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Old 06-02-2011, 02:18 AM   #1  
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Default Not sure how to tackle this...{Ladies only}

Warning: Possibly TMI!I have never been able to workout during that time of the month before, and this time I attempted to do so. I feel like I am paying for it ten fold with pain, and everything. So, how do you ladies keep on track when you cannot workout and how do you fight off those insane cravings? I must admit, I am probably looking at a gain because I gave in to those cravings more than once in the past four days. Usually, I'd like to think I'm pretty strong at steering clear. But this is the worst it's been in a while. So, any advice on this subject? I'm all ready bracing for a 1-2lbs gain, if I stay the same I think that would be awesome, but not likely.

Also, I tried a little exercise, and it was like I turned on the Niagara falls. It's just BAD this time, and the last time it was like this was when I weighed in at 315lbs! Could I have done something wrong by trying to push myself with the monthly cycle at the gym? I really pushed hard (to say the least I burnt about 1000 calories)

Last edited by ShyHeather; 06-02-2011 at 02:18 AM.
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Old 06-02-2011, 03:08 AM   #2  
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When I'm cycling regularly, I experience extremely painful, completely debilitating cramps for the first 2-4 days of my cycle. I won't bore you with the details, but essentially - some months I take a few days off from exercise because it's simply not a feasible option for me. However, I don't think taking those days off has any impact on my weight loss at all. If for whatever reason your body doesn't respond well to exercise during certain points in your cycle, I'd say that you'd be fine skipping the exercise on those days. You're not in control of TOM or how your body handles it, and so if it doesn't work for you to exercise for a few days each month then there's no need to force it. Your body might handle the exercise at the start of TOM differently at a lower weight than it handles it now, though, so mabye try experimenting with the exercise again in a few months.

I experience some cravings before TOM begins, but in general mine are controllable. If I need to, I eat at the top of my calorie range (my range is 1200-1500), but I do respect that 1500 calorie limit. I know that overeating would impact my weight loss to a greater degree than not exercising, and, at least for me, the cravings aren't so strong that I can't resist going over my limit. If/when your cravings ARE that strong, a solution might be to just strive try to keep your average intake at the level of your maintenance calories (which I'm guessing are somewhere around 2800 for your current height/weight/activity level) for the few days you're struggling with the cravings. That way you can be sure you won't gain (or any actual, non-water gain would be very small), and you'll only have a few days each month on which you're not actively working on losing. Since the calorie deficit you'd be missing over those few days probably wouldn't total more than 3500 or so, you wouldn't slow your loss by more than about 1 lb per month.

Just a few thoughts, for whatever they might be worth. I hope you're feeling back to your normal self again soon!
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Old 06-02-2011, 04:53 AM   #3  
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If you're having your period and you experience painful cramps then light exercise is good for you. Trying to maintain a heavy exercise regime with high impact exercise is going to hurt! Just try going on a long walk followed by a nice warm bath. Sure it's not the same intensity as what you'd normally do but the important thing is that it's something.

As for the cravings...just find the inner strength in you! Cravings are all in the mind, for me I trick my mind into not wanting things to get around it. For instance I think "Wow I'm craving a sh!t load of chocolate right now" but then I think "No, it's just my period monster talking...not ME. I want to lose weight!" It's all very strange!

I think substituting cravings with healthier snacks is good for those moments where you HAVE to eat.
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Old 06-02-2011, 06:02 AM   #4  
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I don't do anything high-impact, but I find that low-impact exercise and yoga really help with pain. Fair warning, though--deep core exercises may really open up the uterine tap and bring new meaning to "heavy flow." I would ten times rather have that issue than pain, though!

As for food cravings, I indulge them within reason. I'm a calorie counter, so technically nothing's off-limits, but I know from experience that chowing down on some stuff (sweet baked or fried stuff, salty-crunchy-oily stuff) will leave me wanting more-more-MORE. I don't indulge the "dangerous" cravings at all because it's easier for me to eat no beignets than one beignet.

