"I truly believe that your growth is on the other side of fear. Face the fear and do it anyway. Let go of what is holding you back. Stop dreaming and start doing."
-Amy Medling, Founder of PCOS Diva
Can you give us a brief overview of what you do at PCOS Diva?
To give some background on what PCOS is; Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common endocrine disorders found in women, affecting approximately 10% of women worldwide, with less than 50% receiving a diagnosis. The syndrome is present throughout a woman’s lifespan from puberty through post-menopause and affects women of all races and ethnic groups. Women with PCOS wrestle with an array of possible symptoms, including excess weight or resistant weight loss, irregular menstrual cycles, infertility, depression, acne, and hair loss. Far-reaching health implications such as increased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and endometrial/uterine cancer, make these already stressful symptoms even more daunting.
PCOS Diva helps women along every step of their PCOS journey. It provides information and programs for managing PCOS through nutrition and lifestyle changes. As a Certified Health Coach and Founder of PCOS Diva, my mission is to help women reclaim their fertility, femininity, health, and happiness. PCOS Diva’s programs have helped thousands of women with PCOS learn how to make sustainable lifestyle changes and start feeling better naturally.
Tell me more about your career before starting your business?
I was a double major – marketing and art history in college at Fairfield University. I’d originally wanted to work either at an auction house or an ad agency, but after college I landed in the marketing department of a software company and spent 10 years in various marketing roles.
I left the full-time workforce when I had children and continued to freelance. I remember one day having a conversation with my sister. At the time I was considering going back to work in marketing on a part-time basis. She said, “Why don’t you pursue your love of nutrition instead?” It was an ‘aha’ moment! Later that week I attended a lecture and the speaker said, “Your purpose is there the world’s needs and your passion collides.” Joseph Campbell also said, “Follow your bliss” I realised that my bliss was health and wellness, and women with PCOS needed to hear my story. Carpe Diem! So literally the next day I enrolled in The Institute of Integrated Nutrition and began this journey.
What inspired you to start PCOS Diva?
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.
How did you manage building it alongside your full time career?
I began building PCOS Diva as a stay-at-home mom juggling three kids aged 9, 6 and 1 at the time. I was in school to become a health coach and blogging about what I had learned managing my PCOS. I think a huge part of my success with PCOS Diva is credited to being able to let go of my perfectionism tendencies. I call myself a “recovering perfectionist” so it hasn’t been easy! But I started seeing clients, created meal plans and an online program on the premise that “I am enough.” I don’t have to be perfect in order for my message to be heard or to help people. I just have to be good enough.
So don’t wait for everything to be perfect – because guess what – it never will be. Avoid procrastination and paralysis by making your mantra “I am enough.”
What’s been the biggest highlight?
Helping women move beyond the struggles of PCOS so they can live the life of their dreams – that is the biggest highlight for me. I often receive emails from clients who have been able to get pregnant when all other treatments failed, as a result of PCOS Diva.
What’s been the biggest challenge?
I truly try to live the lifestyle and philosophy that I preach. Being a Diva and finding time for me and making self-care a priority is a constant challenge. With a husband, three children and a thriving business, it is challenging to make sure I’m exercising, meal planning, cooking and eating clean whole food, drinking water, taking time for meditation and prayer and managing my stress. It isn’t easy but it’s worth it!
What advice would you give to other women who dream of starting their own business?
I truly believe that your growth is on the other side of fear. Face the fear and do it anyway. Let go of what is holding you back. Stop dreaming and start doing. As Lao Tzu said, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” What small actionable step can you take today to usher your dream into reality?
What’s next for you?
I’m excited to be offering my own line of PCOS Diva Protein powders, supplements and protein bars in the very near future. I’m also working to expand my online program offerings. I want to continue to inspire and lead women to transform their lives. I want to help women to know, accept and love themselves on all levels – mind, body and spirit and inspire them to focus on self-care, personal growth and self-awareness. We have the opportunity to create a life experience that is filled with peace, joy, passion and happiness. I want to model what author Marianne Williamson so eloquently says, “And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
What’s your favourite quote?
“Like the butterfly, I have the strength and faith to believe that in time I will emerge from my cocoon…transformed.”
I really love the butterfly as a symbol for PCOS. When you take time to patiently, persistently, and positively work on yourself, you absolutely can emerge transformed. I have seen women with PCOS journey through my programs and transform their lives.
Amy Medling is a certified Health Coach and founder of PCOS Diva. It is her life’s work to help women use their PCOS diagnosis to transform their lives and fulfil their goals. Amy is not “the” PCOS Diva. She is just one of thousands of women who have gained control of their PCOS and, in the process, found the life they have always wanted and deserved.
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