For some reason I feel that periods don't get openly talked about enough! Probably due to embarrassment or old fashioned ideals of things staying private. But I think its so important that we do talk about it! We need to help and support other, as well as educate them!
I'm going to talk to you about periods. Periods that are so severe that you can't stand up. That force you to have operations. That can make you pass out and throw up at the same time. Periods that can crush your career and cause infertility. These periods are caused by Endometriosis. And I am one of the unlucky ones to have it.
Here is some information taken from Endometriosis UK:
Endometriosis is the name given to the condition where cells like the ones in the lining of the womb are found elsewhere in the body. These cells react to the menstrual cycle each month and also bleed. However, there is no way for this blood to leave the body. This can cause inflammation, pain and the formation of scar tissue.
Endometriosis can have a significant impact on a woman’s life in a number of ways, including:
Fatigue /lack of energy
Problems with a couple’s sex life/relationships
An inability to conceive
Difficulty in fulfilling work and social commitments
What they failed to put here was the fear, anxiety, demotivation and frustration that comes with it! Alongside the multiple operations (I've just been referred for my second and I'm only 23!).
But... you have to carry on. If you are also a sufferer, DO NOT GIVE UP.
Training is so hard when your bleeding for 3 weeks and spotting for the other week and then back bleeding again. When you cant tense your abs because it hurts! But what you can do, is be positive and not let it win!
Here are my top fitness tips for the times when you feel like nothing will beat it;
1. Get out of bed (if you can) and go for a walk - I promise you the fresh air will be well received!
2. If you can get to the gym, or want to work out at home - avoid abs! But do use light resistance to train your shoulders and legs. I would advise to use machines or benches so you are sitting down!
3. Set your self a goal for the session so that your focus is elsewhere and off the pain!
4. Wear a heat pad as these are a miracle! - You can get them from poundland in packs of two and all you need to do is stick them to the outside of your underwear, pop your leggings over the top (or trackies) and wear a baggy top and no one will even notice!
5. Try to eat healthy when your in pain, even when all you want is chocolate - bloating occurs with the period as it is, so the last thing you want is to feel even more bloated and uncomfortable!
6. Remember that you are in control and if you planned to work out that day... do not let it stop you. You are stronger than you think and you CAN do it! Some days, you might not be able to... but if you think you might be able to.. go show it who's boss!
7. Stay hydrated, the last thing you want is a headache from dehydration as well as pain!
I hope that this makes you realise that you can have endometriosis and exercise. There is such a big support network out there for us! Please do write to me or comment if you suffer, write anything you can whether it is exercise related or not, just to show others that they are not alone!