Kelley changed me. Also, I have PCOS.

on February 7, 2013 in PCOS with 86 comments by

Here’s a thing.

For about eight years-ish, I’ve known I had a disease. Or border-line disease. Or over-the-line disease. Or almost have or kinda just have. It’s weird.

It’s called PCOS- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome– with a side order of insulin resistance.

Polycystic ovary syndrome is a problem in which a woman’s hormones are out of balance. It can cause problems with your periods and make it difficult to get pregnant. If it is not treated, over time it can lead to serious health problems, such as diabetes and heart disease.

So that sounds like fun, eh?

Because I’m very mature and awesome, I’ve virtually ignored the ways to manage this disease – exercise, eat healthy, take some pills.

But I hate dieting and have failed at it pretty regularly for the last 20 years, so I’ve never really changed how I eat to deal with PCOS. Honestly, since the biggest side effect is not being about to get pregnant and being that I am a singlet, that wasn’t a big deal to me.

Truth? I have not been mature enough to look past the immediate to the long-term benefits. [You impressed yet? I know. Quite the role model.]

For a few months now, my body has been whining to me. Not screaming at me, just whining. My aching back, my too tight pants, afternoon slumps that were more severe than ever before, just icky.

Last week, I sat at brunch and listened to my dear friend Kelley talk about her chronic disease and how, when her symptoms flair up, she ups the discipline in her eating and so far, so good. I mean, the girl is beating a serious disease by doing what the doctors said to do.


I was stunned. I was changed. I don’t know what made all the pieces click together in my mind that morning, probably just God and His mercy, but they did. Why in the WORLD do I not take my equally chronic, though decidedly less serious, disease with the same focus that she takes hers? Why am I choosing to live with icky symptoms and aches when it is ALL in my control? I mean, I have a FIFTY PERCENT chance of getting type 2 diabetes AND I can prevent that?

So stupid.

I came home from brunch and googled like crazy. I wanted to read all about PCOS and change the way I eat- not because of how I look, but because of how I feel. All the sudden, all the things the doctors told me sounded like a good idea and I realized it was time to change.

I started a PCOS Pinterest Board.

I stopped eating dairy. [It’s a big issue for PCOSers.]

I am upping my exercise and taking a break from some other food and drink that aren’t good for PCOSers.

Why am I telling you all this? Because last week I taught a class for the Influence Network about writing honestly in the season you are living. And when I signed off the class, I knew I had to take my own advice and be brave.

So with a deep breath and a equally deep sigh, I’m writing about this.

There’s shame here, you know, because I don’t want to talk about my ovaries and I don’t want to talk about my weight and I don’t want to talk about my ability to repeatedly fail at this.

But I figured if I’m going to make a PCOS pin board, I might as well just say it all out loud anyways.

And thanks to my friend Kelley for teaching me what maturity looks like and showing me the healing work of discipline. I’m forever grateful.

. . . . .

Any of you jokers have PCOS or are dairy free? Links, advice, and help is welcome. πŸ™‚


  1. posted on Feb 07, 2013 at 6:10 AM  |  reply

    Good for you! I pray you feel better as you make these changes in your lifestyle.

    • posted on Feb 08, 2013 at 8:46 AM  |  reply

      Thanks, friend.

  2. posted on Feb 07, 2013 at 7:39 AM  |  reply

    Proud of you for being so open about this, Annie. I’ve been dairy-free for a few months (and now soy, meat, gluten, caffeine, sugar-free since Jan) (I refer to this as the ‘bird food diet’) in an effort to help my endometriosis. I don’t know if it’s actually helping, but mentally I feel better knowing I’m TRYING, you know? Of all of the eliminated groups, dairy has actually been the easiest for me, which I didn’t anticipate at all! I turn to almond milk for all of my dairy needs. The worst part is that coffee shops never have almond milk (or any dairy alternative except soy, which is worse than dairy for me), so fancy-pants-coffee-drinking is not nearly as exciting if it has to be BLACK…ick. I’ve contemplated taking my own almond milk and asking them to use that for my latte?? Not sure if they’d go for it! Anyway- good luck! Pinterest will be your best friend for finding good recipes!

