Why I Love My DivaCup and Should Probably Be a Menstrual Cup Lobbyist

Update: my knee is doing a ton better! I can even squat now, although I do feel some strain and discomfort when I do so, so I still bend over more than I squat. The coins were right, I’m okay.

But that’s not what I want to talk about today. I’ve been meaning to make a video or a post about this for a while now. I’ve wanted to share my experience with the Diva Cup menstrual cup – so for those of you who are too squeamish to read about BLOOD and VAGINAS, especially BLOODY VAGINAS, perhaps this is the time to stop reading. However, I encourage you to KEEP READING because this shit has changed my life, I swear to god.

So last summer I saw a DivaCup menstrual cup at Whole Foods for ~$45 and I was like psssshhh, that’s fucking expensive. So I did a price comparison check on Amazon and lo and behold, they were only $24.94 (now $27.99 Prime). I immediately bought one after researching the difference between a menstrual cup and the Softcup brand (I don’t recommend these because they’re wasteful and non-reusable) and then watched a ton of YouTube videos about how they work in anticipation of my Amazon snail mail gift.

Before I delve into the many awesome and amazing reasons why I highly recommend menstrual cups, let me just add a few little fun facts in for you.

First and foremost, menstrual cups, like tampons, definitely have a learning curve.
There’s the whole “how the hell do I get this inside of me?” thing, which I found is actually not that hard. There’s several ways of folding a menstrual cup. You can check out this nifty video and see for yourself. I personally prefer the “punch in” fold as it creates a small pointy part that allows for easier insertion, as well as easy unfolding once it’s in.

The learning curve part comes not so much in that act of inserting the cup, but rather making sure it’s inserted properly. In the first couple months of using my DivaCup, I was not unfolding it properly and therefore was experiencing not only leaks, but also EXTREME CRAMPS that were caused by a weird malfunctioning suction/uncomfortable shape inside the vagina problem. There are a couple tricks to making sure you get it to open properly.

1. A great way to fully open the cup if you’re using the punch-in method of insertion, is by squeezing it until you feel it completely pop open and all of the rim is touching the walls of your vagina.
2. Each cup comes with 4 tiny air holes near the rim that allow the cup to create suction and stay in place. These holes need to be unobstructed by all debris, including water, otherwise, you won’t get proper suction and your cup may remain improperly open, which leads to leaks.
3. If your cup still feels like it’s in a dogbone shape or otherwise, you need to twist it around in circles or possibly tap along its rim to full open it. It needs to feel rotund and inflated like it would be outside of you in order for it to be properly in place.
4. Often times another sign of it being properly open is a little “pop!” noise as it fully inflates.

Once you’ve got this part down, you’re set for anywhere between 4 and 12 hours. I’ve even left mine in for 16-18 hours before because I knew my period was light. Because of the vacuum seal it creates once it’s properly inserted, you’re pretty much guaranteed leak-proof protection and it’s amazing. You can do anything. Cartwheels? Swimming? Aerobics? Biking? You’re set. Your cup ain’t going nowhere and neither is the blood that’s pooling in it.

SO, let’s talk about all the other incredible benefits of using a menstrual cup.

1. It will save you a fuckton of money. 
I literally haven’t bought tampons or pads (panty liners are the exception, I’ve always got Kotex ultra thin liners on hand) since last spring. And I have several boxes that are full and some almost full of unused tampons in every size that I haven’t touched since I started using my DivaCup. DO YA’LL KNOW HOW MUCH MONEY I’VE SAVED? My periods aren’t all cute and short like so many other girls that I know. They last anywhere from a week to two weeks – which equals a lot of tampons and panty liners. I’m too lazy to do the math, but I know from rough estimates it’s at least $100. That’s $100 that I can put towards my car loan. BINGO.

2. It’s good for your body.
I haven’t tried other brands of menstrual cups, so I’m going to boast about DivaCup specifically – but it’s made from medical grade silicone, which means it’s biocompatible (safe to insert in your body) much like silicone sex toys! Here’s a little more in depth info straight from their website.

