“The underlying mission of PCOS Diva, isn’t just to help women thrive with PCOS and reclaim their fertility, femininity, health, and happiness. It’s to help women move beyond the pain and struggle of PCOS, so they can live the life that they were meant to live, and do the work that they were meant to do in this world without PCOS holding them back.”
In this, my 100th PCOS Diva podcast, we turn the tables. My husband, Cliff Medling, interviews me about my 10-year journey with PCOS Diva. If you’ve ever been curious about how PCOS Diva began, what my typical day is like, or what’s coming next, listen in or read the transcript.
Mentioned in podcast:
- PCOS Diva/PCOS Challenge Confidence Grant
- PCOS Challenge
- Five Things to Know If Your Partner Has PCOS
- Healing PCOS
Amy Medling: Welcome to the PCOS Diva podcast. My name is Amy Medling. I’m a certified health coach and founder of PCOS Diva. My mission is to help women with PCOS find the tools and knowledge they need to take control of their PCOS, so they can regain their fertility, femininity, health, and happiness. Today’s PCOS Diva podcast is sponsored by the seven day Discover your PCOS Diva Jumpstart program. Jumpstart is the place to begin when you’re ready to commit to yourself and jump into your healing journey. Learn step by step how diet, lifestyle, and mindset changes can get you on the right path. You’ll be thrilled to feel your energy return, brain fog lift, acne begin to clear, and so much more. Visit pcosDiva.com/jumpstart for more information, and to get started today. If you haven’t already, make sure you check out pcosDiva.com. There I offer tons of great free information about PCOS, and how to develop your PCOS diet and lifestyle plan, so you can begin to thrive like a PCOS Diva. Look for me on iTunes, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram as well.
Hello, and welcome to the PCOS Diva podcast. This is really big episode for me. This is my 100th PCOS Diva podcast. It was a very big year last year. We launched a new website, of course the Healing PCOS book. The new evergreen jumpstart program, new supplements, and now the 100th podcast. And I’m just so grateful to everybody listening, and to all of the experts that have come on and shared their vast knowledge on different aspects of PCOS. I was trying to think about what I could do to shake things up a little bit for the 100th episode. And I thought I would sort of turn the tables. I’ve interviewed all of these experts for the podcast, but this time I thought it’d be kind of fun to have somebody interview me. And I was thinking who could do that? And I don’t think there’s anyone better than my husband Cliff, who has really been along with me every step of the way. You know I often think of him as my PCOS Divo. And he has changed his lifestyle right along with me, and reaps the benefits. But really supported me throughout this PCOS Diva journey.
And you might be familiar with Cliff and his great article that we posted several years ago. It’s called The Five Things To Know If Your Partner Has PCOS. It’s a husband’s perspective, and I’ll put that link in the show notes for you to read, because it’s really a great article for you and your partner. But without further ado, I would like to introduce my husband Cliff Medling to the PCOS Diva podcast.
Cliff Medling: Hello. I’m just asking the questions here, that’s all. It’s all about Amy. Congratulations. Happy to be here with you today and support you.
Amy Medling: Yeah. This really is kind of a big moment. When I was thinking about … I guess I never even thought of this as being a podcast series. I just really wanted to let women with PCOS have access to people who are out there really working on their behalf. And you know I started with some of the big PCOS researchers out there like Dr. Richard Legro from UPenn, and doctor Andrea Dunaif. But you know it’s really been a labor of love. I love doing this. I learn as much as all of you, interviewing these experts. I’m just so grateful that it’s resonated and now we’re at 100 episodes. So, today I just thought that Cliff could sort of just talk to me about being a woman that thrives with PCOS, and what does that mean? What does it mean to kind of bring your family along on the journey with you? We have three kids. When we stared PCOS Diva … I just actually posted a picture on Facebook for that aging challenge and realized, it was right after my daughter was born. That was back in 2009. So, this is our 10th year anniversary of PCOS Diva in August. And maybe that’s kind of a funny story to talk about, how we get the blog started.
