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.

Ask Toi: Your blogs are overwhelming with too much positivity, are you like this daily?!

Yes and no. I am human. I have bad days and good days. I can be up emotionally up and ready to take on the world one minute and having to be put on the prayer list to get out of the bed the next. 

Positivity is overwhelming when you only focus on the low moment. I have so many goals that I’m working on that even in the busy days I get extremely overwhelmed myself. My husband is probably the only one who sees my lowest moments. They can be small to severe. He’s a trooper. We’ve been together and as a team he knows what to say to snap me back. I also push to be positive. The world has enough negativity that I try not to add more to it. 

I also have expressed that I’ve suffered from depression. I have been in my past on medication during post partum and I’ve gone to professional counseling. I was taught the tools to come out of a negative jam. Also honesty is the best policy. See the way my life is set up I don’t have time to wallow.  But I get how you would be overwhelmed. You are looking through the lens of your own life and try to measure. Don’t do that. We have different paths. You have no idea what things I’ve been through to get to where I am. Never compare what you think you see. I’ve learned this the hard way. You will be super disappointed if you do. 

This is why I blog. So you can change the lens and direct it from the inside out and not the other way around. Try writing what it is about your life that you don’t like. Put it on paper than write what your grateful for. Then make a plan for each thing that you are struggling with and then work your plan. In doing this alone you won’t have time to focus on others. People including me will be in your rearview mirrow instead of in front of your windshield. Change your perspective!!! 

It’s a good thing to be overwhelming positive if I could describe what my life was like years ago, it might scare you!! 

Ear Muffs

I respond to things that I am passionate about.  The things that affect my here and now or my and my kids future.  I respond to the petty things of the world sometimes and have to remind myself constantly to use ear muffs.  No my ears aren’t cold but they need to be shielded.  Sometimes we yell ear muffs to our kids and they know that means cup them ears mommy or daddy needs to express adult content.

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For adults the same technique sometimes needs to be used.  You are in control of what you entertain.  You are in control of what you allow to get into your spirit.  You’re an adult.  You have the ability to end the things that no longer serve you.  You have the ability to say no to images, sounds, and social media that do not line up with preserving you.  You have a right not to argue and debate a fool who will not listen to anything you or anyone else has to say.  You can be pulled in but as an adult you control the stops in your life.  You have to be willing to look wrong sometimes.  You have to be willing to look off when someone wants to engage you and you know it will lead no where.

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Even on social media. I told you about the time I allowed myself to be pulled into a debate.  Even though I felt I was being targeted or the person was saying things about my kids for one, I still had a right to end it early and deal with that person face to face. So you have the same power.  You have to evoke ear muffs to shield the very things that will cause you to be upset.  Anything that takes space in your mind that has you thinking of it for more than an hour that isn’t something centered around making you better, putting food on your table, getting you that much closer to your destiny-cut it off.  Disengage on social media, stop hanging around the family and friends who do not mean you well, stop arguing with your mate and getting no where, find another job so every day you aren’t crying in the parking lot or miserable at your place of employment. Control the parts of your life that you can.  Trust me I have been in that place before.  It tears your spirit down.  Activate your ear muffs so you can hear what you need to do, where you need to be, and how you are going to get there.  You don’t have time to entertain things that don’t build you.

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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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.

Any of US Could be Kenneka?

Unless you live under a rock you have heard the story of Kenneka Jenkins, the young lady who was found in a freezer in the Crowne Plaza hotel in Chicago.  This story has had twitter and social media in a frenzy.  She left with a group of friends to attend a party and never came home.  Follow any of the hashtags to follow the story.  Regardless of the distorted facts one fact remained is that she had some extremely horrible “friends” and that she was being brought there to be raped.

Now I have seen the memes floating about how her death and rape has sparked the whole be careful of your friends movement but it makes it seem as if the rapist and murdered of Kenneka deserves a pass?  My thoughts are on what planet?  Just because people are using this story to remind others about their choice of friends that doesn’t mean that the rapists and murder whomever they may be are fine.  The way the information is spilling, the rapists and murders can be her friends.  Everyone in that hotel room should be charged.  Hands down.  I will not dispute that.  It’s not a matter of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.  Everyone who live streamed it, turned the music to muffle Kenneka’s cries, participated, set it up, and carried it out should be charged.  AND you should STILL watch your friends.

I placed myself in the place of a mother.  I am a mother in real life.  I have two daughters. My oldest child is very lovable and already possesses the thoughts that her friends are great.  However as her mother teaching her right from wrong I am the voice until she has a voice on whom is not for her.  Yes, even at 8 I have had to call out a few of the mean girls.  My daughter goes to private school which means for the most part her classes are small and most of the kids in her class have already been together since Kindergarten.  They hang together in and out of the classroom. If you think that I as a mother am not in her ear telling her, pointing out, and calling out her fake friends you are sadly mistaken.  We ALL have had to deal with those who we thought was real and found it wasn’t remotely true.

I was asked this week have I ever had to deal with fake friends and the answer is HELL YES.  My eyes were opened AFTER something went down.  Whether that was hearing of stories being said tabout me, being left at a party, etc, it has happened.  Or the times I have had a circle of friends who were really friends because we had one mutual friend involved and heard some crap about me that I didn’t tell the group.  These are the very recipes for fake friends.  I do not think Kenneka realized that until her unfortunate death.  I said on my SnapChat and I will say it again, its not just the teenagers we need to worry about it’s the young girls that are my oldest daughters age that already show mean girl attributes.  It’s the grown women who keep stuff going well into their 40s and up. This mean girl mentality can begin at any age.  It doesn’t discriminate so while others are pointing their fingers at Kenneka, remember to re-evaluate your own circle.

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Listen cutting off friends is hard.  It hurts.  It makes your circle smaller.  Here are a few things to watch for:

  1. The “leader” that likes to control off the cards aka the information that is given to the group.  My rule of thumb is that just because we share a mutual friend don’t bring me no news about someone I don’t pick up the phone and call myself.  Do you know how many people talk that let’s pray for her crap and ain’t been in church a month of Sundays.  Stop believing the that’s my sis crap. That same sis is the same one when you get on hard times will give your information to people who don’t even know you.  Rule of thumb even in a group setting, let others tell their own business.  Stop giving in the name of friendship other’s information unless you have permission.
  2. When one or more lie about inviting another but talk about how that one don’t come.  I had that happen recently.  I found out that after all this talking about one “friend” went down the girl wasn’t even invited but the “leader” told everyone they were and then talked bad about them for not coming.  IF they will do it to one they will do it to all
  3. Be still sometimes.  We go to things without asking the right questions.  If you feel something isn’t right, trust what you say and have your own mind.

These are the lessons that even at 8 I have had to share with my daughter.  These will NOT solve fake friends problems but it will open eyes.  We believe anything.  Just because you know someone for a long time don’t always mean they have your best interest in heart. Also to my men you play a HUGE part in some of this.  For the men who use women as bait, stop.  Start having conversations with your son and other young men about respect. Too many women trying to protect each other but not having men stand and rally behind them to do the same.  Sorry your fragile egos can’t take a no but remember at some point, this could have been your daughter, mother, cousin, etc. Keneeka is all of us and I have the deepest sympathy for that mother and family.  I pray that the ones who did this, will come forward and take responsibility soon.  R.I.P Kenneka Jenkins!!