They’re Your Hormones – Make Them Work FOR You

It was the day of my big photo shoot…a day I had awaited with both anxiety and eagerness. I wanted to look good…to feel good – not only physically, but mentally – about who I am.

It was my first time to experience a professional photo shoot.  To make sure everything would be camera friendly, the photographer had arranged for a makeup artist / hair stylist to touch me up.

(Okay…okay…it was a make over.)

I had painstakingly chosen the outfits I would take for the shoot.  For two weeks, I had carefully chosen the foods I would eat, had worked my body…had done everything I could to make sure I would be in top form.

Guess what happened.

The morning of the shoot, I woke groggy and puffy-eyed.  A quick look in the mirror told me this was more than just bed face.

Two zits had appeared during the night. One highlighted my left cheek and the other was just shy of center on my chin.  My face was puffy…I looked like I’d gained 10 pounds in the night.

What the…?

I stepped onto the scale…my weight WAS up…three pounds.  How did that happen?  It was impossible!

My stomach gurgled and I realized she was bloated.


How would those slim, tight slacks I’d chosen to wear fit me?  WOULD they fit me?

As I rubbed my tummy I realized I was swollen all over.  My hands, my face, my stomach, my…breasts….

Yep, they had increased in size and were sore.

Full breasts – now that’s something I’m usually grateful for, but that morning I wasn’t.  The shirts I’d picked for the shoot were form fitting.  There was no room in them for my newly enlarged breasts.

NO ROOM!  I would pop the buttons.

I panicked.

All the work I’d put into preparing my body and mind was for naught.  My hormones changed as I’d slept and undid every bit of the work I’d done.

Physically, I was a wreck.

Emotionally, I was…well…let’s not go there.

The photo shoot was scheduled for late afternoon so there was hope that some of the bloating would pass.  And, with each cup of coffee I drank, it did.

The change in hormones, combined with the amount of coffee I drank, triggered my body to eliminate and by the time I left my house for the drive to the studio, I was feeling (and looking) more the me I wished to be for the shoot.

I couldn’t help but laugh at myself.  I had covered all the bases, taken everything possible into the planning of my prep for my photo shoot.  Well, almost everything.

I’d forgotten one very important thing…my cycle and the effect stress can have on it.

I was diet wise.

I was exercise wise.

I was style wise.

But, I wasn’t cycle wise.

Period wise planning takes all things into consideration…especially where you are in your cycle, how your hormones are affecting you, and includes having a backup plan in case Aunt Flo unexpectedly sends her hormonal baggage ahead of her arrival.

How did the photo shoot go?

I was gorgeous, of course!

An artist needs only a willing canvas and I was oh so willing!  The photographer found my good side (yes, I have one), and the hormonal change that had occurred in the night brought out the best me possible and it was captured in every picture taken.

Want a little period wise advise? Schedule a make over and photo shoot.  You may discover a you that you want to lean hard into being more often.

Be period wise.  Don’t just go with the flow…make those hormones work for you!

What’s Your Cycle Day (CD) and Why You Should Know

If I asked you, “What’s your CD,” could you tell me?

Could you tell me without looking at the calendar when your last period started? (That day would be CD 1.)

Why should you know your CD?

How else can you live fully in it and lean hard into it?

Each CD has its own strengths.  If you don’t know what your CD is how will you know how to plan for and use each CD’s strengths to the max?

For women who cycle, especially those cycling naturally (not using hormonal birth control), knowing your CD and the strengths that belong to it can empower you in ways that may surprise you.

I challenge you – keep a brief journal each day of your cycle for one month.  Record the strengths that you note on each day.

Perhaps on one day you want to organize or clean house. Another day, you may prefer to write.  And another cycle day, you may feel chatty.  You may find that there are days that indicate it would be good to start a diet and other CDs can alert you to stay away from the kitchen or you will eat everything in sight.

Knowing what CD you can expect which strengths to surface on and when to expect them to be the strongest can be empowering.

Give it a try.

Be period wise.

(Looking for a fun way to track your cycle?  Check out Val Carey’s TOTM Period Planner.)

Concealed Carry Holster

What do you do when you’re out and about in a skirt and need to keep menstrual products handy, but don’t want to carry a purse?

