Posts made in August, 2012

Wednesday Bubble: Goal Weight: Charlize Theron. Guest post by Nina Perez

Posted by on Aug 15, 2012 in appearance, weight | 0 comments

Have you heard of VaginaCon? If not, you need to click your way over to the site, which as co-founded by the amazing Nina Perez. VaginaCon is a safe place for women to connect with one another and build relationships. Sort of like Flashfree but on a broader scale. But I digress because this post is really about Nina. I was fortunate to meet Nina via the Interwebz when were were members of the same Facebook group. She is an astonishingly creative, intelligent go-getter who is redefining the meaning of ‘hawt.’ More importantly, however, is that last week, Nina posted a raw and honest piece about her weight loss journey and self-acceptance. Frankly, the post resonated so deeply that I asked if I could repost it here.

The next time you start criticizing yourself about your weight, beating yourself up about falling short of impossible goals or creating a standard that is a bit out of the realm of possibilities, step back. Carve those goals into smaller pieces. And take a look back in the mirror. Bet you’ll see what others are seeing; the beauty that is you.

Yeah, sounds cheesy but Nina has shared a journey that demonstrates that it’s really true. And by the way Nina? You are one hot gorgeous woman inside and out.

Show some love, eh?


When I started my weight loss journey on January 2, 2012I was 238lbs. The healthy weight for my height falls between 143lbs and 179lbs.

Even if I were aiming for the high end, 179lbs seemed far, far away and losing 59lbs seemed like something that would take a long ass time. I gave myself a year. But still, a year? Holy hell.

Like most people fed up with being overweight, I wanted the pounds to melt away. I knew almost immediately that I’d have to set mini-goals to keep my head in the game. Luckily, Weight Watchers sets your first two goals for you: First, you strive to lose 5% of your starting weight. For me, that was 11.5lbs. I hit that by January 25th. Next, it was 10%.

But to keep it interesting, and to keep myself motivated, I gave myself goals that had nothing to do with the number on the scale along with a few that did. For instance:

  • I wanted to be 214lbs by March 23rd when I had the first VaginaCon at my house. (Did it.)
  • I wanted to be less than 200lbs by my birthday, August 18th. (Done.)
  • I wanted to fit into a size 16 jeans. (Been there, did that.)
  • I wanted to fit into a size 14 jeans. (In them now.)
  • I wanted to wear my sexy shoes again without feeling like I was asking way too much of my impossibly high heels – they have their limits, too.
  • I wanted smaller panties.
  • I wanted to stop wearing XL t-shirts.
Then I had silly goals, but goals all the same, like: I can’t wait to be in the 220s, the 2-teens, 2 and single digits, under 200!

Me at 204lbs.

There was one mini-goal I didn’t give much thought to, until I hit it, and it was the first one I achieved. One day, after losing about 8-11lbs, I was walking down the stairs wearing nothing but a short nightgown. As I hit the first floor, I realized something was different. To test that it wasn’t a fluke, I began to briskly pace in my kitchen. My husband came downstairs and asked, “What the hell are you doing?”

“My thighs aren’t rubbing together!”

I was thrilled.

But what about my overall goal? What should I shoot for between 143-179? I’m not very good at looking at someone and judging their height and weight. I couldn’t tell you what 175lbs looks like on a person who is 6-feet-tall or someone who’s 5’5″. In that picture above, I wouldn’t be able to guess that was 204lbs.

After some thought, I decided that 180lbs would be my look-and-see weight. I’ll get to 180 and then look and see if I like it.

Me at 180lbs

How do I look in my jeans? Can I wear a bathing suit again without wanting to cry in shame? For as much as this is about being healthy and making sure I’m around to see my kids grow up, it’s also about, for me, how I look. I don’t want fat hanging over the waistline of my jeans, and I like my ass to look firm in them. I had a vague memory of what 180 looked like on me (see above), but more importantly, I know how I want to look and feel in my clothes.

I’m always looking at other women who are my height and (in my opinion) in great shape, wondering how much they weigh. While I want to be thinner, I don’t want to lose curves. So, that’s why when Donny and I went to see Prometheus – a horrible movie despite starring two of my Freebie Five: Michael Fassbender and Idris Elba – back in June, and I saw Charlize Theron, I whispered to my husband, “New goal weight: Charlize Theron!”



