Women ovulate. Sometimes we do it while walking down the street, during meetings, talking on the phone and even while we sleep. Oh hi mom! I’m good. You? Oh nothing much, just sitting here spontaneously popping out an egg and thinking fondly of you! In fact some of us are probably doing it rightthisverysecond and you wouldn’t even know it! Heck, we might not even know it! Just part of the magic of having lady bits. But some of us know exactly when the egglet is expelled because we do it while doubled over in pain. And up until this month I could only sympathize with that group of ladies.
I’ve always had wicked PMS – cramps, bloating, zits and, my favorite, the everybody-hates-me’s – but my actual eggsplosion has always occurred unnoticed. Occasionally I’d have some jealousy when my friends complained of having mittelschmerz but that was mostly just because they got to use “mittelschmerz” in a sentence. (Seriously, say it! Say it again! SO FUN.) Being able to detect one’s own egg-letting seemed like a cool party trick but I can already pick my nose with my tongue so I was covered on that front.
This is so so true for me.
Colorado is a desert. A high plains desert, but a desert nonetheless. So why are we having this geography discussion (on a holiday, no less)? Not because I doubt your eremological skillz but because apparently I forgot where I live. It turns out deserts are known for being dry places and for the past year that I’ve lived here, while I’ve been slathering on lotion and chapstick to sooth my dry skin, it seems I’ve neglected my dry innards.
Let me back up: To the bathroom. (All good stories start or end in a bathroom.) Friday I started drinking. Not booze – I’m still a Mormon – but water. Lots and lots and lots of water. I’d noticed that the previous day I’d only drank about 8 ounces of water the whole day even though I’d worked out – and that wasn’t an unusual day for me. I just never feel thirsty. Yet eight measly ounces seemed a little nuts even for me so I Googled how much water someone of my height/weight/activity level should be consuming and ended up with the nice round number of 100 ounces, or about 3 liters a day. So I sucked it down. (Not all at once. That’s dangerous. More on that later.)
A month ago I set out on a quest – a quest to find healthier teeth, a brighter smile and who my real parents are. (Kidding, mom and dad! I love you!) So I jumped on the oil pulling internet bandwagon and rode that baby into the sunset! Thirty days and hours of swishing later, I now know one things for sure: Your phone or doorbell will inevitably ring 12 minutes in, right when you’ve passed the point of oh-heck-no-I’m-not-starting over and before you’ve gotten to eh-what’s-a-few-minutes-early. Happens every time. But other than that, what did I find? Did oil pulling live up to all the hype? Here’s how it worked, or didn’t, for me:
Whiter Teeth? No.
Funnily enough I even had the opportunity to have this one professionally verified. Before I started oil pulling, I had to get a cavity filled (story of my life these days) and the hygienist told me the name of the color of the filling they matched to my teeth. A month later, just after my experiment ended, I was getting another cavity filled. So I asked the hygienist what color they were using. Same sad one. (And yes they held up the little samples both times and didn’t just use their notes for the second round.)
Bounding into my room this morning at still-too-early-o’thirty (official Kid Standard Time), Jelly Bean threw herself across my slumbering back and did a perfect imitation of wee Princess Anna in Frozen, proclaiming, “The sky’s awake! So I am awake! So we have to play!”
My crabbiness was overcome by her cuteness and I cracked a smile. But when I say “cracked” I literally mean cracked. As in something by my lip snapped. And it hurt! I stopped smiling as quickly as a Sharpei at a Botox party. I ran to the mirror and was greeted by my old nemesis – my Bermuda Zit, so named because it sits in that unholy triangle of my lip, chin and cheek. Believe you me, if Amelia Earhart had crashed her plane into my Bermuda Triangle we would have found her before she got her socks wet because any little thing that touches that area of my face immediately prompts a skin eruption that make signal flares look like cocktail poppers.
Let’s be honest: These are disgusting and I’d still eat them. Because they look like jelly beans. Sigh.
Runners are a strange breed and as such they do lots of stuff you wouldn’t find normal people doing. For instance, they have their own code of hand signs. (Some other day we’ll have to discuss the significance of the one-finger wave, two-finger wave, full-hand wave and head nod. I’m solid on the one-finger salute though so no need to explain that one.) They carry more baggies than a crack dealer. They can identify the type and degree of pronation in toddlers walking. Oh and remember that time Paula Radcliff scooched her shorts to the side and politely defecated right before the finish line of the London Marathon and no one batted an eyelash because anyone who’s ever had “runner’s tummy” felt her pain? (She still won, by the way.)
