Why I’m Thankful for PCOS
What an odd thing to think, let alone to type... But as I sit here, reflecting on our celebration of FriendsGiving, all the things I am thankful for. I am thank for PCOS. While I may not be thankful for the symptoms that I experience, or the cancer it caused. I am yet still, thankful for PCOS.
PCOS gave me friendships that I will have for the rest of my life, even if the people may not remain, the friendships will remain in my heart forever.
PCOS has given me a voice I never knew I had. I’ve stood up and screamed words of advocacy. I’ve told my story so others may not need to experience what I’ve gone through.
Although PCOS has taken my ability to be a natural mother, I’m a mother to PCOS patients everywhere, passing down my experiences and knowledge. My kindness and love through my page. Helping others learn, grow and share.
PCOS has allowed me to reach potentials I didn’t know I had. Creating a Mobile App, creating a successful Podcast, being part of a positive and resourceful community that helps people without drama or sales promotion. Where we focus on complete inclusion within the PCOS community.
PCOS has taken so much, but what I have gained from having it, can not be measured by a scale, in weight, by sight or in monetary value. The friendships, the humbleness, the helping of others is what I am truly grateful for. The letters I’ve received of gratitude for what I have created, brings tears to my eyes. To know I have made an impact on someone’s life, that helps them the way I needed help when I was younger makes every moment of this worth it.
So, Thank You PCOS, for allowing me to help others find their way.
Open Letter From Shelby
I was in a discussion today with someone about the very serious subject of just how widespread the topic of weight - and specifically the loss of it - as the end all be all solution for PCOS and other chronic or autoimmune issues.
Listen, I’m going to say something that may shock you, yes, I DO believe that losing weight MAY help SOME of MY symptoms that I live with daily due to PCOS and MCTD (a cluster autoimmune condition that presents with varying symptoms but for me mostly fatigue, joint pain and swelling, rashes and fever).
But I need you to listen to what I’m going to say next:
I also believe that dieting is NOT the solution for my PCOS or my autoimmune condition because, I, as the longest running expert on my body having lived in it and with it for almost 35 years - have tried every diet there is and NOT.A.SINGLE.ONE.CURED.OR.FIXED.IT.
I’m not saying there’s nothing to be said about making food and exercise choices that are more conducive for the body and conditions you live in. Absolutely, eating certain foods make my body run better and moving more helps me feel more confident and stronger. I’m not denying that.
But we make this such a black and white topic. You hear all the time,
“Eat less. Move more.”
“If you lost X amount of pounds than XYZ will be SO much better.”
But we don’t live in a black and white world.
We live in a world where doctors push us aside and out the door if we don’t fit certain parameters￼ and we get ignored by health care professionals if we don’t fit in their not very thoroughly or compassionately thought out box of what chronic illness or pcos should look like.
We live in a world where far too many people are facing serious and very real repercussions of living in a world saturated with diet culture.
Over the past 5 years of being online, I’ve been every spectrum on the BMI scale- from obese, to underweight to right where I was “supposed to be” and guess what? I’ve felt like shit at every damn spot along that BMI plot line.
I have spent the better part of my young adult life trying to manipulate my body, believing that if it shrunk, changed or weighed a different way than it does at this exact moment somehow my life would be better. I would be better.
But I won’t do that anymore.
It is utterly exhausting and a waste of what precious time I’ve been given on this earth.
I’ve made a promise to myself that the best way to take care of my body, is to appreciate it how it is now- and treat it in a way that isn’t punishing it for what it’s been through, been burdened with or the size of it.
Today, I live in a body that’s larger than I used to think was acceptable. I have issues with my pcos and my MCTD, And I manage how is best for me- mentally, emotionally and physically. I fight the urge to try to change it and fight back the inner shame that’s been ingrained in me to feel if it doesn’t look like what everyone else’s does. I refuse to follow another diet, plan or any other persons path, confused into believing it would give me their health, body or experience because I am uniquely myself.
I now only invest in things that make me feel more whole.
For me physically, that’s a gym membership, good running shoes, Spotify subscription and sunshine (which is free and so much more valuable than you think)
For me nutritionally, it’s in foods that make me happy while nourishing me and fulfilling me.
For me mentally, it’s in therapy and long walks and music and good friends.
And emotionally? It’s sharing all of this with you. Not everyone will agree. Not everyone will appreciate it.
But it’s where I stand.
I stand in the belief that I can live a happy life DESPITE the size of my body or the diet I subscribe to or the bs I’m not going to fall for anymore because we are so much more than diet culture and the incorrect belief that in order to be healthy you have to be a perfect 25 on the BMI scale.
You don’t have to stand where I stand, because you have your own light to shine from right where YOU are.
But if you’re with me, feel free to share this. Because there’s enough BS out there telling you to SHRINK, CHANGE or be anyone than who you are now.
And I love you just the way you are. You should try it, too. 💕
A former yoyo dieter, fall for any quick fix, ex believer in shrinking to be a better person
When you don't recognize yourself
When you don't recognize yourself, and it's a good thing. The truth is, because the hormone treatment from the cancer, in the last 7 months, I've gained almost 40 lbs. This is after having a weight loss surgery and still in the prime weight loss time frame.
It's taken quite the toll on my mentality of myself esteem. I know looks and weight aren't everything, but the cancer coming back was hard enough. I had the weight loss surgery to help my chances for IVF. But literally 2 months after the surgery, I knew that the cancer had returned, and 3 months later it was confirmed. I have been fighting to not gain weight, but other things happened where I that was the least of my worries, so the weight piled on.
Then, in October Brian and I went on vacation. We went and did touristy things, and had all the adventures. He posted a picture of me from behind, and for a split moment, I thought to myself "who is that?" before realizing, it was me!
Now before you start worrying, it was because I am apparently still a lot thinner than I realized. I see definition in my waist, a perky booty, heck even my legs look skinnier! Keep in mind, I was once 400lbs, so I realize I am not thin by any means, I am, however, learning to love my body, no matter what shape.
And learning to love my body despite the fact that I have severe chronic illnesses and limitations. I'm proud that I can see beauty in myself, its few and far between when that happens, especially dealing with cancer and chronic illness that beats you down daily.
Despite it all, my body holds me, my soul, and THAT is who I am, and I am beautiful, inside and out!
DISCLAIMER: We are NOT doctors. everyPCOSbody, and all whom run and contribute to anything that has the everyPCOSbody name do not make any medical claims. We are expressing our opinions based on extensive research, knowledge and being highly involved within the PCOS community. As always, with any medical condition, please speak with a medical professional regarding diagnosis and any treatment or treatment changes.
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