I went home and did a Google search: How much does Charlize Theron weigh? Granted, I’m not sure this information is entirely accurate, but word on the internet streets is that she is my height and weighs 135lbs.

Um, no.

I am never going to be 135lbs again. That’s just not happening. That’s below my supposed healthy weight range! If I were younger, and perhaps easily swayed by what celebrities do, I might try to hit 135lbs, but thankfully I am neither of those things. While I still feel like I would love to look like this in my clothes:


… I’m just gonna have to rock that at about 170′ish…and with a little more curve.


What is your ultimate weight goal? Do you have mini-goals that are not determined by the scale? What about weight loss milestones like an upcoming party or other special event?


About Nina Perez…

Nina Perez is the author of The Twin Prophecies: Rebirth, Blog It Out, B*tch, and The Twin Prophecies: Origins (Summer 2012). She is co-founder of,  a contributor to Milk & Ink: A Mosaic of MotherhoodChoose or DieElephant Words and one of the merry band of independent authors rocking it hard at the Literary Underground. Her short story, Amongst the Tulips, was published in Foliate Oaks online literary magazine and their editors voted it one of the best short stories of 2009. She also runs the book review site for independent authors, Nina’s Nightstand.


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Hormones and sex

Posted by on Aug 13, 2012 in estrogen, HRT | 0 comments

About a year ago I wrote several posts cautioning women that use of topical hormone gels or sprays could place both pets and children at risk for early puberty, swelling of vulvas, enlarged mammary glands and even small penises. But what about your partner during sexual intimacy? Does a similar danger exist?

Evidently it does, at least according to data from a very very small study that was published in the Journal of Reproductive Medicine about four years ago. In fact, postmenopausal women who used vaginal estradiol cream (e.g. Estrace) and then had intercourse placed their male partners at risk for a significant increase in estradiol levels in their blood. Moreover, vaginal estradiol cream evidently affected 80% of the men who had intercourse with women using vaginal hormones. On the flip side? Intercourse resulted in lower levels of estradiol in women using the cream. Notably, these changes were minimal but the researchers noted that over time and with long-term exposure, men might start to develop changes associated with feminine hormones such as those seen in small children and pets.

If you are going to use topical or vaginal hormones, be smart about them. Topical hormones should be applied to areas that are not exposed to children or that may be licked by pets, such as the inner thigh. After a certain time period, vaginal estradiol cream can be used one to three times weekly in some women; speak to your practitioner about your treatment and if you can cut back on certain days in order to protect your male partner. An ounce of prevention can protect those you love and may even enhance your sex life!

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Friday Folly: Walk a Mile

Posted by on Aug 10, 2012 in humour | 0 comments

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Wednesday Bubble: the menopause ‘expert’

Posted by on Aug 8, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments


Does anyone else find it ironic that in a society where aging is taboo, menopause is the next big ‘thing?’ Yes, retailers, charlatans and ‘experts in everything menopause’ abound and they want you to believe that what they are selling will cure all that ails.

As I have written time and again on this blog, ‘one size fits all’ is a bad approach to health and wellbeing. Universally, many of us experience hot flashes or night sweats or mood swings or dizziness. But individually? Your challenges are unlikely to be exactly the same as mine, which is why I consistently recommend that you see a practitioner before trying any treatment  or management strategy. All I can do is provide the information to allow you to make informed choices with someone who is trained in medicine or naturopathy, or herbal therapy or acupuncture or Traditional Chinese Medicine or yoga, or bioidentical hormone therapy or HRT. But take note:  despite what we would like, no, love to believe, chewing a menopause gum will not eliminate your hot flashes. Drinking a menopause drink is unlikely to balance out those mood swings. A bed fan may not make you and your partner more comfortable as you sweat the night away. And, a shaman is probably not going to collectively alter a bunch of chakras via a video series.

Am I angry? As a matter of act, I am mad as hell and I am not going to take it anymore. And neither should you.

