Lesson 2: Intro to Ovulation Phase

Building up from the firm foundation (menstrual), you harnessed your creativity to build a path and set goals (follicular). Now, you can take the next steps towards your goals with confidence!

The ovulation phase is the star of the show; the reason for it all! Ovulation is when the egg will, or will not, become fertilized. It depicts whether or not pregnancy will occur. This is a prime phase for us as athletes, so take the time to harness your peaking energy levels.

Your garden has now gone through winter and spring, it's again time to change and adjust as you enter the next season. Continue you ask yourself during the ovulation phase, "What does my garden need today?"

Time

Ovulation Phase is the third phase of your cycle, which is roughly days 14-21.

  • Based on a 28-day cycle, but our cycles can still be normal around 25 or even 35 days long.
  • There is a misconception that ovulation always happens on day 14.
  • The actual act of ovulation (the release of the egg) is only 24-48 hours, but the length of the ovulatory phase is about 1-3 days.

Season: Summer

Considering your garden, it's warm and sunny outside. There are new things growing and since it’s summer, you have more energy and time to spend in your garden.

Think about how it feels to get out of school for the summer, exciting and energizing, right? You are ready to socialize and go do a million things that you couldn’t do while you were in school.

Physiological Hormone Explanation

During this phase, our estrogen peaks along with a spike in testosterone, leaving us with a lot of energy.  Once our estrogen levels are high enough, there is a slight dip -> spike in the luteinizing hormone (LH) -> which signals the release of the ovum (unfertilized egg) from the follicle and ovary into the fallopian tube. The release of the ovum is the actual act of ovulation.

In terms of fertility, the rise of estrogen prior to ovulation will cause a thin, wetter, clearer cervical mucus which is an indicator that you are fertile:

  • The cervical mucus becomes thin so that there is an easier path for the sperm into the cervix. 

The last day of this mucus, or one day after, is the “peak day” where the actual act of ovulation occurs.  To avoid pregnancy, avoid unprotected sex for all days where mucus is present and three days after your peak day, until you know the mucus plug has reformed.

How Does This Affect Us?

Estrogen and testosterone levels are at their highest, and so is your energy!

Superpowers:

  • The gift of this phase is confidence:
    • There’s no convincing yourself to do anything right now, you typically feel up to everything (even creating a life).
    • Funnel this energy into executing your plans and goals:
      1. Menstrual allowed you to reconnect and rest
      2. Follicular allowed you to set a plan and a focus
      3. This is the time to execute!
  • Most likely will experience an improved mood.
  • Concentration and brain functioning is at its peak (brain power).
  • Be curious about where this newfound confidence takes you.

Vulnerabilities, you may experience:

  1. Feeling of being ungrounded
    • Being grounded is the "ability to maintain balance, stability and presence of mind."
    • With increased energy, we tend to want to do a lot of things all at once. This can lead to a feeling of chaos.
  2. Feeling drained
    • Honor your desire to want to do more activities, but take the time to check in with your body and make sure you aren't doing too much too fast.
  3. Burnout
    • This comes from doing too much too fast.
    • "Yes man" syndrome is a serious thing, especially in this phase because you’re feeling good.
      • If you’re making big plans, be wary of the future because your luteal stage is coming quick, and that stage doesn’t match the energy you feel during ovulation.

How to Balance

  • PHYSIOLOGICAL GOALS:
    • NUTRITION:
      • Focus: protein to protect against muscle breakdown, healthy fats, and fiber
        • Balance hormone levels by supporting liver detox from high levels of estrogen with fiber and leafy glutathione-rich foods and cruciferous veggies
        • Drink lots of water to help break down excess estrogen
        • Boost magnesium with dark chocolate and spinach
      • Incorporated foods may include:
        • Lightly prepped food
        • Lighter grains 
      • Higher fat utilization for workouts and higher calorie burn 
    • Movement: should honor your increasing energy by increasing intensity
      • Endurance and strength 
      • Avoid overheating, prioritize cooldowns
      • This includes activities such as: 
        • HITT/circuit training
        • Kickboxing 
        • Running
        • Group exercise classes
        • Strength training
        • Power Yoga & Pilates
  • MENTAL GOALS: Harness your increase in confidence and energy! 
    • Practices: 
      • Communicate your thoughts, wants, and needs 
      • Being mindful if feeling anxious 
      • Write and create
      • Journaling: release, make a list of all the things that are no longer serving you and what you wish to release 
    • SOCIAL LIFE: 
      • Confidence + energy = high 
      • Social and networking events 
      • Execute your plans 
      • Communicate your thoughts 
      • Collaboration 
      • Brain is sharpest 
    • To-Do: energy and personal skills are the highest.
      • Important conversations 
      • Challenging meetings or phone calls 
      • Socializing 
      • Public speaking 
      • Fun dates 
      • Connecting with others 

Applied to Athletics

As an athlete, this is prime condition for us! We tend to feel more motivated, plus workouts and training tend to feel easier.

  • Take advantage of your peak energy levels, but be careful not to overwhelm yourself!
  • It's easy to feel like you can take on the world because training is going to feel fluid and strong.
    • Performance will peak.
    • Focus on technique to avoid injury that might come from your enthusiasm.
  • Don’t overcommit!