Acknowledging Our Cycle Seasons Girls

Hi girls,

Happy hot sunny weekend! I hope you enjoyed the heat yesterday and if not then I hope you get to enjoy it a bit this weekend.

So this week I wanted to take a break from the usual fashion blog post. As much as fashion is the majority of my thoughts and life (a terrible shopaholic and fashion is also my job) I love writing and chatting about lots of other things with my girlfriends. I feel very conscious about making sure my blog and Instagram is real and shows the reality of life and it’s ups and downs. I think it’s important to chat about and show on our social media platforms (no matter how many followers you have, even if it’s just your friends) that life isn’t always plain sailing.

So with that in mind, I wanted to share with you something I read last weekend that really resonated with me. I was reading an article that was all about syncing your life with your menstrual cycle (I know sounds ridiculous right, who’s got the time for that). But once I started reading, this expert was making a lot of sense and I did that classic thing of (OMG this is about me! I do this!).
In a nutshell it was basically saying that there are 4 main phases in a woman’s cycle, named by the seasons in this article.
Winter is phase 1 which is day 1-6 and usually starts on the first day of our period. Basically we feel like crap girls, right? That is because our hormones (oestrogen and progesterone) are at their lowest level so we don’t have the physical resources that we do normally. So we’re tired which also means we’re emotional as hell! This also affects our blood sugar levels in some cases which is why we are suddenly scoffing our faces with food all the time (this isn’t accurate for every woman by the way so don’t panic if you aren’t stuffing your face at this time).
Then in the second week it said we enter Spring (obviously because that comes after Winter 😂) which is when we suddenly feel more energetic and feel like we’ve got our mojo back. Emotions are calming as hormones are increasing.
Summer is then superwoman week, we can literally save the world and take over the world at the same time, or in less metaphorical terms it said that our oestrogen levels are at it’s peak because we’re ovulating.
Then it’s Autumn where we’re calming down again, slowing down and starting to feel more tired (tough job saving the world right?) as we head towards the depths of Winter again.

I mean I feel like we all knew this right and probably learnt a bit about it in school. But what this article was trying to explain was that we should listen to our bodies and acknowledge the season that we’re currently in when making decisions. Obviously we can’t decide to not have any work meetings in Winter because we feel like crap (unless you are your own boss and have the flexibility in which to do that, in which case you go girl) but we can take the season we’re in into account when planning what days to work out or when to see friends for example.

For me, when I’m in Winter I give myself so much stick in my head for not being on my A game. For not being the most productive all the time (I am terrible for that; not very good at sitting still/doing nothing unless I’m on holiday), for constantly wanting to eat all the food in the fridge and for being super emotional (if my family or boyfriend are reading this they will testify) and moody. I blame my period of course, like we all do, but what I’m actually not doing is taking into consideration that my thoughts, emotions, impulses and being a hungry little piggy all the time isn’t actually truly me forever. It’s just 1 week (unfortunately once a month or sometimes a bit irregular) but it doesn’t define me.
Last week I was in Winter and I was constantly saying to my boyfriend how exhausted I was, it was really getting me down (I also had a very manic and stressful week at work which I can’t really affect) and I was not in the mood to exercise (I think I managed 1 run when I normally do 3 a week). I was feeling super anxious as well and on edge all the time, to the point I couldn’t sit down and watch TV in the evenings because I couldn’t concentrate on it. This is to an extent normal behaviour for me when I’m on my period but not once did I stop and think last week ‘don’t worry this isn’t forever, just get through this week and you’ll feel better next week’. I get stuck in my head and start thinking something isn’t right in my life which is making me feel like this – whether it be my job isn’t right for me anymore, my relationship isn’t right for me anymore or whatever, all these thoughts crop up. It’s not ALWAYS that bad and it depends on the week I am having regardless of the phase I am in, like I said I had a more manic than normal week at work which wouldn’t have helped.

So from now on I’m going to listen to my body more, acknowledge the phase I’m in when rationalising my thoughts or making plans to exercise or generally do stuff. But also just try not to make myself feel so GUILTY for not being steady with emotions, for not feeling up to seeing friends or for not being on my A game all the time. Also, note to self, don’t make any life changing decisions in Winter either!

With all of that in mind, I also read another very interesting article yesterday about this free app called FitrWoman. I don’t know whether it’s been round for a long time or not so apologies if you’re like ‘OMG hun you’re only just hearing of this now?!’. You enter the dates of your last period and again it tells you what phase you are in. Then explains how you are feeling, what your body is going through right now behind the scenes and what your body needs nutrition wise with an easy to read list of the foods to consume and yummy recipes to go with it. It also explained that in the phase leading up to ovulation (i.e Spring) hormonal changes as they increase can mean we’re more prone to injuries to the anterior cruciate ligament – key to stabilising the knee joint (obviously I am copying this sentence from the article as I am in no way a scientist or have ever heard of this phrase before). But that totally made sense to me as I sometimes really suffer with knee pain when running but then sometimes it is absolutely fine when doing a similar distance. It gives you training tips and advice depending on the phase/season you are in and links up to Strava as well. I downloaded it straight away and already absolutely love it.

My Winter week in a nutshell (apart from working)…

Talk about a frustrated and agitated look my face 😂 Trying to be all happy and smiley as we go out for dinner with friends but realistically I am extremely hot, bothered, tired and bloomin’ starving!
(Sorry Sam)
Feeling too hot to wear clothes around the house that would hide my bloated tummy so I’m letting it all out.
Basically just about all I could cope with last week – a cup of tea and an easy flick through a fashion magazine in loose baggy clothing.

But feeling like a new woman this week!…

A new woman as in pretending to be some sort of salsa dancer 💃🏼😂
Felt like dressing up to work from home this week as I was feeling good!
Feeling content, grounded and happy
Actually managed to go to the gym twice in a row this week and do an intense full body workout! Felt so good 💪🏼
Cheers to the weekend girls!

Lots of love xxxx

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