Body Positive PCOS New Year Resolutions

Kimberly Singh, Julie’s resident nutrition grad student {{ also affected by PCOS! }} is back to blogging on PCOS topics. Enjoy!

Are you tired of new year resolutions related to weight loss yet wonder what else to focus on?

As the new year approaches you may find yourself surrounded by diet culture at its annual peak. This is particularly difficult time to avoid diets.

Here are are 5 New Year’s resolutions that will help your PCOS while maintaining a weight-neutral approach.

Experiment with giving yourself permission to eat.

Allow yourself to eat without restriction and rules. This is scary at first, but eliminating the rules will allow you to better listen to your body.

Take a leap of faith, and trust yourself to shake off the rules created by diet culture.

Eliminating food rules will even make eating a more wholesome experience that creates space for connection, creativity, and warmth around food.

Engage in movement that brings you joy.

Let your body be present and fully engaged in movement. Move in a way that lets you feel connected to your body.

Strip away the judgments about stamina, duration, and frequency.

Simply let your body be.

Eat enough protein.

Julie recommends that women with PCOS experiment with eating 10 to 20 grams of protein in the morning and evening. Shift your focus away from labeling foods as good versus bad, and focus on eating enough.

Observe how this change affects your energy levels and PCOS symptoms.

I have found it helpful to create a list of go-to meals with enough protein. I like to be ready for the unexpected, so my go-to meals range from take-out to super fancy recipes.

Observe how your body reacts to different foods.

Be your own scientist as your discover how to best manage your PCOS.

Be a neutral observer as you explore how you feel after you eat different types of foods. You may find it helpful to take notes throughout this process. Observe how specific foods affect your energy levels, mood, and appetite.

Remind yourself that you can use this information as you please. This does not mean that you have to eliminate any foods that do not leave you completely energized and satisfied.

Don’t be scared to say, “no.”

Say “no” to people, ideas, and healthcare professionals that are not serving you and your PCOS experience. Listen to your gut instinct.

Stepping away from experiences that are not serving you will create space for experiences that are aligned with your values.

Want to find a way to treat your PCOS without dieting?

Julie can show you how! Get on the wait list here.

How do I get my family to understand my Food Peace™ journey? {Ep 98 with Carolyn Ross}

Are the people around you supportive of your food peace journey? Have you found a better way with intuitive eating, but are coming up against a roadblock with family and friends? Listen now for some tips on how to approach this part of the food peace journey.

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This episode is brought to you by my online course, Your Step-by-Step Guide to PCOS and Food Peace. Sign up now to get on the waitlist for the next enrollment period in January 2018, and receive my FREE road map: Your First 3 Steps Toward Food Peace with PCOS. You CAN make peace with food even with PCOS and I want to show you how.

Episode’s Key Points:

  • Making peace with food is RADICAL! It’s truly a political act, and this can cause issues within our family relationships.
  • Health is about FLEXIBILITY!!
  • Dr. Carolyn Ross joins us to talk about the family, and how to manage family members who try to be our food police.
  • Food rules contribute to the development of eating disorders, especially if there’s a perceived “weight problem.”
  • Make sure not to go too long without eating throughout the day, and add some movement into your life to enhance how your body feels!
  • Intercept questions about your food choices and your body size by making some healthy boundaries. Let them know you’re working on things with a doctor or dietitian, and leave it at that.
  • You’re allowed to be angry! Feel your feelings, and don’t feel like you have to push them down to appease family members.
  • Remember, many of us struggle with internalized fatphobia. Be sure to address this with a treatment provider so that you can work through it!
  • Our weight research is super biased!! You can be healthy at any size… it depends on our BEHAVIORS, not our weight.
  • Research shows that the healthiest weight you can be is “slightly overweight!!”
  • The medical profession changes slowly and shifts in the medical community take time. The status quo will change eventually!
  • Permission promotes health, and shame only brings us down.

Show Notes:

Do you have a complicated relationship with food? I want to help! Send your Dear Food letter to LoveFoodPodcast@gmail.com. 

Click here to leave me a review in iTunes and subscribe. This type of kindness helps the show continue!

Thank you for listening to the Love, Food series.

Which PCOS type are you?

Women with PCOS share many similar experiences, yet there is quite a bit of variation among the PCOS experience.

Why do women with PCOS have different symptoms? 

Why is there body diversity among the PCOS community if we all have the same condition? 

Will the same medications help everyone? 

The questions are endless!

Research has demonstrated women with PCOS can be separated in four different categories depending on three basic PCOS symptoms:

  • inconsistent and/or lack of ovulation (oligo/anovulation),
  • increased male sex hormones (hyperandrogenism),
  • and the presence of cysts on ovaries (polycystic ovaries).

