Category Archives: Cycling

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.)

Living Within Your Cycle

As one who no longer flows, I can attest that menstruation is an important and necessary component to a woman’s emotional makeup.

As my body becomes more and more accustomed to the lessening of hormones that menopause brings, I find that my mind wishes to become so, but is as yet unable.

I still seek my cycle day (CD) and the knowledge of where I am within my cycle.  If I detect ovulation, I eagerly anticipate the changes that will lead to menstruation.

Yes, even without a uterus, my body signals when menstruation begins.  Menstruation is more than physical – more than a matter of blood flowing from your vagina.

Menstruation is mental as well. It’s a welcome change…a needed and necessary change.

How often have you said/heard, “I’ll be glad when my period starts!” ?

Why do you suppose we say that? What is it about menstruation that’s so welcome?

I wish all who cycle eagerly anticipated the changes each cycle day brought and welcomed the strengths present in them.

Living within your cycle is an awesome way to live.

It’s empowering.

It’s liberating.

It’s period wise.

Aching to Start

I crave chocolate.

Yes, I do. I could eat it by the pound right now, slowly savoring the taste, the texture…the feel of it on my tongue….

My breasts ache…no, make that HURT…my breasts hurt.  They passed “aching” hours ago.

And, my bottom feels heavy.

Fingers are so puffy that I can hardly type and my legs, well…they look like over-stuffed sausages.

My appetite?  Ha! Ravenous! Not only do I crave chocolate, I crave corn as well – cut or cobbed, creamed or chopped, Doritos or Fritos – I crave corn.  And, tomato.  Oh my…. You know…tomato as in pizza, spaghetti, ketchup….

I’ve eaten 4 Hershey Kisses since I began writing this post.  My corn allergy prohibits me from indulging in any corn products, so I’ll head back to my Kiss stash and partake of a few more….

A nap would feel so good right now. To just curl up and snooze for 15 minutes, or 30 or an hour…or two.

Hang on while I throw away my small pile of silver Kiss wrappers…get more…brb….


Ah…where was I?  Oh, yeah…hang on again while I open and pop another kiss into my mouth.

M-m-m-m-m-m…so-o-o-o-o g-o-o-o-od….

I have not yet begun the runs to the bathroom – they will come in waves as my bladder becomes sensitive and urination picks up as all this excess fluid leaves my body. And, of course, there will be the “check” trips because my vagina feels “leaky.”  Oh, and at some point, diarrhea will result…just too much fluid for my kidneys to deal with at one time, I guess.

Ouch my boobs hurt!

Perhaps removing my bra will help.  Ah…it helps somewhat.  Good thing I’m small breasted.  😉

My “seat” is aching like it’s been spanked.  Labia hurt, vagina hurts, everybody down there is cranky.

My mind is crazy today, for lack of a better word.  I type things I don’t intend to type.  Mispell simple words.  Change that to: Misspell simple words. My mind can’t get herself together no matter what I do.  5 cups of coffee by noon and still I’m fuzzy around the edges.

And, my bottom feels like it’s going to fall off of me.  ARGH.  This is getting on my nerves.  First the boobs and then the bottom.  It’s like they take turns calling my attention to them – boobs then bottom, boobs then bottom.

And, no…orgasm did not help. One did not.  Two did not. I’m certain three would not either.  If anything orgasm made matters worse.

What I would really like is to…ah…what time was it Hubby said he would get home?

I feel like my vagina is expanding within me…like everything is swollen…lush…ripe.

Usually, I’m able to control my cravings, but this weekend really did me in.  The family ate Kentucky Fried Chicken – a NO NO for me but I ate it anyway (sans skin and coating).  Saying “no” was just too difficult for some reason.  I wish now I had.  The swelling would be far less than it is if I’d stuck to my natural foods diet and the other issues would be nearly non existent as well.

Ah, well, it is what it is.  I gave her what she wanted and she’s doing a number on me now.  Ha ha!

You go, girl.  Enjoy every sensation.  Enjoy the cravings, the aches and pains, the fullness and bloating. One day all this will be a faint memory, if that.

Oh, I forgot about the bloating.  I’m in sweatpants today.  For the first time in ages my abdomen is bloated.

I’m miserable.

And, having light cramps, too.  They originate near my ovaries and extend down into my vagina.  Not really painful…but not all that comfortable either.  They end with a profound ache/tug at the top of my vagina.

My lower back aches.  A heating pad would feel nice against it but I’m too lazy and sluggish today to get up and get one.

Boo me.

I just want to go to bed and sleep…or eat.  Eating is good, but I’m tired of chocolate.  What else is there that I can nibble on?

No, no, no…I don’t want an apple….  I might make some fries….  Oh, or a chocolate shake…or fries AND a chocolate shake…OH!! I know…fries dipped in the chocolate shake….

And, a spoon of spaghetti sauce…I wonder if I have any in the cabinet….

I wish my period would start.  That would make my body so happy.

The chips…I found them hiding on the microwave.  Forget the fries…forget the shake.  I’ll go with greasy, salty crunchiness.

Several times I’ve headed to the bathroom to check and see – stopped myself because I knew flow had not started.  But, it felt like it had…such an odd sensation.

Crampiness is increasing.  CD 1 can’t be far off.

My breasts ache, upward into my armpits – I find myself with my hands cupping them, lifting and cradling them…attempting to ease their pain and find that I only add to it.

I’ve not checked my stash of menstrual products or cleaned my cup for use.  I’ll not place a pad, tampon or cup “just in case” I start. I won’t worry about bleeding on or staining anything I wear. And, I won’t insert my finger to check my cervix’ progress toward menstruation.


Because I no longer menstruate.  But, I do still cycle.

My cycles have become irregular in the past year and I thought I had reached menopause a couple of months ago as I experienced a cessation of symptoms associated with the various phases of my cycle.

It’s odd to experience everything up to the moment that flow should arrive – and for there to be no flow.  And, to experience everything during the period of time in which I should be flowing except for flow itself.

I lost my ability to menstruate when fibroid tumors enlarged my uterus to the size of a 26 week pregnancy and filled my abdomen and pelvis with softball sized tumors. Shortness of breath, intestinal worries and difficulty emptying my bladder signaled it was time to put my health ahead of menstruation. It was a sad day.

A very sad day.

My ovaries were uninvolved so I begged to keep them.  They have functioned well since surgery – at least up until late last year when I noticed changes in myself and in my cycle.

Each and every cycle, since the hysterectomy, has been a blessing. No, I don’t flow, and, yes – I miss it greatly.

It’s one thing to cycle through all the various frustrations and changes and arghs associated with the menstrual cycle and be rewarded by flow – and quite another to go through it all and not experience flow.

One day I will no longer cycle.  I’ll admit – I’ve wondered who I will be and what I’ll be like when I stop.  I can’t imagine living without the changes…without waiting for certain days in my cycle when I KNOW certain tasks will be easier to accomplish.

After all, I’ve cycled for 40 years.  That’s a long time.

But, that day has not arrived yet.  I am awaiting the start of my “period.”

No, I won’t bleed.  No, I won’t become menstrual in the truest sense of the word.  No, I don’t have a uterus to get grumpy and irritable – and crampy – as she goes about her business of expelling the old as she renews herself.  No, I won’t flow red.  But, I will flow.

Yes, I will flow. With all that’s in me, I will flow.

(This is the second in an occasional series that began with “Finding Normal.”)