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CaramelMisses 02-24-2013 07:12 PM

PCOS, Eating Disorders, and Depression
Hello everyone. I just want to say that I am happy that I found this site. It feels good to know that my words will be read by others who actually know my struggle.

I am a soon to be, 25 year old female (March) who has been overweight my entire life. In the beginning, I was just a chubby little thing. I've always been rather tall, so I was bigger than all of the other kids my age when I was in elementary. Though the boys began to surpass me in height during my middle school/junior high years, I was still bigger than most of the kids my age. This made me feel different, and like I didn't fit in. Not to mention, I was called FAT by 3 girls on my first day of kindergarten. That did WONDERS for my esteem!:D

When I hit 15 I REALLY began to pack on the pounds. Though I had started my period when I was 12, (spotting at age 8) I could count the number of periods I had actually had, using two hands. I was surprised by my weight. I did love my sweets, but my diet hadn't changed that much for me to be packing on 30lbs within a matter of months! One of my teachers (who looked to be about 400 pounds) even had the nerve to ask me what I had been eating and that I needed to slim down. My mother helped me get removed from her class.;)

At age 16, I was finally diagnosed with PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) and high blood pressure, and was told that I'd be diabetic by the time I hit my 20s. I was also told that I had a slim chance of ever getting pregnant. I was put on 500mg of metformin a day, and lost about 30lbs instantly.
After being on the metformin for a little over a year, I became pregnant with my daughter. My pregnancy went pretty well, and I was able to deliver my beautiful princess vaginally. She came out weighing a healthy 7lbs 12ounces, with no health complications.

When I came home from the hospital, I was overjoyed to be a mother, but sickened by my size and deflated looking tummy. My body had changed for the worse, and I kept myself from the mirror. I began to eat only 1-2 small bowls of grapes a day. Sometimes, I would only drink a diet soda or two, and sometimes I wouldn't eat anything at all. Not to mention, I'd got into the habit of sticking my finger down my throat to bring up my food. When my mother started noticing that I had these red spots on my face (something I do when I throw up), she began to question me, but was still clueless. I ended up losing a total of 40lbs-45lbs in a month, bringing me down to about 205-210lbs. At a size 11/12 (I'm about 5'10), I felt on top of the world. For reasons beyond me, I stopped making myself throw up, and started back eating again.

I am glad to say that at age 24, I am not diabetic, and that I AM a mother. However, over the years I devoloped a food addiction, mainly centered around sweets. Not only did I get all the way back up to my pregnancy weight, but I have went beyond it. And to think, I was complaining about being a size 14. Now, I'm a size 18/20.

I don't know why I took the time to reveal so much about my struggle with my weight. It just seemed like the right thing to do. One thing I do know, is that I need help! Some days I just want to stick my finger down my throat and train myself to starve again, but I know it's unhealthy, and a temporary fix. I also felt pretty bad while I was doing this.:(

If there is anyone out there who is touched by my story and who would like to help in ANY way, I welcome you with opened arms. I NEED to lose this weight, and I NEED to keep it off. However, it must be done in a way that is HEALTHY! Many days, I just want to stay in bed. When I eat too much and feel bloated, I actually do whatever I can to avoid going out in public. I avoid wearing clothes that show belly fat, and I style my hair to hide my round face. I even feel embarrassed while I grocery shop, sometimes. As young as I am, all I know is being a mom. I avoid clubs, and I spend my free time playing The Sims 3.

I'm tired of being uncomfortable in my own skin. I can NOT stay fat the rest of my life...

carolynnq 02-25-2013 01:51 AM

Aww, CaramelMissus - I just want to give you a hug.

You want to change - and that's a very necessary first step. And you have the added motivation of staying healthy for your daughter's sake. So, right off the bat, you've got two things working in your favor.

I'm basically using the South Beach Diet (it's a low carb, low glycemic index diet). A couple of years ago, my son and DIL started it, and I read the book and followed along so I'd know what to feed them when they came over. One thing that I really liked about it was the snacks! (mid-morning, mid-afternoon, and evening). Many other diet plans do this too. The idea is to keep your blood sugar stable, but for me, it means that if I get hungry or get a craving, I'm usually never more than an hour or so away from snack time and can usually manage to put off eating until then.

