30 July 2014

Why hormones are responsible for many things....



Whore-moans, well that is what my Dad used to call them, the poor bastard had to grow up in a house with three women and funnily enough our cycles never really synced so at anytime there would be at least two hormonal females to contend with (not to mention two of them being teenagers) crying or yelling hysterically in his home for many years.  Anyhoo he survived.

Hormones are an interesting subject,  you cannot see them but they are functioning and when they are out of whack you certainly feel the difference.  What a lot of women don't realise is that the symptoms they are feeling shouldn't be shrugged off as "normal", being a busy woman, working or with kids is enough without your hormones causing havoc.
 
Mine are all out of whack.  I really notice this coming off the pill in the last few months also has not helped.  Mood swings, tired, irritable, weight gain... sound familiar. 
 
When they're working right, your hormones are the unsung heroes of your health. Here are seven so-good things they do for you.
 
Oxytocin, the hormone of love and social connection, helps you bond and create meaningful relationships.
Testosterone gives you vitality and confidence and revs your sex drive. Rawr!
Progesterone acts as nature's Valium to keep you calm.
Thyroid hormone boosts your metabolism and keeps you svelte.
Cortisol triggers the fight-or-flight response to help you handle a life-threatening crisis.
Leptin tells you when to put down the fork or wineglass. Hello, self-control!
Estrogen strengthens your bones and gives you clear skin.
 
 
My doctor was so helpful advising me that my hormone levels are a little up and down.... and I know the best prescription are the following:
 
Sleep
Without a good nights sleep you will be way behind even before you start.  You know the drill - shut down electrical equipment, tv, cut back on stimulants/alcohol at night and ensure you are relaxed before you go to bed.  A good hot shower and a cup of tea sorts me out (peppermint or spearmint). 
 
Exercise
You don't have to train like a mad woman, just move your body 3-4 times a week either lifting heavy stuff, yoga, walking, stretching - whatever takes your fancy. Ensure to mix it up and give  your body time to rest (rest and recovery is more important).  Helps reduce cortisol in the body which is vital to you being in control!
 
Eating good foods
This is key!  You are what you eat. Abs are made in the kitchen.  Eat crap and you will feel crappy.. select a good mix of healthy foods and ensure you are getting proteins, fats and carbs!  Don't eat TOO clean for gods sake, have chocolate, have wine, enjoy life but make sure the majority of stuff you shovel in has good vitamins!
 
Hydrate
Water, water, water. Limit alcohol and get rid of sugary drinks. I love water with lemon in the morning. Good vitamin c, gets me drinking at least 1L by lunchtime (hello bathroooom, again)!
Limit alcohol to 1-2 days a week only if you can. Just have one glass instead of four (oops). One will help you sleep, more will not let your body have a good REM cycle.
 
Be Organised
Get your week under control by planning your week. Work out your meetings, when the kids go where and when you will train/shop/cook etc. Planning out your week will limit the stress and allow you be organised and in control if a spanner is thrown in the works. Flying by the seat of your pants each day won't help you at all. Ensure you make some time for YOU to relax, chill. Do it, you aren't that busy and important not to forget yourself!! Life won't work if you cannot be you. 
 
So keep in mind how you are feeling this week and notice if you need to adjust your weekly schedule to allow you to have more energy and to enjoy your week and not be tired and moody all the time.  Ask yourself "why am I feeling this way"? Always get checked up by your doctor too if anything seems out of the ordinary! 
 
Some more info...
 

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