Cycle Thinking Fitness &

Balancing Your Hormones

Ep. 139 ft. Jenny Swisher

“Pay attention to the day-to-day, so you can make decisions that give you energy.”

Jenny Swisher

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Bio

Jenny Swisher has had a wide background in health and fitness from owning a gym with her husband to building a network of marketing health professionals, to deep diving into hormone health. Jenny is now a holistic health coach, mom, and creator of SYNC: How to Fuel and Train with Your Female Hormone Cycle digital course. The course is designed to teach women how to work with their practitioners to uncover the root cause of their hormone imbalances, how to track their cycles using an ovuscope, and how to cycle sync their workouts and nutrition to their menstrual phases.

Jenny’s podcast, SYNC Your Life, is also working to spread the word on the message that women are not small men, and that getting a female into great shape means paying attention to her physiology and working with it instead of against it.

Show Notes

Ladies! You know all those diets and new workout plans you keep trying hoping to lose that extra 5lbs or to feel a little better? Maybe it’s not working because it was designed based off the male body. YEP. This episode is essential for all women to finally begin to work WITH our cycle and how to advocate for our total health.

If you have any comments or questions about the Be It pod shoot us a message at [email protected]. Or leave a comment below!

And as always, if you’re enjoying the show please share it with someone who you think would enjoy it as well. It is your continued support that will help us continue to help others. Thank you so much! Never miss another show by subscribing at LesleyLogan.co/subscribe.

In this episode you will learn about:

  • How proactive health can impact your lifestyle and balance your hormones
  • The benefits of a functional doctor
  • How to rule out the doctors who won’t serve you well
  • What is your body saying day-to-day
  • How to cycle sync your workouts for maximum benefits
  • 4-legged chair analogy and how it relates to your hormone system
  • The things to consider in your hormone imbalance
  • The two most common issues for hormone imbalance
  • The range of “normal” has not been defined for you

References/Links:

Transcript

INTRODUCTION

Lesley Logan
Hey loves, how are you? Oh my gosh, okay, so I am so stoked for you to talk to this for you to talk, you’re not gonna talk to her. I mean, you could talk to her while you’re walking, you’re gonna listen to her. (Lesley laughs) Oh my gosh, okay, so I am part of a group and I was reaching out for some guests. And this woman raised her hand. And I thought it must been earlier in the year or maybe even late last year, to be honest, and we had a phone call. And like all busy women, we have lives and she’s growing her companies and growing my companies. And so we, we knew we had, we’re gonna have a great conversation. I knew I had to have her on. And also, like, life just takes time. And I share this, and I share this. And when I introduced her, I share this because it’s so so important that you hear this. You’re gonna learn so much from people in your lives, like I learn more from the conversations I have, and the epic relations that I’ve have, then in any book, okay? And so, but not every relationship can start right away. Not every conversation gets to start right away. And I think it’s important that we keep that in mind. So you don’t take things personally, if a conversation doesn’t happen, or if it gets canceled, and then you are intentional. So I have an intentional list of people that I’m like, “This someone is someone I really want you in my life. This is someone I really want to conversation with. This is I want to connect with.” And then I make sure that I reach out from time to time. And so I’m so stoked because I was on this, this guest podcast and I really hope you listen to it if you haven’t already. And not only you’re going to love this and this podcast is going to just enlighten you on so many things. Ladies, this is for you. Our guest is Jenny Swisher and she is 100% a woman on a mission and passionate about hormone health with women and she is really diving into find out different ways that you can make it easy for women to know about their hormone health to be in control and to use that for themselves. So here’s what’s so exciting. You’re gonna listen to all this amazing wisdom and the story from Jenny Swisher right now and I want you to truly listen to her BE IT action items, especially the last one please, please, please, please, please, ladies, please. And then I really want you to take stock about the things that you are doing, track things in your life, have intentionality around these things to try not to excuse your feelings or things you want a way, please because you cannot be it till you see it if you are just kind of flat floating through and just letting things happen. That’s not how it works. We have to take some action. So listen to our actions up to the end. Listen to these amazing words from Jenny Swisher. I’m so glad I got to have her as a guest for you. And I can’t wait to hear how you use these actions in your life.

Lesley Logan
Welcome to the Be It Till You See It podcast where we talk about taking messy action, knowing that perfect is boring. I’m Lesley Logan, Pilates instructor and fitness business coach. I’ve trained thousands of people around the world and the number one thing I see stopping people from achieving anything is self doubt. My friends, action brings clarity and it’s the antidote to fear. Each week, my guest will bring Bold, Executable, Intrinsic and Targeted steps that you can use to put yourself first and Be It Till You See It. It’s a practice, not a perfect. Let’s get started.

EPISODE

Lesley Logan
Hey, Be It listeners. All right, I am really thrilled. This woman and I actually talked many, many moons ago. And because when you are busy women rockin things that you have in this world and have important people in your lives. Sometimes schedules can get can take a little while to have these important conversations. But what I’m so stoked about is that, that just means we get to actually and I get to have more conversations together, which is really cool. And I say that because I think it can be really tricky when you meet someone and you want them to be your friend or you want to connect with you want to network with them. And that it takes a while for that ball to get rolling. You can get a little frustrated. What I will say is having been on our guests podcast, let the time take it and stay consistent and keep showing up and it will it’ll be what it’s going to be and so here without further ado, let me actually just get her on. Jenny Swisher is here, and I am so stoked to have her on. I’m really thrilled that our paths have crossed. Thank goodness for the groups that were in. So Jenny, will you tell everyone who you are and what you’re up to these days?

