|Katie holding the weight she's lost!|
This week’s progress is amazing for anyone, but as I found out this week, it is even more awesome for Katie. At a doctor’s appointment last week, Katie discovered that she likely has Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). For those of you who are unfamiliar with this, it is a condition in which a woman’s hormones are out of balance. The principal features are irregular menstrual cycles, fertility issues, and obesity. While the causes are unknown, insulin resistance, diabetes, and difficulty maintaining a healthy weight are all strongly correlated with PCOS. When I heard that Katie may have PCOS, my first thought was how glad I am that we have begun this process. By Katie choosing to lose the weight and get healthy now, she is greatly improving her odds of having children someday and minimizing her symptoms of PCOS. My next thought was how super proud I was that she has lost over 18 pounds in only seven weeks. More than six out of every ten women who have PCOS are also overweight. This is because with PCOS, the body has more difficulty using the hormone insulin, which normally helps convert sugars and starches into energy – or insulin resistance. High insulin levels increase the production of male hormones and weight gain, typically in the abdomen. So instead of having a pear shape, women with PCOS have more of an apple shape. This is exactly where Katie carries most of her weight. As I have said before, abdominal fat is the most dangerous kind of fat because it is associated with an increased risk of heart disease and other health conditions. So, while it may be more difficult for her, Katie is on the right track to protecting her weight, health, and fertility. In fact, Katie’s doctor said my Camp Champ program was an excellent step in the right direction for improving her symptoms of PCOS. It’s always nice to receive kudos from a doc!
I was so proud to watch Katie today. I can see a confidence emerging. Her food diary improves each week and she is becoming very consistent in her intake, which is key to losing and keeping off weight. I can also see determination on her face during workouts. She is becoming more confident in her body – discovering what it needs, what it is capable of, and the limits to which she can push. Katie has really found that fire and she stokes it each week with confidence and self-pride. She has pushed through the pain and the fear. And as I promised her, if she got up, I will help her win this race!