I’ve talked about my weight gain and my reaction to my now bigger body before, but just a few short minutes ago while I was talking to my husband, I had that oh so famously Ah-Ha moment, and I want to share this with you.
The conversation came up when I was telling my husband how I’m scared to see people from my life that was there to witness my “skinnier” and “fitter” days. I’m scared to hear what they’re going to say. I’m scared that one of the first words out of their mouths is going to be: “Boy, you really let yourself go.” or “You are so much bigger since the last time I saw you.”. All my life, I’ve never been skinny enough. I couldn’t wear this or that because I had a slight pooch. What are they going to say now when my slight pooch has turned into a lot of love in the trunk. I caught myself trying to explain that I have little control over my weight gain. It’s a health thing. It’s hormonal. I’m doing everything in my power to be healthy and 80% of the time I am, but my body is working against me. It doesn’t matter that I’m beyond active, that I don’t drink or smoke and barely consume junk food. Heck, I barely eat candy anymore. That doesn’t matter, because I’m a big girl now. I’m fat. As I was trying to explain or make excuses for my new body, anger started to boil deep inside my gut. Why the fuck am I connecting my worth as a person to my weight? Why the fuck does it matter? I’m sick of tired of feeling like I can’t wear skin-tight clothes or anything that shows my ‘fat’ because it doesn’t suit my body type anymore. I’m sick and tired of feeling that I need to hide my body. I’m sick and tired of beating myself up or hating what I see in the mirror. I have said all of this before. I’ve tried countless thing to accept my body and love my extra love in the trunk, but you know what, it was a lot easier to sing that tune when I was skinnier. Now, when I’m noticeably bigger (30kg heavier), it’s really fucking difficult, and it shouldn’t have to be. It’s really fucking sad because even when I had those abs when I flexed, I still didn’t like what I saw. I still didn’t wear those skin-tight clothes or showed off my body with confidence. I still felt ugly. It just doesn’t matter. I’m not going to be remembered for my body when I die. It’s not going to matter if I was short, tall, skinny or fat, heck let’s throw in yellow- or purple-skinned. My outer appearance is going to mean jack shit when I’m dead. It’s what is on the inside that matters. That’s what you should care about. And more importantly, that’s what I should care about.
It’s funny. I’ve never (Well, if we want to get technical I have for a few seconds but that was more a reflection of my own demons than about that girls’s actual body.) looked at anyone and judged them for their outer appearance, but why am I doing it to the person I’m supposed to love most in this world, me? I still have a long way to go, and I’m going to start challenging myself when it comes to accepting my body as is. I wasn’t put on this green and blue earth to constantly deprive myself of pleasantries, starve myself, and wish my body was different. I was put on this earth to be me. So, when anyone brings up my bigger body or my weight gain, I’m not going to go in attack mode or try to explain myself. Instead, I will ask: “Does it matter?” and if they say “yes” then that tells you more about them than anything else. You’re so much more than your outer shell.
I’m writing this blog after a really difficult day. I realize that these are my toxic thoughts now but I need to write about this. Writing is my therapy and maybe by writing out all my thoughts, I might gain a new perspective on things. I don’t know but I need to get these feelings out.
Today I found out I weigh 90kg. I feel sick to my stomach. I feel disgusting. I feel like I should go crawl into some hole and hide. No one can see me like this. No one can know I weigh so much. When I saw that number on the scale I wanted to cry. I bit back my tears and told myself, cry about this tonight. I’ve gained so much weight in this last year that it’s been an incredibly hard pill to swallow. After the big weight gain where the scale climbed 2-3kg a WEEK for two months, I thought that was it. I’m 20kg heavier but I will lose it. I was diagnosed with PCOS soon after that and it’s been one ugly mix of emotions since. I felt horrified that I gained so much weight. I immediately changed the way I dressed or constantly tugged at my clothes because I didn’t want people to see the obvious weight gain. Hello, oversized everything. And now, when I’m already so fragile, I find out I’m 10kg’s higher than that. I can’t hit that 100kg mark. I can’t.