Because of our ISO certification and compliance to FDA, Health Canada, and Australian TGA health regulations, we can guarantee that each DivaCup is made with the same silicone material and grade approved for healthcare applications for over fifty years and that it does not contain any of the following: latex, plastic, PVC, acrylic, acrylate, BPA, phthalate, elastomer and polyethylene and is free of colors and dyes. Silicone products have been shown to be biocompatible (i.e. accepted by the human body without adverse reaction), durable, flexible, and easy to sterilize. What’s more, our award-winning DivaCup is the only menstrual cup allowed to be sold in Canada by Health Canada.

Unlike pads and tampons, it leaves no residue inside or outside your body.
Did you know tampons absorb 65% menstrual fluid and 35% natural moisture? They create an imbalance in your pH levels which interfere with the health of your vaginal environment.
Pads? You’re basically sitting in your own blood and endometrial mucus for ‘x’ amount of time, which not only creates odor from the blood being exposed to oxygen, but also a rampant breeding ground for bacteria to grow and create problems. Also? Gross. I used to use pads when I was younger and gross gross gross.

3. It will eliminate odor.
As mentioned above, pads, and even tampons, create odor. This is because they allow blood and bacteria to oxidize, aka react with the air, which in turn create unpleasant odors.
Menstrual cups, on the other hand, block off any possibility for the blood to interact with oxygen. They create a vacuum tight seal in your vagina that allows the blood to pool directly into the cup and never be exposed to air until you empty it, by which time, it will only smell like blood, if anything.

4. It won’t give you TSS (Toxic Shock Syndrome). 
Because DivaCup is made from medical grade silicone, you cannot get Toxic Shock Syndrome. Quote Buzzfeed:

TSS (Toxic Shock Syndrome) is a bacteria-spurred illness that can kill you. If your tampon has even a slightly higher absorbency than your actual flow, you risk shredding. Tiny bits of cotton can cause small cuts in your vaginal walls—a perfect breeding ground for the bacteria causing TSS.

 5. It’s good for the environment.
Menstrual cups contain no bleaches, deodorisers, or absorbency gels! [x]
The silicone they’re made from is derived from silica, which is one of earth’s most abundant minerals.
They’re also made from non-allergic silicone, which means that they’re suitable even if you have thrush, eczema, sensitive skin, and so on.
And obviously, because you’re not throwing away man-produced paper/cotton waste every few hours, they reduce the amount of non-environmentally friendly waste you produce each month. GIVE YOURSELF A HIGH FIVE!

6. It can last up to 10 years.
That’s right. TEN YEARS. The DivaCup website suggests you replace it once a year, but ultimately says that with proper care and cleaning, it’s up to the consumer to decide when to replace theirs, and many websites boast up to a decade lifetime for these wonderful beasts.
$$$$$ IMAGINE THE SAVINGS $$$$$

 7. It helps you get to know your body better.
Now hear me out.
Yes, periods and blood and vaginal secretions are/can be gross. But it’s 100% good for you to know your body and what it’s capable of.
Each DivaCup comes with measurement lines that let you know how much you’ve bled – and it holds 1 full ounce. Typically, a woman bleeds 1 to 2 ounces PER CYCLE, so if you’re the average woman, it may surprise you just how little you may have in your cup when you empty it. Of course, the opposite could also be true. If you have heavier periods, you may need to empty it more often, and may be surprised at the amount you bleed.

8. It holds more than Ultra sized tampons!
Ultra sized tampons, for your heaviest of heavy flows – I’m talking heavier than Super sized tampons – hold 15 to 18 grams of blood. There are 28 grams in 1 oz, which means the DivaCup holds 10 extra grams of blood that would leak out of your Ultra sized tampon. CAN I GET A HIGH 5!?

Lastly, some other interesting tips/tricks/facts/helpful hints:

At the end of each cycle, your cup needs to be boiled for 10 minutes.
This sterilizes it and ensures it’s rid of any remaining bacteria and ready for use next month.

When you boil it, stick it inside of a whisk.
This will help it stay put and keep it from touching the walls of your boiling pot. Silicone can burn, so any damage or deterioration of your cup means you need to get a new one. Securing it in a whisk will ensure its safety in the cleaning process.

You may need to trim the stem.
In its original form, the DivaCup comes with a little ‘stem’ that helps you get it out. I, like others, found it irritating because it stuck out during use, so I trimmed all of it off. Plus, you really don’t need the stem to remove it. All it needs is a little pinch and pull and you’re good.

