Back in the stone ages when I was a young 26, I had a laparoscopy to remove endometriosis from my pelvic cavity. Without going into a lot of detail, there was a lot of scar tissue in there, a lot more than the doctor thought there would be. He also noticed that my ovaries were quite large, which is an indicator of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, otherwise known as PCOS. I underwent a battery of blood tests as well as an ultrasound that revealed I had the indicative insulin resistance and ovaries that were full of cysts.
PCOS is a hormonal disorder that causes the female reproductive system to release several eggs each month. The problem with that is that the fallopian tubes are only big enough to carry one egg down into the uterus, so these little eggs fight to get out, lose, then just decide to hang out in the ovaries. It’s like prohibition for eggs. This causes infertility as the eggs turn into little cysts inside the ovaries. My ovaries are gorgeous. They look like they have pearl necklaces on because of all of these little interior cysts.
My doctor, Dr. Michael Fox of the Jacksonville Center for Reproductive Medicine, and the best Nurse Practitioner on the face of the planet, Susan Baker, worked hard with me (as they do with all of their patients) to monitor my diet closely to reel this PCOS in, balance my hormones, and place my body into homeostasis so that I could eventually have more kids.
I call it the Dr. Fox diet, but what it is is a very high protein, high fat diet that is essentially devoid of carbohydrates for 4 weeks. At the end of 4 weeks, you can add 60 carbohydrates per day into your diet, all from whole sources such as fruit, whole grain (but sugar free) breads, whole grain rice paired with beans, etc . . . No sugar is allowed on this diet except for the one day per week you are allowed to have a cheat meal. You can find some great recipes and more information on their PCOD/Nutrition Blog.
I started the diet and lost 30lbs that I didn’t know I had to lose, and I wasn’t even working out at the time. I felt amazing. My energy levels were higher, I stopped growing so much neck & mustache hair (gross, I know), I wasn’t living in a constant fog, and I was melting but still eating. A lot.
I eventually started dating Kyle and got happy. We went out to eat a whole bunch. I gained 20lbs back and started feeling that same fog, fatigue, and OH my gosh. The hair. The rest of the story goes like this: We did get pregnant with Madilyn by some miracle, I gained 80lbs on bed rest, kept gaining after her birth, got pregnant with Grady, gained even more weight after he was born, started Paleo (which is oddly similar to my beloved Dr. Fox Diet), lost 60lbs, got a little lax on Paleo and have been rollercoastering the same 20lbs for the past two years.
I’m tired, y’all. I love myself the way I am, please don’t get me wrong. But I’m tired of being tired, hairy, and foggy. I would also love to just start melting again, just by eating foods that are right for my body. I realized this week that I just need to get back to that. I need to give up sugar altogether. I need to get back to THE Dr. Fox Diet while still staying away from the grains that I know make me hurt.
My friend, Amy from As The Bunny Hops and I are doing this together, because I found out this weekend that she also has PCOS. Having a friend who is in it with me makes this so much easier. I’m still trying to find ways to make my family happy at mealtime, so I played around in the kitchen last night and came up with a seriously delicious grain-free, low carb, Dr. Fox Diet Friendly gluten-free Chicken Pot Pie. I only gave myself a small bite of the biscuit topping to keep the carbs the lowest I could since I’m on the first phase; my kids, my husband, they loved this dish and I’m so excited to share it with you.
If you’re struggling with PCOS and want to learn how diet changes can really effect you in positive ways, please let me know. I’m not a doctor, but I am happy to talk it out with you and let you know how Dr. Fox and Susan Baker changed my life several years ago. PCOS doesn’t have to define you, but you do have to work hard to become PCOS free and I’m happy to be your support system.