A horrible day turns good, then weird (TMI)

Today I felt terrible. I was on the verge of tears well into early afternoon, and then I actually did cry.

It started with my new, poorly-researched diet plan. I had had high hopes for the iPhone application Dietician, and what happy changes it might bring to my life. I got up at 7 and fiddled around until around 8:15 and then went shopping to get the groceries to follow Dietician’s plan for this week.

And already I’d hit a stumbling block. Dietician’s shopping lists are “today”, or today plus 7 or 14 days. Think about the logistics of shopping for today’s meals for a minute. So I’m supposed to go to the grocery store before breakfast, and then cook everything that needs to be cooked when I get back, before work?

I ran around the store in a frenzy, trying to get everything on the list, which was very inconveniently not sorted by grocery store section. Making matters more difficult was the fact that the amount of each food item was not totaled up; I had to do it in my head as I went. I had known about these cons to the program when I bought it, but I hadn’t realized just how much of a pain they were going to be until I actually tried it.

I got as many of the items as I could before I realized I was way out of time–another con: when you have Dietician open, you can’t see the clock! Then I checked out and hurried home and threw everything into the refrigerator and freezer. Of course, I had no time to prepare the recipes that were assigned for today. So I gave up and tossed cereal and my leftover meatloaf sandwich half in my lunch box and flew off to work.

I hadn’t had anything to eat and the new diet plan I’d had such high hopes for had turned out to be a disaster. Those were perfectly good reasons to be upset, and so I figured that was all it was. I was as pleasant as I could possibly be to everyone–fortunately I wasn’t in one of my evil moods, just a very self-piteous one. But I had trouble concentrating and ended up eating what I’d packed for lunch almost immediately, and then, over my late lunch break, I decided to escape to Boll Weevil. I started crying almost as soon as I got into my car and the tears didn’t stop until I got there.

Originally I figured I’d eat something ridiculously bad for me that I hadn’t allowed myself to eat in awhile, but after that meatloaf sandwich I really didn’t feel up to it, so I ended up having a salad with chicken salad on top. The chicken salad was a treat; I’ve hardly ever had it in the past year due to all the mayonnaise. Then I decided I wanted cake. Big gooey all chocolate cake. So I ordered a slice of Perfect Chocolate Cake, which is really the equivalent of two or three pieces, and ate quite a bit of it.

It was simply amazing how I felt about a half hour after that. My concentration returned. I was smiling. I felt productive. I had honestly expected to be even more miserable due to guilt over eating so much bad-for-me food, but that feeling was nowhere to be found. I felt…happy.

I finished up some niggling tasks and laid out a plan for tomorrow. Finally it was time to leave. I stopped in the bathroom on my way out…and that’s when I discovered what might account for it all.

Blood. Just a trace.

“You’re kidding,” I said aloud. I double-checked. “You’re not kidding.”

When I got home I looked at my calendar. I’d had a period in January that lasted nine days. It had started on January 10–30 days ago.

This could very well be a regular cycle.

You must understand, I have not had normal periods without the assistance of hormone medication since before I had cancer in 1997. I have occasionally had periods, but each one was isolated, with the next coming months or years later.

I am still having trouble believing that I’m having one now, so soon after the last. So…normally!

It is obviously premature to assume this means anything, other than perhaps that my weight loss efforts have helped my whole body become healthier. But if you know me, you know that my thoughts immediately went to the possibility of children. Try as I might, I can’t imagine that I’ll give up all hope until I’m too old.

For now, though, I’m concentrating on immediate truths: that ultimately this is a good thing, that I’m getting healthier, that there’s nothing wrong with me…and that I can cure PMS with chocolate.

I wish I could go back in time and comfort mid-afternoon me, who sat in her car wailing “Why does this keep happening to me?” with tears streaming down her face.

It’s okay, me. It’s just your period.


  1. You can make a healthy chicken salad. I mix a bit of fat-free mayo with lite or no-sugar vanilla yogurt; then mix it with shredded chicken breast, diced celery, some cut grapes, and a bit of sliced almonds. Add salt and white pepper to taste. The only downside is that the yogurt and mayo will separate after a day or two, so it doesn’t last long.

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