It can be very daunting to have a lot of weight to lose. (Why, oh why, is it so easy to consume 3500 calories - 1 lb - and burn that many excess calories?) And it can be very discouraging trying because each day is a struggle and it takes a while to see an improvement.

Have you set any goals for yourself? Not to lose a specific amount, but behaviors that when done consistently will lead to weight loss. Then give yourself a pat on the back each day you meet your goals. There's a 7-day motivational thread where people post their weekly goals and then post updates.

CaramelMisses 02-26-2013 05:50 AM

Hi Carolyn :) Thank you for your response. I've heard of the South Beach diet before, but never considered it. Why? Because I absolutely love sweets and carbs. I know it's necessary to make changes and give up bad habits, but giving these things up will be a HUGE challenge for me. I'm a MONSTER without sugar and carbs! LOL!

I've already developed the habit of drinking water. I always tell myself that I'd rather eat my calories. Sugary beverages aren't my problem. I think the biggest challenge is controlling my mind. If I could have more will power, my weight loss journey would be alot easier. I haven't really set any goals that aren't weight related, but I do try to keep track of my water intake. I'm shooting for AT LEAST 8 glasses a day. Sometimes I just don't drink enough. My main goal is to not exceed 1500 calories in a day. :D

Is the South Beach diet expensive to follow? That seems to be another issue with me. Being a single mom, I'm always on a tight budget, and I often end up just counting calories while only changing small things in my diet.

Which brings me to my next question. Is it really all about calories? Or should I be keeping track of the carbs, sodium, etc as well? Is it more about what personally works for my body?

carolynnq 02-27-2013 09:07 PM

Originally Posted by CaramelMisses (Post 96171)
I think the biggest challenge is controlling my mind. If I could have more will power, my weight loss journey would be alot easier.

That's the truth right there - that's everyone's problem. If we could only bottle will power, we'd be rich!

The South Beach Diet is essentially avoiding white sugar, refined grains (white rice, white flour), and foods high on the glycemic index. It does include a mid-morning,mid-afternoon, and evening snack which really helps me never feel hungry.

Eating healthful food isn't expensive because it's generally processed foods that are expensive. A couple of exceptions that come to mind are brown rice and whole wheat pasta are more expensive than their refined counterparts.

Changing eating habits is hard at first. I used to prefer white rice to brown rice - now it's the opposite. I used to love white potatoes and didn't really care for sweet potatoes/yams - now it's the opposite. And when you stop eating a particular food for several weeks, often the cravings for it go away. I had to learn what correct portion sizes were. Experts say stomachs don't shrink, but I guess they do adapt to new habits too, because after a few weeks of eating smaller portions, I get filled up faster now.

In terms of weight, it does come down to calories taken in versus calories expended. If you're not exceeding 1500 calories a day (that's my goal too), I'm guessing that you're probably spending at least 500 calories more than that a day just living your regular life - which is 3500 calories a week - which is 1 lb a week loss.

Nutrition is another story... you can "spend" 200 of your 1500 calories on a small piece of cake that provides few nutrients, or spend the 200 calories on an apple and some cheese. I do check weekly to see what nutrients I'm falling short on, and then try to eat more foods with whatever I'm short on.

As to ratio of fats to carbs to protein, health experts have different ideas as to what's best. I think a lot depends on the individual metabolism and whether the individual has a specific problem (heart, hypertension, diabetes, etc.)

ExercicePolice 02-28-2013 07:23 PM

Hi CaramelMisses,

I am glad that you had a good pregnancy and things weren't as they depicted them to you before. And we are more than glad to give any help we can here.
I'll just add a couple of tricks that may help you.
I know a couple of tricks that may help you. Start by reducing calories by filling yourself up with protein, vegetables, whole grains, and replacing bad habit snacks with good ones. A good way to replace sugar could be taking a Muscle Milk lite, it has zero sugar and a ton of protein that will satiate while also torching my sugar craving.
A good trick I learned is a sprinkle of cinnamon in your morning coffee or oatmeal, the spice will help stabilize blood sugar. It also slows the rate at which food exits the stomach, which helps you feel fuller longer.