And I’m scared. I want to lose weight because I want to be able to feel comfortable in my own skin but I’m terrified I will become obsessed with fitness again. It was truly horrifying that the pressure of maintaining the weight loss or fitness journey did to my mental health. I get so overwhelmed these days. So much extreme thing has been happening to me this last year that I’m barely keeping my head above water. I can’t add that weight loss pressure onto my shoulders again. I will break. I’ve found a system that is taking steps towards the right direction but it slow and forgiving. It’s all that I can handle at the moment but it’s not enough. I’m not doing enough. I’m still gaining weight and I’m disgusting. I need to starve myself. I need to drink just smoothies for months straight. I need to eat, drink and sleep fitness again. I need to eat nothing and just drink water. I need to make myself throw up when I eat candy. I need to. I need to. I need to. These thoughts are disgusting. I look at my body and I hate it. I hate how that is just another thing in my life that I can’t control and I hate how it doesn’t feel like my body anymore. I hate how I’m scared someone will point out my weight gain out and I hate how I no longer feel beautiful. I hate that this weight gain makes me feel worthless. Like my life has no meaning because I have back rolls. I hate that I feel this way and I want to change but I don’t know if I can handle it now. It’s a constant toss up of 1) go big or go home or 2) one day at a time. I’m struggling to find a middle ground. I’m struggling to get out of this ugly and toxic loophole. I don’t want to feel like this anymore. I don’t want to be this big anymore. I tell myself I will be happy when I’m back to my fit body but the truth is, I wasn’t fucking happy back then. I still thought I was fat and worthless. I still bit back tears when someone pointed out my stomach. But now…it’s worse. Back then I felt confident and proud at least 70% of the time. Now, I feel like a worthless human being. I don’t really know what else to say. I think I’m just going to go to bed now. Maybe I will feel different tomorrow? I’m just so tired of feeling like this. It’s too much. Life has been so much. When am I going to catch a break?
It’s the next day and I don’t have clarity. I don’t really feel much better. I realize that I’m inching into a depressive state and what I thought yesterday wasn’t entirely true to what a really think deep down…but yeah. I still feel the pressure that I need to do something. What I’m doing isn’t enough and I’m scared that it will all get too much. I woke up, hungry. Already, my thoughts are like sit the fuck down you fat fuck. You’re not worthy to eat. It’s ugly and toxic. These feelings will pass and I refuse to surrender and do anything I will regret. I will fight these thoughts and feelings. I will fight this negative voice and when I come out of it the other side, with a clear and positive mind I will make adjustments to my way of life that isn’t anything too crazy. And eventually, over time, I will lose some weight but who knows? Maybe I will never weigh 60kg again and that’s okay…I guess. It’s baby steps.
Sorry that this blog is all over the place. I just feel like it’s something I should share. Maybe someone who struggles with the same thing or has struggled with the same thing will have some advice. Who knows?
Thank you so much for reading and I will see you in a click!
PS, I’m adding this as an afterthought because I don’t want to make anyone feel bad about their bodies. I’m not saying if you weigh 90kg you’re ‘fat’ and ‘worthless’. Nor if you weigh more than that. THIS is how I feel about MY body because of my weightgain.
This blog was supposed to go up way back, before we even started with the renovation but I was always just too lazy to get the book out to get the reference part so well here we are, months late.
