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Local athlete with PCOS beating the odds

Indianapolis Ind. (WISH) – Keeping off the weight is hard for anybody – but because of a medical condition it’s even harder for one woman.

Ashley Kern says her message is that you never know exactly what someone else is going through.  For people who struggle with weight it can be obvious and for those people Kern is a good person to know.

Kern is a trainer and a fitness athlete.  She works out twice a day and is on a strict diet. Her friends call her the walking muscle. She competes on the national stage. And her lifestyle requires a lot of discipline. So she’s really good at motivating others.

She’s been motivating herself since she was 13 when she was diagnosed with PCOS plus insulin resistance.

“When we found out, I just had a skin tag,” said Kern.

A doctor diagnosed Ashely with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome also known as PCOS. Symptoms include feeling tired, hungry and it makes you gain weight fast.

“I think about food all the time and when I eat I just get hungrier,” said Ashley. “I’m not ever full so it’s hard all the time. If I were to just not eat right for a little bit I would gain weight instantly and it’s really hard to have to worry about that all the time.”

On the outside there was no way to tell Ashley was dealing with PCOS. Kern’s mom didn’t know what to do.

“I felt denial maybe,” said Tammy Kern. “Like wait a minute she’s like stick thin there’s no way she’ll be obese or gain weight. She’s always been stick thin.”

After Kern found out she said she had to decide to overcome it.

“At that point it was I just had to make a decision that this disease was going to overcome me and rule my life or I was going to overcome it,” says Kern.

She stays active and since her diagnosis continues to fight the disease by working out all the time. Kern understands the hard work pays off in the end.

“Without the disease I wouldn’t have such a passion for what I do ultimately I wouldn’t trade it for the world.”

PCOS will never go away but the focus and motivation it’s given Kern shows in everything she does.

“No matter what you have you can overcome it,” said Kern. “We all have the capabilities and the strength within us and there is no excuse to not reach your goals.

Kern says her next step is to go after her pro card so she can bring more awareness to PCOS.