The Hormone Thunderdome
Hormones: We love them, we hate them.
When our hormones are balanced they make our skin glow, our bodies feel energized, our sleep deep and restful, and our lives awesome!
Truly balanced hormones are like something out of a Yogurt commercial: The sun rises over a grassy pasture, sweet plump cows moo in the distance, the sound of laughter echos from your hand-built entirely paid off cottage, furnished with nothing but Pottery Barn you scored at 70% off, your student loan lenders have started paying YOU.
Sounds awesome right? Yes. Who doesn't love sweet deals!
PCOS stands for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. Without linking you to a ton of medical journals where you would be bored out of your mind, or WebMD where you'll inevitably be convinced I have four days to live, allow me to give you the low down on this magnificent hormone thunderdome.
PCOS is a hormone imbalance that affects approximately 1 in 4 women in the US. It's notoriously hard to diagnose because the symptoms are so vague, and are easily brushed off as normal signs of aging or stress. In fact, it took me eight years to get a doctor to take me seriously enough to even test for it! Symptoms include things like: mood swings, acne, excess body hair, trouble losing weight, insulin resistance, testosterone dominance, estrogen dominance, high cholesterol, thinning hair, and cysts on your ovaries. The best part? No one knows what causes this imbalance in women, and there's no cure.
So naturally when I was first diagnosed with PCOS, like a lot of women, I had a ton of extremely reasonable questions. All of which I asked in an entirely calm tone, at a perfectly reasonable volume that totally didn't scare or irritate my doctor at all.
These questions included:
- AM I GOING TO GROW A FULL LUSH BEARD I'LL HAVE TO TRIM AND OIL EVERYDAY LIKE THAT LADY I SAW ON MY TIMELINE ONCE???
- AM I GOING TO LOSE MY FOOT TO THE DIABEATUUS?!
- AM I GOING TO EXPERIENCE MALE PATTERNED BALDNESS ON TOP OF HAVING A BEARD OMGGGGG?!?!?!?
After my doctor/patron saint answered all my questions, I gathered myself and went home to do more research. I needed to find something that would lower my cholesterol, help to lower my testosterone and cortisol levels, and ideally help me to drop some weight. I found two routes: A hardcore kick-ass lifestyle of keto, Lululemon, and HIIT training OR a crunchy patchouli-clad lifestyle of wheat grass shots, Birkenstocks, and sun salutations. Neither of which matched my ideal lifestyle of eating whatever I wanted while doing no exercise lol. Awesome.
Queue vegan food and yoga. Because, carbs.
Its been six months since I began this journey, and I would like to say to you that I've been rocking it out, eating nothing but peas, brown rice, and nutritional yeast.
I would love to tell you I'm hammering out crow poses and meditating for an hour every day surrounded by Himalayan salt lamps and singing bowls, but that's not the case.
For now I've found my balance!
I eat 4 ounces of meat twice a week when my Texas born-and-raised self would rather eat brisket and Bluebell everyday. I'm working on staying consistent in my yoga practices when I'd rather be watching My 600lb life. I'm limiting my dairy when all I want is ice cream and cheese, and I've been known to throw on Afroman when I should be meditating in silence. I have not been perfect, but I'm trying my best and as a result I've dropped 14 pounds. It's been challenging, slow, and incredibly frustrating at times, but so very worth it!
I've found my comfortably uncomfortable.
To learn more about Brittany's hopes, loves, dreams, and nightmares, check out her Contributor Spotlight.