Jenny Swisher
Absolutely. Well, thank you for having me on. I’ve been listening to your podcast to these last several weeks and I love the vibe that you put out into the world and the message that you’re sharing. I hope that women especially listening to this day will come away with something. So my name is Jenny Swisher. I started a SYNC digital course in 2020 focused on women’s hormone health. So basically, that’s my story. And I’m sticking to it right, I have a struggle that started in my 20s having to do with chronic migraine and hormone imbalance that led me into this journey of self discovery and really becoming my own best doctor. And I looked around as a as a personal trainer and a nutritionist, and I saw this need with other women out there who were struggling, and they were being told their testing was normal. And what they were experiencing was normal. And I thought, “No, this isn’t right, we need to intervene. And we need to educate women on their health, their especially their menstrual health, and how to really get to the root cause of issues for them.” So I launched my course in 2020, have a podcast now called SYNC Your Life, which you were on, just we just interviewed you last week, so it’ll be on your soon live. But uh, yeah, I love this journey that I’m on because I’m meeting so many women out there who always tell me that they wish they had known this information years ago. And so I feel like I’m really sort of like living into my purpose. I’m following this calling to really bridge the gap between the medical community and functional wellness, and really getting people on board with a more functional approach to their health.

Lesley Logan
Yeah, I love this. And I also love the timing of this, because we just had on one of our guests, talking about women’s health and our importance of being an advocate, and it’s exhausting to be an advocate for yourself, but you have to do it and and I love the the specificity of yours because I do think that it’s if we should have known when we were probably 14 or 13. Like when you’re when you’re watching those videos about your cycle, it’s probably like, and here’s all the different possibilities. And here just just so that it’s not fearful, it’s not this negative stigma that we have around it. And then it’s easier to know that you have to sync things and that there’s there’s so much more possibility out there for all of us. I would love to so you, you started your course and 2020. What kind of was the impetus for that? Because I feel like taking on the idea of like, I’m going to do a course that requires a (Jenny: Yeah.) lot more than just passion and an idea.

Jenny Swisher
Absolutely, yeah. So as I mentioned briefly, you know, in my 20s, I started experiencing chronic migraine, and when I say chronic migraine, I mean, I had consistent pain. If I woke up in the middle of night, I still have a headache for two and a half consecutive years. And so I was referred to Mayo Clinic, Diamond Clinic, I was referred to all these different specialists, I saw a total of 14 different neurologists and specialists. And I had the world’s gamut of testing on my brain and my spine. And you know, I even saw chiropractors and all different types of experts in this field that were like, everything’s fine, everything’s normal. We’re not sure why you’re having these headaches. And I knew deep down that there was a reason and I just had to get to the root of that reason. But I unfortunately spent a little bit too long, sitting in the in the waiting room of doctors offices hoping for my Doctor House is what I like to say, looking for that doctor who could who could say, “Uh huh, you have mold in your gutters, you know, and that’s the problem.” You know …

Lesley Logan
I know. I remember that show. Everyone if you don’t remember all this show, like the doctors would like sneak out of the hospital and like break into people’s houses to find out, “Oh, you use lead paint and this one thing, and that’s the thing.” And with my health conditions too.” I was like, “There’s gotta be, there must be something here …” There’s gonna be a doctor that finds it. And so I totally understand, like, you go down that rabbit hole, like and you hold off for it. But there’s like, also maybe because of that, that hope or because of that fixation, you might miss what is (Jenny: Yeah.) actually right there in front of you.

Jenny Swisher
Absolutely. And I kept thinking that. I kept thinking, you know, this just came on and my husband and I got married at an early age. We were highschool sweethearts. We got married right out of college. And almost instantly after we came home from the honeymoon, I started experiencing these migraines and then they slowly became daily. And like I said, I found myself in multiple doctor’s offices and super frustrated because I was spending a lot of money, a lot of time. I was trying a lot of different pharmaceuticals on myself. I felt like a human guinea pig. I did you know I was I would go into hospital settings for overnight stays for IV drips that were just simply trials like drug trials to see if things would work. And so I finally was, you know, to give you the sort of high level version of the story I I was on a walk with my yoga instructor because yes, I also tried yoga during that time you’ll try anything. I did chiropractic, Pilates, yoga. I did, like I said, acupuncture, like everything possible. If someone mentioned it, I was like, “Sure I’ll try it.” (Lesley: Yeah.) And through that journey. I met my yoga instructor who is now one of my very best friends and she really was a respite for me during that time. She had a family member who was also struggling with migraine and so it felt like I had somebody who would listen and who had she knew somebody that was going through something similar and it was so good for me to have that outlet instead of just always dumping it onto my husband or or you know my family. And …

Lesley Logan
Well, and also that have someone like you just said that understands because I think I think thank you for explaining that you had like these two and a half day long migraines. I think people think, “Oh, I had them migraine.” Or sometimes people say, “I have a migraine.” They just like throw it out there. And it’s like, (Jenny: Yeah.) people don’t realize that like when someone actually truly has like migraine like it can this is debilitating. Like this is taking over your life. So you (Jenny: Yeah.) really do need someone who actually understands that, someone not just like, “Okay, like you have a headache like it’s a hard headache.”

