Parsley Health member Brienne Felicien shares her journey of getting to know her body from the inside out and finally getting pregnant.
I’ve always struggled with my weight, and I knew there were emotional things tied into it. I’d tried everything. I tried keto, I tried Paleo , I tried to be vegan… I had all these different supplements and protein powders that I was just collecting, but I didn’t know if anything was actually working. So I’d end up giving up.
Separately from my weight loss goals, my husband and I were having trouble getting pregnant. I had previously been diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome, but I didn’t want to let that stop me or make me feel like I immediately needed to go through a more invasive procedure to get pregnant.
I was feeling totally overwhelmed with my health because there is so much information online and everything contradicts everything else. When I heard a doctor from Parsley Health speak at an event I was attending, it really made sense to me—doctors trained in traditional medicine but who took a more holistic approach.
It seemed like the perfect combination, especially because I wanted to get a better idea of what was going on inside my own body. My father passed away from cancer and he was so healthy, until one day when he wasn’t and died three months later. He had no idea what was going on inside his body and that started to concern me.
Finally one day I decided, “I need help and I need to do this strategically, because clearly I don’t have the knowledge base to do this on my own.”
My first appointment with my Parsley Health doctor, Dr. Egler, was totally different than anything else I’d experienced before, even the room. You don’t sit on a piece of crinkly paper with a robe that doesn’t fit you. My doctor was really interested in not just what I was dealing with in the moment, but what my life had been like up to this point, what my history has been, my parents history. Since I’ve gotten to know him, it feels like we’re family.
I had an in-depth blood panel done and figured the results were going to come back and he would say that my heart was the age of a 70 year old and I was about to get arthritis, but I learned I was actually really healthy. I found out my vitamin D was really low and a few other things that were off so I was able to start supplements to adjust those levels. Those little tweaks were great. I feel empowered by knowing all of this and now that I understand my body more, I don’t let it stress me out.
Working with my health coach, Erica, has been so valuable. She has given me some great mental tools to be successful, which I use all the time. I work remotely, so I’m always in coffee shops, which can be really tempting. Erica taught me a strategy I can use to decide if I really want to go for a pastry or not, and when I do, how to not feel guilty.
In addition, there are all of the practical questions she helps with like, “Do you think I should have beans right now?” And what an appropriate weight loss goal and pace is. She’s helped me tweak my diet so I feel more successful, and I actually lost 10 pounds pretty quickly, before I even started an exercise plan.
By optimizing my diet, managing stress, and starting an exercise routine I was able to get pregnant without having to resort to more invasive and expensive methods. I actually told Erica and Dr. Egler before I even told my husband I was pregnant! I emailed them right away to ask them questions about what I should start and stop doing right away.
Now that I’m pregnant, my focus has shifted to the health of our baby and making sure I’m doing the right things. I email my health coach several times a week, even simple things like food safety and what exercise I can safely do during my pregnancy.
Having the support of my care team during my pregnancy has been so great, especially because my family and my husband’s family both live far away. Once the baby does come, I’m looking forward to being able to lean on my care team to help me recover, renew my weight loss goals, and continue my health journey.