Powerful and Common, but an Optimistic Superwoman (aka PCOS)

This is how my husband describes me all the friggin time when he’s describing me to others.

Ok that’s a complete lie, but I had you right? You were there of course until you read powerful? Common?? or was it Optimistic??? It wouldn’t have been superwoman because I AM superwoman (I also have a warped sense of humour!)

For those of you that don’t know what PCOS is,

“Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder women with this may have infrequent or prolonged menstrual periods (sometimes I can go a week or six months between) or excess male hormone (androgen) levels (erm yeah that’s the other thing, the facial/body hair).

The ovaries may develop numerous small collections of fluid (follicles) and fail to regularly release eggs. Signs and symptoms of PCOS often develop around the time of the first menstrual period during puberty. Sometimes PCOS develops later, for example, in response to substantial weight gain. (there it is, the bane of my life!)” Info taken from Mayo Clinic website. To also add to this I have an underachieve thyroid, and although I do take medication for this but because I’m (once again) borderline and because of the chance of me getting graves disease they couldn’t give me the correct dose which also causes weight gain.

It wasn’t so much publicised years ago when I was a teenager when I think it started (in the late eighties), the doctor picked up on it mainly when I was trying to conceive years later and was having my fertility looked into. I was borderline when I was trying, my GP could’ve prescribed me Metformin to help this but she was very reluctant to do so because of the clash with my other prescribed medicines.

I’ve had many conversations over the years of people saying things like, “why don’t you just eat the right things?” or “have you tried exercising?” It gets boring after a while, I just smile through it and shrug and respond with, “yes I’ve tried that.” Or when they say to me, “you should try this diet or that diet.” I probably had already tried it, but again I just smile and say, “oh I shall look into that, thank you.” I had someone recently say “I don’t understand why you’re overweight because the last couple of times I’ve seen you you’ve been out running!” Part of me wanted to explain to her that actually I’m out running to maintain my weight, but I just responded that I was running because I had too much chocolate the night before. Because it was easier to say that.

See here’s the thing, I cannot loose weight and I know what you thinking, “yeah I bet she hasn’t even tried”. I got fed up of trying to loose weight years ago, I can loose weight when I’m taking a particular medication but this medication also affects my health in other ways which I have chosen is more important than my weight. I’ve only explained this once to my husband because I’m sure when I tell people they don’t believe me. All the diets I have tried sometimes work for an average of three or four weeks and then it stops, it’s like my body gets used to it and gives up then most of the time the weight goes back on. I’ve given up all types of different food groups and seen professionals about it and one of them couldn’t even work out why I couldn’t loose the weight after four weeks of eating only what was on a list that she gave me.

There are foods that I should eat more of and there are foods that I shouldn’t be eating at all, before I had William I had lists of what I could and couldn’t eat. I had a book shelf full of books that I had spent time researching all about PCOS. I became obsessed with it, and I would get on the scales every day and when I gained a pound and would cry like it was the end of the world. This was my life though, making sure I didn’t gain weight because I was always struggling to maintain my weight, even my husband once said he couldn’t understand why I couldn’t loose weight because I ate healthily and did exercise.

Years later and I am still trying to understand my body and have changed my eating lifestyle quite a bit, so now when I do a diet it’s not to loose weight but to help me maintain it because the minute I don’t make a record of any of meals and do regular weigh ins I start to gain weight. Nowadays I do eat stuff that I enjoy but then if I do the following day I eat like a nun or do some hardcore cardio to cancel it out and the majority of the time it works. Nowadays I still feel like people are judging me because of my size, but it never bothered me until today.

I was upstairs getting in the shower this morning when William walked in, now I knew this day would come but a little sooner than I anticipated.

“Mummy your belly is big.” He’s very observant,

“Yes is it William.”

“Why are you fat?”

There it is. I had hoped that maybe he was a bit older so I could explain in a more factual way about my condition but I couldn’t.

“Because that’s the way I’m built, you and daddy are tall and slim and mummy is short and overweight.” Trying so hard not to use the word fat, it’s going to be more difficult when he goes to school because children don’t understand so I guess I’ll be forever saying “because I eat too much chocolate” to him and his friends.

Maybe one day I will just show him and others this blog post when they ask me why I am overweight, then I won’t have to keep repeating myself!

I have always been the same person though no matter what size I am, I am sensitive about my weight, and although I do joke about it because that’s my coping mechanism I still hope that one day William does understand this because really and truly I’m past caring what others think of me.

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