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

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. **

5 Ways Listening to Podcasts Has Improved My Life.

Over the last month I have been starting to establish my brand and start to make my entrepreneur dreams a reality.

As many of you know I am associated with Beachbody and have been studying their business model for years. They have 4 non negotiable actions that have proven time and time again that help to move the needle forward. One of them- personal development. Ten minutes a day of personal or professional development is a required activity to help you achieve your goals. However, have I done this everyday? HELL NAWW. Who has time to spend 10 minutes reading a book every morning when I could be sleeping in?

Enter the new Podcast craze.

GIRL, this is a GAME CHANGER. My life, my mindset, my reality has changed since I started listening to podcasts EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

Morning Mindset

The first way that listening to podcasts has improved my life is it has improved my morning mindset. Everyday on my way to my 9-5, while I am sitting in traffic, I listen to a podcast. Think about it, you’re sitting there pissed off because Suzie in her fancyass Audi just cut you off and you are running late for work, but you got your girl Rachel Hollis in your ear telling you exactly how to achieve that goal you have been sitting on for years, its not so bad. I am listening to uplifting, inspiring words each morning and it lights a fire under my butt to get to work. While working my 9-5 is not the thing that sets my soul on fire, however it is a stepping stone to reaching my ultimate goals. I see my job as a tool to learn and grow professionally so that when I am ready to take that entrepreneurial leap and go all in I will have the resources, the knowledge and the confidence to make it happen.

Learning for FREE

Podcasts are essentially giving you free information. You want to know how to eat clean?…There is a podcast for that. Want to learn how to create a Facebook marketing campaign?…. There is a podcast for that. Professionals in each space spend time each week talking to their listeners about their zone of genius. For me I am listening to other boss babes and learning how they built their empire using social media for sales and influence. Listening to a half hour podcast is much easier for me to do everyday than it is to take a class at my local community college or sit down and read a text book.

Constant Productivity

By listening to podcasts instead of watching Netflix, for example, I am being consistently productive. We live in a world full of noise. Some noise is productive, and some is not; like spending hours scrolling though Facebook or Instagram.

I am writing this blog post now but I am also listening to a podcast about building small business and my brain is lighting up with ideas. There is no shortage of consumable content in your desired field.

Empowerment

I find daily empowerment by listening to these podcasts. Especially in the saturated market that I am in, it’s SO hard to feel like I can do this, like it’s worth it; these podcasts lift me up and make me say “Well why not me?Whose to say that I can’t do that? Who says that I am not fun or interesting?”

I am someone who speaks up, someone who wants to share my knowledge and opinion with people who are like me. These podcasts are people sharing their knowledge, wanting to help their listeners, these people are just like me.

I Am Not Alone

Not only has listening to these podcasts inspired me in my life, in my day to day- my 9-5, but it has taught me that there are THOUSANDS of people out there that have the same problems, the same concerns as me. All I have to do is type in my problem and there are so many episodes by so many speakers talking about that concern. Podcasts, if done well, are so authentic and therefore inspiring. I feel like these women understand me because they have been where I am.