I asked my Private Coaching client, Maria B. to share her story and provide some insight about how to live a PCOS Diva Lifestyle while away at college. Maria shares a lot of wisdom here not just for young and more mature Divas too!
“Looking back on things now, PCOS, as strange as it sounds, was a blessing to me. However, I did not believe that at first. I found out I had PCOS a couple weeks after I started my freshman year of college and I had no idea what it was, but once I found out I thought my life was ruined. I felt so alone. I was over a thousand miles from home. All of my friends in college did not understand what I was going through. I didn’t think it was fair, I watched all of my friends eat what they wanted, when they wanted and as much as they wanted. I felt like I was missing out on a real college experience; I wanted to feel normal.
In my free time, I did a lot of research on PCOS and how to handle it, but I did not find any information that made me feel better about having PCOS. Many articles told me to go on medication and I tried it. For me, medication was not the answer. After going off the medication, I obsessively researched PCOS and how to handle it more naturally, more holistically.
Close to the end of my first semester, I found Amy’s blog, pcosdiva.com. It was filled with amazing articles and not one article was about taking birth control pills or medication. I felt so calm and at peace with my PCOS while reading her articles because they were about living a happy, full life.
I immediately emailed her and explained how I was struggling. She told me about her 6-month program, and I was so relieved that she could help me learn how to deal with PCOS. I started the program with Amy about halfway through my second semester. It was definitely hard being in the program during college. Plus, I did not have near as much free time as I did my first semester. Amy taught me how to put myself first and love me. She helped me learn how to live with PCOS not just deal with it.
I have learned what makes my body feel bad and feel good. Dairy, and gluten are a definite no for me; however, I do enjoy a small bowl of ice cream, or dish of pasta here and there. My advice to anyone with or without PCOS would be to learn to listen to your body; she (your body) is very smart and only wants to help you. I learned the hard way that losing weight will not make me happier and talking about how big of a burden PCOS is will not make it go away. The only way to a happier life is by taking care of myself.
I found that pampering myself makes me feel great. I want my body to know that I love her and everything she does for me, so the least I can do is make it easier for her to take care me. I do this by keeping good hygiene that means giving myself manicures and pedicures, doing facials, and taking vitamins.
Vitamins can be expensive, but think of your health as an investment. When I feel myself becoming sluggish, I enjoy dry skin brushing in the morning because it wakes me up and refreshes my body. I enjoy reading about holistic living, so I found blogs that share the same views with me about living a more natural lifestyle whether the blogs give recipes, health tips or both. Here are a few:
- My New Roots- http://mynewroots.blogspot.com/
- The Simple Veganista- https://simple-veganista.com/
- Golubka- http://g0lubka.blogspot.com/
- Mind Body Green- http://www.mindbodygreen.com/
When I get stressed out, which happens a lot in college, I enjoy going on a long walk and listening to music while I work things out in my head; or I just enjoy the weather. It took me a long time to figure out what relaxes me; I used to think running was a form of relaxation for me but I realized I always felt like I was forcing myself. Now, if I feel like running I will, but usually a nice walk does the trick.
Being in college makes it hard to prepare healthy meals because you are so busy doing everything for school. However, I have found what works best for me when it comes to cooking meals for the whole week. In the morning I enjoy eating Amy’s pumpkin spice protein bars or having a protein smoothie. The protein bars make about 16 and they will last me about a month. The days I don’t have a protein bar I love making myself a smoothie because you can freeze everything you need and throw it in a blender in the morning. On the weekends, I take my time making my breakfast because I don’t have the pleasure of doing that during the week, so I will make steel cut oats with a bit of protein powder.
For lunch I pack tomatoes, celery, cucumbers, hummus and brown rice followed by a nice piece of dark chocolate—I never get bored of this meal! Dinner usually consists of some type of cooked veggies with black beans or a nice salad. It takes a while to figure out what meals work best for you, but when you find them your body is so happy and you will be too.
So the three key points or recommendations I will leave you with are:
- Love yourself. Learn what makes you and your body happy.
- Learn about PCOS and what you can do to help your symptoms in a healthy, loving way.
- Commit to a lifestyle that will benefit you and your PCOS. Amy’s program was so helpful and showed me how to live in a way where deprivation is no longer in my vocabulary.
Living with PCOS is a challenge, but you can overcome it and live at peace with it if you are willing to do the work. You are worth it. Just believe in yourself.”