my experience with the mirena IUD and endometriosis

I have endometriosis and over the last ten years, I’ve tried a few different types of birth control to manage my symptoms.

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Endometriosis is incurable and painful. My journey with it has been long (and winding), but I’ve learned a lot.

For starters, my body doesn’t love birth control. I know you’re probably thinking you’re married, just have a baby and problem solved. It’s true that pregnancy does help ease the symptoms of endo, but I’m just not there yet. So, my search for the perfect symptom management drug/tool continues.

About 8 months ago I had another surgery (an excision of endometriosis). It went well and my doctor implanted the Mirena IUD. I was kind of excited. I had read good things about it and wasn’t too worried that I would suffer many of the side effects.

Honestly, I should have known better. As I said earlier my body doesn’t love birth control (*I had a 3-month cycle once, all while on birth control (a story for another time)). It has a history of not responding very well to it, but I thought this would be different.

after a couple of months…

About two months in, I started to gain weight. Granted, it was the holiday season and then COVID hit, but I gained more than I expected to.

*If you’ve been here before you may have read my post on The F*uck it Diet, it’s helped me accept myself quite a bit.

On top of that, my skin did a complete 360 (in the worst way). I developed hormonal cystic acne on my chin and jaw line. I do know a thing or two about skin care, so believe me when I say I have tried a FEW different remedies for this. Unfortunately, hormonal acne is just difficult to get rid of.

a few days after removal

Cut to last Thursday, I had the Mirena removed and started on Sprintec. It’s only been a few days, but I already feel better. I’ve truly already seen an improvement in my skin. While i still have a few bumps, the overall texture of my skin has started to improve. I can’t say the same for my moods, but i’m sure that has something to do with my hormones trying to readjust.

Have you ever or do you currently have the Mirena IUD? How has your body responded to it?

Share your experiences with me in the comments.

with love & gratitude,

Steph

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how ‘the f*ck it diet’ has changed my mind…

I’ve spent countless hours obsessing over my weight. You probably have to, or maybe you haven’t and in that case – high fives!

But, if you’re like me, you’ve probably tried a number of different diets, weight loss tricks, restriction methods, exercise programs, and the list goes on and on. It’s been a long, exhausting road – only to basically end up exactly where I started.

A few months ago, I bought The F*ck it Diet and it’s changed me. Obviously, it’s a process and a long winding road to get to the point of self-acceptance, but I’m on it. My mentality in regards t my body-image has completely changed, and I’ve actually started to kind of like myself???

Here’s a list of a bunch of crap I’ve tried, succeeded at, and then ended up right back where I started:

flat tummy teas

These are bullshit and the people who sell them to you online have either tricked themselves into believing they work or will actually do anything if the $$ amount on the check is big enough. They will help you detox, but a detox is a short-term solution to losing a little bit of weight, not body fat.

Don’t believe me? read this – scroll down to ‘Why should I trust this product?

laxatives

Yes, I would actually take a few stool softeners or laxatives when I ate too much or felt a little bloated and NOT because I ACTUALLY needed them. I took them because I wanted my stomach to feel flat the next day. Guess what? Half the time that doesn’t work and it’s not an actual fix for anything. You will not lose actual fat because you took a laxative. You will lose water weight and other bodily waste…which will come back – incase that wasn’t obvious.

weight watchers

THIS. I used to LOVE talking about how WW was the diet that let you eat “whatever you want!”. You just have to obsessively track every. single. little. thing you eat. And feel guilty when you go over your daily points (they also give you weekly points just in case you go over on your daily ones, but in my opinion, it’s just a trap).

Fun fact – movie popcorn is probably the only reason I actually go to a movie-theater. I always get an order of popcorn and chocolate covered almonds and eat them together and feel unbelievable amounts of joy.

