This piece comes from a very strange place that I won’t bother to get into, but it’s made me think long and hard about people paying attention to their bodies and taking a good, long look at what it’s telling you. Once you get to a certain age (basically, once you’re legally allowed to drink, because if you can drink and can’t understand your body then there’s a serious imbalance with responsibilities here), you need to start understanding what your body is telling you. So many women walk this earth not fully grasping what those tiny little triggers in their bodies mean and that’s a really scary fact.
Sure, your body changes as you age (the changes my body has decided to throw at me over the last five years is fucking alarming) and what you’ve noticed one year may not necessarily be the same the next, but you need to be in-tune with your body and actually pay attention to the signs. Everything from irregular (or super regular) periods to what your PMS cravings and hankerings mean to fluctuating weight, what sets your stomach off immediately after you eat to a few hours after you eat and how frequent is too frequent with migraines is super important. (Once you’ve tapped into all of those aspects, then you can get to the next level by mindfully eating and understanding when you can substitute unhealthy cravings for healthy ones and when your body just really needs a fucking burger.) I get it, you don’t like going to the doctor—I don’t either—but writing off random stomach pains to “I have stomach problems” without properly or consistently getting it check is not cute, it’s just irresponsible.
As for periods, and I can’t stress this enough, if you’re not on the pill (that’s totally fine—it works differently for everyone) and you’re still having irregular periods over the age of, like, 20, GO TO FUCKING A DOCTOR. NOW. If you don’t want to take anything to chemically regulate it, that’s your prerogative, but my god at least keep track of your cycle and your sexual activity yourself. They even have an app for that.
I don’t care if you work out once a day or once a month, but if you can’t be able to pinpoint when your body is dehydrated or constantly feeding your body fried food is causing that unrelenting feeling of being full (because your body isn’t… digesting… your food and you’re not properly “expelling” it), then there’s something wrong.
What you do with this newfound information is your business, but it can be very liberating to understand your limitations with your eating and exercise habits and what helps broaden those limitations. For me, I’m lactose intolerant, not to the point of going to the hospital, but enough that if I had my almost-daily grande latte with anything but lactose-free milk, we’d have a problem. So, I cut out regular milk, allowing myself some room to eat a little bit of cheese each day, which I like way better anyway. Problem solved. And I’m sure all the people that have to share a bathroom with me really appreciate it, too.