The Biggest PCOS Exercise Myth: Calories In-Calories Out [Podcast]

PCOS Podcast No 91 - Exercise Myth - VolkMany women with PCOS have a combative relationship with their body and PCOS. We buy into the calories-in/calories-out myth and attempt to punish our bodies with exercise. PCOS trainer, Erika Volk visits the podcast to bust myths around PCOS and exercise as well as explain the far-reaching (and unexpected) benefits. Listen in as we discuss:

  • Why exercise and strength training balance your blood sugar
  • Exercising to regulate appetite, mood, and menstrual cycles, balance hormones, and more
  • Why all calories are not created equal
  • How you should feel after a workout
  • Advice for athletes who are training
  • Pregnancy and postpartum fitness

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Full Transcript:

Amy Medling:                    I’m really excited to have my guest on today. She’s a first time on the PCOS Diva podcast, but not a newbie to my guest bloggers on PCOS Diva. She has written some guest posts. She’s also developed a program for my PCOS Jumpstart Program. I’m really excited to welcome Erika Volk to the PCOS Diva podcast.

Erika is the PCOS personal trainer. She guides women living with PCOS towards a lifestyle that gets their symptoms under control so they have the time, energy, and confidence to thrive. She’s a certified personal trainer, a nutrition coach, and creator of the PCOS Fit Studio workout videos.

Erika was diagnosed with PCOS in 2005. She’s been coaching women with PCOS since 2010. Through her personal experience and work with clients, she’s discovered that exercise is a fantastic PCOS fighting tool. She’s here today to talk about some of the myths around PCOS and exercise as well as benefits.

Erika is a brand-new mom. We’re also going to talk about pregnancy fitness and postpartum fitness. So, Erika, thank you so much for taking your time from your four month old baby to be with us today.

Erika Volk:                           Thank you. It’s really exciting to be on this podcast. I’ve listened to it for so long. It’s kind of like being invited on The Oprah Show or something.

Amy Medling:                    Oh, gosh. I promise I won’t make you cry.

When I was writing my book, Healing PCOS, I was thinking back to my exercise mindset early on when I was struggling with PCOS. I was definitely of the mindset of, if I ate something that I felt guilty about, ice cream sundae, burger and fries, I would go out and run it off. At least I thought that I was running off the calories that I just consumed.

I’ve grown to realize that that’s not really how exercise works. I do think that a lot of us still could be stuck in this “calories in, calories out” mindset around exercise. I’d love for you to talk us through the way you think, as the PCOS personal trainer, we should approach exercise with PCOS.

Erika Volk:                           Absolutely. I read that segment of your book where … I love how you weave in your personal stories. I could totally relate. I think I was about the same age when PCOS really hit me. College, early 20s. I did the same thing before I became a personal trainer and educated myself. I would try to correct my “food mistakes” with exercise.

I also used it as a way to fight PCOS in a violent sort of way. It was a combative relationship. I was going to put my body through the paces and that sweat dripping on the floor would somehow remove my PCOS. It’s not a good feeling. It takes all the joy out of exercise, which is something that you and I both liked before we got into that mindset.

I think a lot of women can relate to that feeling. Maybe in high school you were an athlete. You enjoy exercise. Then you start exercising with this aim to help PCOS or lose some weight. It sort of becomes a punishment. That’s a terrible cycle to be in.

Amy Medling:                    You’re absolutely right. Reconnecting with that joy of movement is such an important piece of using exercise as this PCOS managing tool. It’s a tool in our toolbox to help us reduce our symptoms. Maybe you can talk a little bit about how exercise does that. What are the benefits of exercise? Not just from a burning calories standpoint?

Erika Volk:                           Let’s start with totally acknowledging that exercise does burn calories. It’s not a myth. If you eat more calories than you need in a day, you will probably gain some weight. That is true, but that’s a very, very small piece of this huge tapestry that’s our physiology and how exercise interplays with that.

For women with PCOS, I always say that the aim we’re going for is the illogical adaptations. That’s a fancy word for changing the way your body operates. The best way that I can describe that is how when your computer … you get a pop-up notification that you need to update your operating system. You download a new piece of software and now your computer runs better.

