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I Have PCOS, I Am Not PCOS And 16 Tips for Losing Weight with PCOS – Its All About America Times

I Have PCOS, I Am Not PCOS

I have PCOS- Things you should know before you start trying to have a baby or if you are struggling to get pregnant.

This one is a hard one for me to write. It’s me coming on this happy little blog of mine to tell you that I have a syndrome. A syndrome I found out I had a year ago at the age of 25. You see after trying to get pregnant for a year & than getting pregnant with our first baby, losing that baby, & than not being pregnant again 9 months later, I knew there was something wrong. I guess looking back I always knew something was “wrong” with me. I had a gut feeling as a woman that something wasn’t right, but I happen to be one of those people that likes to live in my happy bubble. I avoided the bad news that I knew was looming over us & chose to keep living happily. Ignorance is bliss right?

I have PCOS- Things you should know before you start trying to have a baby or if you are struggling to get pregnant.

I eventually put my big girl pants on and finally made the appointment which happened to fall on the week of our first babies due date. The appointment was to run a bunch of tests and do some ultrasounds to see if there was anything causing issues with my fertility. Sure enough as I was lying on the table for my ultrasound the ultrasound tech told me that I had some cysts on my ovaries that were concerning to her. The words complex, cancer, PCOS, & a few other scary terms came up & I left that appointment in tears. I was referred out to fertility doctor #1 that day & I was anxious for my first appointment with her. Thankfully by the time that appointment rolled around the cyst they were concerned was cancerous had disappeared, but the diagnosis was final. I HAVE PCOS. I couldn’t decide how I felt. I mean, we had our answer as to what was wrong & why we were struggling to get pregnant & have a healthy pregnancy, but at the same time, we had an answer & there was something wrong with me. The first fertility doctor was a waste of our time really. We were not really checked & just given pills and told that was all they could do. Thankfully one day we got the call she was no longer working there & we were sent to Fertility doctor #2 about an hour away from us. This is all over a year time, nothing with this has gone fast. By the time we got to our first appt. with Fertility doctor #2 I was pregnant again. He was so thorough and we had lots of baby appointments with baby #2 & saw him or her grow. Of course if you know our story you know we lost baby #2 & than baby #3. I shared that loss here on the blog & I though it was only right to share the cause and reason for all of this going on in case anyone reading this was going through the same thing, or anyone struggling to get pregnant. In case I lost some of you at PCOS…

Polycystic ovary syndrome: Abbreviated PCOS. Polcystic ovary syndrome is a condition in women characterized by irregular or no menstrual periods, acne, obesity, and excess hair growth. PCOS is a disorder of chronically abnormal ovarian function and hyperandrogenism (abnormally elevated androgen levels). It affects 5-10% of women of reproductive age. PCOS is also called the Stein-Leventhal syndrome.

I have PCOS- Things you should know before you start trying to have a baby or if you are struggling to get pregnant.
PCOS is so common in women in their childbearing age. 1 in 10 women have it. That means a few of your close friends could very well have it. That can be comforting knowing that I am not alone in this struggle, knowing so many women have it, but it also makes me sad for my fellow PCOS women. PCOS doesn’t always mean you will have problems getting pregnant or that you will miscarry so please do not stress or worry yourself, but being aware of your body, doing research, getting checked & remaining healthy is key. Some symptoms of PCOS are being overweight, acne, hair growth, irregular cycles, & so much more. PCOS is not always pleasant & can be rough with the hormone imbalance & the struggles that come along with that. Doing research and getting checked by a doctor as early as possible is something I encourage. It makes me a little sad & disappointed that I didn’t know I had PCOS until I was 25 even though we were not trying to grow our family until then. I just wish I would have been aware so that I could have prepared myself & my body. This is why I’m sharing our story on here today. I hope it helps someone out there with their fertility & helps people who know they have PCOS to know that they are not alone. I know God gave me this for a reason & maybe that’s sharing my heart here.