Cliff Medling: That’s actually one of my questions.
Amy Medling: Oh, okay.
Cliff Medling: Maybe we’ll start there. And by the way these are not just my questions. Polled a lot of women that we know with PCOS and the questions that they have. So, these are not coming from me. Actually, question number two was, how did the PCOS Diva get started?
Amy Medling: Well, so when our boys were … They were little. They were like a baby. Rhett was pretty much just born. And Clay was three and a half. And I had to get back onto hormonal birth control. And I had taken Metformin to get pregnant with Rhett, and just felt horrible, and knew that I could never go back on that. And I just wasn’t able to get my body back on the birth control. And a mom of two tiny little guys, and I was tired all the time. And not just that new baby tired. I mean I could not get off the couch. I know there were days that you’d come home from work, and the kids … There were babies crying, and your wife was pretty much helpless, just so fatigued. And I knew that this isn’t the life that I wanted for myself. This wasn’t the life that I wanted for my family. I wanted to really try to take back control, but I didn’t know what to do. Especially because I couldn’t tolerate the drugs that the doctors were giving me.
So, I realized that I had to take things into my own hands. And actually found a really great naturopath doctor that helped me realize what my diet was doing. And back in those days we were on a real strict budget, and I was cooking a lot of pasta, and we were eating lots of potatoes, and rice, and carbs, and that was just not … I didn’t realize that that was making my PCOS symptoms worse. So, we really changed my diet and our family’s diet. And I started taking some supplements, and I started feeling better. In the midst of all of this I really started realizing that I needed to make sure my needs were met. I started de-stressing and taking more baths and time away to recharge my batteries. And I don’t know if you want to talk about that moment that you sort of called me a diva, called me out a restaurant saying that I was a diva.
Like how did you feel during this time and when I was really trying to advocate to put myself first?
Cliff Medling: Well, obviously I knew you before we had children, and you were an extremely energetic motivated person, and this wasn’t you. So, I knew something wasn’t right. So I was just on board to support you. You were the one doing the research and figuring everything out. So, I was just trying to support you. I had no idea. I had no medical … I’m not a doctor, wise about a medical condition. So, I was just trying to support you at that time. But yeah, but then you started taking care of yourself, you started feeling a lot better. And I think you like to … I have a different side of that story about the restaurant. But every time we went out to eat, you were acting like a diva. You were so particular about everything you ate, and I thought that was … Whereas I would just order … I’ll take number four please. And you wanted specific things. And what kind of butter is it? Is there sugar in the butter? This sort of thing. So, I started calling you a diva as a joke. Just joking around.
So when we decided to start the blog … Actually I can say we started the blog, because you weren’t as interested at first.
Amy Medling: Yeah, and I do want to say that I think this was a real key turning point for healing my body, and bringing it back into balance. Before I had children I had a great job. Something that I really loved doing. I got to travel a lot, and meet different people. And it was a fun exciting job. I decided to become a stay at home mom, which is one of the greatest gifts that I feel like I was able to give my family and my kids. But I was missing something. As I was learning about PCOS and learning what was helping my body heal, I started writing a little column for the … It’s now defunct, but it was the PCOS Association for their newsletter. And I really got a lot out of that. I loved the research. I was able to talk to doctors… interview them. I did book reviews. And you know my husband one day … Or go ahead Cliff-
Cliff Medling: Well honestly, you’re such a great writer, and you’re always, let’s be honest, a busy body, so I thought it would be a nice outlet for you. And you were also working with your OBGYN. She was sending you names of patients who she was diagnosing with PCOS and you were kind of talking them through it and telling them what you had learned. So, it was more of a personal one on one at that time. You know blogging wasn’t huge then, but it was really starting to build up. And being in marketing myself more of the technology sector, I blogged a bit, and I just thought it would be a good outlet for you. And you weren’t really crazy about the idea at first, but once you wrote a couple articles and you got some feedback from people on the internet it took off. So, yeah, I helped you design that first website which looks hideous now, but it was a start.