    • Lindsey
      posted on Feb 07, 2013 at 1:49 PM  |  reply

      My roomie brings her own milk to coffee shops and has never had a problem so go for it!

    • posted on Feb 08, 2013 at 8:53 AM  |  reply

      Right… it’s so much about the mental game, isn’t it? I’m totally on board for taking almond milk to Starbucks. I’m gonna do it.

    • posted on Feb 08, 2013 at 10:55 AM  |  reply

      I stopped drinking milk and encountered the same problem with coffee shops. My solution has been switching to americanos, usually with flavoring added. I love gingerbread americanos at Christmas and am really liking vanilla spice americanos right now.

      • posted on Feb 09, 2013 at 11:54 AM  |  reply

        Sadly, I don’t drink caffeine, so I don’t drink coffee. But hot tea will do me just fine! It’s less sugar too than a chai, I’m sure, so it’s a win win (except for my tastebuds). πŸ™‚

  3. Lauren
    posted on Feb 07, 2013 at 8:11 AM  |  reply

    I found out about my pcos eight years ago as well. Last year I did the Daniel Fast for a few weeks, which is basically nothing processed, and miraculously got my cycle. I’m seeing a specialist now and he is 100% clean eating. If only I could commit to it the way I should!

    • posted on Feb 08, 2013 at 8:56 AM  |  reply

      Blog about it. The accountability to commit raises SIGNIFICANTLY. πŸ™‚

  4. posted on Feb 07, 2013 at 8:22 AM  |  reply

    are you giving up all dairy or just cow’s milk? Either way – check out Babycakes cookbooks for great vegan desserts. They also are mostly glutton free and sugar cane free.

    • posted on Feb 08, 2013 at 8:57 AM  |  reply

      All the reading I did said giving up dairy just meant cow, not sheep and goat, though I am still limiting sheep and goat cheese to once a day or less.

      Thanks for the recommendation, Reeve! I’ll check it out!

      PS- thank God for Belle ChΓ¨vre and her goat cheeses. πŸ™‚

  5. posted on Feb 07, 2013 at 8:32 AM  |  reply

    I have PCOS too! I did the pill thing for a while but hated how emotional they made me. So I adjusted eating and when I’m doing it right, there is a world of difference. I like the Paleo diet (which I’m new to) as a way of eating. The book “It Starts With Food” is really enlightening and tipped the scale (so to speak) for me to shift my mind frame and menu.

    Thanks for being so honest!

    • posted on Feb 08, 2013 at 8:57 AM  |  reply

      Just reserved it at the library- thanks for the recommendation!

  6. Brittany
    posted on Feb 07, 2013 at 9:22 AM  |  reply

    You should try following Sarah Kay Hoffman. She’s dealing with IBS and has a lot of different ways of dealing with her life gluten and dairy free.
    Her site has been a huge help to me with the changes I’ve had to make due to allergies.

    • posted on Feb 08, 2013 at 8:57 AM  |  reply

      Good link! Thanks, Brittany!

  7. Molly Hasty
    posted on Feb 07, 2013 at 9:48 AM  |  reply

    Thanks for always being so honest when you write . It comforts me as a reader and incourages me to be honest with the people around me about whats going on in my life !

    • posted on Feb 08, 2013 at 8:59 AM  |  reply

      You’re welcome, Molly. Thanks for your words.

  8. posted on Feb 07, 2013 at 9:48 AM  |  reply

    Love you. Love Kelley. Love this post.

    • posted on Feb 08, 2013 at 9:00 AM  |  reply

      You are so loved here as well.

      • posted on Feb 13, 2013 at 6:01 PM  |  reply

        DITTO!! love you both! <3

  9. Lea
    posted on Feb 07, 2013 at 9:59 AM  |  reply

    Thank you for this! I have a chronic illness with special dietary needs too and I have also been needing encouragement in discipline. I have been mostly dairy free (cheese still calls out to me) for 3 years now. I went through all the milks and found I like almond and coconut milk best. Actually, I prefer the coconut milk but almond is easier to find sometimes. There is also one that is almond and coconut combined. Whole Foods has like a quarter of an aisle worth of the different milks and they have smaller sizes and are a little cheaper, so it’s a great way to find your favorite.
    And I used to judge people that used non-dairy creamer but it’s become my best friend, even if it still scares me a little.