Exercise is that little piece of software, that update, that can get your body to run better, especially if you have PCOS. There are several different ways that exercise actually influences our hormonal system.

The first of which is … Going back to insulin resistance, this is the root of most of our symptoms. Muscle tissue in general is your number one consumer of blood glucose. The more muscle tissue you have, and the more often that you use it, the more balanced your blood sugars will be.

If you add onto that fact that when you work out, specifically when you’re doing workouts that require building strength in some way or another, you’re actually going to increase the number of insulin receptor sites you have in your muscle cells.

Now you have muscle that’s using your glucose in your blood more efficiently and you have more insulin receptor sites. You can actually reduce the level of circulating insulin and blood glucose in your body and correct some of those hormonal imbalances.

A recent study actually, it’s very new, looked at exercise in gene expression in women with PCOS. What was found was that women who exercise, the gene that is responsible for PCOS, really to insulin resistance, actually starts expressing itself differently. So there may be some sort of fundamental genetic expression change that happens too when you work out.

Those are all very exciting things if you have PCOS, especially if you’re really struggling with the insulin resistance component.

If that wasn’t enough to motivate you, there’s also hormonal changes that go on with your androgens and your anti-mullerian hormone. Those are the hormones we here being brought up a lot when we start talking about fertility.

What’s found is that, when you work out, when you build muscle, women with PCOS tend to experience a decrease in anti-mullerian hormone and testosterone. That is correlated with the higher chances of ovulation, natural conception, or just having regular cycles. Even if you’re not planning for a baby, you still want those regular cycles to keep your body humming along.

Probably my other favorite thing to talk about with benefits of how exercise regulates your body, makes it function better, is the fact that hunger regulation hormones like ghrelin, the hormone that’s responsible for feelings of hunger, and neuropeptide YY, which is a neurotransmitter that makes you feel full, those both come back into balance with exercise.

Also, if you’re experiencing wonky blood sugars and out of control hunger, you might actually have relief from those symptoms, which are very invasive and very annoying in your day to day life.

That’s really just in a nutshell how exercise can improve your hormonal environment if you’re a woman with PCOS. It’s not about the calories. That’s such a small piece of the puzzle.

Amy Medling:                    I have a couple questions and a comment about the calories too. I remember seeing something. I used to follow … Her name was Tosca Reno, for Clean Eating Magazine. She talked about how you can’t out exercise a burger, fries, and shake.

I think we have to realize that a calorie derived from plant-based food is very different from a calorie from junkie food. I think that’s important to note too. The food, it’s different dependent on whether you’re eating healthy or not.

I wanted to ask you about your clients that have PCOS, like the thin PCOS, where women might not be as insulin resistant as that classic phenotype of PCOS. Do you have a different exercise prescription based on how insulin resistant you might be?

Erika Volk:                           There are some nuanced differences. That’s really when I get into the individual woman. Especially with lean PCOS, just because you’re lean doesn’t mean there’s not guarantee you’re not also struggling with some insulin resistance.

I start saying how are you feeling during the day? Are you having energy spikes and drops? Are you craving sugar? Do you feel like you’re more hungry than other people? When I hear a “Yes. Yes. Yes” to all three of those, I might think there might be some underlying insulin resistance.

I’m looking at stress levels too. What you find a lot of times in lean women with PCOS is the genesis of their PCOS was a little bit different. It’s like a stress induced, adrenal fatigue type of PCOS.

A lot of times these women are maybe exercising excessively. I’m actually trying to encourage them to spend less time working out, which is difficult. It’s way more difficult to convince somebody to do that then you would think.

That’s when I look at maybe shortening the length of time a woman is working out. If you’re looking at adrenal fatigue, I’m trying to keep cardio workouts where the heart is beating quickly, to about 20 minutes or less, then focus on mind-body exercises and strength building exercises at an intensity that doesn’t turn itself into cardio.

You’re not huffing and puffing while you’re lifting weights or doing yoga. You’re keeping your heart rate a little bit lower. We’re concerned about producing too much stress on top of an already stressed out system.

