My Cycle Journey…
I was a late bloomer, I got my period just before my 16th birthday and at the time it meant I could FINALLY start shaving my legs (thanks dad). This same year I started taking hormonal contraception not knowing that this one decision would contribute to my life purpose in the future… Fast forward 12 years and yep, I was still on that very same contraceptive pill.
It was in my late 20s and having recently been diagnosed with leaky gut and progressing through a successful gut healing journey I began to question my contraceptive choices and reproductive health. The contraceptive pill felt like the final piece of my health puzzle that I was yet to tick off the “to-do” list.
I was 27. I went cold turkey, very much how my dad did when he quit smoking and I lost my cycle for almost a full 9 months. Amenorrhea – no bleeds, no balance, just intense highs and lows, which followed with a diagnosis of PCOS (Polycystic ovary syndrome). I describe myself at this time of my like, as a woman whom I really didn’t feel like a woman at all.
I noticed that I began to feel different everyday, week to week. It felt wild, unstable and as if there was an alien in to control of my body….
“What the “F” is going on? Who is in my body, who is trying to control the show – and where the “F” has Jema gone?” In this moment I said to myself, “Hang on a second… there’s something going on here.”
I’d describe myself in this moment, as a woman coming off the pill that I really didn’t feel like a woman at all.
My mood swings were ridiculously crazy and I had no cycle.
Can you relate to this?
It literally felt like I was out of control. I had zero control over my body. Despite, at this stage in my life getting a period meant; putting a tampon in and off I walked back into my day, everything would be fine. I’d bleed for a couple of days, but nothing would change from day to day. Through this experience of losing my period and my entire cycle, I’d never felt so disconnected from my body. I felt healthy, active and balanced out my weight. My diet had never been cleaner after healing myself from leaky gut; yet, I still felt uncontrollable inside my own body.
PCOS… “Pfff, this can’t happen to me. I’m really, really healthy”. That day, I came home from the doctors and my long-term partner at the time asked me, “How did you go?” “Well, I have PCOS”. “You have PCOS? You hardly have any of the symptoms?” “I know” I replied. In this moment I realised, I never really felt like I had PCOS, so I simply never really told anyone because I didn’t believe that I had it. and I knew if I told people, in the same moment I’d be telling myself that I have PCOS, even when I didn’t think I had it – yet the bloods and ultrasounds said Yes.
I didn’t want to label myself, or have others label me too. (Let this be a lesson for you in how you choose to label yourself.)
Overtime, I made a few adjustments to support PCOS and a healthy menstrual cycle. For example, I shifted up a few things in my diet, added to my nutritional product regime (I used these products) and began focusing on the emotional healing elements of PCOS too. It was only when I started to make simple lifestyle shifts and began paying close attention to my menstrual cycle that I discovered there was A LOT more to my monthly cycle than just a period bleed.
I started tracking my menstrual cycle for the first time as an almost 30 year old women and despite the fact I’d been working in health for almost a decade at this time, I didn’t really know anything about menstrual cycles. How could this be? I was working with women around their food habits, nutritional, physical and emotional health. But ZIP, ZILL, NA-DA on cycles was taught in any of my studies.
My cycle returned and I began menstruating again. However, something wasn’t sitting right with me since being diagnosed with PCOS. “Hang on a second. There’s got to be more about women’s health than we’re being led to believe.” Many of my friends at this time, were trying to start families and were experiencing challenges/stresses with fertility & infertility. Have you seen or experienced this too?
The penny dropped!
“We’re just not being educated about our cycles enough!” – period!
And so began my study into menstrual cycles, with a deep interweb search (kind of like the hole to China, but bigger); and I found myself learning in depth about women’s health from all stages of life.
The menstrual can of learning had officially been cracked open, and off I went studying… medical intuition and chakras uncovering the spiritual and energetic connection with our menstrual cycle. I delved head first into women’s womb wisdom work, hormones, the endocrine system, Ayurveda and Ancestral health.
This all lead me back to the same repetitive thought…
There’s got to be more about women’s health than what we’re being led to believe.
Studying ancestral health, womb wisdom, Ayurveda and the energetic body I soon noticed patterns in how I was feeling and the more I lived in tune with my cycle the more I felt like ME. In tune, aligned, connected and not forced. Being healthy mentally and emotionally felt easy, by body was at ease and for the first time in my life I understand my body.
Over the coming years as a coach I worked with hundreds of 1:1 women in nutrition and wellbeing and I began noticing they too were experiencing challenges with their own menstrual cycles – this is when I began transitioning to coaching and mentoring women on their cycles.
I trust that me sharing my personal story with you inspires you that it is possible to reclaim your health and vitality, all cycle long!
I share this personal story and experience with you, to demonstrate that despite that I’m a teacher, educator and coach in this particular area of health, even with 15 years’ experience in health under my belt, it’s important to remember that we are always a student to our bodies.
We all go through our own personal experiences and yes, I can very much relate to where you are on your journey. I’ve been where you are. I’ve worked with a number of women, whom have also been through this menstrual cycle discovery journey too. You are not definitely not alone!
Ready to discover your own cycle, change your current contraception plan and/or over coming frustrating cycle signs?
Perhaps you’re embarking on a journey similar to mine… If so,
Join me for my self paced 5-Day Love Your Cycle Course immersion.