This year, I have found myself increasingly veering off the norm every so often, a norm that I have worked tirelessly to establish. I am talking about the normalcy around my emotional, physical and mental space. It suddenly occurred to me that there’s a glaring pattern as to when the deviation from the norm occurs, one that even a blind person would not miss. I have also realised that it is not that these things never used to happen in the past, it’s just that I was not conscious about how I lived my life and was not actively seeking fulfilment in all aspects of it, and so, it was hard to tell when things were not right.
All those who come here on Mondays and Fridays -whether religiously or sporadically- know that while I have a few weaknesses here and there (hello whiskey and sangria), I try to live a healthy life. This mostly involves reading every day (good for the mind), running thrice a week, doing Bikram Yoga bi-weekly (lately) and eating clean whenever I can. Over the past two weeks, I decided to drop carbs entirely from my diet and the results have been overwhelmingly astounding! My mind is lucid, my waistline is an inch smaller and I am almost down to 55kgs from 57kgs. The best part is that (and I kid you not) it has not been a struggle, except on two occasions. I have enjoyed having California Salad or Oatbix with Soy Milk for breakfast and couldn’t be bothered by the bread lying around in my pantry. I am not a bread fanatic anyway, unless its garlic bread from Art Caffe, which I succumbed to on one of those days I was meant to be off carbs.
My lunch and dinner was always fish, chicken or pork with either traditional veggies or spinach or sukumawiki. My only guilty pleasure was guacamole which I had once in a while. I was having so much fun with my newly acquired menu and was even contemplating on making it a permanent life choice until last Thursday. I had my usual two Oatbix with Provamel Soy Milk (with calcium) at my desk. At around 11.00am, I was meeting up with a friend at Coffee Connect and guess what I ordered? No, not Chamomile or Rooibos Tea. You will never guess, so let me help you out. A Vanilla Latte and a CHOCOLATE DOUGHNUT! The desire for sugar was so huge, I would have shot anyone who would have tried to stop me from having the two. And it felt so damn good.
Obviously, I wasn’t going to have lunch because I wasn’t hungry by the time normal people have lunch. But when hunger struck at 7.00pm, I looked at the pasta and minced meat that everyone else at home was seemingly enjoying and I felt nauseous. Xena asked why I wasn’t eating and I said I had a stomach upset then when I put them to bed, I snuck out and drove to Java and grabbed the breakfast croissant with egg, cheese and sausage!
I believe my two weeks of clean eating, yoga and running were instantly washed down the drain on that fateful Thursday!
Once again, my raging hormones were forcing me to do things that ordinarily I wouldn’t do! Because it was that time of the month. And so, I decided to list down the strange things that happen to me when I am on my menses just so that,
a) I can actively seek to overcome them
b) A reader will hopefully relate. I picture them gasping and saying “So, I am not the only one who cries when someone asks to share my food?” and lastly
c) Ladies out there will be kind enough to share their strange experiences which will hopefully offer me much-needed consolation.
I know more than half of my readers are male, so you can move on swiftly to the blog you had lined up to read next and I won’t catch feelings. But, this could also help you understand the women around you better, so you may want to hang around for another two minutes.
Without further ado, here’s the list of strange things that happen to me at that time of the month.
- You can call me Joy Irritable D’Souza because it takes very little to tick me off. For starters, any type of noise drives me nuts. Clinking, screaming, growling, grumbling, laughing (if I am not included in the convo, or if the joke passes me) whining, incessant knocking and loud chatter. All that irks me. I recall recently hanging out with a pal whose gorgeous three-year-old was cracking me up until he started hitting the table with the car key, which gave this sound like a welder was suddenly fixing the table. I wanted to haul one of them (the car keys, or the adorable boy) miles away like a cricket ball. But instead, I took in a deep breath, held his tiny hand and upended the key into my hand.
- Bag of emotions. I want to cuddle and talk for hours on end. I use words of endearment carelessly. Words like dear, chica, dude and lovely seize to exist and suddenly, almost everyone is addressed as love, babe, hun…you get the drift. Also, if say I usually proclaim my love to those that I love once a month (I am a tough one), I’ll say it thrice a day. And if they dare not keep up with my emotions, that’s enough reason to want to cry. A friend once equated my expectations at that time to a druggie getting mad at a sober person because they couldn’t keep up with their highness!
- Cravings Galore. If there’s one time I am convinced I am pregnant except for the obviously glaring reason that I am not, it’s that time. I crave pastry and sugar like Damian Marley craves Mary Jane (as he calls it). I have already addressed my careless eating so we don’t need to get into details. The only other thing I might want to add is that I take offence when someone asks to taste or have a bite of whatever it is I would be indulging in. Including my kids.
- Work out for who? I desperately try to maintain my fitness routine but my performance is usually so bad, I might as well just take the week off. So, most of the times I close shop until normal order around my body is restored. The problem is that this, combined with poor eating, adds to my irritability and also sort of reverses some of the gains I might have made previously.
- Loose fitting clothes for the win! Catch me dead wearing anything that clings onto my waistline. Pants, dresses that demand belts, jeans and generally tight-fitting clothes are all thrown in the back of the closet. Out comes all the loose dresses (still fashionable though) that I would ordinarily wear to church, and shirt dresses and very loose sweat pants for the evenings and weekends.
- If I could get a penny for every time I cried (or fought tears), I would be rich! I intentionally keep off sad movies because they get me crying from the beginning to end. There’s once I watched the movie Lion, the one about this five-year-old Indian boy from the slums who got lost on the streets and was detached from his family, but went to overcome harrowing odds and eventually got adopted. I cried so hard -the hysterical mucus inducing, nose blowing and eyes rubbing kind of crying-I couldn’t see clearly afterwards because my eyes were swollen. It was only 6.00pm and I was at a loss over what to do with my time afterwards. I couldn’t read (swollen eyes), I couldn’t play with my kids (because noise), I couldn’t watch anything else. I also couldn’t sleep that early. So, I just lay in bed and thought about my life.
There you go. I am curious to know what strange things happen to you ladies during your menses. Do you just yield to your emotions or have you devised a way to deal with them?