Episode #81: Embracing Authenticity:

Your PCOS Journey to Fulfillment

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Embracing Authenticity: Your PCOS Journey to Fulfillment

What you’ll learn in this episode

This episode gives actionable tools for the often-overlooked struggles faced by many successful women who, despite excelling in various aspects of their lives, find themselves in a silent battle with their PCOS health. If you’ve ever wondered why you’re a powerhouse in your career or other areas of your life but can’t seem to gain control over your health and PCOS, you’re not alone. We’ll explore the disconnect between external accomplishments and internal well-being, unraveling the complex inverse between success and health.

Unraveling the PCOS Struggles of Successful Women

Too often I hear women with PCOS say “Why am I not happy or proud of myself, and why can’t I overcome these health issues with PCOS?” We’ll explore the intricate challenges that arise when the pursuit of success inadvertently creates an environment where health takes a back seat, leading to a profound sense of helplessness and frustration.

Why Being Successful Doesn’t Guarantee Health

Why do so many successful women struggle with their health when excelling in other areas of their lives? We’ll get into the demanding factors, societal expectations, and the stress associated with maintaining a successful image that contributes to neglecting personal well-being. But fear not, we won’t just identify the problem; I’ll guide you through a compelling client story, sharing how a dedicated self-care practice transformed a successful woman’s health journey. 

By the end of this episode, you’ll gain insights into the complexities of success and health, and my favorite self challenge as a transformative step toward fostering a holistic approach to well-being. So hit play, join me in this exploration to excel in health and regain control over your PCOS.

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

In the pursuit of success and accomplishment, many women grapple with a disconnecting paradox that extends beyond their professional and personal achievements. When consulting with clients, I hear this question and this just low energy over and over and over, that why am I such a great fill-in-the-blank, a great leader, a great teacher, a great accountant, a great artist, a great… You fill in the blank. What is something that you are amazing at? But how come I’m not happy or proud of myself? and how come I can’t overcome these health issues with PCOS? In this episode, we’re going to delve into these often overlooked struggles that so many successful women face, who despite excelling in various aspects of their life, they find themselves in this silent battle with their health, particularly in managing their condition of PCOS. They have this narrative in their head that no matter how successful they are elsewhere, they see themselves as a failure, feeling helpless and frustrated when it comes to taking control of their health. Which is why I’m so excited today to take on this challenge, and let’s face this together as you learn how to excel in your health and regain your power and feel like you are the master and in control of your wellbeing. Let’s get started.

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 we’re going to be talking about the struggle that many successful women feel when it comes to maintaining optimal health. It’s really not surprising that when we push ourselves to Excel in one area of our life, whether it’s our career or another love or hobby that we have, when we put so much emphasis on one area of our life, other areas of our lives get put on the back burner and so I want you to start with that thought that this is something where just because we are amazing at one thing and struggling at another doesn’t mean we’re not good at that other thing. It means it hasn’t had our attention, it hasn’t had our focus and even if we have, at periods of time, put our focus there, it hasn’t become our main priority. It hasn’t maybe gotten the attention that it needs, or we haven’t figured out what it needs in order to make it blossom and bloom and become as successful in our health as we are in other areas of our life. I want to start with that thought because as we go through, why is it that we feel like we are failing at life when our health is struggling? Even though we are successful in many other areas of our life: in our relationships, in our friendships, in our experiences of life, we can have this really full life and it can feel like we aren’t on top of it, like we are not engaged in our life, like we’re failing at life. Different feelings come up for different people, but those are feelings that I hear over and over from women who are actually really doing amazing in life but this PCOS issue is really holding them back and creating this negative sense of self.

First of all, like I was just trying to explain to you, being this nature of a high-achieving role in our career or in another area of our life other than our health tends to be a time-consuming, mentally taxing endeavor, leaving very little room for self-care practices. Many successful women prioritize their profession, their families, their other relationships, their communities, and all sorts of other things over their own personal wellbeing, leading to the neglect of their health. Even when you have a health routine in place, how many times, I want to ask you, be honest with yourself, how many times have you had a busy week and somebody else asks you to do something else or something’s taking longer than you expected?

What’s the first thing to go? Is it your self-care? and by self-care, I mean taking care of your health, taking care of you, making sure that you are thriving, making sure you are getting enough sleep, making sure you’re getting nourishing food, making sure you have time to move your body so that you feel good. Secondly, the social expectations. The cultural norms and just what we are seeing on social media. For women specifically, we tend to have almost these two split roles that we’re expected to play. We’re expected to play the role of the feminine. It doesn’t necessarily mean having a family and raising a family, it can mean that. It can also just mean the female aspects in society, in a community, in the way that we interact with our friends, in the way that our appearance is, all of the things of the feminine and then we’re also, in a modern world, encouraged and almost judged by our male endeavors, our career endeavors, or the male aspects. I don’t think that one of them is a female or a male per se, but traditionally, when we think about what those roles are and the energy that they take inside of ourselves, the more masculine energy versus the more feminine energy and both male and females have those. As women, we’re almost expected to live two full lives when we think about societal expectations these days. In that, where are we supposed to take care of ourselves? We’re supposed to take care of all the others in our feminine role, and we’re supposed to be successful and important and all of that in our male role, and when are we supposed to take care of us? When is our health supposed to be a priority? and the problem is oftentimes it’s not, right?

