Souper Star: Amy Medling – PCOS Diva
Amy Medling, CHC, is the founder of PCOSDiva.com, an online resource dedicated to helping women understand and manage the symptoms associated with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). She studied holistic nutrition at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and is a Certified Health Coach.
Diagnosed with PCOS 12 years ago, Amy thought she found relief when her doctor prescribed Metformin and the birth control pill. Instead of relief, she felt trapped inside a body that rejected these artificial treatments. This is when her Diva journey began.
She moved from a “why me?” self-pity state to a place of empowerment that ultimately led her to becoming a “PCOS Diva”. Her dedication and research produced a proven treatment plan that uses whole food, natural remedies, supplements, exercise, self-care, positive thinking and stress reduction to relieve and control PCOS symptoms.
Amy’s goal is to coach other women with PCOS, to find a body, mind and spirit balance that will have them proclaiming, “I’m a PCOS Diva too”!
When I started successfully managing my PCOS naturally about 9 years ago, my OBGYN started referring women with PCOS who were not responding to conventional treatments to contact me (by phone) for help. I loved helping these women so much that my husband suggested that I start blogging about my research findings and PCOS information. I actually resisted at first, but then thought that maybe a blog was the way to help more women, so I started PCOS Diva in 2009.
Once women started following me, and began experiencing positive results using my PCOS protocol, I knew that this was my path in life. For me, it is so rewarding to help a woman with PCOS take on her health and life. I ended up going back to school in 2010 and became a Certified Health Coach through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and can now help women in a greater way through my Meal Plans, Online Programs and Private Coaching.
Do you have any advice for women who are suddenly found in a position of needing to advocate for themselves?
10% of all women have PCOS and 50% remain undiagnosed. Women who suspect they have PCOS need to know the symptoms, risks, labs to ask for, treatment options, as well as, how to get a diagnosis. You will want to refer your doctor to the Rotterdam Criteria for diagnosis. It is important to remember that your doctor works for you. Most doctors are unaware of the success women with PCOS can have reducing symptoms just with lifestyle change. Lifestyle modification should be first line therapy for PCOS. Before using pharmaceutical drugs, that always have side effects, women with PCOS should look into changing diet and lifestyle. I advocate a gluten-free, dairy-free or low-dairy, processed soy free, whole food based, balanced diet. I also believe stress reduction, exercise, reducing environmental toxins, positive thinking and mindfulness is critical.
What have you found most surprising along your journey?
I am honestly amazed at how quickly women can heal their bodies. It took several years for me, but I have worked with many women who we’re unable to get pregnant with pharmaceutical drugs, or lose weight, but as soon as they followed my plan, they were able to lose weight, achieve regular cycles within months, and many find themselves pregnant soon after. Some of these women are just using my Meal Plans, or Jumpstart Program, while some are private clients, but once they understand how to nourish their body and bring balance back, health and fertility can be reclaimed.
Dealing with PCOS can be a roller coaster ride. How do you keep your spirits high? Do you have specific tools in place for when your spirits get down?
So many women with PCOS are stuck in a negative glass half-empty outlook on life, or what I call a “lack consciousness”. This is a huge issue, as they focus on the negative side effects from PCOS. My clients must learn how to focus on gratitude, abundance, and focus on what they can control: the food they eat, and not on what they cannot. They must learn to live “in the moment” and not worry about the future. I believe that PCOS is a sign that our lives are out of balance. That we need to create more harmony. It’s a wake up call and the beginning of a journey that can truly help us become whole and happy, a journey that can change and transform our lives to ultimately lead us to live the life we were meant to live without PCOS holding us back. Our physical body gets out of whack in order to draw attention to what is not working in our lives. Often we go through challenges and healings in our bodies that mirror the challenges and healings that are going on in our lives.
For me getting a PCOS diagnosis was one of the best thing that ever happened to me. Yes, I just said that You might think I am crazy, but that is what it took to get my attention to begin changing my life in ways that have made it so much more joyful and meaningful. For me it has been a gift.