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Embracing Self-Worth: Overcoming My Insecurities while Navigating PCOS

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Embracing Self-Worth: Overcoming My Insecurities while Navigating PCOS

“Your self-worth is determined by you. You don’t have to depend on someone telling you who you are.” – Beyoncé Knowles

It took me a long time to learn this valuable lesson, but what made it worse was realizing that the insecurities I had to overcome were mostly instilled in me by other women.

| Embracing Self-Worth: Overcoming My Insecurities While Navigating Pcos | Be Informed
Embracing Self-Worth: Overcoming My Insecurities while Navigating PCOS 1

I had always been a curvy girl, not fat, but with a fuller figure. Although I had insecurities about my thick thighs and bodacious hips, as the girls in magazines didn’t look like me, I would always tell myself, “At least you have a flat tummy.” I worked out and maintained that flat tummy, and people described me as an ant – a tiny waist and broad hips.

However, the women around me made me feel uncomfortable in my own skin. They would label my body as too vulgar, immodest, or sexual. So, I began covering up. Even with my insecurities, I tried reassuring myself, “At least I have a flat tummy.” But as I entered my late 20s, my body started to undergo changes. I was gaining weight despite having a flat tummy and getting thicker. Then, my period became irregular—10 days, 15 days, and eventually a whole month. I visited the doctor, and that’s when I received the diagnosis: PCOS – Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.

While the weight gain persisted, I was too preoccupied with trying to function through my constant tiredness. Then, I experienced a 40-day and 40-night period. At this point, I pondered, “I wonder if the woman with the issue of blood had PCOS or fibroids.” Yet, people only tell you about the birth control options, the emotional turmoil, and to a lesser extent, the weight gain. No one prepares you for the self-loathing and the cruelty of the world that you must confront and come to terms with.

Men are often blamed, and I must admit that there are men who know how to tear down women. However, women were the real villains during my struggles with body image.

I constantly heard remarks like, “Oh my God, you have gained so much weight!” or “You’re just putting on weight, be careful not to spoil your figure.” And then there were comments like, “Are you going to eat that?” every time I indulged in something other than fruits or vegetables. Lastly, the infamous “You just need to exercise.”

| Embracing Self-Worth: Overcoming My Insecurities While Navigating Pcos | Be Informed
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These hurtful comments came only from women; when I went to the gym three times per week, ordered lunch salads, and cut out dairy, I still gained weight. It felt like in every corner I turned; there was a mirror highlighting my imperfections. This time, I no longer had a flat belly to lean on, as my left ovary was enlarged due to cysts. I would work out rigorously, skip meals, and lie to my mom about eating at work events when I actually didn’t. I would look in the mirror and cry. At times, I would even resent my sister, one of the few females who never pointed out any imperfections in my body because she was naturally a size four. (I love her. She is my bestie. That was just the insecurity talking then.)

The thing about PCOS is that you can do everything right, and follow the best practices, but your hormones can still cause your weight to fluctuate. You fight against it, but the weight gain persists. To truly navigate this journey, you need proper guidance from a nutritionist and gynecologist who understands PCOS. Yet, even with their support, it’s often a game of luck. However, when people continuously point out your flaws every step of the way, it can leave you in tears.

| Embracing Self-Worth: Overcoming My Insecurities While Navigating Pcos | Be Informed
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I have learned to deal with the world and ignore the negativity because the world has yet to adjust and show kindness to us. Just last week, I told a friend she looked nice, and she responded, “Really? Because everyone keeps pointing out the weight I’ve gained. I have a mirror, I know, but it’s just awful.” Now she has fibroids and is trying to adjust to the changes in her body, but of course, other women have to tear her apart. To be frank, she is sexy, with a little fupa, but she is curvy and has some of the best legs I have ever seen. Unfortunately, due to societal pressure, she can no longer see how beautiful she is.

Weight gain can be emotionally traumatic for a woman, especially when you do everything you can to control it, but it just doesn’t seem to work. You never know what someone else is going through, so it’s important to be kind or simply mind your own business.

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