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Rising Stars: Meet Meredith Harris

Today we’d like to introduce you to Meredith Harris.

Hi Meredith, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
Hi! I’m Meredith. I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) ten years ago. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, PCOS is a condition that affects 6-12% of U.S. women of reproductive age. It’s one of the leading causes of infertility in women. And “more than half of women with PCOS develop type 2 diabetes by the age of 40”. (https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/basics/pcos.html) Some common symptoms are weight gain, acne, facial hair, infertility, hair loss, fatigue, and irregular/absent periods.

When I was diagnosed, I had irregular periods, facial hair, and my weight became an issue. A common recommendation for women with PCOS is to eat less and exercise more. So, I did that and over the years, my PCOS symptoms got worse. I gained 40 pounds in one year, my irregular periods disappeared, my facial hair was getting thicker, and I was tired and hungry all the time!

Fast forward to 2017, my husband and I started our #TTC (trying to conceive) journey. We immediately started working with a fertility specialist because I was told that the only way I could get pregnant was with medical interventions. So after two years and nine fertility treatments, we were able to get pregnant and in 2020, we gave birth to our sweet girl, Raven. Yes, we named Raven after the Baltimore Ravens football team!

After giving birth to Raven, I was already planning my next trip to see the fertility specialist because I didn’t want to wait another two years to get pregnant again. I never scheduled that appointment, because I realized something. I never actually gave my body a chance to get pregnant. Why? Because I didn’t trust my body. To be honest, how could I? On my road to motherhood, I read that women with PCOS were at a higher risk of miscarriage.

But at the same time, I also realized there had to be a way to balance my hormones naturally (with hopefully minimal medical intervention) so I could get pregnant naturally.

Later that year, I started my own PCOS healing journey and since then, I have been able to lose 30 lbs, get a regular period/cycle, have lasting energy (no more naps for me), and just feel more confident. I am still on my journey to get pregnant again, but I’m now trusting that my body can do it on its own!

I also opened a business to help other women with PCOS balance hormones by making simple nutrition and lifestyle changes. And the response has been amazing! I’ve been able to educate, empower, and lead women to a life that they love, even with PCOS! I understand that many women who can relate to my story have tried it all and even followed the recommendations to fight the symptoms.

So I created the PCOS Protocol that gives women with PCOS a better understanding of the condition so knowing how to eat and how to exercise is easy. I also added mindset strategies and helpful habits to keep women on track!

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
When I was diagnosed with PCOS, I was told to eat less and exercise more. My doctor also told me that I wouldn’t be able to get pregnant unless I did everything the doctor said. I felt lost and unheard by doctors because I felt that all of my doctors were only treating the symptoms and not my PCOS.

This formula of eating less and exercising more really didn’t work for me. I kept gaining weight and my symptoms have gotten worse. For most of my adult life, I dealt with many of the common symptoms of PCOS: irregular periods, weight gain, infertility, facial hair, and the fear of becoming diabetic. So I tried it all to treat my PCOS. I took medications, supplements, and did almost every exercise plan in the book, but nothing seemed to work! Acupuncture didn’t work either.

During my journey, I had to be the one to educate myself, while also battling low confidence, because – well, face it, I was growing a beard. I just didn’t feel feminine. I remember staying up at night, Googling how to lose weight, how to get rid of facial hair, how to get pregnant prevent diabetes, how to stop carb cravings, how to get more energy, which supplements to take – I mean, the list can go on and on!

And after I was able to get pregnant, I was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes in my first trimester, which is a condition that could negatively impact my health and my baby’s. Fortunately, I and the baby were safe and I gave birth to a sweet girl at 38 weeks! But six months after delivering Raven, I developed a thyroid condition, as well.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
Health and wellness for women with PCOS and other hormonal imbalances.

What sort of changes are you expecting over the next 5-10 years?
The global health coach market size was estimated at USD 14.48 billion in 2021 and is predicted to hit over USD 25.95 billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 6.7% during the forecast period 2022 to 2030. https://www.precedenceresearch.com/health-coach-market

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