Tuesday, September 30, 2014

An Ode to The Uterus


Cramps and the Skyla IUD 

To all of the women out there that suffer from cramps on a monthly basis, I am sorry.  For the universe to have cursed you wonderful individuals with what seems like a tiger fit inside your body each month is beyond me. Last night I had my first tumble with my uterus singing the demonic hymns of its people.  After recently making a switch from normal pill birth control to Bayer's Skyla IUD, I've experienced minor cramping each month.  On pill BC, I had no issues. It was a simple, summer breeze each month, as long as I remembered to take the pill. But that's the reason I switched. And now... I really want to switch back. 

For someone thinking about an IUD, here is how mine has gone: implantation hurt like a bitch, no periods, minimal spotting, but my uterus has decided it wants to come unglued each month to murder the organs that are within any proximity to it.  At this point, I will not be getting another and I'm dreading having this one taken out. If next month I'm lying in bed, crying because I don't want to move and Icy Hot is my old friend, then I will be getting it removed (as scary of a thought as that is.) 

Information you're probably looking for: 
  • I did not gain any weight after Skyla was implanted.
  • My appetite did not change.
  • The implantation was difficult. It hurt pretty badly, but it was over quite quickly. My doctor told me I'd be able to do it on a  lunch break, but that was not the case.  I was very faint and extremely lightheaded for the rest of the day. 
  • The spotting was not a lot, surprisingly. Small pads were enough to handle it. 
  • I haven't had a true period since I got it put in 5 months ago. 
  • The cramping I've started to experience after getting off of birth control is pretty much unbearable. But I had never experienced cramps before or during birth control. 
  • I have not experienced any cysts on my ovaries. I had one rupture when I was younger, so I would know if I did have one or not!
  • No PID or life-threatening infections. 

Skyla IUD, intrauterine device
Skyla IUD image sourced from Bayer Press Release 

Some Women Really Don't Want Babies

This brings me to an issue I was pondering while trying to sooth the beast that is my uterus. If by the time you're in a respectable place in your life (and that's up to the discretion of the individual) and you KNOW for a fact that you do not want children, why can other more permanent options of birth control not be undergone?  You can ask my mom. I've been asking why I'm not able to get my "tubes tied" since the age of 16. Babies were just never on my bucket list. 

And for some reason, this concept just seems very... unfamiliar or unnatural to some people. Just because I do not want to squeeze an alien spawn that has sucked my life force for the past 10 months out of one of the smallest openings on my body, and then care for it for another 18 - 25 years (depending on how it.. ya know.. grows) doesn't mean that I'm a bad person. It's my prerogative.  If I want to be sterilized, then I should be able to be. That might be a little extreme, but if a woman knows, deep down, that she will never want children, then why should she be unable to undergo a surgery in order to prevent that. 

I know these surgeries are dangerous and typically done when there is a large medical need.  Personally, I think children are a large medical need, and not wanting to produce one is, as well.  But doctors probably don't see it that same way. 

Not only that, but maily LEAVE WOMEN ALONE. If they do not want children and they are choosing to live a different life, LEAVE THEM ALONE. Don't tell them things like "You'll want one when you're older" or "it's a woman's right to have a child." That's nice, it's also my right to not have a child.  I have my own opinions and I have my own rights and just because they are the opposite of the status quo, doesn't mean they are wrong. It simply means I and other women alike have chosen a different life path than you and deserve the same sort of respect given to them as they give to you. Sure, I don't understand children and the want to have them, but I don't down people for having them. If another individual wants to be a mother/father, then that is their choice and they are going to make it. 

Stop telling me I'll regret it when I'm older. Just like my tattoos, I will regret nothing I have or have not done.  I am no feminist. People have very terrible/negative association with that word.  I'm a person who wants equality for every being on the planet. In every way possible. Not just for equal pay, but equal rights in every single thing that an individual chooses to do.

A Side Note on He For She 

This post is sort of women-empowerment in my sense of the word.  So there is a place for me to mention the UN speech that Emma Watson made for her He For She campaign.  I nearly cried. Actually, I believe I did cry.  Not only do I think she's a fantastic woman and very smart, I think that what she has partnered with has made her even more fantastic. The UN Women and their He For She campaign is great. I do see the flaws, but I do see what good it is trying to make.

This next video, I saw on Facebook after watching the Emma Watson speech, and nearly cried again. It's so good to see that so many people, in the new generation, want so much more for everyone around them. 