Sometimes it helps to eat something from the same taste/texture family as the thing I crave--salty/crunchy can be potato chips or it can be hummus and carrot sticks, popcorn, or crispbreads and a little cheese. Sweet/creamy doesn't have to be creme brulee, it can be yogurt and honey. Got to be careful, though, because some combinations are definitely "more-ish" and fall into that "it's easier to eat none than stop at one" category.

Next month, try some gentler exercise. And, uh...not to be indelicate or anything, but there is one kind of exercise in particular that invariably knocks out cramps. It's the kind of exercise that works with a partner or solo. Better than Pamprin and way more fun.
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Old 06-02-2011, 08:48 AM   #5  
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Um... I take ibuprofen for the cramps... also a hot water bottle too. If you're wearing tampons that can actually make your cramps worse so you might want to switch to pads during your workout. Other things can actually make your cramps worse like alcohol, chocolate, and coffee so if you're eating/drinking those a lot you might want to cut back too.

I normally workout as normal and take some ibuprofen afterwards if it's really bad. Normally when I get really bad cravings it's because I'm not eating enough protein so think hamburgers/steak/chicken during that time.

Oh, and I get the heavier flow thing too. I'm not really one to cut back on exercise (unless I'm sick) so I just make sure to wear a heavy pad while working out.
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Old 06-02-2011, 09:15 AM   #6  
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I do find myself wanting to eat more, though I keep my calories down. However, I have found that I feel like crap but I CRAVE movement. It seems like as I've gotten more fit, my pms has gotten more intense. However, it gets better with exercise. Much better. Unless I get some exercise during my TOM, I get angry feeling which never used to happen to me. But, I never have an issue of not being able to exercise. Everone is different though. If you need to take a few days off, do so!
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Old 06-02-2011, 09:28 AM   #7  
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Actually excersize makes me feel better during period-cramps.
But not weight lifting, only light aloof cardio that barely breaks a sweat.

Do some cycling/aerobics/yoga or even plain old dancing
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Old 06-02-2011, 09:46 AM   #8  
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When I'm having TOM, my cravings are completely whack for the 3 days before. I just give in, because if I don't, my mood swings are far worse than any tiny poundage I may gain. Seriously. And yes, giving in to my cravings DOES help the mood swings.

Now, note that I didn't say that I eat AS MUCH AS I WANT. But if I'm craving chocolate, then I have the chocolatey-est chocolate that I can find. If it's salty I'm after, just put the salt lick in the center of the table & it's all good.

Does this set me back a bit in my weight loss quest? Yeah, a little. But it's WORTH IT to not go completely stark raving lunatic fringe crazy.

Also, when I'm cramping, the 3 best things that work for me are (not necessarily in this order!)
1- beer (alcohol thins the blood; helps w/the blood flow)
2- heating pad
3- walking

Hope this helps you some! You're doing GREAT! Keep going!!!
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Old 06-02-2011, 10:20 AM   #9  
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Talk to your gyn about ways to reduce your period. I got on the pill to regulate mine (for totally different reasons) but hated remembering taking that. So now I have a 5 year iud called mirena. My period is nearly non existent!

My heart goes out to all who suffer bad periods. I've only had a handful of really bad ones (in my younger days) and I remember them the same I remember child birth! Ugh!
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Old 06-02-2011, 11:57 AM   #10  
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Mine used to be horrible until I started a 24-day pill. I had a really heavy flow and used a DivaCup during exercise instead of tampons or pads, which seemed to at least not worsen the cramps. I still do, when I have periods, because it gets rid of a lot of hassle. However, that's not really something everyone wants to do. Haha.

Like others have said, light exercise is good, especially those that involve stretching like yoga. Stretching those core muscles that like to contract like crazy during your period really helps.