Jenny Swisher
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And so I was on this walk with my friend Jen. And I was at a breaking point, I was at that point, I was carrying painkillers in my pocket. I had sort of resolved myself to this idea that, in order to get through each day, I was gonna have to just take the painkiller as a preventative thing, like I was gonna have to wake up every day and just take this painkiller. And she said to me, “You’ve got to, you’ve got to stop doing this, like, you’ve got to, you’ve got to find someone else, like, I’m gonna refer you to my friend, she’s a functional medicine doctor, perhaps that can be an answer, or maybe she can connect you to the right person, you got to keep trying.” And she really was sort of like, you know, I felt like I was almost on a ledge, and she was talking me off the ledge, like, “You can’t give up, you’ve got to be your own best doctor, you got to keep advocating for yourself.” And so she referred me to this functional medicine doctor. All of this was happening at the same time that another friend had introduced me to Home Fitness. I started with P90X the old school DVD program, this this was, I don’t know, 12 or 13 years ago, it feels like forever ago. And I just thought at that time, and it’s only going to make sense probably to people who have dealt with chronic pain issues. Sometimes the only way to escape the chronic pain is through a distraction. (Lesley: Yeah.) And for me, the exercise was almost as painful as the migraine. And so it was like it was it was putting other parts of my body into focus. When I was doing a workout or holding a wall squat. All I could think about was the wall squat and I wasn’t thinking about my headache. And so for me, exercise became my relief, it became this thing that I really looked forward to, and it started with that home program. So all of this was happening at once I started seeing a functional medicine doctor, I started exercising more I started getting into nutrition, and I really sort of the doors were opened for me, I guess you could say to this idea of proactive health, as opposed to taking medications to treat my symptoms. What if I really started looking at my lifestyle? What kind of food was I putting in my body? What was my sleep like? Really, you know, the term biohacking was fresh back in the day, 12 years ago, and that term started popping up into the podcast I was listening to and really started surrounding myself in that environment. And so long story short, I became a coach with Team Beachbody in network marketing business. And I started helping a lot of people, building a team of health coaches and using our home fitness products at the time. This was 12 years ago. I worked my way into the top of the company for that. And my husband and I decided let’s take this to the next level. And I said I can’t do anything else until I get these headaches figured out. And so thankfully, because of my functional medicine doctor doing the right kind of testing on me that no one had ever done before. And for her really taking the time to hear about how this pain was happening and patterns that were behind it. And just having someone to listen, I started meeting the right specialists and meeting the right people that could tell me, “Hey, we actually think your headaches are hormonally triggered.” And so that led to this idea of you know, okay, I want to learn more about hormones, then because I don’t feel like I really, (Lesley: Yeah.) I didn’t understand my mens… I didn’t understand my menstrual cycle. This is when I’m in my 20s, my husband and I had gone off of birth control. Lesley: Which it’s own, like.) And so I’m like …

Lesley Logan
… which everyone (Jenny: Yeah.) just so you in case you don’t know, in case you’ve never gone off. Just getting off doesn’t mean okay, you’re like you just snap back, like the body has been forever. Like there are so there’s actually a book called like After The Pill, I think or Beyond the Pill. (Jenny: Yeah.) And then there’s like, just if you anytime you’re doing anything hormonal to your body, it’s going to take at least 100 days for changes to be made. And oftentimes, we’re just like, you’re just taken off of it. And no one like goes just so you know, it’s gonna be a little weird for a while.

Jenny Swisher
It’s a roller coaster. Yeah, just get ready for the roller coaster. Yeah, exactly. And so but I didn’t I didn’t put the two and two together at the time. It didn’t make sense. (Lesley: Right.) No, of course. Now, when I look back, I’m like, “Well, of course, I had gone off of birth control, and my headaches spiraled out of control.” I never made that connection. Right. (Lesley: Yeah.) And then, unfortunately, I never had a doctor to ask that question to make that connection either. And so anyways, so we ended up, you know, getting to sort of the root cause of my headaches, which for me, people always say, “Well, what is it?” The root cause for me tends to be estrogen dominance, which is when my estrogen is too high in relation to my progesterone. That’s very common for women and perimenopause after the age of 35 not so normal for women at the age of 22. And so I really once I started to learn what that trigger was, and I started to supplement accordingly to really help my body detoxify that estrogen, estrogen and to eat the right foods. And so I went on progesterone, bion… bioidentical progesterone cream, supplementation once those things started to happen. I, you know, I was able to eliminate all pharmaceuticals and really just focus on these nutraceuticals and it was life changing. But I just want to mention, too, that at that same time, it explains so much about our infertility journey that we were also on. And at the time, becoming pregnant and starting a family was not a priority for us because I was in so much pain, but it was also this sort of thing in the back of my mind that was like, “Gosh, I’ve been off birth control now for several years then nothing’s happening.” (Lesley: We haven’t even had oops.) Exactly, exactly. And so you know, and so I started thinking, like, once I started learning that the headaches were hormonally triggered, I really started to sort of dive into that. I started to dive into wanting to just be an expert on hormone health, and really to learn about my own body. And I started to make these other connections (Lesley: Yeah.) about our fertility, our fertility journey, as well. So all of that to say that it’s been my story. And it’s been something that you know, I always say that when somebody you know, whether it’s photography, or whatever, whenever somebody gets into something, right, you can become obsessed with it to the point of becoming becoming an expert. You know what I mean?

Lesley Logan
Yeah … But and like because you became an expert, like, that’s, like the though, it only makes sense that you take all this information and you share it with the world instead of keeping it to yourself. Like I (Jenny: Yeah.) you know, and, like, it is, for every, there’s I know, so many of our listeners, like, “Oh, yeah, the hormones.” Like another, another person who wasn’t helped. Like, and I also in those listeners, like, “Oh, my gosh, like, maybe that’s my problem.” And so for those people, you know, what are like, for people who are like just thinking maybe this is what I’ve got going on? Like, where should they look in their communities for support? Like, what are the type of people to like, type of titles to look for? Because obviously took a yoga teacher to connect you to a holistic doctor, like, who should they look for in their communities to maybe get the right testing?

