Cultivating support for your PCOS and advocating for better care


Are you or is someone you know affected by PCOS? I have some bonus episodes for you! Listen now for the third bonus episode all about how to self-advocate for your health and find support while struggling with PCOS.

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Episode’s Key Points:

  • Be sure to check out the first and second PCOS bonus Love, Food episodes!
  • You shouldn’t have to advocate for yourself, but unfortunately you’ll probably have to… so I have some tips to share!
  • PCOS is a women’s disease, and so there’s not a lot of research about it out there, and people don’t really want to talk about it. Plus, weight gain is a part of PCOS, which makes it even harder to find support because we live in a fatphobia world.
  • BUT, increased support actually helps improve our health! It can lower your blood pressure, help with insulin sensitivity, and so much more. So support is a big deal!
  • Weight bias in the healthcare community is a moral issue!! We have to combat it, and it starts with us.
  • First off, what’s weight stigma? It’s negative attitudes towards a person due to their body size. This leads to prejudice and discrimination, and results in lower quality of care. Stigma also activates a hormone response that ultimately leads to increased insulin resistance, and so much more. AND PCOS is tied closely to weight gain, which means that weight stigma is a BIG deal for those struggling with PCOS!
  • But doesn’t shame help us lose weight and watch what we eat? NO! Shame does NOT promote weight loss, and can in fact lead to more weight gain and avoidance of medical care.
  • The research also shows us that bias within the healthcare community is rampant. That means that as someone with PCOS, you need to walk into the doctor’s office armed with information, and ready to advocate for yourself and protect yourself from weight stigma. Here’s some ways how:
    • Decline to be weighed. You DON’T have to be weighed! It’s NOT a medical necessity, and it can be super triggering.
    • Assert that you don’t need to talk about dieting. Protect your recovery by letting them know that you aren’t interested in talking about weight loss, and that talking about dieting could actually put you at risk for weight gain.
    • Let the doctor know that diets just don’t work. Let them know that diets have never benefitted your health, and demand a different intervention strategy.
    • Ask your doctor what they recommend to patients that are in smaller bodies. There are ZERO conditions that only affect people in larger bodies, and so there are weight-neutral ways to improve your health.
    • Ask for the research! Ask for the data that shows long-term success (sustained weight loss with improved health for five years or more)… it doesn’t exist!
  • It sucks that you even have to do this extra work, but there ARE people out there in the fat activist community who are ready to help you.
  • The last thing we need to talk about is how to find support. Be open with your friends and family about your struggle, join our PCOS and Food Peace Support Group on Facebook, find support on social media, try to meet up with folks in person, and head to the PCOS Awareness Symposium!

Show Notes:

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