September is PCOS awareness month!
SEE MY TRANSFORMATION STORY BELOW (and how I have made it possible)
In 2017, while I was in Guyana I was diagnosed with PCOS, following my doctor’s visit, it finally made sense, why I kept gaining weight, why I felt fatigued, why I had irregular periods, amongst so many other horrible symptoms. This gave me the courage to go back to the gym, and slowly make the necessary adjustments needed to truly feel my best and be comfortable in my skin. It was the start of my research into nutrition, hours in the kitchen and a lot of time at the gym, I have almost lost fifty pounds. As a food enthusiast, living with PCOS comes down to a lot of decisions and saying NO even when you really want to say yes.
HOW DID I LOSE WEIGHT? HOW AM I ABLE TO MAINTAIN? HOW DO I MANAGE THE INFLAMMATION? HOW DO I MANAGE THE FATIGUE? HOW AM I ABLE TO EAT COMFORT FOOD WITHOUT GUILT? HOW AM I TRULY ABLE TO ENJOY LIFE?
In 2015, I was 160 lbs, I exercised regularly, ate all the right things (or so I thought, back then I didn't know I suffered from PCOS, I didn't know that's why I felt fatigued, the hyperpigmentation, hair loss, acne, etc.) By the end of 2016, I was 180/185lbs, at that point I had stopped going to the gym, my only exercise was walking everywhere, I still tried to eat balanced nutritious meals, but I also started to eat my feelings (I have a sweet tooth so, often times desserts became my meal). But, as a person interested in overall health (mental and physical) in November of 2016 I got a FITBIT, I thought I just needed to track everything and it would be okay.
February 2017, I started KETO, I became 160 again, I felt great, but uneducated low carb diets are not sustainable, summer came, and I came off of Keto, unaware that in just the span of 2 months, even with some exercise, I regained weight. That started my quest to educate myself. It also comes down to how much effort you put in. Following an 80/20 lifestyle while keeping the majority of my meals low carb and filled with wholesome ingredients. Early 2018, I started to weigh/measure and log (I use an app called Lose it! which is linked to my fitbit) my food, I started follow a low-carb lifestyle, instead of lazy keto, I started to ensure that I eat "balanced" meals (filled with different micro nutrients).
You have to find a way to live; healthy, happy and comfortable in your own skin. THE KEY IS BALANCE. I try to measure I always have a calorie deficit, since I am still trying to lose weight. I strength train multiple times a week, in addition to that I do yoga, pilates and I try to walk as much as I can ( I have a goal of at least 10 000 steps daily). To help with the fatigue, I try to sleep 7-8 hrs, sometimes sleeping can be hard, herbal teas, unplugging before bed, meditation, and essential oils help. Also, I avoid going over 100g of carbs per day, you can get your carbs from fruit and vegetables. All the foods I say NO to, I find a way to recreate in a PCOS friendly manner, so I am able to enjoy and continue to be a food enthusiast.
It's OKAY to occasionally go out and enjoy food, and indulge, but you cannot go extremely overboard, you have to exercise, you have to make sure the healthy out weigh the unhealthy.