I have PCOS- Things you should know before you start trying to have a baby or if you are struggling to get pregnant.

lizbike-27

How are Mr. LMB & I doing? Amazing. I will blog more on this later about our life after miscarriage & how we healed, but life is good. I am so proud of us & how well we have healed from what we have gone through. I am so thankful for the strength it has given us. Strength & love I never thought was possible. We have planted the roots of our marriage stronger in the Lord I am grateful for a marriage rooted in The Word. We are finishing up our “7 year honeymoon” here in NC before we move back up to Michigan when he get’s out of the military in November & we are so thankful for this life that God has given us. Every part of it. Being a family of two is what God has planned for us right now & we are living life to the fullest daily. I’m really glad God is in control of all of this because he knew that being a family of two is the awesome life we needed right now. I want to truly cherish this time as “us” before we welcome children into our lives & not wish these days away. We decided at the beginning of the year to stop trying for a little bundle of joy so that we could move home & settle in before another huge life change occurred. After making that decision to just be us for a little while longer it got me excited again for our adventurous life of two again. All of the sudden it was like I was able to see what I had been taking for granted while I was so worried about my diagnosis. Married life rocks & I’m thankful for these years with my best friend. I’m so thankful for the time to grow together, get stronger, & to just enjoy each other everyday. I can’t imagine life without him & I can’t imagine going through this journey with anyone else. I hope that if you are a family of two, three, four, six, or seventeen that you are happy in this moment & that you don’t let your fertility not enjoy the now. My biggest advice to a couple going through this is just be each other’s best friend. Listen, love, support, & encourage each other, just like every married couple should no matter what you are going through.

I have PCOS- Things you should know before you start trying to have a baby or if you are struggling to get pregnant.
10 things I want you to know about PCOS, my fertility, my miscarriages, & you.

1. Your eating habits can change {not cure} your PCOS. Eat right, exercise, & relax.

2. I am now gluten free to see if it helps with my symptoms. Do your own research & see what is best for you. There are many articles online that can help you see what are some good lifestyle changes for you. Of course your doctor might make some suggestions for you as well. If you want me to post on this let me know in the comments below.

3. We are currently {& haven’t been for a while} not trying to grow our family because of all of the changes coming up {getting out of the military & moving home.} Of course if we accidentally had a bundle of joy we wouldn’t be mad. Not one bit. Remember to relax & not stress because stress can spike PCOS symptoms.

4. I am healing, growing, & recovering from our three miscarriages, but I am forever grateful still for this journey that God has put us on & thankful for who I am because of it.  Read more about that {here}. Remember to take time for yourself to heal whether you just had a miscarriage or diagnosed with something. Take life in strides & stay calm.

5. I LOVE hearing success stories of people getting pregnant & having beautiful babies. I have had a few people say “sorry” for telling me they are pregnant & that makes me sad that they feel they have to say that. I NEVER have been jealous or angry from someone getting pregnant & if it were up to me everyone would have beautiful healthy babies {including us} & live happily ever after. So please never feel sorry for me or us. This life I live is so beautiful & I wouldn’t change a thing. Now, go have babies & tell me all about it. As long as you let me snuggle them! If you are struggling with this, I pray you find peace & know that it’s all in God’s time.

6. PCOS is the most common cause of infertility in women. If you are struggling with getting pregnant, again just go to a doctor you trust & get checked.

7. There is hope! Just because you have PCOS doesn’t mean you can’t get pregnant. Some people will not struggle, some who do can easily get pregnant with medicine, & some IVF. There is hope, there is always hope. Never give up & be sure to stay calm, don’t let PCOS ruin this life you love.

8. My symptoms you ask? Well to get personal I have never struggled with weight gain, but miscarriages, irregular cycles, not ovulating, & hormonal breakouts have been a struggle for me in my 20’s. Everyone’s symptoms are different, but those are mine. For breakouts I have used{this} natural skin care routine.

9. I have been on Metformin, clomid, Provera, & a few other medicines to work with my PCOS. Again, everyone is different, every case is different, & your doctor can go over your options with you. I have also been trying a lot of natural things as well & if you want me to blog about that let me know in the comments below. Ask your doctor what the best plan for you is.

10. Hey you, you sitting there with PCOS. You are not alone. I know some days you feel like you are the only one struggling with these symptoms, but I promise there are many of us beautiful women out there that carry this burden & I’m praying for you. I pray that your body becomes healthy & functions like it’s supposed to. I pray that you feel beautiful, & I pray that you feel like the awesome woman that you are!

lizbike-98

I AM NOT PCOS, I have PCOS, but I will not let it ruin my life. I don’t allow myself to be sad about it. I don’t blame myself, I don’t blame God, I don’t blame my parents, & this diagnosis doesn’t rule my days. Do I struggle sometimes & wish that I didn’t have it? Of course! I am only human {cue the Christina Perri song}. I think we all have one thing that we would change or that we struggle with, & this is mine. I am a child of God, a marine wife, a mother to three babies in heaven & two puppies here on earth, an interior designer, a blogger, a friend, and many other things, but I am not PCOS, I simply have PCOS & I will continue to overcome it daily. I would love to hear from you about PCOS or any other fertility questions, comments, in the comments below, on Facebook, or find me on Instagram. xx

Thankful-for-loss-my-miscarriage-story

 

 

16 Tips for Losing Weight with PCOS

I have received dozens of emails from women interested in losing weight with PCOS, but they can’t afford a gym membership, yoga classes or a personal trainer.

