Menopause Woes

As many of you know, I had a full hysterectomy.  With that surgery it sent my body into menopause.   For the most part it has been bearable.  It has been 4 months since the surgery and I feel like I am just getting my body back.

So let me take some time to answer some questions that some readers have asked me regarding menopause:

  1. How long did the pain take to manage-I would say surgery wise that took about 3 weeks to heal.  This is the initial pain that anyone who has had any uterus surgery goes through.  It took about an additional 5 weeks to be able to move about without the pain being agitated during the healing process.
  2. Hot Flashes, are they controlled-I have to say I think not.  I even with the hormone therapy replacement the flashes occur several times a week.  It is annoying since before surgery I was a really cold person.  The flashes can be overwhelming.  I find myself stripping clothes off as soon as I get home.  When I am at work, I immediately need my fan or I am in the bathroom with cold water compresses.  However I will take it over bleeding every month.
  3. Sex after the fact was extremely hard in the beginning.  I waited a little longer than I was cleared.  It was painful and different.  I think now I am doing a lot better and feel like my drive hasn’t changed from before surgery, but to say it was just so freely a great experience after surgery would be lie.  Some women experience pan, dryness, and lose their desire to even have sex altogether.  Every woman is different.  Do not compare yourself to how you are reacting to another woman.
  4. Swelly belly-this is when no matter what you do, your body has told you how much you are doing is too much.  You still at times look like a woman who has had a fresh baby.  It’s annoying to say the least.  I have come to terms that this is apart of the process.  On days where my belly is normal, I celebrate with a great outfit.
  5. Mood Swings-they do exist but in my case I feel like its less than when I had a bunch of unruly hormones guiding me.  I think the combination of self-care and the even dose of hormones through the hormone replacement therapy patch which gives me a low dose over time has helped.  I have been better off emotionally.

Do I regret the surgery?

Absolutely not.  I am 100% on board with my decision.  For one physically I feel so much better.  I do not have to be on guard about if a period is going to come or not. I do not have to carry unnecessary clothes in case of an accident.  The lack of bleeding every month has decreased my previous diagnosis of anemia.  I will get my final results by end of the month, but the test I had a few months ago was already looking great.  I had already had my tubes tied before surgery so having more kids wasn’t in the cards.  My husband supported that decision and to be honest it was the most selfish giving decision I could give myself.  Shout out to the women who have had or will have the surgery or go through menopause naturally and unfortunately can’t or won’t experience motherhood.  I do not take that gift of motherhood lightly.  I do however love the fact that my sister in love is about to give me my baby fix this upcoming Spring.

I did what was best for my body.  I do not regret it for a second even with the worst flash, or tiredness or even the feeling of being overwhelmed comes over me and sometimes at the same time, I find myself taking a deep breath and thanking God that I am on the path of healing.

To other menopausal women both young and old who may be reading this thinking how much of a negative experience you may be going through, or think I may be going through, remember that every woman experiences this change in different ways. I could have healed faster than another, doesn’t make me normal and you weird.  What works for me may not work for you.  I would say that if you are going through menopause I would applaud you to find out what self-care looks like for you both before, during and especially afterwards.  Self care will refocus your thoughts as your body changes.  It’s like going through the awkward teenage phase all over again.  For some the changes in body odor, lost of hair or increase of hair, change in libido, lack of a period, or feeling like your body is experiencing a death from lack of having children even if children was never on your radar are all real experiences. How you navigate through will depend on you.  Do not allow anyone to push what you should do.  Always trust yourself and talk to your doctors.

One last thing is that going through menopause has made me realize that I can’t take my body for granted.  This is why I try to be mindful of if I am doing the things that I need to keep my body at the best shape of my life.

Menopause is a phase of life that women go through regardless if it’s naturally or surgically induced know my fellow women I am with you and I understand.