Get some vitamin C to help balance the cortisol spikes that happen when you feel stress and it also makes carnitine(a compound used by the body to turn fat into fuel), this will help you burn fat faster. Try bell peppers, kale or kiwi fruits. These have even more Vitamin C than orange juice.

Your body will still need some type of fat intake though. It’s sugar that gets you fat, not the 'fat' that you eat. Good fats include foods rich in Omega 3′s, like salmon, avocados & walnuts. These foods are full of nutrients as well.

Avoid “white” carbohydrates - bread, rice, cereal, potatoes, pasta, and fried food with breading. If you avoid eating anything white, you’ll be safe, except for within 1.5 hours of finishing a resistance-training workout of at least 20 minutes in length.

Eat the same few meals over and over again. You could mix and match from these groups of foods:
Proteins: Egg whites with one whole egg for flavor, Chicken breast or thigh, Grass-fed organic beef.
Legumes: Lentils, Black beans, Pinto beans.
Vegetables: Spinach, Asparagus, Peas, Mixed vegetables.

Don’t drink calories. Drink massive quantities of water and as much unsweetened iced tea, tea, diet sodas(no soda at all preferably), coffee (without white cream), or other no-calorie/low-calorie beverages as you like. Stay away from milk, normal soft drinks, or fruit juice. One glass of wine each evening, which I believe actually aids sports recovery and fat-loss. Theres some studies supporting that.

You can maybe take one day off per week to indulge on food you may like.

Get at least 7 hours of sleep at night. People who get less than 5 hours of shuteye a night have higher levels of ghrelin, which increases appetite, and decreases leptin, the protein hormone that tells you when you’re full. Sleep is vital to keeping your weight in check.
If you want to do exercises, start by doing short, intense exercises that focus on full-body movements—like squats with biceps curls, reverse crunches, leg raises, fast crunches, sec lunges, mountain climbers, wide grip push up, reverse lunges, close grip push ups, cross crunches. Important thing is to do some cardio, like jumping jacks, rest for 30 secs, then do 5 to 6 of those exercises for 20-30 secs without resting in between them.

Hope this helps. Just make yourself goals and you can reach them. I know I wrote a lot :D lol sorry. But hope that if anything is informative in a way.

God Bless.

CaramelMisses 03-01-2013 05:02 AM

Thank you so much for the information, guys! What I got from both posts is that I'm just going to HAVE to develop new eating habits. In the past I would lean towards diets like the slim fast diet, just so I could have those sweet shakes and imitation chocolate bars. LOL! Yes...I'm THAT addicted to sweets. Of course I've never seen success while following that crash diet.

I have what you would call "insulin resistance", and I really should be eating as little sugar and carbs as possible. However, for some reason it's just too hard to accept. I can't lie, at one point I was eating mainly brown rice (sometimes), broccoli, and skinless chicken, but got so bored with the diet that I went back to my old eating habits within two months. I had actually lost close to 20lbs! SMH Do you guys have any recipes or ways to spice up healthy foods so that I won't tire of them so easily? I would also like to add that I'm not a huge fan of meat. Come to think of it, I haven't had a single piece of meat today!:eek:

I've heard that the muscle milk is great! I'll definately look into that! I also enjoy the Special K drinks. They did seem to help a bit with my hunger.

Also, how do you guys feel about step aerobics for exercise? I live in an apartment, and can't afford a gym membership or exercise equipment at this time. (single mom) Do you guys think that following exercise dvds can help shed a lot of weight?

Exercise Police, how many reps should I do of those exercises, and how often. I know I seem to be clueless, but exercise really isn't my "thing". All I've ever really done was step aerobics and the walk at home dvds.:D

ExercicePolice 03-01-2013 03:07 PM


Im glad we can be of help, and more than glad to.
Aerobic exercises are cardiovascular exercises. Essentially it involves large muscle groups. Aerobic exercise makes the lungs work harder as the body’s need for oxygen is increased. They help with increased energy levels, reduced stress and improved mental health(due to the release of endorphins in the brain), increased heart and lung efficiency, reduced blood pressure, resting heart rate and risk of stroke or heart attack. It does help to burn calories, but not nearly as much as the exercises I told you about. Its not a bad idea to do them in addition.

