Episode #69: The PCOS Lifestyle Equation

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The PCOS Lifestyle Equation

What you’ll learn in this episode

PCOS is a health condition that requires healing, but what about after healing has occurred how do you continue to maintain the health you have created? This episode is about the transition from healing to maintaining and doing it by creating a lifestyle that works for you and your body.

The PCOS Lifestyle Equation

PCOS is a metabolic and endocrine-based disorder influenced by both genetics and our environment. The fascinating aspect is that we can reverse PCOS by tailoring our lifestyle to work harmoniously with our bodies. Understanding this foundation sets the stage for our journey toward optimal well-being and symptom relief.

Root Cause Health 

If you’ve been diagnosed with PCOS or suspect you might have it, the first crucial step is to uncover the root cause behind your symptoms and we discussed this earlier in this 4-part series. Next comes the healing phase, which we discussed in part 3 of this series. But what happens after you have recovered your period, lost the weight you wanted to, or gotten pregnant?  Does this mean you have cured your PCOS and you don’t have to continue caring for your PCOS?

Creating a Sustainable Lifestyle

An essential aspect of the PCOS Lifestyle Equation is crafting a sustainable lifestyle that aligns with your body’s needs and your life’s aspirations. We’ll explore how to strike a balance that nourishes your well-being, allows you to enjoy life, and supports your journey to optimal health and vitality.

There you have it, my dear listener! The PCOS Lifestyle Equation holds the keys to transforming your relationship with PCOS and unlocking your path to a more vibrant, balanced, and joyful life. By tuning in, you’ll gain profound knowledge and practical techniques to embrace a new mindset, regain control over your hormone balance, and experience the incredible ripple effects of improved well-being, weight management, and enhanced fertility. 

Let’s Continue The Conversation

Do you have questions about this episode or other questions about PCOS? I would love to connect and chat on a more personal level over on Instagram. My DMs are my favorite place to chat more.

 

So go visit me on IG @nourishedtohealthy.com

 

Let’s Continue The Conversation

Do you have questions about this episode or other questions about PCOS? I would love to connect and chat on a more personal level over on Instagram. My DMs are my favorite place to chat more.

 

So go visit me on IG @nourishedtohealthy.com

 

Resources & References Mentioned in this episode

You can take the quiz to discover your root cause here

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Read The Full Episode Transcript Here

While PCOS is something that cannot be cured. It can be healed in the sense that you can get in there and repair the hormone imbalance and really love up on your environment to create a space for healing for your body, for your health, and for your hormones, so that you’re able to reverse and remove those PCOS symptoms from being a problem in your life. Once that has been accomplished. Then what? and that is exactly what we’re going to be talking about in today’s episode. We’re going to move on from the healing phase of our PCOS health journey into what does it look like to finally create a lifestyle that is sustainable, that works for you, that works for your body, and allows you to live long term in a body that feels good and feels vibrant and full of energy, that functions the way that you want so that your health doesn’t feel like it’s always dragging you down or closing doors in your face.

So with that, let’s go ahead and dive into creating a lifestyle that works for you and your PCOS.

You’re listening to the PCOS Repair Podcast where we explore the ins and outs of PCOS and how to repair the imbalances in your hormones naturally with a little medical help sprinkled in. Hi, I’m Ashlene Korcek and with many years of medical and personal experience with polycystic ovarian syndrome, it is my joy to watch women reverse their PCOS as they learn to nourish their body in a whole new way. With the power of our beliefs, our mindset, and our environment, and the understanding of our genetics, we can heal at the root cause.

Welcome back to the PCOS prepare Podcast, where today we’re going to be talking about how to go from that healing phase of your PCOS journey and transition it into a more sustainable, long-term lifestyle that will allow you to continue to feel great in your body, have more flexibility, and really get back into living in a way that works for you while still maintaining all of the great results that you’ve accomplished while getting into the metabolic and endocrine root causes of your PCOS.

