So You've got PMS
PMS is the worst! But did you know that you aren’t “destined” to suffer through your cycle every month?
It’s true- cramps, cravings, fatigue, and excessive bleeding are symptoms of a bigger issue and that issue is hormone imbalance. I mean think about it. Why would the female body be predisposed to such excruciating pain and torture from an evolutionary point of view? It makes no sense from the lens of science.
What I do know from my own experience and that of my clients is that when you pay attention, you’ll see that PMS suffering is a self-fulfilling prophecy for most women. Follow along…
You live a busy (some would say hectic) life of work, family obligations, and social life, taking short cuts in what you eat by Door Dashing BBQ more often that you should, eating lunch out most of the week, and “rewarding” yourself with cookies for surviving a tough day. This pattern becomes your habit, then you have a bad period, you’re tired and the cravings are unbearable so you order another dinner in, treat yourself to nachos for lunch, and stay up too late binging Bridgerton. The next month, you anticipate the cramps and fatigue so you prepare with your Ben & Jerry’s, que up your Netflix account and hunker down to survive the next few days. And on & on it goes.
But that doesn't have to be your monthly destiny. You can change your outcomes.
What the science tells us:
I’m not going to bore you with a bunch of geek-talk here, but there are a few things we know about PMS pain:
Cramps are worse when your diet is high in processed foods and sugars
Cravings are a result of undernourishment brought on by poor quality food
Fatigue comes from lack of movement compounded by poor sleep
See, your survival habits are feeding the very thing you are hoping to avoid. But not to worry, you can get back on track easily enough with a bit of mindfulness!
Here is your quick start plan to put an end to PMS suffering:
Don’t feed the beast. Instead of planning for a week of torture spend a few minutes prepping lean proteins and complex carbs (recipes like this) so that you have a healthy meal all ready and waiting with no effort. If you must indulge in sweets or order in, make it special and indulge in the experience, taking your time, watching your portion, and being intentional.
Fuel the job your body has today. Cravings are a sign that your hormones are out of balance and my many years of helping women through PMS have taught me that it’s usually one or more of these things:
Not enough fruits & veggies
Too few or no magnesium containing foods
Not enough healthy fats from fish, nuts, and seeds.
You aren’t fragile, just move. Sorry to be harsh, but the days of skipping PE because it's "your time of the month" are over my friend. TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) considers a rough period a sign of stagnation and how do you fix stagnation? You move to remove the blockage. Yoga is the perfect compliment to PMS because it’s low impact, not too sweaty, and restores more than it depletes your already tired body. Check out this new class: Yoga for cramps
Sleep it off. Lastly, set your Netflix alarm to 1 episode and end your screen time at least an hour before bed. Sticking to a dependable routine is the best cure for bad sleep. Curing bad sleep is the first step to better food choices, and better food choices lead to more fun doing fitness.
There you have it! A simple plan to get back on track, and after 1-2 months of consistent mindfulness you’ll see huge returns on your time investment.
I'm a big believer in making your own destiny, that's why I help women learn to improve the mind-body-spirit connection through mindful eating, yoga, and self-care. Your body is an amazing miracle that has the capacity to heal from the inside out when you give it the tools, awareness, and space to do so.
Craving some 1:1 time with me? Schedule a consult call.