Jenny Swisher
Well, the first thing that I’ll say is, thanks to modern technology, a lot of this stuff is becoming more talked about. So there are podcasts out there, not just mine, but others there are digital courses out there, not just mine, but others there are lots of things virtually, that you can tap into to really start to learn about yourself. But if you’re looking for somebody to work with, like if you’re looking for a functional practitioner, I always tell people to start by going to ifm.org, which stands for Institute for Functional Medicine.org. You can do a search by zip code to see if there’s a functional medicine practitioner near you. You can also do searches for things like integrative health practitioner, you know, naturopath, those types of things to really, and I would, here’s the bad thing is that I always tell people, I’m like, “Just because you find someone that has that title doesn’t still doesn’t mean that it’s the right doctor for you.” (Lesley: Right.) So one thing, one thing that I like to do is I take with my course takers, I give them a list of questions to ask the doctor. (Lesley: Oh cool.) And a lot of times I’ll tell them before you go to the doctor, have this sort of interview with the office, call the office and say, “Do you do this type of testing? Is this you know, are you planning on testing me on certain days of my cycle?” Like ask these certain questions that really sort of rule out the people who are not going to be working well. (Lesley: Yeah.) And it shows you what they know, you know what I mean? And so that’s something that I like to supply people with is just this, this idea of like, okay, how to find the right doctor? Yes, but how to weed out the wrong doctors, too.

Lesley Logan
I love this. Actually, this is like so helpful. And because we actually have done this with like, interviewees, like people we want to interview, like, we’ll put it in, depending on the type of job that we’re looking for, like almost a trick question, not to like, be mean. But like, if you have to pay attention to detail, and you don’t answer a question that has detail in it, then I don’t want to read your application, I don’t want to do an interview with you. Same thing goes with like, you can look up a Pilates instructor near you. That doesn’t mean that the right Pilates instructor for you. So like, there are … (Jenny: Yeah.) anyone you’re looking for you you don’t want to go, “Oh, this is the person. They are the holy grail.” It’s like, go in with some questions and make sure that they are the person who understands your issue. Like how many people have they helped with this problem? (Jenny: Yeah.) Have they seen this before? Or do they have like, one of my friends is a holistic doctor. And she has a huge network of doctors that she can reach out to if a problem is not something that she’s familiar with, or she’s exhausted all of her options so that she can either forward you on the right person with all the information or get the support from them that they have from their expertise. And so I think it it really does require like testing to see if the person you’re talking to has a willingness to learn and a willingness to fight for your fight for your health. And you’re not just (Jenny: Yeah.) another person that they’re seeing that day.

Jenny Swisher
Yeah. (Lesley: Yeah.) Yeah, I think I think you have to be your own best doctor. And I think that you have to go into the the appointment knowing that I mean, I don’t know about anybody listening. But I know for me, especially after I feel like I’m an expert in sitting in doctors offices, after years of doing it. I felt like I got to the point where they were just going to diagnose or give me whatever I was leading them to. You know what I mean? (Lesley: Yeah.) Like you’re, you’re leading the doctor to the eventual answer. And so the more hormone literate you can become about your own body and your own cycle. For example, in the case of hormone health, the easier it’s going to be for the doctor to make those connections or to really truly help you. I find that most people don’t have the awareness that they need the self awareness and the body awareness of their own body to be able to go and get a proper answer from a doctor. And so it starts with that but then when you are in that situation, being able to when you go into it knowing like this is how my body is supposed to operate. This is how it’s supposed to feel. These are the things that I’ve learned about hormone health and I’m not I’m low in energy or I’m this or I’m that that then you can go into the appointment say, “Hey, I think this is how I’m supposed has to be feeling. But instead I feel this way, what are some things that we can look into?”

Lesley Logan
Yeah, and I think so this is this brings up something that like I find, I feel like it may be it’s only in like Western culture. But what I’ve seen is most people are so disconnected from their bodies, that they don’t even know how long they haven’t felt good. Or they that this has like, how long have they been sweeping it under the rug and tell the rug is full. And it’s like spewing out the stuff. And then they’re like, when was the last when was the last time you felt that until this, it’s like, I actually don’t know. And so then, especially for my situation with my stomach issues, I had thought something was like a stomach bug. And then I thought it was like food poisoning. And then it came in, it just kept morphing. And because I got stressed about it. And because I waited so long and tried different things, I exacerbate the problem to them becoming multi systematic. So that my brain, I wasn’t doing a good, I wasn’t sleeping, so then I couldn’t actually create digestive cycles. And so then the stomach issues I had ended up becoming where I had no stomach acid. So now I’m not you know, so became this whole thing, because I had either waited too long, tried leaving the doctor’s down a certain path instead of just like really just taking a high level view of like, where what’s going on and what, like, as these things aren’t causing each other, but these things are individual things. And it’s you know, I don’t know if the answer is that every single day, we should just all like otter into like, like a voice message into ourselves like, “This is I woke up. This is I slept last night. This is what I’m going (Jenny: Yeah.) to eat this morning.” But we kind of do so that you can see like, where did the pattern start? When did I start (Jenny: Yeah.) feeling like low energy? When did I, when did this bloating become daily? When did these migraines become consistent?

