The extent of my hormonal education growing up was basically being told (inadvertently) NOT to be a girl, because when I was a girl, it was a sign of weakness (which then transferred to not to being a woman and getting all emotional – BLAH). Being hormonal, showing my emotions was not ok, especially when I went to work at one of the top property companies in London working for a team of men.
“What’s wrong with you? You on your period or something”? Was a common catchphrase when heaven forbid I didn’t want to talk to anyone, was quiet or just not my normal bubbly self. The education just didn’t exist at that point on the extent of just how powerful our hormones are in regard to either inspiring our life or debilitating it. How do you support something you know nothing about and yet is everything that you are?
Learning how the body moves has inspired me into the work that I now do, learning various forms of massage from around the world as well as other holistic therapies, yoga and more recently the power of movement at Budokon University, Miami. Through the study of Martial Arts, Calisthenics, Animal Locomotion and Budokon Yoga, I learned how to strengthen my body. And by strengthening my body, my focus was taken even deeper within to my menstrual cycle.
My menstrual cycle was always a bit hit and miss. It started at 14 and then stopped, was never really consistent, and was always extremely painful. In hindsight, my menstrual cycle was a reflection of my life at the time, anxious, chaotic, full of drama, and because of all this, I was using alcohol and drugs as a source of escape. My life situation at the time was creating my emotional reaction to it because of the lack of options and choices I believed I had. Rewind to age 5 and I was suffering from terrible constipation, which still hinders me every now and then to date when I’m not paying attention. Through my recent studies, I’ve found out that constipation, along with irregular and painful periods, are a sign of estrogen dominance. When there is too much estrogen in your system it means your liver isn’t coping well enough to get that estrogen out of the body so it just starts piling up, creating symptoms we believe are normal.
And it’s these symptoms, generated by the hormonal chaos that’s going on inside, that stops you from achieving the healthy lifestyle you constantly strive for. When you’re giving too much hormonally, you have nothing to give physically, because mentally, you can’t make a balanced decision. You’re naturally trying to survive from yourself and the hormonal surplus running around inside of you.
But there’s a massive WHOOP WHOOP coming because we don’t have to suffer these ‘not normal’ symptoms. All it takes is the right choices from you and you’re on the road to a more natural lifestyle. Through my research I have learned to break down my cycle into 4 stages, which I have learned from Alexander Pope at the Red School and Lisa Visitti of Flo:
This is a time for you to say no to the world, a time to let go of the past month and not do. Most women find this so hard (myself included), but when we don’t relax and nurture ourselves we end up depleting ourselves for the up and coming month. We also find we suffer more from emotional addictions and painful menstruation. All of our hormones have reduced quite considerably, so to be social, work harder and exercise even harder is detrimental to your mental and physical state.
As the name implies, it’s when our new energy begins to rise. It’s a time for us to observe, get curious, with motivation and enthusiasm starting to rise. Let’s take a risk, learn something new and experiment. Estrogen is on the rise, but that doesn’t mean we use up all our energy. A steady rise to our glory is the way forward for this season. Dynamic yoga such as vinyasa and Budokon rocks Spring.
This is when we are at a peak! Energy is at its most powerful so we can run hard, play hard, communicate well and be the best version of ourselves. Communication and movement can be really powerful at this time as communication is easily executed. My running is at its best at this time and I love my martial arts.
I love this time, when I get to assess the month that has passed. What worked, what didn’t. It’s also a time I focus strongly on my strength training, because to be strong enough to sit in our menstruation and NOT do, let go and surrender, we need to be strong enough to do it. I like to practice callisthenics, mobility and yoga.
Through charting myself and my cycle, I now know why I’m feeling like I do at certain times and what I need to do to nurture myself. I’ve created a movement system for myself that supports the energy I have at that time, empowering it instead of depleting myself because I think I need to go on that run. And eating foods that support my hormones so that I’m not forcing myself out the door crying because I need to run because of what I’ve just eaten (which is all hormonally driven when we’re reacting to life instead of living it).
I’m making constructed, well thought out choices that support me physically, mentally and spiritually and the same is available to you. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy red wine and Christmas sees the enjoyment of many mince pies, but I know when is enough. I can say no, I’m not reacting to my hormones by drinking 3 bottles of wine. All you need is the best advice and support to get you on the road to rehabilitation and that started when you began reading this blog. If you’d like to get a better understanding of your cycle and improve your health and wellbeing, please get in touch to book a Lifestyle Coaching session. I’ll help you make those choices become easier and nurturing with every yes or no.
I’ve collated a little Lifestyle Coaching questionnaire that helped me understand my current hormonal state. If you would like to receive it, please drop me an email.
Wild Power by Alexander Pope
Womens Code by Lisa Visitti