#PCOSawareness Day 6: My PCOS symptoms

My blog on Day 3 covered the symptoms I had which eventually led to my diagnosis aged 22 with PCOS. Over the years my symptoms have changed in severity and I have also experienced some of the longer-term health conditions which, by having PCOS, I am at a higher risk of developing. My original symptoms of PCOS were hirsutism (excess facial & body hair) and a total absence of periods - both caused by high levels of testosterone circulating in my blood.  I have also lived with overweight and obesity since the age…continue reading →

#PCOSawareness Day 5: PCOS books & resources

I have had symptoms of PCOS since I was 13yrs old (hirsutism, obesity, and no periods) and was diagnosed at the age of 22yrs. Over those years, and particularly since 2003 when I first heard about Verity (the UK charity supporting women living with PCOS), I have bought, read, and found many books useful.  Below I will give a brief description of the ones I still refer back to - both PCOS-specific and general books I've found useful in my PCOS journey. Please note that some of these books will have been updated…continue reading →

#PCOSawareness Day 4: My PCOS Pledge

The UK charity for women living with PCOS is called Verity.  Each day throughout this month of PCOS awareness, they are recommending topics to discuss.  Today is 'My PCOS Pledge'.  Some women with PCOS are pledging to walk 100 miles in September to raise money.  Other women are painting one nail purple and pledging to start conversations about the common nature of PCOS. My PCOS Pledge is to continue to raise awareness of what it is really like to live with PCOS, day in, day out. I first heard about Verity from my…continue reading →

#PCOSawareness Day3: My diagnosis story

Yesterday's post highlighted the fact that #1in10 women in the UK have PCOS.  That's over three million women!  It's a staggering number isn't it?  Even more mind-blowing is that upto 70% of those women - that is roughly two million - don't know they have the syndrome and remain undiagnosed (Source: International Guidelines 2018). Today I will be looking at the process of getting diagnosed with PCOS and sharing my diagnosis story. In the UK, the standard diagnostic tool is called the Rotterdam Criteria - produced in 2003.  As the infographic (left) from…continue reading →

#PCOSawareness Day 2: #PaintItPurple

The #PaintItPurple hashtag is linked with the fact that #1in10 women in the UK have PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome).  To show awareness of this fact and to act as a talking point, we are being encouraged by national PCOS charity Verity to paint just one fingernail purple. So at this stage you would (if you know me well) expect a photo of my hands, fingernails beautifully manicured and painted with one purple nail and the other nails painted with another funky colour.  So why have I used Verity's - albeit lovely - diagram…continue reading →

#PCOSawareness Day 1: World PCOS Day

Today is World PCOS Day and it heralds the start of #PCOSawareness month. Most people will know what 'The World' looks like from outer space - it's beautiful! However, I suspect that not too many people will know what PCOS stands for. Maybe even fewer people will know the signs & symptoms for PCOS and the impact it has on the women living with the condition, their friends and family. So let me start at the beginning for you: PCOS is the abbreviation for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. It was first described by two…continue reading →

The 7-year plan

You often hear people at interviews or in goal-setting scenarios being asked,  'Where do you see yourself in five years time?' It was a question that I hated being asked - and still do to a certain degree.  I've never been a long-term planner, always preferring to be more impulsive and 'just see what happens'.  I struggled planning my week, never mind FIVE years! But as the years progressed I have found myself enjoying and actually needing structure & plans. So it was with a wry smile that I saw my Facebook reminder…continue reading →

Are you struggling with Emotional Eating?

Hello :-) After 35 years of emotional eating to numb the pain from issues that I didn't want to (or know how to!) deal with, I found freedom through a 12-step programme.  Since attending my first 12-step meeting on Monday 25th October 2010 I lost 10 stone in weight, and have managed to keep the majority of it off for 9 years now.  In these meetings we do not discuss weight, diets, exercise etc.  It is not a 'diet and calorie' club, but a safe place to explore the underlying issues as to…continue reading →

Me, my PCOS, and exercise

Hello – my name is Sharon and I’m 51 years old.  I’m a self-employed Specialist Personal Trainer (working with people living with a variety of health conditions) and a full-time PhD student, researching PCOS in the areas of physical health, emotional wellbeing and exercise at Huddersfield University, under the watchful eye of my Director of Studies / Main Supervisor Dr Matthew Haines. I have always struggled with my weight – some of my earliest memories are as a 6-7yr old being taken to a hospital dietician and having my weight written up on…continue reading →

12 Bridges Challenge – the geeky details!

So, it's now less than five weeks until I take part in my next Physical Challenge - the London 12 Bridges - raising funds for Diabetes UK. If you wish to sponsor me, please go to my fundraising page.  Thanks in advance! The great day is on Sunday 30th Sept, and I have a start time of 9am.  I have given myself a target of doing it in 3.5hrs.  I will be doing the walk with hundreds of other people, but also my friends James, Craig & Johnathon. The walk starts in Battersea…continue reading →