Weekly Recap: Friday October 13, 2017

Happy Friday the 13th.  Cue in the scary movie noise! I do not, let me repeat like scary movies but I am going to a scary movie premiere tonight for an amazing artist with Basement Bartle Productions; You Die First so y’all just pray my strength in the Lord.  I am a PK (preachers kid) to the bone and just recently got the courage to go out on Halloween night.  I know it sounds crazy but any of my other PKs would totally understand.

So let’s recap this week!

Personal Goals

This week has been fulfilling and tiring to say the least but that’s how life hits when you’re having fun, right?  Right. So as you know and should have read I spent one amazing weekend in Miami with friends.  I had the time of my life.  Read about it if you haven’t done so already.  However what I forget to say is that I also sprained my ankle. My husband says it happened while standing on tables dancing. I say let’s go with that if it will make it more interesting.  My dancing on table days are beyond over, but I did have a great time.

Shout out to my little brother who celebrated an amazing 29th birthday.  Yes he is my little brother even at 29.  He’s still my little baby boo and I wish him an amazing year as he ends his last years in his 20s.  Oh to be young again!

I was able to catch up on my dental appointment which as always is A1.  Which brings me to a few questions for my readers-its almost the end of 2017 and if you haven’t had the following (where applicable) you need to get on it:

  1. Physical/Check up
  2. Dental Exam
  3. Eye Exam
  4. Obgyn/Gyncological Exam
  5. Urology Exam
  6. Mammogram
  7. Blood work up
  8. Nutritionist
  9. All follow-up exams/appointments

Do not make an excuse.  Your health issues or potential ones you don’t know about doesn’t go away just because you don’t go and see about it.  Your health is your wealth.  Healthy bodies and minds are necessary to navigate in this world.  Often our failure to attack things head on prolongs our ability to fix it or get an answer.  So be vigilant and get those in your home and you care about to do the same.  I have a calendar to keep my family on track.  Everyone in my home after this month will be up to date with everything to end the year healthy.  Also if you believe in them get a flu shot especially for the elderly, the young, and those with compromised immune systems.

Blog Goals

So we had a busy week. I love blogging, it’s never a chore to me or for me.  I get asked how do you blog as often as you do, take care of you and your family, work a full-time job and still find time to socialize?  It’s called balance and perspective and saying no when I can’t do anymore.

This week we covered a lot, my blogs overwhelmingly positive, what is support, my Miami girls trip, the Blackish episode on postpartum, sexting, and finally keeping it clean-and it’s not what you think.  Catch up ToiTime

Upcoming Events

I have another 5k coming up in November.  So the training doesn’t stop.  I had to wrap my ankle and be creative with working out but I look forward to getting back into the gym and now the track with some fellow runners starting this weekend.  Won’t he do it?! I have been feeling heavy sitting during my lunch period.  It’s weird how I never wanted to be a gym rat until I became one, but gym really is life.

I also will be full swing into my blogiversary prep.  Can you believe it?  3 years is coming November 1st and we celebrate all month-long.  So be on the look out. I want to do it bigger and better every year.

Just like in the last update its time to shift into holiday mood. I have so many blogs on what to do during the holidays that I will be doing a lot of reposting and focusing more fresh blogs on the mental and emotional aspect of how to survive the holidays.  Fall and Winter are the crucial times for depression I want to make sure you are covered with ways to handle that and the anxiety that comes along with all of that over what sweater to wear and what not to drink at the holiday party.

So stick around. Follow me on Facebook 

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Friday Recap: September 22, 2017

Happy Fall.  I can’t say that enough.  I get to live in all of my Fall happiness today and the rest of the season.  My life has now gone into overdrive or at least it will be for the next few weeks. I told you I have a blood cancer walk next Friday as well as a 5K the next day. How about they are in two different cities.  Yall say a prayer for me right there.  Again never soliciting but if you would consider donating to the Lymphoma and Blood Cancer walk, Light the Night.