What about a lace garter that could easily double as a tampon / pad / cup  / wipe holster garter?

(Click here for more information.)

Most of us prefer concealed carry when it comes to feminine needs.

Thinking outside the box can open the door to intriguing ideas and provide simple solutions.

Be period wise. Be open to new ideas and solutions outside the ordinary.





How Well Do You Know Her?

How much do you love her? And, how well do you know her?

Which “her” am I referring to?

Your her – that’s who.

Your body, that is.

Do you love her? Care for her? Know her?

Have you explored every little nook and cranny, bump and depression, protrusion and deep cavern? Do you know her ups and downs, ins and outs…know her up and down, inside and outside?

If not…why not?  You should.  Makes no difference what your mother, father, teacher, preacher…told you.

She’s your her and she’s yours to love.  That means she’s your responsibility to keep safe, clean, well and happy.

No one can love and care for her like you can.  And, no one can know her as well as you.

If you don’t, who will?

Oh, don’t depend on your doctor to know her well. Your doctor goes by what he/she sees of her and hears of her…hears of her from your own words via your own explanations and understanding.

If you don’t know her how will you know when she’s ailing or not quite normal?

How will you know when things go wrong with her?  How will you know what makes her happy?  How will you know how to fix what’s wrong or change what she doesn’t like?

Menstruation is a good time to start getting to know her on a more personal level.  Seriously.

And, continue throughout each day of your cycle.  Learn of her. Get to know her…all of her.

You’ll be glad you did.

Be period wise. Be body wise. Be HER wise.

Why Try a New Product?

I’m often asked, “Why would I want to try a different menstrual product if I’m happy with the one I’m using?”

My reply?  “Why wouldn’t you?”

All too often we settle for what is because of fear.

Yep.  Fear.

  • I’m afraid I won’t like it.
  • I’m afraid it will be money wasted.
  • I’m afraid it will be a waste of time.
  • I’m afraid I will have issues with leaks.
  • I’m afraid I won’t be able to use a…(cup, sponge, tampon, cloth pad, ultra thin pad, pad with wings…)
  • I’m afraid it won’t work for me.

How will you know if you don’t try?

When did we become afraid to try new things? Hey, we’re women! We’re fearless!  We LOVE new things!

New shoes, new purses, new hair styles, new clothes, new panties, new cars, new friends, new experiences, new social media groups….

We’re all about change and innovation.  So, why do we stick with the same old menstrual product year after year after year?

Hey, I have friends who are still using the SAME product they began using when young teenagers.  Times have changed.  Bodies have changed.  Menstrual needs change. And, so do menstrual products.

I’ll bet you have shoes for every event and activity – work, church, play, exercise, beach, pool…and I’m guessing you have one menstrual product (at best two) that you have used for years and years.

Question – what will you do when the company stops making them…changes them…store stops carrying them?

(I remember the panic I felt when OB Ultras were not available.)

Take a look at what’s out there. Don’t be afraid. Remember – you are fearless! And, truly, there’s nothing to fear.

And, while I’m on this soapbox, encourage the girls in your life to explore and experience many options.  Don’t let them settle for just one. And, don’t let them be afraid to try new products. Encourage menstrual openness and creativity via all the options available. Menstrual fear should not be a part of their experience.

Why try a new product?  Because your period is worth it!  And, so are you!

Besides, It’s period wise!


We all know that PMS stands for PreMenstrual Syndrome.

(Or, Plain Mean Sometimes…Potty Mouth Screaming…Period Mood Swings…Pass Me the Shotgun…Perpetual Munching Spree…Puffy MidSection…Plainly Men Suck…Pimples May Surface…Potential Murder Suspect…)

My senior adult mom and I were watching TV together and an ad came on asking the question: “Do you struggle with PMS?”

Mom replied immediately. “I’ve never had PMS in my life!”

I looked at her in shock and disbelief.  After all, I spent the first 20 years of my life in her house.  I knew about her mood swings and I knew they were cyclical.

My reply?  “What the heck? What do you mean you’ve never had PMS in your life?  You’re joking…right?”

Memory after memory sprang to mind of her with PMS…scary….

