The biggest game changer for my hormones
Poor health can limit the experience of your life. I see it happen all the time with women, especially around their cycle.
And if you do the calculations, each of us spend 7.5 YEARS with PMS (that typically crappy week before your period).
Yep. 7.5 years.
So you have to ask yourself: do you want to spend 7.5 years in pain, telling people to piss off and eating foods that make you feel even worse?
The What A Mouthful podcast is a really straightforward “how to” when it comes to achieving a healthy mind and body, and it lays everything out for you in really simple terms.
In each episode of the 21-episode series, I ask all of my guests the same question.
What’s the health hack that was a gamechanger for you?
And in the very first episode of the What A Mouthful podcast, I answered it myself.
Training to match my cycle.
I know there are plenty of you who started to follow me from the episode I did with Sarah & Kurt on the Health Code Daily. And what's amazing is that some listeners, even those in your 30s and 40s, have been telling me this:
“I can’t believe I am 30 and I have never thought once about my cycle and whether I should train differently based on it."
And, of course, it’s not your fault.
Most of the research over the decades have been on men…
…or women in the 1st half of their cycle…
…when they’re most like men.
But what's really important for you to know is that we have 4 distinct menstrual phases, which I split into 2 halves.
The first half of your cycle
This is when you’re most like a male in terms of what your hormones do for you. We’re generally the most energetic and we have the most masculine energy – and typically ‘society’ accepts us the most when we’re like this.
Men who have a good level of testosterone are very confident, motivated and driven.
Oestrogen can do that for us as women too. Mind you, we also have testosterone, but oestrogen can give us those qualities too.
The second half of your cycle
Here, we transition into more of a feminine energy.
This is our rest and recovery time where we should be listening to our body. We should be doing the yoga, the Pilates, the walking.
We should be cooking our food (as opposed to having it raw), making it super nutritious and having good family time.
It’s a beautifully perfect rhythm called the Infradian rhythm.
Our first clock is the 24-hour clock, it’s run by the sun.
Our second clock (which only women have) is the roughly 28-day clock, and it’s run by the moon.
While the first clock for men is the same as their hormonal clock, women have a different second clock that is often disregarded… like completely.
For example, let me ask you a question.
Has a personal trainer EVER asked you where you’re at in your cycle before going to smash you in a workout?
And if your answer is yes (which I highly doubt), do you feel they knew how to manipulate their session to work with your body vs against it?
Let me tell you, the knowledge in the health & fitness industry is limited, at best…
…and I’m on literally on a mission to help women understand this.
When I was an avid F45er back in 2014 I would think more is better and anything below 100% effort was unacceptable. I used to do doubles and leave nothing in the tank after a session… every time… regardless of where I was in my cycle…
…thinking this was the way to lose weight, right?
Well, as time went on I found it harder and harder to lose weight… even with enlisting help.
So after being VERY confused and devouring textbooks like it was my favourite past-time (which it now is) and I found that the missing link was the fact that nobody took into account my hormones, nor did I.
Once this clicked to me, I started to see a pattern.
And I would look at the women in the HIIT studios I worked in and could see it there too – strong AF but struggle to lose fat.
It was somewhat sustainable for the men but for the women, the more they trained, the more they burned themselves out and the less they were able to lose the fat which is the whole reason they went there in the first place.
What I have figured out was that my own journey with PCOS made so much more sense. When I look at these women and I understood stress.
Yes, calories matter. I’m a nutritionist, I program for calories, but I believe it’s just a reference range.
I understood that calories matter, but hormones matter more, specifically stress hormones, sex hormones, and brain hormones.
And so for me, learning how to train around my cycle was such a game changer for me…and that is really when I started FlowFit and The PCOS Project – and it’s all about showing women how to eat and train for their cycle.
And for those who do FlowFit or The PCOS Project, they'll understand exactly how to do it.
I feel very grateful to spend time bettering other people’s lives and working on my life’s mission, because I know how much it’s changed my own life.
Have a listen to the episode if you haven’t already. You’ll really enjoy it.