Amy Medling:                    I’m glad that you brought that up. That was one of my other questions: managing your adrenals around the exercise. That was my experience. I really burnt myself out with exercise.

It was when I brought it down a notch that I found that I started losing weight and feeling better. How do you guide a client to figure out what is the right amount of exercise for her? Do you use how you feel? Should you feel exhausted after a workout? What kind of feeling are you going for for your client?

Erika Volk:                           That’s a great question. No. You shouldn’t feel exhausted after a workout. Sometimes it’s going to happen on the odd occasion, you’re a little angry and you went all out on something. You’re relieving stress.

But no. Your workouts should not leave you exhausted. You should actually come out of a workout feeling a natural high. Kind of like a two cappuccino buzz. You know?

Amy Medling:                    I like that.

Erika Volk:                           Not just one cup of coffee but two! You feel like you can take on the world. You should also have a lot of positive emotions. If you’re getting finished with your workout and you don’t have a smile on your face, or at least spiritually you have a smile somewhere, psychically in your thoughts, and you’re feeling exhausted, those are red flags.

The other red flags that I look for, that I kind of mentioned a second ago, are hunger, energy levels, and cravings. I got this acronym from a naturopath. It’s HEC. H-E-C. Is your HEC in check? If you are really slogging through up and down energy levels, cravings, that could be a sign that you’re overdoing it at the gym.

Amy Medling:                    On the flip side, how do you know that you need to add more cardio or intervals or kick it up a notch?

Erika Volk:                           Usually, you will just feel like you want to do a little bit more. That you have it in you. That’s what I look for in my clients. We start out with a baseline program. If they feel like they can do more, then we try it.

Then we ask the all-important question. This is my number one question. It’s always how is that working for you? What are the results? Did adding more exercise make you feel more positive? More energetic? More confident? Did you experience less hunger, energy dips, cravings?

If we’re in the affirmative on all of those areas, then it’s working for you. If the opposite happens, then we revisit it again.

Amy Medling:                    I think that what we’re talking about is that there really is no one size fits all approach to exercise for PCOS, just like there really isn’t a one size fits all approach to diet.

I write this in my book. Just because your friend with PCOS is killing it at CrossFit and is having great results with weight loss and the way that she feels, doesn’t necessarily mean that that’s going to be the right workout for you either.

Erika Volk:                           Absolutely. First and foremost, I think we both agree on this one. The best workout is the one you do and you keep wanting to do it. That’s what I’m looking for first. Where are you willing to work out? What brings you joy? What will you keep doing?

Consistency is the number one component to success with managing PCOS through exercise. Beyond that, I have a general formula of the structure of a workout that is optimal for PCOS in most cases. That’s a good place to start if you don’t have anywhere else that you want to start.

That’s where I would lead clients toward a workout that had some strength training, either through weight lifting or body weight or suspension training. A combination of that with some high intensity interval training. That’s a good place to start if you don’t already have a favorite type of exercise that’s working well for you.

Amy Medling:                    I’m curious. With your clients, do you find that because we tend to be high androgen women that we put on more muscle than women that you’ve coached without PCOS? We have to worry about bulking up.

Erika Volk:                           It’s kind of a two part question. This is really interesting to be because there’s not any research on this. This is just me speculating. I would say yeah. We do do a better job of acquiring muscle in some cases. I would say that that’s absolutely a fantastic thing. It’s like our secret superpower that we need to lean into.

Instead of looking at it as are you worried you’re going to bulk up, and we’ll touch on that in a second, I’m more thinking I have got this one thing that PCOS has given me, this ability to maybe recover faster from a strength workout. If I have more muscle, I know my insulin resistance and some of my other hormonal pictures improve. I need to capitalize on that. Let’s get sneak and use our superpowers.

To the question of bulking up, I’ve heard this a lot in internet threads and chat rooms. The thing is that even with out of control, high androgens, like worst case scenario for PCOS, you’re not really in a range which gets you close to being male. You don’t have a male level of testosterone in you.

What I think women worry about is they see these pictures of some competitive bodybuilders and strength trainers, both male and female. That is an extreme look. It’s not for everybody. I can understand if that’s not what you’re after.

