PCOS + Carb Cycling = A 9 Pound Miracle!


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Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a common endocrine system disorder that affects between 5-10% of women of childbearing age. Many of the ladies we work with on Extreme Weight Loss suffer from PCOS, and from what I hear from many of you on a regular basis, it?s affecting you too. If left untreated, PCOS can cause menstruation issues, infertility, excess hair growth, acne, and even diabetes and heart disease.

PCOS can manifest itself through a variety of symptoms, so it?s so important to work with your healthcare team for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. Some things you can do to help reverse PCOS are maintain a healthy weight (lose weight if necessary), eat a healthy diet (lean proteins, fruits, veggies, and whole grains), and exercise regularly. Sounds a bit like Carb Cycling! 😉 And again, please work with your healthcare team?they are an awesome resource to help you navigate the PCOS maze so you can not only reverse this disorder, but also achieve any goals in your life that are being negatively affected by PCOS.

Since dealing with this disorder can be so frustrating, I have an awesome PCOS success story to share with you today featuring one of my most favorite people in the world?Extreme Weight Loss season 2?s Jacqui McCoy. Jacqui?s #1 dream was to be a mom, but this dream wasn?t becoming a reality due to her obesity and PCOS. I am so thankful she was willing to share her struggles and triumphs with all of us, and the end of her PCOS/transformation story is actually the best beginning to a new story for her and her family! Hopefully Jacqui?s experience and words of wisdom can help all of you who are struggling with this disorder or who know someone who deals with PCOS on a daily basis.

Heidi: When did you first realize you had PCOS?

Jacqui: I was diagnosed with PCOS after college in my early twenties. At the time I thought of it and its symptoms as an annoyance, and I didn’t realize the toll it would take on my body or my fertility moving forward in my life. I got married in the summer of 2004 and was very excited about the future and starting a family, yet years later my husband and I were still trying for children with no success. I met with my doctor, and after testing my hubby and me, he said that my issues likely stemmed from PCOS.

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H: Oh my…that must have been devastating! So how did you get from that low point in your life to where you are now?

J: When I researched PCOS more, I saw that weight loss (if overweight), nutritional changes, nutritional supplements, and exercise could greatly increase my chances of reversing PCOS. And you know what? Because of this, my desire to change my life had never been stronger. My PCOS and infertility battle were actually a blessing in disguise! I had accepted being unhealthy and overweight as my lot in life until I saw it might take away my greatest dream of starting my family and being a mom. So I applied for Extreme Weight Loss with Chris & Heidi, and I had the great honor of being chosen. Chris taught me his carb cycling program, and it really clicked with me because it was more balanced and didn’t completely eliminate certain food groups like most plans I had tried before the show. I started to enjoy exercise and made it a part of my everyday life. As seen on the show, the weight came off, and I eventually lost 207 pounds in one year!

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H: Your transformation was beyond amazing! So how did all of that hard work you put in during that year affect your dream of becoming a mom?

J: It is important to note that I didn’t get pregnant right away after this weight loss, but I had greatly improved my PCOS and my chances of pregnancy because of my weight loss. I continued to work on my health after the show ended, and never gave up on the dream of being a mom. Three years after my initial weight loss I became pregnant with my miracle baby, and I know that getting healthy was the key to unlocking this lifelong dream. My baby girl Everley was born on September 2, 2014, and I?m continuing on my journey and working hard to be a healthy mom and a good example for my sweet daughter.

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H: Chris and I are so, so excited for you, Shawn, and baby Everley! The day I found out you were pregnant was one of the best days ever! Do you have any advice for those who think they might have PCOS?

J: If you think you may have PCOS, see a doctor who is familiar with PCOS to evaluate your symptoms. And don’t wait to see your doctor. The earlier you are diagnosed and start taking steps to combat PCOS, the better.?

H: What about those who are already suffering from PCOS?do you have any words of wisdom for them?

J: I sure do! If you do indeed have PCOS, here are some suggestions:

  • Get educated and read as much as you can about PCOS and how to reverse it.
  • Connect with others who have PCOS through online support groups.
  • Evaluate your lifestyle and form a plan to make healthy changes. Above all else, don’t give up, and never lose hope?the journey isn’t easy or a quick fix, but it is so worth it!

Thank you, Jacqui, for sharing your experience with all of us! Chris and I wish you, Shawn, and baby Everley the best, and we know your story will help so many others who struggle with PCOS.

For further information on PCOS, please visit these websites:

Want to connect with Jacqui?

And if you missed Jacqui?s amazing transformation episode, you can watch it on YouTube.

