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Sunday, August 24, 2014

Bye Bye Beardy

The first time I can remember someone pointing it out I think I was around 12 years old and at the swimming
pool in Gage Park.  I had just gotten out of the pool and got in line for the diving board.  Two boys were in line in front of me doing what most boys do.  They were rough housing, laughing and looking at the girls.  One of them turned to me and exclaimed “She has a mustache!”  The other boy quickly joined in and before long I scurried away to avoid the embarrassment.  I looked in the mirror when I got home and I couldn’t really see what all the fuss was about.  Sure I had a few fine hairs on my upper lip but not a full grown mustache.  Over the next year or so I would hear it from time to time from kids; it was becoming clear that I certainly had a facial hair problem.  I went to my mother to see if she knew what I should do, in talking to her about it I noticed what I always thought were large pores on her face were actually whiskers.  So relieved I said “Oh! You have it too!” she in turn started to cry and cover her face and sob “Don’t look at meeeee”.  From that moment on I was very aware that women with facial hair should be ashamed.  First I started using Nair, which worked for a while but left my face bright red where it had been so the next day I walked around with a rash mustache on my face.  Then I started shaving it every now and again and I thought I had it under control.  It wasn’t until I was 21 years old when I noticed in a picture of me, there was a shadow under my chin.  I immediately went to a mirror and sure enough without me noticing, a wispy beard had started to grow.  I smeared Nair on it but the hairs were too strong.  I shaved it, but the beard just grew back darker.   So I did the unthinkable, I started tweezing the hairs.  This painful ritual became a part of my everyday life.  Just about every evening I would sit in front of the mirror and pluck out the thick black hairs growing in through my chin and neck.  This habit resulted in red sores and marks on my skin.  So to cover up those marks and any new growth during the day, I would cake on makeup under my chin in hopes of hiding my secret from the world.  I thought this was how things would go for the rest of my life.  Luckily that was not true.

I heard about electrolysis once on the radio and thought that it was simply too good to be true.  There is no
Gurl let me probe dat follicle
way that you could have permanent hair removal done.   Then I would catch a show about someone going through the transgender surgery process and getting the procedure done.  It always looked very painful and I suspected very expensive.   So I never once considered making a call and to find out more about it.  Since I have known Wunder Hubs, he has encouraged me to look into electrolysis.  Not because he is bothered by the hair, he could really care less, but because how uncomfortable he knows it makes me feel.  Finally a month ago I decided to give it a try.  I called Laurie Guilbault at Electrolysis Clinic of Topeka and scheduled a free consultation.  To say I was nervous to go to the appointment would be an understatement.  But I walked in the door and did it anyways because it is time to be rid of this problem.   I sat down with Laurie and she explained how electrolysis works.  Laurie’s soft spoken manner and willingness to answer my questions quickly put me at ease.  And to show me how it works she zapped a small patch of hair on my chin.  We talked about pricing and I was floored.  I wasn’t floored because of how expensive it was, no I was floored by how affordable the prices are!  We scheduled an appointment for my first session and I went on my way.  A week and a half later I went in for my first session.  Sure the procedure burns a little bit, but no more painful than the daily tweezing had been.  And I know as soon as she’s done, that hair is not very likely to grow back.  I will continue to visit Laurie periodically for the next year until she and I agree that there are no more hairs growing in that area any more. I can tell you with complete confidence that I feel so much better about how I look after just two sessions.  I know it's silly but it is nice to know that I will not have to mess with these hairs for the rest of my life.

During the first consultation Laurie told me something I had not heard before, my problem is a very common one, especially for women with PCOS.  This was the best news ever and honestly why I am sharing this very personal and rather embarrassing information with you.  If you are hiding facial hair and always worried someone will notice, please do yourself a favor and call Laurie at Electrolysis Clinic of Topeka (785) 357-7292.  I took a picture of her prices on my last visit to share with all of you so you can see just how affordable it really is.  

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Six Steps to the Birth of Bertha

I feel terrible.

I mean it, I feel just terrible.  

It has taken me several days to get to the point that I can admit this publicly.  It’s not going to be easy but here it goes.  I went to the doctor last week and they weighed me like always.  And the weight on the scale was the highest I have ever seen. I am standing on the edge of a milestone that I do not want to cross.  I weighed 292 pounds and for the first time in my life I can actually see 300 pounds happening. 

'Bertha Venus' by Ken Sampson

How could this happen?  Well there are a six different reasons.

  1. I had a hysterectomy.  From what I read about hysterectomies,  weight gain is a pretty common occurrence afterwards.
  2. I am taking a Lexapro.  Lexapro helps me deal with anxiety which is something I live with due to my fun PTSD issues.  Long story, no I’m not crazy, just have some pretty intense baggage.  Anyway, I went many years without the help of Lexapro but recently I have taken on a lot of high pressure responsibilities and I found myself getting overly stressed.  The meds help me to not get so worked up and to focus.  But it also brings weight gain. 
  3.  Home stretch for school.  I am almost done.  Only eight more weeks of school and I am officially done with my MBA.  I cannot put into words how great that feels.  But it also brings a lot of extra time and work.  It is so much easier to say I don’t have time to exercise because I have homework to do.
  4.  Focusing on comfort food.  It is easy to say I don’t have time to eat right either.  But if I organize and plan ahead, eating healthy would not be a problem.  But I like to treat myself; I say “Hey Martie, you’ve been working for three days in a row from sun up to sun down with no Minecraft time.  You deserve a treat.”  And it will not matter if I had a treat the day before or an hour before.  I can easily justify the junk food.
  5.  Haven’t hit my deadline yet.  I have set this deadline for myself.  And that deadline is for when we move into our house.  Of course, the process of buying a house takes forever, especially when you are going through the TopekaOpportunity To Own program.  And there is a 60 day close, and I know we will need to paint before we can move in.  And of course we can’t start dieting that day; it will be so much easier to order a pizza while we are unpacking. Yadda yadda yadda.
  6.  I really REALLY enjoy food.  It is an addiction.  I can see that clear as day.  And until I get that under control nothing is going to change. 

So what do I do?  Will I get up tomorrow and just start making the right decisions?  I hope so.

My goal weight is 175 pounds, that is what I weighed in high school and that was a very comfortable weight for me.  So if you think about it I am carrying nearly 125 pounds of extra weight on my body.  That my dear bloggy friends is a whole additional person.  No wonder my back is killing me, no wonder my knees scream out in agony when I look at stairs, no wonder I snore like a wilder beast.  There is another human in my body and they are crushing me!  So if they are going to occupy my body I should at least name them.  So I am naming that person Bertha and she will no longer be welcome in my body.  I am ready to say “Bertha don't you come around here anymore!”  It’s going to be a hard road but it is time.