So this is part four of a four-part series that we’re doing this month as part of PCOS Awareness Month for September and if you’ve missed the first three, make sure you go back and listen to those. They’ll really help set the stage for today’s episode and also make sure that you have taken the PCOS root cause quiz because it’s going to help you understand and make all of this information a little bit more unique to you and your current situation but I want to recap a few things that are really going to set the groundwork for our conversation today. So over the last three weeks, we’ve talked about genetics and the causes of PCOS and it’s important to remember that those genetics don’t leave just because we have created an environment that nurtures and heals our PCOS at the root cause. So if we have a tendency to be more insulin-resistant than somebody else, that tendency doesn’t go away. So the environment that we have created has healed that, has improved our blood sugar balance, and has improved the insulin response that we have to our food by how we’ve been creating an environment and there’s many ways to create that environment to improve our blood sugar balance, and it’s not just the foods that we eat but as we realize that those genetics of having an increased tendency towards that are still there, even though we have made the appearance of those genes or the symptoms of those genes go away, that is exactly what epigenetics is. We have turned down the volume, turned down the amplification of those genes, and the symptoms have lessened and gone away but how do we continue forward without having to be quite as strict while still reaping the benefits of all the hard work that we have done so that we can continue to live and embody that feels good, that functions correctly and all of that? This is where we still want to stay in touch with our current root cause. Now, remember, our root causes can change, our life is in constant motion, things are constantly changing, the stressors on our plate are constantly changing, our schedules are constantly changing, and it’s really normal to have ebbs and flows in our focus of our health and our focus of exercise and our focus of nutrition, how good our sleep is, there’s just different phases of our life.

It’s important to keep tabs every once in a while to check in again on what your current root cause is, because this is something that we… Really what we’re looking at when we look at the root cause is where is our body needing assistance? Where is our body needing our focus and attention? That’s a great way of summing up what is it that we’re really looking at when we’re looking at our current root cause of our symptoms. This is where throughout our life we learn to continually check in with ourselves. How are we doing? How are we feeling? and before we let things get so out of hand that we have to have a prolonged healing phase again, we’re just constantly taking the temperature of our health and allowing ourselves to gain the feedback that our body is giving us and addressing it as it comes up. The way this would look is as we create a lifestyle where we have room to let down a little bit and enjoy our vacation, maybe we don’t get as much sleep. Maybe we get more sleep, but we are also not getting as much exercise or maybe we finally have a week off and we’re able to get great sleep, great exercise, but we’re eating out more because we’re out in doing things that we don’t normally do, and we’ve let ourselves have a break from all the meal prep and the cooking and the cleaning of the kitchen. Wherever it is that we’ve allowed ourselves to let down a little bit, when do we pick that back up? and having an idea of how we can create that balance in our lives of having times where we take a little bit of a break, but also how we pick up those parts again so that we don’t allow ourselves to drift back to where all of a sudden all of those symptoms come back in.

This is really the phase where the habits come in. In the healing phase, I don’t like the idea of being a diet where it’s the short term diet, but it is a more hardcore dig in, take action, make it count, and allow our body a space to heal. If we are part way invested, it’s hard to fully see the progress, see what’s working. So even on a scientific level, let’s use nutrition as an example. So if you know your root cause, you have a meal plan, you know what you’re going to do, but you only stick to it for breakfast and then lunch and dinner, you do good, but you don’t really stick to the exact plan. At the end of the day, scientifically speaking, outside of just realizing that life is life, and sometimes that happens, maybe we feel a little better. Maybe our energy is a little bit better, but we’re not really seeing great results. We’re not really seeing our period return, we’re not really seeing the scale move in the direction that we want it to, we’re not really seeing the energy come back as much as we want, but it’s there. It’s like, maybe it’s working. The problem is what that ends up doing is it makes a second guess whether or not our plan is the right plan, so during that healing phase, I highly recommend that you really go all in. This can be somewhere up to a month, to three months, to six months, depending on how your body responds to the healing phase and what you can maintain. Sometimes we can get the feedback that we need in a month that, okay, this is working for my body, I am seeing all of the improvements in the right direction, but this is not sustainable for me.