If you’d like to read more in-depth, clinical information on the DivaCup or menstrual cups in general, or you just want more information, including other bits I didn’t talk about (like how it works with an IUD or different brands and sizes) check out these great links or use your little fingers and get to Googling.

DivaCup Official Website
Why a Menstrual Cup is WAY Better than Tampons
18 Reasons You Should Switch to the Menstrual Cup

What I’ve Learned from Using Tinder for the Past 24 Hours

I’ve been toying around with signing up for a dating website for the past year or so. Monday night, I was inspired to browse the Google Play options for dating apps, and ended up downloading Tinder, just for funsies. I even got Betsy to join with me. We’ve both been playing around with it for the past 24 hours, and it has dominated our ongoing conversation – from telling each other weird names we come across, to admitting how awkward it is when you actually match with someone and messages are exchanged.

The way Tinder works is kinda neat. It gives you tiles of people one at a time, and you can swipe left for no and swipe right for yes. Each person also has a profile, and you can hit the info button to find out more about them, see more pictures, see if you have any Facebook friends in common and what interests you have in common. And thank god for that info button, but it has definitely helped in making affirmative decisions.

I think I’ve learned a lot about myself and what I find attractive in the past 24 hours. This is definitely a vain way of meeting people, but you’re lying if you say you don’t judge people by their appearance first. That said, here’s a list of things I find amusing/big turn offs/wtf are you doing with your life/why would you put that out there?

– If you have “gym enthusiast” or anything related to that in your profile, I probably think you’re a douchebag who’s full of himself and how he looks and will left swipe you.
– Multiple pictures of yourself at the gym/flexing/half naked/doing some kind of sport? Probably think you’re a sporty douchebag and will left swipe you.
– Guys who have multiple pictures with multiple people and you can’t tell which one is supposed to be them.
– Guys who have pictures of any number of girls beside them. ????????
– Guys who have pictures of themselves with kids. And then specify in their profiles that it’s their nephew/niece.
– Guys who give off a general douche vibe.
– Guys who look like they would be total assholes to me/generally make me feel uncomfortable about myself.
– Guys with multiple pictures of themselves with their bros, especially at frat parties/gym sessions. Take your beer and get out of here.
– Guys who have things like “Getting swol at the gym” and other such ridiculous shit in their profiles.
– Anything along the lines of “I’m a practicing Catholic” or other bible humping stuff in the profile.
– Pictures from multiple stages of your life where you look totally different. ?????????????????????
– Car selfies.
– Sunglasses. Especially in multiple pictures.
– Multiple pictures of far away shots in scenic landscapes doing stuff like skiing, surfing, marathoning, etc. Are you trying to showcase yourself or the land?
– Name dropping your frat in your profile. #reallydontgiveafuck
– Having any real life friends in common, especially those who I don’t really talk to/associate with, but I’m FB friends with them just because.
– Being contradictory in messages to what you say you’re looking for in your profile. #don’ttrustahoe
– Insufficient amount of pictures.
– Insufficient or no profile info.
– Bad grammar. (One guy had “manors” instead of “manners”)
– Advertisement of your Instragram/Snapchat/Kik info.
– Saying you’re a “country boy” in your profile. #whatthefuckdoesthatevenmean #thisismichiganforgodssake
– Guys who look like they would make for awkward/uncomfortable sexual partners.
– Smokers
– Multiple pictures holding drinks/beers + talking about your love of drinking/partying/clubbing. #douchebagalert
– Good looking to the point of looking intimidatingly good looking.
– Having 0 interests in common. I like over 2000 things on Facebook, how do you not like any of those things on Facebook as well?
– All the tall guys (6 ft and up) state their height and I think it’s because they know women wanna climb them like a tree.
– Pets in your pics = you’re clearly trying to score brownie points.
– “Not looking for a quick hookup, but it may interest you to know I’m incredibly hung.” WOOOOOW.
– “Looking for a cuddle buddy.” No, you’re looking for sex.
– If I know you in real life, I’m probably swiping left.
– Model-like pictures/bad quality pictures.
– Unkempt/out of control/sad beards.
– Bad conversationalist.

