My pre-menstrual bender

Project: C.H.E.K Your Health

When I interviewed singer Kate Cebrano (modelling for Berlei bras below right) about her health regime last year, I was impressed with her practical approach to food in the face of celebrity obligations, industry gigs and travel stints.

You can read the full article here in body+soul, but in a nutshell, her own golden rules around eating are as follows:

  1. Avoid foods that make you tired (sugar
    and white rice)
  2. Never eat canapes at functions, nor entrees before dinner
  3. Almost no alcohol, except the occaisional glass of champagne for celebrations; and never more than a quarter glass of red wine with a meal

There was, however, one more thing that stuck in my mind and the unfortunate truth is that it has been driving my food choices too of late.

Cebrano said: “My diet is still a little tailored by my menstrual cycle, in that it’s really good for two weeks – clean and healthy – but by the end of the cycle it’s comfort food the whole weekend.”

About ten days ago I woke up feeling a little “pre-menstrual” – a bit of the bloat, some irritability, fatigue and achey limbs.

It was very mild (in retrospect, I was actually just tired and stressed but that “pre-menstrual” ticket gave me the freedom to make a whole lot of not so C.H.E.K food choices.

During what I will now refer to as my “pre-menstrual” stupor, I was sipping freely from my son Max’s milkshakes and opting in for entrees, desserts AND wines with my gal pals at Pony restaurant ~ help me Kate! I even caught myself digging into one of Max’s post-party lolly bags one afternoon.

What was the matter wth me? I NEVER eat lollies. I was officially in the middle of a “pre-menstrual” bender. A switch had flipped in my brain that made crappy sugar-loaded food okay all of a sudden, because:

  1. I was “pre-menstrual”
  2. It’d only be for a pre-menstrual day or two
  3. Everything will be back to normal soon

The problem? Ten days later and I was still “pre-menstrual”… and a kilo heavier at weigh-in on Sunday. Bow-BOW! (or however you spell that sound that means wrong/not-the-winner/you’re out.)

Then, it happened.

Last night, for a few lonely hours, I felt like I wanted to crawl under the safety of a big fluffy dooner and hide my pop-up depression away from the world with a glass of red wine. I didn’t, but I wanted to.

I also wanted someone to stroke my hair, rub my aching back, fix all my first-world problems and tell me everything was going to be alright. They didn’t, but I wanted them to.

That, my friends, is bonafide PMT. How do I know for sure? By the time I woke up this morning, I could take the “pre” off “menstrual”.

So, my point here is, no, not that it sucks being a woman. Not at all.

What does suck, however, is that I’ve been cheating myself out of worthy good health goals and there are so many unjustified justifications we can come up with to be able to go for it in the moment that counts.

But, now for some good news.  If I trawl through my memory of benders gone by (in my twenties they were many and varied) at least I a) can remember this one, and b) have full-colour conscious awareness around it. Many very talented experts say that’s the first step for change.

And that, my friends, is worth celebrating. Champagne, Kate?

LeeMy pre-menstrual bender

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