Personal Achievements

  1. Conquered my doctor appointment.  Although I was upset in expressing to my doctor that the swelly belly thing is annoying at least I found that it is a thing and with time it will go away.  It’s frustrating when you work out so much, watch what you eat and wake up to some days a belly that looks pregnant and you KNOW you not in the baby making ministry anymore.  So for the days like today where its flat flat, I’ll be happy and move on.  For the days it’s not I will adjust what I wear and continue to work out and be mindful to give myself some patience.
  2. My littlest started a new school aka daycare.  We knew that starting something new for her wasn’t going to be all sunshine but she is doing well.  Everyday she comes home and is super excited.  Her adjustment is getting used to the different meals as well as different way of operation.  I know in time she will adjust and be fine.  She still miss her two teachers and for that I am grateful for that love they poured into her.
  3. Ways to increase peace. I am grateful for my husband recognizing when I need a time out although I still could crush him over the trash can debate. Being able to take a mental time out is important to self-care.  I was able to get some breathing and room and do absolutely nothing one day this week.  That is almost equivalent to a day at the beach-almost!
  4. Stood up for myself this week.  Having the ability to tell people NO is powerful. My mom always taught us to exercise our NO muscles and trust me I do.  I do not allow others to dump their issues and problems on me at any cost.  This is a no dump zone.

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Blog Achievements

Let me say thank you to each and every one of my followers.  Don’t forget to follow me on all social media as Toitimeblog.  As I get more focused and more consistent, you as readers are doing the same. So thank you!

This week was a great blog week.

IF you missed it, make sure you hit the link, ToiTime

This week I talked about going to the Fall Festival here in Philadelphia, Sunday Message of not ignoring the message, Kevin Hart and his marital mess, fall work out/goals, health is wealth moment, and grabbing a bag.  So as you can see just with this week alone, we been working.  Catch up!

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What’s coming Up?

1. I am doing my walk for blood cancer next Friday evening

2. I am doing the Sweat your Sole Run and Conference next Saturday morning.  By the way  Luvvie Ajayi will be there and I am swooning with excitement Sweat with your Sole

3. I am going to the orchards with my family, definitely blogging about how fun it is to enjoy some fall favorites

4. Oh and preparing for a girls trip-which I need to let them know like my last one, it is being blogged at least the bloggable moments lol!

So happy Fall! I hope you jump-start your fitness, (its fitness Friday) enjoy a little comfort food, get together with family and friends and enjoy the crispness that Fall brings.

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Grab a Bag

So yesterday I didn’t get a chance to blog. Okay, so I just didn’t.  Mainly because I was having a bad day and secondly after having a bad day I just wanted to go to sleep.  So let me tell you how this day had me about to grab my gym bag and no not to hit the gym but to swing.

Anyone who has ever been in a fight, when a girl grabs her bag that means she’s about to suit up to do some damage.  That was how I felt because I was all in my feelings.  All week I was super excited to see my doctor for my appointment. I was ready to see all the positive from a year ago.  Now it was positive until we got on the topic of my belly and this past surgery.  I guess because losing the weight isn’t an issue the issue is more the swelly belly.  I love when I wake up and I am all the way on.  Belly looking flat flat and my body looking good in my clothes.  UNTIL, the day I wake up and look like I was carrying a secret love child and then I am not feeling it.  Well during my appointment I was seen by a male student who I tried to explain how I felt and he gave me the most distant stare.  I was looking like really, engage, care, offer tips, do something but NOPE! He just stared at me like I had 3 breasts.

