I had a reader request for advice on menstrual health and trust the body.
It’s a great topic because few of us were given a compassionate education about the facts:
- Yes you feel uncomfortable stuff
- Yes, weight fluctuations are normal
- It is important to slow down to listen to your body for what it needs to not have as many symptoms and to trust yourself if something doesn’t feel right
- We have to gain weight growing up to maintain a period
Let’s talk first about weight fluctuations.
The body is preparing for fertilization, so of course that bigger hunger you feel is to have fluid and fuel on board just in case that happens. Progesterone elicits this response because it is a hormone that “speeds up the furnace” per se, getting things ready.
It’s why we feel hungrier and is normal. And it’s also why dieters typically struggle at this point with cravings and food obsession more; the deficit is bigger and the body probably has had enough not getting the fuel it needs.
So those pants feeling a little tighter? Maybe we just wear more comfortable clothes trusting that this fluctuation will pass. Trying to change this actually won’t result in long term weight change; just suffering as the body fights to reclaim a more natural weight and energy balance.
If we can bring wisdom we can see that we can’t mentally over-ride this need; it just is.
I have two videos about all this here
As you know, I don’t give out nutrition advice without knowing someone and their story personally. But I do know (via research) that there are a couple of additive steps we can help the body with symptoms that come around during the month.
Because hunger is more (we talked about that in both Monday and Wednesday’s videos), we will need more overall fuel. But you might also experiment with foods such as pumpkin seeds, cottage cheese or turkey for example to boost your serotonin precursors to help with that blahness that can happen premenstrually.
Finally, make sure your Vitamin D status, calcium and magnesium status are good to help with nerve conduction and ability to rest.
Fiber and water help (of course be careful with fiber depending on your gut health status) may help some you with issues with constipation as well.
As you can see, attuned eating that is supportive is an additive process. It’s not about what you are doing wrong, but being curious about what is missing without obsession or judgement.
Would love to hear more from you. What helps you feel relatively less symptoms?
If you need help getting your nutrition without obsession on track, let me know.
To your peaceful eating,
PS: For more ways to learn:
Free training with examples of people break free from food and body worry; http://casestudies.tracybrownrd.com/1-landing-page
To chat about how to uncouple your specific food and body image concerns for freedom in your life: : https://www.tracybrownrd.com/get-started/
Audio series to regulate nervous health and stress with Intuitive Eating: http://bit.ly/audiomeditation