—Katie Humphrey, 26, PCOS Wellness Coach and author of Freedom from PCOS, Ocala, Florida
"Before I knew what was wrong with me, my life was a nightmare, and I didn't feel like anyone could understand what I was going through. After dealing with an absent menstrual cycle, excessive weight gain in a short period of time, and a host of other side effects of hormonal imbalance like night sweats, irritability and severe PMS, I was finally diagnosed with PCOS two years ago."
"I follow a 'triple-threat' approach that includes exercise, nutrition and supplements. I do cardio intervals, steady-state cardio and strength training. I eat every three to four hours, and I always combine a protein and carbohydrate, which slows digestion so I feel full longer and my blood sugar levels stay steady. I also stay away from harmful foods like white sugar, flour and fried foods because they contribute to diabetes, insulin resistance and obesity—not to mention how few nutrients they offer for the amount of calories they have. I do allow myself to have treats, since deprivation only leads to future bingeing. I've also started taking a few supplements that target many of the symptoms of PCOS and reduce insulin resistance. I take chromium picolinate (one 500 mcg pill per day) and evening primrose oil (about 1,300 mg a day), which help me naturally reverse symptoms and allow my body to further balance its hormonal systems. After I overcame my PCOS symptoms, I reconnected with my fiancé and we married three months later (we just celebrated our two-year anniversary). I quit my job and began working as a full-time wellness coach, traveled more, and I feel amazing in my body. There's nothing like the way I feel now, and it's what I stress to other women with PCOS—life can be different!"