Blog of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research

Bring on the Fat!

July 31st, 2012 by Kati Bicknell

I’ve been doing research on my own menstrual cycle for almost four years, charting my cycle using the Fertility Awareness Method.


Photo by Pete&Brook // CC 2.0

My cycles have always been wacky. I got my period when I was 11  but bled only a couple times a year, until, at my doctor’s suggestion, I went on the pill at 18, to “regulate” my cycle.  At 26 I learned that the birth control pills didn’t actually regulate my cycle, they just covered up the real issue.  I was determined to let my body find its own natural cycle, so I went off the pill. I wanted the option to have my own children someday, and with my dubious state of fertility, I needed to give myself a head start on having a healthy cycle.

I didn’t find much information about cycle health for a while, but when I was finally introduced to Toni Weshler’s book, Taking Charge of Your Fertility, I felt that  I had found the key!  I was fascinated to learn that with just a few simple actions each day I could get a clear picture of my cycle health. I started charting right away and did my best  give my body a shot at having a “normal” healthy cycle, exercising, eating healthy, trying different herbs and foods. But nothing seemed to make a lasting difference.  I would still only get around four periods a year.

This year in February I went to China, so Kindara could take part in the Haxlr8r start-up accelerator program. I was shocked when within two weeks of arriving in China, I ovulated, after not having my period for six months. I don’t generally ovulate in the winter, so I thought maybe this was just the end of that drought, being as it was March. But then I ovulated again in April, and in May, and in June.

The only thing I could point to that I was doing differently from what I had ever done before was eating lots of weird meat. In China it seems that no part of the animal is wasted. I had countless meals consisting of mostly bones and/or animal fat. In fact the regular “meat” that I was used to in the States didn’t seem to exist.  Everything was either bones, organs, or fat. This was pretty unnerving to me at first, but I slowly got used to it. So I kept it up. When we came back to the states in mid-June I made an effort to eat meat at least several times a week, the fattier and weirder the meat, the better!  And that’s hard to find here. But my efforts seem to be working, I ovulated in July as well!  This makes five months of regular cycles, for the first time in my life.

This is incredible, and I never would have had such a front row seat on the action if I wasn’t charting my cycle. I seem to have cracked the code on what my body was missing. And this means that I should have an easier time getting pregnant, if and when I decide I’m ready. My procreative power is now in my own hands, and I love it!

13 responses to “Bring on the Fat!”

  1. Lisa Leger says:

    yes yes – hormones need fat! I dont endorse the factory farmed commercial meat that North Americans are served, but we sure do need fats and oils. I see the problem you describe with FAM clients who follow extreme vegan and vegetarian diets. Raw and vegan foods are great and healthy, but some people who eat that way exclusively can get “too yin” (spacey and yeasty). I recommend an omnivorous diet of clean, unprocessed foods including wild fish and meat, along with some cooked and some raw veggies and grains to stay grounded and balanced energetically and hormonally.

  2. Hi Lisa,

    Thanks for that info! Glad to see I’m not alone. :) Do you have any recommended sources for good, clean, fatty meat?

  3. chrissy says:

    every woman should chart her cycle! i’ve been doing it for 10 years and i have learned an enormous amount of information about my body, my habits, my health. it’s so easy, such a simple little thing. i chart not only my cycle but my wellness, exercise, and other things i do throughout the month. i can’t imagine not knowing all i know about myself. i will chart until i dry up! lol

  4. Hi Chrissy,

    HA!! I love your enthusiasm! I feel the same way! Fertility charting has totally changed the way I view my health. I take a much more personal and hands-on approach now. :) If you check out our Kindara iPhone app I’d love to hear your thoughts on it. :)

  5. chrissy says:

    sorry no iphone here, but if it gets more women AND GIRLS interested in charting their cycles, more power to you! seriously tho, charting has opened up a whole new world to me, a world i lived in all along but never really knew much about.

  6. Yes, it sure is amazing what you can learn, in just a few minutes a day about your body. Our goal is to make fertility charting as easy and ubiquitous as the pill is these days. Being able to choose when you get pregnant is just ONE of the many benefits to be had.

  7. Lisa Leger says:

    support your local farmer

  8. chrissy says:

    just some of the benefits i’ve found:
    pregnancy prevention AND/OR fertility optimization
    patterns in health and sickness related to hormones
    patterns that help determine when you’re at your absolute peak performance, vitality (great for planning vacations, public engagements, parties, etc)
    seasonal cycle variations
    identify health problems early on by observing repeated or growing health concerns

    the list is endless.

  9. I love it! Now that my cycles are more regular I’m looking forward to tapping into some of the “peak performance” benefits! I do a lot of speaking for and about Kindara, and it would be great to plan it for when I’m most “ON”, when possible.

    When do you find is your most charismatic time? Do you know the book “The Optimized Woman” by Miranda Gray? She talks a lot about how different parts of the cycle are optimal for certain times. Just wondering if other women have had a similar experience.

  10. chrissy says:

    i’m at my most radiant and attractive during ovulation (i try to plan things like interviews and meetings with others at that time), but i feel my bubbliest and most energetic in the few days after my period and before ovulation. in fact, the last spotty day of my period is usually the day i knock out all those stupid projects i dread – things like cleaning closets, organizing drawers, etc. i commend you for going public. i wish more women would openly discuss these things. we could learn so much from each other.

  11. chrissy says:

    ps: i haven’t read that book but it’s on my list now.

  12. I totally agree! It’s a shame more women don’t talk about these things. It’s so fascinating, and useful! Thanks for sharing your experiences. :)

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