I have been on a journey to lose weight for the last year. Over the year I have gone through period of extreme deprivation and periods of extreme binge. I have done workouts twice a day and burned as many as 600 calories a day, with a caloric intake as low as 1200 calories. I have done the eating plan for the 21 Day Fix as well as a ketogenic lifestyle. The one thing that remained consistent is that I have lost and gained the same 5 pounds for nearly the entire time. I started this journey at 170 and have gotten to as low as 165, but that is it.
I explained in a previous post I Lost My Best Friend and I’ve Been Gaining Weight Ever Since. how I managed to get this 170 pounds in the prior year. I am most comfortable around 125-130 pounds; although, in my adult life, I teeter around 135-140 typically.
I recently got so frustrated after continuing to work out and gain weight and dealing with the issue of a complex thickened endometrium lining and having to have a D&C for that, I had the doctor run some blood tests on me after watching a few youtbe videos that suggested this to determine the culprit.
What I learned is that I am insulin resistant. Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas which assists the glucose (simple sugar broken down during digestion) enter into the cells to be used as energy. When this doesn’t happen, you are left with glucose that turns into fat and your body requires higher levels of insulin to keep your blood sugar normal.
I anticipated this result based on what I had heard watching YouTube videos and doing some independent research. I have what is called polycystic ovarian syndrome (pcos), which is a hormone imbalance that often causes irregular periods, hair growth in places women shouldn’t have hair (mustaches and beards in my case), and acne (in my case, black spots on my face). My periods were irregular as a child, as told in this video here about my D&C procedure.
Here is a quiz you can take to determine whether you have pcos ( https://youngwomenshealth.org/2015/02/03/pcos-quiz/ ).
Now that I have a diagnosis of insulin resistance, it answers a lot of the questions I had concerning my apparent inability to lose weight and the frustration that comes along with it. I thought knowing would help, but it hasn’t. At least not yet. Do I do keto (high fat, low carb, moderate protein)? Do I do a less restrictive diet and just balance my carbs, proteins, and fats?
According to the research I’ve done, avoiding carbs all together isn’t the way and I should stick to complex carbs with a lower glycemic index to assist in stabilizing my insulin levels. So, I need to work on eating whole grain breads, brown rice, and whole wheat pasta. I have been avoiding these kinds of grains all together because the ketogenic diet says that I should only have 20 net grams of carbs a day, which typically comes from vegetables. The research says that I should eat foods high in fiber, low in sugar with healthy fats during most meals – eating small meals throughout the day instead of large meals.
PCOS is so common that 1 in 10 women have this disorder. The most common signs include irregular periods that come every few months, not at all, or too frequently, extra hair on your body, acne, weight gain and or trouble losing weight, patches of dark skin on the back of your neck and other areas – I. have. all. of these.
So, my doctor has put me on metformin to help prevent me from developing diabetes and he is recommending I continue to exercise through my frustrations. While I am struggling with the scale not moving and the measuring tape not really showing progress, I take slight solace in the fact that I know why it’s happening, and it’s not necessarily me.
Until next time, journey on!