself. I didn't give up on myself!

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