Jenny Swisher
Yeah. Oh, yeah. Yeah, I think I mean, it starts with I mean, I don’t think there’s a problem with that at all. I mean, I think every single day when I wake up, I think about I look at my Aura ring stats. I look at okay, did my heart rate recover? Well, that I, what was my sleep score for the night, and that sort of determines my day, right? If I had a terrible sleep score, I just came off of COVID. So my sleep scores haven’t been the greatest, right? So I’m listening to that I’m not going to push my body in a workout. If my sleep score is terrible, and I didn’t rest well the night before. So it starts with that paying attention to how did I sleep? You know, am I am I eating enough? Especially for women, I see a lot of women not eating enough like, are my eating enough? Am I eating enough protein? Am I am I exercising in the ways that align with my energy, which a lot of women aren’t doing either, right? They’re doing things like the elliptical or the treadmill nonstop, as opposed to mixing things up. So I think then your lifestyle can adjust if you just listen, you know, the number one testimonial that I get from the women in my course. And this, I told my husband recently I’m like, it’s sort of sad that this is so commonly said. But so many women come into the course and I give you know, in the course I give like meal plans, I give you customized fitness calendars to sync with your cycle, I give you the questions for your doctor and supplementation to request and all these different things. And the one thing I hear from them is, “This course gave me the permission, I needed to listen to my body.” And I hear that so much. And it’s like, I don’t know, I mean, it must I don’t know if it’s society, or what leads us down this path of of, of believing that we’re crazy or believing that we shouldn’t listen to our body or we should follow societal norms, or we should pound the pavement when it comes to our workouts or whatever it is. But I think there’s peace and saying, “Okay, well, how did I do… how did I sleep last night? What was my day like yesterday?” And paying attention to that day to day, so that you can then make the decisions on what’s going to give me energy. (Lesley: Well …) At the end of the day, it’s about the energy.

Lesley Logan
And I think so I would love to know what we were all told to stop listening to our bodies. But the other thing is, is I think what’s very fascinating is women especially like men’s hormonal cycle is very different. And so their workouts can pretty much be the same no matter what day of the week it is, they can they don’t have to like, they don’t … they can actually do their hit classes three days a week, and then whatever. Like they, whatever their body wants, it’s fine. Whereas I didn’t know this. I worked in gyms, I worked with some of the top trainers in the world who studied all this physiology. And no one said, “Hey, just so you know, when you’re on this part of your cycle, you should probably be just doing low impact stuff. And when you’re on this part of your cycle, depending on how your body feels, you can do double dose workouts, you can do these things.” And I was like, when I found this out, only two years ago, I was like, “Oh, so I don’t actually have to feel bad that I don’t feel, I don’t have the energy to actually do that workout that I did two days ago, because I’m (Jenny: Yeah.) not supposed to. I’m not supposed to have that.” And so what ended up happening was as soon as I started doing my workouts based on my hormones, I started seeing way more impact in the workouts I was doing they were way more effective, more efficient, and it felt good in my body like it really felt good. (Jenny: Yeah.) You know. I didn’t I didn’t feel like well, that workout just took me out for the whole day.

Jenny Swisher
Yeah, when I started learning about cycle thinking fitness, I didn’t want to believe it because I had been this con and the P90X was where I started essentially, you know, I was following this calendar day in and day out without realizing that it was you know, it’s a calendar designed for men. I mean, fitness in general, we talk about all these different things as it pertains to periodization training and even with with nutrition things like intermittent fasting and ketogenic diets and all these things. And what people don’t always realize is that the research for this that’s been done has been done on men. And I follow Dr. Stacey Sims out of Australia. She’s fascinating. I felt I’ve taken her course, she has a viral TED Talk on this topic. But she talks about how, when researchers were asked, “Why don’t why they don’t study women, when it comes to fitness nutrition?” Their answer was, “Well, women’s hormones make them too complex to study.” And so instead, women have just followed suit to the the male exercise patterns or the diets that tend to work for men. And, you know, to kind of come back full circle to one of your original questions was how did the course come about? When my husband and I, we had a personal training studio for five and a half years, and I was training people I was following this 90 day transformation theme. I was bringing people in for six days a week of training, we were we were working on different muscle groups working on that muscle confusion. And when I was doing that, I had about 50 50 clients, I had 50% men, 50% women, and I always like to say, the men would always come in and do the workouts, but they would never almost never follow the nutrition. Right. They would just cook, they would eat whatever their wife cooked for dinner or whatever they didn’t follow with my nutrition plans. The women, however, would come in, and they would say, “I’m following your nutrition plans, and I’m coming in six days a week and my body isn’t changing.” And so when I started to experience that, as a personal trainer, and I had my own story with what worked for me and my headache journey, and my hormone imbalance, and knowing that most women maybe feel off or have low energy, but they’re being told they’re normal, all these things sort of started coming together. And I was like, okay, this is why women aren’t able to reach that maximum energy, and to reach that fit lifestyle because a) they’re being told they’re crazy. They’re not getting to the root cause of any imbalances, but b) their training according to a man schedule, (Lesley: Yeah.) their their training, their training in this sort of day and day out grind, and not paying attention to the ebbs and flows of our energies throughout the month. And it’s it once you learn it and once you can understand your body and how you can make this work for you. It is game changing, game changing.

Lesley Logan
How long would you say it takes like if someone is very diligent. How long does it take for them to kind of see a pattern in their in their body? Is it like a three month thing? Because, you know, or is it is can you find out in a couple of cycles? Like how long are we are they having (Jenny: Yeah.) to wait till they can see the patterns?