In addition to these two different considerations, one, where our success is taking up a lot of our time and energy, and two, where we have these expectations from our society, and we put them on ourselves. We put them on ourselves from social media. It’s not really actually anyone that’s putting these on us. I mean, yes, friends and family will ask questions and say comments and things like that, but ultimately it’s us allowing that into our own mindset and creating these own expectations in ourselves. So in addition to all of these, the stress that is associated with maintaining this image of being successful in certain areas of our life or trying to maintain success in certain areas of our life creates even less time for us to take care of ourselves and for us to practice self-care.

So we find ourselves overwhelmed, feeling helpless, feeling out of control, and unable to manage our health. This creates this emotional cycle, and as you can see, it’s just like this downward spiral where we are surviving, but we’re not thriving. And the mental toll on that basically comes down to women sitting across from me saying, I don’t get it. I’m really good at… again, fill in the blank, but I just can’t seem to get my health under control. I get up every morning, I show up to work, I’ve been a good student, I got to where I was because I worked hard, I was dedicated, I was motivated, it’s not that I’m not a disciplined person. Why is my health so elusive to me? This negative cycle can be very challenging for women to break out of and that’s what I want to start addressing today in today’s episode.

In essence, the pursuit of all of the success in our lives, in all areas of career, of relationships, of community, of whatever it is that we have a passion for, or an interest in, or a dedication to, it inadvertently creates an environment where health takes a back seat, leading to a disconnect between external accomplishments and our internal wellbeing. When we begin to recognize and address this intricate balance between the external and the internal of our success, we can begin fostering a more holistic and sustainable approach to being more personally fulfilled and more genuinely successful in our life, and we will feel more successful. We won’t just look more successful to the outside, but we will start to feel more successful as a woman in our health, in our career, in our endeavors, in our community, in our friendships, our relationships, in all of it because we aren’t just focusing on the external. We are also focusing on the internal, which is our self, our own health, and our self-care.

I want to share a quick story. I chose this particular client because she has a very prominent, high-powered job but this concept holds true for all women who have any interest at all. It could also be someone who’s already a mom, a stay-at-home mom. In some ways, that doesn’t feel like you’re really doing anything because it’s the same simple tasks over and over of cleaning the house and making food and helping children clean themselves but it is something big that you’re doing, it just doesn’t seem to have a measure point of success. It doesn’t have a metric of success but the reason I chose Emily is because she is a head of a marketing firm and she worked herself up, she was 28 and one of the top executives in a big marketing firm and she was extremely successful, she had a great income, she had a great reputation in her work, her family was proud of her, she felt like she was on top of the world in her career but on the inside, she felt like a fraud, like… I think her words were, she felt out of control and she said, It’s funny because I get to work and I feel like I am in charge. I feel like I know what I’m doing. I feel like I’ve worked really hard for this and as she was working up to that position, there was this focus of next step, next step but once she got to her top executive position at a very young age, and she recognizes that people think she’s really good at what she does, but she’s like, I don’t feel in control, I feel overwhelmed, I feel like I am treading water in my life and so we started working together. Similar to a type A person had found trick ways of maintaining her weight, but she felt like her health was really diminishing. So she didn’t have a lot of weight to lose, but her energy was completely caffeine-dependent because she was drinking so much caffeine during the day, she was needing to take sleep aids at night. She would work out really hard and then skip many days of working out because something would come up at work and so she felt like she was always skirting an athletic injury, and she just felt like everything was going to come crashing down at her at some point because she was losing control of being able to manage her personal life and in particularly her health.

She was starting to turn to try to order healthy meals, but she felt like this wasn’t a sustainable model. She felt like she was just adding in more and more without solving any problems without learning how to actually handle and feel like she had this under control, so we kind of slowed down, we took away a lot of the expectations of what she needed to be doing in her health, we took it one step at a time. Ultimately, the biggest thing that we incorporated is, this is a challenge that I want you to take as well, is that I challenged her to set aside 30 minutes a day, just 30. In 24 hours a day, we can find 30 minutes. It may not seem like it right now, but trust me, I’ve done this challenge myself. In fact, I’ve done one where I was required to do two 45-minute sessions, as well as reading 10 pages and doing a couple of other things as well. You can find 30 minutes a day to devote to self-care. Self-care is defined in this challenge by how you need to be showing up for your body right now. Does that mean cooking yourself a couple of healthy options so that the next day you have healthy food to eat? Is your stomach feeling? Are you feeling like I need to eat something better because my body is hurting? Do you feel like you’ve been sitting on your bun too long and you need to get up and move? It may not be what you want to do, but what is it that your body needs from you? Have you been just going, going, going and you have your workouts in place and you’ve been eating relatively healthy, but you’re never stopping? You’re never letting yourself just sit in a chair and put your feet up or take a hot bath and not be doing something else productive? Do you ever take a break from productivity? Where is it that your body is needing that help? That’s what you do for your 30 minutes.

