Thursday, December 1, 2016

Let's Get Personal

Let's get personal...personaal (totally intended in the tune of Let's Get Physical by none other than ONJ (that's Olivia Newton-John, BTdubs)). 

For some this may be TMI. And I don't care. I'm going to talk about periods, menstrual cycles, because I have to. Bye all y'all dudes, now is the time to bail. I know "lady stuff" makes you squeamish. For those that stick around and keep reading, you get a gold star sticker, especially if you share this with a lady in your life.

Periods are part of every woman's life. They are normal, they are natural and there is a noticeable difference between a good period and a bad period. Ladies, you know what I am talking about. Some months are awful; cramp-y, cranky, throat-punchy, where every one sucks, you get that massive red zit on your chin that hurts like a motha', you can't eat enough chocolate, wine and potato chips to make the pain stop or make you like anyone, and to top it all off you bleed through everything, on everything, when you are sleeping (hello, more crankiness), when you are out in public and there is abso-fucking-lutely nothing you can do about it, you just hope you have a sweatshirt in your car to tie around your waist. One of Those months...I get it! I've been there! Shit, we (being the proverbial ladies "we") have ALL been there! Some months are certainly better than others.

I have to say as a woman who has spent most of her life on the side of miserable during my period; insane cramps that had me doubled over in pain crying, bloody messiness that is uncontrollable, and the sore rawness that comes with that much clean-up, PMS like no body's business, diarrhea, changing your sheets in the middle of the night, you name it, I've suffered it. To now, being on the other side of miserable periods, let me say, there is hope! Diet and lifestyle changes have made a night and day difference in my life when in comes to my period. Seriously! It seems so simple and unbelievable, but seriously, remove the foods your body doesn't like, give it more whole veggies, fruits and gluten free grains, let me tell you, my periods are totally different than they were for the last 15 years. I remember not going to school, not being able to formulate sentences between sobs of agony and writhing in pain, to regular trips to the toilet for constant diarrhea. I cannot even count the number of times I bled through while sleeping and out in public. I just figured my period was "normal". It was not! At least it doesn't have to be! 

Tuning into your body and listening to it's needs, and making considerable lifestyle changes can make for a much happier period, ie you.

My period is no longer an epic geyser of torrential pain and hormones, it is manageable now. Actually, dare I say, pleasant. What used to be a heavy flow for 5 days straight with epic cramping. I now, have a few cramps on my first day and typically again on my 3rd (which makes no sense to me), but after the first 2 days of a regular flow it lessens considerably the last 2 or 3, to where a panty liner will suffice. This is a huge difference from where I started at 10. Perhaps it is because I am of "childbearing age", but I am not so sure that is only factor. 

As you well know, if you've been following me for some time, I went gluten free, lactose free, and reduced meat, little-to-no processed foods and sugar almost 6 years ago. In that time, every aspect of my life has changed, from my weight, to my seasonal and environmental allergies, to my skin and hair, to my quality of sleep, to my quality of poop and periods, to the clarity of mind, and even a career shift! Phew! It. Is. Amazing. What. Can. Change. If. You. Listen. To. Your. Body.

So the whole reason for this post is something new I am trying and I am so excited to share: for the first time ever, seriously ever, I was excited for my period to start (no, it wasn't the excited, oh shit, I may be pregnant, excitement/fear), it was legit excitement. Why, you may ask, with a side tilt of your head....I bought a Diva Cup! 

For those of you who don't know what a Diva Cup is, it is a menstrual cup that takes place of the standard tampon or pad. It is an eco-friendly, reusable, silicone cup that gets inserted into the vagina to collect the blood during menses. Grossed out yet? I know, I know, just keep reading...

I heard about a Diva Cup from @yoga_girl, Rachel Brathen, whom I love and admire and have been following for a couple years on Instagram. She inspires me in life, love, spirit and in yoga. And during a Facebook Live session she and her friend/business partner Olivia, talked about Diva and Moon Cups. The name had floated through my brain a few times prior, but never stuck. This time it did. So I did some research and was intrigued. 

Sure, I was excited at the prospect of not having to purchase tampons and pads again, and being eco-friendly, but honestly what progressed my interest more, was for the last 6 months to a year, I've been having a problem with tampons. No matter where I am in my cycle, no matter what day, I can always feel the tampon. It was uncomfortable and noticeable. It made me ache and cramp, even smaller ones. They just hurt. It was almost like it felt full all the time, but when I took it out, it never was. As soon as I took the tampon out I would be fine. Cramps, achy-ness, gone. So for the last few months I have been dealing with pads, uggh. Pads suck! I've always slept in pads and used them on light days, but to use them for your entire period is awful. They rub, they make noise, I inevitably bleed over the edges, no matter how many damn wings and "no leak" edges those suckers have, leave it to my body, I leak over those no-leak edges. 

