The Vicious Cycle… 5 Lady-Like options to help us get through them

As a woman, it’s unbelievable what we have to physically endure. I’m talking about what nature hands over to our gender. Getting a period every month for maybe 40 years of our lives is an almost surreal concept. Cramps, zits, mood swings, water retention, the cost of tampons, stained clothing, and balancing a sex-life around our “friend,” the vicious cycle…Really?

If you thought hemorrhaging for a week out of every month wasn’t gross enough, wait until you get introduced to the “mucus plug.” I’m skipping ahead, sorry. Pregnancy is miraculous and can be a human honor, but no person or book can prepare you for the experience of internally growing an alien.

The actual process of giving birth includes a level of pain unequivocal to anything else besides being stabbed with a butter knife by an elephant sitting on your pelvis while you’re upside-down in an active volcano.

Just when you thought Mother Nature’s trials’ were complete, peri-menopause introduces herself, and you suddenly wished you had the most-highly recommended exorcist’s number on your speed dial.

Again with the mood swings, the weight gain, a horrifying lack of libido, and the obnoxious flash-mob perspiration. What “they” tell you, but you can’t truly grasp until it happens, is that once you hit menopause, you grow hair—in all the wrong places.

It would be delightful if my already-thin hair from my scalp grew more, but no! Those follicles have shut down and made my head-hair even thinner—so much so that you can almost see my brain through my scalp.

Listen up, because this is the exciting part: hair starts growing out of your chin, cheeks, and even nipples. Isn’t that a beautiful visual? Of the over 50-million hair follicles covering our body, only one-fifth are on our head.

That leaves a lot of other bizarrely random places for strands to sprout. And on a TMI note, don’t expect a flourishing bush down below, if you catch my drift.

So what to do with the Hansel n’ Gretel witch chin-hair? Some doctors will prescribe a birth-control pill to prevent menopausal hair-growth. Much of the Sasquatch-look is caused by the increased Androgen levels.

Estrogen and Androgen fight it out and Androgen will win, especially if you’re obese (levels are higher.) And before going on hormone treatment (especially for unsightly fur issues), there are many options for combating the expansion or unsightliness of nature’s human pelt.

 

  1. Bleach with over-the-counter stuff
  2. Get a great pair of tweezers and block-out plucking time in your calendar.
  3. Wash at home: One homeopathic sworn-by helper is: take two teaspoons of turmeric and mix with water to make a paste. Apply to troublesome hairy areas for @ 10 minutes. After it dries, wipe off with wet cloth. Supposedly, doing this a couple of times a week—after six weeks—should remove all the nasty not-wants.
  4. Home Wax: Take 2 cups o’ sugar, ¼ cup water, and a ¼ cup of lemon juice. Heat the combo in a saucepan until you have a thick, dark liquid. After it cools (duh!) you’ll eventually spread this mixture on the hair(s). Take a strip of cotton or jeans, place it on top of the mixture while it’s hot, and yank! Tada—hairs removed. But just temporarily…
  5. Laser: After many treatments and dollars spent, this will prove to be a successful option. Just keep in mind that you’re not going to be Silky-Sadie after the first treatment.

Hey, there’s no reason for you to choose any of the above options if you’re comfy with yourself as is. Just know that other women are experiencing the same changes. And if you desire, there are ways to counter-balance the wacky-hairy happenings.

 

Small change could benefit you with more energy and less pain

Ergonomic seating is not a new concept, per se. It’s been around for several years now—long enough for users at work and in school, spine doctors. Chiropractors, and Pilates experts to tally their verdict. Non-traditional chairs such as exercise balls, stools, kneeling desks, and recliners are advantageous to the health of our spine, neck, lungs, and core. They have arrived and they are not leaving. That’s a good thing.

Think about a rolling desk chair with minimal cushion in the seat, a mid-length back, and a possible recline if you lean back. 30 years ago, a seat like that was heavenly compared to the old folding-type chairs used in cubicles.

And over the years, workers have suffered and complained of back and neck pain. As the sitter tends to pull his/her pelvis under, undue pressure is placed on discs—and for hours on end. As ergonomics has developed, so have fascinatingly simple, seat options.