Your 30 minutes could be getting a 30-minute massage. It could be going for a 30-minute walk. It could be taking a shower and putting on some relaxing music or getting a hot cup of tea and having just this evening downtime routine. It could be getting up early and getting a workout in because you haven’t been doing that and you feel like your body is just needing movement. It could be spending an extra 30 minutes in the kitchen after dinner, prepping your food for the next day so that you feel good, so that you have the energy that you need to take on your day and the most important part of this challenge is recognizing that this is care for myself. This isn’t this to-do list of a should that someone’s telling me I need to do, that’s just one more thing. No, this is you doing something for yourself, and that mindset of that is one of the biggest parts of it because you feel the love, like you’re accepting the gift from yourself that you’re giving yourself these 30 minutes to do something meaningful for you.

Emily started to do that, and over the course of about a month, she started to feel like her mind was more rested. Wasn’t that she was necessarily sleeping better, it wasn’t that she was necessarily drinking much less caffeine, but she felt like her mind was more settled, like it was at more peace, like she felt less scattered, less frantic, less like her house is being built on a it’s a house of cards that was just going to crumble at any minute because she was going to lose control because everything was just barely squeaking through. She felt more grounded, she felt more at peace, she felt more content with herself and over the course of about 3-5 months, she had completely revolutionized her health, she had found a way to have a routine that felt really manageable. I mean, she’s still a type A high-performing executive that is probably still not as balanced as maybe she would want to be, but she also loves her job, she loves what she does, and she feeds off of that exciting, high-powered career and so it’s not about finding this one size always has to look like this, but she found her way through creating a 30-minute pocket of self-care and then creating a routine that supported that but not just getting in her workouts, not just making sure she had healthy food, not just making sure she got enough sleep, but also carving out 30 minutes a day that was all about her.

So you can see it goes beyond 30 minutes. It’s not like all of your health endeavors fit into 30 minutes, but we have our to-do list and then we also have 30 minutes of where this is really more about my mental health, my physical health, my additional self-care because we’re an adult now, it’s like your mom came in or a mother figure came in if you didn’t have that mom, but you have someone that comes in and cares for you but as an adult, sometimes we have to do that for ourselves. So it’s like instead of having someone else physically come in and take care of us, this is our half an hour to come in and take care of ourselves or maybe we pay someone to come in and give us a massage. We go to a massage, like a spa, or we go and get a pedicure, and we sit there and look at a magazine that allows us to unwind from all of our normal things that we have going through our mind.

Possibilities are endless, but the point is that you don’t have to fit in all of your healthy living into a half an hour. The point is that for a half an hour, you are allowing yourself to recharge, and you’re allowing yourself to recharge by doing something that you weren’t already doing for yourself. That doesn’t mean if you already have your workouts all dialed in, that doesn’t count as near 30 minutes in this challenge. This is about going that extra mile for yourself and creating a space for something that you’ve been wanting, needing, desiring for you that you’ve been filling your schedule with things for other people and not doing that thing for yourself and you know where you need that. Do you need the downtime? Do you need the walk? Do you need the healthy lunch for tomorrow? You know what that’s going to feel like, having someone come in and take care of you.

And so, in concluding today’s episode, the point that I want to make as I summarize this for you is that it’s easy for us to get caught up in the doing, in the next step of success, in the climbing the corporate ladder, in being the person that’s available and the go-to person in our community, to being the person that is nurturing and compassionate and the one that everyone wants to call or the one that’s fun and everyone wants to call when they’re having that day and so you’re there for your friends and family and it’s about not that any of those things are bad, but it’s about also creating that space for you to take care of you. So instead of just taking care of everybody else, instead of just being amazing in your career, allowing you to be amazing and to feel amazing both in your physical and emotional health by carving out that space for your self-care and so on other episodes, we can talk about self-care and how to practice self-care but I think this is one of those ones where why is it so important? and it’s so important because if we aren’t taking care of that internals and we’re only focused on our external, what we’re presenting to the world and what we’re providing to the world, we get burned out, we become overwhelmed and even if on the outside we look like we’re holding it all together, on the inside we feel like a chaotic mess, and that’s overwhelmed and burned out and ultimately, we want to fill up that inside, and then we can even shine brighter on the outside.

With that, I’m excited to hear what you’re going to choose for your 30 minutes of self-care in this challenge. I encourage you to do it for at least 3-4 weeks because 21 days is how long it takes to start creating a habit, but at least at the start. I would love to hear in my DMs over on Instagram what you are going to do for your 30 minutes of self-care. It doesn’t have to be the same thing day after day. The only thing that has to be the same is that you carve out 30 minutes for you. You can even make a list of a couple of things that come to mind as you listen to this episode that you’ve been wanting to do for yourself. I would love it if you would share them with me over on Instagram. You can find me @Nourishedtohealthy and if you’ve enjoyed this episode and found it helpful, I hope you hit the subscribe button so that you get notified each and every week when a new episode of PCOS Health becomes available. 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