Keeping Balance

Cyclical Fitness Myths: Busted

November 22, 2023 Season 1 Episode 24
Keeping Balance
Cyclical Fitness Myths: Busted
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! In this episode, I share how distraught I am over my first gluten-free Thanksgiving and the ATROCITY that is gluten-free bread. Why is it...wet?! 

I digress: this episode is actually all about busting the top 5 cyclical fitness myths that are floating around the internet. Why is walking the main exercise recommended for the luteal phase? Is cycle syncing the same thing as cyclical fitness? Do you have to have a 28-day cycle to get any benefits from a cyclical approach? 

All this PLUS the details on my Black Friday weekend are ahead in today's installment. As always, if you enjoyed this episode please share with your friends and give it a rating! 

DID YOU HEAR THE NEWS?! The Keeping Balance Method is now an APP! Introducing a brand new membership for on-demand home workouts that live in flexible workout vaults for each menstrual cycle! Learn more HERE!

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Speaker 1:

Welcome to Keeping Balance, the podcast that brings the lived experiences of our health and fitness journeys to the forefront as we dive deep into the many nuances of what wellness and balance is. I'm your host, Courtney Bibilia, a fitness nurse, business owner and mom of two, and if you want to feel heard and gain wisdom on your path to aligning physical fitness with mental health and joy as a woman, then you're in the right place.

Speaker 2:

