Today I'm going to open up about something very personal. The main reason I'm sharing this story is because it starts with someone else opening up about their personal life and therefore having a huge impact on my own life. More about that later.
But first, let's get something slightly relevant out of the way...
"Hi, my name is Beth and I'm a reality TV addict."
It's true, I have always loved reality TV and getting a chance to peek into other people's lives. A lot of people think reality TV is a waste of time, and it definitely can be, but in my case it was actually very informative and may have changed my life for the better. It sounds strange, but I'm being serious.
There's a show on TLC called "My Big Fat Fabulous Life". I started watching it on a whim one day and was really impressed with the positive attitude of the person the show is about, whose name is Whitney Thore. She is very open about her weight and how it affects her daily life, but she is also a really great role model because she loves herself exactly the way she is. It's a great message for anyone to hear, especially women who tend to get down on themselves about their weight.
The main part of Whitney's story is that she struggles with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), which is the main reason for her extreme weight gain. In the first episode she explains some of her symptoms and how it took a long time to eventually get diagnosed with PCOS. It seems like a lot of doctors either aren't familiar with PCOS or they don't check for it, so a lot of women tend to go undiagnosed.
Hearing Whitney's story, especially her list of symptoms, made me stop and wonder if I could have PCOS. Similar to Whitney, I had gained a large amount of weight over a relatively short amount of time. At my highest weight I had gained about 100 pounds over a 5-year period. At the time I was quick to blame myself because of my poor diet and lack of exercise, which I'm sure are a huge part of the weight gain. But at the same time, I had also tried really hard to lose the weight once I realized how much I was gaining and it seemed like I just couldn't get rid of it. I tried a number of weight loss programs and honestly gave each one everything I had, but would give up once it seemed like nothing I did was working.
It was basically a vicious cycle of gain weight, start a program and lose a few pounds, and then gain it all back and then some. This probably sounds familiar to a lot of you who have struggled with your weight, but for me it really felt like my weight was out of control. I had talked to my doctor frequently about wanting to lose weight and he always gave me advice on eating healthier and working out more often, but he never suggested that we do any blood tests until I mentioned my suspicions about PCOS to him. He was very open to running some tests to see if we could figure out if that's what I had going on, especially after sharing some of my symptoms to him.
Sure enough, when I went in for my follow-up appointment he said that we should start a treatment plan for PCOS. He wrote me a prescription and told me that it would help regulate my hormones and therefore allow my body to stop storing fat at such a high rate. He also told me that the most important thing for me to do was to exercise every day if possible. He explained that it's easier to maintain an exercise program daily because it makes exercise more of a habit.
So I started the medicine and also signed up for 21 Day Fix. If you've been reading my transformation story, then you know that I have had a lot of success losing weight by eating healthier and working out regularly. In the two months after getting diagnosed with PCOS I was able to lose 16 pounds, which I am thrilled with. I still have a long way to go and a lot of hard work ahead of me, but for the first time in a long time I finally feel like I am in control of my own health and can see a bright future ahead of me.
I truly hope my story has been informative and helpful. Like I said earlier, I wouldn't have asked for the blood tests unless I had heard Whitney's story and therefore I am hoping my story will allow other women to do the same thing and seek medical treatment if they suspect they also have PCOS.
Thank you for listening to my long story. Please share this if there is someone in your life who may benefit from reading it.
Here's a link from WebMD in case you would like to learn more about PCOS. As always, talk to your doctor if you think this is something that you may be dealing with.
My name is Beth and I live in Denver. I am a single lady in my 30's and wanted to start sharing my awesome and amazing life through a blog.