THE POWER OF YOUR CYCLE
First things first, I am not a medical professional. Everything shared in this post is not a substitute for professional medical advice. This post is for information purpose only. Now that I have gotten what my lawyer told me to say out of the way let me get started. When you are done reading this post, please share it with everyone in your life so they can benefit from this as well.
Have you ever woken up one morning and everyone is getting on your last nerve? May be your husband said something, and you are upset, or your kids whining is a little bit whinier than usual? Or you wake up and you are simply happy for no reason, you wear your favorite outfit, your make up is on point; your eyes brows are popping, and the sky is just the perfect shade of blue. If you have experience either of these days you are not alone, you are like a every other woman out there. The culprit for both days are the hormones that are present in your body at the time. The average woman has a 28-day cycle, and it starts from the onset of the period. This can be divided into 4 weeks. I will go into details on what each week brings and how to harness the power of the hormones that are present in the body. Since I am not a medical Doctor I will explain these in terms that are easy to understand The 4 weeks of the cycle are categorized by phases Week 1 (Week of Period) Week 2 (Week leading to Ovulation) Week 3 (Week after Ovulation) Week 4 (Week of PMS Week) Week 1: Week of Period The onset of your period is the beginning of your cycle. If fertilization didn't occur during ovulation, you should get your period. There have been times when a woman might not get her period, if she is going trauma or a loss or the ultimate; she is pregnant. The average period is between 3 to 5 days. After experiencing PMS, the week prior, the beginning of the period is a relief as estrogen (the happy hormones) gradually returns to the body. Week 1 starts off slow, but you gain momentum as energy starts to flow due to the presence of estrogen.
What to do: Have a heating pad on hand, this will help with the cramps. Stay close to the bathroom because you will need to change your sanitary napkins a lot on day 1 and 2. Make plans for week 2 since that will be your most social week in your cycle.
What not to do: Plan vacation this week, there is nothing fun about having cramps on the beach. Also, wearing a swimsuit might be uncomfortable since you might be bloated Exercise: Weight training or Jogging. Since you are just getting your energy back is good to start of slow.
Week 2: Week leading to Ovulation This is the best week in the cycle. Period has ended, confidence is high. You are paying more attention to how you look so you are dressing up and using your favorite make up. You are chattier and would talk to whoever cares to listen. You are more social and are more likely to accept invitations to parties. Your mood is the best this week due to the combination of estrogen and testosterone. This is also the week when women won't turn their husbands away if he comes to do the horizontal dance ;) You are happier and mentally shaper, research shows that you are more creative this week than other weeks in your cycle. What to do: This is the perfect week to go on vacation, so if planning is something you are into you can plan your vacation around this time in your cycle. Also, week 2 is the best time to take pictures because you feel more attractive and confident. it is also the best time to negotiate a raise at work because high estrogen is making your more persuasive by boosting your confidence. This is the best time to get a dentist appointment as high estrogen will be blunting the pain sensation. What not to do: Buy a car or any major expense, due to the high estrogen in your body you can be easily swayed into paying more for a car than you want to; especially if you encounter a smooth-talking sales agent. The best time to make major financial decision is week 3 Exercise: HIIT or Weightlifting. This is an effective way to take advantage of the energy you have.
Week 3: After Ovulation
Do you know the feeling of going up a roller coaster? How the excitement builds up as the ride takes you to the top, that is how it feels in week 2. Well, week 3 is how you feel as the ride suddenly drops. Week 3 is what I like to call the chill week, you are mellow and chill with less energy like the prior week. This is the week where you can burn up to 30% more fat compared to other weeks, that should be enough motivation to workout. This is the time during your cycle that you will start to feel constipated due to the presence on progesterone, increasing the fiber in your diet can help combat this. You are also retaining water so if the scale goes up a couple of pounds overnight do not be alarmed. What to do: This is a suitable time to make major financial decisions as the excitement of week 2 has been reduced. With the calming effect of progesterone, you can make levelheaded decisions What not to do: This is not the week to be trying on new clothes or new hairstyles since confidence is lower compared to week 2. You are better sticking to what you know already looks good on you. Exercise: Running or walking. With energy being low now is not the time to be packing on the pounds to bench press. Walking is an effective way to get your body moving and not using a lot of energy Week 4: PMS Week This is the week where everything and everyone will get on your last nerve...lol. This week you might experience decreased energy, brain fog, increased mood swings and you will crave a lot of alone time. You are also more sleepy that usual, this is the time when my husband usually finds me sleeping in random corners around the house.... lol. This is also the week where you YOLO on your budget because you are not feeling your best and a little retail therapy might help, set some money aside for this week so you don't blow your budget. This is also the week where you will start having body aches and feeling fatigued. You will be craving everything from sweet to savory foods, treat yourself but try not to go overboard
What to do: Meditate and journaling have been an effective way to track how you are feeling. Also, give your loved ones a heads up so they don't think you are just being mean.
What not to do: Don't schedule a major event this week if you can since you will not be in chatty mood like week 2. If you already have an event, try and do some mood boosting exercise like dancing to give you a temporary boost before the event.
Exercise: Yoga, dancing and stretching. With all the aches and pains you are experiencing now is not the time to be running or doing any strenuous exercises. If you are still reading this, you are the real MVP, I know this is a lot of information to take in. I would suggest you start paying attention to your cycle if you haven't already. I have been tracking my cycle for the longest time and these are some of the ways that have been helpful for me.
Question of the day: What is one thing you swear by that helps during your time of the month. Please share in the comments below Until next time, remember, you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.