PCOS sucks. There. I said it. It is the most common endocrine disorder among women, and it doesn’t just affect one area of your body. It takes over the whole damn thing. It can cause infertility, facial hair, male pattern baldness, anxiety and depression, infertility, insulin resistance that can lead to diabetes and the best part- it makes you more prone to being overweight, especially in your stomach.
Fun stuff, right?
Well add this into the mix. Society hates fat people. I said it. The society we live in tends to judge overweight people as being lazy and lacking self-control.
Can I tell you something? I am a woman with PCOS, and I have tried and fought to lose weight my whole life. Spoiler alert, it didn’t work most of the time. I tried every extreme, quick fix, straddling the fine line into disordered eating, only to see the scale budge a few pounds. After a while, your body can’t continue in that extreme state and quite frankly, it makes your body more prone for other issues. So I couldn’t figure out how to lose weight. It wasn’t due to lack of self-control, or being lazy and unmotivated. I just couldn’t understand why I couldn’t lose or keep weight off.
Well, I was dieting. All well and great, right? Wrong. Because with dieting I have found a cycle of stages we often find ourselves stuck in.
I am sure you are reading this and you can relate. Whether it was a 30 day magic shake diet or a year long one. I am sure you have gained weight back, or have felt like you failed your diet.
Here’s a secret: Diets Don’t Work!
In fact, I am case in point that goes to show dieting can lead to disordered eating. Let me explain.
I spent most of my life hating my body. Here I am: overweight, unable to lose it, not understanding why I could work out and eat like other women and not lose, and being judged by a society that’s flooded with weight stigma and pressure to be thin. Yea, I disliked my body. And I wanted to change it. So I wanted to try anything to change it. ANYTHING.
Fun fact I didn’t know before my diagnosis of PCOS and my education and research: Most women with PCOS have insulin resistance. Insulin resistance makes it extremely difficult to lose weight. (See my last post about this.) Also, high levels of insulin in the blood turn off the satiety trigger ( the feeling of being full) which leads to tendencies to binge.
Here’s the lethal combination:
PCOS making weight loss difficult+pressure from society to lose weight and be thin= birth of my eating disorder.
Did you know of all mental illnesses, eating disorders has the highest fatality rate? True story. But we aren’t here to discuss ED. Another day. Let’s get back to why we are here. The dirty word- Dieting.
This constant cycling of dieting to binge is disastrous on our bodies. The yo-yo dieting cycle causes higher insulin levels and higher inflammation levels in the body. With PCOS, you already are at a disadvantage with your predisposition to insulin resistance.
When insulin levels are high, so are carb cravings. Ever find yourself saying, ” I need some freaking bread or I’m going to hurt someone!!” ?You can thank your body insulin for being a raging bitch.
So what do some in the PCOS world suggest? GET RID OF ALL CARBS ! THEY ARE THE DEVIL!
Let’s slow down. We don’t want to break up with carbs before we have to, right? I wouldn’t. For most, removal of all carbs is not necessary and in some cases, unhealthy. For myself, when I abstained from carbs I found 3 things:
- I was more likely to binge> raising insulin levels
- I felt restricted and limited> lead to disordered eating tendencies
- Continued my cat and mouse game with the cycle of dieting. ( see above.)
So what the actual heck do you do with PCOS if diets don’t work?
On my next post: The non dieting guide to PCOS
Originally posted 2016-11-01 21:23:50.