Monday, September 29, 2014

Updates - updates everywhere!

Oh, how can one person not be as excited as I am with so much going on in life?!

MBA Update 

Firstly, I did fail that Accounting exam. :( But with a 12 point curve (clearly I wasn't the only one that did terribly), I was about to pass with a C. It looks like I'm living by the "B's & C's get degrees" with this course. As long as I remain about a 3.0 GPA by graduation, I should be good to go. I know that I will have that, easily. :) -brag,brag,brag-  I'll just have to devote much more of my time to studying for the next exam... Because that's fun.

Get Her to The Wheel - I'll be Reaching Out More

With a following starting to gain on social media sites, I'm going to reach out to a different non-profit/local charity to see if they are accepting of me using their likeness. The one non-profit I reached out to has not gotten back to me, and sadly but fortunately I'd like to get something chosen soon so we can all start raising funds! :) 

Please make sure to follow the pages below so that you can stay up-to-date on the progress. 

Facebook: Search: Get Her to the Wheel. (I cannot get a personal URL until 25 fans. :()

Twitter: Personal Twitter I'll be using for now

Instagram: @gethertothewheel / Get Her to the Wheel Instagram

Wizarding World of Harry Potter 

With Harry Potter World under a month away, I don't think that I could be any more excited!  We've got a breakfast planned at both The 3 Broomsticks and the Leaky Cauldron.  Dinners and lunches will more than likely be sandwiches and chips so that we can save some money! Since flights are undeniably expensive, we're going to be driving down to Florida.  That itself will save us quite a bit of money, not only on the cost of the flights, but the shuttle and taxi fees if we wanted to get anywhere other than the hotel.  I'm going to be buying a fanny pack. My boyfriend laughs at me when I tell him, but I need somewhere to put my phone and camera in order to take pictures and make sure all of our tickets/electronics/etc. don't get lost or wet! 

Would anyone recommend making a plan of action for the days we'll be in the park? We have early park admission to one of the Harry Potter parks, so I know we'll be hitting the rides in that park before our breakfast, but what about the other parks? If you've been to Harry Potter World, how long does it take in that one section of the park? 

Update on the Body Process 

I'm sure you can tell from my face on the right, I am not happy (the right is the newest)! Although there is a difference in the two pictures, I am NOT in an way sitting where I want to be. But I can definitely contest to not putting in the amount of effort that is required. I thought being unemployed was going to make me want to get up during the day and run; well, that didn't happen. 

I am setting today as the last day of my laziness. I'm actually not going to give up this time; yes, I do very much so love cheese, but I'm not going to allow myself more than a handful of it a week! By the time Harry Potter World comes, I plan on being down to none.  Cheese is the death of my diet (on top of Taco Bell!) Today was my last day of Taco Bell and my last day of cheese. For now, I'll be back on the Natalie Jill Vegan/Vegetarian Kickstarter Meal Plan hoping to shed those last few pounds. 

Friday, September 26, 2014

Lifestyle Choices - 10 Tips on How to Become Vegetarian

Trust me. People think that becoming a vegetarian or vegan is easy. Some people who have been vegan/vegetarian for quite some time forget that it is a completely different lifestyle for individuals to choose.  After eating meat for (literally) an entire life time, it can be difficult to cut out all meat/animal products in one fail swoop.  Although different situations will contribute to the ease of the transition, it is a transition and a break of an old habit.

Personally, it was not difficult for me to drop the habit. It was, in all honesty, a rebellion move when I was 13.  My mother thought it was just going to be a phase and let me not eat the meat that was cooked for dinner every night, or every other night.  After nearly 10 years, you'd hope that she knows it's not a phase any longer (just kidding, Mom, I know you know it's not just a phase. ;))! Naturally, as I have grown, the reasons behind my non-meat eating habits have, as well.

Whether you do not like the taste of meat or you want to live a  more "cruelty free" lifestyle, switching to a vegan/vegetarian lifestyle can be difficult. Although rewarding (and after 10 years I can assure you it is rewarding) it can be difficult to cold-turkey meat. No pun intended (okay, a little pun intended.) The steps below are an aggregate of what I've seen through many other individuals transitions to and from vegetarianism and from personal experience on my longtime journey.

