At the beginning of this week I was feeling like many of us do at the start of a new goal. I was full of excitement and dreaming of the possibilities.
The program seemed fool proof. I just have to walk more, follow an intermittent fasting protocol I have done in the past, and eat gut-friendly foods.
By the second day the reality settled in. The second day. Talk about feeling defeated.
As you can see from the image, Monday stadted strong but as the days went by my step count declined. I found myself laying in bed feeling like I really couldn't get up, and this was better for me. This wasn't the only thing going through my mind though.
In my last post I mentioned that I had 2 weeks until my next period. Well... that was false. I am in the final few days before my next period.
If you know me, you know that I do a lot of research. If I feel a new feeling, or find a new weakness, or experience a certain food sensitivity, I then obsess over it. Last year when I had some serious hormonal issues, I did a deep dive into all things menstrual cycle and female hormones. In this research I discovered that in those 5-10 days before a period, the body and mind will naturally want to nest. It is a time of organizing and preparing the body for the period.
So as soon as I realized that I was mistaken about what time of the month it was for me, I realized that what my body would crave most is nesting. So I gave myself permission to nest. When I found the energy I would go for walks and get fresh air. And something amazing happened.
Listening to the nesting instinct
Instead of forcing myself to work really hard and push through those nesting feelings, I took each day slowly. I got done only what I needed to get done, and the rest of my time was spent feeling cozy.
I think I mentioned this in my last post, but the Thursday before each period is typically a crazy day for me. It feels like someone else has control of my body and thoughts and there's no rescuing me.
Well this week was very different. Although I felt low energy and tired Monday - Wednesday, by Thursday I actually felt really energetic. I went to the gym and had a great workout. I made myself really great food. I got a lot of work done. I had the energy to be social and to be pleasant while I was being social (not to say I am ever unpleasant, but I felt like I could give more of myself to my friends).
As I write this (Friday) I am feeling very energetic and positive.
The simple act of listening to my body has rewarded me with a much more steady approach to my period. My cravings also aren't out of control. With that said I did have a few cravings on Tuesday night, which I gave into, but since then my appetite has been pretty steady.
Week 1 Progress
Okay so despite some of the setbacks, there has been progress this week. I have already mentioned the general progress in my mental and emotional stability, but there are other areas of progres I want to touch on.
I am going to get this one out of the way first. When I was in Dubai last week I was 69.5kgs. When I weighed myself on Thursday I was 69kgs. So I have seen a drop of 0.5kgs in a week. Not only is this healthy, but it also aligns with my theory that keeping stress levels low should help reduce inflammation in the body, thereby reducing some of the retained water in the body. If you look at my progress photos below you'll also see a slight de-puffing of the body.
This one is really important for me to manage. I have had hormonal acne once and I really do not want to go back to that. With what I have been eating - ie. reducing processed carbohydrate intake and increasing healthy fat intake and water - the little allergy-like bumps on my forehead and cheeks should have gone away. I also should have seen a mild pre-period breakout.
The little bumps on my forehead and cheeks have definitely gone down. Unfortunately I do not have a picture from earlier this week, but here is my skin this morning. Some breakouts on the chin, but other than that, my skin has really improved in just a week's time.
The final metric I mentioned in the last blog was my mood. Again, ahead of my period I typically get quite moody and even slip into a depressed-like state of mind.
As I mentioned before, I typically have a crazy day about 5 days out from my period. That has not happened this week. Although I felt slow and fatigued Monday-Wednesday, I handled that by listening to my body and not going overboard with my surrender to cravings.
So I'd say that so far this program is working well for my mood. I usually have this feeling of "What do I need to do next??? SHould I be DoIng MoRe?!?!? I nEed to GeT thIs DoNE Now!!".
Those tried to cross my mind a few times this week, but I just reminded myself that this month is about reducing and managing stress. So chill out - everything will get done that needs to get done.
With this week's data, I am adjusting my goals slightly. Before I started this program I was getting an average of 8,000 steps a day. So to essentially double that is a pretty far reach. I know that setting realistic goals is key to achieving them. So I am adjusting my goals. Instead of 15,000 everyday, my fitbit is set to a goal of 10,000 steps a day. Just 2,000 steps more than more average.
On Mondays and Fridays - the days I usually have the most motivation to do stuff - I will aim to go above 10,000, but if I only hit 10,000 steps, that's still great.
I am sticking with my intermittent fasting and 1 day/week of strength training.
Next week when I have my period I will likely feel a little run down and depleted, so I'll make sure I am including a lot of healthy fats and proteins into my diet, with room for carbs high in soluble fibers. That should keep my mood steady and energy high.
Looking forward to reporting back on this next week!
Do something good for your body today!
Riri's Discoveries blog documents Riri's discoveries as she develops her skills as a marketer, and finds new and sustainable ways to stay healthy.