“The BMI is Bullshit,” said the grumpy Amazon before deftly crushing the skull of her enemy.

For those of you who don’t know, the Body Mass Index (BMI) is a scale that uses only your height and weight to generate a score. Essentially this score is your body’s health grade. It does not factor frame, weight distribution, age, sex, muscle mass, or lifestyle. Your value is reduced to the ratio of how much you weigh versus how tall you are. That’s it. You can Google it; there are a billion different calculators available online, and they’re all fueled by the same overly simplistic pack of lies.

If you’ve never heard of it, I’m surprised. The BMI gets pulled into a lot of otherwise enlightened conversations about weight loss, body image, and physical fitness in general, which instantly lose their credibility as far as I’m concerned.

First slide, please.

This is me in very early 2013, just before St. Patrick’s Day. This is the outfit I wore to a friend’s wedding, because I’m an ass. Anyway, at the time of this photo I weighed anywhere between 200 and 205, depending on the day and where I was in my menstrual cycle. I had just lost 55-60 pounds over the course of the preceding year, and was still adhering to the diet that got me there. I was eating only lean meats, and had cut out nearly all added sugar, salt, fat, and general junk. I look pretty good, don’t I? Slim, shapely, healthy.

2013_205lbs

According to the BMI, I was at a score of 29.4, classified as “overweight”. Take a long look at my body in this picture, look me in the face, and tell me I was still fat. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

Next slide.

In this photograph, taken this year, I’m probably hovering at about 220 after two years of hormonal birth control and the subsequent depression and increased appetite that followed and, nevertheless, persisted. Again, take a good look at my body. Do I look thick? Yes. Fat? A little. Form an opinion quietly, then let’s continue.

2017_220lbs

Now let’s ask the BMI: 31.6

I have officially entered the “Obesity” category of the BMI. This score is being rendered to a vegan body that cycles to and from work everyday, does not drink soda, eat candy, or add creamer to coffee. If I were to describe that body to someone before showing a picture of it, they may even envision a smaller person, but surely never an obese one. I may not spend everyday loving myself, but I am never so foolish that I would believe someone who looked at my body and said, “You’re obese.” I’m a size eighteen today. Get real.

Now, for the sake of argument, I’m going to give the BMI one more weight to judge. I’m going to give it the weight I was in 2007, just before my family and I moved back to Iowa together. My weight then was 180, a full twenty pounds smaller than I was in the first picture posted here. The score for 180 pounds at my height is 25.8, which begins the assigned spectrum for “Overweight”.

To put that in perspective, 180 was my steady weight while I was addicted to methamphetamines.

Yes. Even at the skinniest I’d been in my adult life so far (and to this date, even), the BMI would have ruled me overweight. My friends routinely told me I was “wasting away”, but to hear the BMI tell it, I still was not working hard enough.

Unfortunately, I have no pictures from that time that are not severely Photoshopped, because I spent literal hours at a time manipulating pictures until they were more Pop Art than photographs. Remember the plaid skinny pants from my previous blog? Those were comfortable on me then, and they barely clear my ass now.

But, hey, come on. Surely that isn’t so extreme, right? Come on, let’s keep putting numbers in until we get me right in the median of the “Healthy” zone, shall we?

175…

165…

155…

Not until I tried 145 did I reach the middle of the “Healthy Weight” spectrum for the BMI scale. Now, if you will, let’s review my 200-205 pound body.

2015_205lbs

In case anyone is confused, this is a proportioned body for a wide set woman who stands nearly six feet tall and does not yet have muscle mass. This body wears a size 15 pant, cycles ten miles without difficulty, lifts and tosses 50 pounds repeatedly without strain, and shits everyday like fucking clockwork. This is a healthy, operational body capable of great things. But according to the BMI, it is overweight, and by definition unhealthy.

Now subtract sixty fucking pounds. Yeah.

Here is a gallery of women who claim to be 5’10” with an hourglass figure who weigh in at 140 pounds. If you do your best to focus only on women with wide frames like mine, you’ll notice they’re muscular. So, apparently that’s the line. It hurts my head to do the weight math forwards and backwards to try and figure it out, but you get my drift. The women with average or smaller frames obviously thicken out the smaller you go, but for a woman like me, whose rib cage is 38″ around no matter what? Yeah, no. I just tried to measure how far apart the points of my pelvis are, and it’s like eighteen or twenty inches. Sometimes a bitch just big.

