Friday, May 18, 2012

Let's get real... about PMS.

Oh, this week... it's been a busy one! Between trying to fit in workouts when I can, spending time with my husband and son, keeping the house somewhat together, and work picking up for me substantially, I haven't had time to take a lunch most days much less type up this post {I've worked on the main part of it in spurts all week}.

Workouts this week:
Tuesday - 3.5 mile run
Wednesday - used my driveway as a torture device. We have a really, really steep driveway, so I quickly walked up and down it, holding a 35lb weight plate. I knew it would be challenging, but I didn't expect to be gushing sweat! I'll definitely be doing that again!
Thursday - 4 mile run, which felt great and really strong!

I had planned on doing a hill ride on my bike after work, but I had a rough day at work, my legs are still sore, and I have 9 miles planned for tomorrow morning - so I'm taking it easy and resting tonight.

Now for the meat of this post - a subject that has been on my mind lately. For all 5 or so of my readers, of which I don't believe any are male {aside from my husband - hi honey!}, I'm about to touch on a very girly subject - PMS. Don't worry - I'm not going to get all gross , I'm just going to talk about my personal {non-graphic} experience with it..

Since I've been trying to pay attention to my body and its wants and needs lately, I've really noticed that how I feel on any given day is largely influenced by where I am in my cycle {take note: I'm not on any type of hormonal BC, so my hormones are au naturale; for a point of refernce, right now my cycle is about 25-26 days long}.
Days 2-14 of my cycle {Day 1 being the first day of AF}, I feel super motivated and virtually unstoppable. I love everyone/my job, I want to be on top of everything, my house {and my brain} is neater, and I want/need/love to exercise! Controlling my food intake is much easier, and the cravings aren't really there.

Days 15-22, aka P -10 days, the bloat, hunger and fatigue beast arrives. I feel famished all the time, and I want carbs hardcore. I'm also insanely tired at this time, and my motivation to do anything is at an all-time low. I've noticed that even though I love my job and I'm so thankful to have it, this is the time during the month when I have a bad attitude about working and being a working mother. I would say that I feel slightly depressed during this time, but for no reason.

Days 23-25/26 are a lesser version of Days 15-22 {not as bloated/hungry/tired}, but the crankiness and crazy emotions that are all over the place at times are in full effect. It's crazy, but I actually look foward to AF coming because I know it will be a release from the hormonal rollercoaster. {Aside from Day 1, when I have the typical cramps and yucky feeling, I usually feel amazingly great during AF - see Days 2-14}.

Obviously, I have a classic case of PMS. According to this site, it's likely that I have PMDD, or premenstrual dysphoric disorder, which I first heard of from a couple girlfriends who are being treated for it. Treatment typically consists of taking anti-depressants for a week or two before AF {which was quickly suggested to me by the OB/GYN during my last annual, when all I did was tell her I was extremely tired ~10 days before AF - gotta love docs!}. While I respect some women's choice to get treated with drugs, I'm the type of person who doesn't even like to take Motrin for a headache... so anti-depressants are not really a choice for me. I've looked into more natural cures, and exercise seems to really help.

What does all this mean? While it would be easy to moan and groan about the fact that half of my life I'm not feeling 100%, I'm realizing that I need to learn to capitalize on the first two weeks of my cycle, when I feel at my best. This is the time of the month when I need to hit the exercise hard and focus on eating really well.

I have a naked 4-year old to get to bed now... I hope to post more this weekend, because I'm going to be super busy this week. We'll see!

How about you - do you ride the rollercoaster too? Love being a woman?

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