You may have Freddy Krueger-style cramps, or no discomfort whatsoever. Just as women's periods differ greatly before menopause, their menses symptoms will differ greatly during perimenopause and menopause.
"Mom, have you ever felt not beautiful?" A million thoughts cross my mind in the time I take to turn my chair to face her. What's the appropriate answer to this? Why is she asking me this? Did someone tell her she is not beautiful?
For the first time, it seemed I had come up against how the rest of the world viewed my changing body, and it was not exactly what I had expected. In that moment I became aware of the gazes of men as I passed by. I was 9 years old.
Remember that health goes much deeper than whether or not you are a size 2 and 110 pounds. Looking within allows you to find lasting wellness and health. And isn't that what we all really want?
I'm not that 9-year-old little girl praying silently each day on the way to school that the bullies would pick on someone else that day. But I am that 25-year-old woman who still has feelings and expects more from humanity.
I heard my mom asking the lady at the shop for something, anything for me, and she said, "I'm sorry, she's too big for the costumes we have here." But all I heard was: "She's too fat to be a princess."
An excellent piece of evidence that femininity is hilarious or ridiculous in U.S. culture, or even frightening or disgusting, is the fact that men use the category "woman" as a Halloween costume.
These dimples in my skin represent the meals and belly laughs I now share with friends. They represent the time and energy I have claimed and now use to focus on my goal and dreams instead of ever-thinner thighs.
When we challenge ourselves to not "fat talk," we give an incredible gift to our daughters, our family members and our friends. Casually engaging in fat talk with our friends actually reinforces painful body shame and the dieting mind, despite our best intentions.
And thankfully, the ultrasound was fine. There was nothing to worry about after all. It's been an incredible lesson and the start of an amazing journey. I had a feeling it might resonate for you too. Does it?
We are much more ready to have average men posing for underwear ads than we are to have average men figure skate, style our hair, or even do ballet. But I don't want the average man to pose for underwear the same way I would not want him to do ballet.
I'd say that around 70% of the hair-related pins I see in my feed are short, spiky, pixie-style cuts with comments like "Someday I'll work up the nerve" and "Love this look, but just can't pull it off." Short hair, wishful thinking.
When you don't betray yourself by running away, by eating your sorrows, and by drowning your pain in food, you allow space for healing. Your heart begins to mend, your soul begins to shine, and your smile returns.
I thanked someone for telling me, in the least-subtle-way-possible, that I had gained weight. And that this weight gain had made me significantly less attractive.
Buy this! Lose weight! Build big muscles! The media tells our children to look its way 24/7. If you're anything like me, you don't want to take a back seat while advertisers tell our children what to buy, how to feel and how to act.
I admit that it would be nice to pin our body image hang-ups to one dartboard. It would be super keen if we could lay blame at the feet of the music industry, our seventh grade gym teacher or the guy (and let's face it, it was totally a dude) who invented the tube top.