The point is, and will always be, that you can’t reduce a person to numbers. I am a 5’10” woman with a bulky skeleton and an hourglass figure. At 200 pounds I was comfortable enough in my skin to drop another ten pounds and turn my focus to strength training and muscle gain. In the end, I probably would have bottomed out at a lean 175 pounds with musculature. For the record, that puts my BMI at 25.1, which is still classified as overweight.

Numbers don’t lie, but presented incorrectly they are wickedly deceptive.

Know your body. Trust your body. When you feel lean, strong, healthy, and vibrant, THAT is your perfect score. Not some fucking math problem you can find online.

 

 

 

Update: Please refer to this new blog, for an amendment to my current weight.

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Video Updates: Mirena Crash

The after-removal bleeding reached a point that it was having a miserable effect on my day to day life, so I condensed the experience to a couple videos for ease. Enclosed here.

 

 

And part two, because my phone cut me off and made me delete things for space.

 

 

I made those videos on Tuesday, and it is now Sunday. I ended up taking my last dose on Thursday evening, just before noticing I’d developed a miserable bacterial rash on my abdomen, presumably because my immune system backed down against the pills. The pills worked, however, because the bleeding quite suddenly became perfectly manageable. I haven’t taken anymore and the bleeding is still normalized. I am incredibly grateful and relieved to be able to use my Diva Cup again without misery.

As the Crash continues, I am sleepless, moody, and weak. I went out for St. Paddy’s and my ankles still kill from all the walking, and it couldn’t have been more than a few miles in total.

Moral of the story thus far: Mirena Crash is real, and one must be prepared to take steps to cope with it until it passes. So far I’ve been bleeding and symptomatic for twelve days straight. Sigh.

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Real Time Update: Diva Cup Trials

I filled the cup. Literally to the brim. Not a leak in sight.

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First Day Back to Work After Surgical Sterilization

I went back to work today. I had to get a ride to and from, because I’m not allowed to ride my bike again yet. I also wore a dress to avoid the friction from jeans, and because the control top on my leggings keeps my belly button incision from wobbling and making me wanna die.

I don’t have much to report, because I don’t have much cause to complain. I was sleepy, warm, and a little unfocused, but that may just be period stuff. I did have an anxiety attack today, which prompted me to call my primary care physician’s office to make an appointment to talk about getting a prescription for something I can take when I fall off the edge.

Everyone was glad to see me again, including the grumpy old bitty at the front.

 

 

Toward the end of the day, my flame was burning low, and I used my second short break to complain about it quietly while hoping no one was going to catch me essentially talking to myself like a crazy person.

 

 

The Diva Cup stayed in place and worked its magic all day long, with only that same brown discharge making it onto the toilet paper. I can see the value in a thin pantyliner to deal with the discharge issue when wearing cute underwear, but who wears the really good stuff during period week anyway? All in all, I am happy to report that I am recovering brilliantly from surgery and this cup is the most amazing thing I’ve purchased myself in a long time.

I will note that I do have some tiny red spots inside my navel, but they look a lot like sweat reaction, and I’ve been suffocating my navel for nearly a weekly because I was afraid to let my fat roll jiggle around. So, if anyone else has a similar experience, so long as it doesn’t itch, swell, or smell, a little discoloration is typically nothing to worry about.

My next update won’t be until I’m riding my bike again. See you then!

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Diva Cup Trials, Pt. 1

CONTENT WARNING: For those you are immature, squeamish, or have a hang up I don’t have time for, this is your trigger warning for girls on toilets, girls without makeup, girls sitting in chairs so that their double chins show, bathrooms, anatomically correct language, and menstrual blood.

 
Moving on…

 
As a continuation of my series “No, Thanks”, which focused on my decision to be surgically sterilized, I would like to continue the journey by talking about what comes next. When I opted to be surgically sterilized, I also allowed them to remove my Mirena IUD. The unfortunate side effect of this will be that now I’m going to bleed, and I’m going to hate it. Because tampons are costlydangerous, unsanitary, and wasteful, I was excited to take the revolutionary Diva Cup for a spin!

If you click here, you can watch several wonderfully concise little videos that will tell you all about the Diva Cup. However, I was sold after watching this video, which is longer, and lays it out pretty thoroughly.

