Bella (a pseudonym to protect her privacy) is diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and has been struggling with weight issues almost her whole life. She was also dependent on medication to stop her prolonged periods. She has tried countless programs and methods to improve her health and nothing worked for long. A successful and intelligent woman, she sees her health as her major failure.
"You know Dean, this is my last straw at trying to improve things. If it does not work at the end of the six months, I would be devastated."
We posed a few questions via WhatsApp to her at the end of the six month coaching with Dean and here is her reply without any edits.
1. What was going on in your life before working with me?
I was unmotivated and afraid to re-start my health journey after having failed many times. I wanted to be healthier, happier and improve the overall quality of my life.
2. Have you tried something else to solve your challenges? How did it go?
Yes, I used to rely on the power of workout and exercise because it felt like the easy way out. I wanted to be able to eat whatever I wanted to then work my ass off in the gym to burn the extra calories. I had a personal trainer and I saw some results in terms of weight loss, but something in my body didn’t feel quite right. I was feeling bloated, moody and I would miss my period occasionally. I got diagnosed with PCOS in early 2019 and I was advised by my gynaecologist to go on Keto. Because I was in between jobs back then I had the room to experiment with keto compliant recipes. I lost a significant amount of weight and my symptoms of PCOS reduced significantly. I soon realised that this diet was unsustainable because I had to use every ounce of will power in me to stick to it. I soon went back to my old ways and put on all the weight I had lost on a keto diet really quickly. Covid plagued us soon after and the circuit breaker exacerbated my already sedentary lifestyle leading me to put on an extra 10 kilos. I was the heaviest I have ever been in my life then weighing in at 102 kilos.
3. Were there any hesitations or concerns before making the decision to work with me?
I knew I wanted to make a change, but I was worried about making a monetary investment and not achieving results. I also didn’t another item on my long list of failures.
4. What made you choose to work with me instead of other coaches?
I was drawn to how she lived her life with zest and vitality. She somehow also made me feel that age is merely a number because she was more youthful and healthier than many young people I know (myself included). Dean was a very nice person to talk to and she definitely walked the talk. I also noticed that she wasn’t ashamed about her past health habits which were not ideal but was able to move past them and live amazingly now. It’s partly what I wanted for myself too - to want to try again and not be weighed down by my past failures at my health journey.
5. How was your experience during the sessions?
The sessions were tough for me initially as I had to confront past traumas that informed the health habits I have in the present. My past conditioning for the need to be perfect also made it hard for me to be vulnerable and play it all out because I was worried about failing again. We spent a good three months going back and forth about my fear of failure and I only started to really work on the habits consistently in the 4th month. Change does take time!
6. What three specific benefits did you gain from the sessions? What changed after working with me? What did you find as a result of this project?
Firstly, I learnt that I will not fail or fall off the grid and I must give myself the chance and space to change. Change does take time. Secondly, I learnt a lot about nutrition and how we are actually meant to eat. My sessions with dean made me unlearn and relearn a lot of the things I thought I knew about nutrition especially from school, the health promotion board, my family and my personal trainer. Thirdly, I feel a little more confident in my abilities to manage my PCOS and have strong foundational principals carry on with this journey.
I am definitely consuming a lot more vegetables now and have noticed a change in my bowel movements. I still struggle to appreciate the taste of vegetables but I actively seek them out and it has become a compulsory staple in my meals. My sleep has also improved significantly and I feel a lot more rested when I wake up in the morning. I definitely feel a lot more confident about myself and I am motivated to keep on going. Even when I am out, I actively seek out healthy places to buy my meals from. One of the things I am also pleased about is the amount of water I am drinking now!
(Bella also supplemented this question with a list of wins later..)
7. What type of person do you think would benefit most from my services?
I think somebody who feels like they will never ever be healthy no matter how much they try. My sessions with Dean has taught me that anybody and everybody can slowly change and work towards the life they want to have.
8. Would you recommend the session to others? If so, why? If you wanted to recommend me to a friend, what would you say?
Yes I would recommend the session to others, but only if they are ready to do the work. I would suggest to set a preliminary call to talk about goals and expectations etc first to determine suitability. I would say that Dean is an incredibly patient and hardworking coach who will try different ways and techniques to help her clients to achieve their goals. Dean is also very knowledgable on nutrition and health and is always head deep in research to think of new and innovative ways to make health and nutrition more accessible to her clients.
9. Have you recommended my services to anyone?
I have recommended your service to my cousin. She has your number.
10. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
11. Can I use the testimonial on my marketing? If yes, could you attach your preferred name or initials for me to use?
Yes you may! Please let me know if there is anything else you need. You can use the name “Bella” on the testimonial.
Thanks Dean for this journey. I appreciate you a lot <3
12. Btw, if we can make a list of non-scale lasting wins, what would that be for you after these 6 months?
Eating more vegetables
Drinking more water
Feeling less bloated
Happier and more confident
No more binge eating
Listen to body well to meet my needs
No longer use food as punishment or reward
Highly developed food industry awareness, not falling for food marketing tricks
Regular periods (3 months in a row)
i have one more important win to share, my period came and went normally this month despite the stressful month i had. i must be doing something right to regulate my stress and hormones (:
something weird has happened to me and i now crave for vegetables even though sometimes it still tastes weird 😂
We hope this sharing would provide hope and inspiration to those who need them. When you take a proactive role in your healing journey, amazing results awaits you. You are not defined by your past failures.
If you feel like you need some support in your healing journey and would like to book a complimentary consult with Dean, book her schedule here.
P/s If you don't know her yet, here's Dean amidst a waterfall of balloons :p
More About Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
PCOS is a condition in which the ovaries produce an abnormal amount of androgens. The condition is named as such due to the numerous small cysts (fluid-filled sacs) that form in the ovaries. However, not all women who is affected by this disorder develop cysts.
What are the symptoms of PCOS?
PCOS is a common hormone issue for women of childbearing age. In Singapore, one in 10 Singapore women are affected by it. Most struggle with the symptoms of PCOS which are widely varied. Some may experience missed, irregular or very light periods while others experienced prolonged periods and may need medication to stop the bleeding. Other symptoms include weight gain, excess hair growth, acne, ovaries that are large or have many cysts and infertility. Women with PCOS may be at higher risk for type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart problems, and endometrial cancer. PCOS may also run in families amongst sisters or mother and daughter.
What is the treatment for PCOS?
The exact cause of PCOS is unclear. Treatment is dependent on a a variety of factors such as age, severity and overall health. It is also dependent on whether you wish to become pregnant in the future.
Most medical professionals will prescribe medication for PCOS which does not serve as a cure but to reduce symptoms and prevent complications. Many women with PCOS have insulin resistance hence diabetes medication may also be dispensed. Other medications include medications to cause ovulation and birth control pills. However, medications may also come with certain risks such as ovarian hyper stimulation leading to abdominal bloating and pelvic pain.
A change in lifestyle including diet may help your body to use insulin more efficiently, lower blood glucose levels and help you ovulate. We advocate for a holistic relook at your emotional, mental, physical and social well-being so that you can sustain these lifestyle adjustments in the long term. You may wish to consider engaging a health coach to support you on your journey to achieve your breakthroughs.