As we start talking about lifestyle, I want to give you several options because the whole point of this is that you’re making it work for you. The reason I suggest that you go all in in the healing phase is not because we have to live that way forever when it comes to our PCOS, but it’s really to get in there and to discover and to have it be a really good learning situation for you of what does work for your body. When people come to me when they have PCOS and they are frustrated and nothing’s working for them and they want to know what they can do to naturally heal their PCOS, there is not a one size fits all. This is where we have to try. We can take what their symptoms are telling us. I have a very long standing history of working with women that have PCOS, living in a body that has PCOS. I’m pretty good at figuring out like, okay, this is the picture that your body is giving us. This is where we should start but from that start point, there’s a lot of trying, testing, figuring out, listening to the body’s symptoms, adjusting, adding, removing some of the plan, and seeing what actually works. It may not all be things that you enjoy doing or that you enjoy eating, but the first step is to see. How does your body do with dairy? How does your body do with carbs? How does your body do when we add exercise? How does your body do when we get enough sleep? How does your body do when and you’ll keep adding to that list, good and bad things. Like when we take away something, when we add something, how does your body respond? Then we can know, okay, look, it does work. Is it sustainable? Maybe, maybe not. Do we have the habits in place? No, not really, because we’re just trying hard to figure out what is and isn’t working. If we do a week without dairy, we may have a really hard time continuing that for three months, but we do have an answer of whether or not we saw an improvement or no change as we slowly add dairy back in. That’s an example on just the nutrition piece of being able to test, get some answers, and then take a step back and create the habits, create the ability to move forward and so some people will stay in that really strict healing mode for as long as it takes to get them where they want to be. That is a great way to go. It’s probably a faster way to go. It works for some personalities extremely well. For other personalities, that is not sustainable, that is not workable, and that is not appealing in any way, shape, or form and there’s not a right or a wrong. While going at it a little slower and less all in, we’ll have a different time frame. Again, there’s not a right or a wrong, and the wrong is really going to come down to, I guess, I’m not lying, there is a wrong. The wrong is going to come down to forcing you to be someone that you’re not. Trying to work in a way that your personality is just not going to be able to sustain, that’s where you’re going to fail. We have to also bring into the fact that you’re a person, a dynamic person with a dynamic life, with real things going on, and a personality all your own, and preferences and a temperament all your own, and a life that’s already in motion, we can’t just pause everything and do this maybe for six months.

We may have to build. So some people, when they’re in that healing phase, will go all in for however long and then transition to a lifestyle. Some people will go all in and then start to adjust and build the habits slower once they have some information. Others will start with one area and then slowly add to it but I do suggest trying to be as all in as you can for as long as you can, ideally at least a month, okay? For that healing phase before you transition to more of this lifestyle phase. The lifestyle phase is really about creating long-term habits, building on those long-term habits, but also incorporating the other aspects of life beyond just focusing on your health. So when we’re in the healing phase, we may say, look, I’m taking a little bit of a break from some of my other responsibilities. Obviously, there are some things we can’t take a break from, but maybe we agreed to having less on our plate, less on our schedule, less other obligations, and we give ourselves like you would when you were on a diet. You would say, Oh, I’m not going to eat out at those restaurants right now because I’m on a diet.

For a little bit of time, we give ourselves the space to figure it out and then we start to move into, well, how can I figure out how to balance going to my favorite restaurant or going out to eat with friends? Going out to eat with friends does not have to mean I necessarily deviate from my perfect way of eating, quote, perfect, because it’s not really perfect. We don’t want to be perfect, but we have our little set plan, okay? So deviating from our plan. However, sometimes we also want to eat at our favorite restaurant and we want to eat our favorite food. That would be a big deviation from the plan. But that also can be part of the plan is to have those deviations but how much do we deviate? So how often? How much? How much meaning, do we just order a dessert and have a couple of bites? Or do we order the entire course of the meal, everything that we want, from the drink to the appetizer, the main course and the dessert, and eat as much of it as we want? Those are things that we have to determine.

And where we determine that is how our body responds and some people, they want to jump in and they want to see how much they can get away with. Other people want to dip a toe in and then slowly try a little bit more, try a little bit more and again, that’s going to come down to personality. The big thing here, though, is that you’re finding that new balance. You’ve learned how your body has healed, you’ve learned what works for your body, and you’ve learned how to learn what works for your body because again, your body is constantly changing. Your environment is constantly throwing new things at you and so knowing how to determine what your body needs and what’s working and not working is really the biggest piece of the puzzle, and then constantly checking in and seeing. Then we can say, okay, look, I’ve gotten to the weight that I want, I’ve gotten my periods back to where I want them, I’m ovulating regularly, I feel like my energy is back and I’m not breaking out anymore and I feel like the PCOS is really not owning me the way it did when I first started seeking answers to how to heal this and how to fix this but now I don’t want to go back to that place, but I also want to have a little bit more flexibility in my life.

Where is that balance? Learning that is really the key to being able to feel like you don’t have barriers in your life, that you’re able to do the things that you want, and you’re back in the driver’s seat of how often, how much, because you ultimately want that good health, but you also want to live life on your terms and so figuring out how those two match together and where the give and take and the compromise between all of that works, that is where the lifestyle comes in and that’s really what’s cool about when we look at creating an environment that works for you. That is going to have such a different look for each and every person. The healing portion is more or less similar. If you have certain symptoms, if you have a similar root cause as someone else, the healing phase is relatively going to be… Again, it’s not a one size fits all, but it’s going to be more replicable than not. We’re going to look at the same things as far as testing how your body does with it and we’re going to be looking at similar types of pillars of healing that PCOS, meaning your fitness, your nutrition, your stress management, your sleep, your mindset, all of those things are going to all play into it and you’re going to learn which ones are more important for you and which ones move the needle more in your health but ultimately, it’s going to be more similar.

