I’m three weeks into our very first Eating Empowered with PCOS group, and let me tell you - I love this group thing. I’ve run some nutrition coaching/conversation groups in the past, but to be honest - I was nervous about taking a group to a virtual platform. Would it feel the same as meeting in person? Would it feel as supportive to group members? Would this even be a thing people would like?
Today, I’m sharing a little bit about what it’s been like to run a virtual support group for PCOS & nutrition and announcing the dates for the June group!
What’s it really like to be in a virtual nutrition group (and what does that even mean?)
Here’s how I’d describe what we cover in the PCOS group: Two parts group nutrition coaching, three parts good conversation about living with PCOS and intuitive eating, one part me using 1,248 analogies & metaphors per session.
Group sessions are four weeks long and meet once per week for an hour. We use a Google video meeting (don’t worry, you don’t have to have a Gmail account!) to log on, because it also lets me screenshare to show a visual if it feels helpful. It’s also super easy to use - I send a calendar invite to all the members which automatically includes a link to the chat, so you just click on through and show up!
This group is about YOU, so we always start with chatting about any questions or thoughts members may have. I also hold a loose structure for topics we can cover based on questions I frequently receive in client sessions or on Instagram. We then explore some topics, answer questions, and share experiences for the hour and I share resources that may be helpful (handouts I use with clients, great podcast episodes, etc).
Is it weird to meet virtually?
I don’t think so! Because we use webcams, you can still see everyone’s faces which is so helpful to having a natural-feeling conversation. I was really worried that because of lag time, we’d end up talking about each other - but in actuality, members have ended up muting their microphone until they’d like to talk and since we can see those icons change on their screen, I always know when to pause and wait.
Another huge benefit is that everyone is in the comfort of their own homes - so there’s no commute time to a group and it helps the group feel more casual. I’ve given plenty of formal talks and certainly thing there’s a time and place for that vibe, but my goal for these groups is for everyone to feel comfortable chiming in and learning and I do think being at home can add to that!
What do we cover in the group?
Since the group “recipe” is about two parts nutrition coaching, I do have a general plan for some things to cover - there’s a lot of nutrition myths and pseudoscience out there & I want members to feel empowered in their understanding of PCOS and nutrition.
Here’s the rough outline we’ve followed for the May group:
How PCOS affects the metabolism & other body systems, physiological aspects of stress management & health promotion, restoring metabolism after chronic undereating
PCOS & insulin (how things are affected/potentially different with PCOS), insulin sensitivity, gentle nutrition for managing blood sugar
Intuitive eating & how to address “fear”/anxiety-provoking foods, carb cravings & PCOS
Movement/stress/sleep/self care, the state of evidence for supplements, and wrapping up any last questions!
How do I sign up?
The full information for the group, including how to save a spot, can be found on this page. I’m still navigating exactly how many members feel like the “right” number for these groups (virtual does change things a little and I want to make sure everyone has space and time to get what they need), but I do know that smaller groups feel better and things will stay on a first come, first serve basis for future groups - so if this resonates, don’t hesitate to sign up or email me with questions!