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A Nutritionist's story of battling PCOS, Weight Gain & Infertility

24 Aug 2015
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This is my own story of battling weight and PCOS. It feels great sharing it with females, some of whom are probably going through the same challenges as I did.

As a child, I was never skinny. I grew up being slightly overweight with a broad frame. Things suddenly started going very wrong once I hit my twenties. My periods became irregular and I started gaining weight. I did not notice it at first as ironically I was pursuing my master's in nutrition and super busy with studies.

When in just a year my weight ballooned to 64 kg from 56 kg, I realized something was wrong. After a few medical tests, I discovered I was suffering from PCOS and that along with poor eating habits, this was responsible for my weight gain. 

I started studying it in detail and was convinced that weight loss and maintaining my weight to ideal levels was the only solution to having a healthy hormonal profile.

Also, being a dietitian myself, it was important to be well within my ideal weight limits.

The next barrier to excess weight and PCOS was when I was planning to have a child. 

Infertility due to PCOS was very common.

I was very upset to hear I was suffering from infertility and that it would be tough to become a mom. It was very depressing to hear about fertility treatments and the side effects of the same made me very scared and depressed.

I did my research on diet plans for women with PCOS and started eating correctly, eating in the right portions and not giving in to junk food. I started losing weight and bounced back to 58 kg. I was very happy to conceive naturally (rare with PCOS) and had a very good pregnancy. During the 9 months, however, I put on 23 kg and was horrified to see myself at 78 kg after the birth of my child.

 It was like a light switch went on. I immediately swung into action and actively chose and ate foods that were nourishing and not fattening and greasy. Moreover, since, I had been operated on for a slipped disc, heavy workouts were never an option for me. So, I would make time to go for short, but regular walks. post-pregnancy weight loss wasn’t easy, but with the right food and techniques, it all worked out. 

After my child was 1 year old, I was 66 kg, and my PCOS symptoms disappeared. My cycles were very regular. I went a little more aggressive and continued with a more conscious effort to lose weight. This was not easy as I was taking care of the baby, working and taking care of my weight.

At times, I gave in to cravings and ate wrong but when calm, I would ask myself, was the big bar of chocolate worth it? To satisfy cravings, I would taste morsels of junk food but make meals of healthy food.  After another year I was at 58 kg and today I am at 56 kg!

Going through weight gain. PCOS and post-pregnancy weight has been incredible learning for me as a nutritionist. My own experience has helped me with my modules on balance nutrition on eat-in portions, restaurant-guided weight loss plans for PCOS started withes, alcohol guides and what I call "The Celebrate Life Maintenance Guide".

I eat outside, have erratic meal times some days and also cheat a bit, but due to the maintenance, I know when to stop.

My biggest takeaway over the last few decades? No one can eat special diet foods all their life, a more practical and doable approach works best.


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