When on WW, I would bring shitty, low-calorie popcorn that I made in my microwave at home and a small amount of chocolate. It was NOT fun, and I wasn’t satisfied. And look, I get it. If you want something badly, you will likely have to sacrifice something else to get it. BUT you should not be sacrificing food…. Your body needs food. Your body was designed to understand when it had enough food. Stop trying to “trick” your body into doing weird things that science will just tell it not to do anyway!

low carb/no carb

I know this works. It WILL help you lose weight. I’ve tried it, I lost 20 lbs. I wore smaller clothes. Then, one day, I REALLY wanted a French fry. NOTHING was going to stop me. I had denied myself of French fries for long enough and I needed one. So, I had one. Then, I had bread, pasta, rice, EVERY CARB I COULD. And I was done with my low-carb diet. The end.

Basically, this is just like everything else. If you have the gusto to really stick to this, you’re amazing and I salute you. However, it’s just not natural.

obsessive + hard-core exercising

Another fun fact: I hate exercise. At least, I thought I hated it and now I know why. I’ve tried boxing, kickboxing, Orange Theory, HIIT, etc, etc, etc. I hated all of it. My body KILLED me after every class and not in the “I’m sore” way. In the “omg my back feels like it’s going to crack in half” way.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t think exercise should make you feel that way. I don’t think you should FORCE yourself to do something you genuinely don’t love. Find exercise that suits you. For me that’s riding a bike, going for a walk, paddle boating, dacning – all things that don’t HURT me. All things that I actually love.

That’s all I’m saying there. Do things you and your body love. Why put yourself through shit that doesn’t make you happy?  

Much like The F*ck it Diet I’m not telling you to NOT do any of these things, I’m simply sharing my personal experience with them. Honestly, they ALL worked, they all brought the number on the scale down. None of them made me happy though.  None of them made me feel like I accepted myself more. ALL of them ended with me bingeing and moving onto another diet.

and here’s the point of this whole post:

I’m trying to accept myself for exactly where I’m at. NOT at the weight I think I NEED to be in order to feel happy and content with myself. I mean, I could die tomorrow and never have been happy with my appearance. How insane is that? All because I wanted to fit into a certain size or look a certain way.

and ANOTHER THING…. No one else really cares what you look like. If your parents, family, friends, spouse, significant other or ANYONE else put you down because of your weight, they suck. Sorry, that’s harsh, but it’s true.

If you relate to any of these things, I SERIOUSLY encourage you to check out The F*ck it Diet.

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in a world full of influencers and entrepreneurs

…just be yourself and do whatever makes you happy

Sometimes functioning normally is too hard. Last week, someone told me I was spreading myself too thin.

I think I’m pretty young (28), and right now, the cool thing to do is “hustle” so that’s what I’m doing (duh). Everyone is trying to be an influencer or an entrepreneur. We want to be our own boss and make a name for ourselves without relying on some big corporate giant to employ us (at least that’s true for me). It’s a lot of pressure.

Just living in the moment

Aside from all that, we’re trying to eat less, work out more, spend time with our friends, get married, buy a house, have babies, make time for self- care and self-love (whatever that is), and keep it all together without being honest about how difficult all of that is. Basically, just do what is expected of you without complaining because other people do it and there are no excuses.

I want to be this person…

The one who everyone can come to when they need her, the perfect, understanding wife, the woman who is super excited about maybe having a kid in a couple of years, the friend who texts or calls at least once a week to see how you’re doing, the daughter who is accomplished and successful, and the list goes on. As I type this, I actually feel my arms going numb. Because it’s daunting. Am I right?!

Not sure why I feel like I “should”

Seriously though, why do we feel like we should be doing certain things? Or we should accomplish something by a specific time in our lives? (everyone has an opinion – here’s what I think about that)

Someone else (I can’t remember who, but if it was you, please remind me) told me to stop worrying about what I should do and start focusing on whats happening right now. Perhaps that would keep me from spreading myself so thinly.