Amy Medling: No. And we called it PCOS Diva because … To get back to the original question, it’s because I was really acting like a diva. And I think you think of diva being sort of this negative thing, but in my mind, I really reframed it as something positive. I had to advocate for myself in order for me to heal. And part of that advocating was making sure that there were things in my life that brought me joy and pleasure, like writing. It was a side of myself that I had kind of repressed. As a mom you don’t do a ton of writing during the day. And I needed to get back to what I feel like was my gifts and my strengths, and my purpose here. And that brought me a lot of joy, and in that process I think brought a lot of healing to my body as well. So, thank you Cliff, for encouraging me back in August of 2009 to start the little WordPress blog that has now 10 years later I think … Gosh, I can’t even imagine how many articles that we’ve written. It’s got to be close to 500 I would think.
Cliff Medling: Well it’s been a great ride, and seeing you go from who you were, to having hard time coping with day to day, and seeing you along this journey, watching you along this journey, has been awesome for me to see. To see you grow, to see you become so healthy. You’re back to your energetic self. More energy than you ever had before. You’re taking care of us as a family. Myself, I definitely would have probably been eating fried foods on a daily basis if I was on my own. So, it’s been a joy to watch you and be a part of that.
Amy Medling: Oh, thanks for supporting me. And I really bring up that story of kind of finding my bliss again, and combining two things that I’ve always really loved. I loved writing, and I loved nutrition and cooking too. I mean three things. I remember after graduating college, really trying to convince my parents to let me go to cooking school, because I had decided I wanted to be a chef. And they’re like, no we just finished paying college, we’re not doing that. I think you have to listen to those little callings, things that sort of tug at your heart, or that you enjoy doing and do them. Yeah, I think women with PCOS, I’ve said this a lot, that we’re highly creative. And those that are suffering are repressing that creativity. So, go create and do what you feel like you’re being pulled and called to do. Because we all have a greater purpose, and we’re here to help one another. And I truly believe that the underlying mission of PCOS Diva, isn’t just to help women thrive with PCOS. I talk about reclaiming your fertility, femininity, health, and happiness. I really believe it’s to help women move beyond the pain and struggle of PCOS, so they can live the life that they were meant to live, and do the work that they were meant to do in this world without PCOS holding them back.
Because if all the women that are suffering with PCOS can truly become alive, and vibrant, and thrive, and use their creative gifts in this world, wow, we really have the power to change the world, I believe.
Cliff Medling: Excellent. I think we covered that topic. So, congratulations. I should have said this earlier. It has been a big year as you mentioned. You know the book, the new website, new courses, you’re constantly moving and pushing forward. 100th episode. You’ve been doing the podcast for six years. You have thousands of people listen every week. It’s amazing the numbers. So, it’s obviously resonating. So what keeps you motivated to keep producing new things and more podcasts? And how do you stay motivated during all this?
Amy Medling: Well, you know I think it goes back to what we were just talking about, is that when you’re doing the work that you were meant to do in this world … And I really believe. I mean it’s crazy how through suffering … And you know I was really suffering with PCOS. But out of that came something so redemptive, and something so good out of that. Which is PCOS Diva and my mission. And honestly, it’s just like an internal motivation. I love what I do. And I love getting up and looking at the new research every morning, and talking to new voices out there. Whether it’s a doctor, or a coach, or a patient with PCOS, and kind of moving the conversation forward. That’s what makes me feel alive, and gets me going. So it’s just sort of an internal motivation.
Cliff Medling: That’s great. I see it firsthand. People probably don’t see how often you go to events. You’re constantly learning new information. You’re constantly reading books about health and wellness. And so, I see this all the time-
Amy Medling: I know. Whenever he sees FedEx show up on the doorstep with a new book or product, he’s like here we go.
Cliff Medling: It’s constantly. She’s a fast reader though. So, what’s been the most exciting part of this process? In the business and in your wellness or healing.
Amy Medling: That’s a good question.
Cliff Medling: Maybe the book?