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Let’s back it up to earlier in the day I had to professionally tell someone off.  I consider myself to be queen of the go off but in certain arenas you have to behave accordingly. Well I did that until the other person went left and I had to bring them back to reality.  So I was still fuming from that interaction, the student doctor was blind and not getting it, and the night before I had gotten into an argument with my husband over trash.  Yes over a trash can-lawd save all the trash cans lids in our community Jesus! So at this point I am at take my earrings off mood.  So I did what any responsible adult would do, I just took a deep breath rolled my eyes at the student doctor, and waited for my doctor to come in.  As soon as she saw me she said what’s wrong.  I put my husband on hold, put the student doctor on hold, put the day on hold, and told her how I felt about all of this process since the surgery. I don’t think I had verbally talked about it until yesterday.  Yes I blogged about it and mostly on the physical stuff but now its been 3 months and a little over 2 on these hormone replacement therapy patches and I needed to let it out.  This was my chance.  This was the time.

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I told her the truth. I felt emotionally fine.  I didn’t feel like I had gotten out of control these days.  However there are some days when I will get a rash, or itch so bad that I want to peel my own skin off.  The swelly belly and having to be super extra careful of what I consume is a lot. I feel like there is an inward pressure from myself to get my belly back down and hope it stays down.  This is an ongoing battle that NO ONE told me about when I talked about the surgery.  She smiled and gave me a hug.  She explained about the belly swells is my body’s way of saying cut back.  Not just on what I eat, but what I am doing.  Cut back.  She said that I have artificial hormones that is making me feel emotional even though I think I am fine.  The belly is not permanent.  The weight is not an issue.  She let me know that I am still healing.  In my head, I should be over this by now.  However sadly I am not.  She also let me know that the hormones is the culprit for the belly and that is normal to go up and down for about a year.  A year I really was hoping that was a myth that I heard about before.  But nope its like having a baby they say come back to work in 6-8 weeks but it can take up to a year to get your life back under control.

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So the student said he didn’t see that it was troubling me. He based that on the fact that the scale showed the great weight loss from the year before.  I talked to him about different cues he can take even from a difficult patient like I had been.  I told him scale victories are awesome but I am also looking for off scale victories too.  I met with my grumpy intruder that I had to set straight and they apologized to me.  Reality is they were dumping their issues on me like I was attempting to do in the doctor’s office.  The difference between me and the doctor is that the doctor’s office was a safe place and on me that could get you a two piece and a biscuit and I ain’t talking food.

I had to go home, not pick up the kids and get myself together. I went into full busy mode and finally I was able to relax.  I was able to get it together. I’m still going to continue to do all the things I have been doing.  But I guess I will have to be a little less strict on myself and let myself heal through the belly swell, and eventually all things will come into place.  So if you see me in the streets and my belly is a little big just smile don’t worry the next time you see me it may or may have decided to do its thing.  Who knows!

Fall Workout/Weight Goals

So Fall is going to be here in a few days.  Yes. So I can stop hearing all of those complaining folks talking about relax.  Nope now you can go and relax.  Let people live. Let the Fall lovers have their time I don’t want to have to Kanye anyone over my favorite holiday but I will.  I digress. Anyway with the Fall fast approaching I have made some new Fall work out/weight loss goals that I believe will help others too.  Fall is the beginning of cuffing season as well as it’s the comfort food season. People will start making pies, cookies, mac and cheese, and before you know it 10 pounds have snuck up on you.  To combat the heavier weight problems I have made up my personal goals that takes the edge off of everything.

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I am breaking all of the Fall holidays into smaller goals.  My overall goal is to maintain the weight I am in and by New Years not have to make a lose weight goal. Yes that means being at my goal weight and keeping it off.  That in itself is a full-time goal.  However if I look at the whole goal it may be too intimidating so here is how I am breaking up my goals.

September Goal

I have a walk and a 5K at the end of the month.  So all month-long, I have been working out.  I started out 3 days a week but as the month quickly ends I have been hitting the gym EVERYDAY.  This means when I am sick, when the weather is gloomy, nothing is stopping me from the workout.  This has helped as I have noticed how much stronger I have gotten.  This will help me on the run as I do not want to be the last one running.  I want to be able to come out of that race with pride.  I also have a girls trip the first weekend in October.  Because of the closeness of the dates I will be good to go as I know I will indulge in some food that weekend too.  My hope is we do a lot of walking.  If not I will have to do like I do at home on the weekends and work out with the things that are around us.  No I could care less if it’s just one weekend. I worked out just fine when I went to Chicago for my birthday so this girls trip will be no different.  I woke up when others was sleep and did what I had to do.

