I have PCOS.

In August of 2016, I was diagnosed with PCOS and it answered a lot of questions about my overall health that made me feel like my body was always fighting against me.

At my heaviest--close to 300 lbs--I could hardly sit on the ground and cross my legs. I had cystic acne all over my face that made it hurt to smile or laugh. I struggle with depression. As a private person, I don't get personal much on social media, so I had to muster a mountain of courage just to decide to wear this unforgiving undershirt and unflattering pair of shorts, let alone post this today. As I was catching up with my sister this afternoon, however, I really wanted to see my progress and celebrate this little victory to remind myself and others to never give up. I still have a long way to go to get to my goals, and often, I feel like I'm not making progress fast enough, and sometimes, I don't feel like I'm making any progress at all. But wellness, like love, is a choice I've had to actively choose everyday. Whether or not my hormone balance (or lack thereof) agrees with me when I get up in the morning, I have to embrace the person I was at the beginning of my journey, love the perpetually imperfect person I am today, and lay the groundwork so that I can wake-up continuing to love myself tomorrow. With the illusion of perfection all around us, I want to share my journey, because I know my situation is not unique, and if even one person can relate and benefit from learning how I've dealt and continue to deal with PCOS, it'll be worth making myself vulnerable to the voices of the internet. It's been challenging in more ways than expected, and I don't expect it to get any easier. I smile as much I cringe at this photo, knowing this will one day become a "before" photo, too.