Something not a lot of people know about me is that 5 years ago I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS).
For those that don’t know, PCOS is a hormonal disorder common among women. Women with PCOS may have infrequent cycles and excess male hormone (androgen) levels. The ovaries may develop numerous small collections of fluid (follicles) and fail to regularly release eggs.
For years I have struggled with my weight and unwanted facial hair. It started with feelings of exhaustion and carb cravings. Then came sudden weight gain, followed by months without a period and extra facial hair.
I had seen many doctors over the years and all of them boiled it down to one thing- stress. By the time I was diagnosed with PCOS years later, I went from wearing a size six to a size fourteen, my clear skin was covered in extra facial hair, and I had multiple facial treatments for laser hair removal costing thousands of dollars that never worked. Worst of all, I had lost myself. Anxiety, shame, and confusion were crushing me. I hated this part of myself. I was so embarrassed that this is who I was. Why Me?
I did not think about my dreams for the future and I avoided going out with friends and taking trips because I felt like a total mess. I was constantly worried about my health and spent most my time hiding because I was so scared that I’d be bullied. In my head, a female isn’t supposed to look this way. This is one more thing that makes me unlovable.
I’ve come a long way in creating a PCOS-friendly lifestyle and while I’m still not where I want to be, I HAVE lost most of the weight, my meds help regulate my insulin levels, and I found a health & fitness routine that works for me. One that focuses on mental strength just as much as physical strength.
Everyday I still think about my face. It’s the first thing I look at in pictures and when I wake up in the morning. But my mindset work helps me feel less insecure. I’ve come to learn that I AM POWERFUL and so is my story.
The thing I try to focus on is that we are all HUMAN and I have no control over what anyone else is thinking and only I have the power to chose to let that impact me or not. I chose not to anymore.