Just Cycling Through

16 Jul
Repeats to self: I don't need this. I don't need this.

Repeats to self: I don’t need this. I don’t need this.

I’m going on vacation soon. Just like with any other vacation prep, I want to keep my workout routine consistent—if not amped up a smidge—before I go because I enjoy vacation brain.

However, this prep session has hit a bit of a snag and that’s because it’s about that time. The time when I ache from my navel to my knees. The time when someone calling my name more than twice a day will set me off. The time when all I crave is a brownie sundae.

Every woman goes through this rite of passage that will make her want to tear out her uterus. I cannot stand it. For at least a week (yes, sometimes it lasts longer), I become even more irritable than normal. I’m an asshole on a good day. On my cycle, steer clear.

hulk_smash

One of worst things about this monthly tradition is the amount of food of which I can’t seem to get enough. I don’t even know it’s happening until I’m midway though the early stages. I do know that Haagen Dazs vanilla milk chocolate almond bars are everything heaven should be.

In the back of my mind I know this feeling is just temporary and when I’m back to normal I’ll regret that Five Guys burger. But in the moment I’m all

feed_me

So how can you stay on track when Mother Nature is being…herself?

1. Snacking is key. Dairy is no good for your cramps, no matter how good two-fer Tuesday is at Baskin Robbins. So instead of indulging the things that will set you back, keep some sweet snacks at the ready. It’s summertime, so grapes and cherries are ripe for the picking. A tip for grapes: freeze those suckers. You’ll thank me later.

2. Take your aggression out at the gym. I know you’re irritable. I’m sure your co-worker did side-eye you when you asked her for a pen (I told you that chick’s crazy). But instead of snapping off on her—and endangering your livelihood—make  good use of that anger on the treadmill. The endorphins you build up and will calm you down. Plus it helps with cramps, and nobody wants those.

3. Think logistics. This comes as no surprise to any woman, but sanitary equipment is not the most stable. When you’re exercising, things move…a lot. When you’re in beast mode, I guarantee you things have shifted exponentially. Take caution and have backup equipment (and underwear) at the ready.

4. It’s only temporary. When you’re in it, this time seems like it lasts forever. That’s the crazy part of your brain talking to you. Tell her to shut the hell up because it’s almost over. Take comfort in the fact it will soon be over and your hormones won’t make you cry at baby elephants (not that I know anything about that).

5. It’s better than the alternative (for some). Hey, at least it came. If it didn’t you’d be reading a different blog right now. There, aren’t you happy?

6. No excuses. Remember: Excuses are what people use to justify the reasons why not. For most of my readers, they’ve been going through this for a while. Saying, “I just started my cycle,” is a rookie move. Athletes like Venus and Serena Williams, or even the entire women’s U.S. soccer team, can’t just clock out because it’s that time of the month. You’re still going to work, aren’t you? Then can still make time for your health.

I’m no hypocrite. I have to remember these tips myself every month. And as I ready myself for vacation, despite the ache in my thighs, I know the time spent on the treadmill was much better for me than throwing my stapler across the office.

How do you maintain your fitness lifestyle when Mother Nature has decided to make you her enemy?

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