Tarryn Poulton, a PCOS health coach and blogger, was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) at age 28. Her initial feelings of fear and confusion fueled her decision to change careers and become a health coach. Over the years, she has learned to manage PCOS. Here Tarryn shares 6 unexpected ways PCOS has affected her life for the better and fueled personal growth, making her thankful for her chronic condition and the challenges that come with it.
1. I am aware of how miraculous it is to get pregnant and have children.
Don’t misunderstand me… mothers are usually grateful for their children. But when you have PCOS, it’s always a fight to get pregnant, stay pregnant and deliver babies. When I was diagnosed with PCOS, I felt so lost and alone. My doctors didn’t give me much support or hope that I would get pregnant naturally. So after I took control of my health and got pregnant with PCOS naturally, the miracle becomes more evident. I have two children, and I am aware of how miraculous it is that I could conceive them, and then go on to have a healthy pregnancy and birth.
2. I learned to cook because of PCOS!
When I first got married, I had NO idea how to navigate a kitchen. My idea of cooking was boiling water for instant meals and boxed food. But after doing a lot of research on how to manage PCOS, I began making a lot of changes in how I eat. And that meant learning how to cook! Without PCOS to force me to learn to use healthy ingredients, I’d have likely lived off processed foods for the rest of my life. Now, I find joy in creating new recipes and enjoy cooking and eating my healthy recipes!
3. I understand how my body works.
I attended medical school and had a basic understanding of hormones and periods, but I never applied it to my own body. But managing PCOS has forced me to really monitor my body’s signals, and as a result I’m much more in tune with myself and aware of how I function. For example, I can sense changes in my body when I’ve eaten something I shouldn’t have. Let’s face it: I would never have been as mindful of all of this without PCOS.
4. I have a deep connection with others.
Many women can feel isolated when diagnosed with PCOS and learning how to manage their PCOS symptoms. I did too. However, after a lot of research and changes to what I ate, I knew I wanted to share what I had learned with other women struggling with PCOS. So, PCOS has provided me with a platform to connect with thousands of women from around the world. The experience of becoming a PCOS health coach and blogger has been incredibly satisfying.
5. I’m more empathetic than I was before being diagnosed.
Because of PCOS, I know what it’s like to live with a chronic medical condition. I know what it’s like to deal with an illness day in and day out. I know it can be a struggle trying to manage PCOS or any other health symptoms.
If I meet someone who has a chronic illness (even if it’s not PCOS), I am more understanding. We immediately have a common ground and a way to connect with each other through our individual struggles.
6. It’s made me more consistent
Before I was diagnosed with PCOS, I had a hard time with commitment. But managing my PCOS has forced me to be consistent with my eating habits and exercise regimen. I overhauled my lifestyle and I have to maintain it.
Having and managing PCOS isn’t something I’d ever want for anyone else, or my own children, but I am grateful for the changes it’s brought to my life. I’m stronger and I know how to fight for what I want now.
Learn more about Tarryn and her PCOS advice at her blog PCOS Diet Support!
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