Am I for sale? No, I am not for sale nor is the blog a platform for others to take advantage of you. My promise since starting this blog echoes how I live my life: straight, no shooter, no bullshit, no games, honesty, sincerity and integrity. I am not trying to convince you that my way is the highway. Rather, my goal is and has always been to provide you with the most current, scientifically-driven information so that decisions and choices are well-informed and methodical. And when I review a product, it is an honest review framed by full disclosure. Moreover, while I try to be as objective as possible, this blog is not journalistically driven but rather, informed by my personal experiences and may, at times, reflect my subjective views. As always, I leave to you to decide what information you can use and what information you want to dispose of.

If you are wondering about the impetus for this post, let’s just say that for months now, I have participated in a LinkedIn group where I observed the voices of the well informed being drowned out by the collective who don’t have your best interest at heart. And, after one of these members crossed a line and used the platform to send me a form letter blatantly inquiring if I would pimp her product and become a shill for her program, I decided to sever both ties.

The Menopause Industrial Complex is becoming very noisy. It is going to be harder and harder to discern reality from fantasy and real strategies from snake oil. When someone calls themselves an ‘expert’ step back and do your homework. Look deeply into their background, credentials and experience. Ask about their training, skill set and think about their motivation. Then step back and do it again. And then talk to other women who have used what they are selling. Always question testimonials, studies that only survey a bunch of people via the web or have only been conducted in animals. A money back guarantee is not a guarantee of success. And one size fits all rarely works.  Mostly? Trust your gut. If it smells like a rat and looks like a rat, it’s probably a rat.


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The ‘look’

Posted by on Aug 6, 2012 in aging, appearance | 0 comments

Do you look your age? As we all know, we are a society driven by image and appearances and often, too often in fact, the quest to look younger becomes a destination, rather than the last fork in the road.

So, what factors drive others’ perceptions as well as our own? And does a youthful appearance truly matter?

According to study published a few years ago in PLOS ONe, it matters only in the sense that perception may actually drive healthy behavior, not only in individuals but also in populations are a whole.

Numerous factors are believed or have been shown to influence how young or old a person appears, including genetics, sun exposure, smoking history, diet, weight and of course, menopausal status, leading to wrinkles, sagging jawlines, thinning lips, evenness of skin colouring and the distribution of fat in the face. It has also been postulated that having a low BMI, lower social class status, a history of depression and heart disease can cause women to look older.

In fact, the findings demonstrated that:

  • The less education women had, the older they looked. Indeed, women with 0 to 6 years of education appeared roughly 4 years older than those with 7 to 9 years, and more than 5 years older than women who had 10 or more years of education.
  • Menopausal women looked, on average, 3.5 years older than women who were premenopausal.
  • Compared to women who visited a healthcare practitioner 6 or more times a year, women who didn’t take care of their health were judged to be about 5 years older.
  • Women with jobs that required them to be active most of the day appeared almost 3 years older than women who were active for only part of for short periods during the day.
  • Frequency of brushing ones teeth also appeared to influence perceived age, with women who cleansed their teeth at least twice daily appearing on average, almost 5 years younger than women who brushed their teeth once a day.
  • Not surprisingly, exposure to the sun/elements also played an important; women who worked outside looked almost 6.5 years older than their counterparts who had worked inside most of their lives.
  • Frequent use of facial cleansers and moisturizers improved youthful appearance, taking as much as 2 to 4 years off of how old women were judged to be.

The researchers point out that their findings are based on facial aging (instead of just skin aging) and its link with our overall health and wellbeing, and that they methodically examined how perceived and chronological age related to specific details about health and lifestyle.  One of the most interesting discoveries is that there appeared to be a huge distinction between women who are health conscious and also have access to medical care versus those who are ill and require medical care, which highlights the growing importance of reframing healthcare for women (and for men) in such a way that socioeconomics no longer drive access but rather, society begins to realize that access will ultimately drive socioeconomics. Meanwhile, it is possible that in our quest to look younger, and short of cosmetic plumping, sucking and tightening, we may have actually stumbled across the holy grail: healthy behavior and lifestyle. The bottom line is that outlook may be as important as our look, at least in terms of how we are perceived by others.


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