Yes, I said living with it like it is a person. Like you need to be mindful of her presence. Like your Cycle will create havoc and panic in your life if you do not play by the rules, and the truth is she will! Your Cycle can be polite at best, or she can be a damn right asshole. We as girls start out on this lifelong journey without real knowledge of all the pain, the accidents, the surprise visits, the bloat weight, the missed cycle madness, and more. No one can prepare you for all the B.S your Cycle will cause in your life. The funny part is most of us believe the older we get the easier it will get, but the truth is… it could get worse. I started out like most women my age on birth control to control your cycle, which never worked and ended up pregnant with my first daughter on birth control. After I stopped around 27, I went through major acne, irregular cycles, super heavy, super light, and all the feels. I felt everything for the first time. I could tell when I was ovulating, when I was about to PMS, when the sore muscles would kick in, and of course the extra eating. For the first time in my life at 27 I was introduced to how my body actually worked, and how my Cycle was a real process that I should be completely involved in. So, I feel I need to share some info I have learned along the way that helped me to at least deal with all the ups and downs of being a woman and living with your Cycle.
Phases of your Cycle:
1. Menstrual Phase – Actually bleeding
2. Follicular Phase – Between the Bleeding and Ovulation, Low Estrogen
3. Ovulatory Phase – When your egg is released and ready to be fertilized.
4. Luteal Phase – Where PMS is at its highest point.
Each phase affects our bodies and lives differently. Think about how you feel when your actually on your menstrual cycle versus when your PMS’ing. So, know which phase you are in makes it easier to pen point what you should be doing. So, let’s break down how to mov around with each phase.
How to Move with your Cycle:
1. Menstrual cycle – REST! Be easy on your body. It is working hard. Maybe this is a great time to mediate or journal.
2. Follicular – Creative Task or Studying. Your brain power is at a high peek of retention.
3. Ovulatory – Communication time. Connect with people around you.
4. Luteal – Great time to organize your space and life.
So, you’re extra hungry, but it is a normal thing. Your body is doing extra work sometimes for no reward (the reward would be pregnancy, but we ain't doing that…lol) so helping your body recover helps you get back into the mix faster.
How to eat for your Cycle:
1. Menstrual – Nutrient Dense, Protein & Fats.
2. Follicular – Light foods, or steamed veggies
3. Ovulatory – Juices, Fruit, Smoothies
4. Luteal – Root Veggies, High fiber
Look, I am not saying change what you eat, I’m just suggesting maybe add some of these items into whatever you are enjoying. And after you eat all the yummies of course you will need to move around so here are some suggestions for the best way to move with your cycle.
Exercise for your Cycle:
1. Menstrual – Rest, Napping
2. Follicular – Cardio-Based Workouts (Dancing, Hooping, Running)
3. Ovulatory – Bootcamp madness. Go Hard!
4. Luteal – Yoga, Barre, Pilates
Your Cycle is here to stay unless you’ve already hit menopause or you have had some major injuries/illness, so living with it mindfully makes it a little easier when your about to lose your mind, and cry at the same time. It is hard to be a woman, and even harder when you feel like your body is attacking itself for no good reason, but it is only happening because we are the creators of the universe. We birth nations, raise communities, and do so much more all while leaking rivers, so don’t feel bad if you need to stay in bed for two or three days out the month… you deserve it, and your body will actually reward you for it.