Tuesday, October 12, 2010

PMS: It Does A Body Good

On Aug. 31, 2010, it had been 1,310 days since I’d PMSed.

Now – lucky freaking me – I’m on the 3-week plan.

Maybe my body is making up for lost time, but all I know is that I did NOT miss PMS. I did NOT miss the cramps or the bad mood, the cravings and the don’t-touch-me-unless-you-want-a-black-eye syndrome. It’s like I’m 14 all over again.

When Aunt Flo returned, I wrote about it on Refuse to Regain. (See “The Mystery of Aunt Flo” if you dare.) I complained a little, but mostly I felt pretty good about it. I secretly hoped I’d have at least one more period before menopause (which I’m not facing for another several years, says my doc). I mean, periods have been my life companion every four weeks (give or take the months I was pregnant) since I was 14. You get kinda used to them, you know? They’re part of the flow (no pun intended) of your life (even if you’re a guy and are around women in any capacity).

But getting used to them again is taking some adjustment. It’s only a few days that it makes me hurt, confused and short-tempered and second guess everything I think and feel, but those few days feel like a month. I forgot.

Losing more than 100 pounds comes with a lot of surprises. Surprises no one tells us about mostly because not many people know. Most of the women I know who’ve lost more than 100 pounds have issues with their periods, as in they disappear for months at a time and return whenever they feel like it. It can be confusing and worrisome.

When mine first disappeared, I had an exterior ultrasound and a few rounds of blood work done to make sure I was OK. Now that The Curse is back, my doctor ordered an invasive ultrasound and we found out I have some “issues” with the uterine lining.

While I do not in any way, shape or form regret losing 170 pounds and weighing 130, I am a bit concerned about what it’s done to my body – what losing and gaining and losing and gaining all my life has done to this vessel I call home. If I had it to do over again – if I knew then what I know now – I’d have done my damndest to stay at a somewhat normal weight after the first time I lost weight.

This isn’t a lecture. Just some friendly advice from a 47-year-old woman who’s been around the scale so many times it makes her head spin. If this is the first time you’ve lost weight, please PLEASE make it the last time. Do everything you can to keep it off. If it’s not, if you’ve lost and gained several times, do NOT take my experience as permission to not get to a healthy weight. Just know that you might have some unforeseen issues at the end. Issues you can deal with it. It will be OK.

Just…hey…people, we’ve gotta take our bodies seriously. They aren’t playthings. They aren’t toys. They aren’t meant to bloat and deflate on a subway schedule. They only want to keep us alive, to keep us moving around so we can love and laugh and cry and form relationships and work and go to the movies and stuff.

I simply can’t push the envelope anymore. My body can’t take any more instability. That’s why I’m so committed to staying where I am. Yes, a cookie looks good sometimes, and when I PMS I want to shove Trader Joe’s corn tortilla crackers in my pie hole like there’s no tomorrow. But I won’t. I…in a word…can’t. That was so six years ago. Things are different now. They have to be.

I’m adjusting to the flow of things again, only now the flow might need some medical intervention. Now worries. Nothing my doc can’t fix. But think about it: Our bodies are a wonderland. Maybe not quite the wonderland John Mayer wrote about, but wondrous nonetheless. Treat it right, my friends. Treat. It. Right.

14 comments:

  1. I understand the envelope pushing - all of a sudden I'm horrified by everything that I put my body through during all those obese years. I had quite the dry spell from PMS and the monthly visits for about 18 months, but I've actually gotten my period for two months in a row now. Dang - I was liking it the other way, even though apparently it isn't healthy. Sigh. I hope you and PMS part ways again, if only for a few weeks respite.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hang in there. I so didn't want to hear that it had been 1300+ days since your last visit. I've been about 3 mos. without one, and trying like crazy to deal with the hot flashes hoping that the #$@%(#(% would never return again. Ugh!

    ReplyDelete
  3. When can I get on the reduced Aunt Flo plan? I've lost over 100 lbs and my special time with her is on time each and every month as scheduled.