Even with PCOS, even with high androgens, you won’t accidentally start looking like He-Man, or one of these women that’s a professional bodybuilder. It would be like saying I went for a jog and accidentally became an ultramarathon runner yesterday. It’s just not going to happen.

Having worked in a gym alongside fitness models and people who are career bodybuilders, even for me, as a personal trainer and fitness nut, the level of commitment and intensity to exercise that these people have to commit to to acquire those muscles, especially if they’re female, is so intense. It’s such an enormous undertaking. You could never create that physique on accident. So don’t worry about it.

Amy Medling:                    Don’t worry about it. I love how you framed it as our superpower. I do think that it takes some reframing. Having the higher level of androgens can be a real benefit.

There’s been studies that show that women with higher androgens are more decisive, better decision makers. They make better leaders. They take risks. They’re stronger. Like you said, you can recover from weight training quicker than someone without PCOS. We have to really embrace our superpowers. I love how you framed that.

Erika Volk:                           Totally. I love what you brought up about those studies in higher androgen women and their decisiveness. I came across some too, I think in a podcast. I think it might have been Freakonomics. I was so excited when I listened to that. I was like yes! Another reason to be proud of our PCOS, instead of ashamed or down about it.

Amy Medling:                    Yeah. I get this question a lot from women. I think that there’s a lot of us that, you had mentioned before, being athletes in high school or in college, partly because of the high androgens, we tend to be more competitive. Our athletic performance can be better.

There are a lot of women with PCOS who are athletes who are asking … “I have to train really hard. My PCOS symptoms are acting up.” Do you have any suggestions for women listening that are kind of in that place? Maybe they’re training for a marathon or in the midst of a lot of physical training. They’re noticing symptoms. Becoming exacerbated. Any tips for them?

Erika Volk:                           Yeah. The first thing I would say is, if you’re really training for an athletic event, that’s not the time to start cutting calories and dieting down. It’s not the time to start eating junk either. You want to eat clean. You want to nourish your body. Give it all the vitamins, nutrients, protein that it needs to support your goals.

If you are maybe training as a weekend warrior athlete, and you’re approaching time for you first marathon or maybe your cross fit games, whatever, PCOS, training that intensity and cutting back your calories significantly, it’s a recipe for hormonal disruption.

That would be my first thing. If you’re really serious about this, you might need to go do an individual consult with a nutritionist or nutrition coach to make sure you’ve got this right.

The other thing that I would point to is sleep. I can tell you right now, I have modified my exercise routine significantly because, with a four month old, my sleep quality is just not there. I’m not getting the eight hours I used to get before this baby was born.

Knowing that sleep causes problems with our insulin hormones, our reproductive hormones … Sleep deprivation. Excuse me. You don’t want to add onto that a really intense workout. You’re putting too much stress on your systems.

There’s a good amount of stress. The right amount of stress your body will recover from and will make you better and stronger. The wrong amount of stress, maybe by over-dieting, working out too hard, not getting enough sleep, it’s going to drown your hormones. It’s going to bottom them out.

Amy Medling:                    That’s great advice. I also wanted to ask you about the benefits of exercise for women with PCOS that are really dealing with mood related disorders. We know that anxiety and depression are significant symptoms for a lot of women with PCOS. Something that I deal with. How does exercise help combat those symptoms?

Erika Volk:                           Exercise stimulates the production of a lot of feel good hormones and neurochemicals in our brain. Things like serotonin peak. That’s a popular hormone that we hear about, people talk about.

You actual do get a natural high from working out. Also, let’s say you’re someone who experiences anxiety or you’re just kind of a worrisome person. That worry, that mental environment that you put yourself in, it stimulates the production of cortisol hormones and other adrenal hormones.

By working out, you actually sort of flush those out of your body and you start anew. You have to remember: our brain is actually part of our body. It’s just an organ. It’s communicating and interacting with every other organ in our body. What’s going on in our brain, our thoughts, they do influence our organs.

In this case, you’re talking your adrenals. You’re producing a lot of cortisone because you’re worried. Our bodies are older machines. When they sense cortisone spikes and worry, they think we need to run from a mountain lion, not double down on our to-do list.

