Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Real Talk- I have an Autoimmune Disease

I have enjoyed reading other life style blogs and I admire how real and honest bloggers are. So I'm about to get real honest with my audience and with myself. This is going to be a lengthy post so if you stick with me you deserve a prize!

I graduated college in May 2008. My last two years of college were full of good times and fast food. Mostly because the guy I was dating was a fast-food junky and we ate that crap nearly every night & if we didn't go through a drive through we ordered pizza, ate hamburger helper (I never had it until college), and Ramen. Yep. Healthy choices. Probably wouldn't have been so bad if we maybe worked out. But we didn't. I was active in high school... I was on the colorguard in the marching band and I spent every afternoon from 3:30-6 busting my ass on a football field running around and chasing flying flags. I was skinny and my metabolism was a champ! Well my university didn't have much of a gym or fitness mind when I was a freshman, by my senior year we had a brand new state of the art facility, which I used very little. I took a yoga class and aerobic walking for credit and that was about my extent in the new gym. I just had in my mind that I could still have the same body I had in high school with little to no effort.

To add insult to injury during my sophomore year of college my parents joined Weight Watchers and my mom dropped from a size 12 to a size 2 in about 6 months. She was asking to borrow my clothes. I was disgusted. And instead of joining I decided I would be spiteful and eat my feelings. I was also in a relationship (with fast food junkie guy) that my parents didn't approve of so I ate out of spite for that as well. So basically when I graduated college I was about 45-50lbs heavier than I was when I entered as a freshman. I joked that I gained my "freshman 15", plus my sophomore 15, plus my junior 15. Although it really wasn't funny.

Ok, so that was pretty bad. But that wasn't even my worst or heaviest. After graduation I lived at home for 9 months. I thought I would "get skinny" just by living with my overly active parents who were Weight Watchers champs! Well.. not so much. I ate poorly and again never exercised. However, I never "thought" I was fat. In my head I was still the same size I was in high school/early college. The pics below are from 2009-2010. I dropped several dress sizes. I made an effort to exercise (joined a Zumba class 2-3 nights a week) and I was eating better. I also was a nanny and was on the go constantly with my little one and pretty active during the day. 

I was getting back to my old self and feeling confident! Then I quit being a nanny and got a desk job. Worst. Mistake. Of. My. Life. It not only depressed me professionally it changed my attitude about how I felt about myself worth. (By the end of 2012 that is.) In the fall of 2010 I was job searching and then got said desk job in late November. I had already purchased tickets to the CMA Festival in Nashville, TN for June 2011. I was determined to look "hot" and wear shorts for the first time since high school. I got determined! I jumped on the New Year, New Me band wagon. I committed to losing 25lbs by the time I turned 25. I had 6 months until my trip and 7 until my 25th birthday. I was going to do it! I was at the gym 4-5 days a week after work and/or Saturday mornings for ALL of January and most of February. I was eating right, salads, yogurt, lean meat and veggies. Pretty much doing weight watchers. I lost NOTHING. Not a single pound. I knew something had to be wrong. 

On February 24th I went to my doctor. After telling her of my struggle she decided to take several tubes of blood and ran a bunch of tests. Thyroid, glucose, cholesterol, etc. Well what came back was Poly-cystic Ovarian Syndrome, better known as PCOS. Basically, my ovaries looked like chocolate chip cookies with cysts, my weight gain went to my middle, my acne as out of control, my migraines were extreme and the insulin spikes explained my nausea, and reason I couldn't lose weight. All those ailments didn't mean anything to me until she listed them as symptoms of PCOS. I was in tears out of fear of what was happening to my body. How it got like this, how to reverse it. Well, there is no reversing. There was only the option to take drugs (Metformin) and a diuretic and continue to exercise and eat right. So. I did. & From February 25th until June 4, I took the meds (suffered through the agonizing trips to the bathroom) and dropped 18lbs. Below is the evolution of those months.

Well I maintained my weight through the fall of 2011. But said desk job and a little relationship depression caused me to gain back several pounds. I also quit taking my meds. I was tired of feeling sick all the time and running to the bathroom 3-5 times a day. 
By the summer of 2012 I looked like this...
I was now in a happy relationship with William. I was comfortable & didn't even realize I was putting on weight. All my clothes still fit for the most part and I had someone who loved me for me. We didn't exercise much & we were ice cream junkies that summer. I started graduate school in August, lost my previously horrible desk job, got a new job & by our one year anniversary in March I looked like this...

So now I've completed graduate school, I have a different job where I am happier. My spring/summer was plagued with disgruntled parents over an entirely different issue than my weight, I'll leave that for another time. But Will & I just ate. I have been too tired to go to the gym and to do anything different than I had been. I've been LAZY! Well, in August I went 60 days from one period to the next. I knew I wasn't pregnant, I'm not sexually active, so I knew it was the PCOS rearing it's ugly head and this time with more of a vengeance. The weight gain is out of control. I keep making excuses like, "it's fall, it's my favorite season with all my favorite goodies! I can't possibly diet now!" 

Well... after another 45 days between menstral cycles I've come to realize that this can't go on. I'm destroying my body. The one and only body that God has given me. I'm scared that if I don't do something I will damage my body beyond repair, if I haven't already. I've ignored this "disease" long enough. I have to come to terms that I have PCOS and I have to do something about it or I will have to live with pictures of "fat me" during my engagement, wedding, etc. & I could jeopardize my chances of being able to have a child and be a mother, the one thing I know I was put on this world do. I've had enough and so has my body.

After reading a few blogs and articles about PCOS, come November 1 I'm going to try The Whole30. Here is a success story of a woman who also HAD PCOS but after doing The Whole30 the symptoms disappeared. This way of eating has also helped those with other ailments including Type 2 diabetes with is what Will has. 

I really want to make a change to our diet, our lifestyle and ourselves. We can't continue on the path we are on with out severe consequences that will ultimately effect the rest of our lives. It's time to make the change! 

I believe the best way for me to stay accountable is to blog about this journey. I hope you continue to keep up with my/our progress & encourage us along the way. 

Stay lovely...


  1. You are so brave to post this. I admire you, love you and support you 100 percent! By sharing this story, you may never know what young woman you will inspire. Look forward to reading more blogs! Team Morgan!

  2. I love you! Your honesty is amazing and I am so sorry about the challenges you've had to go through, but am excited to hear about how the Whole30 goes!! You're awesome!

  3. Loved reading this. You can do it!! Love you!

  4. Morgan ~ I didn't know you had PCOS . . . know that you aren't alone. I have it too. Fortunately, I wasn't diagnosed until after the boys were born - we didn't know how lucky we were not to have struggled with fertility issues. Like you, I got so sick and tired of taking the Metformin and Aldactone . . . 2000 mg of Metformin is more than a lot of diabetics take! But, like you, I really need to get back "on the wagon" and start back taking my meds and eat better. Unless you have PCOS, you don't realize what a pain in the ass it really is. Good for you in taking positive steps to make a change; maybe you can inspire me!

  5. Hey Morgan,
    I have been reading Eat to Live written by Dr. Joel Fuhrman. This book does a great job explaining the best way to eat for optimal health. Started following his eating plan when school started back and lost almost 15 pounds in the first 3 weeks. I have a co-worker that introduced this book to me when she started back in February. She has lost well over 50 pounds since then and looks amazing. Dr. Fuhrman describes how many of his patients with all types of medical issues are able to overcome their issues and live much more healthy lives. Just wanted to pass this information along for you to look into.