For the meal plans, I could give you an idea on what to follow. Remember those foods that I mentioned to you:
Proteins: Egg whites with one whole egg for flavor, Chicken breast or thigh, Grass-fed organic beef.
Legumes: Lentils, Black beans, Pinto beans.
Vegetables: Spinach, Asparagus, Peas, Mixed vegetables.

Here's an example of an schedule you can follow:
10am – breakfast.
1pm – lunch
5pm – smaller second lunch
7:30-9pm – exercising
10pm – dinner.

You could work on the time making it earlier if you like, just try to keep the time difference about the same.

For things that you can use to spice up your food, Ill give you a few that I know of; for beer you can use bay leaf, nutmeg, onion, pepper, sage, or thyme. For chicken or turkey you can use ginger, marjoram, oregano, paprika, poultry seasoning, rosemary, sage, tarragon, or thyme. For fish use curry powder, dill, lemon juice, marjoram, paprika, or pepper. I also read this really good list of spices for vegetables that I have personally used:

Carrots taste great with: Cinnamon, cloves, marjoram, nutmeg, rosemary, or sage.
Corn is easy to add taste to with: Cumin, curry powder, onion, paprika, or parsley.
green beans with: Dill, curry powder, lemon juice, marjoram, oregano, tarragon, or thyme.
Greens and spice go hand-in-hand with these terrific spices: Garlic, onion, or pepper.
To add flavor to your peas: Ginger, marjoram, onion, parsley, sage.
Potatoes: Dill, garlic, onion, paprika, parsley, or sage.
Summer Squash: Cloves, curry powder, marjoram, nutmeg, onion, rosemary, or sage.
Winter Squash: Cinnamon, ginger, marjoram, or onion.
Tomatoes: Basil, bay leaf, dill, marjoram, onion, oregano, parsley, or pepper.

Like I mention before, do lots of full-body movements. Jumping jacks, sprinting on the spot, mountain climbers and such. As well as some core exercises. After the jumping jacks take 30 sec break, and then do the rest for 30 secs each without resting between them.

Here's a quick run down for the work out routine you can follow: (you will have to look up some of them if you dont know how to do them, like a video or something)

• Start with cardio to warm up by doing jumping jacks - 30 seconds
• Take a break for 30 secs. Then do all the following for 30 secs each without rest between exercises (the objective is to keep your heart rate up at all times)
• 30 sec reverse crunches.
• 30 sec leg raises.
• 30 sec fast crunches.
• 30 sec lunges.
• 30 sec mountain climbers
• 30 sec wide grip push up
• 30 sec reverse lunges
• 30 sec close grip push up
• 30 sec cross crunch.

Then take a breather, take a couple of sips from gatorate or water, and do the same thing over again. Do this 3 times. This would be a good start to get rid of that dreaded weight. :)
You may want to make it 15 secs if you are just now starting, and then move up gradually.

When you are doing the none rest part of the exercise you will get tired and you will sweat. DONT GIVE UP! you can do it. Its worth it.

Hope this answered your questions, if you have anymore feel free to ask!

God Bless :)

CaramelMisses 03-02-2013 11:35 AM

Thank you so much for the exercise and cooking tips! You've given me quite a bit of information. I really do appreciate your concern.:)

homeranex 04-30-2014 08:04 AM

there are thousands of other disorders linked to depression, being mental or physical.
Physically you could check for PCOS- otherwise known as polycystic ovary syndrome, Its an imbalance of hormones which mainly effects girls going through puberty, doctors will prescribe the pill (contraceptive) as it can regulate the female hormones in your body. -this is just a possibility.

Mental health wise it could be anything from stress to borderline personality disorder, schizophrenia, eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia nervosa, compulsive overeating, EDNOS, S.A.D. - seasonal affective disorder, and a huge continuing list.


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