My journey with weight loss began before I realized it. Until I had children, I never had to worry about my weight... in fact, my mom always worried I was too small, at 105 pounds. (I'm only 5' 2")  However, after having my first baby (Kristen, for those of you in FW), I ended up with what they call secondary infertility, unable to have more kids without lots and lots of drugs, procedures, etc. I'm pretty sure that all those hormones, and the 3 bedrest pregnancies that ensued, had a lot to do with my metabolism issues. I was diagnosed with PCOS, so I probably would've battled weight gain anyway, but it got compounded. 

After having baby #4, my life became much more difficult, when my husband left us, leaving me with no support to help with all the kids. The reason that I mention this, is that stress became a HUGE factor in my life, as I raised my kids alone for 12 years. The worst part of this was going through hurricane Katrina in Louisiana, having to rebuild a good part of my house alone for several years. I don't think I had any idea how much the stress was affecting my health. I just tried to make it through each day, not able to think very far ahead. I didn't have energy left over to even think about dieting, and those pounds kept piling on. I tried to go to my doctor, who heard me say I was extremely tired and feeling down... and she handed me anti-depressants, one after another, since they didn't seem to be helping. Those didn't help with the weight, lol. A few years after Katrina, I started trying very hard to diet, and did a ton of walking, free weights, etc., and managed to lose about 45 pounds. 

I was thrilled that I lost the weight, but quickly realized that I was still not feeling any better. My exhaustion continued to be an almost daily issue. I remarried 4 years ago, and moved to Florida, starting a business over, working on blending families, etc. For those of you who have done this, you know it's not as easy as we think it will be! The stress just seemed to keep piling up on me. I started going to a doctor here immediately, and again went through several years of being handed prescriptions that seemed automatic, but weren't doing anything to help me get better. I realized I needed to do a LOT of research. One of the things I learned a year ago was that natural thyroid meds  help some people a lot more than synthetic. I asked my doctor, and she refused to prescribe that. Then, when my iron finally fell so low that I should have been in the hospital on transfusions, I finally found a new, integrative doctor who believes in a holistic appoach to healing. I've had to pay out of pocket, and I've gone through a lot of very in-depth testing. What I quickly found out was that all that stress has completely drained my adrenal gland. I was very low on vitamin D, and several other things. It takes time to find answers, and even more time for the supplements to start working, but I'm seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. 

The thing I most want to encourage people with, is that despite every imbalance, and despite the stress, I've lost almost 60 pounds. Yes, it's harder to work out when you feel like you've been hit by a truck, but it's important to get out there and move anyway. It WILL make a difference. Secondly, if you feel sick, it's SO VERY worth it to spend a little extra on a doctor who really takes the time to find out what's going on. I am so thankful for the natural medicines I'm getting, and how it's helping me. Yes, I still am fighting chronic fatigue. Yes, I still need to heal, but I CAN change how I feel, one decision at a time. 

Yesterday I found out I still have Epstein Barr Virus, and that I have a couple serious allergies (mostly dairy), and so today I start learning something new. So as I keep going with my journey, I'm thankful to have new friends who will encourage me here, and I want to be able to help anyone I can with my story. I'm posting this not to whine or complain, but just to encourage anyone else with PCOS, etc., that we CAN lost weight, and we CAN feel better....even if it takes a TON of work! :-)