1. Establish a Reasoning. 

Whether you do not like the taste of meats (my initial reasoning along with the rebellion) or you want to live a less cruel or cruelty-free lifestyle (see http://www.gocrueltyfree.org/ for more info on the entire cruelty-free movement), establishment of a reasoning is a large factor in a lifestyle change.  Having reasoning behind a goal gives a person more effort and pride in the actual goal itself.

2. Secondly, Don't Give Up.  

Even if those Chicken "fingers" or "nuggets" look delicious, you have to know that you're on a mission and that mission is to become (insert your reasoning/mission here.) I cannot attest for the deliciousness of meat items, but I do know that most people assume they could "never be vegan/vegetarian because meat tastes so good."  It really doesn't. It's pretty disgusting, but that's just my personal opinion.

3. It Doesn't Hurt to Take It Slow. 

Don't try to go cold-turkey if you've been eating meat for your entire life. Not only will it be difficult, but your body needs time to adjust to the change. Do one type of meat at a time. Chicken out one week, or start with beef, whatever type you do not eat the most. Knock that one out and move forward. Even take 2 types out at once, that's okay. If you want to go cold-turkey, that's cool, but it may be harder. 

4. Test Meat-Alternative Products. 

There are a TON on the market. Some that are GMO-free (which I would recommend), some that are made by large brands in the market (Like Morning Star), and some I've honestly never heard of.  Women need to remember the increase in estrogen can be difficult on the body or cause different diseases, but this should not detour you from attempting and succeeding at vegan/vegetarianism.  Soy products are a great, great way to get protein.

5. Don't Forget About the Protein

And don't think that just because you're not going to be eating meat that you're not going to get enough protein. If you think that's the case, it's not.  The meat-alternative products offer a LARGE amount of protein as they are typically made of soy. Beans, legumes, and some vegetables offer a large amount of proteins.  Here's a list of protein sources that you could consider if you did not want to eat a lot of soy: Protein list.

6. Don't Rely on Pasta and Cheese! 

I did this for a very, very long time. DO NOT think that vegetarians and vegans do not gain weight. That is an absolute lie. Personally, I gained a large amount of weight during my undergraduate college years. I got up to my heaviest (155) by only eating Mac'n'Cheese and burritos. At the time, I loved it. I mean... I love Mac'N'Cheese and beans. But I gained a lot of weight. A varied diet, that actually includes vegetables and varied beans/legumes is a solid foundation. Start it from the beginning. For those going vegan, not eating cheese and pasta will be quite simple. For those who are choosing a vegetarian route, remember, wheat and cheese can make you bloat.

7. Choose Fresh Over Canned.

Yeah, yeah. I know that's a little stretched, but fresh foods are much better than processed foods.

8. Don't Give In to the Dreams. 

Dreams, they suck sometimes. And when you're attempting to go through a lifestyle change, your subconscious is going to screw with you! You have been accustom to meat, as has your subconscious.  Vegans and Vegetarians alike have dreamt, oh have the dreamt, of meat items. My personal meat-dream? Arby's Roast Beef sandwich. After 10 years, I still have the dream. Different every time, but always, always an Arby's Roast Beef Sandwich.  Ignore them! They are only dreams!

9. The Vitamins. 

Yes, it is true. Vegetables and fruits give you an awesome amount of vitamins! But just like every other website is going to tell you, I'm going to tell you to make sure you have sufficient B12 intake. If you don't think you're getting enough of it through the vegetables you're eating (which at one point I wasn't), make sure that you're supplementing it. Pay attention to the capsules and that they aren't made of Gelatin. A lot of the bottles will tell you if the capsules are vegetarian! B12 is essential for nerves, and you don't want to gain nerve damage with your lifestyle change. Just add it in to your morning routine and you'll do fine!

10. Eating Out.

Please, please don't think that you will never have an option to eat out. Even at Fast Food places, there are salads. I lived off of Burger King for a long time. They actually serve Morning Star vegetarian burgers, and you can make it a meal. :) Taco Bell is also fantastic.  But also, the amount of restaurants that either are or cater to Vegans/Vegetarians are growing, even in the South. Depending on where you are, a simple search in Google will give you a long list of places to eat that will allow you to actually eat. I know this, because my boyfriend did it for our first date and found a great restaurant at which we ate. Don't think that just because you're at a restaurant that you have to eat meat.

There is no doubt that you will feel healthier in your body.  Without meat sitting in your gut for up to 7 days, you'll be functioning fantastically (aka: You'll poo wonderfully.)