By doing what your body is inclined to do naturally, exert itself physically, run away from that mountain lion, you can kind of get a nice evening out of your anxiety. Of course, there’s limits to what that can do. Of course, you should see a professional if you’re really struggling with clinical anxiety or depression.

Especially working out outside, Amy. I think the Japanese call it “tree bathing.” Just going outside is therapeutic. If you can do exercise outside, you’re kind of amplifying the effect.

Amy Medling:                    I’ve had kind of a high anxiety time. My oldest son is having some heath issues. We’re waiting on a diagnosis. Your mind goes lots of different places. I said to my son we’re going to go drive an hour to the beach. Just get those positive ions from the ocean. Just walk barefoot on the beach.

There is something so healing about nature. We both felt so much better after exercising but being out in nature and connected to the Earth. I think they call it “earthing.” It’s that similar concept as the forest bathing or whatever. You do feel so much better out in nature. It definitely helped my mood and my anxiety levels.

Erika Volk:                           That was so wise of you. He’s lucky he had a mom who had that kind of perspective.

Amy Medling:                    It is kind of cool to share what I’ve learned along the way with my children, especially my daughter. She has a high percentage chance of inheriting my PCOS genes. I’m hoping that those genes don’t express themselves in the same way that they did for me when I was young and eating lots of high, simple carbohydrate foods.

Anyway, now you’re a new mom. You’re suffering from the sleep deprivation. You had mentioned that you have to shift the way that you’re treating your body and expectations that you have for exercise. I’d love for you to take us back to during your pregnancy. How did your exercise routine change? Then, again, postpartum? Walk us through that.

Erika Volk:                           Sure. I’d love to. This is so fresh in my mind.

I think the first I would say over-archingly is to avoid all or nothing thinking. That’s where you think “If I can’t work out or eat exactly the way I used to when I wasn’t pregnant or taking care of an infant then I shouldn’t do it at all.” Let’s throw the baby out with the bathwater so to speak.

That’s a really natural and normal thought process that we have as humans. It’s completely flawed thinking. We all get ourselves in that trap. So it’s to manage your expectations and to avoid all or nothing thinking.

Starting at the beginning of my pregnancy, in the first trimester, I got the infamous morning sickness and nausea. Nutritionally, this is a difficult time. I found this to be the case with a lot of women. All of the sudden I could not eat a vegetable or a lean protein to save my life. I thought I was going to die if I had to eat a piece of broccoli.

Then you’re stuck with “I can’t force myself to eat these things.” That’s going to give me a bad result. I’m also creating a life right now. The body needs the nutrition more than ever. So, I had to get really creative.

Your instinct is to eat dry carby food. So I started looking at the most nutrient dense carbohydrates and foods that I could tolerate eating. Instead of going straight for the package of saltine crackers, I thought why not try some toasted, sprouted whole grain bread, like Ezekiel Bread. Going for brown rice. Just plain brown rice or plain Quinoa. Even toasted chickpeas. Things where I got some protein and some plant nutrients and a lot of fiber. That’s all I could talk myself into eating.

Beyond the nutrition, with my workouts what I found is that my body hadn’t changed physically. Inside I felt very different, but I didn’t have a baby bump or anything for quite a while. I could do my workouts as planned. I just had a little friction talking myself into getting up out of bed and doing them in the morning.

So, I gave myself a lot of grace. I gave myself permission to skip workouts or just go for a walk instead. A lot of the times what I found is, if I could get into the gym and could do some version of what I’d already been doing, I felt better. I would have this magic window of about 90 minutes to 2 hours where I wasn’t nauseous.

I didn’t feel so pregnant. I could really get a lot done. That was golden time. I’d get that workout in and then I’d be off to my blog to write or do something.

Moving on, your second trimester, for most people, your energy comes back. The nausea goes away. You feel fantastic, but you’re a little bigger. I went off to the races with building strength, and in key areas.