The only issue I am facing is that with my hysterectomy surgery I find the swelly belly thing to be irritating.  It happens that when you do too much your belly swells.  I can wake up with a flat belly and by end of day or if I work out too much which I do everyday now I look 2 months pregnant. It’s annoying but I will work right through it until I heal fully and that stops.

October Goal

This goal is to look good in my Halloween costume.  Now please note yes I have already ordered it, have it and it fits. That isn’t the issue. It is making sure I look great in it.  Last year I was a girl Mario Brother.  It was cute but wearing it in the plus size section had me feeling super upset.  I looked like I was squeezed into it at that.  OMG.  Not this year.  I am going to be looking sleek and refined in my costume.  I ordered and have a medium and that in itself coming from a size 14 to a 8 is a blessing.  I will share my photos when Halloween comes.  I am not knocking plus size women, however I know for a fact that is not the size I was supposed to be.  Last year I was being lazy, and eating just to eat.  I wasn’t working out like I should have and the result was easily seen.  So this year I will be stepping out and looking like I should.

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November Goal

Thanksgiving is on the rise. I have already put in my holiday orders with my baker. Seriously I have.  I will be baking things on my own but there is something nice when you can take the edge off and pay someone else and get good stuff to share at the holiday luncheons and dinners.  That isn’t even adding all of the great holiday and winter drinks that I have recipes for, others make, and are going to be advertised….So now that my bakery orders are all in order I want to be able to not look like the turkey this year.  Have you ever looked at holiday pictures and been like Lawd, why didn’t someone tell me I looked like that?  I have and that will not be me this year.  I will look cute and ready to eat and not like I ate already and need to be pushing the vegetable truck this year.  I seriously love the way clothes fit on me now.  I have been able to remove the big clothes out of my closet and I have gotten a few cute pieces.  Once you get a dose of confidence after seeing your hard work, its hard to think about going backwards.

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These 3 goals will keep me until Christmas.  This Christmas I want to wear a cute Christmas pajama.  Christmas pajamas is always a serious thing.  Actually all of the holiday pajamas is a serious thing. I already ordered the kids Halloween pajamas and have them hanging in their closet.  I am not one for last-minute anything.  With that in mind the whole family always wears cute pajamas I just always snap the kids only.  Not this year I will be in the pictures with my cookies in tow.  I do not plan to stop eating my favorites. I plan on eating them in moderation.  A little, not the whole thing of anything. I have been really good with portion control and during the Fall when it gets colder I plan on keeping it hot in what I do and how I look this Fall.

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So your goals may not mimic mine but as you can see you can make monthly goals.  We all need something we can attain to.  For me its making sure I continue to look great as the holidays start to roll in.  Having a monthly goal and something I can work towards works for me.  It takes the edge off of the whole I want to have a great end goal of going into the New Year right and keeps me accountable.  Plus you know all of the get togethers, fall parties, potlucks, are all destined to try to take me out but I am aware of it all and ready to knock them out with some healthy dishes to share.

Friday Recap: September 15, 2017

It’s been so long since I have done an update.  This has been a very interesting week to say the least.  To say TGIF is an understatement.  So what’s been going on with ToiTime online and behind the scenes?