    • posted on Feb 08, 2013 at 9:01 AM  |  reply

      I will pop by Whole Foods today- thanks for the tip!

  10. posted on Feb 07, 2013 at 10:08 AM  |  reply

    I was diagnosed with PCOS about 9 years ago. I also struggle with eating right for my body, but over the last couple years have been making small changes at a time. I have noticed when I am eating clean and watching portions, my symptoms (especially during *that time*) are drastically different. Also, being single, I’ve struggled with the potential loss of a dream the way I saw it, which made me not want to deal with this disease, but diabetes and cancer are bigger reasons to make sure everything is being done to fight it.

    • posted on Feb 08, 2013 at 9:02 AM  |  reply

      That’s right, Marjorie. Future versions of us will be thankful we got disciplined now.

  11. Ashley Welling
    posted on Feb 07, 2013 at 10:20 AM  |  reply

    Hi Annie,

    Thanks for being vulnerable and open! I too have PCOS. I don’t often find tons of information out there about it, and doctors usually just want to prescribe birth control.

    I was also going to suggest (like another commenter did) the book “It Starts with Food.” They specifically have seen improvements in women with PCOS on their plan. (It is basically a Paleo diet.) Tate and I did their “Whole30” program (no dairy, sugar, grains, or legumes) in January and it was hard. But it did make both of us feel much better!

    As a “singlet” I often worried about getting pregnant but never really cared much about the other repercussions of PCOS. I have recently decided to care more about the other side effects to my health.

    And I am living proof that you can get pregnant with PCOS. In my case, God gets 100% of the glory because He preformed a miracle!

    Thanks again for sharing!!

    • posted on Feb 08, 2013 at 9:03 AM  |  reply

      Hi Ashley! Thanks for the tips- I reserved that book at the library. Send a big hug to Tate and Miriam!

  12. posted on Feb 07, 2013 at 10:29 AM  |  reply

    I am 100% dairy free, I read all the labels to make sure. As hard as it is, it’s one of the best things I did for my body. People will tell me “oh I could never give up cheese.” But I had to make the choice and I’m very glad I did, you can surprise yourself when your determined and dedicated.

    My favorite site is and there’s lots of recipes on Pinterest if you search “dairy free” also learn as much as you can about substitutes. There’s a lot so you don’t feel like you are missing out. The one thing I haven’t found is a good cheese substitue. Whah Whah.

    And you’d an stop have your banana “ice cream”

    • posted on Feb 08, 2013 at 9:04 AM  |  reply

      I gave SO many granola bars to my intern because I was like, “Welp, they have dairy.” Boo.

      Banana ice cream? TELL ME MORE.

  13. posted on Feb 07, 2013 at 11:25 AM  |  reply

    annie – way to be brave. sometimes i think “i’d care about my diet and exercising if a doctor told me to,” but i think i’d do what you’ve done – since there are no IMMEDIATE consequences, i’d be kinda apathetic about it. but GOOD ON YOU for making a change. i hope and pray that you will feel renewed in your body and your mind and your spirit and that God would help your body quickly respond to this change, even if just in little ways, to shower more encouragement on you and affirm this decision. keep going.

    • posted on Feb 08, 2013 at 9:04 AM  |  reply

      Thank you, friend.

  14. posted on Feb 07, 2013 at 11:34 AM  |  reply

    Hey Annie – I’ve been dairy free for 2 years and just recently have gone gluten free too. I have a ton of great recipes pinned on pinterest if you want to follow me on there. It’s on the board called “food I can eat”

    Going dairy free is not easy…but it’s not hard either. Almond milk is your friend! You can substitute it in any recipe and it’s really yummy.

    If you find yourself at mellow mushroom they have dairy free cheese called daiya which is really yummy.

    A big lesson I’ve learned is not being afraid to ask questions or tell people that you have food intolerances. It’s nothing to be embarrassed about. It’s for your own health and well being.

    You’ve got this!

    • posted on Feb 08, 2013 at 9:05 AM  |  reply

      Great pin board! Thank you!

      Mellow Mushroom will give me pizza? Amen.