Hey guys, welcome back to the show, welcome to Keeping Balance. Today we're talking all things cyclical fitness myths, because there's a lot of them. I feel like there's a lot of information floating out there. You never know what you can trust, what is real, what's not. And we're just going to cut the crap today and we're going to tell it like it is. You know how I always do this week is Thanksgiving. How that? Actually, tomorrow is Thanksgiving. How the heck did that sneak up on me? Not only because I live in the desert and I have no concept of seasons right now, like the other day I got my nails done and I was thinking, ooh, I really want Christmas tree green. Like, not that I was in the mood for Christmas, but I wanted that essence, that greeny green, you know. And so I asked the lady at the counter. I said I'm looking for a Christmas tree green, can you help me? And she goes ooh, pretty early for those vibes, huh, and I had to sit there and think about it. I was like is it May, is it June? Is it October? What actual month is it here in Arizona? But apparently it's Thanksgiving, and sure that might be a little early for Christmas, but at the same time. Not at all. I literally need the physical reminder on my body, on my person, in the form of like decorating my own human tissue, to remind me that it is the Christmas season, because, seriously, with it being 80 degrees right now, I could walk into Target and pretty much expect to see 4th of July stuff, easter stuff. You know, who knows, that's all fair game with this weather, but yeah. So Thanksgiving is tomorrow. For the first time ever, we're going to somebody else's house for Thanksgiving. That's not a family member. We're going to our friend from Tennessee's house, but his mom lives here in Arizona. So we're actually going to get to see him, and I'm going to bring some Brussels sprouts. I call them what do I call them? My banging balsamic Brussels. Yeah, the triple B. All you got to do is roast some Brussels sprouts with some red onion, some bacon, and then sprinkle on goat cheese and balsamic glaze, and it's just freaking delicious. I mean, who doesn't like a good crispy Brussels sprout, especially when there's bacon and goat cheese involved? Oh my gosh. So the other thing, though, is that this is my first gluten free Thanksgiving. Now, okay, this is a whole thing, because the reason I'm going gluten free right now is because, well, let's just put it this way, there's an 80% chance that eating gluten is making my Hashimoto's worse. And that is because of this thing called molecular mimicry, where, first of all, every autoimmune condition has some element of gut dysfunction in it, probably what laymen call leaky gut syndrome, but what professionals call intestinal hyperpermeability, where essentially those gap junctions that hold all of your gut lining together are inflamed, they are weakened, and so things can pass through your cell wall that normally wouldn't be able to pass through. And in the case of gluten, because that molecule is so similar to thyroid hormone or to thyroid, okay, because that∼ That∼ What∼ What∼ What∼ What∼ what Hotel∼ What∼ your body will, in the presence of an autoimmune condition, it's gonna amount an attack on my thyroid every time I have gluten. So not fair, not cool. And in 80% of cases, going gluten-free reduces thyroid antibodies after six months. So I'm at the point where I just can't argue that anymore and I just have to do it for my own sake. But the reason I resisted that for so freaking long is because I worked so hard for so many years to be able to eat gluten again and not feel like I was poisoning myself or feeling like morally inferior because of it. Because I went through quite a little bit of what do you call it orthorexia, where I was obsessed with clean eating and I eliminated entire food groups for the fear that, like I eliminated beans because I was afraid of anti-nutrients, I eliminated so many different things for various reasons. One thing I never eliminated was meat, because that was just, I think, as I'm quite biologically. It was like yo draw the line there Like you can take away my beans, you can take away dairy, you can do it, but don't be touching meat like you need something. So never actually went that route. But I basically eliminated every other other thing in the animal kingdom, in the plant kingdom, for fear that I was I mean, a bad person essentially for eating these other things. And if I eliminated them and if I ate cleaner, then I would be a better person. You know how that goes. It's just so yucky. So I worked so hard to be able to eat gluten and not feel like I was betraying myself honestly, so worked so hard to get there and now we're right back in a place where I've got to actually limit it for real reasons. So damn it. But honestly, when it comes to Thanksgiving. I just don't know. I just I don't know what's going to happen. I might, that just might, have to be an off day, because stuffing, stuffing, like just one word stuffing. And here's my issue with gluten-free bread. Why, why is all gluten-free bread wet and soggy? I'm sorry, it's like a freaking wet sock. I don't understand how these companies, these gluten-free bread companies, they test their product, they go through all of this, all these phases of creating their product, and then they taste that and they're like yes, this is what we want to put on the shelves. You know how. So you know gluten is very stretchy. You know how. You have a piece of bread in your hand, just close your eyes and imagine that you're going to like break it in half and tear it apart. You know how there is like it bends, it stretches and it kind of crumbles a little bit Gluten-free bread. You hold it and the second you want to tear it in half, it just breaks down the middle because it is so heavy and dense. It's just, oh, it's so disgusting. I went through a couple of different brands. I finally found Canyon Bakehouse, which is a little bit more tolerable Actually Toast's Up in the Toaster whereas other brands that I've tried