Living in the present is such a foreign concept to me. To be honest, I think it is for most people. When you think about it, most of what we do is for our future selves. Like if we keep plugging away at something, we’ll get to the point where we’re happy and we have everything we need. That bank account will reflect the perfect balance, that home will be our dream home, etc.

it just isn’t realistic –

To think we’ll ever get there. Because there is a chance we wont. Simply because we won’t allow ourselves to. We always want more. There will always be a thing that improves our current reality and that’s just the truth.

So maybe the answer is just to live in the present moment. Think about where you are right now –

  1. What about it fulfills you? and if it doesn’t,
  2. Why are you there?
  3. How are you going to improve your current reality?

I asked myself those question 3 months ago

And that’s why I’m “spreading myself too thin” right now. And really living in the moment everywhere I am.

with love & gratitude,

steph (sometimes spelled stef) ;P

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forced positivity won’t solve your problems

Clearing out physical and mental space can be pretty liberating. Over the past few weeks (during my hiatus), I’ve been cleaning house… literally. My closet has been cleaned out, clothes and shoes have been sold and donated, rooms have been saged; it’s been an experience.

All of this happened prior to the holidays. I was feeling super positive and inspired, ready to manifest damn near anything my heart desired.

then, I hit a wall

A figurative wall. I had surgery (an excision of endometriosis – shout out to my fellow endo-sufferers) and I was home eating crap for about two weeks. Now, you might be thinking “two weeks off of work sounds wonderful, there’s so much time to get things done.” On the contrary, I was pretty out of commission for most of the time. I quickly discovered that sitting around all day watching Netflix for days on end does not do it for me. As a matter of fact, I don’t think I’ve ever felt so complacent.

It sucked. I felt so great only days before having surgery; my space felt clean, my mind felt clear. I felt like the world was at my fingertips and I was just about to make shit happen.

what was going on?!

Let’s be real, I had had surgery, my hormones were whacked out. It felt like no matter how “positive” my attitude was, my reality wasn’t changing. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about mind over matter. I love thinking positively and attracting good things. I genuinely think that stuff works. However, in order for that to work, you really have to believe it. Fake it till you make it is not real, my friends. You can fake anything you want (to everyone else), but when your mind isn’t right, nothing else will be either. No matter how great it looks on the outside.

accepted that BS and moved on…

Is exactly what I did. And guess what? it worked! I just let myself feel it. The overwhelming feelings of self-doubt, lack of inspiration, confusion and sadness. I let them all happen. Pretty much bathed myself in that ish. What I began to realize was that letting myself feel those things was actually helping me to feel better. I knew there was really nothing in my reality that warranted those feelings, so I reminded myself of that. It’s ok to have seasons of sadness or confusion. They are most often met by seasons of clarity and inspiration (at least for me they are).

just stop with the fake smile

As Ariana Grande would put it, “f**k a fake smile” (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, next time you’re feeling meh or blah, listen to that song). I’m not saying being a jerk to the people around you, but don’t appear to be feeling something that you aren’t feeling. People can sense your BS and it doesn’t feel good inside either.

All of this made me realize that trying to force myself to “think positively” wasn’t necessarily going to make positive things happen. In order for positive things to happen, we have to believe they will. You have to wholeheartedly believe that positive things can and will happen for you. If you genuinely believe that, you’ll move through the world that way. As opposed to just telling yourself that until you believe it. You get me?

If any of this resonated with you, let me know! I love your comments and feedback.

Stay tuned for my next post about how this discovery has positively impacted my life!

with love & gratitude,

steph

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it’s been 20 years since I lost my father – here’s my story and how I continue to manage my grief

We all have pain. Maybe it’s from losing someone we love, going through a break up or experiencing some other type of trauma. Either way, it’s important to deal with your pain, but beyond that it’s really HARD.

Full disclosure – this post might be kind of sad or triggering and i’m selfishly writing it because this is my outlet, a safe place to share whatever I’m going through, and I want you to feel like you can share with me, too. So here goes!

