PCOS- Body Betrayal.

This is going to be a ranting post so hold on tight.

I have been having a hell of a time with my PCOS symptoms lately. I am gaining weight, craving sugar and crying at commercials. I haven’t had a real period in months. In fact, I have gained so much weight that I am unable to work out like I have been because my body hurts. I have never been the one that couldn’t take my dog for a walk down the block or not be able to walk up 2 flights of stairs, but now my body is completely betraying me. It is taking all my effort to walk on the treadmill for 30 minutes at a slow pace. WHAT IS HAPPENING?

I started going back into the depression mode and people at work started to notice. I can’t stand it because no one understands- except for if you have it. If you have it you can spot the symptoms a mile away. A girl that I work with straight up asked me if I had PCOS and I felt an overwhelming sense of relief when we started to talk about it. Someone else finally understood how hard it is to live this life everyday.

One of the most common struggles I hear when researching or talking to others that have PCOS is that we feel so alone. No one understands just how deep and complex the issue is, not even the doctors who we are trusting to treat it.

PCOS symptoms are complex.

The many symptoms of PCOS

Let’s break it down.

Physical Symptoms

The biggest issue with the physical symptoms, especially as a child, is the shaming that comes with it. The self shaming for letting it get that way, the feeling of shame when you step on the scale at the doctor and their response is “if you lose the weight the symptoms will go away.. you need to lose X amount of pounds. If you can’t do it on your own we will need to explore surgery. “

Thats all fine and dandy, but the internal symptoms of PCOS make that virtually impossible.

Internal/Hormonal Symptoms

The Insulin resistance is the biggest culprit. The best way to describe this is that when you have insulin resistance your body is not processing food like the rest of the “normal” population. It holds on to every calorie and stores it as fat because it thinks that its starving. The food is not being used as energy in the proper way which causes extreme fatigue and sugar cravings. Not only are we always hungry but we literally cannot be satiated because our hormones say nahh. There is no magic pill to fix these hormones so they throw birth-control and diabetes meds at us that can kinda help but were not actually made to help PCOS?

Let’s review.. so were starving and our bodies are processing all foods as sugar (from celery to cupcakes) and storing as fat and the only way to help this is to lose weight. THE FUK. Not possible. Which then brings us to the mental symptoms.

Mental Symptoms

You can guess that this causes depression and anxiety and a hell of a lot of stress. Not only from the frustration of it and society judging us, but the fact that the hormones are all out of wack. This causes mood fluctuation and effects the serotonin, dopamine and cortisol levels in the body. So we take anti depressants and anti anxiety meds so that we can make it though the day without breaking down. We feed the body sugar and carbs to give us enough energy to meet the expectations of our bosses and friends. We talk with our doctors to get answers and there does not seem to be any.. so we wait it out. Wait for the next fluctuation of hormones and hope that these ones treat us just a little better.

What happens next?

Great question. I wish I had the answer for you. PCOS is a guessing game, it’s a maze and a never ending puzzle that is consistently missing pieces. What works for one women may not work for the other. 1 in 10 women have PCOS, yet no one can come up with proper treatment for it. Most women get diagnosed with the condition when they try to get pregnant, then there are the women like me who was diagnosed at 8 years old and have been fighting this never ending battle for 20 years.

Cysters, let’s talk.

While this is the opposite of uplifting I hope that if you are a cyster this helps you feel less alone. I understand your struggle, I understand the pressure and the shame. We are all in this together. Please share your story, or comment and let everyone know that you are fighting this same battle. Tips and tricks are welcome but my goal with this is awareness and connectivity.

have a great week, keep fighting.

xoxo

Your Brain is your Super Power.

Everyone knows that your brain is the center of your world- it makes everything go. Everyone has also heard the sayings about it..

“Your body achieves what your mind believes”

“Positive mindset, positive outcomes”

Oprah’s “Secret”.

While the brain holds all the power it is also easily tricked, what I mean is that it cannot tell the difference between perception and reality- the saying “what you see is what you get” or when you get scared or cry from watching a movie.. your brain is processing that as reality.

If you can imagine the thoughts and feelings that you would experience when you achieve that goal, you can make it happen.

One of the morning routine’s I studied in this post, was suggested by Rachel Hollis. She explains in her podcast her morning routine in which she writes out her top 10 things she really wants to happen as if they have already happened.