those wet, soggy breads. You put it in the Toaster, so all I want is just an egg on some toast, okay, and it doesn't even. It comes out of the Toaster wet. I'm so confused. Maybe I'm the only one, but it is a bummer. And other things, too, have betrayed me, like jovial foods. I've heard great things about jovial foods. Well, tried their pasta because pasta night is so easy. It's three ingredients ground beef, sauce, noodles yeah, put it together in 20 minutes and the whole family eats it. Well, I was thinking I'll just try gluten-free noodles. Jovial foods is apparently fantastic. It tastes like mud. It tastes like mud. So this is a painful learning experience trying to figure out how to feed my family of four. It was so funny. I was trying to explain to Murphy, my four-year-old, because I was making, I think, toast for breakfast and I made a different bread for myself. And he asked me why aren't you eating this bread? And I said oh well, there's something in this bread called gluten and my body doesn't agree with it right now, so I'm not going to eat it. And I was telling him oh, it's so hard because gluten is so delicious, but it might be making my body a little bit sick, and then Murphy says so don't eat it. It's just so straightforward no filter, like, obviously, duh, mommy, just don't eat it if it's not going to make you feel good. All right, I mean it's only for that simple. I mean it is that simple, but I do miss me some sourdough bread. All right, moving on, today we're talking about cyclical fitness myths, but before we get into that, we have to share the KBM win of the week I'm so proud of Amber. Amber just finished her round of Unstoppable 12 Week Strength Training Program, which is coming back in December, and she said I did it, my wins. I stayed consistent. I found joy in my workouts again. I got back to lifting heavy, felt good about listening to my body cues, felt great about being able to scale back when I needed to without the guilt of not going all in that day I was all in, pushed myself when I wanted to quit. 12 weeks, baby, ready for another 12. Thank you for designing this. It's emojis. Emojis, chef's kiss. This is so freaking awesome. I just I mean, I'm so proud. I mean 12 weeks is a commitment. When you're looking at a fitness program and you know 12 weeks it's a big chunk of your year and to be able to consistently go through that program but then realize that it's actually doable. That's just massive. So, amber, I just am so proud of you. I wish I could hug you. Love a good emoji. Thank you for that. Now let's get into some cyclical fitness myths, shall we? We shall, okay. So number one myth you can only walk in your luteal phase and that that recommendation is representative of all cyclical fitness as a whole. This is kind of like a two for one myth which leads into a third myth, that cycle-sinking is the same thing as cyclical fitness. Let me start with that one, actually, before we get into the other. So cycle-sinking is actually a trademark term by Elisa Vitti. That was essentially the first cyclical fitness program that really went big, which made the term cycle-sinking almost a common term or a common phrase that people use interchangeably with cyclical fitness. It's kind of like how people say Kleenex, but they mean tissue or Velcro, whatever. It's a trademark term that you can't technically use unless you're referring to her specific program. Okay. So her program recommends a specific way of working out throughout the four phases. That's her interpretation and that is one way to do cyclical fitness and it's totally fair. Okay, but one of the things that she recommends is walking during the luteal phase, and a lot of people have paraded this recommendation, especially when you see these random influencers who are hopping on the hormone balancing train and they create these graphics saying only walk during the luteal phase, because the evidence is there. We're not as resilient to stress. We want to control our cortisol. We don't want to be doing exercise that is going to really spike our cortisol. We don't want to be doing exercise that is going to make our periods feel miserable, right, because what you're doing in the previous phase is going to affect your current phase. And so walking just kind of took off as the catch-all exercise for the luteal phase. And I think also what happens too is the people in the back end who are analyzing the evidence and this and that and the other. They're looking at these different parts of the science and so they choose an exercise type or exercise modality that sort of encompasses all of the different elements that we find for that phase. So, for example, we want something that, like I said, it's not going to spike horizontally. We want something that is going to be able to tap in better to the metabolic pathway that we're more biased towards in the luteal phase, which is using fat for energy. So, okay, let's think low intensity, steady state exercise, that would be brisk walking. Ding, ding, ding, that fits the mold the best. Let's just slap walking on that graphic, because a consumer isn't going to want to go through all the evidence and just be left to interpret it on their own. Usually, consumers just want something to do, something they can take action on, and so if someone says, walk during your luteal phase, boom done. They're like okay, great, but walking during the luteal phase is not actually accounting for all people's fitness levels and different preferences. Maybe they're training for something specific, and so you're not going to just drop your training to walk during the luteal phase because you're afraid of stressing yourself out too much. You got to take into account your own personal situation. For me right now, I think walking during my luteal phase is actually a fantastic idea, because I am feeling really frazzled right now. I just feel like I'm kind of at the edge of my upper limit of stress tolerance right now, and so, yes, I want to keep active and keep moving, but I think walking is the best way