Period Educator Fercci on Cycle Awareness, Defying Pseudoscience & Making Peace With Your Period
Posted by Courtney Mayszak, RDN, LDN
Jan 06, 2021
Fercci is the host of the 28 Day Rebalance program featuring live expert workshops, weekly challenges, and guides to help women develop healthier, sustainable habits for hormonal balance and health. Her next program starts February 1st, 2021, and she is offering a 20% discount for the De Lune community. Use coupon code DELUNE at checkout.
You have a powerful story about how the dark side of professional ballet led you to become an evidence-based holistic health educator. Can you share some of that story with us?
Fercci: Of course! So, since I was six years old, I have been dancing ballet, and it was always my dream to become a professional ballet dancer. I was determined to make it into the dancing world, and I did! I started dancing professionally when I moved to the states. Unfortunately, the ballet industry is highly competitive and very focused on appearances, which creates an environment that invites women to engage in unhealthy behaviors like overtraining and eating disorders. I ended up developing bulimia due to the constant criticism about my shape and size. I was skinny, just never enough in the eyes of my instructors. Back then, I weighed 110 pounds, and I’m 5’7”, so I fell into the underweight BMI category, so yea, I was skinny!
Not eating, binging, purging, and laxatives for years destroyed my immune system, hormones, and gut health. I then stopped enjoying what I was doing, and ballet became a toxic relationship for me. That is when I decided to stop dancing permanently and focus my mind on improving my health. Soon after that, I also decided to stop birth control since it messed up with my mental health, but that left me with a more pronounced hormonal imbalance. Acne, chronic constipation, depression were only a few of the symptoms I was dealing with for over a year. I knew something had to be fixed, so this is how my holistic wellness journey began, and I became passionate about the human body and its self-healing power.
Part of your work as an educator is teaching people how to live in sync with their menstrual cycle. Why do you think it’s important to be aware of where you are in your cycle? What benefits can it bring?
Fercci: We all live in fast-paced societies, with high levels of demands, stressors, and life responsibilities. This type of life pushes us to live mostly inside our heads and forces us to see a slower pace and rest as a sign of weakness. Yet, as women, it is our responsibility to know that we are experiencing different hormonal concentrations every week, so we cannot expect to feel the same every day.
During our Ovulatory phase, for example, we tend to feel super energized and in need of affection and physical touch; on the other hand, we start naturally slowing down a week after that. We subconsciously try to skip large social gatherings. This is all-natural, and when we neglect these biological changes, that is when issues occur like painful periods, migraines, and severe PMS. Most of the hormonal imbalances I see in my community are due to stress and neglecting our bodies.
Living in harmony with our menstrual cycle is like speaking the same language as our bodies. We get grounded, become our best friends, and develop a sense of compassion for ourselves and those around us. This empowering wisdom should never be taken away from any woman and that is why I offer this as a training free of charge in my Women’s Only Community.
You’ve spoken out about how pseudoscience runs rampant in the wellness space, and can be damaging to our health. What do you think are the most important things to know when googling health-related topics?
Fercci: Don't Ask Google… #AskFercci. I honestly believe knowledge is power, and it is time for women to stop being fooled by an oversaturated wellness market! Let's take this as an example, so you get my point a bit more…
Google is an ad company; it gives your tailored results for the profile you fit in their algorithm. In simpler words, whichever company pays the higher rate gets seen by you (the consumer).
Giving the power to an ad company to decide what is best for you can be dangerous, and you can end up spending money you don't have to pay on useless products! For example, if we want to lose weight, we might google "What's the best diet to lose weight fast," then our friend Google tells us to try the new trendy FAD diet (I think right now Keto is the trend). All of the results will be about companies selling you on keto programs, keto meal plans, keto shakes, etc.
If we want to heal our acne, the first line of results is this endless carousel of miracle products, which all promise to eliminate your blemishes. But in reality, these are all band-aid fixes. Real health does not come inside a bottle. Real health is achieved when we take a holistic approach, and we learn to tune in with our bodily signals.
Best practices for using google consciously for health and wellness:
- Stop googling your symptoms and book a doctor's appointment. If you are suffering from any symptom that is worrying you, the most responsible thing to do ALWAYS is to check with your doctor.
- Verify, Verify, Verify. Always check for the source of the article/blog post/company or whatever information we are consuming. Check who tells what and don't take only one answer as the truth; always search from different points of view.
- Search for facts on credible sites like government, organizations, or medical journals.
- Make sure to do your research if you want to try a product. 100% natural, made with organic ingredients, vegan, paleo, fat-free, etc., are all labels not regulated by the FDA. This rule applies from anything skincare to food products, so any time you want to buy something, check the ingredient lists, verify that they are using what they are claiming they use, make sure there is nothing harmful.
- If we talk about services, make sure you are not falling for salespeople. So many MLM's out there like DoTerra, Young Living, Beach Body in the wellness space. These companies recruit untrained people to sell the products that you might not need.
We envision a world where people actually look forward to their periods! But we realize this is far from many peoples’ current reality. What do you think is the first step in improving one’s relationship with their period?
Fercci: The first step for making peace with our periods is to stop normalizing things like pain and PMS just because you are a woman, and therefore you are conditioned to live with that. Whenever we have a symptom that disrupts our regular life, that is a signal that something is not going well. Severe pain is not normal; irregular periods are not normal, depression and high anxiety around your bleeding days are not normal. Learning about your body is crucial to start living a healthy lifestyle. It is never about who is skinnier, who is more beautiful, or who can do more workouts or more meditation; it is about your unique journey to health and balance, which is why I’m here to help you.
Fercci is the founder and CEO of Fercci, a women’s health, and wellness space focused on empowering women through knowledge for optimal health and wellbeing. Fercci offers holistic programs based on nutrition, mental wellbeing, and movement for those women who seek hormonal balance and a natural approach to health.
Follow Fercci on Instagram @askfercci