Make Your Hormones Work for You: what to do, when, in your cycle

Attention: This post is for women. (In case the use of the “h” and “c” words in the title didn’t already send the male readers {my dad and brother} fleeing for the countryside, metaphorically speaking.) I do imagine my husband is still reading, however…He is probably both amused/afraid of what he is going to read next in this scintillating article.

Well, here’s the thing, ladies (and Todd). In case you have not yet noticed, the female species is not actually a “static” creature, so to speak. It’s not so much a “put in x = get out y” sort of thing. More like a, “put in x = there is really no telling what will happen next” sort of thing. Makes life exciting. Or something.

Sometimes we are up, sometimes we are down. Sometimes we can conquer the world, sometimes we should just have a sundae and call it a day.

So I was thinking the other day. Wouldn’t it be brilliant to plan my activities around my menstrual cycle? (And with that, I send any remaining male readers dashing for the “back” button.)

But really ya’ll. It makes sense. I did a little research on the 28-day female cycle (which, obviously, wouldn’t necessarily apply to pregnant/nursing/menopausal women. But it’s still interesting.). And, here is what I’ve come up with. A week-by-week guideline for what to do when. You’re welcome.

In case you’re wondering when I become an OB-GYN in my spare time, oh, I didn’t. Isn’t the internet amazing? 😉 I’ve just become a semi– expert on the women’s cycle in my free time. Here is one of the articles I’ve used, to give you an idea. The basic premise is that there are three main phases in your cycle:  “Follicular phase” (begins first day of period, lasts for about two weeks),  the “ovulatory phase” (around day 14 of cycle), and the “luteal phase” (PMS). During these phases, estrogen rises and falls. Estrogen affects your energy, libido, appetite, extroversion, etc. etc.

So…without further ado, here’s how to make those hormones work for you!

So, week 1 (first day of period, to day 7)

  • what’s going on: rising estrogen levels. Once the crampiness subsides, you start feeling energetic and happy.
  • what to eat: healthier things. You have a smaller appetite, so go with that and do one of those dumb healthy cleanses or a Pinterest kale smoothie thingy.
  • what to do: work out, clean your house, schedule play dates or other social activities, do your budget or something else requiring your smart brain
  • what NOT to do: go shopping (because you’ll feel happy, impulsive, and skinner, thus buying more items)
  • what to wear: skinny jeans, tight little workout numbers you wore before you were a mom, etc. etc.

Week 2 (day 7-14)

  • what’s going on: Estrogen continues to rise until it peaks this week with ovulation
  • what to eat: more healthy foods
  • what to do: well, if you’re trying to get pregnant…then try to get pregnant. 🙂 Also, anything that might be physically painful, because apparently high estrogen masks pain. who knew.
  • what NOT to do: hang pictures, pick out paint, or get a new haircut. High estrogen makes you more easily stressed, let’s just avoid those potential stressful moments. 🙂

Week 3 (day 14-21)

  • what’s going on: “pre-PMS” symptoms. Estrogen plummets, so the moods level off and fatigue sets in.
  • what to eat: a lot! I always get really hungry during this time. Go with that. Foods that fill me up are beans, avocado, and chicken. Sounds like a good excuse to get a Grilled Stuffed Burrito from Taco Bell. Not that I would ever do that, except every Sunday.
  • what to do:  Watch your kids, from a couch, resting. 🙂 Read books to your kids. Take a small walk everyday, to get the sunshiny happiness in your life. Watch some weird bow-hunting video with your husband, because, heck, you might as well hang out and do nothing productive.
  • what NOT to do: try to analyze your health insurance, do your taxes, or anything requiring lots of concentrated thought.
  • what to wear: something comfortable.

Week 4 (day 22-28)

  • what’s going on: This is what is fondly referred to as “PMS.” Here is a post I wrote on that. All the hormones plunge, and so does everyone’s mood.
  • what to eat: You’ll want chocolate and potato chips. Actually, this isn’t the worst thing in the world. Foods that increase serotonin are not a bad idea.
  • what to do:  Have a conversation where you have to be assertive. You’re going to want to bite someone’s head off, so utilize that for good. Need to cancel your cable? Need to dispute a charge on your credit card? Go with that.
  • what NOT to do: meet someone for the first time you want to impress, try on bathing suits, go on a diet,
  • what to wear: two words: Yoga. Pants.

Was this helpful? Do you find yourself more hungry, tired, or happy at certain times?

2 thoughts on “Make Your Hormones Work for You: what to do, when, in your cycle

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