I have always struggled with my weight and painful periods from an early age (8 years old).
As a teen I was able to keep the weight off due to playing sports, however my periods were long an painful (sometimes lasting two weeks).
After high school my physical activity slowed down and my weight started to climb, I went from 200lb to 240lb in a 12 month spans (I am also 6-ft tall so the weight gain wasn’t too bad), I chalked it up to be the “Freshman 15” but for me the “Freshman 40”. I was able to keep my weight down by only eating once a day, not healthy at all. But at the time I was 20 and I was able to shed the weight and stay at a solid 210 until I graduate college.
I started my career at 22 and knew that I could afford to eat healthy and more than once a day. A year into my career I had gone from 210 to 270lb and I knew that was not normal. So I started making doctor appointments. I had seen four different doctors and had all kinds of tests done from getting a full blood panel done to having both sides of my digestive system scoped.
After all tests were completed every doctor told me the same thing that nothing was wrong with me.
It was not until I went to a Dermatologist for my cystic acne that I found out what was causing all of my symptoms. The dermatologist referred me to a doctor who she knew would look at all of the my symptoms and formally diagnose me.
After being formally diagnosed with PCOS the doctor started me off on the usual Metformin and birth control. I lasted one week taking the metformin.
My body did not respond well so I decided that it wasn’t for me. I did stay on the birth control and that helped with my acne and periods, but I was still gaining weight. I put on another 5lbs in the course of a month after starting the birth control so I started going to the gym five days a week and worked out like I was training for a Strong Man Competition (those were the workouts I was used to from high school).
I also started doing my own research on PCOS and trying to find out what foods I should stay away from and what supplement I should be taking. I was able to drop 35lbs in a year but I could not get below 240lb and I was getting depressed, which is very usual for me. About seven months ago I went off of the birth control because I started to noticed I was having mood swings (which is very unusual for me), my periods were still normal off of the birth control and when I was on it but my acne returned and it was worse then when I went on birth control to begin with.
It wasn’t until I came across Clare’s website in my research that I had hope. I started reading the different articles she posted and tried some of her recipes.
Then one day I got an email for the PCOS protocol, I contemplated for a few days if I should do it. And then it dawned on me “why not”.
After the protocol began, I started to look at my PCOS from a different angle, I started to realize that this is not a sprint but a marathon and this is something that I will need to work on in steps and not “throw the kitchen sink at” and hope something works.
Some of the changes and information shared was something I already knew from my own research but the other things that I had not tried.
Changing my breakfast so my blood sugars stay constant throughout the entire day, the additional supplements I was not taking, and most importantly the realisation that my eating is not a diet but a lifestyle, having a full understanding of my PCOS type (what causes it and why the body reacts the way it does).
One of the biggest changes for me has been mindful eating.
I had never practiced mindful eating in my life, I always just scarfed down my food until I was full and always needing to eat two or three helpings of food. Having now done this I’ve actually realised the signs of when I’m hungry and when I’m full which has really helped me.
With out any exercise and just making those adjustments Clare has suggested for my type of PCOS, I have gone from 240 to 223 steadily in the the last thirteen weeks and my acne is getting better!
I now only get a little bump here or there after my period and they look like a bug bite, which is a huge success.
When I started the protocol my “why” was not to lose weight but to have control over my body again, and taking the leap and joining The PCOS Protocol I do have control over my body again.