So honestly last year I had so many bicycle tour blogs it was basically the only thing I wrote about. When I originally decided on the bicycle tour I had no idea what I was walking myself into. It took us some trial and error before we found a tour which was realistic and a training program that we could stick to. And the training was going really well. Till my body was telling me something else entirely. My periods got out of whack and I was gaining weight from just blinking. It was a crazy time where nothing made sense and I felt unsure about everything. I thought hey maybe I’m over training myself so let’s slow it down and then build strength and stamina and go from there. I decided on my 150km three times per month and then 50km the last week of the month. It sounded like a perfect solution but my body wasn’t responding to the training. After being diagnosed with PCOS and doing my research I learned why. This next part is out of my favourite PCOS book, Natural Solutions to PCOS by Marilyn Glenville. (Here is the link — https://www.marilynglenville.com/books/natural-solutions-to-pcos-book/ —)
*Some forms of exercise work better than others. I see many women in the clinic who spend an hour in the gym three times a week and feel they are doing a vigorous workout, but still can’t shift the excess weight – particularly that around the middle of the body.*
So I don’t want to quote pages of pages on this topic but it comes down to: there is a certain type of exercise that works with women with PCOS. If we want to lose weight we have to build muscle (so strengthening workouts) and our cardio sessions should never succeed over the 30 minutes time mark. Access cardio (so hours and hours of cardio) will do more harm than good. It will be the opposite effect. Instead of losing weight, we will end up gaining weight. It’s just a lot of stress on the body. The last thing I want is to add more stress to my body as stress flares up the really bad PCOS symptoms. I am however not a quitter. It feels wrong to just completely drop on this big goal. It is still something I want to complete but my health is important to me. So after weeks of pondering on a solution I finally thought of something. What if we still do the tour but really break it up. And by break it up I mean three towns a weekend so 30km a day every few months. This way I can still keep my promise and dream to explore the Netherlands with a bicycle without harming my body. And we take the train/car to whatever town we stopped at and slowly but surely complete the tour. Yes it will take us a long time but in the end of the day the job gets done. Sometimes life throws curveballs your way and things doesn’t work out like you thought. But hey you got to make lemonade with lemons and not try to make orange juice. I have no idea if that even makes sense. I just didn’t want to quit just because it won’t work out like we thought it would.
It does solve quite a bit of our problems though. We don’t have to follow an intense training program (so no more stress on my body) and time wise it’s doable. Onno doesn’t need to take any special time off from work. We don’t have to get special bicycles or any supplies. We can make it a fun weekend away. And we don’t have to worry about figuring what to do with Speculoos and Dankie for a month or so. It works out. Instead of quitting, I worked with the problem and found the middle ground.
We will probably only start the extra mini tour next year as we’re really still recovering from the renovations, heck we still have some work that we do every second weekend and we’re not quite done yet for the year. We also have a puppy in the house now and he needs to be a bit older before we can hand him over to day care and go away for a weekend. We really just need some time to recover. We also really need to build our strength, endurance and stamina again and that’s what we’re doing with our workouts at the moment. I can’t tell you when we will start next year or if anything will happen that will cause us to delay the first weekend away but I can tell you that we will do this in the end. Heck maybe we only finish ten years from now but we will do it. I’m not in a rush. It’s kind of nice to have this exciting thing to do every few months to keep us nice and active.
Thank you so much for reading and I will see you in a click!
When I started my fitness journey I had this idea in my head that drinking supplements is wrong. It means that you can improve your diet even more. It means that you’re not healthy enough. What a load of crap. I could slap my past self. How ridiculous is that notion?
*In theory, you should be able to get all the nutrients you need from your diet, but sadly, food today doesn’t always contain good amounts of the key nutrients you need. Over-farming and the use of pesticides mean that much of the soil our food is grown in has become depleted in vital nutrients. Many fruits and vegetables at the supermarket have travelled great distances over many days to get to the shelves, with already meagre nutrients dwindling further still. Our fruit and vegetables today contain an average of 20 per cent fewer minerals. Many people are significantly deficient in certain vitamins and minerals, such as Omega 3 fats. This happens if you eat more food than you need (causing weight gain). If the bulk of your diet is highly processed and refined, you may not be getting enough nutrients and you may end up overweight, and deficient in many key vitamins and minerals.
This part is straight from the book by Marilyn Glenville called Natural Solutions to PCOS (Here is the link — https://www.marilynglenville.com/books/natural-solutions-to-pcos-book/ —). After I was diagnosed with PCOS, I went home and started searching for more information on the syndrome on Google. If stumbled onto the YouTube video of Marilyn Glenville giving a lecture on PCOS (Here is the link — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kpF0UOI1Lf0&t=1917s —) and I just really love her approach to PCOS. I immediately bought her book and it was the first book on PCOS that I’ve ever read. Before that moment I was still in the mindset that drinking supplements means that you’re diet isn’t that great and you can get everything you need from a proper diet. That little snippet from before really opened my eyes, well her entire book did but anyway I became open to the suggestion of drinking supplements. The more I read and learned on how these supplements might improve my health and control my PCOS symptoms, the more I started to cheer for the supplement team. By the end of the book I ordered the supplements and currently I’ve been drinking them for six months. They truly do work and I’ve seen results. More on that in a minute.