Mom’s reply was: “No! I’m not kidding. I’ve never had PMS in my life – ever.  Your dad said numerous times that he could tell when my period was going to start because I turned mean a few days beforehand.  But, that was just him talking.  I wasn’t aware of any changes in how I acted or felt.  I do know that he got on my nerves more at some times than he did at others and I assumed HE was the one with the problem…not me.  Certainly NOT me!”

I laughed…out loud…loud and long.

“What’s so funny?” she asked.

“You are!” I replied. ‘You’ve never had PMS a day in your life?”

“NEVER!” She insisted and then went on, “PMS is all hype.  It’s an excuse for being yourself. It’s like when people drink a little too much alcohol and say and do things they wouldn’t ordinarily and they blame the alcohol. Women act up or act out of character and blame it on PMS saying ‘I can’t help it, I have PMS.’. In reality, they can help it, they just don’t want to help it. Maybe a change in hormones at that time of the month uninhibits them and allows the real ‘them’ to come out. Maybe they see it as a time to say what’s been on their mind all month long and set some things straight.”

She continued. “They simply don’t care.”

I stared at her as my mind recalled time after time after time of times when she said what was “on her mind” and “set things straight.”

“Simply don’t care, huh?” I asked.

“Yep,” was her reply.

“And, you’ve never had a moment of PMS in your whole life?” I quizzed again.

“Nope!” was her response. Then she continued. “I never blamed my actions or reactions on an acronym or on my hormones. I was who I was and I took responsibility for what I said.  It wasn’t PMS talking.  That was me. All month long, every day of the month…I was myself. I didn’t need to hide behind PMS.  I was comfortable saying what I thought and being who I was all the time. And, if those few days before my period started freed me a little to be even more myself…then so be it. I welcomed it!”

I silently contemplated my mother’s words. Hormonally speaking, I was in the more agreeable portion of my cycle.  There would be no argument…not from me. That’s not who I was that day.

That day I was in more of a contemplative mood….  This conversation happened several weeks ago – well before Christmas – and it’s still on my mind now.

Simply Don’t Care – is that what really happens to so many of us premenstrually? Do we really not care and use PMS as a cover for unleashing who we really are?

Hmmm…perhaps.  And, perhaps not.

I do know that during those few days when premenstrual, I can be a bear (no put down to bears intended) and lash out at those I love the most.  I can’t seem to help myself…stop myself… but the truth is it’s far easier to give in those feelings that seem/are so close to the surface, so eager to come up and out….

When I feel irritable inside…body and mind, I don’t mind spreading the irritability around.  And, when premenstrual, oh, yes…I’m willing (if not eager) to share my irritation with anyone who rubs up against me…or rubs me the wrong way.

And, at the time I feel like I’m being my usual self and all the world has gone crazy.  I feel more true to myself than at any other time.  Now…that’s a scary thought! ;)

Could I control myself? Yes. But, it would take effort and forethought.

Would I want to?

Heck no!

In fact, I wouldn’t even give control a thought.  Easier to react than to act, I would choose to unleash the beast.


I could tell those around me, “I’m uptight and need some alone/quiet time” and seek space of my own to find solace and enable my mind to calm and me to regain control of myself, my emotions, my actions…my tongue.

Finding peace in the chaos of SDC or PMS is not easy, but I believe it is possible.

PMS should serve as a reminder of the need for a Pro Menstruation Management System (PMMS).

Before my hormones can send me into PMS overdrive and I SDC, I’m going do all I can to be pro menstruation and manage my intake, uptake (stress/rest/food/drink/medication/vitamins/activities/etc) and outflow systematically throughout my cycle by using a PMMS.

What does a PMMS look like?

Check back in a few days.  That’s my next blog post!

Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) Awareness Campaign

Friday, January 10, 2014 at 2 pm ET, people are coming together on Twitter for #PeriodTalk. (that’s 1 pm CT, 12 pm MT, 11 am PT)

This month the #PeriodTalk TweetChat will focus on raising awareness about tampon related Toxic Shock Syndrome (aka TSS).

You ARE Loved, a non profit dedicated to raising awareness about tampon related TSS will be the guest and will be tweeting as @youarelovedTSS.  Be Prepared Period will be the host and will tweet as @bpreparedperiod.