  15. Alexandra
    posted on Feb 07, 2013 at 11:53 AM  |  reply

    Thanks for sharing this… it’s encouraging. On a side note, I have to wonder what face your male readers pulled when they saw this topic πŸ™‚

    • posted on Feb 08, 2013 at 9:06 AM  |  reply

      RIGHT? I’m like, sorry to all four of you dudes, but we’re talking about ovaries over here. πŸ™‚

  16. posted on Feb 07, 2013 at 12:17 PM  |  reply

    I was diagnosed with PCOS a few years ago and just like you, I completely ignored it. Then one day, not long after I got married, I realized I didn’t want to jeopardize my family, my lifespan, or my quality of life just because I loved Oreos so much.

    I changed the way I ate by mostly cutting out refined carbs and processed sugar, although I still enjoy those things in moderation, and I started to exercise regularly. Over time I got to a healthy weight (-56lbs!) and found the right balance for my body with food/exercise.

    My journey involved a lot of trial and error and required me to show myself a lot of grace. For me it was all about learning my body and how to treat it. And it has all been completely worth it because I feel healthy, free of guilt, and like I am living in the body that was created for me… not the one I sabotaged for many years.

    You can so do this. Be good to yourself along the way and know that although you are doing something difficult, it has major payoff!

    • posted on Feb 08, 2013 at 9:07 AM  |  reply

      Would love to hear more of your story, Charlotte. How long did it take before your body started letting go of weight? How much do you exercise- what have you found is right for you?

  17. posted on Feb 07, 2013 at 12:52 PM  |  reply

    Good for you, Annie! I am so glad you wrote this post, and I know it will encourage others with PCOS and those with diseases that they carry around privately. I have my own chronic condition that is completely embarrassing to talk about because it deals with my bowels, but since my diagnosis in the fall, I have tried to be honest about it because I have seen how that honesty has led me to others who know what I’m going through, which has been so encouraging.

    I am praying for you!

    • posted on Feb 08, 2013 at 9:08 AM  |  reply

      Amen, Erin. Praying for you too, friend.

  18. Deanna Cozart
    posted on Feb 07, 2013 at 1:18 PM  |  reply

    I have also had PCOS for about 8 years, and thankfully have also managed to have two amazing babies while managing it! My endocrinologist has kept me on metformin to help manage everything, but I would love to go off it. I have lost about 35 lbs since my initial diagnosis, but I have continually felt convicted about watching my food to get to a healthy weight. (Still about 25 lbs to go for me.) The discipline over time is most challenging to me, but I love the new info here, so maybe I’ll have to join you on the dairy-free journey!

    • posted on Feb 08, 2013 at 9:09 AM  |  reply

      Hi Deanna! Thanks for sharing your story- I had no idea! And your two babies are ADORABLE, so take that, PCOS. πŸ™‚

      I’m on metformin now too. My doctor says we’ll reevaluate at my next appointment. It doesn’t bother me too much, but I would like to not be on any meds at some point.

  19. Camille
    posted on Feb 07, 2013 at 1:21 PM  |  reply

    My best friend has PCOS and started eating Paleo in October And she has started her period every month since then. Before she always had to go to the doctor to make her body start. Its really changed her and her body. Lots of love from the Slatens!

    • posted on Feb 08, 2013 at 9:11 AM  |  reply

      Paleo just seems SO MISERABLE. But I think you are right- it is the direction I am going. Just very very slowly. πŸ™‚

      Love you guys, too! Praying for adoption stuff- love the new video!

  20. Lindsey
    posted on Feb 07, 2013 at 1:41 PM  |  reply

    Love that you are sharing this. I too have PCOS and literally earlier this week decided it’s time to be a good steward of the body the Lord has given me, janky ovaries, hormones and all, and change my eating. Living with PCOS can definitely feel like a never ending marathon at times (I was diagnosed at 16 and turned 33 yesterday) but it is no reason to address it is something the Lord can use for my good and santification and God’s glory. Here’s to all of us PCOSers finding healing and health in whatever way the Lord chooses to accomplish that. (btw, check out she has some great meal plans).

    • posted on Feb 08, 2013 at 9:12 AM  |  reply

      We are so similar! I wasn’t much older when I found out and I’ll be 33 this year!

