Cultivating support for your PCOS and advocating for better care


Are you or is someone you know affected by PCOS? I have some bonus episodes for you! Listen now for the third bonus episode all about how to self-advocate for your health and find support while struggling with PCOS.

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This episode is brought to you by my online PCOS and Food Peace course.

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Episode’s Key Points:

  • Be sure to check out the first and second PCOS bonus Love, Food episodes!
  • You shouldn’t have to advocate for yourself, but unfortunately you’ll probably have to… so I have some tips to share!
  • PCOS is a women’s disease, and so there’s not a lot of research about it out there, and people don’t really want to talk about it. Plus, weight gain is a part of PCOS, which makes it even harder to find support because we live in a fatphobia world.
  • BUT, increased support actually helps improve our health! It can lower your blood pressure, help with insulin sensitivity, and so much more. So support is a big deal!
  • Weight bias in the healthcare community is a moral issue!! We have to combat it, and it starts with us.
  • First off, what’s weight stigma? It’s negative attitudes towards a person due to their body size. This leads to prejudice and discrimination, and results in lower quality of care. Stigma also activates a hormone response that ultimately leads to increased insulin resistance, and so much more. AND PCOS is tied closely to weight gain, which means that weight stigma is a BIG deal for those struggling with PCOS!
  • But doesn’t shame help us lose weight and watch what we eat? NO! Shame does NOT promote weight loss, and can in fact lead to more weight gain and avoidance of medical care.
  • The research also shows us that bias within the healthcare community is rampant. That means that as someone with PCOS, you need to walk into the doctor’s office armed with information, and ready to advocate for yourself and protect yourself from weight stigma. Here’s some ways how:
    • Decline to be weighed. You DON’T have to be weighed! It’s NOT a medical necessity, and it can be super triggering.
    • Assert that you don’t need to talk about dieting. Protect your recovery by letting them know that you aren’t interested in talking about weight loss, and that talking about dieting could actually put you at risk for weight gain.
    • Let the doctor know that diets just don’t work. Let them know that diets have never benefitted your health, and demand a different intervention strategy.
    • Ask your doctor what they recommend to patients that are in smaller bodies. There are ZERO conditions that only affect people in larger bodies, and so there are weight-neutral ways to improve your health.
    • Ask for the research! Ask for the data that shows long-term success (sustained weight loss with improved health for five years or more)… it doesn’t exist!
  • It sucks that you even have to do this extra work, but there ARE people out there in the fat activist community who are ready to help you.
  • The last thing we need to talk about is how to find support. Be open with your friends and family about your struggle, find support on social media, try to meet up with folks in person, and head to the PCOS Awareness Symposium!

Show Notes:

Do you have a complicated relationship with food? I want to help! Send your Dear Food letter to LoveFoodPodcast@gmail.com. 

Click here to leave me a review in iTunes and subscribe. This type of kindness helps the show continue!

Thank you for listening to the Love, Food series.

I’m poor and fat. Now what?? {Ep 96}

Are you struggling to make peace with food while simultaneously grappling with food scarcity? Is poverty and food insecurity contributing to feelings of deprivation? Listen now for ideas on how to navigate this food peace challenge.

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This episode is brought to you by my online course, Your Step-by-Step Guide to PCOS and Food Peace. Sign up now to get on the waitlist for the next enrollment period in January 2018, and receive my FREE road map: Your First 3 Steps Toward Food Peace with PCOS. You CAN make peace with food even with PCOS and I want to show you how.

Episode’s Key Points:

  • I just got back from BEDA! I had the honor of presenting at the conference, as well as meeting previous Love, Food guests and listeners!!
  • Lack of food access is a real food peace problem! When our body doesn’t have consistent access to food, food gains a lot of power in our lives.
  • Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs: Only once our basic needs are met (food, shelter, oxygen, etc.) can we can reach higher levels.
  • The Hierarchy of Food Needs by Ellyn Satter: If someone doesn’t have access to food, you can’t work on changing eating patterns to support health.
  • Living in poverty causes oppression, and oppression physically harms our health.
  • PCOS is connected to many health markers that we KNOW are connected to oppression and poverty (high blood pressure, insulin issues, high triglycerides etc). Struggling with both simultaneously exacerbates the problem!
  • Poverty, living in an oppressed body, and experiencing chronic microaggressions sets us up for living in a fight or flight response. This can make conditions like PCOS MUCH worse!
  • Being pushed to diet long-term ALSO causes these negative health outcomes due to increased inflammation.
  • Most people who diet and lose weight with regain that weight in the long run, and most people who regain weight will actually regain more weight than they lost initially. This means that weight loss efforts are actually weight cycling… and weight cycling ALSO contributes to inflammation, high blood pressure, high insulin levels, high triglycerides, etc.
  • PCOS, poverty and discrimination, dieting, and weight cycling ALL contribute to inflammation, high blood pressure, high insulin levels, high triglycerides, etc. in the long term!!
  • You probably aren’t addicted to food… your body is just telling you after years of chronic dieting that you need food!! Make sure you’re eating enough, especially if you’re in a larger body and people are shaming you for your food intake, and that feeling of addiction will likely decrease.
  • Access to healthcare is also a problem here… we need equal access to health for ALL bodies!! 25% of health is determined by behaviors, and 75% of health can be attributed to genetics and the social determinants of health… this means that poor access to healthcare, food, and resources will impact your health negatively. So we need to promote health EQUITY if we want a healthy population!
  • Practice permission and cast aside shame.

Show Notes:

Do you have a complicated relationship with food? I want to help! Send your Dear Food letter to LoveFoodPodcast@gmail.com. 

Click here to leave me a review in iTunes and subscribe. This type of kindness helps the show continue!

Thank you for listening to the Love, Food series.