My Holistic Journey: Cycle Syncing My Hormones
Over the past year, I have moved to a new city, started my first big girl job and been in love in a long distance relationship. All of this has been a huge adjustment from college life, let alone for my hormones. Six months ago, I began to notice that I was overly stressed and constantly anxious. My stomach was bloated and I was gaining weight. I started to have back pain, fatigue and trouble sleeping. My acne was terrible and I would have cysts all over my chin and forehead. I knew something was wrong, so I immediately booked an appointment at my doctor’s office and with my Gynecologist. Due to my anxiety, I began to Google all of my symptoms. I would spend hours researching what was wrong with me. I even convinced myself that I had Endometriosis or PCOS. I was a wreck. What’s Going on With my Hormones? When I arrived at the Gynecologist, she recommended checking my hormonal levels and having an ultrasound to ensure everything was okay. I was freaking out the day of my ultrasound and even more of a mess when the nurse called to tell me I had a cyst on my ovary. She tried to explain to me how a cyst was completely normal and how almost every girl gets at least one cyst in her lifetime. But to me, it was a sign of a bigger issue. After meeting with my Gynecologist, she thought the best solution for me was to be on the pill. I disagreed. This is when I made the decision to meet with a Naturopath to find a holistic and natural solution to controlling my anxiety and stress and regulate my hormones. Hormonal Panel After a full hormonal panel, my Naturopath was able to determine that I had higher levels of Testosterone which could be one of the causes of my acne, ovarian cyst, weight gain, anxiety and irregular blood sugar levels. I was also on the lower spectrum of my Magnesium levels. This deficiency could be why I was constantly tired and anxious. Luckily, my cortisol levels were at a good range for someone my age but the DHEA from my adrenal glands were on the higher side. DHEA controls the sex hormones (Estrogen, Progesterone and Testosterone) and is cause adrenal fatigue. My Naturopath told me that this could be due to the stress I was under. She finally let me know that my body was Estrogen dominant. So instead of Progesterone, my body made higher levels of Estrogen during my ovulation and menstruation phases. This could be the reason why I was bloated, suffering from mood swings, suffering from weight gain and a sluggish metabolism. All of the sudden everything made sense. The cysts on my chin were due to the issue with gynecological and digestive systems. I was feeling My whole endocrine system was out of whack and was unbalancing my hormones. So my Naturopath prescribed a specific diet, lifestyle and supplements to add to my routine to help balance my hormonal levels. Cycle Syncing with MyFlo When I began noticing the differences in my body, I downloaded the app, MyFlo, and began keeping track of all the symptoms I was having with my period. The app talked about something called Cycle Syncing. Intrigued, I began to do more research and purchased the book WomanCode. Alisa Vitti spoke about everything I was feeling and going through. The book focuses on your period and how to live a lifestyle, exercise and eat for each phase of your cycle. When I met with my Naturopath, she also highly recommended Cycle Syncing. The endocrine system is made up of a collection of glands that produce hormones that regulate metabolism, growth and development, tissue function, sexual function, reproduction, sleep, and mood, among other things. When this system is out of balance, you are only hurting yourself. Everything made sense and was exactly what I was missing in my sexual education. A woman’s hormonal system changes every week of her cycle. That means that your hormones are not the same every week of the month, so why should your workouts and food be? If you are running every day, lifting weights or not mixing up your routine and feeling tired, dealing with acne and bloating or other symptoms, I would talk to your doctor about Cycle Syncing. What is Cycle Syncing? Syncing your lifestyle, food and exercises with the natural cycle and phases of your period. The Four Phases of Your Cycle Follicular – This phase is right after your period. Your hormone levels are low. Focus on cultivating new experiences, setting goals and intentions. Your workouts should be mixed up! Dance, run, go to yoga or lift weights. Change is good. Try and eat fresh, raw and colorful foods. Salads, Kimchi, fruits and veggies, eggs, seeds and buckwheat. Ovulation – Think egg drop. Your Estrogen and Testosterone levels are increasing. Lead deep conversations and act on the goals you set the week prior. Get your butt moving! Cardio and HIIT workouts are your best friend during this time. Make sure to add fiber rich veggies and fruit to your diet this week. Brussel sprouts and broccoli are kings. Smoothies are also a good option this week! Luteal – Longest phase in your cycle. Your Estrogen, Progesterone and Testosterone reach their peak levels. Focus on self-care this week. Slow down your routine and practice yoga, go for long walks or low-intensity Pilates. Make sure to load up on vitamin B this week with leafy greens and roasted root veggies. Menstrual – The red wedding. Your hormone levels drop. Relax, your body is working hard. Rest this week. Take walks, stretch and if you are really feeling it, nap. Eat nutrient dense foods this week! Avocado, nuts, fish, and low glycemic fruits and veggies. That’s it. It is that simple. Every day I log my symptoms and then I am given the reasons why I am feeling that way and solutions of how to help fix them. I have been using Cycle Syncing since March 2017 and have felt a huge difference in not only my body but also my mood and energy levels. If you want to learn more about Cycle Syncing, watch this video. I want to share my journey because it’s teaching me not to be ashamed of my body but to love and appreciate it! I plan on giving details throughout my process because it is so interesting and normal to talk about our bodies! My body is a work in progress and I plan on taking care of it. If there is anything else you would like me to share, comment below. Otherwise, have an amazing day and listen to your body.