Having all of those luxuries would certainly be helpful- I use some of them myself! But the truth is you do not need them.

And you should not wait until you can afford them to start putting your health first.

Women who lose weight with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) do three very important things:

  • Exercise
  • Eat a nutrient-dense diet
  • Reduce their stress

You might be thinking to yourself: “Sounds great, but how do I do all that without hiring a nutritionist, a yoga teacher and a personal assistant?”

Today, I am going to give you 16 actionable tips for losing weight with PCOS that won’t cost you a cent. And I’m going to give you downloadable bonus material that you can use to put these 16 awesome tips into action.

The Bonus includes:

  • A handy checklist for all of the tips in this post.
  • Links to six of my favorite healthy recipes
  • And a list of online resources to help you get started

Click here to get the bonus sent to your in box now!

1. Eat without distraction.

Eating while in front of a television, tapping away on a laptop, or driving is not just a choking hazard! People who eat distracted eat more. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reviewed 24 different research studies and found that eating while distracted increased overall food intake in most individuals.

losing weight with PCOSEliminate distracted eating from your life by setting time aside in your schedule to eat. Go ahead and add lunch to your work calendar so that meetings and other responsibilities don’t invade your meal time.

Make it a personal rule to eat at a table and not your desk or the couch where you’ll be tempted to stare at a screen while you eat.

Leave your smartphone in another room during mealtime and, of course, eating at a drive thru is out of the question.

If your day is truly busy, just set aside 10 minutes to drink a healthy super shake. 10 minutes of undistracted eating is better than an hour of distracted overeating!

I’ve seen clients end their battle with overeating just by changing this single habit!

2. Stop scheduling rest days into your workout program.

Wait… Doesn’t your body need time to recover from intense exercise?

Yes, it does, but you do not need a rest day.

You need a recovery workout – a workout where you take the intensity way down and focus on things like joint mobility and deep breathing.

rest daysWhat you don’t need is 2-3 days a week that are devoid of any actual movement! Most of us sit all day at work and then sit in traffic just to come home and sit on our couch. The last thing your body needs is less movement!

On days when you don’t have a cardio or strength session planned, you should still set that block of time aside for health-enhancing activities!

On my recovery days, I like to do my usual warm-up followed by a leisurely stroll and then take a few minutes to stretch and foam roll tight muscles. Sometimes I even do some deep breathing exercises.

3. Squat.

The squat is a staple of most exercise programs for good reason. Squats simultaneously work the biggest muscle groups in your body (quads, glutes, back, and core) and are essential to everyday functioning. You use the squatting motion to sit, stand up, and pick things up. You can’t avoid squatting so you might as well get good at it!

How To Squat:Squat

  1. Stand with your feet beneath your shoulders.
  2.  Inhale and lower your body like you’re sitting down in a chair.
  3. Keep the back neutral, chest up and core engaged.
  4. Lower your body until your thighs are at least parallel to the ground.
  5. Keep your torso stiff as you exhale and press your body back up to standing.

You can do squats with or without added weight making them a great exercise to do at home!

4. Sprinkle on the spice.

Spices are a great way to boost you’re level of satisfaction from a meal. Human behavior researchers have found that when people have a stronger sensory experience while eating they tend to feel more satisfied and eat less.

Behavioral scientist Jennifer Lee, Ph.D. explains that “Our brains and bodies use a combination of signals to indicate ‘fullness’: sensory signals (taste, smell), gastric signals (full bellies), and nutrient signals (our bodies tell our brains, whether we are lacking in certain vitamins and minerals, etc.).

Plus, many spices deliver some serious health benefits. For example, a study conducted by the US Agricultural Research Service found that type II diabetics who consumed just 1 gram of cinnamon per day experienced a 20% decrease in blood sugar.

Ways to spice up your diet:

  • Make several homemade spice blends so that you have them on hand for creative moments in the kitchen. I love to sprinkle this Moroccan spice blend on my quinoa and chick peas and this taco spice blend can be added to bland beans or a baked sweet potato for an added kick.
  •  Sprinkle cinnamon in your coffee or tea each morning.
  • Go through you spice cabinet and make sure you have a fresh supply. Ground spices do go bad after a while. As a general rule, whole spices will stay fresh for about 4 years, ground spices for about 3 to 4 years and dried leafy herbs for 1 to 3 years.