If you're in it for the right reasons (ANY reason is the right reason), it will eventually become simple for you to cut out the meat. With your end goal in mind of becoming and living healthier (or whatever your goal may be) to keep you on track, you'll be able to overcome any of the obstacles that present themselves.  Just make sure to phase and maintain. Don't backslide!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Get Her to the Wheel - Non-profit Has Been Reached Out To

Thank you to everyone who has expressed support in the campaign! So far, we're at 15 followers on Facebook and quite a few more followers on Instagram.  Yesterday, I reached out to a local non-profit to see if they were alright with me using their likeness and supporting them through this effort.  I really recommend this non-profit for the work that they are doing for the animals in the Raleigh/Durham/Franklin and Orange county areas.  They are wonderful!

I am hoping that someone reaches back out to me soon so that I can set up a Kickstarter or GoFundMe to start raising some funds and getting more traction.  I want to be able to raise some money for the charity or the non-profit that allows me to support them, just in case the effort to get to Wheel of Fortune does not work out.  I want to make this successful and gain some funding for a non-profit that does a lot of good in the local community.

Facebook: Search: Get Her to the Wheel. (I cannot get a personal URL until 25 fans. :()
Twitter: Personal Twitter I'll be using for now
Instagram: @gethertothewheel / Get Her to the Wheel Instagram

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

I'll Be Starting a Social Campaign - Get Her to the Wheel

For a very, very long time, I have wanted one very random, and very off-the-wall experience: to play on Wheel of Fortune.  I've applied many times and never heard back. I've always missed the Wheelmobile. It's just simply something that I'd like to do before life gets busy and I get too old, but you're never too old to Wheel!  Wheel of Fortune is something that I share with just about every member of my family. From my father's side of the family, to my mommy's side of the family, even with my boyfriend, I've watched this show and experienced others winnings and feelings with many of them.

With odds like 1,000,000 people applying and only 600 people getting on the show, I wanted to attempt a different route to gain attention of the Wheel of Fortune members! I will be starting a campaign called: Get Her to the Wheel. I'm spanning it over all social media! I'm creating it's own Instagram page, possibly it's own Twitter Page, and definitely it's own Facebook page. You can follow those pages below and help out all you can! Share it to your friends, post it to the Wheel of Fortune wall, tag +wheeloffortune / @wheeloffortune on Twitter, and use #wheel on Instagram!

I'm not doing this completely for personal gain. I've decided that if I do make it onto the show, half of the winnings I get will go to a local charity.

Another reason I'm doing this is to see if some of the social media skills I've gained can actually be put to good use. :) I need your help though! Help me by sharing pictures I post, liking the Facebook/Instagram/My Twitter below and share the mess out of that stuff!

Facebook: Search: Get Her to the Wheel. (I cannot get a personal URL until 25 fans. :()
Instagram: @gethertothewheel / Get Her to the Wheel Instagram

We can do this! I believe is you and me and everything. There is potential I will be starting a Kickstarter/GoFundMe to support the foundation that I choose. I will need to do some solid research to see which charity I'd like to support!

Monday, September 22, 2014


I've been a crazy past few weeks, to say the least.  I'd like to apologize for being gone for so long!  I've went through a career transition and some hard times recently, and I just haven't set aside the time I need in order to make some worthy postings on this site (I've started many, but never finished.)

But that's no excuse. School is in (pretty sure I just failed an Accounting test, sigh), I have been searching for a new job, and I'm trying to not go crazy.  I received a verbal offer of employment/contingent offer of employment from a company last Friday, so things are looking up in that aspect. I only have to: get a scanner in order to send back paperwork (possibly a complete new printer), purchase a new journal and planner to keep myself organized, and research some new marketing techniques in order to come in swinging when I start!  This position is completely in line with my marketing aspirations and I'm super excited! I had an interview last Friday, with North Carolina State University, that I'm waiting to hear from, but I'm glad I've found a new job that I can call home. I'm super excited to learn new things and expand my knowledge in a field that I love! (Plus, I'm making quite a bit more monies.)