Related posts:

I Can?t!
Transformation Inspiration: Jacqui McCoy

 

Originally Posted September 21, 2015

44 Responses

  1. I was diagnosed with PCOS in April of 2014. I am 39 so past my child bearing time (by choice). I do have two children and have suffered a miscarriage. I had been overweight all of my life. I recently began working an endocrinologist and have made drastic lifestyle changes. It is amazing how much better I feel. I read the book Food Over Medicine and I am convinced the majority of our illnesses can be cured or minimized through what we eat. Don’t give up. Change your lifestyle. Eat clean and healthy. Move more. Make one small change each week. You can control this. It does not control you. Good luck to you all. Thank you for the amazing post and sharing your story!

  2. I have just recently found out that i have PCOS, and i agree with Michelle that the comment made by Raynosa Feldy that your is highly offensive. Just because you have had it easy doesn’t mean anyone else hasn’t. When i was 19 i had a miscarriage, not knowing i have this condition. I get basically all the symptoms of PCOS, which you clearly will never understand. I found out 3 months ago i have this condition, my fiance and i have been trying to have a baby for about a year now, something we both so badly want. I cried when i was told exactly what my condition means, and the fact that the gynae said that it was by chance that i fell pregnant when i was 19, i’m 26 now, and yes i was given the choice of fertility treatment, but I can’t afford it as the cost is incredibly high and even if i do have fertility treatment it doesnt mean it’s even going to work. I also know someone that has an even worse condition than myself and even with IVF her body keeps rejecting the fetus. You will never understand that kind of pain so how can you be so insensitive? That just angers me. ALl i have ver wanted was to be a mother, not everyone is as fortunate as you. So, i think you should rather think before you talk in the future, you never know who you could be hurting in the process by your words.

    1. My husband and I tried for 10 years to have a baby.. Dr after Dr,. fertility treatments, tests.. nothing worked. Through tears, resentment, anger, self doubt – we finally realized God had other plans for us. We went through Catholic Social Services and adopted two beautiful boys. Being a mother doesn’t always mean biological.

  3. Thanks for bringing awareness to this topic. Like many others I’ve struggled with PCOS since my early twenties. Although I’m blessed with 3 beautiful children, I’ve struggled with infertility, obesity, acne, and excess hair growth. Your story gives me a boost of motivation I need to tackle this disease.

  4. I have pcos and It’s extremely painful. I went from 17 and anorexic to 18 with a baby. Fwd 8years And still had/have a pesky baby weight that I just can’t get off no matter what I do. Was told i might have cancer….. ect. I gave up ;-( . Until just recently I found a new doctor that knew everything about polycystic ovarian syndrome. And with his help I been dropping weight like crazy. . I only pray that I continue to lose weight and keep it off for the rest of my life.

  5. I am 26 and 50 pounds (at the least) over weight. I have read that grains are not all that great for PCOS? Mainly because of Inuslin Resistance?

    I want to be pregnant so bad; this inspired me.
    I have been trying for five years. Thankfully I do not have Insulin Resistance, just a thyroid problem, kinda healthy, I guess.

  6. This story got me. I like jacqui suffer from PCOS and have a dream to have a child. It is something that I constantly forget I have until kindly reminded every so often by some crippling stomach cramps. Carry cycling is something I have wanted to try for quite some time but have continued to put off because my motivation sinks after a couple of days or weeks and I just do not want to fail again because each time I just sink lower and lower and the weight goes higher and higher. The two things that annoy me most about these conditions would be the facial hair growth and the acne. Talk about the skin of a teenager and not in a good way.

  7. Congrats on your baby!! Could someone, anybody please explain to me what is is so painful about this condition? And how does one suffer from PCOS? I self diagnosed myself as a young teen, and it was confirmed in my 20’s, but I am serious about my question? Chris wrote those words and well the only suffering I did was having to do IVF to have my twin boys. Not that I suffered through IVF, that was a cake walk, and other than having trouble getting pg, what can be so painful about that? Is Chris talking about the emotional or the physical side of things?? To me I had no idea PCOS had an awareness month. Do we really need to make folks aware of this condition? I can’t really think of anyone other than my parents (well maybe just mom), my ex husband, and maybe a girlfriend or two may know that I have PCOS. Obviously I do not advertise this issue I have, I mean what is the point? Please could we not concentrate on another medical issue that could use more attention?? Like brain tumor awareness, ALS , (and please no more ice bucket challenges, people got hurt, just send money) or some childhood disease that needs more awareness!!! Someone please get back to me and explain why this is getting an awareness month, and what makes this painful and suffering? Thanks!!!

    1. PCOS affects so many women, and makes it difficult for many to have children, besides the other not-so-fun symptoms. Heidi tries to target many issues that affect people, and it can never hurt to bring awareness to any health issue. And as with many issues, they can affect each person differently. Many women do suffer pain from PCOS, so you can consider yourself lucky! 🙂

    2. I have pcos. I was diagnosed at 17 (I am now 23). I haven’t had a period since I was 15. I suffer from excess hair growth, luckily it isn’t on my face like many women’s is.