I’m not sure if I’ve shared this before but my dad died when I was 7. It was really sudden and really awful. I’m the youngest of two children (my brother is 3 years older than me) so my mom raised us on her own (she’s amazing and she worked her ass off to make us feel like life was still normal) and it wasn’t easy.

This is one of my favorite pictures of my family. This was taken at my cousins birthday party, I’m guessing a year or two before he passed. From top left to bottom right: my dad, my cousin, my mom, me, and mybrother.

I didn’t really feel it until much later…

If you’ve ever lost someone close to you, you know that the days following are typically filled with loved ones, funeral services, etc. There’s lots of people around, LOTS of distraction. All of that distraction doesn’t really give you the time to process WTH is actually happening. The days after my fathers death feel like a blur to me. I remember spending a lot of time with my family and being really happy about it because we didn’t usually see them so much during the week. At my father’s viewing (or funeral service – whatever you call it) I skipped around, I saw him laying there in his casket, but somehow it hadn’t hit me.

The day he was buried was similar to the wake (at least for me). I hadn’t processed it and even though everyone around me was somber and in tears, I still hadn’t come to the realization that this was the last time I’d ever see my fathers physical body.

the days following were weird

After everything was over, we had a few family members stay with us for a couple of weeks. My cousins wanted us to know that we weren’t alone and they wanted to be there to help my mom. I loved having them there. The house felt full and fun because my favorite people were there everyday – what could be better?!

Then the time came for them to leave, go back to their normal lives. Which meant we had to do the same. It was time to go back to school and for my mom to go back to work – I didn’t like this part. Suddenly my father wasn’t picking me up from school anymore. My teachers looked at me differently and some of the kids made fun of me because I had a “dead dad”. It was really weird. I’m not using the word painful because at this point, I still didn’t understand. I would get home after school and I would wait for him.

and then one day I realized I would be waiting forever..

I remember this part the most because that’s when my pain finally set in. I started to realize that I wasn’t going to see him again and I vividly remember trying to process the thought of never talking to my dad again and it HURT. It wasn’t until about two or three weeks after his funeral that I cried.

It was the first time I experienced that feeling you get in your chest when you’re really sad. I suppose it was heartbreak. I didn’t want to believe it and I couldn’t understand it. All of a sudden this man I saw every single day, who taught me how to ride a bike, blow my nose, made me love Titanic (it was one of his favorites), and a million other things, was just gone. Never to be seen again.

and it still effects me deeply as an adult..

You would think that nearly twenty years later, I would have dealt with all of my pain and fear of losing people. Turns out, I haven’t. I have nights where I can’t stop crying over it. Sometimes it feels like it’s happening all over again. I have this giant fear of losing the people closest to me. In fact, as a kid, I would make myself imagine people dying so that I could somehow prepare myself for the pain. And I still do this when I’m really anxious. I go into full-on panic mode; thinking about what I would do if I lost someone else I loved that much.

which is why I think it’s so important to deal with your pain…

I’ve been through therapy and I’m all about talking through your feelings and fears. It isn’t until recently that I realized how deep my pain goes or how much anger I feel about it sometimes. Sometimes we carry our pain around and become so used to the weight of it on our backs that we forget it’s even there. We don’t realize that our perspectives, attitudes, and interactions with others are all affected by it.

I continue to grieve as an adult. Lately it feels like I’ve been grieving for the little girl in me. I think a lot about the feeling of realizing I’d never see my father again and how deeply I felt it in my chest. I used to think about grief and loss as something you went through for a little while. I always believed that eventually it would just go away, but I’m learning that it doesn’t work like that. Feelings have to be dealt with because when they are buried or ignored, they sneak up on you, often at the worst times and in destructive ways.

I hope sharing this helped someone and that if you just lost someone recently, years ago, or even if you’ve gone through a traumatic break up that felt like a death, you know that you aren’t alone. It’s been helpful for me to get it off my chest and be honest about the pain.

with love & gratitude,

steph

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