Recently, the results of a new study on the benefits of standing desks was published. It basically said that, yes, too much sitting has adverse health affects, but it can’t yet be medically proven that standing all day is a great thing either. So in the interest of spreading the good word, we’ll stick to what we know is beneficial. Here are some tried-and-true newfangled-ish chairs to use at work or at school (if they’ll allow it.)

Basic Exercise Ball

You’ve seen these at the gym and you probably already have one. They’re rubbery, of course, round, and come in a few sizes. You want to be able to sit on the ball with your knees at a right angle, with both feet firm on the floor. This will engage your core.

If you’re under 5’4”, you’ll want a 55cm ball. A little taller, opt for the 65cm. And if you’re over 5’11”, get the 75cm. Tip: If every time you get up from your desk and the ball rolls away, pour sand inside and the weight will stabilize it.

Ergonomic Ball Chair

This is just like the regular exercise ball but it has little legs like a Dachshund. It won’t roll over or run away, and it’s still core beneficial. It encourages good posture; it’s tough to slouch on it, even if you try.

Kneeling Chair

You’re not really kneeling, it’s more like “shinning.” It’s a chair that angles you forward and your shins pick up some of your bodyweight and create stability. Your spine can relax because you’re tilted forward and any strain is removed.

Wobbly Stool

This is a fun ride. The bottom is actually rounded, letting you lean and tilt in any direction—without falling! It’s got no back, so it demands you sit-up straight, and the wobbliness forces your core muscles into action.

“Zero Gravity” Recliner

This is not the type of chair you can sway, wiggle, and bounce on. This seat option is for those who want relief from any pressure anywhere. The Zero Gravity recliner lays you back until most of your weight is distributed evenly throughout your body. Your feet raised slightly above your heart benefits your blood pressure.

Circulation is claimed to improve. Muscle, joint, and back pain is relieved while lying back. Some suggest the chair even relaxes the lungs, allowing for better breathing habits. This product is fabulous, but it’s also pricey. And really, it’ll be pretty tough to convince HR that you need to lie down in order to do your best work.

Many companies (massive and smaller) are investing in ergonomic seating for their employees as an investment. Good health and increased energy spells better productivity. Some schools are finding money in their budgets for alternative seating. Many students benefit physically, but also mentally.

If you’re boss gets you one (or you get one for yourself), don’t expect your fancy new chair will be comfortable in one day. It will take time getting used to. Try it out for small amounts each day. Even when you become an ergonomic sitting-pro, you still may want to alternate between different chairs (and standing), throughout the day.

 

 

Hairstyle Updates with Sass

Bored with Your Hairstyle? 

Find a hairstyle that is so radical that you literally earn a badge of courage if you dare try it. This has to be one of the most non-controversial, yet sophisticated and lovely eras for beautiful and manageable hair. The highlights are minimal but effective, and the cuts are simple but offer volume and versatility.

The newest rage in simplicity is a haircut called the lob. It’s basically a long bob, which falls slightly between your chin and shoulder blade. Most of the hair is similar in length, but the way it’s modestly highlighted and barely styled, gives it an oxymoronic messy/neat presentation. You can look cute and sassy while accompanying the kids to school, but also have a more glam appearance for an evening dinner if you toss in some hot curls. Check out some celeb photos donning the lob http://www.harpersbazaar.com/beauty/hair/advice/g3621/top-celebrity-bobs-and-lobs/?slide=32

So, you don’t want to cut your hair?

For those unwilling to cut their hair as short as a bob or lob, the braid has returned as a chic and popular style. Pulling the hair back into a tight braid is a severe, but a very attractive look for dress-up, ultra professional, or evening. A looser, side braid is lovely for daytime, errand-running, or even workouts.

Tape-on extensions are also en vogue. They’re great because you can get ones with a slightly different tone than your color, without damaging your hair from processing. Extensions can give you the luscious look you may have never had due to fine or limp hair. They look amazing, especially when you take the time to curl or style, but they do require more maintenance; you have to brush thoroughly twice a say, wear your hair up while sleeping, and shampooing can be a procedure. Otherwise, if you’re willing to put in the time for the fun and fancy look, it’s worth trying extensions for a couple of months.

Just because we’re aging doesn’t mean we have to don old frumpy haircuts. Be adventurous and let your inner-sass out. Whether you want your hair as long as Rapunzel’s or as short as Betty Boop’s, today’s styles allow you to “fit in” comfortably and adorably.