Episode #73: Reclaiming Joy in Your PCOS Journey

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Reclaiming Joy in Your PCOS Journey

What you’ll learn in this episode

If you’ve ever felt that PCOS is robbing your joy and keeping you from living life to the fullest, then this episode is a must listen. So, grab your favorite drink, settle into your comfy spot, and let’s embark on this transformative journey together!

Discovering How PCOS Impacts Joy

PCOS can impact your day-to-day life and steal your enjoyment. brings a bunch of problems that can throw off your daily routine, like trouble with your periods, more anxiety, feeling tired all the time, and struggling with your weight. You might find yourself stuck in a never-ending cycle of dieting and dealing with a closet full of clothes that don’t fit or make you feel good. And on top of that, there’s the emotional rollercoaster of infertility, which can be incredibly overwhelming. It’s important to talk about how these challenges affect your energy, focus, and feeling good in your own skin, making it hard to enjoy life to the fullest.

The Power of Empowering Knowledge

The incredible knowledge of the potential to reverse PCOS is like a treasure map that can lead you to reclaiming command over your journey towards better health. With this knowledge, you’ll have the key to reclaiming your well-being. It’s all about equipping you with the insights and guidance you need to approach PCOS management as a gift you give to yourself. We’ll arm you with the invaluable tools of curiosity and a readiness to venture into uncharted territories on your path to recovery. Embracing PCOS as a challenge that can be overcome will pave the way for a healthier and happier you, ready to tackle each day with newfound vitality, joy and victory along the way.

Reclaiming Joy on Your PCOS Health Journey

But that’s not all! We’ll also discuss practical strategies for reclaiming your joy, no matter where you are on your PCOS health journey. You’ll discover how mindset and self-talk can play a pivotal role in enhancing the joy you experience in your daily life. Plus, we’ll share insights on how to take action right now, without waiting for a certain milestone to start enjoying your life fully.

By tuning in to this episode, you’ll gain invaluable insights into the world of PCOS and how it’s impacting your daily life. You’ll discover the power of knowledge, the importance of taking control of your health, and practical strategies to elevate your mindset and joy. So, don’t miss this opportunity to unlock the path to a more vibrant, balanced, and joyful life. Your PCOS journey is about to take a turn for a more enjoyable life.

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


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Read The Full Episode Transcript Here

Unlike hypertension or high blood pressure, where it does not affect your day to day life, PCOS has the added unfortunate aspect of robbing joy from our daily lives. When you just think about the symptom list of PCOS: period problems, increased anxiety and depression, low energy, weight struggles, acne, hair loss, growing hair places we don’t want it, fertility struggles, and the list goes on and on. All of these impact our day-to-day, our day-to-day energy, our day-to-day focus, our day-to-day feelings that we can get out there and take on life in a body that feels good and functions the way that we want and this is why in today’s episode, we are going to talk about how to reclaim your joy along your PCOS health journey so that you don’t have to wait till someday to start enjoying your life.

You’re listening to the PCOS Repair Podcast, where we explore the ins and outs of PCOS and how to repair the imbalance 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 Repair Podcast, where today we’re going to be talking about how to reclaim your joy on your PCOS health journey so that you can enjoy every step of the way as you create more and more health in your life, as you rebalance your hormones to optimize fertility, to reduce weight struggles, and to reverse all of those pesky PCOS symptoms. First of all, how is PCOS robbing us of joy? I think it’s just important to start off with clarifying. What do I mean by this? Well, I know personally, and every single one of us is going to have a different example of how this is happening but I know for me, fertility was by far the biggest one. It kept me from feeling like I could go on a trip or I could go on a girl’s weekend away because I never knew when I was going to be ovulating and I didn’t know, should I plan something bigger? Should I plan a trip to Europe with my mom and sister, or am I going to be eight months pregnant? These are things that I didn’t want to be in Europe at eight months pregnant and so I would put off planning these things because in my mind, this was going to happen any minute and then I kept feeling this pressure, like I’m putting things off in my life that I want to do because I feel like I’m stuck.

