105: More lifestyle changes doesn’t always mean better results for your PCOS — and figuring out what your ‘high impact’ PCOS changes are
You’ve heard me say it before because I think we’ve all been there. You get diagnosed with PCOS and you think: “yes! finally a reason behind why I’ve got these symptoms going on. Now I can just figure out what to do about it.” You figure that you’ll see your doctor, get a specialist referral, you’ll get a couple of PCOS changes and you’ll be on your merry way.
Ugh, as if!
As one of our protocolers Lily put so perfectly:
“with PCOS, it feels like they’re waiting for you to fall off a cliff before they want to help you.”
So of course you go searching the internet ‘abyss’ for information and try to piece together a list of lifestyle changes that can help your PCOS symptoms. Usually that list ends up being so freakin’ long it’s hard to keep up with.
Lifestyle changes can make a massive, positive impact on your symptoms. But it doesn’t mean that loading up on as many lifestyle changes as possible is the best idea. Figuring out what those few ‘high impact’ changes are for you that you can maintain long term is what’ll really make the difference.
In today’s episode we talk all about this and more with Lily, one of our lovely PCOS protocolers. Like me — and probably a lot of you — Lily is a perfectionist, type A kinda gal. So when she finally got a diagnosis after years of trying and suspecting, she jumped straight into ‘ok now give me the steps to fix this and I’ll follow it to a tee’ mode. Which of course left her feeling disappointed and frustrated when she got only tiny, unhelpful crumbs of information from her doctors.
There’s so much information out there, so she ended up with an extremely long, unsustainable list of changes to made life feel really restrictive. She dealt with aggressive cystic acne (like the accutane type, not a couple of measly spots), uncontrollable weight gain, some hirsutism and unexplained fatigue.
Not only did we help her drastically improve those symptoms with some targeted PCOS changes (5.5 inches of her waist, 6 inches of her hips, no need to sleep in the day, cleared up acne and no more hirsutism!) but she’s also come out the other side (and into our Lifers program) equipped with knowledge about her body, some key PCOS changes and with some really solid, fantastic mindset shifts that enable her to continue keeping on top of her PCOS symptoms.
If you’re feeling like you’ve tried everything, you’re feeling like a failure and it feels like the list of things you need to do to get on top of things is miles long, then you’re going to get so much out of this chat. Plus, there were plenty of laughs and relatable ‘that’s so me’ moments along the way — it’s a hoot of a pod!
This episode is for you if:
- You’re struggling with uncontrollable weight gain
- You find that you’re always tired for no logical reason
- Acne is a major symptom for you
- You feel like your doctors aren’t really giving you any options beyond the Pill, IVF and eating less moving more
- You have a type A / perfectionist personality
- You’ve been looking all over the internet for answers and stitching together different recommendations but you can’t seem to get on top of your symptoms
- You think you may have or know you have thyroid issues
- Talking to your family and friends about PCOS usually ends up in them asking why you can’t eat certain foods and what someone they know did to help their symptoms
- You want to know how to make changes for your PCOS sustainable
- You think you may have or know you have autoimmune issues
- You’re doing so much for your PCOS so you’re confused about why nothing seems to be working
- Your tests have come back ‘normal’ but you don’t feel normal
Some things we cover in this episode:
- Weight gain
- Why making more and more changes isn’t always better
- Aggressive acne
- Why conversations with loved ones about PCOS can be difficult and how to approach these situations
- Autoimmune conditions
- Why your blood tests may show as normal when they’re not
- Insulin and blood sugars — why your insulin can be suboptimal even if blood glucose looks fine
- Feeling like a failure and learning to embrace balance
- Dealing with feeling angry with the fact you have PCOS
- Why guidelines work better than strict plans
- Being empowered with knowledge and why that’s so important for habit change
- Why PCOS forums can do more harm than good
Resources and References:
- Hidradentis Suppurativa (these are quite intense photos and not everyone’s HS looks like this, they can look less severe like acne/ingrown hairs)
- My Book: Getting Pregnant with PCOS