5. Sneak more walking into your day.

There are several medical studies which have found that spending too much of your day in a seated position can be hazardous to your health.

In fact, a study conducted by the American Cancer Society found that people who sat for more than 6 hours per day increased their risk of death over the next 15 years by 40 percent compared to those who sat for less than 3 hours per day.

Translation: move or you’re killing yourself!treadmill

Adding more bouts of movement into your day will safeguard your health and make losing weight with PCOS a bit easier.

Some people at your office may take cigarette breaks or quick trips to Starbucks. Why not try taking a quick walking break?

The next time you have the urge to get out of your office and grab a mocha, skip the sugary drink and opt for a quick stroll around the block. The fresh air will energize you and the extra steps will further your fitness goals.

If you’re a parent, try walking around the field while waiting for your little leaguer’s practice to finish up. Why sit and wait if you can walk and wait?

6. Make push-ups part of your program.

When it comes to upper body exercises, you can’t beat the push-up. They do a fantastic job of strengthening your upper body while also working your core, glute and leg muscles. Push-ups burn calories and build strength!

Many women think they can’t do push-ups. They are wrong 99% of the time. Push-ups are an intermediate level exercise. If you can’t do them right away, start practicing good form by doing push-ups with your hands on a sturdy bench or the wall.

How To Do Push-ups:pushup

  1. Get into a good push-up position: place your hands on the ground slightly wider than shoulders width apart, engage your core to stiffen your torso, keep your feet together and your glutes should be firm.
  2. Inhale, and lower your chest toward the ground. Keep your glutes and core strong, tuck your elbows close to your sides as you descend.
  3.  Exhale, press back up to the starting position.
  4.  Do as many as you can from your toes. If necessary, you can reduce the difficulty by placing your hands on a bench or the wall.

 7. Eat fewer processed carbohydrates.

Every PCOS diet I’ve come across recommends that you get the majority of your carbohydrates from fruits, vegetables and beans. Unfortunately, the average person tends to get most of their carbohydrates from processed grain products like cereal, pasta, sandwich breads, and sugar.

Getting most of your carbohydrates from these highly refined products leads you to a state of being overfed and undernourished. You’re getting more than enough calories from breads and cookies, but you’re not getting nearly enough vitamins and minerals.Processed Carbohydrates

How to eat less processed carbohydrates:

  • Use lettuce leaves in place of tortillas and wraps.
  • Ditch pasta and use spaghetti squash or julienne sliced zucchini instead noodles.
  • You can replace white rice with this recipe for cauliflower rice.
  • Instead of a bowl of cold cereal for breakfast, try fresh fruit and plain greek yogurt with a little honey. This will also boost your protein intake!

 8. Include high-intensity interval training in your cardio program.

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a method of cardio exercise that is great for women with PCOS. HIIT workouts can increase your insulin sensitivity, help you build muscle, and improve your body’s ability to burn fat.

A HIIT workout involves alternating low intensity intervals of exercise with intervals of high-intensity exercise.  For example, a HIIT workout might include alternating bouts of sprinting with brisk walking.

One or two 20-minute sessions of HIIT each week should be enough to boost your weight loss efforts.

Here are links to two of my favorite HIIT workout plans:

A Running Program for People Who Don’t Like to Run

At Home Cardio Circuit

9. Cook nutritious desserts.

chocolate peanut butterYou can lose weight and eat your cake too! The trouble with most traditional desserts is that they are high in calories and low in nutrients.

However, there are plenty of innovative food bloggers who are creating totally nutritious and tasty dessert recipes. Two of my favorite places to find healthy desserts are chocolatecoveredkatie.com and purelytwins.com.

A word or warning: many nutritious dessert recipes are still high in calories, so you need to use portion control.

10. Practice the art of mindful eating.

Mindful Eating is a practice that Buddhist monks have been adhering to for hundreds of years. The concept is simple: bring attention and focus to eating.

Mindful eating has been shown to help chronic overeaters reduce stress and caloric intake. Both of which are helpful in losing weight.

Mindful eaters take special care to notice their hunger cues before, during and after a meal. They also savor the sensory experience of eating by reflecting on the taste, appearance, texture, and smell of their food.