It was overwhelming in the beginning. It’s a lot of pills and it was really difficult to 1) remember to drink them and 2) actually get them down. Now it’s all smooth sailing. Before I get into the list of supplements, let me quickly share my results.
My hormonal mood swings are less. Before I was on such a fine line of emotional outbursts. I would cry because someone spoke to me in a heavy voice or I would start to cry because I can’t find the TV remote. I also started to cry once because I had to repeat my sentence twice. It was incredibly frustrating and I just didn’t feel like myself.
My acne has improved tenfold. Although I do think that the no coffee in my diet has played a role in this, the supplements definitely has an effect as well. My skin cleared up. I still break out here and there but otherwise my skin is looking great. My back acne is completely gone which is amazing. I can’t tell you how good that one feels.
My uncontrollable and unstoppable (sure as hell felt like it) weight gain stopped. Even though I’ve made some changes in my diet, there hasn’t been a big enough change that I can contribute this to different eating habits. I mentioned before but I gained weight overnight even though I was working out almost every single day. Nearly 15kg in three months and a total of 20kg in five months. Ever since I started taking the supplements, I’m no longer gaining weight. I’m not losing any (well not yet. I just restarted my workout program) but that’s more than enough for me. I felt like I was gaining weight for just blinking so the fact that the number on the scale isn’t climbing anymore feels amazing. There was a stage I was gaining 2-3kg a week even though I practically lived on greens and my stationary bicycle.
My hair is also healthier and overall my cycles has improved. I went for an ovarian scan the other day and the doctor could see the results and well the fruit of my pill swallowing labour. I will surely continue to drink them in the future. I do want to add that in the time I’m writing this blog, I’ve been making more healthier food choices and we’ve picked up really good eating habits over these last few months. I’m even eating zucchini twice a week now. Those who might know me will probably fall of their chair with this news. It’s amazing that just three years ago I ate my first ‘greens’.
This one is quite embarrassing but my hair growth is a lot better. When my body spiralled out of control just before I was diagnosed with PCOS, I was growing dark hair and damn quickly too in all of the unsightly places. My chin and moustache was a nightmare. This has improved greatly since I started the supplements. The growth at my arms pits, lady bits and legs has also slowed. They’re growing at a normal speed again. For the awhile there…it just wasn’t pretty. Heck even the hairs on my toes are different.
Here is the list of supplements I drink and why I take them. Before I get into it, I really want to stress that I’m not a doctor. What I know about these supplements is purely from reading her book. I ran the tests and decided to give her approach to PCOS a fair chance. Overall for all of those ladies out there struggling with PCOS and the ugly things that comes with it, I really recommend you read her book. The natural route can be the answer you’ve been searching for. For those ladies trying to conceive, she also talks of ways you can boost your fertility naturally.
*I believe chromium is the key nutrient for PCOS as it helps to balance your blood sugar, improves insulin resistance, counteracts food cravings and is also useful for losing weight. Chromium assists in the body’s efficient use of insulin, which then controls your blood sugar.
In the book she proceed to talk about the benefit of chromium when you are more sensitive to insulin and etc. She also advises the amount you should take but she does this with all of her recommendations.
*The B vitamins in general are important in the reversal of PCOS symptoms. Vitamin B2 helps to turn fat, sugar and protein into energy, which makes it useful for both blood-sugar balance and weight control.
She continues to explain what the each of the B vitamins would do for your PCOS symptoms. It’s really informative. Like mentioned above, my weight has been under control since I started the supplements. I have yet to lose weight but that’s really only because I haven’t worked out while taking the supplements.
