HI, I'M ERIKA.
I’m a new mom, personal trainer, nutrition coach, world traveler, and happily married lady.
But thanks to PCOS, most of my adult life has been far from peachy keen.
This is my story.
It was the summer after college that PCOS hit me like a freight train.
It started with feelings of exhaustion and carb cravings. Then came sudden weight gain, followed by painful acne and months without a period.
My doctors chalked it up to stress from graduating and entering the workforce. This infuriated me. I felt like my legitimate concerns were being dismissed as the complaints of a stressed out young woman. I knew something was wrong, and it was terrifying. So I kept visiting new doctors and pressing for answers.
By the time I was diagnosed with PCOS that winter, I went from wearing a size six to a size fourteen in 7 months, my clear skin was covered in painful cystic acne, and at 23 years old, I had high cholesterol. Worst of all, I had lost myself. Anxiety, shame, and confusion were crushing me.
I did not think about my dreams for the future and I avoided going out with friends because I felt like a total mess. I was constantly worried about my health and spent most my time searching the web for answers.
A PCOS diagnosis gave me hope, but doctors were not much help in teaching me how to cope.
I had to figure out myself that exercise, diet, and healthier habits could make all of my symptoms much better.
I started back at the gym, educated myself about PCOS, and changed my diet. Instead of blaming myself for my out of control symptoms, I focused on the small daily habits that would help me lose weight, balance my hormones, and restore my confidence
It was a happy coincidence that I had always enjoyed fitness, and had even considered becoming a personal trainer years before my PCOS symptoms began. Four years after being diagnosed, I became a certified personal trainer and started working with all kinds of clients — from working moms to retired Navy SEALs. Things were going well at work, and my PCOS just kept getting better.
But this made me feel guilty.
I knew there were a lot of women struggling with PCOS the way I had. And I desperately wanted to do something about it.
I had decided to start blogging so I could reach more women who had PCOS like me. Blogging and personal training was fun, but I wanted to do more. So I decided to continue my education.
I took pre-med physiology and anatomy, became a certified nutrition coach, and took a second year of advanced nutrition coaching where I learned how to coach people facing health issues like hormonal imbalances, stress, and obesity. After completing my nutrition coach training, I accepted a competitive internship at Precision Nutrition where I learned from some of the world’s best nutrition coaches.
I sold my the personal training business I had built over the past five years and focused exclusively on coaching PCOS women.
Now I’m the PCOS Personal Trainer and I'm on a mission.
I believe that PCOS is taking up too much space in too many women’s lives. And that if these strong, hardworking, and capable women had better tools and a compassionate support system, they could start feeling awesome and in-control again. They could take back all that time and energy that PCOS was stealing from them and put it into their own lives, work, and passions.
This site is my basecamp for a mission that goes way beyond me, some fad diet, or a few quick tips for PCOS. I want you to feel like the best version of you again and learn for yourself that nothing can hold you back – not even PCOS!
I’d be honored to walk alongside you in your journey to becoming your own PCOS hero.
THE STRAIGHT FACTS
I started working out at age four. Seriously. My mom and I did Jane Fonda tapes together. And yes, I had leg warmers.
Colin is the love of my life. We got married on the beach in Malibu 2011. We traveled around the world and lived nomadically for three years. Colin and I would pick a country, book an Airbnb, and live there for a few weeks or a few months. So far, we have visited or lived in 23 different countries. Sri Lanka is the best place to hike, Thailand has the best food, Costa Rica has the nicest people, and Spain has the best wine.
In February 2018, I gave birth to our first child, Mac. Becoming parents has been our biggest adventure yet! I conceived naturally. You can read about that here.
These days we live just outside of Atlanta, Georgia.
My hobbies include dodging baby spit up, hiking, cooking (I’m really good) and learning Spanish (a work in progress).