Friday, March 27, 2009

One Good Week (Out of Four)

Hormones. Frustration. Suckage. Whatever.

For one week out of the month everything is spot-on. I'm focused; nothing can bother me. My workouts are planned, structured and progressively more difficult each week. No problem, I enjoy it, I thrive on it. I have no cravings of sugar, no up and down hormonal battles waging inside of me, all is good. I can bake and not be tempted.

The next week my thoughts begin to waver. As I'm lifting heavy or running another yet interval at 12 MPH my brain begins to ask "why". Why are you running so hard, so fast..for what? I can tell myself to shut up and keep going. As I'm working out yet one more heavier rep and my brain is asking why I can partition off the question asking piece of my brain and continue with a smile and a chuckle to myself.

Week three and I begin to crumble inside. My weight fluctuates widely. As I sit at my desk I feel like a blow fish; I'm getting more and more bloated by the hour. Heavier heavier heavier. My feet hurt. My shoes are too tight-shoes that fit last week. As I run another interval the doubts are louder and more pronounced. You are 44. It's difficult to breathe. Who cares how fast you can run? Who cares if you finish McNaughton. This is stupid. Here we go again. The doubts. The questions. Each month it happens. Partition it off. The gym. Again? Why. Who needs strength? Who needs a muscular lean body? Why? The doubts and questions. The scale. Good grief. How can one let a scale dictate mood? So quickly I can begin to beat myself up. Don't bake. Don't fall victim to your own thrill of baking. Yes, I know it is PMS. Yes, I know this happens each month. So why give in and listen. Partition in off. Don't listen. Keep going. Stronger, faster, better.

Week four. Unravelling. Falling apart. Legs of steel become legs of lard. No speed. Bumbling through the woods, thank God for Topaz to get me out or I may be laying on the couch. Or baking a cake for only me to eat. Abs now covered with a layer of water that could be imagined to be a layer of fat. I won't speak too loudly; words are mixed up, inaccurate. Manage to speak without thinking. Hot flashes. I wrap myself into my own cocoon. Don't try to get too close. I'm an introvert. I don't want to talk. Let this be over.

One good week a month. It's better than none. I'm looking forward to week one. Imagine what I could do with four good weeks a month.


SteveQ said...

Remember: your bad weeks are about where everyone else's good weeks are and you'll get past this like you get past all obstacles.

Anonymous said...

OMG!! This is so me!!! Glad to know I am not the only one!!! Thank you!!!


Helen said...

Julie that was so well written. Hormones are a bitch. The amazing thing is they seem to surprise us each month - as if for the very first time we are experiencing them... I can never quite get my head around it. It's as if at the end of that bad week it somehow erases itself from the memory. Until next month. But remember you are strong enough to beat them every time :) said...

Having run ultras for 17 years, and living an extremely active and physical farming lifestyle since I was born i can attest to also haveing "one good week" for many years. I think that any woman who is very physically active, lean and healthy is more aware of feeling the changes that come along during your cycle. We are just wired that way. We are people who really "know" their bodies and are aware of hormonal changes as they occur, (and get really pissed because we have no control over these physical happenings.) Hang in there, my guess is that you are in perimenopause and for the nextfew years it may be a real challenge. It was for me too. I also found out that I was making many ovarian cysts which were hanging around and being bothersome but not dangerous. this added to my hormonal hell. Sorry this is so long, but menopause has been a real relief. I would be glad to correspond with you more if you would like. (I probably could have written most of your post myself about 5 to 10 years ago. Take care and hang in there. said...


I did not enter the word "winer "before your name in my previous post. I have no idea where that came from.

Julie B said...

Sometimes thoughts can be printed instead of typing words! Ha! Someone thought I was whining. No biggie. Good thing I have a thick hide. Don't worry about it milliron :)

Anonymous said...

Julie Kathi Olson here. You could not of put it better. I'm a bit jealous as I say I have 4 good days a month, so it looks like you have a few more then me.

Hormones suck!! Then it makes life suck and I Hate it. Nothing like waking up in the middle of the night soaking wet with a hot flash.
Or better yet(not) the lack of sleep from all this sssssshhhhhhhiiiiittttt is going to drive me crazy. Bottom line is you are not alone !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Some days are just overwhelming and it is getting to be more and more days each month.
Bless You. PS I'm working out 5 to 6 days a week and that does help, but some days it is hard to get to the health club.
Prayers to you and your family.

A Prelude To... said...

I loved the honesty of this post. Totally get it! You had a way with words on this one, Julie!!

Anonymous said...

Just curious - during the one good week can you articulate the purpose? I know that it's like that with quitting smoking, that you have to know the reason when you're not under stress.

But there is a part of me that reads about weeks 2-4 and thinks "go, body, go!" I'm not hormonal and I have no freaking idea why becoming that lean and muscular is a goal to you. It sounds completely pointless. I've done stupid goals like that and my brain rebelled and when I finally stopped trying to fight it, win-win. For some people, that crazy goal is powerful and meaningful - read Sean Burch about climbing Everest - it just wasn't for me. It sounds like it isn't for you.

I had some of the same "half in one world, half in the opposite world" mentality, and so I understand the pull. It isn't sexy to eat a balanced diet or to feed your kids a balanced diet; it's fun to be the role model and yet the fun Mom at the same time. But your kids need to learn good eating habits, and you need to enjoy life. Why would you "punish" yourself with a stricter diet than you think your kids need?

It seems like you need to let go of the body image goals, health goals, whatever they are. It was a tough battle, and you won. Time to find another goal, like helping poor kids learn to read or something. Start a baking/ catering business. Something that speaks to you.

Julie B said...

The fast and easy is that I enjoy doing things that I once believed were impossible for me to do. Running a marathon, 100 miler, getting sober , losing weight , were all impossible I believed. I love to try things that I never would have true before