Jenny Swisher
Most women will tell me after the first 30 days that they that everything that they did in the last 30 days made sense. So in other words, for example, I have a woman who just recently said, you know, hey, I’m following your I get, like I said to give calendars. And so she’s like, you know, “I have a 30 day cycle, I’m following this calendar. And I thought today I was gonna go to the gym and take this exercise class. But the calendar said I needed to scale it back and do a yoga and an active recovery.” And so according to her cycle, right, and so she’s like, “I listened to that. And I went to the gym anyway, and I didn’t do the class, but I just went off into this open gym area, and I followed this yoga routine.” And she’s like, “I feel so good.” Like, she felt so good coming out of that class, out of that yoga that she was doing, as opposed to, you know, the the hard grind workout that she was going to do in the fit live fitness classes she was going to do instead. So they they start to almost prove it to themselves, because they (Lesley: Yeah.) follow, they follow that calendar. And they’re like, “Oh, yeah, this is how I’m feeling.” And you know, (Lesley: That’s cool.) and as soon as soon enough, they start to see this, of course, this is what I should be after that first month, right? Then they know they come out of that first period that they have, and they start feeling that estrogen rise, and they’re like, “I’m ready to push harder now.” Right. I’ve had the active recovery now I’m ready to proceed, and they start to get into that rhythm. And when you get into that rhythm, you can’t go back.

Lesley Logan
You know, so this is so true. Because, um, so I have to film about 10 to 12 workouts every month. And when we had set up the week to do it, the team was just like, okay, it takes us this time, much time, like they work backwards from what it had to go up. So they’re like, “This is your filming week.” And I was like, “Okay,” so I’m doing it. And like, you know, I was like, I frickin love my job. Like, I love what I created for myself. I love my members. I love everything. I frickin don’t want to do this right now. And then I’m like, “Is something wrong with me? Do I not like, I don’t like why don’t I want to do the thing that I love doing? Like I love Pilates. Oh, because it’s literally the wrong week for me to be on camera.” Like it’s like when there’s like literally a week where it’s like, I want to be by myself. I want to be inward, I want to be retrospective. So it’s not even that I can’t do the workout. It’s that I don’t actually want to be on camera, doing the workout. And so as soon as we switched when it happened, not only is the workout the right for me, it also was the right time for me to be out and about doing it. And it is such night and day difference when you actually like can figure that out for yourself. And so for me, I you know, I do like a CrossFit type of thing with my dad and my husband, and we go three times a week. And so when it is the type of week that it’s like this is not really what my body wants to do. I don’t care if it’s for time. How much time do I can I take? Can I take 45 minutes to do this? I’ll be the last one, that’s fine. I’m not usually but I will, I will go slower, I won’t pick up the heaviest weight. I’m like, “You know what, I’m gonna pick up a little bit lighter weight, I’m gonna give a listen to that. So that I can still be or my family, but be honoring my body can actually do in this moment right now.” And so that takes a lot more a lot of courage. I definitely was like, is people gonna pay attention? No, they don’t care. No one’s looking to see what weight you picked up. They don’t see that you picked up a lighter weight, they don’t see that you’re going slower that day. Like no one’s actually paying attention to you. And so it giving yourself that permission to do it a little bit less, give yourself or what’s really cool is when it is the time that I can go harder. I just go harder. I’m like, I’m not I don’t even care. I don’t care if I’m the first one done by 10 minutes. I’m just gonna (Jenny: Yeah.) because it is freeing to know that (Jenny: Yeah.) information that like now is the time to like, turn it up.

Jenny Swisher
Mm-hmm. Yep. And you feel it. Yeah, you feel it within you, you know, you feel that energy go up, and you’re ready to push.

Lesley Logan
Yeah. What are some other things that a hormonal imbalance might look like? So for you is migraines, for other people, it’s like frustration, crankiness. You know, … irritation. Like what are some things that people might not realize could be from a hormonal imbalance?

Jenny Swisher
Yeah, and I always like to tell people, you know, that, for me, it was a very, I would call it severe manifestation, right? Like I was able to, I’ve had the migraine every day, and I had to get to the cause of what was going on. Not everybody has severe symptoms. So not everybody will have a migraine every single day, right? Or menstrual cramps every single day, but they start to see, again, it comes back to that energy, the thing I hear the most is, I have trouble getting on to getting out of bed in the morning, or I feel like I’m crashing mid to late afternoon. And I have to rely on caffeine to get me through the rest of the day. Whenever I whenever I start to hear things about energy, I start to really my ears perk up because I say, “Okay, something has to be off.” Most likely from a hormonal perspective. I teach in my course and on my podcast, I teach hormones through analogies, because that’s how I learned. Right. I probably would never would have, you know, medical school would have thrown me off if it was to textbooky because I want to learn everything as as visually as I can. And so for me, I like to teach women that your your hormone system, your endocrine system is like a four legged chair, you have four legs of that chair, and what happens if I saw if one of those legs so let’s talk about it. So if you have four legs, you have your sex hormones, you have your cortisol, which is your stress, your thyroid and your blood sugar. So if I was to saw even just an inch of let’s say, your blood sugar leg of your chair, what happens to the whole chair? The whole chair, but yeah, the whole chair becomes wobbly. The foundation that your chair sits on the floor that it’s sitting on is your gut health. So the first thing that I like to talk about with women is you know, what, what are your digestive? What’s your digestive health? Are you going to the restroom every single day? Are you going multiple times a day? Are you uncomfortable? Is there bloating? Is there gas? Is there cramping? Like what does that look like? Because we want to address any sort of gut imbalances or the gut microbiome first. But after that, then we really take a look at okay, let’s see what we if we can figure out which leg of the chair is the weakest which one is causing the issue? I will tell you that you asked what symptoms do I see most I would say the majority of women are suffering from as a root cause, either blood sugar instability, or what we would call adrenal issues, which is a cortisol response issue stress, right? Stress, sleep, that sort of thing. Those are the two most common issues. But like I said, they can sort of pull on the other ones. So for example, in my case, right I am, my sex hormone, leg of the chair was the weakest, my progesterone was not producing itself in my own body, without supplementation, without help. So but because of that, it pulls from my cortisol in order to operate. And so what happens is, then I don’t sleep then I start having night wakings and I start having a sort of a more severe stress response to things right, like the whole chair shifts. And so you can get to the root cause of that pretty easily through testing that is unfortunately not done in the most in the average doctor’s office. (Lesley: Yeah.) And that’s, that’s something that’s not talked about either, and I hope that in the next 10 years, this type of testing is is common. I hope every woman is getting it from the time they’re in their 20s until they are entering perimenopause or menopause.