” I am a New York Times best selling author”

“I am a fantastic wife and mother”

The powerful “I am” statements will shift your reality from what if and when I to I am and I can.

Learn more about her morning routine and order her start today journal here!

When you can visualize how what someone who has achieved that goal would do in any given situation you will automatically begin to act that way.

Theory in Practice

I watched the new Netflix documentary called “Understanding the Mind”. They have two episodes I was particularly interested in, The brain on Psychedelics and Anxiety Explained. The first was very interesting and I absolutely recommend it, but the second is what I want to discuss.

In the show they used a graph to show how effective different treatments for anxiety and depression were. The most effective treatment( on its own) was placebo. PLACEBO. That’s your brain doing its job. You have tricked your brain into thinking that it is getting fixed and it fixed its self.

I have attempted to do this the past week and I think I have seen a difference overall in my mood. I am less negative and I think I believe in myself a tiny bit more.

I will be testing this over the next week and will report back in my next post. Stay Tuned!

Holistic Healing

I have officially embarked on the path of holistic healing!

I know what you are thinking- get out of here with that hippie voodoo shit Carly, it does not help. Well I say don’t knock it until you do some research!

What is Holistic Healing?

The dictionary definition of holistic medicine is “characterized by the treatment of the whole person, taking into account mental and social factors, rather than just the symptoms of a disease.” Holistic in my mind means that all parts that make up a human are taken into consideration when healing the self, not just managing one symptom when that may not really be the issue in the first place.

My Why?

I started looking into holistic medicine very recently. I started battling symptoms of Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome when I was 6 years old. I was gaining weight like crazy, had insanely high cholesterol and my parents shuffled me from specialist to specialist for the next 12 years of my life. I have tried every drug in the book as well as some non conventional meds.

Other symptoms associated with PCOS are anxiety and depression- I got both. Bad.

When I hit bottom I finally decided to see a therapist and she referred me to a psychiatrist and BOOM. More drugs. I was 21 years old and I was taking over 15 pills a day and guess what… I STILL had symptoms. I have switched doses, and meds over the years but we never took anything away- we just added to the madness.

At 26 years old I am taking 8 different drugs and I take 12 pills a day. 12 PILLS A DAY. I am miserable and my symptoms are worse than ever. I went to more doctors and the options given were; get bariatric surgery, go vegan and see a nutritionist. As you have read in earlier posts, I have studied nutrition for years and I don’t want to hire a nutritionist. (I did meet with one shortly after that suggestion and I was right.. I didn’t need one. ) I started to do some research to see if anything new or revolutionary has come to light.

In a seemingly unrelated occurrence, I hurt my shoulder while I was working out. I ended up going to see a family friend and her chiropractic office to see if she could help with the pain. I had just come from seeing a women’s health specialist and I remembered Dr. J (the chiropractor I was going to see) mentioned she could potentially help me with the PCOS. I was super skeptical but I decided to talk to her about it since I was all out of other options.

Enter Dr. J

When I tell you that I was shocked by this exam and explanations she gave me I am not kidding.

I had brought along my blood work from the doctor I had seen previously to show Dr. J. She suggested that she does an exam and she would be able to tell me what that paper said without ever seeing it… YA RIGHT how can a chiropractor tell me what is wrong with my hormones?

Guys.. She did it.

Not only was she able to help my shoulder she was able to test what my body needed to heal its self and she gave me natural supplements to try out. I have been on these supplements for 3ish weeks now and the difference is HUGE.

I feel lighter. I feel more energetic. My brain fog is gone. I am sleeping better, I am eating better, my anxiety is no longer controlling my days and I am the most productive I have been in years.

When people say you are what you eat, I freaking believe it. The nutritional support that I have gotten from her is literally changing my world, with results almost instantly.

Nutritional Response Testing

This is where things got voodoo-y. Dr. J uses Nutritional Response Testing (NRT) to help her understand what is “wrong” with the patient. From an outside perspective this is what it seems like.

Patient holds supplement in left hand, while their right arm is stretched out holding strong. The Doctor puts pressure on the outstretched arm and if the patient cannot resist the pressure something is off. Ummm.. What?

