Category Archives: health

These New Jeans

Size is such a funny concept. I haven’t focused on my weight as a number of importance in a long time, but clothing size isn’t something that can really be avoided – even if you make your own clothes, chances are you’re using a pattern and even those patterns have size guidelines. For better or for worse, my size has become part of my identity. I like to think it’s for better; I haven’t had a problem with my size in quite some time. In fact, one could say it’s become a point of pride, being a larger—yes, FAT—curvy woman with breasts, belly, hips and an ass that can’t be overlooked. But when that changes? The size, I mean. (Gods know the curves are still present.) It’s an odd thing to wrap my head around, now that the discovery has been made that My Number is not what it was for years—what I’ve been comfortable with for years.

Certainly I’m comfortable with these new jeans fitting better than my jeans have fit in a while. I’m really alright with not constantly hitching them up, and definitely celebrating the lack of saggy pant-seats! I’ll be frank with you, though: this new size that I bought last night is a size that I haven’t bought since high school. And I know that’s kind of the coveted “thing,” to fit into one’s old high school jeans, but for those of us not obsessed with being our younger, supposedly smaller selves, for those of us who are comfortable with our current size, it’s just strange. For me, it hearkens back to a time when I wasn’t as comfortable with myself, when I did dread going up any size at all. It hearkens back to a time when there was more self-loathing present in my life than self-love.

That’s where it changes, folks. I may be back in my old high school size, but I will not be slipping back into my old high school mentality along with these new jeans. These jeans will be worn with self-love, self-acceptance and self-confidence. I will continue to strut and sashay my way down the street, not revert back to scuttling along with my shoulders hunched, trying to shield myself from the prying eyes of unforgiving peers. I have come a long way since those days, and I intend to hold on to that growth, regardless of how my body shrinks—or expands, for that matter. Because expansion may very well happen again, and that’s okay. The most important discovery I have yet made—infinitely more important than the superficial discovery of a changed pants size—is that true comfort happens when we grow and/or continue to love ourselves, accept ourselves and treat ourselves well (which, by the way, includes indulging every so often) despite any changes that may occur. Our bodies are constantly in flux, but our love for ourselves and our desire to take care of these bodies we inhabit should never diminish. When we can acknowledge that we are beautiful and worthy creatures despite sizes, shapes or any other external factors, that becomes the most comfortable fit of all, and everything else is just the denim-clad cherry on the sundae.

Mmmm… ice cream.

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This PSA Brought to You by a Happy Cunt

As well educated women, most of us know at least the fundamentals about our own genital health. Watch out for abnormal discharge, don’t douche, do pee after sex, don’t overwash because the vagina is a self-cleaning organ, so on and so forth. I knew and (I thought) observed all of these things. So it was discouraging to me why I kept having issues with my *lady health* when I was doing nothing to warrant it.

And then I found out a little more about vaginal pH and its contribution to female gynecological health. See, the female vagina maintains a slightly acidic state (between 3.8 and 4.5 whereas 7 is neutral and a highly alkaline or basic product, bleach, is around 12.5) which helps the good bacteria flourish and keep things functioning in there. When that pH balance is disturbed, the vagina loses its first defense—the good bacteria—against things like candidiasis and bacterial vaginosis. And most women know what a pain in the ass at least one if not both of those conditions are.

It was my gynecologist who turned me on to this whole vaginal pH thing, and she also turned me on to a product which is supposed to help balance vaginal pH. Unfortunately that product is loaded with glycerin and parabens, so it actually made my issues worse, being highly sensitive to glycerin especially. In any case, being newly introduced to this idea of vaginal pH, I decided to do a little research. I especially wanted to know ways I could keep my vaginal health without having to use any storebought products, especially since such products are apparently fraught with ingredients that were only worsening my problems.

And of course my research told me the usual. Don’t douche, don’t wear a lot of synthetic fabrics, don’t wear tight clothing. The vulva and vagina do not need washed, only rinsed, for the vagina is a self cleansing organ. Okay. Same old same old. But then I found out WHY the vagina and vulva not only do not need washing, but why washing is harmful. The naughty little secret regarding most soaps is that they are actually pretty highly alkaline, with an average pH of 9-10. And therein was my problem.

See, I thought I would be okay giving my vulva—external labia only, not delving into the more internal regions at all—a light wash with very gentle baby soap during my daily shower. (I use baby soap for all of me, not just my vulva, since the rest my of skin is also very sensitive.) I wasn’t washing the sensitive mucous membranes, only the actual skin. I wasn’t scrubbing with a washcloth, only my sudsed up hand. I was rinsing thoroughly. And yet, I was still very wrong because even that little bit was upsetting the balanced environment of my vagina.

So I cut out soap down there entirely. I also managed to find a laundry detergent that advertised being pH neutral. And what do you know… my issues are gone. My vulva and vagina are happy as—dare I say it?—clams.

And when my lady parts are happy, I am happy.