I’m just a regular girl, with PCOS, this is my story.
I was put on the pill soon after my third period. I blame the Dr for convincing my mum it was a good idea and ‘wouldn’t have long term side effects.
In my early teens, I thought it was great. Regular bleeds and I was fitting in with all my other friends who were taking it too. I was told it would keep my weight under control which was exactly what I wanted to hear as someone who craved to be like my ‘skinny’ friends.
As the years went on, I dieted myself harder and exercised till I was exhausted in hopes of losing just a few more kilos. Surprisingly the weight started creeping up, my periods got shorter, the pain ramped up until eventually, my period went MIA completely. I thought there was something wrong with my body on the inside but was too focused on ‘losing weight’ to care.
I saw a handful of Dr’s and specialists. Most of them pushed me aside and said they couldn’t help me until I was ready to have kids but I should eat less and exercise more to keep the weight down.
I eventually decided to come off the pill after 13years. I was later diagnosed with PCOS, supporting 40-46 cysts on my ovaries and a complete hormonal disaster affecting my fertility. In one year, I had injected over $5,000 dollars into medication, Dr’s visits and all I got was sicker, fatter and more depressed. My last gyno broke me into tears at his office when he said ‘I don’t know what else to do’.
I was consumed by my condition, fighting against my own body and scared to eat anything at all. All I wanted was to work and feel like a woman should.
From the broken down, sick and unhappy me, it’s taken a good 4-5 years of work to label PCOS as a 1%er in my life. My condition no longer controls me.
I carry 9 normal cysts in my ovaries, a hormonal platform that’s regulated and functioning like I’m supposed to, my period comes every month AND I’m ovulating. The anxiety, pain, weight gain, insulin resistance and food cravings? They’re all in my past too.
To get there I had to educate myself in how to do it all without dieting and only exercising a handful of hours a week. Emotionally it was challenging to relearn the real science behind doing something the “right” way, versus what had always been suggested. Physically, my body loved it as I worked to reverse the damage I had spent a good 10-12 years of my life contributing to with shitty diets and exhausting workouts.
I never knew it was possible to do less, eat more and be better for it. I knew my body’s default setting was ‘fat’ so I was convinced that true health was only for the ‘lucky’ girls. This same diverse knowledge is still practised on my own clients today as part of their own health and body transformations. Never ever could I have predicted this while sitting in the school office being asked what I wanted for a career.
My journey to now is nothing amazing. I was never more lucky, motivated or special than any other girl in our PCOS world.
I was fuelled with anxiety, self-doubt and took many backwards steps. I failed a lot and wanted to give up multiple times every day because I couldn’t see progress happening quick enough or where I wanted it at the time.
Truthfully, the Drs did a very bad job in telling me how sick I truly was. I resented that I had trusted them, their horrible advice that didn’t work and I had to take things into my own hands to find out the source as well as a solution they couldn’t provide.
PCOS is a part of me.
I remember when I got my first period after 18 months of amenorrhea. Think 11/10 pain and contemplating wearing adult nappies so I could sleep without fear of soiling another pair of sheets, pyjamas and underwear in a matter of minutes.
Amongst the struggle, I wanted to ring up every Dr who had given up on me and shove a bin liner of pads in their face to prove them wrong.
Whilst tempting, I never went through with it. However, I revisited the thought a few years later and considered sending my hormone and ultrasound comparisons showing my fertility and clean ovaries that had drastically changed where they had said I’d ‘just have to live with it for the rest of my life.