This hour long event will offer information about Toxic Shock Syndrome via tweets, advice on how to avoid it and what to do if you (or someone you know) develop symptoms. And, there will be time for questions and comments.

It’s period wise for women, as well as men, to be aware of TSS and its symptoms. Young girls, teens and young women are at the greatest risk and often mistake it for the flu. Know the facts and know how to get help for yourself or for a friend/family member if symptoms arise.

If you’re not familiar with TweetChats or want more information about #PeriodTalk, drop by Be Prepared Period’s site and find out how it all works.  It’s an awesome chat…a period wise chat. And, it happens the second Friday of each month.

Hope to see you there!

#TSSawareness   #periodtalk   #womenshealth   #periodwise  #TSS

Taking the Lead

True movers and shakers arise and become leaders because they address a need for change, provide a new focus, shine light on new possibilities, and reveal differences that require addressing. Their difference is intriguing and irresistible.

They work behind the scenes (usually just being themselves) while others take notice of their unique qualities and the difference their presence makes. Others begin to follow, to seek to conform, to become a part of the change.

Leaders step in when a gap is created – not because they seek power, but because they are busy living who they are in such a way that makes taking the lead a natural progression of simply living into being themselves.

Who do you know to be a mover and shaker, an advocate, an innovator, a change-maker…a leader in things period wise?

I”ll start the list – you finish it for me.

What Do You Fear?

For many years I feared that which I could not control and had no control over…my flow.

I could not control when it started or how long it lasted.

I had no control over how heavily I flowed or if I leaked.

That was unnerving.

Tampons were my go-to from the moment I thought flow would begin until after all color had departed.

And, when I say tampons I mean the biggest, most absorbent, baddest, fattest tampons I could find.

I didn’t just use one…I would use two…three…and have been known to use four or more at a time to achieve a sense of control over my flow.

I hated leaks…hated leaking.  The fear of embarrassment was overwhelming.

And, as I watch girls, teens and women, I know the fear is universal.

It saddens me.  Does it you?

What do you fear? And, why?

What would happen if you set aside the fear and just…lived, loved and embraced menstruation as it comes?

Let’s address the fear and find a solution.

Breaking cultural / social menstrual taboos is a good place to start.

And, so is taking a good long look at menstrual products.   It goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway.  Not all menstrual products are created equal. And, they are not one size fits all.

Let’s accept menstruation as normal (it is) and not as an embarrassing or shame-filled experience (it’s not).

Let’s model a healthy and period wise attitude toward menstruation and let’s pay it forward to the next generation.

Let’s empower ourselves and others – knowledge is power – and, let’s choose products that are as healthy as they are helpful.

Be wise when it comes to period matters.




In with the New

A very important thing to remember from this day forward, for the next 364 days, is: change the year to from 2013 to 2014.

Apart from changing the 3 to a 4 in 2014, what else needs our attention as we welcome the new year and all the new it brings with it?

A new year is like other new things…it likes company.

Ever buy a new purse? Yep, a new purse begs for new shoes. A new house? Yep…gotta have a new sofa and new curtains. No way that old stuff is gonna work with new.

The same is true with a new year.  Why would anyone want to bring in that old stuff we lived in throughout 2013 and clutter 2014 with it. Nobody I know wants to end 2014 on the same page they ended 2013 on, but they’re bringing everything with them when they change that 3 to a 4.

Let’s change it up.

Let’s make 2014 a year that redefines menstruation and all things period wise. Let’s make it a year of discovery, of excitement, of body literacy, and acceptance.

  • What period wise resolutions will you make?
  • What unwise period habits will you break?
  • What period wise dreams will you wake?
  • What period wise chances will you take?
  • What weakness, period wise, will you stake?
  • What period product will you wisely shake?
  • What period litter will you forsake?
  • What will you change, period wise, and for who’s sake?
  • What action will ease another’s ache, period wise?

It’s time.

Day 1.

The past has passed. The future lies before us – each day new. Let’s embrace it and live fully as we lean hard into who we are and who we want to be this next year.

Begin now…there’s no better time than the present.

I can’t think of a better way to ring in the new year!

Happy New Year, everyone!