I have truly mellowed out in my old age. Back in the day, I assure you, I was a much feistier gal. I would like to say that that was a good thing, but alas…it wasn’t. I have many a dead body behind me of those who entered into an argument with me and I wouldn’t say they “lost” but they lost something (i.e. limb, voice, money, life—who knows. It wasn’t pretty.). And those losses didn’t come because I knew something and was smarter than them—because that’s definitely not the case. They came because I was ferocious at defending my end of the argument at all cost. Whatever I knew to be true was true as far as I was concerned…and then I got older.
Getting older meant that I had to concede that I may know the truth or I may be “right”, but there could be a whole segment of information that I have never been exposed to that could stomp on whatever I am presenting as fact at that moment. This doesn’t mean that I didn’t know what I was talking about; it means that I had limited knowledge in the topic being discussed. This happens to all of us in some way, shape or form. Think about how dumb we used to think our parents were when really, we were the dummies. Or, say you are a trainer and a client tells you something that sounds odd to you and in your mind you call “bullcrap” because you think she just doesn’t want to diet or workout hard. Then like a year later you find out that not only was she telling the truth, but now you have what she was talking about and you’re upset because now no one believes you. Things like this happen all the time and I expect some of this to crop up during this series. I need to debunk a lot of junk (wow, can I use that somewhere else?) that is floating around out there in the land of Greek Mythology, aka girl talk, surrounding our cycles and I expect some raised eyebrows. There’s a ton of misinformation and we need to slog through the details to get to the truth. Here are a few to start with:
1. Getting to the truth.
There’s no such thing. There isn’t a central location of hormonal information that you will find that all of the medical community is going to agree upon. There are two types of medicine that I am familiar with and I refer to them all the time: Western medicine and naturopaths. Western medicine is your traditional doctor who tells you what the insurance companies let them tell you. They are not bad people, just limited by the system. I will qualify this later so don’t get your underwear in knots if you don’t agree. Hang tight. Naturopaths are not exactly MD’s but they have a much more open view of tackling medical issues which is what you need when it comes to hormones. The problem is, when you need a drug—you ain’t getting’ one there.
These two professions tend to be at odds with each other. This is tough on us, the little guy, because we look to them for the answers and then find ourselves having to make a choice between the two without any real information to back up our decisions. YUCK.
2. My cycle has always been messed up. It’s just the way it is.
Umm…no it’s not. And don’t accept that either. Here is where I qualify my above statement. Unfortunately for doctors, they do not have the resources to make you well. They only have the capability to make you better. That is not the same as being well. Doctors look at the symptoms you present and make them go away. They do not necessarily cure you. And when it comes to a syndrome or chronic condition, they can only ask for so many things to be done that insurance will cover because after a while, they start getting vetoed. Again, not their fault—it’s the system’s. Hormonal issues require patience, lots of lab work and a good eye for detail.
3. My doctor diagnosed me with “fill in the blank” so that’s what I have.
Maybe so. I have no right to argue that in any way. I am not a doctor and do not profess to be. But I am an advocate and I challenge you to get a second opinion. Especially if what they told you that you had was a syndrome. Things like PCOS, fibromyalgia and so on that do not have definitive tests (although PCOS does but few get the ultrasound done) but more like a list of things that you seem to have in common with them. Syndromes are a great way to say, “I-have-no-idea-what’s-wrong-with-you-but-I-know-you-need-a-diagnosis-or-you-won’t-be-happy-so-I’m-going-to-tell-you-this-so-you’ll-leave-my-office.” They have no true way to “fix” them but they give you something tangible to hang on to because it makes you feel better. Not become well. Just feel better. And even then, you may not feel better, you may just be symptom free.
Why do I bring this entire subject up? Why do I care so much? I know some of you are thinking, “I was just fine before you started kicking up all this dirt. Now you have my head spinning.” (Or maybe that’s just Kas thinking that I bring it up because if you are not optimal at normal body fat levels, you are REALLY not optimal when you get lean. And for some of you, it’s what’s keeping you from getting the body that you desire. Your cycle screams “I am not well” and to lose weight, change body composition or be the best you can be: you need to be well.
Much more to come. This is a big topic when it comes to changing your body for the better. If you have any horror stories, you know I love them. Hit me up below. Woop woop!