Shifting

I’ve been sort of mentally drafting this post for a while but I’m still not sure exactly what I want to say, so apologies in advance if I write for a while and then don’t exactly have an ending. This might be long. Feel free to skim.

A few posts back I mentioned that I had received some medical news that I was processing and then I got a bunch of “oh my gosh! What is wrong? Call meeee!” texts from friends (which was very nice) and realized I might have made it sound more dramatic than I should have. The thing is that I got diagnosed with something called Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (or PCOS) and while it helps explain some weird things my body has been doing the last few years it was also kind of discouraging.

For those who don’t know, PCOS is something that basically messes with your hormones. It causes weight gain (and makes it difficult to lose weight), fatigue, thinning hair and increased facial hair (which I, save a few rouge chin hairs, don’t really have) and makes it difficult to get pregnant because it often interferes with ovulation (which I totally do have as I am someone who often has to think hard to remember if I’ve had a period this year or not).

One of the challenges of PCOS is that it makes weight lose difficult (something about how your body processes insulin) but losing weight is one of the best ways to manage the symptoms. In some ways, finding out I have PCOS makes me feel a little better about where I am weight wise. I’ve put on about 30 pounds in the last three years and even in the midst of triathlon training and when I’ve been working out regularly I’ve had a hard time losing anything and it all comes back easily. PCOS doesn’t explain all of it (my diet has been far too full of junk for far too long) but it does help me think about what my expectations for myself can and should be.

I can’t remember the last time I weighed less than 200 pounds. I weighed 204 when I met my husband. At the time I was working out four days a week with a personal trainer and running a lot. I just want to get under 200. I talked to the doctor that diagnosed me and he was very blunt with me* about what it would take: exercise every day, walking doesn’t count, high intensity+strength training, a low calorie diet. Every day.

I think I’m going to have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.

* On a side note, as someone who has been overweight for a good long while now, I have to say I am kind of amazed at the number of doctors I’ve seen who have never, ever said anything to me about my weight. I would say 98% haven’t mentioned it at all. Not sure what to make of that.

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8 thoughts on “Shifting

  1. Beth says:

    I’m sorry to hear that. I know a lot of women who have manage PCOS and even had children. Best of luck with your weight goals. But remember, you have a great family, adoring husband, and great career so don’t let it define you!

    • Wendy says:

      Thanks. I struggle with not letting the weight define me…some times it feels like the most visual failure of my life, you know? But I do know I am blessed in some many areas of my life.

  2. LizScott says:

    I know this is a lot of news to process, but I’m glad for you that you have a diagnosis. The known seems like it’s always better than the unknown, right?

    Best of luck to you as you process this.

    • Wendy says:

      Yeah, I figure that I have this thing, whether I know about it or not, so at least now I know and can figure out the best way to manage it.

  3. Mariale says:

    Hi W,
    Did the doctor prescribed something to complement your diet and excersise?
    My little sister has the same thing, she was overweight as well, and plus the hairy thing when she was only 16yo was very upsetting. She eventually joined the aquatic club at uni, and with diet, some pills her doctor ordered, swimming and running as well she managed to get very slim. It’s been 6 years now, she still needs to control her food intake, and excersise regularly, although not as hard as before. But she made it, and I’m sure you can do it too!

  4. Johanna I. says:

    Hi Wendy. I have PCOS also, although my symptoms aren’t very severe. I do have the facial hair thing. This was just one of the many small problems that added up to one big problem getting pregnant. I’m glad you’ve been diagnosed. Have they discussed putting you on metformin?

    • Wendy says:

      He said he wanted to try birth control pills first (since I don’t want to get pregnant at the moment) and then we’d see if that helped. Is metformin something you’ll take forever? Or is it just a help you get pregnant kind of thing?

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