    But 1300+ days makes it sound like the PMS is just infinitely worse for you. Is it? That would probably put me in the hospital.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yeah, I wasn't overweight, but avoided the whole thing by being pg all the time and nursing the babies.

    But now. The vacation is over. PMS arrives occasionally without warning.

    A friend of mine told me that her PMS served a good purpose in her life. She got things done, chop chop.

    She'd get in a mood and clear the deck, deal with stuff she normally made excuses about in others and also herself.

    After she told me that, I saw that crisp mood of mine differently.

    Respect the power of PMS and use it wisely, lol. love, Val

    ReplyDelete
  5. ugh... after having my son, I'm just not back to normal in SO many ways. Things to look forward to (or not!).

    newest follower...

    livinlady.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  6. I ended up with a D&C and an ablation. It was the smartest thing I ever did - auntie was truly messing with my life. . .

    I agree - I am not in good enough shape to carry ANY extra weight. Without any extra weight - I am in really good shape.

    ReplyDelete
  7. thanks for the inspiration, you are soooo right about our bodies, just treat them well they deserve it !

    ReplyDelete
  8. This is why I love your blog. As I'm reading your posts, I'm always nodding my head in agreement. As a person who's been able to keep over 100 pounds off for several years, I wish more than anything that I'd been told about the damage carrying around that kind of weight would do to my body. I really believe that I would have done things differently. Now, I have to deal with chronic back pain, irregular cycles, stretch marks galore, etc...but hey, we all pay for our mistakes in one form or another, but it still beats life as we once knew it. For those of you losing, listen to Lynn and know that I concur....make this the last time you lose it.

    ReplyDelete
  9. So good and so right Lynn. Love the line--that was so six years ago.

    Time to get serious, if we haven't already.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I enjoy your posts, Lynn, because you speak the truth so clearly. Our bodies need to be treated kindly, and when we're young, we don't grasp that as fully as we do when we're older. After we reach a certain age, we understand what that means, when "the chickens come home to roost." In my case, the "chickens" are fragile knees, painful achilles, and other medical issues that may have been avoided.

    ReplyDelete
  11. It is nice to hear other people are facing the same issues so at least I don't feel 'special!' My mom has been gone a long time so I can't ask her, my sister had surgery a long time ago so I can't ask her - what is the family norm? Who knows ... apparently whatever our bodies want to do. I do believe I am fairing pretty well unless it all gets worse. I once went 5 weeks and thought it was just a big finale! Oops - had to go to the doctor for that one.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Yes. "Fragile knees.." etc., as Jane pointed out, are so often the results of too much poundage over too many years. If only more people could hear this and pay attention when young. I see proof, living proof, everyday of this with my mother who is 75 and gimping slowly along..yet who still maintains her positive attitude (and who I have introduced to your blog)--for how many years can a person gain and lose and gain and lose? And really, what are the long-term ramifications of excessive (100+ lbs over the guidelines) weight? phftt! Frustrating when people tell me that they can be healthy at a hugely excessive weight. Yes. But only for so long. Age and the secondary processes of too much weight (over too many years) continue to contribute to the declination of our health. (and now, i'll get off my soap-box). again, thank you for your blog.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Lynn, I feel your pain with the PMS. I am anxiously awaiting menopause and I wish there was a pill to take to make it come faster! I'm almost 50 and this monthly "thing" needs to be over. Let's all have a party when we don't have to think about PMS anymore! Also, your weight loss is phenomenal, keep up the good work. I love your blog!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I'm really intrigued by Val's comment. The idea that PMS can put you in a different state of mind that can actually provide a purpose in your life is intriguing.

    As a very positive (probably naive) gregarious, extrovert, I go polar opposite during PMS. I do OK if I can get away from having to deal with people, and I mull over problems that I typically gloss over in my normal state of affairs.

    This has saved me a couple times. Drama and worry over various issues I've had during striking bouts of PMS have propelled me to action: once, after a particularly bad spell where I was *certain* I was going to be canned at work, it caused me to reflect about my own career path, and be more intentional about the work I do. I needed that wake-up call.

    Granted, the process is hardly enjoyable, but it can do the mind good if you let it.

    ReplyDelete