A fascinating clue about why my attempts to create good habits to workout & eat better have failed for years…

Lately I’ve been catching videos in my YouTube feed from Obese to Beast (which I think is rather interesting and I like his measured approach to analyzing things and answering questions). He made a reaction video to a TED Talk about women’s inability to lose weight. I listened to a couple of minutes of it, then I clicked off and dug up the original video so I could listen without commentary.

And I listened to it again.

I popped a Midol and listened a third time (barking dog free).

And so many things began to make sense.

It’s a new version of “the problem that has no name” for women. And it’s not exactly unknown, but some kind of feeling. A feeling that at certain times of the month, we feel like we can take on the world and our energy is so helpful. And at other times we’re more apt to binge or be lethargic or in pain and not as capable.

But it’s been treated like a half-hearted excuse, and we beat ourselves up for not pushing through the difficult points. I’ve re-started healthy living plans more times than I can count. Hell, there are plenty of posts I’ve written that have mentioned it. I get determined to change, period starts, and then whoops, off the wagon and I lost my determination.

What made this time so different? I stuck to better eating and exercise for nearly two weeks (usually I might last 3 or 4 days).

Because menstruation and the female menstrual cycle screws with our energy and ability to burn calories.

And men and women have major physiological differences when it comes to how we keep or burn fat and calories.

It’s one of those things you might feel, but have no evidence or even how to describe the issue to get the info. I mean, there’s always some bit of old science knowledge in the back of the mind, that men were meant to have more strength topside while women needed it in the bottom half for carrying children and the like. But not much real explanation as to why women seem to have these peaks and valleys that men don’t in their efforts to do better for general health or fat loss. Perhaps now that feeling will have a name, and will be better known over time.

I’m going to watch the video that Mr. James Smith referenced about PCOS in the comments section now. And I’ll spend the weekend in recovery, checking my own cycle schedule and learning more about how to combat the lows of the cycle so next month’s turn, I’ll be prepared and push through as best I can.

And I gotta admit, I feel a little happy hearing a guy mention periods and menstruation matter-of-factly without being squeamish. Apologies to men who will, though.

From TEDx Bundaberg, James Smith, “A Perspective on Fat Loss”

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