I discovered Rosie on instagram and instantly connected with her story and her infectious upbeat and soulful attitude.
My own personal adrenal fatigue and PCOS symptoms started 15 years ago, but I kept the dialogue and my symptoms private, just between the 'practioner' and me. There wasn't a platform to share on social media back then. So I felt very alone with these accumulating symptoms. Over this long personal healing journey, I have learnt how important it is to take the lead of your wellness journey, and to be-your-own-healer like Rosie and so many other Wellness Warriors I'm inspired by.
Our stars aligned and we actually met in person in Bali a few weeks ago, which was such a buzz. I asked her a bunch of questions about her own Wellness journey...
As a fellow PCOS and Adrenal Fatigue sufferer I can very much align with your story, when did you first experience your symptoms ? and how did they affect your intense training lifestyle as a dancer, pilates instructor and PT ?
I first noticed some symptoms of PCOS in 2015, though at that time I had no idea what PCOS even was! It was looking back over some holiday photos that I first noticed I had lost a significant amount of hair from around my temples. Fast forward about 6 months and suddenly my cycle completely changed, before disappearing altogether and I had long, painful and at-times embarrassing bouts of cystic acne. My mood was plummeting and my energy levels seemed to disappear overnight. I was diagnosed with PCOS toward the end of 2016 and shortly after with Adrenal Fatigue.
My schedule had always been busy – from group sessions, to training my PT clients, to fitting in my own workouts or dance classes – and at the time I was also living in inner city London, which not only was stressing out my inherent nature loving Australian body, but was adding on some hectic commute times. I was tired beyond belief, making my way through classes by fuelling up on coffee (worst idea ever for the adrenals!), and dragging myself home with a worn out, exhausted body every night, only to not be able to sleep as I had a buzzing, tired but wired mind (classic Adrenal Fatigue!)
The stress and symptoms was causing chronic inflammation in my body, I would commonly get swollen joints after training, my digestion was seemingly beyond repair and my skin was constantly breaking out. This was all compounded by the very real emotional aspect that exists with hormonal imbalances – I was battling with severe anxiety and dipping into some hard depressions. It was a real struggle and I was battling the fact that I was living the supposed dream “healthy” lifestyle and aiming to inspire all of my clients – but my own energy made me feel like no inspiration at all! However, I kept pushing myself, until I reached the point that my body just gave out and I couldn’t get myself out of bed anymore.
I immediately had to dial back my training and my work schedule. I swapped out all of my High Intensity sessions or any cardio over 30 minutes and added in nourishing Yoga practices, core-conditioning Pilates and leisurely long walks, alongside a whole lot of forced resting and nap times (which doesn’t come easy to a naturally active human!). Slowly with a lot of care, rest, nourishing and help from a team of incredible alternative practitioners I’ve manage to begin to reverse my symptoms over the past year and am feeling a world away from that major crash!
How important is mindfulness to you ? What techniques do you apply to help #findyourslow ?
I strongly believe in developing your intuitive connection to the body and exploring a mindfulness practice. It helps to keep me grounded, holds my anxiety at bay and keeps me focused and recharged in the present moment. I’ve practiced numerous forms of meditation over many years now and like to move between styles depending on where my mind is at that day – be it a guided practice, a silent stillness or even a Yoga Nidra (Yogic sleep). I also love to employ movement techniques as a mindfulness practice to strengthen the mind-body connection. Practices such as Pilates or Yoga, which demand the attention and concentration of the mind to focus on the breath or the activation of specific muscles cultivate a strong mindful connection.
I often will also work with different mantras or intentions, whether that be a simple affirmation I read to myself in the morning, or a single word that I use repetitively when I get a chance to take some slow, deep breaths (even better if I have some aromatherapy oils on hand to enhance the experience), I like to be able to focus my mind on the vibrations of the words!
I love your mini pilates workout video’s you post on insta, can you share with us your fave on-the-go series we can do while travelling or tight on time ?
I am obsessed with all things booty! So it would have to be this side lying series https://www.rosiehope.com/ready-set-sweat/bootylift-sidelying – it seriously hones in on all the areas you want to lift and plump up, PLUS it works under-utilised muscles that are SO necessary for so many of the actions we undertake everyday, such as walking, running or even standing for extended periods.
When I’m travelling I always try to make my workouts short but seriously effective and this is one of my fave HIIT series if you are in need of a good shakeout and sweat! https://www.rosiehope.com/guides/2017/2/6/travelfit-perth-full-body-workout
What are your favourite foods, herbs or adaptogens do you use to balance your PCOS and Adrenal Fatigue symptoms ?
I adore experimenting with Adaptogens ! So far my fave is Ashwaganha – I find that it really helps stabilise and balance me out. To help with my version of PCOS I must be careful to control my Insulin Resistance, so my major hack is cinnamon on EVERYTHING – especially on my roasted sweet potato! I also love Collagen and Silica supplements to help heal the gut, which is really important in healing both PCOS and Adrenal Fatigue, and I’ve had some great success with both!
Do you have any go-to wellness websites & resources you look at for your healing journey ?
I love browsing Mind Body Green, Well + Good, HBFit and Sporteluxe – they all cover a great cross range of wellness, lifestyle and fitness. For all things hormones I always revert to Alissa Vitti - she is a fountain of knowledge and has practical lifestyle tips that you can implement straight away!
Finally what are your fave pieces from The Slow Mode, why do they resonate
with you ?
I adore the Anxiety Set from the Courtney and The Babes botanical apothecary collection ! Aromatherapy is one of the best hacks to help transform your mind and body and this pack is additionally packed out with the healing powers of crystals, so its double transformational!! The notes in the chill pill are some of my favourite essential oils, perfect for easing an anxious mood and the deep sleep is filled with the most soothing tones to send you off to dreamland! It seems simple, but the practice of applying the oils is an invaluable self-care ritual that really makes a difference to your overall wellness levels. It’s an easy way to give yourself a little more love and TLC, which we all need to do in our current ‘beyond busy’ lifestyles!
You can view the full Courtney and the Babes range on The Slow Mode here
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