Yes, you read that correctly, having cysts on your ovaries is not a requirement to having PCOS. One study identified the following four types of PCOS, and these four types have built the foundation for understanding the general differences between women with PCOS:

Oligo/

anovulation

Hyper-

androgenism

Polycystic

ovaries

Classic polycystic ovary PCOS                X                X              X
Classic non-polycystic ovary PCOS                X                X
Non-classic ovulatory PCOS                X              X
Non-classic mild PCOS                X              X

Since these types of PCOS were identified many researchers examined what other symptoms vary between the types.

Want to find a way to treat your PCOS without dieting?

Get Julie’s FREE PCOS Video Training!

The classic polycystic ovary PCOS is the most prevalent type of PCOS, and, unfortunately, it is associated with the most negative health outcomes. People with this type of PCOS are more likely to experience more severe insulin resistance (more on that here). They are also at an increased risk of having unhealthy lipid panels.

All three types of PCOS that have hyperandrogenism are at an increased risk for developing cardiovascular disease.

There are also hormonal differences between the types. One study found that women with classic polycystic ovary PCOS have higher testosterone levels than the other types.

There have been some studies that compared the body sizes and shapes between the types of women with PCOS. Most studies find that women with the Classic polycystic ovary PCOS are most likely to have larger bodies and carry more weight around the midsection.

Although the research on body diversity and PCOS is super scarce, this is such a great indicator that women with PCOS should not be expected to have a particular body type. I have heard so many people suggest that if there are thin women with PCOS then all women with PCOS should and can be thin. This is false for any population- especially for women with PCOS.

Differentiating between types of PCOS gives me hope for the future of PCOS research. So many people with PCOS feel disappointed with the quality of healthcare of treatment options available.

I hope that by better understanding different PCOS experiences, future treatment options will be more individualized.

Let’s continue this conversation in the Facebook PCOS Support Group. Click here to join! Which type are you? Did that keep you from getting accurately diagnosed?

References

Aziz, M., Sidelmann, J. J., Faber, J., Wissing, M. M., Naver, K. V., Mikkelsen, A., . . .

Skouby, S. O. (2015). Polycystic ovary syndrome: cardiovascular risk factors according to specific phenotypes. Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica, 94, 1082-1089. doi:10.1111/aogs.12706

Clark, N. M., Podolski, A. J., Brooks, E. D., Chizen, D. R., Pierson, R. A., Lehotay, D. C., &

Lujan, M. E. (2014). Prevalence of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Phenotypes Using Updated Criteria for Polycystic Ovarian Morphology. Reproductive Sciences, 21(8), 1034-1043. doi:10.1177/1933719114522525

Hayek, S. E., Bitar, L., Hamdar, L. H., Mirza, F. G., & Daoud, G. (2016). Poly Cystic

Ovarian Syndrome: An Updated Overview. Frontiers in Physiology, 7. doi:10.3389/fphys.2016.00124

Jamil, A. S., Alalaf, S. K., Al-Tawil, N. G., & Al-Shawaf, T. (2015). A case–control

observational study of insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome among the

four phenotypes of polycystic ovary syndrome based on Rotterdam criteria. Reproductive Health, 12(1). doi:10.1186/1742-4755-12-7

Jamil, A. S., Alalaf, S. K., Al-Tawil, N. G., & Al-Shawaf, T. (2015). Comparison of clinical

and hormonal characteristics among four phenotypes of polycystic ovary syndrome based on the Rotterdam criteria. Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics, 293(2), 447-456. doi:10.1007/s00404-015-3889-5

Pehlivanov, B., & Orbetzova, M. (2007). Characteristics of different phenotypes of

polycystic ovary syndrome in a Bulgarian population. Gynecological Endocrinology, 23(10), 604-609. doi:10.1080/09513590701536246

Sahmay, S., Atakul, N., Oncul, M., Tuten, A., Aydogan, B., & Seyisoglu, H. (2013).

Serum anti-mullerian hormone levels in the main phenotypes of polycystic ovary syndrome. European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, 170(1), 157-161. doi:10.1016/j.ejogrb.2013.05.019

Intuitive eating never works for me. {Ep 86 with Evelyn Tribole}


Have you tried to move away from dieting, but in doing so have started to feel out of control? Are you worried about “letting yourself go?” Do you feel like intuitive eating will just never work for you? Listen now for some thoughts on how to move forward.

Subscribe and leave a review here in just seconds.