to stay active while not moving backwards in my goal. You know what I mean. So if someone who lifts all once long wants to just dial it down if they're feeling more tired during the luteal phase. That's perfectly acceptable. You do not have to suddenly change to a different exercise majority altogether and just start walking for the sake of walking. I mean, walking is amazing and that's another thing too. It's like don't demonize walking. Walking is incredible and extremely underrated, but it doesn't mean you only have to walk during your luteal phase. Okay, so that was like a bunch of things in one right there, which is that cycle thinking is not synonymous with cyclical fitness. Cycle thinking is one person's program. And two, you do not have to walk during your luteal phase, but it's a great option. And three, that walking during the luteal phase is not representative of cyclical fitness as a whole. Because the second I mentioned something about cyclical fitness. I get some troll in my comments saying this is ridiculous because this just means that women have to walk during their luteal phase. Oh my gosh, please. Okay, let me go off on a side tangent real quick. I got some comments recently and it was on a. I've posted this real twice now and it's gone viral both times. So you know, anytime something goes viral, you get a whole plethora of wonderful people in the comment section, along with a couple of real downers, and someone was in there saying oh my gosh, just do what your body is telling you. Just listen to your body and don't worry about like these specific programs and this, that and the other. And I'm like homegirl. This program is teaching people how to listen to their bodies. You're literally arguing for my point right now, and she was like you don't need to tell men what to do this, that and the other. By telling people that they don't need to listen to cyclical fitness, you are telling women what you want them to do, which is completely hypocritical. Just scroll by if something is not for you. If you don't want a cyclical fitness program because this person's a bodybuilder or power lifter or she competes, then just don't do it. If it's not for you, don't do it. For a lot of women, this is incredible information and life-changing information. Why would you not want to celebrate that for women who are benefiting from it and becoming more active because of it? I just don't understand negative people on the internet. Oh my gosh, let's move on to the next method, shall we? Okay, sarah? The next thing is that you have to have a perfect cycle to get benefits. I think this comes from the fact that when people start to explain cyclical fitness usually go back to a textbook 28-day cycle. You ovulate on day 14. We know that not everyone ovulates on day 14. In fact, you can ovulate on different days of your cycle. Cycle to cycle, each month, it can change when you ovulate, because your cycle is alive, your cycle is responding to your environment. It might not want to ovulate on day 14. That shouldn't even be the number that we should aim for as a symbol of perfection. It's arbitrary. We just want to aim for about mid-cycle. What that comes from is that it's described as this way when we're trying to describe the background of a cycle, we describe it in that typical pattern. But that does not mean you have to have that cycle length, or it does not mean that if you don't move through phase to phase like a light switch, that you're doing it wrong or that you cannot do cyclical fitness. No, I actually think that cyclical fitness is a spectrum. You can just be in that far left side where it's awareness Even that is life-changing where you're just observing what's happening to you throughout your entire cycle, seeing if there are patterns, seeing if there are things that you can adjust that might make you feel better. Then, as you move up the spectrum, you can get way more dialed in. Where you're using your hormones to actually inform your programming to the point where you're tweaking little things to get to a point where it's performance-specific and you're using it for specific recovery strategies, you can get really, really dialed in. I think for most people you don't have to be that dialed in. I'm on that far right side of it because I'm on the programming side of things. I'm the one designing programs. I am dialed into the littlest detail For people who are just going to join my app or do any kind of cyclical fitness working out. Then you can be on more of the left side of that spectrum where you're just observing, seeing how things feel, trying it out. It doesn't even have to be four different approaches for four different phases. You can even go in a two-phase approach where you can go. All right, I feel a little bit more energized before I ovulate. I'm going to crank it up a notch. I've ovulated, I'm feeling like my energy is starting to go down. I'm going to adjust accordingly. You can slide up and down that spectrum, see where things feel good for you, but you do not absolutely do not have to have a perfect 28-day textbook cycle to be able to use your cycle to your advantage. And that leads me into our last myth, which is that there is a right and wrong cycle pattern and you know I have done this too right where you kind of poke fun at the cycle or you kind of create something relatable in a reel where you're depicting the cycle phases and typically the depiction is that you are really energized in your follicular phase and then you're super just on top of the world during ovulation, followed by a period of grumpiness in your luteal phase and then in your menstrual phase you just want to be in bed eating snacks. Like that is that stereotypical representation of the four phases. And inevitably, especially when things go viral, like I was saying before, you get people in the comments section who are like but that's not my cycle pattern whatsoever. I'm actually in bed during my ovulatory phase and then I'm on top of the world during my period. I'm the heaviest during my period, I