Can you walk past?
How do you experience PMS? Not very festive I know, but hear me out…
So, we all experience it quite differently, bouts of anger, crying for the homeless and their three-legged dog or even the toilet paper puppy. Depression, sadness, irritability, the need to sleep, CRAVINGS, oh the cravings, more irritability and throw in more tears and you have a concoction of a fine mess and a pleasure to be around, NOT! Then we haven’t even started with how you feel in your body; bloated, tired, skin breakouts, oily hair, puffy, sweaty. Yes, all very sexy! (This may not apply to everyone and one month may be different to the next.)
Never mind how you feel, what about external factors that makes these symptoms worse? (And yes, believe it or not, they do have a BIG role to play) your lifestyle, stress, diet, exercise, toxins in your skin products and environment, to name a few.
When I crave fresh white bloomer with a ton of butter and Bovril, I know we’re in for a treat, but the next month I may be exhausted and need a nap for a few days before my auntie in her red car comes to visit or other months it’s the chocolate cravings that take over. (All of these include a nice dose of irrational, hyper emotional moments) Eye roll…..
We don’t talk about our cycles, period whatever you want to call it, but when you do, and you have someone to share it with it does lift the cloud of doom and gloom and you may realise you’re not alone.
Why do we fight against it? Why do we pretend it doesn’t exist, why do we soldier on regardless of our bodies screaming out that we need to stop, listen and take more care? We are women after all and its just part of who we are, but not a small part.
I was thinking about this, as it’s silly season and we’re surrounded by stuff that we SHOULD buy, things we SHOULDN’T eat and the reality of the female cycle. (Luckily, I never crave mince pies or Christmas pudding) BUT I do get this impulsive need to shop, it produces some sort of endorphin rush. I don’t spend hundreds and it’s not for designer handbags or shoes, but it’s irrational, on auto pilot and I can justify a new belt till the cows come home and just don’t stop to think about it.
So, here’s the thing, most of us only recognise ourselves again the minute auntie has arrived. We look back in retrospect and realise why we have been crying over spilt milk.
Similar situation when we eat on autopilot, without giving our food choices or physical needs half a thought. It’s so easy to look in hindsight what we should have or could’ve done.
What’s my point you may ask, or what does the one have to do with the other?
Preparation and new habits
Mental and physical preparation and KINDNESS.
In my experience and with the hundreds of clients I’ve seen, one of the first things that changes when we improve our diets to have better balanced blood sugar, sleep more, do a little more physical exercise and rest when rest is required, reduce alcohol and caffeine is (drum roll) PMS and also the severity of the actual period. Throw in a bit of self-care, fibre, me time and you may be pleasantly surprised.
Avoiding everything but air, a week before d-day is not going to make much difference, neither is practicing mindful eating when you’re tired, stressed or anxious. However, if a mindful approach is taken to food when you’re not feeling any of the above or when you adopt a lifestyle of having more fresh than processed food during the 21 or so days of not having your period, it’s much easier for THAT to become your autopilot when the doo doo hits the fan.
It’s a bit like preparing for a race/competition/speech, you practice so that under pressure, you are prepared and all you can do is your best.
Here’s a few questions to get you thinking as we’re heading straight in Silly Season head’s first.
- How will you implement being mindful around food and shopping around this time of year?
- What are your biggest challenges around food at this time?
- Assuming you were making more mindful choices around food in December, how will January be different for you?
- What is one thing you can do before your next period that will make a difference to your symptoms?
- What would happen if you did all these things mentioned (sleep, fibre etc) and accepted that you have a cycle, you don’t feel at your best, but that this too will pass? (That’s not the same as giving up)
I’ll leave you with this. It’s a crazy time of the year and unless you live on a farm in rural Africa you cannot help to be inundated with everything Christmas. Choose wisely, stay true to what you believe will make you happy, if you know from experience what the triggers are which stresses you out, avoid it or adopt some coping strategies. Most of all, have FUN and enjoy the otherness of what this season brings.
With nourishing wishes
PS. Do you think Santa worries about his weight?
If you’re tired of yo-yo dieting, ready to cultivate a nourishing relationship with food and your body and hungry to experience food freedom, I would love to hear from you.
Schedule your FREE 30 minute ‘Find your true hunger’ call with me today and get ready to make more room for the things you love without living in a food prison.