      I saw her website. Have you bought any of her meal plans yet? Worth the money?

      • Lindsey
        posted on Feb 08, 2013 at 10:38 AM  |  reply

        I just bought the winter meal plans gonna get started next week. It’s worth it for me to not have to think about it. She gives you a shopping list and breaks everything down and gives you fairly simple meal ideas. Maybe once I get in the habit, I’ll be able to come up with things on my own but for now, it’s a good jumpstart.

        • posted on Feb 09, 2013 at 11:54 AM  |  reply

          Let me know what you think! They looked interesting, just hard to bring myself to spend money on it.

  21. posted on Feb 07, 2013 at 3:33 PM  |  reply

    There is NO SHAME in you being vulnerable and sharing. Remember that. No Shame!

    Check out Brene Brown’s TED talk, and her amazing books…I’m on a fan kick of hers and the vulnerability movement.

    • posted on Feb 08, 2013 at 9:12 AM  |  reply

      I’ve heard great things about her- I will do it! Thanks, Sara!

  22. posted on Feb 07, 2013 at 7:17 PM  |  reply

    I have PCOS , IBS , REflux , Hypermobilty and a few other symptoms but i guess living with these symptoms makes you disciplined and focused. I have not gotten to the exercise part but am on the right track . So ladies lets encourage one another.

    • posted on Feb 08, 2013 at 9:13 AM  |  reply

      Good word, Togu. Food is such a big part of it. Good luck adding exercise soon! I’ve found just going on short walks around my neighborhood in the afternoon really helps.

      • posted on Feb 08, 2013 at 9:31 AM  |  reply

        Thank you for responding . I am starting Pilates and a bit of indoor exercise cos its freezing and the cold gets to my bones

        • posted on Feb 09, 2013 at 11:55 AM  |  reply

          For sure! I can understand that! And I love the pilates class at my gym.

          • posted on Feb 10, 2013 at 7:00 PM  |  

            I hope they are nice have my first session on tuesday , but am doing one on one cos am kind of shy

  23. posted on Feb 07, 2013 at 11:42 PM  |  reply

    This was such an encouragement today and SO timely. I have PCOS too, and I’ve been in the same boat… looking at the short term instead of the long term. I’ve started making some healthy changes lately, but have been in a slump the last couple of weeks. I’ve registered for a couple of 5K runs here in Nashville trying to up my exercise, so we’ll see how it goes! Thanks for your honesty!!

    • posted on Feb 08, 2013 at 9:13 AM  |  reply

      Get it, girl! 5Ks are the best- not too long, but not short either. Best of luck!!! πŸ™‚

  24. Laura
    posted on Feb 08, 2013 at 6:03 AM  |  reply

    Congratulations on taking control of your illness instead of letting it control you! Very encouraging blog post.

    • posted on Feb 08, 2013 at 9:14 AM  |  reply

      Good word. Thank you, Laura.

  25. Felicity
    posted on Feb 08, 2013 at 6:07 AM  |  reply

    Gosh well done for being so honest with everyone. I have literally just read the section where you talk about eating in your book and I felt so able to relate. I don’t have PCOS, but I do struggle with what I eat, and now I have 2 little girls I am desperate not to project these issues onto them. So I’m also trying to be wise with what I eat and how I exercise. But I need pushing! Please help!

    • posted on Feb 08, 2013 at 9:14 AM  |  reply

      Amen! What a good mama you are! You don’t have to be perfect to be an example- just be honest. And yes- encourage exercise!

  26. posted on Feb 08, 2013 at 8:08 AM  |  reply

    Go Annie!

    • posted on Feb 08, 2013 at 9:15 AM  |  reply

      Thanks, friend. πŸ™‚

  27. Hillary
    posted on Feb 08, 2013 at 1:01 PM  |  reply

    I know a few ladies with PCOS, and I’m so proud of every last one of them for being so open and honest and brave about it. Y’alls are kinda cool in my book. Good luck on your journey! And as the laziest runner you might ever meet, I say you should take up some running. You’ll hate it at first, but you could come to love it. πŸ™‚

    • posted on Feb 09, 2013 at 11:55 AM  |  reply

      I kinda do hate running, Hillary. πŸ™‚ But I’ll give it a go again sometime.