Personal Achievements

  1. My son turned six.  Shout out to him.  He is such a wonderful young man.  I adore being his mom.  I really love his and his siblings life.  They have a good one.  Also along with him turning six, he has had a dynamic week at kindergarten.  He has been super student 3 times this week.  Way to go!  Oh and I can’t forget my niece who shares the same birthday. She turned 2.  This little gem is such an honor to be her aunt.  I love her bubbly spirit.  I pray they both have such a great year.
  2. We have survived our first week of school.  I’m going to drink to that.  The going to work late, running around, back to school shopping, house prepping was not in vain. Shout out to my husband who allows me to be extra mom of the year.  I go above and beyond to create experiences.  I really don’t even listen to the “why she doing that” talk.  My kids are amazing and deserve to be treated as such.  Kids don’t ask to come into the world.  They deserve to see and have a beautiful life.  So that is that I wear my extra mom hat proud.
  3. Who lost a few more pounds?  Yes me.  I am still soaring we have reached 50 and counting.  I know your thinking, what in the world did I weigh a thousand?  Say what you will but the way I feel in my own skin and how I look in my clothes is more of a reason to keep on keeping on.
  4. My family is doing amazing.  Two members had medical scares but God brought them out.  I can’t reveal the one yet but just know I am smiling from ear to ear.
  5. My youngest is moving on to a new school next week.  I am happy about it.  Its bitter-sweet as her teachers was awesome but when its time to move on its time.  I have gotten to the place where I won’t stay longer than necessary, I learned that with my son.
  6. Didn’t give into a message that was sent from a past relationship.  Pump your breaks it wasn’t an old flame.  The message was sent to me and my husband.  OH I wanted to, but what would be the point?  Raggedy folks are going to be them no matter what.  I can forgive from over here and leave folks over there to their own guilt.
  7. Who spoke to one of their favorite artist?  Yes me.  I had a great conversation with none other than Lil Mo.  Now anyone who knows me knows I have every one of her albums.  We talked about new music, and new shows etc up the pike.  I will keep you posted.  She is extremely humble, real, and not like everyone has her painted. AND she doesn’t shy away from speaking authentically even if its controversial.  I actually ran into her at my local Target store a few months ago and the conversation was quick.  This was more of an intimate conversation.  I definitely plan on speaking more on that later.  Shout out to my girlfriend who always is my connect.  She made my entire night.  Don’t worry I didn’t embarrass myself on the phone by screaming and being extra.  I did that afterwards.

 

Blog Achievements

Have you been caught up?  We been pushing material.  Thank you for all of your support in reading, speaking up, asking questions, and just being all around awesome follower. Remember you can find me on all social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter as Toitimeblog.  I would suggest you get on the site ToiTime and catch yourself up.  We had guest blogger, S. L. Efua Joe who is our resident Health is Wealth advisor.  So you know we hit on what you are putting in your body.  Cold and Flu season is coming up too so don’t think we don’t have your tips on how to survive that coming up. In the mean time take a look at the blogs and make some sound decisions.  Our what’s coming up is set so check that out. September is such a busy month.  There are so many things happening to keep you moving.  Don’t forget to get out, get active, and enjoy Fall, it’s coming.

What’s Coming up?

  1. I have a Lymphoma walk coming up on September 29, 2017.  I think this is my 5th or 6th year doing it. I never solisctate money on my site, however if you want to donate to my walk Light the Night
  2. I am doing a 5k with Black Girls Run this September 30, 2017.  No the dates are not a type thats two runs/walks in two days.  I’ll be in recovery from Saturday night until Sunday.  Pray my strength.  There are space available if you want to join Sweat with your Sole
  3. I can’t wait to go to my check up.  This is my yearly.  It is timely as its after all the surgery issues have died down and I can see where I am and what I need to do better in.
  4. It’s time to start now by getting ready for my blogiversary.  The blogiversary will be on November and we will be celebrating with a full month.  I will have a lot of surprises all month.  However my prep for that starts now.
  5. Girls Trip-how I had enough time to squeeze that in with all that is going on in all of areas of my life, I will never know but I did. I will blog that once its all fun and done.

So as you can see its getting to be some excited weeks and months coming.  I am determined to end the last quarter on a high note.  I have my visions and daily checking off the list as I get closer to the goals.  I hope you are doing the same.