November has provided me with a couple of amazing opportunities to meet and learn from some amazing women – Nat Kringoudis, a TCM doctor, acupuncturist and natural fertility expert, and Melissa Ambrosini, a wellness blogger and life coach.
First up, Debunking Ovulation.
Nat is a Traditional Chinese Medicine doctor (mine, as it happens) who specialises in assisting women with all sorts of fertility related issues – wibbly periods, amenhorrea, period and ovulation pain, assistance coming off the pill, as well as conception assistance, all from a Chinese Medical perspective. Her event covers what a healthy cycle looks like – how to identify when you ovulate, what an ideal period is, and how to work out for yourself if your cycle is healthy and so much other information I’d not heard elsewhere. She’s absolutely right – this stuff should be taught in schools! When I was diagnosed with VWD, no testing or monitoring was done to see if I was ovulating regularly, so I’m actually unsure if my untamed periods are really really long, or if a period rolls into ovulation spotting which rolls into the next period and so on (another possibility given my clotting deficiency). Now, one day when I come off the pill, I have the tools from Nat to be able to work that out. Or perhaps you’ve been tested to see if you ovulate and its come back negative – did you know you could still be ovulating with a healthy period, it just happens after day 21 of your cycle? Nat also covers so much useful information about how food, lifestyle and medical factors can mess with your cycle.
Lifestyle is such a prominent factor that one ill-timed food issue, or even one plane trip can be enough to signal to your body that it shouldn’t ovulate that month (or that day). I loved how Nat talked about lifestyle, as it completely backed up everything I’d learned earlier in the year at the Whole9 South Pacific workshop – they talked about that for women, menstrual difficulties can often be the first sign of a food sensitivity or intolerance because its out least important bodily system. While its needed for the survival of the species, its not a system that’s needed for survival of an individual. Plus, it makes perfect sense. Say you’re due to ovulate, but your body is under stress in some way – you got glutened, or you’re running on a sleep deficit or maybe you’re working overtime to recover from a few hard gym sessions. Your body will look at itself and say “is everything in perfect order for me to carry a pregnancy right now?” and if not, it’ll hit the pause button on your cycle. Like if you’re really stressed you might elect to rest or do a gentle yoga class instead of your usual hard-core Crossfit session. Your body does the same thing!
It was such an informative session, with so many a-ha! moments. And if you’re reading this thinking you would like to attend, but you’re not Australian/can’t get to the one remaining Melbourne session, there’s good news. Nat has created a Debunking Ovulation website, where you can sign up to get all her info and view a recorded seminar! How cool! Check it out here: http://debunkingovulation.com/
Number 2 was last weekend – Step It Up with Melissa Ambrosini and Christian Miranda (her trainer).
I got to attend Mel’s first even this year, her Hibernation is for Bears not Babes tour, and in true Hobart weather fashion we brought on the winter conditions again, despite it being late November. Right, so it was warm and sweaty when I was at the climbing gym on Friday night and my hands were making sweat glue with the chalk but now its cranky again! Of course!
Anywho! Mel’s tour this time around was about taking those hard steps to get past your fears, overcoming challenges and rocking your best life. We started with a workout with her trainer Christian (dear me he’s a task master!), which in true chronic medical condition fashion, I modified to deal with my post Friday climbing sesh knee bruises. Which meant no squat jumps or burpees and extra pushups and normal squats. We did 3 rounds of (mostly) 10 reps of each move, with Christian encouraging the group to do each a bit quicker than the last set. Ouch.
After that Mel and Christian got into the good stuff – the mean girl, challenges, showing up for everything you do, and how to use fitness and a catalyst for change. Christian talked a lot about using a tough workout to understand a person – those who have fears to push through in any area of their life are usually the ones who don’t think they can do 50 pushups or burpees. But how awesome is it when you do get through that set! Pushing through that fear or block will also have you seeing other areas where fear is holding you back, and being able to push through those.
But we weren’t done sweating, apparently – it was back to the yoga mats for workout two – a 300 rep workout! I was unbelievably stuffed after that! Its taken me 5 days and a Torque class to get back to the point where I can life my arms up over my head due to my tight triceps. So it was pretty hard. But by gosh did I feel amazing afterwards! Even with my aforementioned bruised knees and modifications, it was amazing and so empowering to be able to do all of Christian’s workout, especially after tiring myself out 2 days before at the rock climbing gym! Its such amazing re-enforcement for everything I’ve learned this year. Mel’s primary message was to do everything from a place of love, and now that I eat, exercise and wrangle with my ego from love and not fear (most of the time anyway), just look what my body can do!
I don’t want to write too much more because Mel and Christian are only about half way through their tour, but you can get more of Mel’s inspiring works on her blog, and Christian can be contacted on his Facebook page, where he also posts some of his workouts.
All in all, I love getting to attend these kinds of things! I think its my INTJness coming out, but I’ve always been a lover of learning, even re-learning old things or hearing them in a different way. I’m so excited to have Nat’s knowledge,and if you have your own uterus, or are in a relationship and wanting kids, even with different reproductive organs, her stuff should be on your ‘must read’ list. Her tips and treatment have made such a difference to my body, I’m sure some of it will resonate for you too. I also loved Mel and Christian’s workshop – the idea that workouts can ‘crack you open’ and start the process of fear-busting has been such an important one for me this year.
Have you seen either of these ladies live? I’d love to hear your thoughts.