30 September 2013

A bit about PCOS.

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Image sourced from: 'The Good Vibe' via Pinterest

This post is not for everyone, but I wanted to touch on a few things that may help any lovely girlies who may suffer with PCOS, or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. I don't want to waffle on too much about what it is because you can find that out yourself online or look HERE. My guess is if you are reading this you already know what it is anyway!

What I want to do here is to create a place for conversation (you can get in touch via the comment box or email me directly on fromlucywithlove@outlook.com) - I want to tell you about what I do to make myself feel better when things flare up and my PCOS makes me feel terrible.

This is what I suffer with:
- hair growth
- painful, acne-like break outs (although these are not as severe now as they once were)
- difficulty to lose weight / easy weight gain
- hair falling out

I know I do not suffer as bad as some, and I am not claiming to know it all, but just want to provide a bit of help for people who may relate. I find that things get worse when I am stressed, when I have not taken care of my diet, when I have stopped exercising and when I have not taken the time to really look after my skin. My body has a certain weight that it is happier at with the PCOS, I cannot really understand why symptoms change so suddenly when I put on a few pounds, but they just do. It is very frustrating! However, there are some tips that I can give you to help:

- Personally I find it helps if I eat little and often, rather than in large 'binges'. I suffer a lot with sugar highs and lows, so if I plan and make food for the day I will generally keep myself ticking over and suffer no problems.

- AVOID SUGAR! I am no angel, and I love sweet food and puddings, but try and limit it or change it around a bit. For example, if you absolutely cannot get through the day without something sweet then try and make it something less processed. I posted this recipe the other day which is something quite yummy and not too bad in the general scheme of it. I also melt a small amount of good quality dark chocolate over some raw state nuts and fridge them. You are allowed a small handful a day and it really helps stem the cravings. Don't forget that alcohol is full of sugar - personally, if I am going to take on that much sugar I would prefer to have a yummy dessert so I avoid that where possible. It is not worth a month of bad skin!

- I cannot eat too much rice, pasta and potatoes (not including sweet potatoes). They just don't work for me. Where possible I try to have my meat and lots of salad or veg and maybe a small amount of sweet potato if I really want something (you need to get carbohydrates from somewhere for energy). Why not peel a sweet potato, cut it into 'chips' and bake for 30-40 minutes - so good! Failing that microwave one for 6-10 minutes (depends on size - but micro until soft), scrape out the potato and add a teeny bit of butter and mash with a fork!

- Drink plenty of water. This is general good piece of advice but especially important with PCOS. It helps with skin, weight control, not to mention all the other health benefits. Try to drink at least 2 litres per day. I have a 2 litre bottle on my desk plus another 1 litre one which I try to get though. It will feel weird at first but trust me, your energy levels will soar!

- Keep it clean. Try to have control over what goes into your meals. Make sauces from scratch, make batches of food and freeze them, buy the best quality meat and fish you can afford. More to come on this.

It is hard to go on about diet without typing pages and pages but I will keep adding to this and you can always comment if needed or email me for more info!

For me personally, not exercising upsets more than my PCOS. You need to move your body to feel alive, both physically and mentally. It is obvious that exercising will help control weight so 'just do it!' It will help your body become more efficient and function better and help it to control the way it processes all the things you are putting into it by making it stronger and healthier. Find something that works for you and go for it, but work hard! Push yourself and make no excuses whatsoever. It is easy to sit back and think 'oh well, I have PCOS and everywhere I look it tells me I won't be able to lose weight, so what's the point!'. The point is you CAN control it, yes, it will be difficult - I train so hard and if I didn't have PCOS I would probably be wasting away but I also think to myself 'what would I be if I didn't train?'. Just do it - you will feel so much better, trust me.

Talk to your doctor:
There are medications out there, such as Metformin, which, whilst not for everyone, could help you out, so go and talk to your doctor, it my take a bit of pushing but tell them how you are feeling and stay on top of your condition with their help.

...and finally:
Do the things that make you feel better. My personal experience of PCOS is probably different to the next persons. I like to give myself a mini pamper session once per week to stay on top of the things that come along with this irritating condition. Have a little 'at home facial' and always stay on top of cleansing your skin. I am not saying this will totally prevent outbreaks but, along with the diet and exercise, it will help for sure. Use gentle products. I recommend the Liz Earle range but shop around for what works for you. Get out in the fresh air and gain some perspective. Think about making some goals and work towards them like a woman possessed!

Do it for you and to make your life better and more comfortable.

These are all my own experiences and the things that make me feel better - I am by no means an expert but if you do want to get in touch please contact me on Twitter: @lucycarterart or email me on fromlucywithlove@outlook.com.


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