Last edited by bama girl; 06-02-2011 at 11:59 AM.
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Old 06-20-2011, 02:40 AM   #11  
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my time used to put me out of commission for days. i would miss work, class, anything and lay on the couch nauseous and in terrible pain. i talked to the health clinic about it and they suggested the pill. did that ol thing for a while but let it run out (i missed an appointment to re-up) b/c it made me sick to my stomach and have terrible headaches, migrain level. i went back and they tried seasonique (sp?) with no relief so they put me on the depo prevera shot. not only have the headaches, nausea, and cramps gone away (with the exception of a few sympathy cramps from my roommate and my bestie) i havent had a period in 5 years. it is fantastic. i go in once every three months for a new shot in the tookus, get my calcium pills and im done.

the side effects of the shot do include weight gain but i found that since starting it i have only gained a total of 10-13 lbs b/c of it. i was heavy when i started it, gained the extra and have been at a steady 225-230 since then.
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Old 06-20-2011, 03:22 AM   #12  
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I struggle with finding the right balance for TOM. I have to be a little easier and more patient with myself, and yet I can't go to extremes in either direction with exercise or diet. For me (to reduce cramps and to avoid overdoing it), swimming is the best exercise during TOM (but it does require tampon use, so if tampons aggravate your cramps that could be an issue, I didn't know that tampons could have that effect).

I find it's a little harder to overdo/injure yourself during exercise in the water (not impossible, but harder).

I also find that if I eat lower carb than my normal moderate carb, I also have fewer problems with cramps and mood swings (it seems that if I indulge carb cravings, it only makes them far worse).

TOM though is still my biggest obstacle to more rapid weight loss. I do really well for three weeks, and then struggle with TOM, regaining some of what I've lost. If I could do without TOM, I would be losing much more consistently. In fact, most of my 90 lb weight loss was on birth control that virtually eliminated TOM. I had to switch to a different bc that isn't as effective for appetite suppression. It doesn't mean I can't lose weight, but it does make it a lot harder.
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Old 06-20-2011, 05:34 AM   #13  
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Depo Provera has such serious side effects that its use is being severely limited these days. If nothing else, it thins your bones so much that they no longer recommend it for more than two years unless there are absolutely no other options. There are other progestogen-only forms of contraception out there with a better side-effect profile, such as Mirena.

The worst weight gain I know of from Depo was my aromatherapist, who put on about 60lb from one shot. The worst side effects in other ways was me, as I ended up getting all the symptoms of the menopause at the age of 22 and had a severe hormonal imbalance by the time I persuaded them to get me off the shots (I'd had three). As I also have ME/CFIDS that complicates the issue, but it worsened that to the point that I started my time on Depo able to dance, and ended it in a wheelchair.

Starflower/borage oil, and to a lesser extent evening primrose oil, has a decent reputation at reducing bleeding and cramping. You need to take a reasonably high dose, though, 2-4g. I know that when I started taking echium oil (best veggie alternative to fish oil but PRICEY), my periods, which had got a lot longer and a fair bit heavier when I got my copper IUD inserted, pretty much halved in length and the bleeding reduced substantially too. I've recently started taking starflower oil as well as the echium oil, partly because it's a lot cheaper and partly because it's meant to be more appropriate for reproductive system related stuff. I do monitor my periods, including bleeding patterns as well as PMDD and migraine, so I'll keep people posted once I've been on it long enough to be sure of a pattern. Right now they're all over the place due to the dieting, so it's hard to tell.
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Old 06-20-2011, 06:37 AM   #14  
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Originally Posted by Esofia View Post
The worst weight gain I know of from Depo was my aromatherapist, who put on about 60lb from one shot. The worst side effects in other ways was me, as I ended up getting all the symptoms of the menopause at the age of 22 and had a severe hormonal imbalance by the time I persuaded them to get me off the shots (I'd had three). As I also have ME/CFIDS that complicates the issue, but it worsened that to the point that I started my time on Depo able to dance, and ended it in a wheelchair.
I also had some pretty bad side-effects. I gained at least 20lbs and had bleeding for almost three months non-stop. i never took it again after the first shot!
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Old 06-20-2011, 11:17 AM   #15  
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I tried it once and bled for months straight, too. Lost alot of hair and had odd deep pains all over my body that didn't go away for almost a year. I don't even remember if I gained any weight from it as I was so concerned about the other side effects. That stuff is poison!
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