Another one was my closet. I felt like I had three sizes of clothing. None of them coordinated correctly. There was the size that I oftentimes grew to that I didn’t like. There was the size that I probably spent most of the time and then there was the size that I wanted to be and where I felt the most happy and that’s usually when I did the most shopping. So most of my closet did not fit and this is where I felt like every day I couldn’t find clothes that I liked. I didn’t think that the clothes that fit looked good on me. I hadn’t spent a lot of time and energy finding clothes that fit well at weights that I wasn’t happy with and so that’s one of the ways where I just felt like every event that we went to, every time we were going somewhere that should have been fun, it started off by not being able to find something to wear and then there was the issue of food. I always felt like I was out of control with my weight. I always felt like I was out of control with my health. I always felt like I needed to be doing “better”, but I didn’t have a very clear idea of what that “better” looked like, how that should be executed and followed through with and so I felt like I was just spinning my wheels constantly frustrated with how I felt in my body where I would be ready to have a really good day, and that day I would feel bloated and I’d have a stomachache, or I would just have this deep fatigue and it wasn’t because I hadn’t slept well, I felt like I had slept fine, but I was just tired and my head would… It wasn’t exactly a headache, maybe a little bit more like brain fog, but it just felt off. All of these things were getting in the way of me feeling good and enjoying my day. When I would think back to my late teens, early 20s, I felt like I’d had more energy and that I was just more free from all of these health complaints. Although they had been there all along as I approached 30, I felt like they really started to just weigh me down.

I know you’ll have your own version of things that are weighing you down, that are getting in the way of you just fully embracing and enjoying your day, and also getting in the way of you doing and planning things that you want to do. Maybe you feel self-conscious, maybe you feel like the timing won’t be right, whatever it is that’s standing between you and living your life fully the way that you want. How do we go about recognizing that, addressing that, caring for that, but also allowing us to have joy in the moment now, plan the things that we want to be doing, and start reliving our lives and stop letting PCOS dictate how we’re going to spend our lives. So as so many episodes of the PCOS repair podcast talk about, it really comes down to knowing your PCOS root cause, because knowledge is power. When we feel like we’re no longer spinning our wheels in confusion, when we start to feel like we have a path laid out before us. So this doesn’t mean that we have gotten to where we want to be.

It doesn’t mean we’ve reached goal weight. It doesn’t mean that we’ve gotten pregnant. It doesn’t mean that we no longer are breaking out with acne. It doesn’t even mean that our mood is always good and free from anxiety and depression. What it means is that we have in front of us a plan and knowledge of what we can be doing to feel better every day. When we have a couple of steps, doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, the less complicated, the better but when we know like, look, this is what I’m going to be eating. This is when I can have something aside from my normal things that I’m be eating. This is how I’m going to be exercising every week. These are the mindset tools that I’m going to be using. It’s like we can take this deep breath and let some of that weight go and that in itself allows us a great deal of relief from the joy-robbing, weighted-down feeling of PCOS. And now, we have the tools in our hands to take control of our health and even over the course of one to two weeks, we can start feeling so much better with our energy, with our digestion, and the way our bloating and stomach feels. So we can really quickly turn things around to at least where we have enough energy to get up in the morning and get going, where we have enough feeling good in our bodies, where our head doesn’t feel foggy, and we don’t feel bloated and weighted down in that sense but we may have a long road in front of us, like months and months or even a year or two before we truly meet the health goals that we are looking to achieve. So instead of saying, okay, let’s wait until then, some things that I would encourage you to do is take a moment or two or even sit down with a drink and journal out some of the things that you feel like PCOS has been holding you back from. What are some things that you want to be doing that you’re not doing? Now, some of these may be things I know for me I had ones where I felt like some of the physical activities that I like to do were harder when I was like 20 to 30 pounds heavier than my ideal favorite place to be. In some of those, I wasn’t super excited to do.

Some of them were just my clothes didn’t fit for them. So snow skiing, I love to snow ski. I’m a good snow skier. I’m not the best, but I can get down a black diamond and I do really well on a blue. I can get out there and really enjoy most terrain on the mountain. I was not really very excited about getting out there because my snow pants didn’t fit. I did the whole just pull my jacket down and not really have them buttoned and zipped. That was uncomfortable because you felt like they were always sagging but I was determined to lose the weight that birth control had. When I went off birth control, I gained 30 or 40 pounds in about two months and so I was like, I just need to get this off. I don’t want to… I was right leading into ski season and I was like, I don’t want to buy new pants. They’re over $100 to buy nice ski pants. I didn’t want to do that and I felt like even more than the $100, it was almost this defeat. I’m accepting that I weigh this much now, and I don’t want to.