Now I'm gonna get technical-personal, but I guarantee there must be other women like me, women with bodacious backsides. I'm talking about being bootylicious. Let's get real, butts are awesome, and some junk in the trunk is awesomer, but let me clue in into something, as a women with some junk, pads. do. not. work!! If you have a larger derriere that is tight, and you wear a pad, blood comes out between your butt cheeks. There I said it, it's out there. I can't be alone here?? Right? Try as I (I'm hoping we) might in a pad, I walk, I sleep, it goes out your butt and gets everywhere. E.v.e.r.y.w.h.e.r.e! And it is a fucking pain in the ass, ha (couldn't not with the bad pun). Soo, if you are like me and you can't wear tampons because they hurt and pads, well, pads are just useless, unless they wrap around from my belly button to my lower back, I needed an alternative.

I've been seeing those period panties lately, but dude, I don't trust those. Just how, how can there not be leakage? And isn't that more diaper-ish than a pad?? I dunno. So, I bought a Diva Cup. And I've been excited for my period since then. 

Today is day 1, one of my heavy days. I've had it in all day. And it is AWESOME!! Best period ever! I can't even feel it. It doesn't even feel like I am even on my period, or that anything is in there. No cramps, no aches, nada, zilch! I am so excited I am doing a happy dance. I look forward to tomorrow, day 2, my heaviest day, and I'm going to workout too! Today I felt like writing and drinking wine, instead of working out. I had to share with y'all my exciting news! I did walk the dogs, and no leakage, anywhere, all day. I wore a panty liner, just in case. But nothing! I've checked the cup a few more times than I probably needed to (I wasn't sure when it would be "full"), and it was no where near close to full. So now I am leaving it in longer. There was concern about insertion being difficult and leakage. No problem for me. I think you have to be well acquainted with your vagina to even consider using a Diva Cup, because, yes you will have to touch your vagina and even put your fingers inside to adjust and rotate to secure it in place. So if you are not that kind of woman, first let me ask why? And then, I will suggest, maybe work up to a Diva Cup. Go familiarize yourself with your vagina first. I went with Model 1. I am 30 and I've never had a child, but Model 2 just didn't seem right for me. I know I have a narrower vagina, so I was worried that Model 2 may be too big. Again, you gotta know your vagina before you can even purchase a Diva Cup. And really, as woman, shouldn't you be well acquainted with your vagina? I digress. 

I am also really excited to sleep in my Diva Cup! They say you can leave it in for up to 12 hours. At first, that seemed wrong, too long. I would never, ever leave a tampon in that long, but it is not the same. The Diva Cup, sits much lower in the vagina opening and it isn't "absorbing" anything, hence no toxic shock syndrome of a tampon left in too long. Sleeping in a pad as a side sleeper with a tight ass, is a nightmare, literally! I get up all the time in the middle of the night during my period. I have to check it and even sleep with my hands wedged in between my legs to make sure the super, sized nighttime pad plus two liners behind it, don't move, it is awful! And even then, I regularly bleed through. I may for once be able to sleep the whole night through on the first night of my period. Mind blown!

I am beyond excited for my experience and not too ashamed to share it with you all. We need, no, we must talk about this stuff! There is no shame. We are women and we SHOULD have happy periods. Until day 2, wish me good, leak free, stress free sleep tonight. I'll post more tomorrow.


  1. Follow up: The 2 nights I slept with the Diva Cup in were the best nights sleep I have ever had on my period. Only on the first night, did I get up in the middle of the night to check (it was fine), the second night, I slept normally; on my stomach, both sides, back and forth like the wiggle-worm I am. Yay!

    The second day using the Diva Cup I didn't check it nearly as much, almost didn't even feel like I was on my period. I even did a pretty intense Tabata workout and it stayed in place. Towards the end I felt it a bit after several rounds of squats, but that's it! I didn't wear it my last and lightest day. A panty liner sufficed and I wouldn't have worn a tampon in the past on my last days, so that is nothing new.

    All in all, I love, love my Diva Cup. Best period I've ever had! No leakage, no aches, no pains, no issues. I'm in love. I would highly, highly recommend these to any woman. Great alternative!

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