      I got told if I lose weight the symptoms would disappear and my periods would start again. I was 15stone (210 lbs). Over two years I have lost 4stone (56lbs). The symptoms haven’t reversed and I still have not had a period. I want children when I am older but unfortunately that’s isn’t a possibility.

      You are extremely lucky to have been blessed with two beautiful children. However I do not think you can be so blas? about it. It is extremely emotionally painful (and sometimes physically). As well as not having periods, my boyfriend has to regularly help me to shave areas I cannot reach (especially the back of my legs).

      I think it is amazing there is an awareness month. Many women may not be aware they have it, and unlike me, their symptoms may be reversible. Even if the awareness month makes one lady go to her doctors and get treatment to be blessed with the children you have, surely you have to agree it is worth it.

    3. I don’t think you realize how hurtful your comment is. Just because your experience with PCOS was not physically painful does not mean it isn’t painful for others. And did you even see the list of possible symptoms?! Acne, obesity, diabetes, excess body hair, & fatigue…yeah that sounds fun. Add in the heart-wrenching emotional pain that comes with infertility and I would say PCOS is pretty horrible. Is it as bad as bone-eating cancer or ALS? No, but for those who have it, it’s pretty damn not great. What you said in your comment was extremely insensitive to those whose battle has been long & hard and may be far from won. Yes those other diseases/disorders/cancers need attention. Yes it’s not likely that most women with PCOS are looking to announce to the world that they have it, but the the issue itself could use some more exposure. Please consider others before making such insensitive, haughty, & basically ignorant comments.

    4. I, like Jacqui, have suffered from this disorder since college (when I too was officially diagnosed). I’m now well in my 30s and still struggle with the symptoms of it. Besides the infertility battle, the last thing any woman wants to deal with is the side effects of a hormonal imbalance. The constant, continuous battle with horrible acne, extra facial hair and insulin resistance (easily gain weight that is very hard to lose) in particular is enough to erode any woman’s self esteem on a daily basis. Like the Powell Team said, awareness on any disease is worth it. As much as I too hated the ice bucket challenge, it bought awareness to it. Having a close friend that died of ALS, I can appreciate the fact that I now don’t have to explain it every time I mention him.

    5. I too have PCOS and have for many years. I am trying my hardest to reverse it now. I did fertility to get pregnant with my daughter. It is painful and alot of women suffer. I have had horrible painful monthly cycles, cysts in my ovaries as big as a grapefruit and as many as 20-30 pearl like cysts in each ovary. This causes back pain and side pain. So, yes it is painful. There is also the mental pain of infertility and obesity. Alot of women may not know they have it so I do think it is wonderful to bring awareness to it.I know several women who suffer from it .

    6. I hope this answers your questions, reynosa feldy. I’ve struggled with PCOS since I was 16. It was around that time that I went from being a normal, beautiful teenage girl to being an overweight teen wolf. I was growing long, dark, course hair so quickly on my face, neck, chest, and back that no amount of bleach could help me. I eventually started shaving my face every day and wearing clothes that covered me up to my neck and wrists, despite being overheated. Because of the acne caused by PCOS, my daily shaving routine caused ingrown hairs and scarring. Being insulin resistant, I still struggle with my weight daily. Worse, my husband and I have struggled with infertility for years (and it doesn’t help that I still have more hair than him). To be honest, I don’t think ‘awareness months’ do anything for anyone. But maybe by educating ourselves, we can help the other young ladies in our lives catch the signs early and change the course of their life. Beyond that, when I see a childless woman struggling with male-pattern baldness, facial hair growth, a large belly, and acne scars on her face, I don’t wonder what’s going on anymore – I completely empathize with her.

    7. I have PCOS and I personaly have struggles with physical and emotional pain. I’ll give examples of both.

      Physical: headaches/migraines, constipation, fatigue, abdominal pain (from occasional enlarged cysts on my ovaries), and severe cramps associated with prolonged and heavy periods enough pain to cause nausea and vomitting.

      Emotional: depression, embarrassment from other less painful physical symptoms associated with PCOS (excess hair growth, acne, dark skin patches), guilt from feeling like I’m doing this to myself because I can’t lose weight, hopelessness because I’m always too tired to move, and maybe the biggest emotional hurt…the inability or extreme difficulty of getting pregnant, and if you do get pregnant and lose the baby due to side effects of having PCOS (like not enough Progesterone) to carry the fetus to 12 weeks when the placenta starts making its own Progesterone…then you experience the painful emotions of that loss or losses AND the painful physical symptoms of miscarriage such as abdominal pain, contractions, nausea, vomitting, etc.