*Vitamin D, the ‘sunshine’ vitamin, is now recognized as being very active in controlling blood sugar and improving insulin sensitivity, and research suggests that having good levels of Vitamin D can help prevent Type 2 diabetes.
She goes into the detail of the critical role that Vitamin D plays in our bodies. For the ladies trying to conceive, vitamin D is essential to your mix of supplements. The doctor could actually see a difference in my ovaries and I’m thanking the little sunshine tablet for that one.
*Magnesium is an important mineral for dealing with PCOS because it is involved in glucose metabolism.
She goes again into the detail about the role magnesium plays in your body and the benefit you will reap from adding it into your diet.
*Zinc helps enormously with PCOS as it is instrumental in the production of your reproductive hormones; it also regulates your blood sugar by assisting insulin in its job and moving glucose (blood sugar) from your blood to your sells.
She continued by sharing how the mineral is important for appetite control and why. Zinc also plays a role with coping with stress. It’s a supplement you should definitely have in your collection. I’ve seen a massive difference in my appetite control. I do want to mention that my depression could’ve played a role but who knows. I used to have binge eating episodes all the time. I would just be hungry and just eat none stop. I haven’t really had that in a really long time. Not since I started taking the supplements but again around this time my depression spiked and I tend to have a bad appetite when it does.
*These important fatty acids are absolutely crucial in the treatment of PCOS. They will help your body become more sensitive to insulin and play a strong role in controlling the destructive inflammatory process.
She continues by sharing the benefits of Omega 3 with the reduction of testosterone levels in women with PCOS. I’ve definitely seen a difference here. Like mentioned before, I’ve seen a massive difference in my ‘manly’ facial hair.
*Women with PCOS have lower levels of Vitamin C than women without PCOS so this is particularly important supplement for you.
She continues to share the other benefits of the vitamin as in how it can help you burn more fat when you exercise, enabling you to lose weight faster. I’ve always taken Vitamin C to help fight the cold season mostly because my body is still adapting to the different weather here in the Netherlands I’m almost constantly sick with a cold/flu in the winter.
*Arginine can be useful in reversing insulin resistance.
She proceeds to go into more detail and describes of a study that showed the results that would benefit the trying to conceive ladies.
*Carnitine assists the body’s breakdown of fat to release energy and can improve insulin sensitivity.
*Tyrosine is helpful for women with PCOS who are overweight as it is active in suppressing the appetite and burning off fat.
*This amino acid is useful for helping with sugar cravings as it can be converted to sugar for energy and so takes away the need to eat something sweet.
I personally haven’t noticed anything about less sugar cravings but I’m probably the wrong person to ask that. I’m all about my sugar treats. I do try my utmost best to not stuff my face with candy all day every day. I’m still struggling with the regards of candy control.
I take two other supplements not listed by the dear doctor. Cranberry pills to help with my frequent bladder infections. I started taking them when I would basically get a bladder infection every two months and ever since then, I’ve had one bladder infection. So I’ve definitely seen the benefit of that one. I also take a multivitamin to get the last bits of pieces of vitamins I need in. Oh and although I don’t take this daily, I take iron pills when I’m on my period. When I was younger I had anemia with a very low iron count. If I’m not careful or healthy, my iron levels drop below the normal count.
I hope you’ve found this blog to be informative and helpful. I wanted to wait a few months so I could share my response to the supplements. Good luck to all of my cysters out there and I hope you find the answers and support you’re looking for. There is so many of us out there and we understand the struggle.
Thank you so much for reading and I will see you in a click!
You would’ve noticed that I don’t have a picture under every supplement she recommends. It’s merely because the quantity needed per day is found in some of the other products.
The links to the products are not affiliated. I’m not getting anything out of it. I’m merely sharing the links for those ladies here in the Netherlands who wishes to follow the advice of the book mentioned above and purchase the supplements. Although saying that, it would be pretty great if the two companies would help a girl out. I’m going to be a lifetime client.
A quick tip: Holland & Barrett often has a two for one sale on their supplements so definitely keep an eye on that.
I struggled with acne a lot when I hit puberty. It was truly horrible. Wait let me see if I can find a picture. I had this particular picture in mind and finding it meant deep diving on my old external hard drive. It was bad. Really bad. I’ve seen things.