I’m pretty sure I could add so many more things, but I’m going to stop there for now. I should mention that despite all of those stipulations that make me swipe left, I’ve matched with quite a nice handful of guys and even talked to a few of them. There is hope. I added girls to the mix too just to see what pops up. Only 2 have popped up in the tiles so far.

If you’ve got Tinder stories, hit up my comments section, I wanna hear them.

Chlooooe, I Know Your Sister Turns Everyone On

Today was a pretty mediocre day.

I ended up cancelling my craft show plans because apparently the way my boss made the schedule was specific to why we all needed to be there on certain days at certain times so I was like, alright, I can survive not doing this. Besides, I think I already mentioned it was all really last minute and I was procrastinating in making pieces anyway. Quite unprepared, really. There’s always next year.

The glint in my vision hasn’t gone away. I googled it again and phrased it as looking like a permanent camera flash mark and that yielded that results I was looking for. I’m not alone in this phenomenon, and I’m also not alone in being told by doctors that my eyes look perfectly normal. I think some people mentioned that was part of ocular migraines? And some people mentioned that it happens to them on and off throughout the years, which actually sparked my memory. I think I’ve had this before for a few days in a row like this. It should go away in time. If not, maybe I’ll ask to be referred to a retinal specialist.

For now, I’m gonna enjoy my day off tomorrow and probably (hopefully) hit the gym. My current euphoric feelings are helping me lose weight at a faster and more constant rate again, and that only pushes me to try harder and stay this happy. So cheers to that.

Skinny Bitch & Veganism

I recently finished a book entitled Skinny Bitch by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin. It’s about how to become a “skinny bitch” and centers around the organic, vegan lifestyle. I’d heard of this book a while back, but for some reason didn’t decide to buy it until a few weeks ago when it popped up on my Tumblr dashboard.

It is basically among the best $5 I’ve ever spent on anything. Ever. Let me preface this by saying that I am, or perhaps, I was up until about a week ago – a “poultra-pescatarian”. That’s a term I made up (though pescatarianism is a real thing and a real word) that described my diet. In my household, we do not eat anything heavier than poultry or seafood. Very rarely, we have pork. Personally, I stopped eating “heavy” meats about 10 years ago because my body couldn’t digest them anymore. And also because I never liked beef or steak or any of that shit. It’s fucking disgusting.

This book reminded me, rather than opened my eyes for the first time, about the horrors that go into mass meat production. I wish I could talk about Skinny Bitch and veganism without talking about mass meat production, but they are unfortunately tied together.

To write about all the details talked about in this book would make this post a book in itself, so I will say this: One of the most poignant things in that book was the portion when they were talking about the production of meat for the masses and the disgusting, inhumane, unsanitary conditions that the animals have to suffer their miserable lives through. In particular, I remember a quote from a pork slaughterhouse employee who said that he had cut off the snout of a pig who was squealing, and it squealed louder and more horribly. So he ground a handful of salt on the open wound, and the pig was in such shock that it didn’t know what to do. And then, because he still had salt in his hand, he stuck it up the pig’s butt until it was squealing it’s head off from shock. Can you imagine?

Furthermore, another point that greatly stood out to me, and I literally cannot stop thinking about every single time I see a piece of meat, is this: when you are eating meat, you are literally eating a putrefying, rotting corpse. The moment an animal is dead, it starts decomposing. That’s what you’re putting in your body. Cooked or not. It is a rotting corpse. And you are putting that in your body.

In the past week, I have become even more conscious of what I eat, and have tried to buy mostly organic produce. I’ve also been reading food labels more intently and making sure I don’t buy foods with artificial ingredients, animal byproducts (something I already did, but less consciously) or preservatives.

I’m not going to say I’m a full vegan yet, because I’m not. (Probably not giving up leather, like, ever.) The hardest thing for me to give up is dairy products. I love cheese like you wouldn’t believe. I know it’s bad for me, I do. But I just bought some goat cheese and bleu cheese and fancy fig and honey cheese last week and I feel kinda bad not eating it, but at the same time, I know not eating it will only put me on the path to goodness. I will admit I had bleu cheese in my salad the other night. I felt sinful, but happy. Guilty happy.