Lesley Logan
I agree. I think like, well, first I think more and more people are asking for like they’re they’re getting more acutely aware that like when they say, “We ran a panel.” It wasn’t a full panel. (Jenny: Right.) And they’re also getting it’s more and more people are understanding that like, “We actually don’t know what the range should be for you.” (Jenny: Yeah.) We they, they did a test on like, I don’t even think it was a ton of people it was like I don’t know, maybe 100,000 people is not a lot and then they took off it’s like the Olympics they take off the bottom two and a half percent and the top two and a half percent and they go, “This is the range that that should be.” But we don’t know how many men were in that test, how many women were that like what that is where you need to be based on like the lifestyle that you have and like what you’re doing and so like when I was told everything was in range. This other person who actually did like 200 tests my body he was like, yeah, he’s like, “Yeah, your range by one point on your B12.” He’s like He’s like,” I have seen people like go suicidal on this.” Like that is not like that’s not you don’t want to be that low, like you actually want to be up here like he’s like you’re he’s like, “Yeah, sure you’re in range on vitamin D by one point.” Like I, he’s like, “I should have you in the hospital, you’re so low on these things like this is not okay.” And so yes, it’s so it’s really important that we know. But I think also more and more people are becoming aware through the works of you and other other people out there that like, there are more tests to be done. And I think if the more people are being told you can advocate for yourself, you actually can say I need to have these tests done, it would make me feel really comfortable if I have them done. And you can actually go to a different doctor, you can like now I know insurance in the US is frickin nightmare. I am in the nightmare of it. And it is hard. But we have managed to figure out within the network, we’re allowed to be in like, like we’ve been able to find people who will listen to us. And it that is a job. And it’s annoying, and it’s frustrating. But we get this one body, we get one, you know, so (Jenny: Yeah.) we can’t just brush it off and go, “Okay, well, this is just the life I’m going to this is just how it’s going to be.” Like that you don’t (Jenny: Right.) you all are here with such an amazing impact you can leave on the world. And if we don’t have your energy at the normal levels, if we don’t have you sleeping the right way. If you don’t, then you can’t be the person you want to be ever. So it’s not gonna be possible no matter how many books you read, no matter how many podcasts you listen to, it’s just not gonna work.

Jenny Swisher
Yeah, I like to say normal is not optimal. And so just because your range is falling into the normal range, just know that that range was determined by a broad, broad pool of people, like you said, and it’s not determined by what’s optimal. And so if you really do the research on what is the optimal range for D3, or for vitamin D? What’s the optimal range for vitamin D? What’s the optimal range for progesterone to estrogen ratios? Right. Those types of things, when you really, really dig into that a lot of times you see, actually my results weren’t normal at all. They might have been falling into those into those wide ranges, but they’re not optimal. And that’s what matters. There’s a huge difference in your energy between normal and optimal. The other thing I’ll say …

Lesley Logan
Go ahead. (Lesley: Oh yeah.) Go ahead. I just say I friggin love that …

Jenny Swisher
The other thing that I … yeah, you’re fine. The other thing I’ll say is, is especially you know, I mean, I have two young kids, I have a almost six year old and a two year old. And I see this happen so often that women especially will they know that their energy is off, I like to say that they know their check engine light is flashing. But because we’re women, almost everybody else comes first, right? Our kids come first making sure that their lunches are packed, and that they have their doctor’s appointments and that they’re taken care of and, and sometimes we just think, “Oh, it’s just me.” Right. Like I just have low inner, I just need to go to sleep earlier, or I just need to do this, or I’m just not doing this. And we put the blame on ourselves, even though deep down. It’s like no, there could be something functionally going on. And you have to make that a priority. You have to make it a priority to sort of number one, be you know, be your own best advocate and find the right person who will listen to you but also do the research to know what is optimal for me.

Lesley Logan
Yeah. Oh, we could keep going forever. I’m gonna have to have you back. I’m sure I think I’m gonna have a panel. Because I’ve had so many different women experts on here, I think we just have to have a whole panel, can just bring all the minds together, we’re gonna take a brief moment, we can find out where we can follow you and listen to your podcast and all the other things. (Jenny: Awesome.)

All right, Jenny, where can people get to know more information like dive in deeper with you?

Jenny Swisher
Yeah, so the first thing that I’ll share is that I do have a free hormone imbalance quiz. So if you want to take a free hormone imbalance quiz to see if your symptoms could mean hormone imbalance, you can go to sync.jenny swisher.com, s y n c.jennyswisher.com. I can give you the link for the show notes as well. If you want if you want to hear more about me and the digital course that I offer and my podcasts, you can just check out jennyswisher.com. And I’m on all social media at Jenny Swisher.

Lesley Logan
Amazing, we’ll have all those links down below. So it’s really easy. So you can let… Y’all if you don’t have to work your phone, you just swipe up the show, just go. And then there’s the notes. And you could just click on the links. We were talking about this today with our team. I was like, “Oh, I always click the show notes, links.” And my producer and my husband, “You do?” I’m like, “I’m not gonna remember the URL. I’m on a walk.” So I’m just gonna (Jenny: Yeah.) like the things, email it to myself. But look at it later … (Jenny: Yeah.) So

Jenny Swisher
Use the show notes. We put time into those so that you can make it easy for yourself.

