I have been debating writing this post all day. I’ve been noticeably absent from my blogging life; there’s something about a steady relationship and a grownup job that just makes you feel like you need to stop telling the world your inner workings. The coolest thing though has been this sudden rush of my amazing girlfriends telling me lately that they miss my blogging. Like, what? You actively miss these musings? I miss blogging, too. So, what the hell. Maybe I’ll go back to over-sharing for awhile and we’ll see how well it meshes with adulthood, eh?
While I’m at it, I might as well go full force into over-sharing mode, because I’m really excited about something.
Today should be my worst day of the month. Historically, without fail, on this day of every month I’m in bed, with a heating pad, crying (and I don’t know why), unsure about who I am and unable to consume enough food to calm my body down. Basically, it feels like I’ve just run a marathon and found out my dog died even though I just slept 10 hours, haven’t exercised, and everything is – well – fine. It’s disgusting. It’s awful. I’m also angry at Chase, can’t smile or hold a conversation until I’m 2 glasses of wine deep, and have to bite my tongue from screaming at anyone and everyone all day. I, my friends, have PMDD. PMDD is for people that have the top 5-8% of PMS, and it blows major… yeah. You know.
So finally last month, I had had it. The problem is, it ends up lasting at least 7 days of the month, and that’s like – nearly a third of my life. Life is hard enough. In life you have to deal with bills and relationships and reaching dreams and broken dreams and good days and bad days. Having your body fall into a flu-like anxiety-ridden depression in the middle of it really throws a wrench in holding it together and being a grown up. Life is hard enough without your body chemicals crashing and throwing you into a physically exhausted state of misery.
So, after last months’ PMS grand finale (going on a drinking marathon with my little brother’s friends and spending the next day pathetically crying on the couch and watching The League for 10 hours straight) I decided something had to change. I couldn’t keep breaking down like this. I can’t do it anymore. I’m too old for this shit.
So I called my gynecologist, and she suggested that I try taking a low dose of Prozac leading up to my period. My normal brain chemistry is healthy, but I can use a little help when my period chemicals make my normal chemistry drop. It’s like a buffer that keeps me at status quo even though my angst-filled ovaries are losing their shit over the fact I have gone another month failing to reproduce.
And the good news? It seems to be working.
But the Prozac isn’t all that’s happening in Jen-health-land.
See, there’s this little thing they don’t tell you about getting married, and that is that you have to buy your wedding dress like a year ahead of time. They make wedding dresses these generic sizes, and then, since they’re supposed to fit like a suffocating/figure-enhancing corset, you go get it fitted and they like, mold it to you. So the beauty of this is that you need to be your exact bridal body physique at the time of fitting.
Since we’re getting married in May, guess when my fitting is? THE HOLIDAYS. Yeah, you heard that right. So this girl gets to have her bridal bod in tact over the holidays, which is both going to make for the slimmest and probably the most miserable holiday season of my life.
So to get ready for this blessed event, I’ve joined Weight Watchers. If you’re laughing at me I don’t blame you, I associate Weight Watchers with old fat ladies, too. But the truth is, it’s a solid program. It’s flexible, makes me eat fruit, cuts down my wine, makes me make good choices and exercise, and it fucking works. I didn’t give the old ladies enough credit – I’m really, really hungry.
The primary problem is, WW gets in the way of this nightly routine I have where I eat enormous slices of cheese on pita crackers and drink like three glasses of wine while cooking dinner. It’s something I’ve been enjoying for a couple years now, and it doesn’t make me skinny. Now that I want to be skinny for the wedding, WW has taught me that I can no longer do my cheese and cracker/wine thing, and it is really bumming me out. I’m going into my sixth week of this diet, and everything else is manageable, but something takes over my mind right around 6 pm and all I want are my pita chips and fancy cheese and Kung Fu girl.
First world problems, I know. And I keep telling myself that during the next big life event I get to eat for two, but have to give up the wine, so might as well drink my wine in moderation and eat all the cheese when I have a little pita chip in the oven (see what I did there?!?).
Anyways, the way Weight Watchers works is you get a certain amount of points for the day, and the only way to get more points is to exercise. To lose weight I get 26 points a day (fun fact: 26 points doesn’t even cover my normal cheese and wine intake. I am a glutton) and then 49 a week in this bucket to dip into for extra stuff. The problem is, I have discovered that inside I’m really just a fat person and I have yet to be able to get through a week where I don’t average at LEAST 35 points a day. Ok, more like 40. But work with me here – a glass of wine is 5 points. It’s preposterous. I have learned the hard way that the amount of wine I like to drink to relax at night is around 12 points worth. I’m not saying I have a problem, but it’s a real issue, guys.
So, in order to make ends meet here, I’ve become an exercising maniac. COREPOWER Yoga & Sculpt, tons of biking, running, and weight lifting at home. I’m getting so strong. But, I can eat semi-normally. Even with the exercise points, I feel like I’m starving/dying, but I only have 7 lbs to go and I’m determined to reign myself in until I get there. I mean, come on Jen.
The Moral of This Post
I am now taking period-specific Prozac, closely monitoring every morsel of food that goes into my mouth, managing my wine intake (boo), sleeping 8-9 hours a night, and taking Advil every 4 hours (just for the two days before my period to help with cramps). I don’t have PMS. I have lost weight. I’m the American Dream.
A pretty spectacular Instagram pic (if I do say so myself) that I took on a recent WW-induced mountain run. Location: Winter Park, future destination of “Jen and Chase Tie the Knot 2014″
And, on the other bright side, WW is working. I’m back in my smallest dress (which I haven’t been able to physically get onto my body in three years) and my skinny college jeans. I have tons of energy and am down to one cup of coffee a day (plus enough Kombucha to fuel a small village). The coolest part? This is officially the smallest I’ve been since giving up diet soda/artificial sweeteners 2 years ago, which makes me the healthiest skinny person I’ve ever been. Any other time I’ve lost weight it’s been by replacing food with diet soda.. this time, it’s just water and yoga and sleep. College Jen wouldn’t even recognize this vision of health over here.
And the weirdest part of all of this morphosisian change lately is that even with how insanely open I am, it’s still hard for me to publish the word Prozac in a post. There’s such a stigma, isn’t there? But the truth is, I’m doing the hard work – sleep, exercise, managing wine and food and caffeine – and sometimes, when things are biological, that just isn’t enough. Thanks to a low dose of a crazy pill, today I don’t feel an ounce different from how I normally feel. And, on this day of the month, that is the greatest feeling in the entire world. I would be quiet about it, but maybe someone will read this and talk to their doctor about it and they’ll get a third of their life back, too. You know? That’s what makes over-sharing worth it.