I also watched Vegucated on Netflix tonight. It didn’t present any knowledge I didn’t already possess about veganism, but it definitely reassured me that eating meat is eating rotting corpses and the cruelty endured by animals in slaughterhouses is downright revolting. It also made me physically sick, and I’ve been trying to not vomit for the past hour or so.

Like “eating healthy” to lose weight is not a diet, but a lifestyle change, so is this. I fully believe this is another step toward furthering myself in my weight loss and healthy living goals. I am not a “meatatarian” and I never have been, so this is relatively easy for me to embrace. It would be easier, however, if my entire household was on the same page as me. My dad is a total meatatarian and complained two weeks ago when I made a DELICIOUS vegetarian dinner for the family. I think he has a tendency to forget how good a vegetarian diet is for him because he misses eating heavy meats all the time. But you don’t pass out and then get blood-work back telling you your triglycerides are so high, they can’t be measured, from eating vegetables.

I Fall Asleep Writing Poems at 10:38 PM

Has anyone else been doing National Poetry Month this year? I keep skipping days and then falling asleep trying to come up with lines to rhyme lmao. I’m pretty sure I fell asleep at like 10:38 last night. I still need to fill in AT LEAST 5 days of poems. Sigh. Duties.

I’m debating what to do with my day off tomorrow. I kind of just want to be a couch potato and stay at home, not really do much. I should probably hit up the gym though. I went today and it was a good decision. Although this one really beefy guy who I’ve seen before and always stares at me intensely was lifting next to me and it was kind of hilariously awkward because I felt like he was showing off.

But I’m not sure if he was showing off in like HEY BABAY way or a LOOK AT MY FUCKING GUNS BITCH YEAH I KNOW I DON’T NEED TO LIFT ANYMORE BUT LOOK AT MY BICEPS, THEY’RE THE SIZE OF YOUR THIGHS way. He kept making eye contact with me and then lifting 100s. I was like….okay…I’m just gonna continue tricep dipping here…

The best part was when he flexed his biceps in the mirror and I really had to restrain myself from laughing out loud. Seriously, sometimes people do shit that makes me have to bite my tongue and I look insane smiling in the mirror.

Sigh.

So, Sunday’s are my weigh ins for Weight Watchers and I forgot to do it this morning. Smart ass me also forgot to do it right after I got home from the gym, but remembered right before I got in the shower, post eating.

The scale told me a horrifying number and it’s been nagging me for the past 8 hours. I can’t figure out if the weight I’ve gained is muscle or fat.

On the one hand, I’ve been indulging in foods I shouldn’t, and I haven’t been utilitizing the Weight Watchers trackers like I should be. Which only makes me mentally slap myself and ask THEN WHY AM I PAYING FOR IT!?

On the other hand, I can lift heavier and resist more weight. I also tried on the dress I wore on St. Patrick’s day after freaking out about the weight gain and it seems to fit a tad better than it did a month ago. My American Eagle jeans also fit fine. And my friend who hadn’t seen me since Christmas was literally taken aback when he saw me last week.

MY MOTHER, on the other hand, who is never any help when I ask her anything to do with fitness/health, told me she thinks my stomach area looks bigger. I don’t even know why I ask her anything when it comes to this stuff. She always comes off sounding like a bitch and never helps my self esteem. Not that I expect her to coddle me.

Anyway, I think it’s time to stop fucking around and really retrain myself – not only physically, but psychologically.

I know muscle weighs more than fat. But it is extremely disheartening stepping on the scale and seeing a plateau or WEIGHT GAIN. Ugh.

Growing Biceps Like a Petri Dish

This gif just made my night:

this is where i’d keep my scratching post…IF I HAD ONE

Also, tonight I decided to go to the gym after school/work and it was a great choice. I feel fantastic, though a little guilty about eating 3 pieces of cranberry tort when I got home. But I think I stayed within my points.

I decided to try out the resistance training apparatus tonight. The second guy that was on the neighboring one was very friendly and kind enough to lower my bar for me when I couldn’t figure out how. I think he said stuff after too, but I don’t remember what, as I was too distracted by his good looks and the weird way he was using his pulley.

I think I’m going to be properly sore tomorrow. I very much look forward to those pains. I love muscle fever.