  28. Anne
    posted on Feb 08, 2013 at 8:42 PM  |  reply

    I’m sorry you’re hving to go through all this but I’m so glad you’re sharing it with us. I don’t have full blown PCOS, but my hormones don’t exactly play nice. It’s always nice to hear I’m not the only one in denial πŸ™‚

    • posted on Feb 09, 2013 at 11:56 AM  |  reply

      No way, sister. There are probably more of us in denial than in victory. Praying that changes (for us both)!

  29. Lindsey
    posted on Feb 09, 2013 at 9:37 AM  |  reply

    My husband and I just finished Whole30. Neither of us had ever had the discipline to restrict our diets, but we decided we could do anything for only 30 days. Now, we are Paleo all the way! It’s awesome (no dairy, no sugar, no grains…. yeah, it sounds AWFUL at first).

    Check out these websites:

    Some great recipes and amazing, inspirational stories to get you motivated!

    Neither of us struggle with a disease, but it was still amazing to see what emotional/spiritual bonds we had with not-so-great foods. It has been a healing experience in many ways. May Jesus show you some cool things as you start this (new-ish) journey with food. πŸ™‚

    • posted on Feb 09, 2013 at 11:56 AM  |  reply

      I’ll check it out! Thanks for letting me know!

  30. Emily
    posted on Feb 09, 2013 at 2:35 PM  |  reply

    I’m in the same boat, Annie. Have been since I was 11, and I have a very hard time following doc advice to take the pills. Took them for years. But now I’m also insulin resistant/at risk for type 2 diabetes. I’ve cut out almost ALL sugar. I have chosen to ignore that I have this (along with other chronic diseases) for a few years, and that’s not working for me. So I’ve changed my food to almost all organic, very few carbs/grains, no sugar, and now that you mentioned dairy…I’ll be looking into that. I know it hurts my body, but I didn’t realize the connection. Unfortunately not many ob/gyn’s give enough info about PCOS other than “take this BC pill, take this metformin, and go on a diet.” I’ve started exercising 3 days/wk with a trainer and that seems to be helping me as well. Anyway, I feel like I have a lot to say on this subject. I’m just glad to know I’m not alone, to have the reminder that I have this and it’s dumb to not take care of it, and that as an adult…I really need to act like one when it comes to my health issues. I had the same thought: I’m single, I don’t care about having kids right now… BUT, I will one day and I want my body to be ready, healthy and safe. Thanks again!

  31. posted on Feb 10, 2013 at 4:56 PM  |  reply

    Attagirl! Proud of you.

  32. posted on Feb 11, 2013 at 10:51 PM  |  reply

    I’m struggling with this issue myself, though not PCOS. I’m in the process of being diagnosed with arthritis (blood work came back positive just waiting for doctor to tell me specifics), and as I look at all the drugs I face, I keep seeing all the diet changes that can prevent symptoms and wonder if that might not be the answer. (Not to say I will ignore the doctor’s advice- just look to diet as part of the solution.)

    As for dairy-free- embrace the almond milk! It’s delicious, has more calcium than regular milk, and is really low in calories. I use it all the time.

  33. Deb Stevens
    posted on Feb 12, 2013 at 7:13 PM  |  reply

    Wow .. there is ACTUALLY someone else out there struggling with the same thing??? huh. go figure.

    Sorry bout that, just my own thoughts taking over again.

    Hi πŸ™‚ I subscribe to your blog, but this post caught my attention right away because you bolded “PCOS”, and I am grateful you did.

    This reached out to me because I suffer from it as well. Diagnosed a couple years now. I struggle with all the same issues, except with an added feature of also suffering from Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis (hormone defiency). Not only does PCOS lowers my chances of being a mommy, but Hashimoto’s makes sure I dont get pregnant because it doesn’t even have the hormone I need.

    So, in other words, even if i have a chance, Hashimoto’s doesnt give my ovaries the go-ahead. Nice, right?

    Thank you for sharing. I am sorry we have to go through this. Its like our body has to be normal and in line with the word of God once we receive Jesus Christ, because he takes away our infirmities .. but what the heck happened to us?!

