Monday, April 8, 2013

The Bearded Lady

This is a bit embarrassing for me to talk about-- but hey if I didn't want to talk about it a.) I wouldn't be a blogger and b.) I would have steered clear of this topic for my blog.

Here's the deal,  I have A LOT of unattractive hair on and under my chin.  And when I say a lot, I mean it... Take a look:

If you were too distracted by my flared nostrils, or couldn't really tell what I was talking about... take a closer look:

Yep, that's beard hair.  Now, let me tell you a bit of a back story.  An old co-worker of mine down in Eugene had a facial hair problem.  She used to carry razors around with her, and shave her "beard" in the car if she spotted any hair.  I, being a smart ass, used to tease her about it ALL of the time.   Then, one day I started to grow a "beard" of my own.  Dammit Karma.

But to tell you the truth, it's not all Karma's fault-- in fact, it's not Karma's fault at all.  According to my doctor, the heavier I get, as a woman, the more testosterone my body develops-- and the more that cancels out the estrogen in my body.  So basically, as I continued to put my body through the strains of gaining more weight-- I was also turning myself into a man.

Now not every woman who gains excess weight will go through this.  I also have a condition called Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS for short).  It's a hormonal disorder that can affect women in several different ways:

  • Sporadic or extra long periods
  • Excess hair growth
  • Adult Acne
  • Obesity
  • Difficulty becoming pregnant
I've dealt with almost all of these problems in my "reproductive years."  Man, that sounds weird to say.  Anyway... PCOS can also be linked to Insulin Resistance, a pre-diabetic condition.  I found that out when I first started my weight loss goals about 4 years ago.  We were working out nearly everyday, and I wasn't losing the weight.  I finally went to the doctor, did some blood tests and found out I was pre-diabetic.

Now, with a healthy workout and exercise program-- the Insulin Resistance can go away.  So can the acne, the obesity and the excessive hair growth.  The other stuff, those are just some bigger hurdles you'll have to face.

You may be asking why I chose this topic for today's blog... Well, it took me a few years to finally hunker down and figure out what was going on with my body and I want to talk about it because if there are other women out there who are working their butts off and not seeing results... this may be the key to your frustration.

Also, it's a bit of a warning for women who know they have PCOS.  Is that slice of chocolate cake, or that bag of greasy fries really worth the 5 o'clock Shadow?  Think about it.

The Bearded Lady from Mel Brooks' "Spaceballs"

Are you battling a health issue that makes your weight loss goals a little tougher to reach?  How do you push through and keep yourself motivated?  Post your comments below!  I'd love to hear what you think.

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