During a fitness class a couple of weeks ago, a noxious odor seeped through the room, eventually hanging over all of us like a smog inversion, thanks to the poor air circulation of the studio. It was bad but even though my eyes were a watering I couldn’t find it in me to be upset. Mostly because I’ve totally been there before. Who can forget the great Soy Patty Incident of 2006? I was doing an evening kickboxing class and, because I was still a vegetarian then, grabbed a quick soy burger patty for dinner before heading to the gym. As we warmed up, I felt my tummy start to inflate faster than Kanye West’s ego and become more bubbly than a hot tub full of starlets when George Clooney walks in. Unfortunately there was no escape as I was right at the front of the class, packed between friends who I was hoping would still be me my friends after the inevitable happened. And oh it happened! I tried to hold it in but all that good cardio activity plus moves that compressed my stomach from every angle made it ripe for a rectal rebellion. That was the night I discovered both how forgiving people can be and also unforgiving my gut is of processed soy.
Pooping: You’re doing it wrong.
What if someone told you there was a simple device that would solve every poo problem you’ve ever had? Constipation, hemorrhoids, UTIs, appendicitis, chilly cheeks (that is so a real problem) – all solved! You’d want to try it like rightthisverysecond, right? Which is how I found myself in the bathroom this morning with my knees elevated to eye level as I hovered my hiney precipitously over the bowl. As I hung out there – literally and figuratively – I contemplated all that had led to this very exciting moment in poo history.
Like all things popular in health right now, it started back in the Stone Age. Since there were no primitive porta-potties, mankind had to figure out how to squat outdoors in such a way as to relieve the pressure and yet not get one’s shoes all wet. And shoes weren’t even invented yet! All through the ages since then, people have been squatting over a hole, pot or generously sized coconut shell to do their business. Despite the many advances in health care, this method of baking butt brownies stayed basically the same for centuries. That is until the advent of the porcelain throne in 1776 (an auspicious year!), although it didn’t become widely popular until the late 1800’s.
Weight lifting builds bone density. Weight lifting increases strength and power. Weight lifting burns fat all day long. Weight lifting makes you look tougher than Chuck Norris at Comic Con. Oh sure, everyone always talks about the benefits of strength training but there is a dark side no one ever talks about. No, literally, a dark side. Namely, in my pits. Because I have very dark hair and very light skin, see. For those of you not similarly cursed (it’s not a bug, it’s a feature?), let me explain:
This is me in the shower after my workout. You will notice I am wearing a bathing suit for modesty. I do not wear a bathing suit in the shower at home but if I’ve learned anything from Ashton Kutcher it’s that I can’t have nudie pics of me floating around on the Internet or I’ll never get to inherit Demi Moore’s creepy doll collection, right? But my shower curtain really is transparent. Anyhow, here I am showering blissfully, trying to wash off all the germs from the gym. Well as blissfully as one can with a) the door ALWAYS open (Children have a strong aversion to shut doors – they assume candy is being consumed. They may not be wrong.) and b) a peanut gallery. Jelly Bean is obsessed with bathing and so she must stand and s-t-a-r-e at me the whole time I shower. Eh, you get used to it.
A honeycrisp apple approximately the size of Jelly Bean’s head. Surely if any piece of produce could imbue me with super bloat-repelling powers it would be this magnificent beast!
Truth: I have one of those period tracker apps on my phone. I’d like to say it’s just more evidence of my hysterical white lady hypochondriac shtick but this thing is dope. Not only does it track my monthly shark bait business but it also lets me track my mood and symptoms – the only thing that makes me feel less “gloomy” “exhausted” and “frustrated” is noting that the icon for “breast tenderness” is a fork. (Also, bloated is a cupcake and constipation is a bottle of something fizzy with a bulging stopper. Makes me giggle every time I click on it, virtually saying, “YES. This IS ME” – an overstuffed fizzy cupcake with a fork in her boob.) Which I have been doing all day today since the Tampaxalypse is nigh. Anyhow, by now I’ve written enough about my wicked PMS to choreograph my own musical where the streets are paved with yellow bricks of fish oil, flowered fields seduce with the magical scent of magnesium tablets and flying monkeys bring raspberry leaf detox tea in jumbo jars.