Episode #80: Identifying and Overcoming PCOS Sabotage Patterns

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Identifying and Overcoming PCOS Sabotage Patterns

What you’ll learn in this episode

Ever feel like you’re giving PCOS Health your all, but still struggle to make headway on your journey to better health? Well, you’re not alone, and this episode dives into a sneaky culprit that might be throwing your efforts a curveball: self-sabotage. It’s those tricky things we do, sometimes without even realizing it, that can sabotage our success. If you’ve found yourself facing roadblocks in your PCOS healing, I invite you to keep an open mind as we explore the nuances of self-sabotage and, more importantly, how to course-correct when it sneaks up on you. Ready to uncover the secrets to leveling up your PCOS game? Let’s jump in!

Playing the Long-Game

Patience is the name of the game. We’ll chat about the necessity of long-term, healthy lifestyle adjustments for significant changes in well-being. From energy levels to sleep quality, I’ll guide you through the importance of persistence. Oh, and the challenges of weight loss? Let’s unravel that mystery. We’ll tackle how excess insulin can play a role in progress stalls and why slow, steady progress is the real deal.

Navigating Self-Sabotage

Now, here’s the juicy part – self-sabotage. We’ll dive deep into understanding why you struggle and how to set realistic, achievable goals. Small steps, my friend, are your secret weapon against overwhelm. I’ll share strategies to embrace those struggles, find alternative solutions, and sprinkle in a bit of self-compassion.

By tuning in today, you’ll discover the power of patience, and learn strategies to conquer self-sabotage. So, don’t miss out on this chance to level up your PCOS game. Let’s make this journey one of growth, understanding, and unstoppable progress. Ready to dive in? Let’s go!

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

If you’ve listened to any of the episodes here on the PCOS Repair Podcast, then you’re probably starting to become aware or very aware now that there are so many lifestyle adjustments that we can make to have a tremendous impact on how we feel, how we handle weight struggles, how we handle fertility optimization, and just how we feel in our body and able to really reverse those PCOS symptoms. However, there are some very specific things that universally get in the way for the women that I talk to and work with and that’s what we’re going to be talking about today in this episode, how we’re going to sabotage our efforts and hold ourselves back from experiencing the results that we want, the results that we’re working for, and getting to that place of better health. So let’s dive in.

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 Repair Podcast, where today we’re going to be diving into one area where I see women sabotage their health and their efforts to create better health. Now, I know there are a million ways that we can sabotage ourselves, and even that word is negative, but it is something that we do and we get frustrated with ourselves for, and it creates a negative cycle in our efforts and basically will derail us from getting to where we want to be. So have you ever think about a time when you have researched something, you’ve learned something, you have this new idea that you want to try, and you get started with it, and you’re all on board, and you feel like this is the answer to your success. This is the key that you’ve been looking for but when we don’t see it working right away, or maybe it works for a little while, it’s not sustainable, or we’re not seeing fast enough results, or we start to question it. We start to see something else that contradicts maybe what we decided was going to be the key to our success and then we see somebody else talking about how something else is the key to our success, and we start to get confused to which one is going to be the right one, and perhaps we bail before we should, or maybe we were on the wrong path and this is where it gets really confusing and we start to get in our head about it.

The back when I was first discovering that I had PCOS and fine tuning how my body was responding to its environment and learning what worked for me with the information that was available, I think one of the blessings that I had was very little information was available and what it taught me to do was to pay attention to myself. Instead of paying attention to this expert telling me this and this expert telling me this, I was in this very information void topic of very little being known about PCOS. I had my medical textbook, and it had less than half a page on it and it was really only about how we see these polycystic ovaries on ultrasound, and these women have a hard time getting pregnant, and the extra hair growth tend to be overweight and the fertility issues and that’s pretty much all my medical textbook said, and it said that birth control might be helpful. So that was the extent of that knowledge. After my diagnosis, I did a little bit more digging in the research articles, and I found a link to some insulin resistance and some inflammation studies, and essentially took what I knew about diabetes and started to play around with my nutrition and my exercise, and ultimately had to learn how to listen to how my body was responding to its environment and I think that was the biggest blessing of not having all of the information at my fingertips that we have today.

