Have you ever felt like people just don’t understand your PCOS struggles? Is explaining PCOS to your loved ones frustrating and embarrassing? Check out these tips to make it a little easier.
Explaining PCOS to Family and Friends
Today I had a very frustrating conversation with a close friend. This friend knows I have PCOS and is supportive of my journey, however; sometimes I feel like she just doesn’t understand. The gist of the conversation pretty much surrounded around my weight gain and hormonal imbalances.
A little background story: I married my husband in February of 2015. Once we moved in together and got married most of my healthy habits were tossed out the window for a couple different reasons. Sure, I could say that the main reason was that I was stressed with my new found responsibilities of being a wife and step-mother… but really, I was just trying to enjoy life. We would go out to eat and cook lavish meals multiple times a week. I replaced my nightly gym sessions with popcorn and ice-cream filled movie nights at home with the family. I also stopped taking my birth control pills. I’m sure you can guess what happened next… I blew up. FAST. In the matter of one year I gained about 50 lbs.
So, back to the current conversation. I was talking to my friend about supplements and what I’m doing currently to balance my hormones and her response was , “You know you have to lose weight in order to regulate your period, right?” All I could think of was “Girl, what the hell do you think I’ve been trying to do?“ The conversation went in circles for about 10 minutes with the age old “What came first, the chicken or the egg?” question. Did I gain weight because my hormones were imbalanced? Or, were my hormones imbalanced because I gained so much weight? At the end of the conversation, we both concluded that it was a combination of both and that in order to manage my PCOS I had to figure out how to balance my hormones and lose weight (although I still don’t think she understands how difficult it is to lose weight with PCOS-).
The conversation led me to think about the tip below for how to talk to family and friends about PCOS in the future.
Tips on talking to family and friends about PCOS
1. Know your ish: Don’t go into a conversation about PCOS with anyone until you are comfortable with your understanding of the disorder. Check out What is PCOS for some facts and figures.
2. Set your boundaries: Just because you decide to tell someone that you have PCOS, it doesn’t mean that they are allowed to ask you personal questions or point out your struggles. Get comfortable with letting people know its really none of their business.
3. Don’t let people feel sorry for you: Letting others feel sorry for you will only make you feel sorry for yourself.You are a bad ass bitch. You are in control of your life. You will successfully manage your PCOS. Remember that shit.
4. Remember that you have to live with PCOS, not them: Everything is easier said than done. Literally everything. The next time someone tells you to “just eat healthy and exercise” tell them to “just guess the numbers and win the lotto”.
5. Let people know how to support you: Your close friends and family will want to help you through our journey, let them! Are you trying to go quit dairy? Ask your significant other to do it with you. Are you learning about essential oils? Invite a friend to a workshop. Have you started using affirmations? Share them on your Facebook status.
6. Don’t be embarrassed: I know, I know, I know. Easier said than done. But, confidence is key. Don’t be embarrassed to share your story, the more women that speak out about their PCOS then the more awareness we will bring to the disorder and the less questions we will have to answer over, and over, and over again. Check out this interview with Chrisette Michele and her life with PCOS.
So, what do you think?
Have you had difficulties explaining PCOS to your family and friends? Do you feel embarrassed letting people know you have PCOS? Do you have more tips to add to the list?
Don’t be shy… let me know in the comments below.