Thursday, September 20, 2007

Health. Again. And stuff.

I have no idea whether any guys read this dubious excuse for a blog, but - dear reader, if you're male, you have permission not to read this entry.

The older I get, the more I become aware of... my Cycle.

No, not the kind with two wheels. (I am hoping to acquire a new one of those soon, since my current one is fifteen years old and extremely heavy. But I haven't got around to it yet.)

The one I mean, of course, is the kind that poleaxes you once a month, if you're female. Mine's been doing that to me for about the last seventeen years, although it seems longer. Much longer. This is genetic; there's nothing much to be done about it (except take NSAIDs and keep warm) and I'm used to dealing with it.

Lately, though, the Cycle has taken to making me suffer before the main event as well.

I've noticed for a few years now that I get unreasonably weepy when premenstrual. Now I seem to get tired, digestively uncomfortable, and bloated as well. Oh, and hungry.

Most of the time, now, my eating habits are pretty healthy. We always eat balanced meals, with some protein, and avoid simple carbs; we eat tons of green vegetables. We don't keep snack foods in the house. However, there's a reason for that: I have no self-restraint whatsoever.

If you give me a box of sweets (for example), I will eat them much quicker than I intend to. This is not something I like about myself, but I've tried to change it, and it doesn't work*. I've got to the point where I can avoid buying unhealthy food, and that is progress: when I was at university, I was terribly prone to buy food when I was out and eat it, thinking to myself that it would be OK because I would eat less in the evening. And then I would forget to eat less in the evening. I'm fairly lucky in that I don't seem to put weight on as quickly as some people do, but over the course of time, that was basically why I needed to lose weight in the first place.

I might have no self-restraint when food is in front of me, but I have slowly trained myself to eat less by avoiding food when I'm not hungry. I don't think I could, physically, eat as much as I used to at college. And I don't usually eat any snacks at all these days.

Apart from last week, that is. I ate quite a few bits of toast and bananas and random pieces of cheese when I wasn't really that hungry, and if we had had more exciting instant food I would have eaten that. I don't really know what the trigger is; whether it's the tiredness, or feeling squishy and bloated (feeling fat has been a trigger in the past - yes, it's stupid, but it has) or what.

I'm not pleased with myself.

Oh, I know it's not that big a deal. Today the main event started, and the desire to eat things has gone. Vanished. (Probably because, as usual, I feel rather sick. I would love to think this was just my body's way of preparing for not eating very much for a few days, but I doubt my body is that intelligent.)

I just seriously dislike using my hormones as an excuse. And it's taken me so long to train myself out of bad habits that I really, really don't want to pick them up again, no matter whether there's a reason for it.

I happened to be in the doctor's office today and saw a handy self-help booklet on the very subject of PMS, however. Although a lot of it was fairly well-known stuff, it did reassure me that this stupidity most likely is PMS, rather than just me being pathetic. One tip that it suggests that I'm not doing already is to take vitamin B6 tablets, starting a few days before you expect symptoms to start. Which might take a little working out, but I'll give it a try.

Another thing you're supposed to do is exercise. Which, yes, did make me feel better for a while yesterday. All I can really do for the moment is walk and cycle, because my foot isn't exactly back to normal yet, which is a little frustrating - I think it's coming up for three weeks since I bashed it. It doesn't mind being walked on, but running puts too much pressure on the toes and it hurts. Might be time to consider taking it to a physio, but I keep hoping it'll just get better.

What other news? I've been mostly buried under a pile of job applications lately, or that's what it feels like. But! I have finally got a job interview. It's next Thursday, and I really like the sound of the job, so cross your fingers for me.

Travelling backwards through time, the weekend of my birthday (which was the 9th) I finally met up with Shauna, the illustrious Dietgirl! This coincided with a reunion with Rosemary Grace, whom I had met via Shauna's comments, only later realising that although she lives in California, we had gone to nursery school together when we were four. We met up in a coffee shop and talked of many things, including learning to drive, flats, writing, jobs and pets, but not really touching much on fitness that I recall. It was lovely to meet up with them - Shauna and I have been vaguely planning to meet for, oh, three years or so, but we've never managed to bring it off until now. I hope to see her again before too long, though. She is lovely.

Matt, Rosie's husband, took a picture of the three of us, but as far as I know this has yet to make it online. And Rosie gave me a fantastic early birthday present - a book by Lois McMaster Bujold. I am addicted to these, and it's all her fault, because she got me on to them in the first place...

I saw Rosie again pretty soon - the next day, in fact, because she asked my mum and me to coffee (Shauna had a prior engagement with a mountain). We had a very nice time, and I got to meet her parents and their cat. It is a pity Rosie lives halfway round the world, but next time she comes over Mum and I will return the invitation.

So I'm finally managing to get over my shyness about meeting other bloggers! Well, I meet my mum every week, but I'm not sure that counts...

(*There are exceptions to this. I'm quite good at resisting food that I have cooked myself, which is the only reason I let myself bake things. I do not know why food that others have cooked, or that's bought from a shop, should have so much more of an allure, but it does. So I can make cake or whatever for J and not eat it myself.)


Jeni said...

Hi K! Good to hear from you. And happy birthday by the way!

I know that feeling when the cycle comes around. And frankly, I have no idea what to tell you! I honestly wish I did.

All I can say is, have some cake if you need it, and just take care of yourself. :)

K said...

Thanks for the sympathy! Feeling a lot better today... and we'll see how the vitamin B6 (which I have now bought) works. If it turns out to be the magic bullet, I will be telling everyone. Or everyone who could possibly want to know, anyway.

Isabelle said...

Oh dear, poor you, feeling squishy. See you tomorrow, darling girl!

Loth said...

I'm so jealous that you got to meet Shauna and Rosemary - and that they got to meet you! Sorry about the monthly awfuls - can't offer any constructive assistance other than...I baked some carrot cake muffins yesterday and there's some left.

I'm not helping, am I?

Rosemary Grace said...

Poor foot! I twisted my ankle yesterday and it's VERY annoying.

On the PMS subject: I have found that soy seems to reduce the bloaty low energy stuff, I have soy milk in my coffee every day. My sister drinks a small glass of it every day. The isoflavones mimic estrogen, which is what your body is short on during PMS. If you are on the pill you might consider trying a different brand.

Sorry about the photo delay! All the photos from the trip are still on the camera, and have yet to be uploaded.

K said...

Loth - hello! And thanks for the virtual muffin ;) As for meeting Shauna, I started reading her blog in 2003 (might even, possibly, have been 2002), so I spent ages and ages being shy and pathetic. But I'm very glad I finally scraped together enough courage to do it.

RG - The soya idea is interesting; although I'd assume I eat quite a lot of soya (in fake-meat things) it's never occurred to me to keep track of it. I've never had soy milk, but even if I don't like it I could probably stick it on my cereal or something. (I'm not on the pill; I have tried it, but it had unwanted effects for me.)

And I absolutely didn't mean to nag you about the photos! I'm sure you had masses to do when you got back. Though I am looking forward to seeing all the cows in due course.