When you are starting to put more weight on in the front of your body, it’s really important to strengthen up the muscles of your upper back in your glutes. You do have to change your core strengthening routine. You still can strengthen the deep muscles of your core. But laying down on your back to do crunches or get in a plank position no longer becomes beneficial when you have that watermelon size uterus pressing down on your abdominal muscles.

So, I did a lot of targeted strength training in my second trimester. When I moved into my later trimester, when I was just big, I found that it was more difficult for me to get in and out of the car at the gym than it was for me to actually workout.

I took my workouts at home. I did almost all body weight exercises. I didn’t have some sort of ingenious plan. I just made it a point to move. Also, to stretch my hips a lot. That’s important for birth. You want to have as much flexibility in your hips as possible.

That was the overview, a bird’s eye view of how I treated exercise during pregnancy. Did you have any questions about that? I just said a lot all at once.

Amy Medling:                    No. That was excellent. I love the fact that you said really allow yourself some grace, but pushing yourself enough to give it a try on the days that you might not feel so open to exercise. With my three, I had horrible morning sickness for 20 weeks.

Erika Volk:                           That’s a long time.

Amy Medling:                    I know. It was a long time. With my first one I was working. I had to leave work and take a leave because I couldn’t manage. I wonder if it has to do with women with PCOS and their blood sugar issues anyway. But I thought you gave great advice.

I’d love to hear how you felt like the exercise helped you through the birth and early recovery.

Erika Volk:                           Yeah! First of all, exercise is natural confidence builder. Especially if it’s the first time you’re giving birth, confidence is a good thing.

The overview of my birth story, my water broke while I was doing some prenatal yoga. We when off to the hospital. Nine hours later, with pretty much no intervention, I had a baby.

That’s about three hours shorter than the average, I think, for first time moms. That tracks with other research studies that I’ve read, that said that women that workout will have shorter labor. I should have led with that. If you’re pregnant, that is a motivator to keep working out: having a shorter labor.

Really, what I credit the shorter labor to is I was able to even during the contractions and the pain, get into better birthing positions because I had that physical strength. For the most part, I spent almost nine hours on my feet. I used gravity to help my baby get into the right position.

If you don’t have that lower body strength, it could definitely be more difficult to remain standing during the rigors of birth. During birth, it was very helpful. I felt more confident. I felt that I had prepared my body. I had done all I could do.

My recovery period for after having the baby, it went very well. I think I went into thinking that I was this personal trainer with all this experience. Yeah. Sure. Six weeks until I can get back into the gym. I’ll see you in three, and I’ll have already been benching my normal weight.

That was totally not what happened. Again, I didn’t hold myself to that standard. That’s just what I had imagined would happen. I gave myself compassion. I think about the first two weeks I didn’t work out at all. I started with walks outside with the stroller.

By six weeks, when my doctor gave me the all clear to go back to the gym, I went in and I did my first workout. I could really feel that my pelvic floor, the muscles connected to your core but in the lower part of your pelvis, it was not as strong as it used to be. I would feel a downward pressure when I did squats, even with a mild amount of weight.

I’m glad that I looked into postnatal training beforehand. I knew that that was a red flag. I checked my ego immediately and decided that I couldn’t go back to what I used to be doing. My first and most important priority was getting those pelvic floor muscles back in shape.

If you don’t get them back in shape, and you work out on top of them and you’re applying all this stress, you could end up with problems. You hear about bladder leakage. “I pee a little bit when I sneeze.” Things like that. I didn’t want to end up there just because I could not let go of my personal trainer ego.

It was through the help of a postnatal specialist. I joined a program called Core + Floor Restore by Jessie Mundell. It’s a real simple 10 minute a day workout that I committed to for eight weeks. At the end of that eight week period I felt great going back into my workouts.

Recovery has been really good. It’s interesting we’re talking about this today. I don’t weigh myself often but I got on the scale today. 12 weeks from birth I’m at my pre-pregnancy weight. I didn’t diet. I didn’t show up the first day like I thought I would and hit the gym. I gave myself compassion and followed my instincts in a lot of cases.

Amy Medling:                    That’s great advice. My first two pregnancies, I was not a Diva. I wasn’t living this lifestyle. My boys are big, my 17 year old is 6’9″. My 14 years old is 6’4″. They were big babies. They were over 10 lbs. I wonder if some of that was because of blood sugar.

