If you have been following me for a while (thank you!!) this may be a little bit confusing. Why, is Aryn — plus size, body positive mama — posting about a diet like Whole 30? Heres the thing, this is NOT about weight loss, not even for a second. I struggle with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, and nutrition plays a big role in helping me manage those symptoms.
What is PCOS?
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder common among women of reproductive age. Women with PCOS may have infrequent or prolonged menstrual periods or excess male hormone (androgen) levels (Mayo Clinic)
PCOS looks different for everyone, but some of the symptoms are:
Excess Hair Growth
Oily Skin or Acne
Anxiety and Depression
I experience pretty much all of the above. PCOS is something I have been struggling with since I was in high school, so while it is not new to me, really treating it is. I have tried little things here and there, but nothing has been consistent. You may have seen this post on my Instagram feed, where I talked about my frustration with finding a Medical Professional who really listens and will help me make a plan that is not focused around weight. Wellness goes beyond size and that is my goal, to improve my overall wellness. I am working with my dr and a specialist, to try and get my body to the healthiest it can be. I have started on a medication called Metformin (it is commonly used for treating PCOS) and my care team has suggested I make some changes in my nutrition.
So, why Whole 30?
Whole 30 is a total reset. From the Whole30 website “Push the reset button with your health, habits, and relationship with food, and the downstream physical and psychological effects of the food choices you’ve been making. Learn how the foods you’ve been eating are actually affecting your day-to-day life, long term health, body composition, and feelings around food.” So yes, this is two-fold for me. Not only am I working on my physical health, and trying to fight my PCOS by removing some of these things from my diet but I am also continuing my work on mental health and repairing my relationship with food. While I realize weight loss may come from this, that is not even on my goal list. This is not about restriction or counting calories or “dieting”. This is about making a mental shift, and fueling my body with the things it needs.
I openly admit that this is not going to be easy. As a matter of fact, it is going to be really freaking hard. Not specifically a PCOS symptom, but I have also developed a bad habit of emotional eating and maybe even a food addiction. I have done a Whole 30 1.5 times before. The first time, was right after my son turned 1 and it went great. The second time was this past fall, I only made it about 2 weeks before I gave into the stressors of life.
That is why I am sharing this here. I not only am using my blog as accountability, and no, I am not doing this for anyone but myself. But, having a place to check in definitely helps. Also, I want to share that being plus size and body positive doesn’t mean you can’t try and be the healthiest you. I want to help normalize this idea of Wellness Beyond Size, and I can only hope that my story touches even one person. Ultimately this is about me, doing all I can to keep my body healthy so I can be around for my family.
My Goals for the Next 30 days
- Stay within the Whole 30 guidelines
- Prepare more of my own food – this includes not going out as much and not buying premade foods
- Do some type of activity each day, check in with myself. This may be journaling, meditation, or even through sharing how the day went with this community.
I’ll be checking in at the end of each day, on my Instagram stories and I hope that you will follow along!