Lesley Logan
That’s right. We, people do spend a lot of time on those. Okay, BE IT action items. So bold executable, intrinsic or targeted steps people can take to be it till they see it. What do you have for us?

Jenny Swisher
Yeah, so the first thing that I would say, especially as it pertains to your hormonal health is track your cycle. You’re only going to really understand the bigger picture when you realize that you are most likely not the textbook. So track your cycle. There’s lots of apps out there that are being there. We have one that’s actually in development right now for launch in January. But there’s (Lesley: Cool.) tons of apps out there that you can you can find tons of resources on on that or you could even just be pen to paper. You can also just write down and journal your cycle and not just when your period starts or cervical mucus which is really important but also paying attention to those signs of energy. What am I feeling like where are the headaches coming on? Am I getting crampy around a certain time of the month. Am I, am I low energy at certain points of the month, because that’s going to help you if you do that functional testing to compare and say, “Oh, well, this makes sense because this was low when I was low energy.” Right. Number two, number two is find a functional medicine practitioner near you, or even someone virtually, and get the right testing done. You can also do, like I said, whether it’s my course or someone else’s course, and really just to sort of do the legwork that unfortunately, we should have been taught back in middle school, like really start to understand your menstrual cycle and what what should be happening on a month to month basis. And that’ll help you get a better picture, especially when you’re comparing that to your own journal. And then number three, and this might be a little bit I don’t know, off off the beaten path. But I think this is a super common issue that I see with women, and that is, make sure you’re eating enough. A lot of women are not eating enough of the right foods, and they complain about things like carb cravings, or they wonder why they’re adding on the excess belly fat or the weight in the hips and thighs. And a lot of times it comes down to blood sugar regulation. And so if we look at are you eating enough? Especially, are you eating enough proteins and fats? You need all three macros to survive and thrive. So if you’re cutting anything out, you’re most likely going to be finding yourself binging or craving those things. I find that women, when women increase their protein, you want to be consuming at least one gram of protein per pound of body weight. So if you weigh 130 pounds, you need at least 130 grams of protein per day, I assure you, I have to focus on it to make it a priority for myself. (Lesley: Oh yeah.) So I assure you that but most women are not coming close to that number. So if you start to do that, you’ll start to actually see where you’re not craving the junk food and you’re not craving the other things because your body is finally satiated. Doing that alone can stabilize your blood sugar. And like I said before, it’s one of the most common issues for hormone imbalance. So if you can really stabilize that blood sugar, track your cycles, find a practitioner who can do this type of testing, you will be on the right path for sure.

Lesley Logan
Oh my God, I love all of these things so much. And you are correct. I heard that protein thing too. And I was like, “Oh, well how much protein am I getting?” And I was like, “I thought I was doing pretty good because then every meal.” No, I wasn’t even close to like 60% on my body weight. And (Jenny: Yeah.) so it’s like, okay, well how to get more intentional? How we do this? And we even have my father sign over to all the ladies here. But like my dad has been trying to, he’s 70. He’s like, I don’t really like, like this extra weight. If I, if I had a little bit less of it, it wouldn’t hurt my knees as much. And what his trainer say. She talked about holistic doctor, and she said, “Make sure he is eating enough protein.” She’s like, (Jenny: Yeah.) “I would like to get him. If he wants to weigh this much. I want to get this much protein a day.” And he looked at us he’s like, “How am I supposed to do that?” (Jenny: Yeah.) And so we’re like make a list of foods. (Jenny: take effort. Yeah.) Yeah, it’s tough. Oh, well, we could talk all day, you’ll have to definitely let us know when your app is out. We would love to share that. I am a big fan of like, anything that you can really truly track that makes your life easier for you to figure this out. It is life changing. It is so freeing in your be it till you see it journey. If you can go, “Oh, these are the weeks that I can go take action. And these are the weeks that I’m like, probably gonna want to look at the action I took instead of taking more.” Even that simplicity is so freeing. So Jenny, thank you for your knowledge, your expertise, for your time, everyone. How are you going to use these BE IT action items in your life? We want to know. So tag the @be_it_pod, tag @jennyswisher. Let us know. Share this with a girlfriend in your life. Share this with a dude who has women in his life. The more we can all be aware of it, the actual, the faster we can change the way the world works as far as women’s health and hormonal health. So thank you so much, and we’ll see you next time.

Lesley Logan
That’s all I’ve got for this episode of the Be It Till You See It podcast! One thing that would help both myself and future listeners is for you to rate this show and leave a review. And, follow or subscribe for free wherever you listen to podcasts. Also, make sure to introduce yourself over at the @be_it_pod on Instagram! I would love to know more about you. Share this episode with whoever you think needs to hear it. Help us help others to BE IT TILL YOU SEE IT. Have an awesome day!

Lesley Logan
‘Be It Till You See It’ is a production of ‘As The Crows Fly Media’.

Brad Crowell
It’s written, produced, filmed and recorded by your host, Lesley Logan and me, Brad Crowell. Our Associate Producer is Amanda Frattarelli.

Lesley Logan
Kevin Perez at Disenyo handles all of our audio editing.

Brad Crowell
Our theme music is by Ali at APEX Production Music. And our branding by designer and artist, Gianfranco Cioffi.

Lesley Logan
Special thanks to our designer Jaira Mandal for creating all of our visuals (which you can’t see because this is a podcast) and our digital producer, Jay Pedroso for editing all video each week so you can.

Brad Crowell
And to Angelina Herico for transcribing each of our episodes so you can find them on our website. And, finally to Meridith Crowell for keeping us all on point and on time.

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