Amy Medling: And I don’t have these questions, so you’re really hitting me with them. The most rewarding thing. I live in a small town here in New Hampshire. It’s right over the Massachusetts border. You know I’ve grown up in New England. And to be able through technology now, through the podcast, through the website, to reach women from all corners of the world that email me and tell me that PCOS Diva is helping them, there’s something just so rewarding about that. And it just makes me so happy that little me here in Nashua, New Hampshire can have such an impact with women in all ends of the world.
Cliff Medling: I think it’s important that when you first decided to really devote your time to this, I said “Well let’s do a webinar.” So your first webinar we set forth … I think it was sugar cravings. And you had 750 people sign up. And we were like wow, there’s a lot of people who are looking for this information. So, that was kind of a kickoff, if we could say that.
Cliff Medling: So next question, what are you most excited about for the future of PCOS? For the business, for research in PCOS, what’s the future?
Amy Medling: Well, I’m just so excited that women are talking about it. And that we’re getting more coverage on mainstream media. There’s celebrities feeling comfortable enough to come out and say that they have PCOS. I know that in years past PCOS in the community … I know I had this conversation with Sasha Ottey at PCOS Challenge, that PCOS wasn’t sexy enough to talk about on The Today Show, or in mainstream media. And I think that that is changing in really the last couple years. So, that’s really exciting to me. So we can broaden the conversation. Which means that more awareness and more women will get diagnosed. I know many of you’ve heard me state that 50% of women are undiagnosed. You know I think we’re just scratching the surface on the different sort of phenotypes of PCOS. And I think we’re going to learn a lot more about that with genetics and precision medicine. Because PCOS is a syndrome, it sort of presents itself in a unique way for every woman. But I think as precision medicine becomes more mainstream, we’re going to be able to treat the individual better. I think that’s really exciting.
And you know I think that PCOS is now being introduced into the national conversation. PCOS Challenge has had a huge role to play with that. With PCOS advocacy day in 2017, was the first ever PCOS advocacy day on capitol hill, which I attended and will be going again in 2019. And I’ll tell you that was so exciting to be able to go and talk to our legislators, and really start this long slog forward to try to get more funding at the National Institutes of Health for more research for PCOS, and to make PCOS a national health priority. I think all of those efforts are kind of the future, and it’s going to help us move forward in a positive way.
Cliff Medling: Excellent. So my next question is, is what would you say to a woman who’s diagnosed? I just have to say this also. About every month or two, we go out somewhere. Like we were out for dinner over the holidays for your birthday I believe, to a nice restaurant. And one of the waitresses, the waitstaff came up, and talked to you and recognized you. And it happens every now and then. And it’s kind of fun, because we, myself and the kids know oh, she’s going to want to talk and help this person out. And so, we’ll find something else to do. But I know that’s exciting for you. In your world, you’re very well known. So, people are excited to see you, which is great. This question goes along with that. What do you say to a woman who’s first diagnosed? What’s the advice you give them?
Amy Medling: Well, I think it’s important to listen. I think women want to be listened to. So many times they’re feeling dismissed by their doctor. So, I think the first thing that’s so important is just to listen. To listen to their story. Everybody needs to tell their story. And if you’re listening, and you haven’t done that, I encourage you to send me an email. I’ll always listen. I always read my emails. And share your story. There’s some really cathartic about that. But also, I think it’s important for women to know that there’s just a tremendous amount of hope that you don’t have to be in this place of suffering. There’s so many different ways to feel better. You know I talk about so much of this on the podcast, and the blogs. And it’s really possible to feel better with PCOS, and to get to that core of what I want to do is move beyond the pain and struggle, so you can live the life you were meant to live. And certainly, if a woman’s been told that she’ll never get pregnant because of PCOS, that’s the first story that I want to change. That most women with PCOS can get pregnant, and there’s so many interventions that we can do to help women increase their fertility.
