What Women with PCOS Are Struggling With- 3 Issues that Might Surprise You!

Over the past couple months I have been very vocal about my struggle with PCOS. I’ve written about it on my own blog and have shared my story with other amazing PCOS sites.

For whatever reason, I felt called to go from just being some women with a medical condition to an activist. After receiving email and support from all of you- I am on fire! I want to do all that I can to help women with PCOS live better!

Your emails and blog comments have been inspiring and surprising. I have found that women with PCOS have some common struggles and issue that we are not talking about yet.

Heads up! This post includes My 3 Easy Steps to Making Big Changes bonus download to help you deal with one of these issues.

Chronic Painchronic pain and PCOS

A few week ago, I shared a Belly Fat-Fight Exercise Program with the readers of  PCOS Diet Support. I was surprised by all of the comments and emails I received from women who not only had PCOS, but were also suffering from some kind of chronic pain.

Many of the women who reached out to me had joint pain issues that prevented them from doing one or all of the exercises in my plan.

I certainly can relate! As I have mentioned elsewhere in my blog, I’ve been dealing with persistent back pain (scoliosis) since the age of 12.

I will go into how I deal with my back pain in a future post but if there is one thing I am sure of its that movement eases pain. It is counterintuitive to head for the gym when you are hurting. However, exercise is my #1 pain management tool.

I know what you’re thinking: “Of course the personal trainer lady thinks exercising will cure my pain.. what a nut!”

The fact is that there’s plenty of medical research that supports the use of exercise for many types of chronic pain.  According to Dr. Howard S. Smith, Director of Pain Medicine at Albany Medical Center:

“Exercising regularly can help women with chronic pain actually decrease pain as they unwind, de-stress, lose weight, increase range of motion or the normal amount your joints can be moved in certain directions, and build muscle and bone strength.” 

Doing too much

Some of my fellow PCOS ladies have exercise and diet programs that are so intense I get tired just reading them! Seriously, its like you’re trying to sweat the PCOS out of you!

Intense regular exercise, and a clean nutritious diet free from processed foods is the key to living a healthy full life in spite of PCOS.

However ultra-restrictive diets and overtraining will have the opposite effect. Believe me I know from first hand experience!

Pushing yourself to hard is not just mentally and emotionally stressful, it also creates a stress response in your body that could potentially throw your hormones further out of whack.

If you are eager to embark on a PCOS friendly lifestyle, start with the basics. Instead of becoming a gluten-free vegan, cross-fit junkie in the space of one week, just try adding veggies to every meal and strength trying a few times a week.

If you dive head-first into a complicated and demanding series of lifestyle changes, it is unlikely that you will stick with it and you might even do more harm than good.

Getting started goal-setting-steps-2

I receive a lot of  emails with the words Help! I don’t know where to start!

There is a crazy amount of information on PCOS out on the web, yet many women are still struggling to take the first step.

In many ways I think its totally amazing that we have so many resources at our disposal.  Unfortunately, if you’re just getting over the shock of a PCOS diagnosis, that level of information can be crushing!

And hey let’s be honest change is hard! You just got a pile of lousy news dumped in your lap and now you have to buck up and change the way you live. Hmmm I think I’d rather just take a nap or cry on the phone to my mom.

If you’re struggling to make the changes nessacary to live a PCOS-friendly lifestyle- PLEASE DON’T BEAT YOURSELF UP OVER IT!

This is going to take some time and you need to give yourself a little compassion.

If you’re struggling with taking first steps, I want to give you a hand. Download my 3 Easy Steps to Making Big Changes hereGo ahead download this free bonus now so that you can take the first step today!

My 3 Easy Steps to Making Big Changes won’t solve all of your problems but it will help you put one foot in front of the other.  Come on! It’s time to start your healing journey and I want help you get started.

What was the first step you took to get control of your PCOS?

What changes are you still struggling with?

 

 

My PCOS Story

I remember the day very clearly.  About 6 weeks after graduating from college, I woke up and started to get dressed for work.  That’s when I discovered my pants did not fit.  I had worn them last week but my rapidly expanding belly roll prevented me from zipping them.  My heart sank.

I absolutely knew something was very wrong.  I was sick.  In the last 3 months I had not had a period, I kept gaining weight even though I had not changed my diet, and then there was the epic acne.  All these embarrassing symptoms aside I just felt unwell.

My doctor thought it was stress brought on by my recent entry into the workforce. She sent me home with some birth control pills.  In a few months time I became 30 pounds overweight, exhausted, covered in acne and understandably depressed.  My mom was concerned and took me to see her gynecologist.  I found out I had Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.

My initial google searches on PCOS sent me into a tailspin.  Infertility, Insulin Resistance, Cancer, Obesity, Metabolic Syndrome, Acne.  I was scared, and felt helpless.  I remember driving my car to an empty parking lot in the middle of the night just so I could cry as loud as I wanted to.

A few days after that night in the parking lot, I decided to focus on things I could do to improve my life.  I stopped thinking about all that could go wrong with my PCOS, and I threw all my energy behind what I could control: my lifestyle.

I got back in the gym and started enjoying my workouts like I use to-  I’ve been a fitness nerd for as long as I can remember.  I started teaching myself how to cook yummy healthy meals that were made from whole unprocessed foods, and I started praying instead of crying my eyes out at night.

Wow! That was nearly 10 years ago. Today, the most significant impact PCOS has on my life, is that it has motivated me to take good care of myself.

Losing Weight with PCOS

Getting to this point was not easy, and I am still learning  how to use my lifestyle to mange PCOS.  From time to time I have setbacks,  but nothing can shake my belief that the choices I make everyday, from what I snack on to when I go to sleep, will have more influences over my health than any single diagnosis ever will.

If you have PCOS, and you are feeling like your life is out of your control- I get it, but your journey does not end with PCOS. I want to encourage you to stop thinking of PCOS as a roadblock, and see it for the warning sign that it is.  Your body is begging you for some TLC.  Start taking good care of yourself today!

Are you ready to live a PCOS friendly lifestyle, but don’t know where to start?  Sign up for my free e-course on the best exercise methods for PCOS.
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