I’ve been struggling with my diet for about 4 years now. It’s travelled from anti-inflammatory, to vegetarian, to vegan, to “I give up” quite a few times, and it all started with a diagnosis.
I experienced two extremely painful ovarian cysts rupture when I was 22. The first doctor I saw misdiagnosed me (which very much contributes to my distrust in the medical system 🙃) and the second finally found a diagnosis after much lab work, ultrasounds, hormone therapy, and surgery.
What is it? I’m not even entirely sure. How do you fix it? “Impossible,” according to the doctors I saw.
I was extremely disheartened. Not only because I didn’t have answers, but because I was told of the possibility of infertility and cancer. These vague “answers” left me in a whirlwind of emotions (not to mention the side effects of The Pill). I was not ready to start a family, but I knew that I wanted to be a mother. And not only be a mother, but experience pregnancy and birth. It just felt like it was what I was put on this earth to do.
So on went my hormone therapy for years while I made the decision to try to adjust my diet based on my own research. Admittedly, I gave up after nothing seemed to help and I never fully understood what I was up against.
But pregnancy put me back on this path, and I don’t think I really realized it. Finding out I was pregnant, I quickly decided I would do everything in my power to make this birth special. I was given the opportunity to carry a child and I wasn’t going to take it for granted. I was going to really EXPERIENCE labor and birth by trusting that my body was perfectly designed for this. I was going to deny medical intervention and medication, and the injection of unnecessary(in my opinion) vaccines.
And I did. I had my dream water birth. Out of a hospital, free of medication, anesthesia, surgery, etc. Just the pure strength of my physical body and my mind. MY ideal birth (not the birth for every woman).
And here I am, 49 days postpartum, and one of the first things that has been brought up is birth control. Now in my mind, my reproductive body has just been detoxed. No artificial hormones for nearly a year, a healthy pregnancy, and a natural birth- why would I go right back to these terrible little pills that hate my skin and make me an emotional wreck for half of the month?!
So on my search for non-hormonal birth control I discovered the Fertility Awareness Method, and then coincidentally heard about cycle syncing. Both of these methods teach you to tune into your female body. They urge you to really understand what is going on in your cycle, not just the dreaded menstruation phase.
Cycle syncing was introduced to me when I heard a mention of a book called Womancode on Instagram (and then heard about it again in a Podcast I follow-the Universe loves to give me signs). This book explains the different phases of our monthly cycles and how to tune into each phase for optimal living. The author Alisa Vitter describes how our interests in physical and social activity vary with each cycle, AND what foods we need for optimal health each week.
COULD IT BE that there is more to my “unexplained” chocolate cravings and social isolation?! That I’m not just a loose cannon because I have ovaries, but I just don’t know how to listen to my body?!
It’s seriously like a light bulb just went off. I knew there was a way to adjust our diet to support our reproductive health, I was just looking in the wrong places.
What inspires me about these methods is they empower you. They teach you how to live in sync with your cycle, not try to control it (which seems to result in self sabatoge by hormones). As women we are told to deal with the symptoms of our cycle without really ever understanding what they are. And the idea of a cycle?! I only knew about two phases of this cycle, and the only one I understood was menstruation.
So now I eagerly continue my health journey, wishing girls everywhere knew there was more to being female than cramps, tampons, and unexplained emotions. I’m off to the book store.. (just kidding I have a newborn. Thanks Amazon Prime.)