Here is a picture of my mom and I when I was about twelve or thirteen. As you can see my entire face is covered with acne. I felt so self conscious about it, we went to the doctor and I was placed on the pill which I stayed on all the way till I turned nineteen. It helped with my acne a lot. I was in no way perfectly clean skin but outside an occasional acne pop up here and there my worries was behind me. Of course I scratched at my acne like crazy and now have scars on my chin that really comes out when I’m getting hot. They’re a nightmare in the summer. Is this even making sense? Anyway my point is I’ve had my fair share of acne problems that didn’t go away even when I was on the pill. Wait before I continue here is the picture.
When I came abroad as au pair I had to go onto a new pill and my body just didn’t respond well to the pill at all. My periods were all over the show and really bad. My acne was flaring up like crazy and after about three months I decided to stop taking the pill all together. At this point my logic was well like I’m single and my hormones should be all together now that I’m older so let’s see how it goes without the pill. The acne was a bit better without the new pill and my periods took two months to return to normal but otherwise it felt like the best choice. I was regularly washing my face and never slept with my make up on (I only started to wear make up around this time anyway). The acne wasn’t as bad. I could handle it. Anyway I met my now husband and went back onto the pill for two months before I just couldn’t take it anymore. My body responded horribly to this pill (why I didn’t go to the doctor and asked for a different kind is beyond me). There is a point to this. You need to know my back story with acne. Also I’m too far in to go back now. To get to the point though, I always had acne on my face but once I went off the pill I had a little more here and there. It was controllable and I didn’t mind it too much. Flash forward to a few months and suddenly my acne was just ten times worse. I was basically two pimples away from my thirteen year old self but throw in back acne in the mix. I was still in South Africa at the time without a medical aid so I figured I can wait till I’m in the Netherlands.
Once I got here and returned to my healthier lifestyle, some of the acne approved but not all of it. When I started to gain weight like crazy out of the blue, my acne flared up again. This time it was horrible. I felt so self conscious and dirty about it and I tried everything. I started using face masks once a week (which made a difference) and a face scrub and cleanser everyday but the back acne, boy that girl was here to stay. No amount of greens and products changed that.
After I was diagnosed with PCOS, I did a lot of research. Some of my research showed that coffee (or well caffeine in general) is horrible for our hormones and can make our acne worse. At this point I was desperate to feel more like myself and just feel attractive again in any shape or form I can, so I kicked all coffee out of my diet. I immediately saw a response. My back acne completely disappeared and my face cleared up. Now I do have to add that around a month after I stopped drinking coffee, I started drinking supplements for my PCOS which also cleared up the last bit of lingering pimples. I now only get pimples when I’m on my period or when I eat too much junk food.
*If you have, by now, made the switch to unrefined carbohydrates, you will already be working hard to keep your blood-sugar levels on an even keel. It is the energy dips and troughs and long gaps between meals that trigger the adrenal glands into action, encouraging them to pimp out the stress hormones that are so harmful to sufferers of PCOS. But if you are serious about getting to the bottom of your PCOS symptoms, you really need to try to keep those adrenal glands as happy as possible. The key to adrenal health is to cut right back on caffeine. Anything containing caffeine acts as a stimulant that will make your body release more of the stress hormones and cause blood-sugar-levels to fluctuate. We know that women with PCOS have increased levels of the stress hormone cortisol, so it is vital to help reduce these in order to reduce insulin levels. Like alcohol, caffeine also acts as a diuretic, so if you drink a lot, you risk losing valuable nutrients like zinc (which is crucial for hormone balance) through your urine.*
I do need to add that in the same breath that I’ve seen other websites on PCOS disagreeing with the no coffee statement of Dr. Marilyn but if you have PCOS and your struggling with acne, I recommended just trying it for a month. I tried it, saw I benefited from not drinking coffee and now I only drink coffee every now and again. There is a lot of options out there for those addicted to coffee so not all is lost. I hope this helps. I will share the face products I use another time.
Thank you so much for reading and I will see you in a click!