Cliff Medling: I know you love those stories, when women say the doctors have done this, and this, and this. And you get emailed and say, “I’ve been following your plan for two months, three months, six months, and I’m pregnant”, and they send you pictures of the baby, and you shed a tear every time still. So, that’s great. I love hearing those as well. It’s a lot more positive feedback than I get in my job. So, what is the hardest part of living like a PCOS Diva at the start and now? I could probably answer that one for you. But what is your-
Amy Medling: Oh no, tell me-
Cliff Medling: No, no, no, no, I couldn’t do it as eloquently as you can.
Amy Medling: Well, I mean I think it’s thinking about all of the things that you’ll have to give up. I remember that being very hard for me, when I was told I can’t have carbs, which is really not true. But I was sort of told I can’t have carbs, you can’t have gluten, you can’t have dairy. And I thought, oh my gosh, what am I going to do about ice cream? Can I ever have a piece of pizza again? And I think it’s that like grieving that loss was the hardest thing for me. But then I realized that it honestly doesn’t have to be that way. It’s not about … And I say this diet, deprivation, and denial. You know it’s about reframing it, so you’re really adding lots of delicious, healthy food into your diet, nutrient rich food, that makes you feel better. So when you start eating better, you kind of forget about all the stuff that you’re missing, because you realize that that was the kind of food that made you feel so crappy. But I think for me, when I was first starting out, that was the hardest thing. Thinking about all the things that I would have to give up.
And I can tell you that you can still have your ice cream. Maybe it’s with coconut milk, or almond, or cashew milk, or with some more unrefined sweetener. I know we’ve … Gosh, we bought a lot of different kitchen utensils over the years. We have a Cuisinart ice cream maker.
Cliff Medling: This is true.
Amy Medling: I know I just ordered … I don’t know if you’ll be seeing that FedEx package come in. But I’m excited about it. It’s a Staub, I think that’s the name brand, vertical chicken roaster, and it’s made out of enameled cast iron. And you just put your chicken on, you kind of skewer it, and then you can put all your vegetables underneath. A couple of people have told me, it’s like the way to do chicken. It’s really easy to clean up. But finding these like fun interesting kitchen gadgets. The InstaPot of course. Lots of different tools to make this lifestyle easier.
Cliff Medling: Good. The next two questions somewhat go together. What is your ideal day, and what is your typical day? So let’s start with what is your ideal day?
Amy Medling: Well, I think anyone who’s read Healing PCOS or has participated in the Jumpstart program, kind of knows what my ideal day is because that’s what-
Cliff Medling: Starts with sleeping in. Just kidding.
Amy Medling: That’s what I’ve laid out. And speaking of sleeping in, you know I talk about getting up early. You know for me it’s like before the kids get out, when they were little, you know they’d get up, that I have time. But now my high schooler, he’s got to be out of bed at 5:45. Well, it’s hard to get up at 5 a.m. to have time. But I’m still able to kind of be up with him, not earlier, but still find some time for me. So, it’s about taking the ideal day, and just making the best choices you can in the moment. And realizing that it doesn’t have to be perfect every time. But I guess my ideal day would be probably getting up and having my warm water and lemon. That’s how I start every day. And having some time to read something inspirational. Right now I’m reading 100 Days to Brave, by Annie Downs. And it’s over there. It’s You Can Be A Daily Badass or something like that. It’s like the daily reflections from Jen Sincero of you can be a badass.
And then I love Ann Voskamp. Now I can’t think of the name of her book. But her books are really inspirational to me. So finding something inspirational, positive to start my day, and not start my day by looking at email.
Cliff Medling: And I just want to add that I know she always sends these inspirational quotes, but she doesn’t just send them on her Instagram and Facebook page. She sends those to us and messages to her kids, and positive reinforcement. It’s constant around here. So, we say that we’ve just been health coached around here. We’re constantly being health coached. It’s not just all of you. So, she’s always sending these positive messages. Which sometimes we roll our eyes, but sometimes they’re the exact message we need to hear at that moment. So, what is your typical day?