feel the strongest during my period, or I feel absolutely dead. The few days before my period and the second I start bleeding I feel like I could go run a marathon. You also get people who say I actually get a huge burst of energy the day before I start bleeding and then I'm back to feeling really low the day I start bleeding, or you know, there's all kinds of different variations. Now we've talked about common versus normal. We've talked about cycle perfectionism, and that you know we all are trying to have this absolutely painless is a good thing to strive for. But a cycle that is just completely silent, where our period comes and we go what I didn't know. I was about to start bleeding because I just feel elated all of the time. You know we don't have to be striving for that. That's not realistic. But there are different kind of markers and barriers that we don't want to cross. Necessarily, we don't want to be at the point where ovulation is causing us so much distress that we can't function. Right, we've talked about this. We don't want to be at the point where our period makes us feel like we cannot get out of bed for five days. Okay, so I'm not talking about severity of symptoms, I'm talking about patterns of symptoms or energy patterns. Right, it's totally normal if you feel a little bit less energized when you're ovulating. It's normal. If you have that burst of energy the second, you start bleeding. That is actually really common in people who have PMDD. Not saying that you have PMDD if that's your pattern, but it's because PMDD symptoms are associated with the luteal phase. The second, that luteal phase is over and you enter the menstrual phase and you start bleeding. It's just instant relief and that's not always the case. Sometimes PMDD symptoms can, no pun intended, bleed into the next phase. But this is all to say that, no matter what your cycle pattern is, you can use that information to your advantage. That does not mean that you're not going to be able to do cyclical fitness, and that's exactly why I made the membership the way I made it, so that you can hop in and out of different intensity levels based on what you're doing, because having that flexibility, I think, is really key in any kind of realistic cyclical fitness based fitness program. So I just think the people who are telling you that you have to do one kind of exercise during each phase, I mean either they're just using that stereotypical model or they're just not getting it. So while it's great that everyone's talking more about the cycle and more about how to work with it, there's just. There's some things that inevitably get spread around on the internet that we just had to squash in this episode. Okay, so consider those miss squashed. That's all for today. I'm going to go get back to preparing for Thanksgiving and my Brussels sprouts. Get attend to my sprouts. And speaking of Thanksgiving, we can't talk about Thanksgiving without Black Friday. I swear to God, I am the only person on the planet who is doing a Black Friday promotion on Black Friday. Apparently, we do Black Friday starting November 1st, like Black Friday is November 1st through November 30th, and then it's just Christmas. So, all that to say, my Black Friday event is starting on Black Friday. Who would have thought it's gonna go Friday, saturday and Sunday, and there are three different options. I wanted to give people different ways to enter the KBM world based off of where they were at. I know some people are brand new to this and they're still trying to figure out what the heck menstrual phases are, and so I wanted to give different options for people based off of what they need. So on Friday, the best deal and the juiciest one is where you can bundle KBM Academy, which is my full online course, plus one year of the KBM membership, so that you're getting the learning portion to transform your mind plus the workout portion, which is gonna transform your body and mind whenever you're after. So that's just the perfect pairing right there, the companion that just always should have existed but for some reason is just now coming to fruition. And then on Friday, if you just want the course, you can get oh sorry, I should have mentioned that On Friday you can get 25% off that bundle, which is already discounted because it's bundled right. So you're saving $100 when you bundle the two together. But then an additional 25% off of that is like a lot off, okay, a lot off. And then on Saturday, if you only want KBM Academy maybe you only have the membership and you're like I actually really wanna know the ins and outs of how this is working then you can just get KBM Academy all a cart. And then on Sunday you can get just the membership by itself. Maybe you already have KBM Academy. Maybe you're like I don't need to know the science, I just wanna do it. So for those people, you can just get in on the membership by itself and get 20% off the annual plan. Again, annual plans are already discounted. It's already two months free, but then 20% off of that. I think it's a 150 for the whole year, which is literally the price of one session with a personal trainer. So this is gonna be an awesome event with lots of different opportunities. Each of those offers is only gonna be available on the day that I set. So for Friday's bundle it's only gonna be available Friday, et cetera, et cetera. So you wanna make sure that you are checking your email for my emails, and then I will also be posting everything on Instagram and you know you can actually hit the little star and add me to your close friends, or you can turn alerts on so that you don't miss anything that I have post. That's probably the best way to make sure you don't miss something. So there it is. If you have any questions, just do you have me. You can email me. You know I'm here. Love you lots. Have a fantastic Thanksgiving. We'll chat soon. Love you. Bye. Volverer olacakу.

Cyclical Fitness Myths and Gluten-Free Thanksgiving
Debunking Cyclical Fitness Myths
Utilizing Menstrual Cycle Patterns for Fitness