Today, so many health coaches and people marketing or being affiliates for supplements or various products have all of these suggestions and stories about what has worked for them and the thing that I will say about PCOS that I have seen over and over and over is that while it is a collection of the same symptoms, and while there are some core, consistent root causes, the root causes are based in our genetics and being expressed or coming to play because of our environment and this is so individual that it creates a very unique situation for each woman and so, as we go into this topic today, the premise that I want you to keep in mind is that each person’s situation is unique and so, we really need to look to ourselves or have someone helping us who’s helping us look to ourselves of what is working and what is not. This goes against most of the information out there because everyone wants to tell you they have a solution. So in a tongue-in-cheek way, my solution for women with PCOS is really not a one size fits all solution. It’s all about you learning how to identify what’s going on in your body, identify the lifestyle situations that are creating that, aggravating that, and begin implementing the ones that are going to be most helpful in assisting you to reverse your PCOS. As you continue to listen to your body, take the feedback of what is and isn’t working, and adjust it as you go so that you’re creating a lifestyle that works for both your body and you, and that you enjoy it. It works with your routine, it works with your career, it works with your significant other, it works with your life. Okay, so in that sense, what I see women with PCOS doing over and over and over is they expect fast results and the reason we’ve been set up to expect fast results is because we’ve been told that results will be fast.

When I start working with someone, I want to make sure we set the expectations and so the expectations that I want to set for you as you’re listening to this and starting to address your PCOS through lifestyle adjustments, is that it will take a minimum of three months to see any significant change. Now you can start feeling more energy, you can start sleeping better, you can start feeling better in your body a lot quicker but when it comes to ovulation and menstrual cycles and fertility and weight problems, this is not a fast fix. Think about weight loss, one of the things that we have been told over and over and over is that we need to restrict calories. Well, it is a mathematical game, and we do need to be in some degree of a caloric restriction in order to lose weight. Step one is we have to have our hormones not working against us. We can be starving ourselves and lose minimal to no weight if we are high in insulin and this doesn’t mean that we’re insulin-resistant.

I think that’s a big misconception, and I have other episodes about that but women will say, Well, I’m not insulin-resistant. They did the labs, I don’t have diabetes, I don’t have insulin-resistant, it doesn’t matter. We all secrete insulin and when we have a lot of insulin secreted in our bodies, even if we are in a calorie-restricted mode, our bodies will tell us to store everything and to not release fat for burning and in that sense, our bodies will feel like they’re starving even more than they should be because they should be using our own fat stores to live off of and we stress out our body, and we teach our body to not burn energy. So we feel sluggish, we feel fatigued, we feel brain fog. We feel all these lethargic symptoms because we are basically starving. Even though we have extra stores on our body, our body won’t tap into them because insulin is present. Now that’s a little oversimplifying it, but basically, we are creating a situation in which we cannot win. So we need some knowledge to get started but it may take a while, that’s where the expectations come in. So now we think, okay, well, now I have this knowledge, I heard this person talk about this, it sounded like it made sense, they seem to back it with medical research and then I get started with it and every time I’ve tried to lose weight before, I lose weight over a couple of days. Why is nothing happening? Well, the reason is nothing’s happening is that when we’re doing this in a healthy way, it takes a long time. It didn’t take us overnight to put that weight on. We didn’t create these lifestyle adjustments that were hurting our body and making our body not function well and it’s not really our fault, it’s like current norms of society are putting more stress, more sitting, more fast foods, all those things are contributing to our bodies not thriving and so until we start to recognize those and adjust those, our bodies are in this state of worsening health and so we’ve been doing that for a long time. It doesn’t reverse itself overnight and so I know people will get really frustrated where they might lose a pound or two, they might lose 10 pounds, but then they gain five pounds, and they feel like this isn’t working. It’s like two steps forward, one step back but when it’s going so slowly, it can feel like no steps forward.

So then what happens is we either jump ship and try something else before we really get the results we’re looking for, or we feel like I wasn’t good at this and when these thoughts creep in, ultimately we sabotage ourselves, we stop doing the things, we start feeling like these habits that we’re trying so hard to create are pointless and we start to create a self-fulfilling prophecy where we were concerned it wasn’t working. We started out so excited and then we see like, okay, maybe it’s not working as well as we had hoped and we start to worry about that. We start backing off on our efforts, and then it proves us right that it’s not working as well as we thought, so we give up or we just slide back into old habits. So this is where there’s this sabotage of information overload and so what I invite you to do is listen to where your body is currently at the best you can. If you need help with that, that’s one of the things that I help women do but listen to your body where you’re currently at, get as much data from your body. I have women, when I start working with them, we look at what their current root cause is. We look at what are their current struggles, such as do they have irregular periods? Are they dealing with excess weight? Are they dealing with fatigue, feeling bloated and digestive problems and feeling like stomach ache, headaches? What is it that they’re dealing with? and then what are their desired outcomes? Because that shows us a lot right there with where is their body struggling, where are they at, and what path forward is going to be the first step because we want to focus on what is going to make the biggest impact. So that you start to see those results so that we believe in our efforts, so that we gain momentum, so that we gain motivation, and we don’t back off for lack of seeing our efforts pay off.