You can laugh, it is weird.. but it works, cause Physics. If you look up NRT on youtube or google it you can get a much more scientific depiction than what I provided above, I just wanted to prove the point that it seems voodoo-y and I was skeptical.

After this exam Dr. J explained my results and we checked the bloodwork and recommendations from the women’s health doctor I had seen that morning. They matched. 100%. *insert jaw drop here*

What’s Next?

My next visit I brought my pharmacy of meds with me and Dr. J was able to test those and see which ones my body “likes” and which ones it does not. The improvements continue to increase and I hope one day I can stop taking all the drugs and heal the actual problem.

I am continuing my research into holistic health and healing in addition to seeing dr. J and I would love to hear from you if you have any experience with holistic health or natural healing.

If you are interested in learning more about this you can check out Dr. J’s facebook page! There may also be a guest post on this blog by Dr. J coming soon so stay tuned my friends!

** Dr.J was not consulted for this post, all information is my own from my own experience with her. **

Whats up with this “Miracle Morning”?

If you have been around here for any sort of time you know how I am searching for all the tips and tricks for making the most of everyday; how to be productive, how to be positive, how to be successful, the list goes on.

I found though this research that having a set morning routine or daily practice is the most agreed upon way to remain productive and positive all day. By establishing a set practice you can train yourself to start with intention everyday.

Most people have a routine that they do daily without even knowing it, like setting their clothes out the night before or prepping the coffee for the next day. The common theme is eliminating stress or making something easier for yourself.

Let’s be real. 90% of us hit snooze 2 times, pick up our phones, start the social media scroll and before we know it were running behind.

We then rush to shower, get dressed and hopefully grab a coffee before we have to run out the door. This is a high stress situation- starting your day with a very high level of cortisol can cause all sorts of issues like weight gain, poor sleep and acne.. who the hell wants to deal with that on top of what life already throws at us unexpectedly. Not me. nope nope nope. Solution…Morning Routine.

How to start a Morning Routine

While there is no “right” morning routine I have 3 major principles of a morning routine that I have found to be most helpful.

  1. Mindset Focused
  2. Anti-Stress
  3. Self- Centered

Mindset- Focused

Mindset is EVERYTHING. I have said it before and I will say it again, and again. If you have a negative mindset, you will not live a positive life. I know its not a given that we will wake up in a good mood, but through a mindset focused morning routine, we can quickly change that around. I listen to a podcast every morning. My favorites are The Brendon Show, and the Rise podcast. I also listen to The Angie Lee Show and some others. The most important thing is that I find these to be inspiring and they give me something to think about for the day. If you are not a podcast person, I also recommend reading some sort of personal or professional development. Grab a cup of coffee and read for ten minutes. Get your mind flowing in the right direction and set the tone for the day.

Anti-Stress

A morning routine should be something that sets you up to be productive, whatever that means for you. For example, my mother wakes up 3 hours before she has to so she can look at her email, download recipes and listen to ted talks in her bathrobe; while I wake up and immediately head for the gym. I don’t find that searching though Pintrest in the morning is anti-stress and she doesn’t find weightlifting to be particularly wonderful either, but when we talk before we both head to work we are both in the correct head space to take on our day.

Self-Centered

Whaaa? You’re telling me to be self-centered?

Yes, girl. You deserve to be a little bit selfish. Especially when you are focusing on your mindset, your growth and your passions. If you are not selfish it’s not going to work. Due to the nature of self- discovery, self-growth and self-worth you need to focus on… yourself. Sure the laundry needs to be folded, the lunches need to be packed and there are 500 emails sitting in your inbox BUT putting those things before yourself is detrimental when setting up your day. When being self-centered it is important to look at the root of the self. What grounds you? What makes you feel most at peace? What keeps you focused on not stressed? The answer to those questions are what you should be focusing on when you create a self-centered practice.

For me. I am most at peace sitting outside in the early morning with a cup of coffee and listening to the nature around me and grounding myself in the earth. Sure that’s some hippie shit answer but it’s the honest truth.

If you still don’t know where to start ask yourself these three questions when you wake up.

  1. Where is my head at? What do I need to do to get it where it needs to be?
  2. Is there a stressor that is causing me to be in a negative head space? What can i do that will be proactive and productive in reducing that stress.
  3. What can I do for me to be sure that I am my best self as I take on my day?