就在两年多前，我被诊断为多囊卵巢。I lost my menstrual cycle for about 3 months,this had never happened to me before,and at that time I was on the OCP,and had been for almost 12 years.I went to my doctor to get her opinion on what might be happening and so I could get some blood test done to check my hormonal levels.I ended up saying I don't want to be on an estrogen pill anymore as I had been on it for so many years and maybe it's time to let my body run naturally. However,I ended up deciding with my doctor to switch pills to a progesterone only pill to see if that made a difference and bought back my cycle. A couple of months later still nothing happened and by then I hadn't had a period in about 5 months.这对我来说不正常。当时我还在最后一年学习整体营养，learning about how the body functions and knew there must be something else going on.
然后我去看妇科医生征求她的意见，she sent me for more blood tests and to get an ultra sound.My bood tests showed very high levels of testosterone (an androgen hormone which is often high in people who have PCOS) and an imbalance in my LH (luteinising hormone) and FSH (follicle stimulating hormone),超音波显示我每个卵巢大约有30个囊肿。This broke me at the time,I was so upset and confused.作为一个更为焦虑和自然焦虑的人，我的头脑立刻想到了最坏的情况，what if I can't have kids,what if my hormones never balance.
This diagnosis came out of no where to me.No females on either side of my family had any kind of hormonal conditions so I was unsure how all of a sudden I got PCOS.然后我回到我的妇科医生那里讨论下一步该怎么做。她给了我恢复雌激素强迫症的选择，看是否能恢复一段时间，which I said I didn't want to do,and she also gave me a prescription for Metformin (which is an oral diabetes medicine that helps control blood sugar levels).
Knowing what I knew about the body and after researching the effects of Metformin there was no way I was going to put that into my body. After being on an OCP for 12 years and now knowing the negatives effects that can have on our hormonal cycle I decided my body had had enough,我本来打算自然地平衡我的荷尔蒙。
I immediately started doing more and more research on PCOS,如何自然平衡荷尔蒙，我也去看了自然疗法以获得额外的帮助，and some herbs to balance my hormones.I also started taking specific supplements which are important for hormonal health and for what was reflected in my blood tests.除此之外，我还做了一些肠道工作，确保每天在体内放入良好的细菌，以确保肠道菌群的健康（这也是激素功能健康所必需的）。我还服用了一些补充剂，以支持我的神经系统和应激反应。It may sound like a lot but for me there was no other option but to sort out my hormones naturally.（我没有提到我正在服用的具体补充剂，因为我不建议自己开处方补充剂来治疗激素失衡，除非先找专家了解什么对你和你的状况/症状是正确的）。
Along with the right supplements I also had to change my lifestyle - dramatically.This was by far the hardest thing for me to do mentally and physically.I'm a very active and busy person,我有很大的动力，总是想做每件事，please everyone and work on a million different things at once.This lead me to often feeling stressed (hello hormonal havoc) and run down.I always like to push myself to the limits.When I was doing research into PCOS I came across numerous holistic methods that talked about embracing your feminine energy,slowing down,doing less,being more 'girly'.Slowing down is something I've always struggled with,but knew if I wanted balanced hormones I had to change.
One thing I often say to clients in clinic is,如果你什么都不改变，nothing will change.是时候接受我自己的建议了！Having high testosterone (the male dominant hormone) levels was also a wake up call,I definitely had more of a masculine drive in life. When we operate primarily from our masculine side,we may feel tired,stressed,结果是工作过度或不受欢迎，这就是我的感受。我一直在想，doing,planning,and the idea of softening never crossed my mind.
Change was needed.I had to learn how to slow down,be gentler,put myself first,start saying NO to people (friends and family),to prioritize things that relax and unwind me to ground myself,to embrace my feminine side into my home and life.I started buying flowers more regularly,would get my nails done more regularly,small things like that which made me be more present and feel 'girly'.I used to loved doing all those things but slowly started to not make them a priority anymore over the years with all my other life commiements.
Slowing down on exercise was another thing I had to change.This was probably the hardest by far.I was training 6 days a week for an hour each time doing intensive workouts.I wouldn't miss a workout and if I did I'd feel guilty and"yuk". I enjoyed walking and yoga but at that time in my life those exercise were far to 'slow' for me and I felt like I wouldn't feel as fit and toned if I did them.
Once again,如果你什么都不改变，nothing will change.I wanted my period back!Having a period is healthy and normal,not having a period is not normal.I want to have babies one day,and not struggle to be able to fall pregnant when my husband and I want to start trying for a family.当我对自己说这些的时候，我立刻知道我想要什么，什么对我很重要。
I cut back on exercise,I only did 30-45 minute sessions 5 days per week.I had two complete rest days,and I cut back on HIIT,我只做了一个15-20分钟的Hiit，2 or 3 restorative sessions per week of yoga and walking (sometimes post HIIT) and 2 gym/weight sessions.Not gonna lie,this was mentally challenging but I knew I had to cut back in order to heal my body,恢复我的神经系统，让我的头脑平静下来。做更多的瑜伽和散步是我拥抱女性能量的另一种方式。
I also ate more food,partially carbs.When I was training intensively I followed a lower-carb more paleo type of diet (not good for any females with a hormonal imbalance like me).Now looking back from a holistic nutrition point of view I was 'under-eating' by restricting my carb intake.I wasn't fueling my body correctly,this immediately put my body into a stress response causing all sorts of hormonal havoc.I also wasn't consuming enough healthy fats to support hormonal health. I now have a healthy carbohydrate source three times a day (with every main meal),and make sure every meal and snack contains a healthy fat source.
It doesn't end there....I also prioritized sleep and meditation.I made sure I got 8 hours of sleep every night and was in bed by 10-10.30,and made sure I meditated most days (with my legs up against the wall,listening to guided meditation for 15 minutes).
所以…经过这一切，大约8个月后（在我第一次离开强迫症后），我得到了我的第一次月经。My cycle for the next year was very irregular coming every 2-3 months but that was okay,当我的身体开始慢慢恢复的时候。我的周期终于间隔6周了，then 5 weeks apart and now it's every 28 days.Woohoo!!!
Even though my cycle is now every 28 days I am still experimenting some of my PCOS symptoms with the main symptom now being the dreaded pimple outbreaks (being a health practitioner this is not ideal,but that's okay,I am still healing).This to me is still a sign that my hormones still need some work. So I'm still on my hormonal journey,我甚至又一次减少了我的锻炼计划，但从来没有这样做过，and only doing 2x 30 minute weight sessions each week with 2-3 walks and/or 1-2 yoga.I still enjoy 2 rest days each week. And,I am still trying to slow down (I think I'm just a busy driven person),but I know how to manage myself a lot better these days (regular meditation/mindfulness practice is key!）
I wanted to share my story with you as not only am I coming across hormonal issues a lot more in clinic,但我也知道很多女孩因为和我做的事情相似（过度运动，under-eating,having a 'busy' high stress lifestyle,或者在OCP工作了10年以上）。
Having a healthy body and mind comes down to so many factors (diet,生活方式，exercise habits,压力水平，sleep habits,digestive health),which is why healing the body takes time.Most importantly what I have learnt from personal experience and in clinic is that we all need to slow down,take a breath,and prioritize what is really important to us in life.
Nat x x