When we come to the lifestyle piece, it is so different for each person. Learning what time your bedtime is going to be, what time do you get up in the morning, what time of the day you like to work out, learning how it works in your schedule. That is the lifestyle piece. Taking all the things you know and then playing with it until it feels right, until it feels good. Not just that you have your energy back, not just that your cycle is back to regular and ovulatory, not just that you’re finally living at and maintaining the weight that you’ve always wanted. This is where you get to play around with your habits, how they fit into your life, how you continue to incorporate this, and how you find that balance between keeping your body healthy and functioning and vibrant while at the same time enjoying vacations, enjoying friends, enjoying family gatherings, and enjoying holidays, and all the things that life has to offer us.

So as a quick recap as we conclude this series, I wanted to give you a roadmap of what it looks like to really take on healing your PCOS from a natural standpoint and it’s definitely not a one size fits all. There’s definitely similarities from person to person, but it’s a unique journey based on what your body is needing, what your current environment entails, what works for your body, and then ultimately, what works for you and your lifestyle to maintain that health that you have created. So with that, if you have any specific questions, this episode is really to show you what is coming so that as you dive into the healing portion of your PCOS journey, which is, of course, the most difficult part because it’s going to be the most new, the most learning, the most change, it’s going to take the most effort and there’s also a little bit sometimes of not believing it’s really going to work for you and there’s a lot of mindset and a lot of just perseverance as you start to take the actions and then recognizing the results that you’re getting, even the small wins as you keep going to keep yourself motivated and excited to give yourself long enough to really see the results that you want but I wanted to also show you that this isn’t something that you have to stay in the healing phase, that there is a light at the end of the tunnel that ultimately, once you get to a place where you understand what your body needs or you’ve met those results that you have been dying to get to, there is a way of incorporating a more balanced approach to this and that’s where the lifestyle comes in. I think a lot of times we hear people talking about it’s a lifestyle, not a diet but what does all of that really mean? and when it comes to something that our body is really struggling with, when something is not working for our bodies, sometimes we really do need to dive in and be a little bit more strict and get a little bit more help and really have a healing phase before we can move on and create it into a lifestyle that is sustainable and enjoyable and allows us to do all of the things that we want.

I hope that gives you a bigger picture as we went through this four-part series to see all the different steps, all the different phases, all the different nuances of how to make this work for you individually with your unique body, your unique situation, your unique likes and dislikes, so that you can create a health that is fun for you, that excites you, that feels good to you, and that ultimately works for you long term because you like it, it’s enjoyable and sustainable.

So with that, if you have any questions, you know where to find me over on Instagram @Nourishedtohealthy and until next time, bye for now.

Did you know that studies of PCOS epigenetics have shown that our environment can either worsen or completely reverse our PCOS symptoms. I believe that although PCOS makes us sensitive to our environment, it also makes us powerful. When we learn what our body needs and commit to providing those needs, not only do we gain back our health, but we grow in power just by showing up for ourselves. This is why I’ve created a guide for you to get started. My PCOS Fertility Meal Guide can be found in the show notes below. I want to show you how to create an environment that promotes healing while still being able to live a life that you enjoy. This guide is completely free, so go get your copy now so that you can step into the vision that you have for your life and for your health.

Take The PCOS Root Cause Quiz

   What Do Your Symptoms Mean?

  Discover your current PCOS Root Cause

Start to reverse PCOS at the root cause. 

Results are not guaranteed. Please see Medical Disclaimer for more detail.

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About Show

Welcome to The PCOS Repair Podcast!

I’m Ashlene Korcek, and each week I’ll be sharing the latest findings on PCOS and how to make practical health changes to your lifestyle to repair your PCOS at the root cause.

If you’re struggling with PCOS, know that you’re not alone. In fact, it’s estimated that one in ten women have PCOS. But the good news is that there is a lot we can do to manage our symptoms and live healthy, happy lives.

So whether you’re looking for tips on nutrition, exercise, supplements, or mental health, you’ll find it all here on The PCOS Repair Podcast. Ready to get started? Hit subscribe now