I don’t feel good at this weight. I feel weighed down. My energy feels bad and I just want to fit the pants that I want to fit and it was this little emotional tantrum to myself that I wasn’t going to buy these new ski pants. Well, I didn’t. I went through the whole ski season, letting PCOS rob my joy. I went skiing, which was good. That’s better than not going at all. But every single time I would start off the day grumpy. My boyfriend, now husband at the time, wasn’t really clear on why my mood was… Actually, no, we were married because this was after I went off birth control. We’d been married for four or five years. He knew I like skiing, he couldn’t figure out why I was grumpy, but I was. I was letting it rob my joy.

In future, what I learned to do… After baby number three, I was back the way that the timing of my kids ended up. He was born in September and come December and January, I was not back to my pre-baby weight. He was my hardest one to get back to my pre-baby weight. You know what I did? I went out and bought a really comfortable, larger pair of Ski bibs. Those Ski bibbs, I finally just got rid of them and its use for because they were actually really comfortable. I really liked the pair that I got. I was like, You know what? I am going to be out there skiing and playing in the snow with my kids. I am going to get out there and ski with my husband when my parents can watch the kids and I’m not going to let a pair of ski pants ruin another ski season for me. I think I got these off of Amazon. I think they were like 50 bucks. I didn’t buy a super expensive pair. It’s not about spending the money per se. It’s about finding and identifying the things that are getting between us and our day. What are some of the things that are tripping us up and creating negativity in us that is related to our PCOS. And sure, I wanted to get back in my favorite ski pants. I think this season I will be back in my favorite ski pants. I haven’t gotten out of the closet yet, but they should fit just fine and it’s not about not doing the things that are going to lead to becoming healthier with your PCOS, such as fitting back in my ski pants but what it is about is not allowing the time between realizing I want to make a change, empowering myself with the knowledge of what’s going on and what I need to do and taking control of my health but it’s about allowing myself to make some choices today that are going to let me enjoy today, this ski season, this weekend, this time in my life, even as I’m on my PCOS health journey because the truth is we’re always on a health journey. Our health is not something that we do once and then forget about. We are going to always want to be caring for our health and growing in our health but there’s definitely a hump where we feel there is a barrier between being able to do the things we want to do, and it’s going to be different for everyone. So discover what those are. Take some time to journal about it. Keep that journal available so that as these things come up for you, you can revisit it and add.

Once you have journaled what those are, I want you to next to that space, maybe leave some space next to the things that are holding you back that you feel like you want to be doing, but you’re not. Next to those, can you brainstorm some ways that you can start living your life in a place of joy today? Ski pants, that one’s a pretty easy one. I didn’t even have to spend a great deal of money to get a different pair of Ski pants. One that was harder for me was planning getaways when we were dealing with infertility. I didn’t want to plan things away from my husband. My job at the time had some continuing education, some really nice, plush, fun to go to continuing education weekends, and I didn’t want to go to them and my boss was pushing me to sign up for some of these, and I was dragging my feet, dragging my feet. Didn’t want to explain why I was dragging my feet. I just didn’t want to put something on the calendar that might postpone getting another month. There was also things where I wanted to go. My sister was asking you, maybe before you have kids, we should take mom and do a girl’s trip to Italy and I really did want to do that, and we did end up doing it but I really struggled with the idea of doing that. I wanted to. I felt like it was probably the right thing to do but I was really worried that I was going to agree to this and we still weren’t going to be pregnant or I was going to agree to this and I would be more pregnant than I wanted to be being abroad. I’m so glad today that my sister and I booked those tickets. We booked them for, I think, five months out from when we planned the trip and it turned out that I was 10 weeks pregnant on that trip. It was a little nauseating on a few of the public transportations but other than that, it was one of these proceed in faith things that if I wasn’t, it would be okay for such an important time with my sister and my mom to postpone getting pregnant by one month. It was also scary because we actually planned it right after I was probably going to be starting fertility treatment. I don’t know what I was thinking on that front.