My daughter was much smaller. I was able to get my body back earlier. But with the boys it took me nine months to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight. I think women there too need to give themselves some grace and know that it will take time, but you will get back there.

I think that your approach to making sure that you’re the best possible shape and have the strength to get through the birth. I think you probably are recovering so much faster than most women that didn’t plan it out to really take care of themselves in that way during pregnancy.

Erika Volk:                           Absolutely. Ounce of prevention, right? It’s a lot easier.

Also, I want to be really careful with saying things about pre-pregnancy weight, back to my pre-baby body. You could fit into your high school jeans the day after you give birth. If you don’t feel good, if you’re not healthy, if you don’t feel confident in your body, then what’s the point?

Amy Medling:                    Yeah. My body too has never been the same. Pre-pregnancy, before kids. It’s shifted and changed. Honestly, it’s a tribute to what I’ve done and have these three beautiful children. That’s okay. You have to make some peace with the fact that your body may never been what it was. There’s something so beautiful about being a mother.

Erika Volk:                           Yeah! If you really own it, you actually do feel a little bit sexier. I have this bump that I don’t think is ever going to go away. I don’t think my abs are ever going to be quite that tight again. But I feel more beautiful than ever before. I think I’m measuring myself with a different metric.

Amy Medling:                    I love that. So, Erika, we’ve had a great conversation. We covered so much in the time that we had. I do want you to let people know where they can find out more about your work.

I know that you have online programs. You can get a taste of what you offer in my Jumpstart program. I feel really honored that you developed that workout for ladies that are going through that seven day program. If women want to work with you, how can they find out more?

Erika Volk:                           You can go to my website. That’s Erika Volk. V-O-L-K. Actually, I should spell my whole name out. E-R-I-K-A V-O-L-K Fitness.com.

There you’ll find more information about the Fit Studio, which is my video-based workout program. That’s an entire year. It’s designed specifically for women with PCOS. It’s got very manageable 20 to 40 minutes workouts. You can find out more information there.

Once a year, I do offer coaching. If you get on my email list, you’ll be notified when my coaching program opens up. I also send out great information. At least I’d like to think so. I try to interview as many experts as I can and get information in the hands of women who don’t have the time to go out and Google search to the ends of the Earth for great PCOS information.

My email list is a great way to stay in touch with what I’m doing. Then I’m on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook as the PCOS Personal Trainer. You can follow me there.

Amy Medling:                    I was going to give your newsletter a shout out. You do put out some really great content.

Erika Volk:                           Thank you.

Amy Medling:                    You just interviewed Dr. Perloe, right?

Erika Volk:                           I’m always talking to Dr. Perloe because we’re kind of neighbors. I live in Atlanta too. So yeah! I interviewed him a while ago. He’s the best.

Amy Medling:                    Yeah. He is. If you’re looking for a good fertility doc, he’s a reproductive endocrinologist. What is it? Atlanta Georgia Reproductive Associates or something like that?

Erika Volk:                           I think he’s Shady Grove Fertility. I will have to look into it. He’s over in North Atlanta. I think if you’re in the southeast and within driving distance, he’s really good.

Amy Medling:                    He really is. Well, thank you so much for taking the time out of your day to talk to us. This is great information. I know you have lots of great info on your blog and social media. Thanks for all that you do for women with PCOS.

Erika Volk:                           Thank you! Thank you, Amy, for having me and for everything you do for PCOS. I think your website was like the first really helpful website I found when I got diagnosed.

Amy Medling:                    I know. There wasn’t much out there years ago, was there?

Erika Volk:                           You’re a pioneer.

Amy Medling:                    I know. Gosh. I feel so fortunate that we’ve made some great gains in PCOS awareness. Lots more resources if you’ve just been diagnosed.

Erika Volk:                           Absolutely. It’s a whole different world, I think, for women now.

Amy Medling:                    Yeah. Well, thank you. And thank everyone for listening. I look forward to being with you again soon.

PCOS Podcast 90 Mouth saying about health

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