Amy Medling: No, so let me just finish the ideal day. So you know you have that time. You know I’ve been really experimenting with intermittent fasting. And so kind of increasing the window of when I stop eating at dinner time, ‘til the next morning. So, it depends. I might go take a shower and do my dry brushing, or a sugar scrub, or something good for me. And then I will have breakfast, which right now it’s pretty cold in New Hampshire, so I tend to do more warm breakfasts rather than the smoothies. So, some type of like warm porridge. I really love … Trader Joe’s has like a nice seeded oatmeal, with lots of different nuts and seeds in it. Or you can make your own. I have the recipe for it in my book. And then I get the kids off to school, and then I spend some time doing my work, which brings a lot of joy to me. Then I usually go to Pure Barre, which is my favorite type of exercise at noon and have lunch when I get home. I usually have a snack of some nuts and a small piece of fruit before I go to Pure Barre.
Amy Medling: And I’ll do a little bit more work, and then it’s basically the kids get home from school, and I start the dinner prep. And we pretty much eat in most weekdays. I usually make you take me out one night on the weekend, just for a break. And so we have dinner, and homework, and kids activities. And then I really try to get off screens. My computer, TV, phone, by 8:00. And I really enjoy just reading in bed. I might do some stretches before bed and then reading. So, that’s kind of like my ideal day. But it doesn’t always go that way. I don’t always get to Pure Barre, I don’t always get three great meals. Sometimes it’s like eating on the go.
Cliff Medling: There’s always healthy snacks in her car, always nuts and stuff.
Amy Medling: Yeah. GoMacro bars, I have those in my purse. But I think it’s just important to just … It’s not always going to be perfect, and things are going to go awry, but just to plan for that. We usually have some quick and easy meals ready. You know, soups in the freezer, or something to throw together. A quick stir fry. So if we can’t cook a really elaborate meal or whatever, there’s something quick and the kids know how to do that too. You have to go with the flow, but be prepared with, sort of your ideal stuff. And I always keep a book on my Kindle or something inspirational on Audible. If I don’t have that time in the morning to sit and reflect, I’ll have that time waiting to pick up our daughter at school, or going grocery shopping. So, you fit it in where you can, but you just try to keep fitting it in I guess.
Cliff Medling: Exactly. Well said. You get this question a lot. I know when you run a poll, you mentioned you get this question. It’s hard for a lot of women to get family friends on board. If they want to try to change their lifestyle, it’s hard because it’s hard to change yours when everybody else is eating pizza. So, how do you get your family and friends on board for healthy eating, lifestyle, and the self-care?
Amy Medling: Honestly, I want to turn that question on you. How did I get you on board? How did I get the kids on board?
Cliff Medling: Well, I’m a lousy cook, and you’re a really good cook. So, I don’t think I had an option. I think it took you some time to get us on board. I love to eat. But I think you have the gift, and with your meal plans of knowing how to make healthy food taste good. I think that’s definitely a gift. And that’s what you shared with your meal plans.
Amy Medling: The other thing that was important is, as I mentioned our boys were really small when I was kind of going through this initial phase of the journey, and changing up what we ate. And I remember really bringing them along, like with education. And trying to teach them like why we … I remember guacamole for some reason. When my oldest son was in third or fourth grade, he did like a little project in February. It was kind of like a science project. And we ended up doing like a heart healthy avocado, like guacamole. And I went in and taught the kids in his class how to make guacamole with like five ingredients. You know his friends still talk about that to this day. And I actually brought in roasted cauliflower too, to these kids. And I had mothers reaching out to me, like “What is your recipe? My kid never ate a vegetable before. They’re raving about your cauliflower.”
Amy Medling: But I think it’s just realizing that kids, a lot of times they’ll kind of meet you where you’re at. That they have a capacity to change more than we do. And don’t be afraid to talk to them about the health benefits and what bad food is … Or not bad, I don’t like to label good or bad. But food that’s not optimal is doing to their body.
Cliff Medling: As they’re athletes, you’ve taught them it’s important to eat right. Yeah, definitely.