But again, I’m so glad I did, and I encourage you to figure out how you can go ahead and do some of these things, even though they feel almost like they go against what you want. When we live in this constant fear and allowing PCOS to control our every decision or a huge majority of our decisions, it actually drags us down in our health. There is a mind and body connection and when we allow some freedom and some joy and some space to actually live our lives from the burden and the frustrations of PCOS, we can actually create so much more mental health, physical health, emotional health, and it can actually spur us along our health journey. I really encourage you to find a balance between the two. It may be easier to control your health bubble when you’re in your own environment, in your home but don’t forget to also allow yourself to get out there in the world and do the things that you want to do. I think that on a big scale, we can see how this played out when we dealt with COVID as a world, and how isolated people started to feel and how it really had a huge draining and dragging down effect on society.

We don’t want to do that on an individual level just because we are trying to figure out how to deal with our PCOS. Now that you have figured out how PCOS is holding you back and you’re finding ways to get out there and enjoy your day to day. Maybe it’s buying yourself a mini wardrobe at the current size that you’re at. I know this is a hard one, even if you’re currently losing weight. If you are feeling good about how you look, how you’re showing up for the day, and you’re looking forward to putting on an outfit, I can’t tell you how much easier it is to stick with your health plan, to get your exercise in, to eat the foods that make you feel good because you feel like it’s working. You can feel like, okay, so maybe you’re down 5, 10 pounds, and maybe you have 25, 30 more that you want to go or more, and you’re starting to feel how much better you can feel in your clothes, how much more comfortable, the energy boost, the confident boost really has nothing to do with the size that we are.

Where it comes from is how we are showing up in our day. Are we showing up apologetically? Are we showing up like we’re dragging? Are we showing up excited to take on the day? Are we showing up with our best foot forward because we are putting the effort in? and when our mental psyche can feel us putting the effort in and showing up with purpose, that creates confidence. It has actually very little to do with the results or what we feel like our goals were. It has so much more to do with the intent and the purpose that we showed up with and so if it means going out and buying a pair of jeans between the sizes that you started at and the size that you want to be, do it. If you can do it, I encourage you to do it. I can’t tell you how many times when I’m between kids, I end up buying an extra pair of jeans because I don’t like the way the ones that are too big fit, and I’m not ready to fit the ones that I was able to fit before I had a kid. There’s a time and place for a little transition wardrobe and if it brings you joy, now, if that’s not something that you matter to you, then don’t do it but if that’s something that brings you joy and that’s something that is holding you back, it’s frustrating you, that you look in your closet and nothing fits you right, buy a few pieces. Maybe not the highest and nicest, most expensive ones you would normally buy, but buy a few pieces that you’re excited about, that you can try to enjoy wearing, that you feel good in, and use them in that interim as you continue to nurture your PCOS hormones and continue along your health journey, however that looks for you.

As we close this episode today, I also just want to remind you to celebrate the small wins. I think one of the biggest joy-robbing parts of health issues in general, but specifically with PCOS, is focusing so much on where we want to be and not how far we’ve come and even if you are just getting started, like I said, one of the first steps is gaining knowledge that will empower you because you finally feel like you have a clear path forward. That is a win. Celebrate it. Feel good about it. Know that you took the time and effort to figure that out and that’s worth celebrating. That’s worth feeling good about, feeling confident about, and getting excited about and then every little step you take, drinking more water or having a morning routine, setting yourself up in the evening with an evening routine so that the next morning you are just ready to rock and roll and you don’t have to invent it as you go. All of those things, as small as they are and they may not even correlate directly to your ultimate goal of optimized fertility, of body composition changes and things like that. They may simply be that you’re taking the steps and you did them, and that’s worth celebrating.

With that, I hope you found this episode helpful. If you did, please hit the subscribe button so that you are notified each and every week as the PCOS repair podcast episodes become available. Until next week, I would love to hear in my DMs over on Instagram. You can find me @Nourishedtohealthy, what you are going to do this week. Not next month, not this sometime this year, but this week, or even better, today. What are you going to do to help reclaim your joy as you continue along your PCOS health journey? So with that, I cannot wait to see you in my DMs. 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 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