This episode is brought to you by my FREE video training: Your First 3 Steps Towards Food Peace with PCOS. Get connected now and be the first to get it when it releases in mid-September. You CAN make peace with food even with PCOS and I want to show you how. Join our Facebook group to get extra support!

Episode’s Key Points:

  • Diets cause the chaos, and it’s not your fault that moving away from them is so hard!
  • Body positivity doesn’t need to be associated with “letting yourself go” or being overfull! This overfull feeling has to do with DIETING, not body positivity.
  • Evelyn Tribole joins to help us tackle these intuitive eating struggles!!
  • Dealing with overeating when you first start exploring intuitive eating is a common struggle, and it can definitely be worked through! There’s lots of solutions here.
  • The diet industry makes us feel like we’re one bite away from poor health.
  • Remember that the process of intuitive eating and making peace with food is one of discovery and curiosity… there is no way to do it right or wrong!
  • We must connect with the body and become the expert of what own bodies need when we delve into intuitive eating. Clue into what you’re experiencing in your body, rather than in your mind.
  • You can’t make a mistake in intuitive eating! All bumps in the road are a part of the learning process. If you feel overfull, you haven’t done anything wrong! Just explore the experience and discover what is within it.
  • Trust the body, rather than pushing prescriptive rules and decisions. Our bodies have been silenced, and intuitive eating gives them a voice!
  • Interceptive awareness: the ability to perceive the feelings that arise in the body, both physical and emotional (all emotional feelings have a physical response!). Tapping into these feelings can help you get your needs met.
  • How do we move from shame or guilt to curiosity? Pause, and figure out what belief system we believe we’ve violated. Write down the thoughts and rules that we believe we are breaking.
  • Belief systems take a while to break down!
  • Treat your body as an experiment! Allow intuitive eating to guide you to become an expert of your body again.
  • Surround yourself with resources that promote self-kindness!!
  • Intuitive eating research is strong. There is a body of evidence that shows intuitive eating is health promoting!
  • Intuitive eating is getting more popular in the media… but most main news sites that cover intuitive eating focus on permission to eat, and forget about the rest of the 10 principles. We have to make sure that when people learn about intuitive eating, they learn about what it truly is in its totality!
  • When we take away the guilt and judgment around eating, we make room for satisfaction.
  • You are NOT alone!
  • The steps out of this tug-of-war will be challenging, but they will be worth it.

Show Notes:

Do you have a complicated relationship with food? I want to help! Send your Dear Food letter to LoveFoodPodcast@gmail.com. 

Click here to leave me a review in iTunes and subscribe. This type of kindness helps the show continue!

Thank you for listening to the Love, Food series.

Help me make peace with food while losing weight.


Are you trying to make peace with food, but still trying to lose weight? Do you want to know if there is a way to pursue weight loss AND heal your relationship with food? Are you struggling with what you see as an addiction to food? Listen now to hear my insights on this complicated food peace issue.

Subscribe and leave a review here in just seconds.

This episode is brought to you by my PCOS summer series: Empowering Your PCOS Journey. You CAN make peace with food even with PCOS and I want to show you how. This series and our Facebook group will be with you every step of the way.

Episode’s Key Points:

  • The pursuit of weight loss CANNOT be combined with making peace with food… so now what??
  • Thinking about food addiction leads to issues with food preoccupation. We NEED food to survive and thrive! We shouldn’t pathologize the desire for food.
  • There isn’t ONE diet that, for most people, can help maintain weight loss for more than two years. In fact, most dieters regain all their lost weight, plus more, within five years. Dieting predicts weight gain!!
  • Ancel Keys’ Minnesota Starvation Experiment: strong and fit men were fed half of the amount of nutrition they needed. Eventually these men became depressed and food preoccupied, and experienced a decrease in libido and in interest in extracurricular activities.
  • Weight loss pursuits promote restriction, and restriction leads to food preoccupation… so we can’t pursue weight loss without it resulting in food preoccupation.
  • Remember, even if you decide to leave dieting and intentional weight loss behind, it will still take TIME to end your struggles with food preoccupation. Make sure you have a team behind you to support your healing!
  • We live in such a fatphobic world! It’s important that we break down our own internal biases related to fatness, and face our own fat discrimination.
  • What is really behind the fear of fat? Explore that to figure out what’s really behind the obsession with weight loss, and to discover what’s keeping you stuck in disordered eating patterns.

Show Notes:

Do you have a complicated relationship with food? I want to help! Send your Dear Food letter to LoveFoodPodcast@gmail.com. 

Click here to leave me a review in iTunes and subscribe. This type of kindness helps the show continue!

Thank you for listening to the Love, Food series.