    I don’t have anything enouraging to add, except God hears our prayers. Sometimes I remember the blessing of it when I get to fully enjoy being married, without the obvious effects, I guess. I still think its messed up.

    Thanks again for sharing. We dont know just how many people we touch by our secrets and the things we hold back.

  34. Sara
    posted on Feb 17, 2013 at 9:49 AM  |  reply


    Thank you so much for being brave! Like you said, I have known my body didn’t feel right, but didn’t know why. I also have PCOS, but found out only a few months ago. I’m finding it overwhelming. During Lent I hear all these people say they are fasting from sugar, processed foods, caffeine, etc. for 40 days and how it’s so hard. I find myself wishing I could just do a 40 day PCOS diet and that be enough.
    It is hard, but I’m so thankful I now know more and how to get better.

  35. posted on Feb 19, 2013 at 11:41 AM  |  reply

    I was diagnosed in 2008 with asymptomatic PCOS (I basically have it all *except* there is no indication that I’ve had any cysts yet) after seeing a handful of doctors and finally being told that I was insulin resistant. The doctor (who I thought was a quack, but really saved my life) prescribed the Atkins diet just to get me off of the processed junk. In the beginning I was such a skeptic, but it worked for me. I lost 40 lbs and felt better than I had in a really long time.

    And then I got married.

    *dun dun duuuuuuuun*

    To a sugary sweet, Dr. Pepper addicted dude. Seriously, he may have syrup running through his veins. And I know I should have had the willpower and I should have done this, that, and the other. However, I fell into some really bad habits (not bad for normal people who can handle carbohydrates better than I can) and have gained every single pound back.

    It has been really hard. We’re using eMeals and I recently switched us from the Low-carb to the Paleo plan (it’s lower carb -??- and the options seem healthier). So far we have been sticking to it pretty well, and I’m hoping to see some results soon. My health has gone down the toilet and I am so fed up with feeling the way I do.

    Thank you for being so honest and open about this, Annie. I know a lot of people struggle with it and it can be such a source of shame, but it doesn’t have to be.

    Now I’m off to connect with some of these other bloggers who are in the same boat πŸ™‚

  36. posted on Feb 20, 2013 at 7:08 AM  |  reply

    My Dearest Anya, I am so glad that you wrote about this. I have been dealing with this for a long time, or should I say, not dealing with it. With moving overseas, I tell myself that I have excuses because the food situation over here is different. However, this has reminded me that I really do need to start making wiser decisions about eating, making time for exercise and just taking care of myself in general. God loves us so deeply and fully and it’s time that I love myself as well with my food and exercise choices. It doesn’t mean it’s not going to be hard. I am grateful that I have you speaking words of encouragement and wisdom. Hopefully, I will be able to update you and send along some things that I learn and recipes that I try as well. Love you and miss you sweet friend!

  37. posted on Feb 20, 2013 at 11:32 AM  |  reply

    I’m late reading this, but throwing my hand up in the air and saying, “ME. I have it.”

    Did we ever talk about this before???

    It got real for me at my last endocrinologist visit when I was so proud I’d lost ten pounds and he was like, “Yea but your insulin numbers are the worst I’ve ever seen yours be and you’re already over the line past ‘normal” and into ‘warning’ levels for diabetes.”

    I’m 33. What the heck?

    Thus, hello exercise. No matter that I’ve lost ten more pounds (yay!). No matter that I have seven kids and no time. Exercise it is. What choice do I have? I have more years and more living to do before I let diabetes catch me.

  38. posted on Feb 20, 2013 at 11:34 AM  |  reply

    By the way, nutritionally, I agree with paleo and high-protein low-carb diets. But the only diet that has EVER worked for me is low-calorie. Hard to eat low-calorie paleo, you know? I used Medifast. Lost 20 pounds and counting. While nursing. It’s full of soy and I don’t like that but it’s high protein low calorie convenient food. Buy only bars and shakes and you’ll be able to choke it down. It works.

