If you’ve been wondering where I’ve been these past few days—this is your answer—I’ve been inside the red tent.  I’m referring to a book that chronicles the practice that aboriginal people had of having the women all go into a red tent when it was time for their periods (of course they were all on the same cycle since they lived in such close proximity).  In this tent they would not have to worry about taking care of men and children and they could just bleed and be bitchy and crampy in the company of those who could relate.  Fun.

So, that’s where I was–in my own little red tent with just me and my cats and dogs looking at me with sympathy as I had some pretty horrible cramps for hours and hours each day (yes, I sent my husband away as the cramps set in—”run away, save yourself” I would yell as he would look at me and then scream in horror and head for the store or something to try to find something to help me (and to save himself).

The good news (for you) is that I’ve been having these cramps all my life, so it’s not related to working out.  The bad news (for me) is that I still haven’t figured out how to stop them.  I have tried working out or not working out or only working certain body parts and eating and not eating lots of different things.  I have been on the pill and taken herbs and different sorts of pain killers.  I have yet to find a really satisfying, healthy solution.  But I will keep searching.  If anyone has any really unusual or rare insight on this issue, please share.  If you just want to recommend something we’ve all heard of, like a heating pad and ibuprofen, don’t bother.  I’ve tried it.

Anyways, last night it was finally over (thanks be to  God and everything good and holy!) and I couldn’t wait to get back to working out.  But, since it had been a few days and my body had been through a lot of trauma and blood loss, I just wanted to do something to wake my body up and remind it that I still need/want muscle.  So, I did a little work out that covered most of my body, but I didn’t do more than one exercise per body part.  Here’s what I did:

  • shoulder press with dumbells: 15 reps/15 lbs, 10 reps/20 lbs X 3
  • hammer curls, seated and leaning forward: 12 reps/20 lbs X 3
  • calf raises: 15 reps/25 lbs each leg X 4
  • standing twists with dumbells in hand: 20 minutes/ alternating 5-10 lbs each 5 minutes
  • deep squats (starting with weights on floor): 10 reps/30 lbs (two 15 lb dumbells in hands) X 3

As for what I ate—I have been eating very light so my intestines won’t have much to deal with while I am trying to stave off cramps.  But I haven’t worked out for 4 days, so that’s ok.  My calories in were still probably commiserate with calories out and I kept my protein levels up in each little meal and snack, as you can see.

  • Breakfast (16 g protein): 1 cup Optimum Slim cereal (9 g protein) with 1 cup soy milk (7 g protein)
  • Lunch (30 g protein): 1 cup quinoa (18 g protein) with 1/2 cup black lentils (7 g protein), 1 cup cooked spinach (5 g protein), onions, mushrooms, oregano, garlic powder, basil and lemon pepper.
  • Snack: 1 cup walnuts (30 g protein) and lots of cherries
  • Dinner (22 g protein): Boca burger (15 g protein) with slice of Veggy Cheese (2 g protein) on thin sandwich bun (3 g protein) with vegannaise, mustard and a few leaves of raw spinach (2 g protein).
  • Snack: watermelon
  • Before bed: cup chamomile and lavender tea with 1/2 cup soy milk (4 g protein)
  • Total 102 grams of protein for the day!

6 Responses to Wake Up the Body “Post Red Tent” Home Workout

  1. Michel says:

    Curious about your cramps but were you ever checked out for endometriosis?

  2. I had the same problems all my female life as well.It was robbing me of sometimes two weeks or more of the month.I tried every possible option from hormones to alternative diets , herbs ect. It finally ended in December when I had an emergency endometrial ablation.My Dr. gave me the option of a hystorectomy or the ablation (very little down time) I opted for the ablation and it was the best choice I’ve ever made. No more hemorrhaging or horrific cramping , no more down time from the gym.It changed my life.They do usually perform a tubal ligation when they do this procedure so I wouldnt recommend it if you’re planning to get pregnant.

    • Brenda Carey says:

      I have seen numerous doctors and they have examined me with an ultrasound as well as MRI and could not see anything. But the theory is that I probably have some thin endometrial tissue covering other organs throughout my abdominal cavity. I have been told that they would have to do major surgery and really open me up to try to find it all and then they could scrape it off. But I’ve been warned that all of this cutting will create scar tissue that could make things even worse. That’s why I’ve been hoping to find ways to heal it or deal with it without surgery. I actually got rid of the cramps for a few months when I lived in Colorado in the summer of ’09 and was being treated by a fabulous acupuncturist/herbalist there. Lately she’s been treating me via long distance and it’s not as effective and the cramps are coming back. I am going to try another acupuncturist/herbalist here in L.A. starting next week. But it sounds like your ablation wasn’t so bad. I’ll have to look into that. Have you noticed that severe cramps as well as infertility are problems that are getting more and more common? My husband is an attorney who sues people for putting toxic chemicals in products. There are so many toxic man-made substances being put on everything we touch and being put into our air and water. So sad that so many people have to suffer because of corporate greed and short-sightedness. I’m a perfect example of how you can be a health food nut and only eat organic vegan stuff and never take drugs, etc, etc, etc and still be effected by the toxins in the environment. At least it only hurts me a couple days a month. I know people with mystery inflammatory illnesses who suffer on a daily basis. It can always be worse; and that it’s not is something to be truly grateful for, for sure.

  3. I totally hear you on the chemicals in everything and the increase in fertility issues …I also notice the fact that girls are developing at an earlier age and having ther periods earlier. Likely also related to added hormones in meats , dairy ect.
    Just FYI..I DID have endometriosis and they couldnt always see it when they did the ultra sound. The first surgery I had was last September (D and C and removal of a few small masses related to the endo) in hopes that it would correct the monthly problems. It did not and by Dec I had the Ablation procedure, no need to use any drugs, medications ect. and no more problems. If you’re suffering its a solid option for sure.

  4. You’re in Los Angeles Brenda? Have you heard of Lotus East West in Santa Monica? They do a blend of western medicine and eastern. I’ve been wanting to check it out for a while.

    • Brenda Carey says:

      I actually have a friend who is a renowned acupuncturist/herbalist who I will be seeing next week. I have held off on having her treat me because I had someone in Colorado who had been treating me and had much success. But now I feel like it’s time to try someone closer so I can have those all important office visits. I will be posting how it goes. Thanks for your support and concern! It’s so nice to get comments from people who care!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>