'I Have PCOS And Hypothyroidism And Lost 110 Pounds With This Healthy Eating Plan'

My name is Megan Birke (@meggylosing) and I am 33 years old. I'm from Louisville, Kentucky and I am a registered nurse. I have successfully lost over 100 pounds through polycystic ovarian syndrome and hypothyroidism
I've always struggled with my weight, but I really started gaining weight during my first pregnancy 12 years ago. I gained 60 pounds total during this pregnancy. I lost a few pounds after giving birth to our son, but gained them again and again over the next six years. Then I gained even more weight over the course of two more pregnancies.
During this time I was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and hypothyroidism, both of which can make it difficult to lose weight. I was given medication for both diseases, but unfortunately I continued to put on weight.
I tried countless diets and usually lost 5 to 10 pounds, but the scales stopped moving and I gave up.
That went on for years. There was a long time when I didn't even step on a scale, but my highest recorded weight was when I was 29 years old. My weight had reached 260 pounds. My PCOS symptoms got worse. My back, feet and legs hurt all the time. I couldn't do simple tasks without being short of breath and sweating.
While my blood sugar, blood pressure, and heart rate were still within the normal range, they were all trending upwards. I felt extremely tired most of the time. As a nurse, I knew it was only a matter of time before my health deteriorated and I would develop high blood pressure and diabetes.
I was 31 years old when I finally felt bad enough to change.
I told my husband Chris that I would try again to lose weight on my own and if I didn't lose eight pounds that month I would have weight loss surgery. I had a consultation with a weight loss surgeon and was 100 percent convinced that this was the path I was going to go.
I started this final effort on March 25, 2019 and lost 20 pounds in that first month. I never continued the operation.
I've read a lot about what diet is best for women with PCOS. I didn't just want to lose weight - I wanted to be healthy and feel really good.
I've read that women with PCOS would benefit from a diet high in proteins like fish, eggs, chicken, and turkey, plus plenty of vegetables, berries, nuts, seeds, and complex carbohydrates that help keep your blood sugar levels more stable. I tried my best to avoid processed foods and avoided adding any added sugar from my diet. (Though I have it on special occasions.)
Initially, these dietary changes were tough. For the first few weeks, I had cravings and irritability. But over time I've adjusted and now, most of the time, I don't even think about my eating habits. It has become a new way of life. And now that I know how good I can feel when I give my body the nutrients it needs, I can't eat junk day in and day out. It's just not worth it.
I eat that in one day.
Breakfast: two eggs, an apple and chicken sausage and mustard.
Lunch: tuna bowl! Solid white tuna, spinach, cucumber, olives, red onion, balsamic vinegar, black pepper and Italian spices.
Snacks: Apple with nut butter, cottage cheese and avocado, non-fat Greek vanilla yogurt with clementines, blueberries or flaked almonds.
Dinner: Salmon seasoned with chili powder, lime juice and garlic powder, cooked in olive oil spray, with a side of asparagus fried in garlic powder, black pepper and olive oil spray. I also have a side salad with spinach, strawberries, flaked almonds, and vinaigrette.
Dessert: Barbell Cookies and Cream Protein Bar or a lunchtime peanut butter square.
I also started training on the first day.
As a mother of three young boys and with limited time, I knew I wanted effective, but not time-consuming, home training that didn't require any equipment. I searched for YouTube workouts and came across Jeanette Jenkins' free YouTube workouts. You were amazing. They are about 45 minutes long and consist of cardio, kickboxing, and body weight movements.
At first, like everything else on this trip, the training was incredibly tough. I was sweating and panting and had to pause the video a lot, but eventually my body adjusted! I did her workout almost every day for about six months and it was very effective. I got stronger and saw my stamina improve a lot and my body change right before my eyes. Today I mainly do weight lifting (about five times a week) with some cardio.
Check out this post on Instagram
A post shared by Megan? 110 pounds & counting (@meggylosing)
These three changes made the biggest difference in my weight loss results.
I left out junk food. I stopped eating junk and started giving my body the nutritious foods it needed and that made me feel good! Changing my diet was the biggest and most important change in my opinion. I would never have lost weight or felt good if I hadn't made this change.
I got active. I started moving my body. I've made it a priority to get some form of physical activity for at least 30 minutes each day. At first I had no idea what exercise I would enjoy, so I tried everything! Exercise has helped me feel so much better physically and mentally.
I stopped making excuses. We all have reasons not to eat healthily, not exercise, but in the end I decided not to make my health one of my priorities for years. I stayed in the victim mentality that I couldn't lose weight because of PCOS and hypothyroidism. But that was a lie. I could and did when I stopped making excuses, changed my diet, started exercising, and made my health a priority.
Check out this post on Instagram
A post shared by Megan? 110 pounds & counting (@meggylosing)
I've lost 110 pounds in total. I lost 100 pounds in the first six months.
I want other women to know that whether you have PCOS and / or hypothyroidism, you * can * lose weight. It is possible for healthcare professionals, social media, and the internet to tell you otherwise. I had absolutely convinced myself that I would never feel good or be healthy again. I can and do.
Check out this post on Instagram
A post shared by Megan? 110 pounds & counting (@meggylosing)
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