Amy Medling: And honestly, I feel like it’s one of the biggest gifts that we could give our kids, is to teach them how to cook healthy food from scratch. And now we have a college freshman who’s on campus before this … We’re recording this in January, and campus hasn’t opened up. The cafeterias haven’t opened up, but he’s there for basketball in a dorm room, with a kitchen down the hall. And he’s preparing food for himself, which is really great.
Cliff Medling: Yeah. I think it was easier to convert the kids than it was me.
Amy Medling: Yeah. That’s true.
Cliff Medling: And I have to mention that presentation you did. Was it third grade or something? So he was all on board about healthy eating, and teaching his friends at school about it. His presentation was called The Sad Truth About a Happy Meal. I’ll never forget that.
Amy Medling: I know. Yeah, I think just talking to your friends. And when it came to my friends, I remember when the kids were little, in our neighborhood there was probably a dozen moms, were all about the same school age kids, young kids. And we had a bunco group, and it was kind of the running joke that by 8:30 … It would start at seven. But by 8:30, I would be … This is when I was really suffering. I would be exhausted. And I would be kind of flakey. I was having brain fog, but that’s because I was eating all the sugar and carbs, and drinking wine and stuff that was really aggravating my PCOS. And when I started realizing that I couldn’t eat the gluten, and I couldn’t drink the wine, that it really affected my blood sugar. You know they realized that … You know when I started talking to them about PCOS, and what that meant for me, and what the lifestyle changes meant, but then they saw me change. They saw that I could actually stay up ‘til 10:00 now. And I could engage, and I wasn’t flakey anymore. And they saw the difference, and I actually feel like I have inspired a lot of my friends and women around me to look at their choices too, and what they’re eating, and how they’re living.
And I’ve been fortunate, my friends have been very supportive. But I think it’s important to talk about it, and not stay silent or feel like it’s something that you need to keep secret.
Cliff Medling: That’s good advice. You may have already talked about this one. How do you balance kids, company, and managing PCOS?
Amy Medling: I don’t know. I mean it’s not easy, I’ll tell you that. And you have to really think of what your priorities are. But my priority always has to be myself. Because if my cup isn’t full, then I can’t serve my family, and I certainly can’t serve women with PCOS. And I truly believe it’s so important to walk the walk. You know I can’t write about my ideal day in my book, and not at least try for it every day. It’s not going to be perfect, but there’s something about integrity, and that’s so important to me. And I want to make sure that I’m walking the walk. So, I think it all begins with me and my self-care, and then my family, my kids, and PCOS Diva, sort of in that order. And that’s what helps me to keep everything balanced.
Cliff Medling: Let’s be honest. You could be doing other things. You could probably make more money elsewhere, but you’re dedicated to PCOS Diva. Why is that? What makes you constantly driven? I guess we’ve covered that before.
Amy Medling: Yeah. I mean it’s just like this innate, God-given drive I guess to just continue moving forward with … And I’m excited because I have a brand new program coming out in conjunction with a wonderful naturopath that I had the privilege of meeting. And we’re going to be doing something together on digestion, and a new mini course is coming out this winter about helping improve your digestion. That’s like the next big initiative, and I have other mini courses planned, you know to help women with PCOS. So, I keep moving forward. There’s lots to do, lots more work to do.
Cliff Medling: That brings us to last question. So, what really inspired the PCOS Diva PCOS Challenge Confidence Grant?
Amy Medling: Well first of all, for those that don’t know about the PCOS Diva PCOS Challenge Confidence Grant. PCOS Challenge is a wonderful nonprofit organization for advocacy for PCOS. And I’ve already mentioned them in the podcast today in regards to advocacy day on capitol hill, and Sasha Ottey, I mentioned her as well. And she’s the founder of PCOS Challenge. Well she and I sort of came together with this idea of funding a grant for women with PCOS, who struggle with excess hair, hirsutism or acne, who cannot afford treatment. And I have endowed this grant with a portion of the proceeds from PCOS Diva supplement sales for the last, gosh I think this is the fourth year of the Confidence Grant. So we give out a series of $500 grants in the spring and the fall, and you have to apply for those through PCOS Challenge. And they have an independent sort of group, like committee that selects the recipients. I’m not involved in that.
