Learning to listen to my body without guilt

If you read this blog with any kind of frequency, you might have noticed that I haven’t posted a workout re-cap for the last couple of weeks. Well, that’s because I haven’t been working out.

Other than acknowledging that I have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), I haven’t written very much about it here. Part of my efforts to eat better and move more is aimed at controlling my PCOS symptoms. I’ve made a lot of progress over the last year in making better food choices and making exercise a more consistent part of my life, and I’ve started to reap the benefits. One of the biggest things that’s happened is that I started menstruating again, after almost 10 years of not having a period. This means that, hormonally, my body is functioning in a way that is a lot closer to “normal.” While this is great, in terms of my overall health, my body is having a hell of a time adjusting to these changes. For two weeks out of each month, for the last few months, I’ve felt so run-down and fatigued that I have ZERO energy. Even talking feels too exhausting.

I’ve been really down on myself because of this. I made at myself and felt guilty for being too exhausted to exercise, ride my bike, go on a hike, etc. I got into a deep funk because of it and started wondering if it was always going to be this way (despite my Dr. telling me that it won’t).

This month, something finally shifted in the way I think about this. I decided to stop hating on my body for the exhaustion it experiences. I started this blog as a way to motivate myself and keep myself accountable in leading a lifestyle that betters my health. While I think I’m doing pretty well on that front, I have to remember that better health also comes from listening to what you body needs, and listening to it without judgment, anger, and guilt. I realized that feeling exhausted during half the month is my body’s way of telling me to slow down and chill out! I need to remember that the hormonal changes I’m experiencing are a big shift for my body. Of course it’s going to make me feel differently than I’m used to!

While I will continue to make the food and exercise choices that lead to the healthiest me, I want to also be mindful of listening to my body and respecting how it feels. I’m thankful that I feel run-down and crappy for only part of the month, and I’m hopeful that it will get better as my body adjusts to the changes.

Yesterday, I woke up feeling more energized than I had in two weeks. I celebrated by enjoying the unseasonably warm weather in San Francisco. I had a great day of urban hiking around the the city.

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