Four simple ways to start eating mindfully:

  1. Eat from a plate or bowl, not a bag. By placing food out on a plate, you get a visual cue as to how much you are eating.
  2. Put your utensils down in between bites. If you have food in your mouth, your hands should be empty. Take a moment to taste, chew and swallow each bite before taking the next.
  3. Try to identify each ingredient in a dish. As you eat focus on flavor and take note of what spices and ingredients are present in each bite.
  4. Throughout your meal contemplate how your food got to your plate. Think about how you cooked it, where you bought it, and the farmer who grew the ingredients.

 11. Be aware of liquid calories.

High-calorie beverages tend to be less satiating than a solid food meal of the same amount of calories. In fact, people who drink high-calorie beverages tend to consume more calories in general.shakes-200x300

If you want to lose weight, my suggestion is that you drink water, tea, coffee and the occasional glass of red wine. Here are a few beverages you should keep to a minimum when trying to slim down:

  • Commercially prepared smoothies and protein shakes
  • Specialty coffee drinks
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Fruit juice
  • Soda.

 12. Get eight hours of sleep each night.

Not getting enough sleep at night is a serious health risk and it can hinder your weight loss efforts.

  • Sleep deprivation can affect the hormones that control your hunger levels.
  • An American Academy of Sleep Medicine research study found that sleeping less at night may increase the expression of genetic risks for obesity.
  • Many medical studies have found that sleep deprivation reduces fat cells’ ability to respond properly to the hormone insulin.

How to get a good night’s sleep:

  • Schedule enough time for you to sleep a full eight hours. This means you need to have the lights off eight and a half to nine hours before you’re supposed to get up.
  • Keep your bedroom dark and at a cool temperature.
  •  Reserve your bedroom for sleeping. Keep the television and computer in other rooms.
  • Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.

13. Eat more veggies!

You really can’t eat too many veggies! Vegetables are amazing for so many reasons. But, to put it simply, you need to eat more veggies because they have tons of micronutrients and fibers, but are very low in calories.

They are the ideal food for weight loss!

How to eat more veggies:carrots

  • Learn to cook veggies. Like any food, veggies taste best when you put a little effort into cooking them. You would not expect raw chicken to taste wonderful. The same holds true for asparagus and carrots.
  •  Get creative with your salads. Mix salad greens with roasted veggies, fruit, avocados, nuts or seeds.
  • Buy produce when it is in-season. Produce will be at it’s best when you buy it at the right time of year. You can look online to get a list of what’s in-season and when for your area.
  • Try to eat different color veggies every day. Differently colored veggies contain different nutrients.

14. Work out first thing in the morning.

When you make your workout the first thing on your to-do list, it gets done.

The number one reason women give me for not working out is their busy schedules. And it’s a perfectly valid reason!

Unfortunately, if you keep putting other things before your health, your body and your quality of life will pay for it. The easiest way to nip this problem in the bud is to work out first thing in the morning. Snooze_button

A morning workout may not seem very appealing to those of you that are addicted to the snooze button, but I have a few ways you can make your morning sweat session a cherished ritual.

Do not check your email when you wake up. Unless you’re a world leader, everybody else’s problems can wait until you’ve worked out.

Work out at home. Working out at home eliminates commuting time and the need to shower in a locker room – yuck!

Make a great workout playlist, pick music that energizes you.

Put the most important part of your workout at the beginning. For example, if your priority is chest and legs, do your squats and push-ups right after your warm-up. This way if you have to cut the workout short, you’ve still accomplished something!

Be grateful. Having the time, resources, and physical capability to work out is a privilege! Be grateful for that strong, beating heart and your comfy yoga pants!

15. Learn to cook. Even if it’s just six dishes.

In my opinion, cooking is a terrific hobby – especially for women with PCOS. Knowing how to cook will free you from being dependent on restaurants and manufactured food products.

After taking cooking lessons, I found that I prefer my cooking to most cafe’s and restaurants. More importantly, by cooking my meals I always have control over the quality of my food.

Do you think cooking is a chore? Not to worry. You just need to find about five or six healthy recipes you can master. Most people eat the same stuff every week and are perfectly happy to do so.

I recommend you learn the following:

  • two poultry dishes you like
  • one fish or seafood dish
  • how to roast veggies
  • at least one healthy dessert
  • one tasty bean or quinoa dish.

Note: I include links to my six go-to healthy recipes in the downloadable bonus. Click here to get the bonus sent to your in box now!

16. Stop looking for quick fixes.

pcosIf you have PCOS, losing weight is about more than just being thin. Managing your weight will help you protect yourself from PCOS-related complications like infertility and diabetes.

Lasting, health-preserving weight loss requires you to adopt a lifestyle that makes your health a priority. It is not always an easy thing to do, but the benefits outweigh the costs!

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