What is PCOS?

One of my biggest goals over the last 9 months has been trying to understand my body. I was diagnosed with PCOS at the age of 14. In the past I have gone YEARS without a period. It seems despite my best efforts, no matter what I do I cannot lose weight. For a long time the only thing doctors told me would help was weightloss, but how do we lose weight when our bodies want to pack on the pounds??

What is PCOS anyway? PCOS is a hormonal disorder in women leading to facial hair, acne, weight gain, hair loss or thinning (on scalp), infertility, painful and irregular periods, abdominal pains and so much more. It also has been linked to anxiety & depression.

Living with PCOS (or Piece of Shit as my husband likes to call it) is a struggle. Waking up everyday you never know if you will have energy or not. How many chin hairs do you need to pluck? wax? shave? Our self-esteem seems to always be at an all time low. Not only do many women suffering from this disease have to struggle with self confidence but infertility is a big hurtle that many times is barely even touched on. Add in that depression and anxiety that comes with PCOS and you have a perfect storm.

I have struggled with the symptoms for many years, ever since my diagnosis I have slowly packed on the pounds over the years. With a few nutrition classes from college under my belt, a certification in medical assisting, and a bachelors degree in biological sciences I want to test some of my own theories and see for myself what works for us and what doesn’t.

If you type PCOS into google search millions of pages will pop up, some of these are scientifically based studies, others are blogs from women who preach diet and weightless strategies with PCOS. I’ve tried many different strategies throughout the years, but I have never really stuck to anything. Do these diets/workouts/old wives tales really have any merit to them??

THE EXPERIMENT:

Over the next 12 months I am going to give myself one challenge per month and see for myself if any of these theories have actual science and truth backing them. I’ll be discussing the controls and variables to each experiment and sharing my documentation in real time through this blog.

We will explore the Keto diet, Low Carb diets, & the Mediterranean diet as well as different combinations of strength, cardio, and low impact workouts to see what balance works for me. I may also explore essential oil combinations, acupuncture, tongue scraping, meditations and natural supplements. If you have PCOS I encourage you to try the experiments along with me and share your results in the comments.

I will keep a diary of the food I ate, how I feel, and what exercises I did that day.

At the end of every month I will be answering the following 10 questions regarding my experience:

  1. did I get my period? / am I pregnant?
  2. how many breakouts do I have? what zones are they in?
  3. weight
  4. measurements
  5. is the hair on my chin course or fine?
  6. Am I losing chunks of hair or experiencing minimal hair loss?
  7. do I have energy or am I lethargic?
  8. What diet did I follow?
  9. What was my weekly exercise routine?
  10. what new supplements and natural remedies did I try?

The Controls:
I will be consistently using Slim & Sassy EO from DOTERRA used topically.
Daily Medications: Metformin 850mg BID | 4,000 IU Vitamin D3 | 1 prenatal vitamin
Drink at least half my body weight in water everyday.

My Hypothesis: PCOS can be cured through a specific combination of diet, exercise, and eastern & western medicine when following a regimen tailored to your body.

My 10 questions answered prior to starting the experiment:

  1. I did not get my period & I am not pregnant
  2. Minimal breakouts, mainly in the T-zone
  3. 215 lbs
  4. High waist: 34in
    R Bicep 15.75in
    R Thigh: 25.5 in
    Hips: 47.5 in
  5. chin hair: course and thick
  6. losing medium amount of hair off scalp daily.
  7. I am energized
  8. balanced diet per HHS.gov & 2000 calories per day
  9. yoga 3-5 times per week, cardio 2 times per week, strength 1 times per week
  10. None

Do these diets really work? Will I feel better in one year or will I learn that my disease cannot be beaten? Let’s fucking beat this.

Cheers to a healthier future, PCOS babes! xo

-Gabby

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