Loving Your PCOS Body
Traditionally, Valentine’s Day is a day to express your love for your significant other. What if this Valentine’s Day you made a declaration to yourself? That’s right, a promise to love your awesome self, PCOS body and all.
Most teens (and adult women) I know have something negative to say about their appearance, whether they feel their nose is too big, their breasts are too small, they’re not tall enough ,etc. – there’s always something about a woman’s body that she finds unattractive. The weird thing is, other people don’t usually notice. That’s what body image is all about – it’s how a person perceives their body. Girls with PCOS tend to focus a lot of attention on their bodies. Having to deal with acne, dark spots on their skin, thinning hair, and challenges with weight can be extremely frustrating, and a big hit to one’s body image. It’s no surprise that this can ultimately lead to low self-esteem and sometimes even depression.
So what can you do to improve the thoughts and feelings you have towards your body? Treating yourself with respect and realizing that every part of you is worth caring for and protecting is a great start! Having a healthy attitude towards your body builds self-esteem. It may take a while but knowing you can change the way you see yourself is the first step. Aside from working on your attitude about your body, there are things you can “do” to feel better and look your best.
- Talk to your health care provider (HCP) about your PCOS and get a referral to see a nutritionist/dietitian. If weight is a concern for you, having help from a professional is a great way to jump-start weight management.
- If excess facial hair and/or acne get you down, ask your HCP about medication that can help with acne and unwanted hair. Learn about safe ways to remove unwanted hair temporarily or permanently.
- Exercise not only helps you manage your weight, physical activity releases “feel good” hormones.
- Go through your wardrobe and recycle your clothes. For example; buy a new scarf or belt and create new combinations and fresh outfits.
- Get a new hairstyle. You don’t have to cut your hair if you don’t want to. Simply styling your hair differently can give you a boost.
- Improve your posture. Nothing shouts “confidence” as much as good posture. Stand tall and hold your head high.
- Finally, look in the mirror and say “I love you” at least once a day. It may seem awkward at first, but experts on improving body image claim this exercise has very positive effects.
– Nurse Phaedra