      If I had known about this disorder sooner, I could have possibly prevented so much physical and emotional pain that I went through, and my family with me. I only went to the doctor after a few years of trying to get pregnant with my husband. I always knew being overweight probably made it more difficult but I didn’t realize how much of a toll it was taking on my body.

      I think awareness of this disorder is essential for inspiring young women to get to a healthy weight and see their doctors when things don’t seem right. I believe it has remained relatively unknown because talking about the female reproductive system for any reason has been a touchy and private issue. It is more uncomfortable to discuss than brain tumors or ALS but it is more prevalent and increasing as the epidemic of obesity is increasing.

      If you haven’t experienced these physical or emotional pains despite having PCOS then you are fortunate. Unfortunately, many women, like myself do experience pain. We want awareness. We want an end to the pain.

      Just sayin…

    8. PCOS is a huge thing. Some of us can’t get pregnate even with IVF, and that is devestating. Also can cause unwanted hair growth, acne, facial and body hair, and irregular and painful periods. I ended up in the hospital with blood transfusions because mine were so bad. PCOS deserves to be recognized and more research done on it. I’m glad you were able to get pregnant and are not having a hard time with it, but many of us are not so lucky.

    9. I am really happy for you not to fully understand the suffering -mental and physical – many of us have gone through. I would really wish it on no one. Losing a baby at 2, 12 ,16 or 35 weeks is both mentally and physically painful. Not to mention the awkward androgynous some people have with PCOS. I can imagine trying to be a “normal” 20 year old dating would be difficult and sometimes awkward. Please try to show respect what you can not understand. Again, I am happy you do not understand this issue.

    10. as you have probably seen from previous posts it’s obvious how little you know about PCOS and its effects on women, as an endocrine disorder it affects people differently and there’s a long list of possible symptoms which may be worth looking up so you have a better understanding of it, some people may get the whole lot while others may get nothing obvious!

      I was diagnosed at 18 and have struggled with weight loss, hair loss, extreme menstrual pain (as I very rarely get a period), mood swings, pelvic pain due to cysts and the obvious infertility issue. I was lucky to get pregnant naturally after 2 yrs of fertility treatment including ivf but I was emotionally a mess to the point that had I gone to the Drs I would probably have been diagnosed with depression.

      You have been very lucky that you haven’t suffered but you need to think of how others may suffer before making a comment like that as we have it to varying degrees.

      Although few people know I have pcos (mainly because I still feel it’s my fault and that I’m broken and ashamed of it) i do believe there should be an awareness as there is no cure, little is still known about it (that’s why Drs say “lose weight and everything will be fine”) and I have known people being bullied for excess hair and being overweight which could be reduced with a little more understanding, also there are other effects of pcos not covered in the post which include endometrial cancer, high blood pressure & heart disease, all things which are pretty serious and people should be aware of this and get checked out, with more research there may even finally be a cure so none of us suffer

    11. I m suffering frm pcos n its symptoms since last 6 mnths n a pineal gland cyst since 5 yrs.
      n i can definitely say dat both r equally stressful condition for me. its nt about hw big or small d disease is its about hw much it affects u emotionally n physically.

      i think pcos is nt such a big problem like brain tumors ALS etc but its symptoms can lead you to some life threatening problem. i m suffering from obesity due to this n trying hard to lose wt because i know d consequences. obesity n insulin intolerance leads to early diabetes heart diseases, n d major emotional part of dis is inability to conceive which is extremely painful for a women.
      d irregular menses r so much difficult to handle wid your normal life u r always live in uncertainty for your periods your pregnancy.

      its not about hw u experienced dis condition its about hw millions of women do. n i think everybody here r very much appreciating dis step of Heidi to share such a thing which suffers a million of women n discussed by no one.

      applauds to all d ladies who r actively shares dere experiences here because it is educational for some n helpful to others.

    12. I had so much pain with my period and 2 weeks before. It turns out i had and still habe cysts thought it.
      I had an OP to remove the biggest and the most hurtful one.
      Besides have dark hairs on your body where i doesn?t belong as a female, it doesn?t feel good or like a woman.
      Being told from a doctor, when i was 17. Start early with kids, im now 27 without, still, because i have no partner.
      I feel the ticking clock!

      Oh and the extra examinations? Total fun! Certainly when you get the echo- part down there with extra power….( oke she is fired) but still it is a hell for me since then!
      So is that enough or do you need more?

      Like doing so much sports and still fat… everyone looks when you need to eat, yes we need to eat!

  8. I love this post. I, as well, suffer from PCOS and an currently on medication to help manage it. It took us 3 years to conceive our second child (our first was a surprise and unplanned) after having multiple miscarriages. I am definitely going to try carb cycling now as I struggle with losing weight on a daily basis. It is very discouraging to exercise and eat healthy everyday and not lose a pound!

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