Tracy’s incredible PCOS Protocol story
Tracy is one of the many inspiring women in The PCOS Protocol group, who, like me, was exercising herself to the ground thinking that this was the only way to control her weight. But as you’ll read below, she’s found a much better way and has gained so much in the process (including completely transforming her energy levels!). I can’t wait to see Tracy’s progress over the rest of The Protocol and going forward. Clare x
I was diagnosed with PCOS while in college, nearly 16 years ago. It was a confusing process. My gyno said I had hairy arms and wanted to test for PCOS. After blood work, I was sent to an endocrinologist who told me I needed to lose weight or I would end up diabetic. I had a mission! With an extremely strict diet and workout regimen I lost about 40 pounds but it consumed my life.
I couldn’t eat out with friends because I couldn’t calculate the exact caloric intake of the meal. I was miserable because all I thought about was counting calories. After many visits to the endo I was told things looked good and so I relaxed on my calorie counting but continued with my workouts which included HIIT, biking and eventually distance running. Even with my prepping for half marathons…I was still the chunky runner. I kept telling myself I just needed to work harder. It would take twice as much effort because my body was different.
Meanwhile, I was exhausted all the time and took long naps after working out. This was just my norm but something seemed off. Three years ago my endo said that if I you wanted a baby now was the time or it would be too late. Now, I was still thinking my levels were fine because that was what he was telling me. At this point I had gained back most of the weight I had lost.
Caloric strictness nor various workout regimens were working. I was stuck. Unexpectedly, I was blessed with being able to get pregnant without help. During my pregnancy I had to begin taking Levothyroxine for my thyroid. After giving birth, my worries switched to how was I going to keep up with my family when I was barely surviving the day. That nap was critical for making it to bedtime. At my yearly visits, I kept telling the endo how tired I felt all the time. He kept telling me that was just PCOS. I felt frustrated after every appointment because I knew deep down this wasn’t right but an authority figure was telling me otherwise. He just kept pushing the low calorie diet, exercise and Metformin (which I couldn’t tolerate and didn’t want).
My most recent appoint with my endo, fall 2017, was the last straw. I saw my blood work results this time because I had the blood drawn at their facility. Again, I was told everything looks fine but now I had data and I could research what those numbers should be…nothing was fine! My thyroid still wasn’t within a functional range and I was taking medication. My testosterone was really high as well as my DHEAS level.
Something had to change! There had to be a better way!!
Research has always been my friend so away I went! While reading I found the PCOS Nutritionist page. I started reading the articles and looked for a camera nearby because I swore Clare was writing about my life! Then I saw the Protocol opportunity. I felt like God was providing me with such a vital opportunity to truly learn about myself from someone who has experienced it, not just read about it. I knew all my doctors wanted to help but what they were providing wasn’t working.
Fast forward to week 8 of the Protocol and WOW!
Last night, it was actually my idea to take our daughter for a walk. I can actually socialize with my husband at night! My life doesn’t revolve around my daughter’s nap which is really my nap for daily function. I won’t lie, I have not been perfect during this journey but it is just that, a journey for a lifetime. Eating out has been a challenge and I am working on making mindful choices.
Through the protocol I have learned or rather felt empowered with the knowledge that it doesn’t have to come all at once. Little steps are steps in the right direction and helping my body. Take it a day at a time. I now have tools and a greater understanding of how my body reacts to food and life. I feel like things are only going up from here!
For me the diet changes have caused a huge turnaround in my energy levels. Previously, I mentioned being tired after workouts but I was exhausted from eating as well. I would eat a breakfast consisting of bran flakes and want a nap. I thought I was being healthy, so what was the problem? Well, now I know what I should be eating for my PCOS ‘type’ and I am full long into the afternoon. It is 4pm now and I am still not hungry after my breakfast this morning!
No longer do I have a constant worry about being a sideline mom. I can play with my child and still have energy to stay up with my husband even after a full day of teaching. This protocol has truly been a blessing for my family. My husband was understanding but I know he was missing time with me. I honestly can’t wait to see what the future brings!
I am once again an active participant in my life!!
Thank you Clare!!!