Okay, so then once we have discovered the information that we need, I encourage you to stick with it long enough, like put blinders on, tune out other things, focus on what you have set your path for, and focus on it long enough to give the results that you need. So you want to always make sure you understand what are the expectations. I’ve seen so many women get started, and they’ll go 2-3 months and they’ll be like, and nothing worked and if they had just stuck with it a little bit more or tweaked things a little bit as they went, or even journaled and took progress, like snapshots of either pictures of weight loss and realized the scale might not be going down, but I’m actually looking a lot better. I’m feeling a lot better. Something is going on correct here, or I just need to give it more time, I need to lean into it more, not lean out.

So this is where we start to see where we can also, and this is another place of self-sabotage, is we can also get stuck in this constant analysis of what is the right program? What is the right way to do this and when we don’t just at some point say, This is the one that sounds the most correct to me, and actually get into action, we get into this paralysis by analysis, and we just sit there and spin our wheels trying to learn and don’t take action and a funny thing that happens in our mind is that we’ve been focusing and studying about something for so long, we feel like we’ve been doing it more than we actually have been putting in the effort and then we start to feel like, oh, that didn’t work. I did that, I think and we almost convinced ourselves that we tried that, but we didn’t. It’s a weird trip of the mind that happens more often than not and so if that’s happened to you, don’t feel bad like it’s happened to me before too, where it’s like I’ve spent a lot of time reading about something and you feel like you’re doing it, but you never really took the consistent action of doing it.

Another place that we sabotage ourselves is creating overwhelm by not setting realistic goals and so when we tell ourselves, especially when we’re looking at other people and we’re here and they’re there and we’re thinking, okay, I need to do that in order to achieve this goal and we go from zero to 60 too fast, we burn ourselves out because we didn’t take the baby steps to get there to build the habits, to create the routines, to learn how to incorporate these actions into our daily life in a way that worked for us and when we do that, what happens is that we convince ourselves that I’m not capable and that’s another really big way that we see sabotage happening when we’re trying to improve our health and so this is where bite-size baby steps, plotting along at your own pace and celebrating your own pace. It doesn’t have to match anybody else’s. There are times where we can sprint a little faster and then times where we need to slow it down and that’s going to vary by what else you have going on in your life, what else is going on in your career, the bandwidth that you have at any given time, and how hard certain habits are for you. Some habits are a lot harder for us than other habits. And that’s very, again, individual and unique and comes down to each person’s prior environment, their tastes, their interests, their schedules, the time of year, all sorts of things factor into what is easy and what is not. And when something is a struggle, we have to give ourselves the space and ability to work through that struggle in order to get through it, to embrace it, to make it not a struggle anymore and to incorporate it into part of our life or realize that there’s other ways of doing it.

So sometimes we’re hitting our head against a brick wall, and we need to just adjust a little bit or move to the side a little bit, and the whole path just opens up and becomes a lot easier for us. So that overwhelm that we can create in trying to do too much too fast, trying to do things that just aren’t a good fit for us and so we could find another solution to a workout, another solution to a meal, that just would fit us so much better and so in conclusion, I want to empower you to realize that one, this isn’t an overnight journey. So start off by being patient with yourself, pacing yourself, setting your expectations in such a way where, although it may be disappointing, this is something that happens over time, and you’re going to start to see improvements along the way. So it’s not like you have to wait three to six months to even start to see improvements, you’ll start to feel better, you’ll start to have better energy, you’ll start to have little things along the way that excites you, especially, and this is key if you choose to notice them.

And then two, being careful how much information you let in. Do the research, pick a path, stick with it, and then be careful how much additional information you let in because it can sway you. It can be like… Even these advertisements right now at the time of this recording, we’re just finishing up Cyber Week and so I’m like, Oh, my goodness, the amount of commercials and spam mail, that’s not really spam email, but the amount of emails that I’m getting that are promoting various supplements and products and Amazon sending me things that they think I’ll like based on previous purchases and there’s so much noise out there of things we might need that it’s distracting and so allow yourself to not become overloaded with these distractions so that you can continue taking your baby steps of action, which then leads me to the third thing of don’t overwhelm yourself with how much action you take at a time. Keep it manageable, bite-size, realistic steps, understanding that some are going to be easy and you can fly right through them. Other ones are going to be more of a challenge, you may need to slow down and take your time so that you’re able to create that lifestyle that really supports your hormone, supports your health, and then giving it the time to see the results that you want.

Hopefully, as we head into the holidays and into the new year, we’re going to get flooded again with all sorts of health advice, but hopefully this will help you to ground you, make it seem more manageable. It doesn’t have to be so crazy that it can be very doable, that it can be very simple, that we don’t have to overcomplicate it and then ultimately, we need to get out of our own way and let ourselves make the progress. So with that, I’d love to hear which one of these self-sabotaging things you’re going to stop doing. I would love to hear from you over on Instagram. Send me a DM, you can find me @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 a 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