The Diva Cup, essentially, is a small silicon contraption that replaces every tampon you will ever use again. Yes. Every. Single. One. It folds into a comfortable shape, is inserted vaginally, expands gently inside the lower half of the vaginal canal, and stays in place all day to collect your flow. When inserted correctly, you shouldn’t even need a pad for backup on heavy days.

Even though my menstrual cycle is my worst enemy, I was understandably thrilled to try something that would keep tampons out of my life until the day I die. So, without further ado, I am finally bleeding again and it’s time to rock and roll!

Warnings for this video include a fat girl in frumpy pajamas with bad hair sitting on a toilet and using anatomically correct words. Also a brief glimpse of a fat roll.

 

 

In this video, I touch base after an afternoon of successful insertion has gone by.

 

 

At this point, I still have a pantyliner for science, but I am confident this will go quite well. My Kindle tells me I filmed the first video at 1343 on 7 March. I’m going to pop in again at the eight and twelve hour marks, to put the 12-hour protection promise to the test!

 

Later that night…

 

The time is 2223 and I have had the Diva Cup comfortably inserted for nine hours without complication. I would have come back an hour ago, but I got distracted because my buddy dropped by to help me make (and eat) seitan. Also he brought cider, which is a sure fire way to make me socialize. I can’t tell how my flow is going because I don’t have the constant sensation that a tampon is descending, engorged with blood, or that the string is becoming wet and cold, because, ya know, fuckin’ blood.

I feel fine. Crampy, but fine. When I visited the restroom just now, there was a thin line of very light brown discharge on the panty liner, and great deal more on the toilet paper, but no sign of blood. Earlier today I was bleeding enough to put a spot in my brand new yoga pants before I got home to my Diva Cup, so I assume there’s still activity in there. We won’t know until removal. See in a few hours!

 

And now for the grand finale!

 

The time is 0037 and I can’t wait any longer to go to sleep, so here is my final video update for my first full day using the Diva Cup! Content warnings definitely apply.

 

 

Thank you for staying on board! My next entry will cover my first full day of work using the Diva Cup, which will tie together with my first-day-back updates for post-surgery. See you then!

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“No, Thanks” Update: Mirena Withdrawal, Day 4 & Trying the Diva Cup

Things are about to get personal.

As far as Mirena Crash, I am now prepared to say this is a hugely case-by-case phenomenon. Of the laundry list of symptoms they use to frighten you into staying indoors and bolting the windows, I have experienced only the following:

  • light cramping, intermittently
  • fatigue, where medication is easily blamed
  • emotional sensitivity, where boredom could be exacerbating it
    • whiny
    • weepy
    • grumpy
  • hungry, but I mean… that’s my life…
  • bleeding
    • normally

So this will be the last blog covering “Mirena Withdrawal”, as it seems it does not apply to me. So let’s jump right in with the Diva Cup!

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“No, Thanks” Update: Mirena Withdrawal, Day Three

For those of you who do not know, this is how Mirena works. For those of you who have a general idea, let’s quickly discuss the reality of a phenomenon referred to as Mirena Crash. After up to five years on a constant supply of progesterone, the sudden cut off to the supply chain that comes with IUD removal can be extremely jarring to a woman’s body. It is legitimate withdrawal, and leads to any number of unpleasant side effects in the days, weeks, or even months after you finally make the decision to ditch your Mirena IUD.

To quickly review, some common side effects of Mirena Crash are:

  • Unpredictable or unexplained mood.
  • Lethargy
  • Heavy or otherwise irregular bleeding.
  • Cramping
  • Tender breasts.
  • Decreased sex drive, discomfort during sex.
  • More extreme symptoms including Depression and suicidal thoughts.

I was understandably eager to avoid all of these symptoms, if possible. Before I went into surgery I asked my doctor to prescribe an anti-anxiety to take during recovery. Thus far I have not legitimately needed it, though I have enjoyed having access. As far as I can tell, some sixty hours later, I have yet to experience ANY of these symptoms. What a lot of hype for nothin’! Although… it also makes me nervous. I mean, I took a lot of measures to make sure I’d survive this inevitable hell, and here I sit, relatively alright. I even asked Daniel a few different times, “Are you sure my doctor told you she removed it? Maybe we should check.” He insists they did, and I can’t check yet because bending that much is not awesome.

Maybe I got lucky, who knows. Maybe it’s taking a few days for my body to realize it’s missing something. Either way, I am here to report that I am thus far unaffected by Mirena Crash and cannot attest to its misery at this point.

Cheyenne, out.

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