Although it was bittersweet to leave my last job (well.. I got told to leave, essentially), I am very excited to move on. There was nothing at my last job to keep me, nothing else to learn, and I no longer agreed with the values that were present. The company's values were no longer in line with what I valued in a company, a job, and in my personal life. I did not want to wake up each morning to go to work, I was bored each day, and all I wanted to do was go home and sleep when I was at work. In order to become happy and challenge myself with a new career path, I started to interview with other companies.  Once I informed management, I was "let go." This is an extremely big time for me, because this is the first time I've ever "changed jobs" and became unemployed. It's a big move and I'm very scared, but here are five things I've done to keep my head from exploding while looking for jobs:

  • 1) Apply for unemployment -- if you're applicable. This will be a big help getting through the weeks from now until my actual start date with my new company. 
  • 2) Take a day to sleep in -- If you don't have a job any longer, take a day or two on your first week out to enjoy it. I have an issue with slowing and settling down to do nothing, but sometimes, and this is a case of it, you have to take a moment and enjoy a day or two. Who knows when the next time is you'll have a week off? I'm calling it a week off because even if unemployment is a low amount, it's helping you get by (if you're applicable.) 
  • 3) Don't hesitate to talk to recruiters/head-hunters -- I worked at a recruiting firm in my last employment, and it really is not a bad thing. There are head-hunters and their are recruiting firms that you apply to.  Don't get caught up in the "head-hunter-esque" mentality that these people are here to only make a commission. Recruiters mostly do get paid off of commissions, but the only way they get those commissions is if they find you a job. You're their customer, and you can say no if you do not like a job. Just like police officers, they are here to serve you (and their end client.) 
  • 4) It might not be a bad time to look into more education -- If you've wanted to pursue that.  Education can not only be expensive, but very time consuming. If you have dreamed or desired to continue learning, and no longer have a job (for one reason or another), it could be a plausible time to look into further/updated education. There are many different ways to fund school; I'm doing it through Loans through the federal government and scholarships through school. 
  • 5) Get Productive -- I know there are things on my to do list that have been sitting around not getting done because after school and work, I don't want to do anything. Well now that I'm between jobs, I'm doing them, and I'm getting them done.  Even so little as to organize my closet. 
  • 6) Oh and a bonus 6th: Practice interview questions. -- It isn't because I'm still "new" to interviewing that I recommend this. I wanted to sound prepared but not rehearsed, and practicing was honestly a good way to go about understand the ins and outs of answers and questions that may come your way. If you have not been on the job hunt for quite some time, you may not be accustomed to the new interview questions or talking about yourself in manner conducive to employment. Study up and practice hard. Being prepared is NEVER a bad thing.


On another note: 

I have been doing a LOT of DIY projects recently. I've actually marked just about everyone off of my Christmas list through DIY, so that I didn't want until the last second like normal, scrambling to find funds for the perfect gifts for everyone.  So sadly, as of right now I cannot show what these DIY projects are, but after the X-Mas holiday, I'm going to have so many posts it's not even going to be funny!  I've worked on a few things that are personal, and I'll have to get pictures of them.  But stay tuned for what I plan on doing with these wonders beauties below, later this week. :) I'm super excited about them. My boyfriend is bringing 2 small window frames home from work for me, and I think I already know what I want them to be and how I want them to look! (Really glad I have two weeks off before my next job starts. :)) Stay tuned for a DIY Window Frame posting coming soon!  I really hope that some of the supplies I bought are going to do what I am aiming for. :x

DIY, Do it Yourself, Window Frame

Okay, Now I Have a Question For You

My Boyfriend and I are going to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando, Florida in just over a month. If you don't know, I'm a super fan of Harry Potter, books and movies, and I'm SUPER EXCITED to be going to the amusement park.  But I need some help figuring out what nightlife to hit, what rides to ride, and what restaurants we should head to (either in the park or outside.)  It's our 1 year anniversary of dating, so I might want to go out for a nice dinner one night, but don't know any good restaurants down there. :) Any ideas would help! 

An Updated Workout Picture

Many of you know I'm on a mission to get to around 18 - 20% body fat. I need to start running and doing more cardio in order to achieve that goal, but this picture from about 4 weeks back makes me very proud.  I couldn't commit to the Natalie Jill Fitness plan for Vegan/Vegetarians because well.. I lost commitment to the mission.  I'm back on it (other than not eating cheese... which is one of the main rules.)  Once the large batch of Mac'N'Cheese my boyfriend made for us is gone, I'll be back on it. I cannot sit and watch myself turn into a "stuffed sausage," as I refer to it. The picture above is were I'd like to progress past.