But I think the inspiration for that was that after I came off the birth control pill … So, the birth control pill for me really suppressed androgens. And it helped with hair loss and the hirsutism. So, when I came off of that my androgen levels really spiked, and I ended up with a lot of hair loss, and a tremendous amount for me, of hirsutism. Especially like under my chin. And I could not afford laser hair removal, which I desperately needed at that time. And my sister was just kind enough to loan me the money, so that I could go get that. And I’ll tell you that having that laser hair removal … It was expensive, but it changed my life. I mean I was so self-conscious about it. I was up at the crack of dawn plucking, so nobody knew that I had this. It felt very shameful for me. And it was disrupting my life. And it was like I had all of this mental energy to put towards more positive things that I couldn’t, because I was so focused on this facial hair.
Amy Medling: So that was just such a huge step forward for me, to have that done. That I wanted to share that with other women. And now I’m able to do that through the PCOS Confidence Grant. So, I encourage anyone listening that kind of feels the same way, that same place that I was in, that can’t afford … I know it’s like $500 and up for a series of treatments. To please apply for the confidence grants. I’d love to get you the help that you need.
Cliff Medling: That’s awesome. Well that’s all the questions I had. But you’re always giving great messages of hope and gratitude, so why don’t you maybe close out with a positive-
Amy Medling: Oh gosh.
Cliff Medling: I know I’m putting you on the spot here aren’t I? Positive message for women. I mean you’ve done so many positive things, I know you get so many positive messages, but if there’s other messages you’d like to leave this podcast with.
Amy Medling: Well, first off, I just want to thank you for everybody listening and supporting my work over the last 10 years. I’m very grateful to be able to do what I love to do. I really encourage women to move … There’s a lot of … I think so many of us are overcome by fear in life. Fear of different things. And I’ve had to learn to feel the fear, and move forward anyway. And you know that book that I just mentioned earlier, The 100 Days of Brave, it’s a great resource if you have a lot of fear-based thinking to move beyond fear and do it anyway. I don’t think that I could do what I do, writing a book, interviewing all of these esteemed experts that can be really intimidating sometimes, if I could not feel the fear and do it anyway. You know starting a blog, and growing it to where it is today. If I couldn’t move through the fear, and to keep moving forward.
And so, I think that’s the message that I want to encourage you, is that that’s part of life’s experience, to feel fear. But don’t let it paralyze you. You know, just keep moving one small step at a time forward. And obviously I always mention that there’s so much hope for women with PCOS, and that you can feel better. But that might mean advocating for yourself at the doctor’s office, and asking for a test. Demanding a test that they don’t do. Or talking to your family about how you need more time for you. And all of those conversations can be sort of fearful. But you need to feel it and move forward anyway.
Cliff Medling: That was good stuff. This was fun.
Amy Medling: Well thank you Cliff. I appreciate you interviewing me. It was fun. And thank you everyone for listening, and I look forward to another 100 blog episodes, I mean podcast episodes. And I hope that it doesn’t take me another six years to do that.
Cliff Medling: Probably not.
Amy Medling: Well, thanks again for listening, and I look forward to being with you again very soon.
Well that wraps up our podcast today. Thank you so much for joining us on the PCOS Diva podcast. I hope you enjoyed it. And if you liked this episode remember to subscribe to PCOS Diva on iTunes, or wherever else you might be listening to this show. And if you have a minute, please leave me a quick review on iTunes because I love to hear from you. If you think someone else might benefit from this free podcast, please take a minute to share it with a friend or family member, so she can benefit from it too. And don’t forget to sign-up for my free weekly newsletter. Just enter your email at PCOSDiva.com to get instant access, and make sure you never miss a future podcast. This is Amy Medling, wishing you good health. Bye-bye.