There is only one time during my life I can remember when I was somewhat happy with my weight. That was junior and senior year of high school when I was working out twice a week with a trainer, as well as more on my own, and aspiring to play college golf. That dream later became forgotten as I decided to follow another dream of attending the University of Florida (where I am starting my senior year now). Besides this time of “skinny high school bliss”, I have never liked my body. I wouldn’t say that I look overweight, it’s just hard when you are a 6 foot tall young lady and feel much bigger than all the shorter, tiny girls.
Growing up my family taught me a love for food. My grandmother is from a small town called Douglass in South Georgia, and had to cook since she was a small child. It could be any insignificant day and she would have a reason to cook a huge dinner with all the fixin’s just to show her love for us, make sure we were fed and not hungry. Food equated to love; if something was going wrong or you were down for any reason, food was the answer.
Living this way was like a rollercoaster. I would wake up and say “this is it, today is the day, I finally want to feel happy and healthy again,” but of course some obstacle like a midterm or paper would stress me out and I would turn to good ole reliable; food. “It’s ok, maybe tomorrow will be the day I really kick this. I’ll feel more rested then and can really go to the gym.” I’d reassure myself. This constant cycle was killing me, my confidence, and my ability to focus on what was really important – my health.
This past summer before I began my senior year as a News Telecommunications major/Poli-Sci minor at UF, I went to my doctor to be blood tested for a thyroid condition. Over summer I went to the gym almost everyday, tried to eat healthier on a “buddy system” with my mom, and tried as hard as I could to de-stress as much as possible. Despite my valiant efforts, I was not losing the weight I wanted to. After a week or so, a nurse called and said all my test results came back fairly normal and the doctor had no reason for alarm. Of course I was happy to hear everything was “normal”, but deep down I knew something was wrong. So I went to my OB/GYN for a more in depth look at my hormones.
After a few tests and examinations, my lady doctor was right. She suspected that I had a condition called PCOS. PCOS, short for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, is a “problem in which a woman’s hormones are out of balance” according to webmd.com. Many small cysts may grow on the ovaries, which causes the hormonal imbalances leading to weight gain problems, insulin resistance, acne, infertility, excess facial and body hair, and anxiety. If you ask me that all sounds pretty terrible and at the moment I was devastated. One day it would be harder for me to have kids than other women, I would have to get my eyebrows and lip waxed more than usual, and worst of all I would have to try even harder to lose weight than I already was.
This blog is about my new journey of living a healthy, balanced life with PCOS. The key here is balance. Just because I have a condition that I have to pay special attention to, I will not let that define my life. I am not PCOS. I am a 21 year old girl (almost 22), who loves to have fun with my friends, attend football games, be creative, and enjoy life. While there are many things I should not eat with PCOS, there are many yummy things I can still eat – which I will discuss in later posts. I hope to bring hope to other women with this condition and share my experiences as I am figuring out how to live a healthy life that I love.