I think some introductions are in order. No, not the name, occupation, astrological sign synopsis--- I want to introduce you to my WHY.
Why am I so passionate about this weird, random issue of women’s health? Why am I so excited by women asking me for advice, or complaining to me about their periods? Why would I take time out of my day to preach health tips all over instagram about—— vaginas???
Let’s take it back a few years. I grew up in a conservative, God fearing, majority women household attending church, swim practices, and public school. I adore my childhood and family so very much, but like with every childhood out there, there were a few things I missed out on.
I never had “the talk”… my formal health education consisted of what I learned from The Care and Keeping of You picture book (anyone else?). My 5th grade health class spent one single day skating over what parts make up the human body and that women at some point will get a period, but the abstinence only curriculum left a lot out.
Disclaimer— by the time this day in health class rolled around I was 11 years old and already had my first period. Up to 20% of girls by age 11 already have! I thank Jesus himself that I was blessed with two older sisters so that by the time I saw blood in my own underwear I knew the basics of what was happening— can you imagine that coming as a surprise??
All of the avoidance, shame and awkwardness surrounding these topics gave me the idea that there was something inherently bad about the female body, and definitely something evil about sex.
I was much too ashamed and embarrassed to ever ask questions or raise concerns about my body, so I faced heavy, irregular bleeding and insurmountable pain every month thinking it was…. Normal? Or maybe… a punishment I deserved? But at the end of the day it was definitely not something you talked about.
It was not until I was well in to my teens and living month to month miserable with intense mood swings and pain that I finally spoke to a doctor when I hadn’t stopped bleeding for four months--- yes, four months. Then began the start of my rocky relationship with birth control, OBGYN visits, therapy, nutritionists, moving and starting all over again. Would you believe me if I told you that by age twenty I had been on six different kinds of birth control, visited the emergency room twice for period pain, and been through 5 different gynecologists??
I did not know how to tell my doctors what I was experiencing, and that coupled with the under-researched, under-funded, and over-regulated industry that is women’s health, it took me an entire decade from the time I started mensuration to have a doctor finally look at me, listen to my experience, and tell me that it was not, in fact, normal.
Life with endometriosis is a bitch, plain and simple.
There is not a clear treatment plan OR a cure... and honestly not a lot of community support out there! When I finally had a name to give my symptoms and started talking about it, its like the flood gates opened and nearly every woman I talked to had some sort of story of their own, and a struggle they were encountering.
I have had to find alternative, holistic ways to manage my body and its many hormone swings and symptoms. I have researched, experimented lifestyle changes, tried every nutritional plan under the sun, and oh yeah, actually went through certification courses in the pursuit to understand women’s hormonal health in a way that I can share and make accessible to my gals standing right beside me.
& now, it's your turn. I'm breaking open the subject so YOU can share your story, and feel empowered in your journey.
Whether this is your experience, or you lived a drastically different version, there are so many other ladies like you that NEED to hear about your journey and where you’re at now. Let’s collab! Comment, DM, or email me what your health related 'wake up call' has been! We're in this together.
PS... If you've been intrigued by my Body Image Booster Series, get ready for my 'Body Image Bootcamp' coming soon! Chat me your email address to receive a little sneak peek and a Week of Body Image Booster Mantras!