Every time I went to the doctor they just kept telling me to lose weight, but how do I explain to them I cant? Is it my fault?
Since my Sophmore year of high school I just could not stop putting on weight. I was a 2 sport athlete with a strict diet and workout schedule, it just did not make any sense. I just kept moving forward thinking it was nothing and that I wasn't putting on "that much weight."
Going to college was a whole different story. I am a college athlete so the heavy lifting made me think my weight was going up because of muscle. I never had time to eat because I always was so busy so it couldn't possibly be because of my diet. But then one day I went to put my hair up for practice and noticed a large part of my hair had fallen out. I know for a fact it did not used to be like that. Every time I would brush my hair more hair would fall out and it was getting noticeable when I would put my hair up. I thought, "maybe its because of stress." and tried to go on with my life. I ended up having to move my part because it looked like I had a major bald spot right there on my head. My mom raised concerns for it and we decided to look into everything and talk to my doctor when I got home. We didn't go over break and it wasn't until summertime that I really felt off. I had just woken up at 1 pm and felt exhausted, like no matter how much or how little I slept I never felt awake or energized and no matter how much I dieted and exercised, I never could drop the weight.
When I went and saw my doctor she said it was because I had low iron and sent me some iron pills to take everyday. Year goes by and the symptoms continue. I only get my period around 5-7 times a year normally, in 2019 I got it twice. As soon as I got home my mom and I went to a new doctor to see what was possibly going on.
My Gynecologist said it was mostly PCOS and that it is a broad range of what it is like. PCOS stands for poly cystic ovarian system and it fit all my symptoms. The hair loss, weight, acne, and fatigue all chalked up to one thing. I learned a lot about my body in the next two weeks like the fact that I have too much testosterone compared to an average female which is why my body reacts the way it does and has an adverse reaction to sugar which is why my hair was falling out.
Before this I never was on birth control because I honestly felt no need for it. My doctor gave me two options for going ahead, birth control or metformin. Metformin is a drug that diabetic people took, I am not diabetic. Therefore this would have messed with my insulin levels and put me all out of wack, but that was the extreme option. Instead I went on birth control and did what every other person does now and days and turned to the internet. I found alot of people recommended going gluten and dairy free and see if that helps the symptoms before going on metformin, so I decided to go that route along with the birth control.
PCOS isn't life threatening but it can be rough. There is a broad spectrum for some who have cysts on their ovaries and can't have kids and others who just grow leg hair abnormal fast or get acne along their chin and jawline because of hormones. I fall somewhere in the middle of that spectrum. PCOS is very common with women and most don't even know they have it.
Going gluten and dairy free three days before going on a training trip with my team probably wasn't the best idea. An athlete's diet relies on some type of carb being in a meal to replenish their energy. Well I had just cut all those carbs out of my diet and was constantly running on an empty stomach. When people go on a Keto diet, they often say within the first two weeks they get the "Keto flu." Where they feel sick to their stomach and nauseous 24/7. This was me everyday for a month, and it didnt help that we started the season only a week after I started to feel better. It took alot of cutting out and meal prepping, but I started to drop that weight. I lost 16 pounds in three months. When I went gluten and dairy free I went hardcore. I cut out everything and decided later on if I wanted to add things back into my diet I would.
I learned that being an athlete on this diet isn't possible but it takes alot more effort than usual. Meal prepping every meal and making reading the label on everything that I buy at the grocery store. When I go to the grocery store I can sometimes spend over an hour there just looking for 5 things because I'm looking for the item with the least amount of sugar that fits my diet. I learned that as an athlete, I need some type of carb, and that anything from the ground is my friend. AKA potatoes. Im glad I like potatoes or I would have been screwed. I still have to eat them in moderation but at least I was able to quickly get my body that energy it so badly wanted.
I am now 4 months into being gluten and dairy free and am down 16 pounds. When I eat something with gluten or dairy or even a ton of sugar I often feel nauseous now. Going on this diet was well worth it and I love just how clean my body feels. Its a pain living at home when I have to make my own dinner because I cant eat what is being served, but that's life so what. I personally was able to do be so strict with this diet because I had a buddy who did it with me. My friend is already allergic to gluten and therefore gluten free so to help me adjust to my new lifestyle she gave up gluten and went low sugar for 2 months while at school with me. I dont know what I would have done without her.
If anyone has any questions feel free to reach out or comment! I am happy to talk recipes, restaurants, and a clean diet!!!!