Anna’s Inspiring PCOS Journey
I was diagnosed with PCOS at age 28, when a GP (after seeing more than 12 GP’s across a 2-year timeframe) finally listened to my symptoms and sent me for an ultrasound as she suspected PCOS. After seeing a specialist OB/GYN (who then became my favourite and respected medical professional I have ever trusted), I was diagnosed with PCOS and Severe Insulin Resistance. It was such a relief! I finally had an answer to all of my weird and concerning symptoms…significant weight gain no matter how hard I exercised and ate well (and gee I exercised a lot), hair growing where it shouldn’t, never-ending tiredness, weird dark patches on my elbows/knees and knuckles, no period, thinning and disappearing hair and limited sex drive – was that just because I was constantly tired and overweight or was it an actual issue…I did not know!
My OB/GYN was amazing because he reassured me immediately that PCOS was a significant condition, it was hugely undetected and I wasn’t going crazy. I was immediately put on Metformin, the guidance of a Dietician and Personal Trainer. I was also told this condition would be a lifelong struggle. I desperately wanted children, yet my ovaries and body were having none of that. I was also in an incredibly stressful job, with a lot of international & domestic travel and a lot of eating out for Corporate dinners. This was not helping. I managed to lose weight and after Clomid we turned to IVF. Baby girl #1 arrived 9 months later, IVF Baby girl #2 arrived 3 years later, Baby girl #3 arrived all by herself after I quit my big Corporate job/travel/stress and changed my environment baby moving to the country. Coincidence? I doubt it. But three healthy girls – WHO CARES RIGHT?
Well it does matter, because the never ending cycle of PCOS was still there, even after I’d achieved my dream babies. Life before the Protocol was happy as a Mum and Wife, in a profession I loved but still overwhelmingly confused and frustrated with my body. Why did I CRAVE sugar all day? Why I was still putting on weight no matter how hard I tried? Why was I so tired even after I woke up? At 40 years of age, I was creeping dangerously close to a Diabetes 2 diagnosis…my biggest fear.
I joined the Protocol because I loved Clare’s first hand experience, real honesty and broad approach to getting to the bottom of my PCOS. There is no one silver bullet and that made sense to me. Whilst my goal was weight loss, I hoped I’d be helping myself find answers I’d never been able to find in medical community. And that I did.
The Protocol is a family of people who are going through exactly what you are going through. They get it. They support you on your big highs and don’t provide any judgement when you fail, of which you will. But that’s ok in this protocol. Because it’s a learning experience. I travel a lot for work and time is tight, so I really loved the drip feed of materials so I could keep across the one change per week. That’s a lot when you’ve had twenty plus years of trying to break a cycle. The Q&A’s & the Facebook group have been brilliant. Learning from others and hearing how they’re coping too is invaluable. But my favourite thing has been Clare’s analogies to explain what’s going on in my body. She explains what goes on in a cellular level in a way I can understand and then explain to others. Super cool! I hardly read the research backed data because I trusted Clare, though I did think it was terrific it was there and included. It all made me feel justified…yes PCOS is complex and is hard work EVERY SINGLE DAY but you can change things. It truly is possible.
My first big win of the protocol was losing the sugar craving. Mind-blowing. I have lost 6kg so far, and I’m at week 14. It’s taken a while for my body to figure out this is how it’s going to be now, but I love that. I have only weighed myself three times in that time. But the wins are a lot more than any weight loss. I have real energy, I don’t feel so tired, I’m not hungry for hours at a time and my bowel has paid attention too– who knew that even your poo was affected! I now have a lifelong health & wellness plan which will heal my body and my mind. I’ve learnt how to be conscious of my behaviours and how all of these affects what goes in my mouth and what my body does with it. I feel empowered to make the right changes for me and know that my future health will be directly impacted by what I’ve learnt on the protocol. That’s worth more to me than any initial upfront payment.
My one piece of advice to anyone thinking about doing the protocol is this….you won’t be able to sort out all of your issues by yourself. The protocol gives you an education in how your PCOS body actually works and what you can do about it. I have also learnt very valuable lessons to use in the future with my own three girls, who will have a far greater chance of developing PCOS because of my genetics. This is important to me. When they hit puberty, I don’t want them to repeat the ongoing search for answers like I did. You can have a normal life with Insulin Resistance and PCOS and I look forward to emailing Clare one day to let her know I’ve reversed it too.