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I Don't Like Surprises

Ever since I can remember, I have always craved order and schedules and fine, I’ll say it, monotony. As an overweight child and then teen, I struggled daily with my lack of control over my food and my body. All I wanted was to feel normal and look normal – to be in control. I believed the safest place for me was in a world where things were boring.

It wasn’t until I was in my late 30’s/early 40s that I finally felt the freedom of being in control of my body. I was at my goal weight, I knew what and how much I could eat to stay there and which exercise regime worked best. The cherry on the top of this low-cal cake was my super reliable, typically short and usually uneventful period. Every 23 (or so) days, I knew what to expect and how my body would react. Despite the usual daily interruptions it would cause, its role in my life was strangely comforting.

It also offered a hell of a lot of excuses:

Cranky mood = PMS

Retaining Water = Ovulation

Craving salty foods = PMS

Swollen/tender breasts = PMS

Gained a pound = post-period hormones

The list goes on. To infinity.

Which is why I am kicking and screaming at this new stage in my life. For me, Perimenopause has been one long series of unwanted surprises and unpredictable experiences.

  • My period is irregular yet I feel like I’m in a constant state of PMS

  • My breasts are a full cup size bigger

  • I’ve gained 5 pounds that WILL. NOT. BUDGE.

  • Night Sweats (WTF?)

  • Hot Flashes (WTFF?)

  • A muffin top (WTFFF?)

What have been the most “surprising” part of perimenopause for you? And what (if anything) has helped you get through this very transitional and unpredictable time?