  39. posted on Mar 02, 2013 at 6:03 AM  |  reply

    A friend of mine e-mailed me your post, hoping I’d have a little insight to offer you. I also have PCOS and have been struggling with infertility for years. Something that has changed my life and is changing my health is working with a holistic health coach who also has PCOS. Her name is Amy Meddling. She is the real deal & has helped a lot of women. Check out her website at You will learn all about diet, exercise, and supplements to help you. Amy truly cares about the people she helps. She’s offering another Jumpstart Program in May I believe, but you can always start with her meal plans before then. She’s also on Facebook if you want to check out her site there as well. If you have questions about her program after checking out her website, you can e-mail her (address is on her website I believe). If not, let me know, I have it in my in-box. PCOS is a terrible disease to deal with and it effects women is more ways than we actually realize. At first (for me) it was about beating the odds of diabetes and heart disease and getting rid of all the excessive, stubborn weight. But then when I realized PCOS causes so many of the other issues I deal with everyday, it became about healing my entire body. I haven’t overcome PCOS yet, but I’m on my way to getting there, one step at a time. I’m not always disciplines. Sometimes I stink at discipline, but I know that I feel so much worse when I slack off on diet, exercise, etc. If you check out my blog, I have a post about going through Amy’s Jumpstart Program. I think it was in October 2012 and it’s called “Fearfully & Wonderfully Made.” I hope you’ll check out PCOS Diva because it has worked for so many women.

  40. rika
    posted on Apr 24, 2013 at 7:09 PM  |  reply

    Thanks for your story. I am 20 years old and was diagnosed with PCOS three years ago and I didn’t do anything about it either. As soon as I knew about my disease I purchased a PCOS diet book but being a huge food lover especially unhealthy food, I just knew I won’t be able to do it so I didn’t follow anything. Now, my back and knee aches all the time, have gained tons of weight, literally became a warewolf and many more. I’m regretting so much for not acknowledging my disease and I sometimes hate myself for that. But reading your story has inspired me to change my lifestyle and I am really determined now. I want to thank you and wish you, me and everyone struggling a GOOD LUCK!

  41. posted on Jul 20, 2013 at 9:01 PM  |  reply

    Hi Annie! I just found your blog and LOVE it! My husband and I just moved from Nashville to Atlanta (temporarily), so we switched places with you! (: I have PCOS and am constantly looking for resources, blogs, etc., dealing with the issue. Thank you for sharing your story, and your faith! Your entire blog is such an encouragement!

  42. Annie H
    posted on Feb 25, 2014 at 11:32 AM  |  reply

    I’m looking forward to reading your blog a little more thoroughly. I’ve ignored my PCOS WAY too long. It’s time to take some action! I’m definitely scouring the internet myself…like you did. Thanks for posting the links. I might have to start a blog as well. I have a recipe blog..but it is definitely not PCOS friendly…LOL!

    Thanks for your research and your time in putting this blog together.


  43. posted on Apr 03, 2014 at 8:30 PM  |  reply

    Clearly I was supposed to read my Influence Network friend Nadine’s tweet to you! It lead me to your post calling out the single girls, which was major. Therefore I added you to feedly and was catching up. I have PCOS too and have done nothing but ignored it thinking it wasn’t actually a big deal. I’m really glad I found you!

  44. posted on Apr 22, 2014 at 9:31 AM  |  reply

    Hello, after reading this amazing paragraph i am too glad to share my
    know-how here with mates.

  45. posted on May 07, 2014 at 12:07 AM  |  reply

    Hello friends, how is everything, and what you would like to
    say concerning this post, in my view its in
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  46. posted on Jun 13, 2014 at 9:43 AM  |  reply

    Fantastic post but I was wondering if you could write a litte more on
    this topic? I’d be very grateful if you could
    elaborate a little bit more. Bless you!

  47. posted on Jul 14, 2014 at 5:50 AM  |  reply

    Looking forward to adding some value on your pinterest board.
    There are still thousand and thousand of women out there which needs to be educated about PCOS in the right way


  48. Allyssa
    posted on Mar 14, 2018 at 7:24 PM  |  reply

    Hi Annie,
    Reading this entry YEARS later than it was written, but finding so much hope in it. I haven’t been diagnosed with PCOS yet, but think this diagnosis may be coming soon. Thankful for your honesty and openness. I’ve also gotten some good ideas from you here.

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