4 Things People Don’t Get About PCOS
PCOS is an invisible condition to those who don't have it
June 4, 2020 By Drew Baird
To the majority of the world, this means most of the people you interact with on a daily basis, just don’t get PCOS. To those who don’t have it, to those who have never heard of it, PCOS is an invisible condition. To those totally ignorant - PCOS is an excuse.
If you’re reading this though, chances are you have PCOS. You’re the reason I put out so much content, I want you to know you’re not alone - that there are people out there that get it. Unfortunately though, as I mentioned just above, we are in the small minority.
The title of this post is “4 Things People Don’t Get About PCOS”, I’m sure I could have made that 100 things but, here are 4 things that people just don’t understand about having PCOS.
1) I constantly feel tired and exhausted
You know those mornings when the alarm goes off and you’re so tired still that you swear that you have had a wink of sleep, yet? Imagine that being every morning - and every day for the fact. PCOS can absolutely ruin your sleep and energy levels.
Trying to get through the day after one bad night's sleep is hard enough, imagine weeks, months, or even years of them back to back. The unbalanced hormonal state that PCOS creates, especially for those who also have insulin resistance can destroy a woman’s sleep/wake cycle.
Your sleep cycle is controlled by hormones, and many of your hormones rely on your sleep cycle for them to be balanced. Hormones like growth hormone, which is released during sleep is responsible for body fat regulation, insulin actions, helping manage blood sugar levels, hormonal balance, and stimulates the immune system.
We know poor sleep is associated with weight gain, cravings, increased hunger, decreased feeling of fullness, irritability, and poor mood. PCOS can also directly limit your energy levels by throwing your body out of metabolic and hormonal balance.
People are not cars but, if we were it’s not like women with PCOS are running on empty on purpose. Nobody wants to feel like crap all day. PCOS can absolutely ruin your energy levels, it can leave you feeling like you’ve just run a marathon and need to sleep for a week - problem is PCOS can also kill any chances of that!
2) The emotional & physical battles I have to go through
As I mentioned, to those on the outside PCOS can be an invisible condition. For humans, it’s far easier to judge than to understand. There’s pain that only a woman with PCOS will understand, nobody knows what goes through your head on a daily basis.
I was chatting to a client last week who told me how her PCOS makes her feel like she’s living in a prison body. She cannot control anything and that just destroys her at times and she just breaks down. In the past when she’s asked for help from her local doctor she was told there was nothing wrong with her, even though that same doctor had previously diagnosed her with PCOS.
Even when taking things in your own hands by following a healthy diet, and exercising regularly may be an uphill battle that it seems like nobody else has to go through - just finding the energy to try is a battle.
I remember reading a message I received last year from a woman in the UK explaining how she’s had 9 miscarriages, needs to shave daily, doesn’t feel like a woman and was reaching out to me as her partner of 14 years just left her because he wanted to start a family, something he didn’t think she could provide him.
I remember this message because it made me cry - the only thing she wanted in life was a family, and now her partner had left him because she couldn’t give him one. She’d been trying everything she could to have one but had been unsuccessful at every turn. Stories like this break my heart.
3) That no matter how hard I try, the weight just doesn’t budge
Coming from a fitness background I must admit that I always believe weight loss was purely down to calories - it’s what I had always been taught. It wasn’t until working with my first PCOS client, Lana, back in 2014 that opened my eyes to the truth, which is this -
The hormonal, metabolic, and inflammatory state in which PCOS can create in your body can make it extremely difficult to lose weight. It has nothing to do with how hard you’re trying, your willpower, your motivation, nothing like that - this is a physical barrier your body is creating.
This is on top of how PCOS can make you crave just about every sweet in a two mile radius. I don’t care how strong your self-control is, you’re never going to beat temptation and cravings every single time. Combine these cravings with zero energy levels and how the hell are you supposed to stick to a healthy diet, not cheat on that diet and get pumped up to smash out your workout?
I had been training with Lana for two months, putting her through the same exact workouts and diet I had for my other clients. Do you know how much weight she lost after 8 weeks? 1kg. And Lana had 40kgs to lose. She wasn’t cheating, she wasn’t skipping workouts - her body just didn’t want to lose weight like everyone else.
3) That having PCOS wasn’t my choice
No woman has ever asked for PCOS. No woman wants to suffer from PCOS symptoms. And unlike what some people may believe, not having a period due to PCOS is not a good thing. No woman chooses to struggle with her weight, to have zero energy, to grow hair in the wrong places, to lose her hair, to suffer from depression or anxiety.
No woman wants to have to constantly defend herself from judgemental comments. No woman wants to feel like she’s alone. No woman wants to be told by a medical professional that there’s nothing anyone can do for her. No woman wants to live with PCOS. But, millions are.
Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section of this post.
Written by Drew Baird
Owner of Drew Baird Fitness and Healthy PCOS
someone who cares