Category Archives: Badass Body

What to Expect from visiting a Breast Clinic Part One

Hello my fellow Badasses!

I wrote this post at the beginning of September and October was Breast Cancer Awareness month, which tied in nicely with what I wanted to talk about.

Life got in the way and so I’m sharing this now. Spoiler Alert – I’m ok.

This the first part of the story.

Today I had my first appointment and my first experience of a Breast Clinic.

To give you a little background I had been feeling pain in my breasts that was more than the usual pain you might have before or during your period. And uncomfortable as it was, I ignored it. Not very Badass of me I know but I convinced myself it was period related.

Problem is because my contraceptive pill has stopped my periods all together. I have no idea when I’m having what I like to call ‘my phantom period’. So it’s hard to say if the pain was connected to my cycle.

I became a bit concerned about how uncomfortable my breasts felt when I was in bed. I gave myself an exam and while I didn’t find a lump as such my breasts felt lumpy in places. So I made an appointment to see my doctor.

I’ll admit that I became good friends with Google. I must have read every website detailing all the symptoms and probabilities of developing breast cancer. Just dealing with the pain was worrying enough but I really did feel a bit overwhelmed, mostly because I couldn’t find much information on what I should expect from an appointment with a Breast Clinic. I didn’t really know what to expect other than a physical exam.

When I arrived for my appointment I had to fill in a form with my medical history and some family health history – which is its own nightmare for me. My Mum had some serious health problems but she was from a generation where you didn’t discuss that sort of thing. Until earlier this year I knew absolutely nothing about my birth mothers health. (We are estranged, she didn’t raise me).

But earlier this year I found out through a family member that my birth mother was recovering from breast cancer. So as I’m sure you can imagine, I was now hyper aware.

Anyway, after filling in a form (it’s a good idea to make a note of any medications you’re taking so you’re not put on the spot – brain fog is real!) I met the specialist.

The doctor was a man, which I don’t have a problem with but you can ask to see a woman. There was a nurse in the room with us who is a woman so if I’d felt uncomfortable she was there. They are both friendly and that helped put me at ease.

He asked me a few more questions regarding family health history and then I had a short physical exam to check for lumps. He also checked the glands in my armpits, which were just as tender as my breasts. I was surprised at how sore they were, I hadn’t noticed any pain there until they examined me.

Because my breasts were so tender that he decided I shouldn’t have a mammogram at the time. I didn’t know that was an option!

I now have to wait for an appointment by which time perhaps my breasts won’t be so sore. I was told to take painkillers before the mammogram and was assured that if the mammogram was too uncomfortable or painful they could do an ultrasound. I also didn’t know about that before hand.

The specialist wasn’t overly concerned which was a bit of a relief and he thinks my back and neck problems might be playing a role in the pain.

I have a tendency to rush through doctor and hospital appointments. Which means I often forget to ask questions or mention symptoms etc

All in all the appointment wasn’t bad but it did feel a bit rushed. I’m sharing my experience because there’s really not a lot of information out there in terms of what to expect.

I’ll post part two soon!

Moxie McMurder

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Your Body Positivity Struggles Are Valid

Your body positivity is still valid even if you have times when you struggle to apply it to yourself.

It can be hard to admit when you’re a body positive advocate because it sometimes feels like you’ll be disowned by the community, asked for your fat positivity card back.

But loving or even accepting your body can be difficult and it can take years to reach peace in your own skin. Think about it, if you’ve spent years hating your body, you’re not going to get over it overnight.

I liken this to championing mental health awareness while still struggling with it yourself. Whether you align yourself with the fat acceptance movement or body positive movement, it’s understandable that you’ll have days when you just don’t like what you see in the mirror.

I have days like that all the time. ALL. THE TIME. It’s horrible and I wish I didn’t have days like that. It’s something I hope to address in further posts.

Point being, I struggle with body image but that doesn’t stop me from supporting and championing bodies of all shapes, sizes and abilities.

I’ve seen articles and blog posts discussing whether you can be body positive but still want to lose weight – yes! Can you exercise and still be body positive? – Yes! Can you be skinny and still be body positive? – Of course! The whole point is to see ALL bodies in a positive light.

**It’s important to remember the distinction between the fat acceptance movement and the body positive movement it spawned. Fat acceptance is important to me and I align myself with both movements.**

But it can be hard to discuss the wobbles, the days where you feel down about your body for fear of triggering someone else’s body image issues. For fear of letting people down by admitting that we don’t always love our bodies.

I think it’s important that we share our struggles as well as our victories. Our journeys and our destinations. You have a voice, use it. You never know how many people feel the same way you do until you talk about it. And talking about our experiences brings us together.

Moxie McMurder

The Badass Manifesto

Periods and Me

Fellow Badasses,

Let me tell you about what I call my Phantom Period…

I’ve been on the contraceptive pill since I was 17, so almost 20 years. I’ve been on a few different pills over the years and its never let me down.

About 3 years ago I switched my pill to Cerazette, a progestogen-only pill. Cerazette works by thickening the mucus in the cervix, which stops sperm reaching an egg.

It also stopped my periods.

When I changed my contraceptive pill due to migraines, I had no idea that I wouldn’t bleed again. It wasn’t mentioned to me when my doctor discussed the pill with me. When I brought it up at my next appointment he assured me it was a common side effect and would do me no harm.

So, I don’t have periods anymore. Nothing. Zip. Not even a little spotting. And you’d probably think it’s great and to be fair, for the most part it is! But it’s a surreal experience to have cramps but no blood. I call it my Phantom Period. It’s medical title is amenorrhoea.

This lack of bleeding hasn’t stopped me from being period positive. I donate time, money and products to charities that provide menstrual products to the homeless and those on low income. I will happily discuss periods with everyone and anyone. But I’ll be honest with you, there are some products that give me the heebie jeebies!

I’m a pad woman, when I needed them, and will always champion these over tampons or moon cups. No shade on those who do use tampons etc more power to ya. I’ve just never got on with internal products.

I also think it’s important that most brands take note of the exclusionary language they use when selling their products. And those unnecessary products designed to ‘clean your intimate feminine area’ I mean, c’mon!

Like I said I still get cramps and I still feel a little delicate or ready to burn the world to the ground during my Phantom Period.

Is there anything I miss about my period?

Honestly the only thing I miss, and this a little irrational but if a friend starts talking about what a horrible period they’re having, I sometimes have a feeling of missing out.

Obviously, after having periods since the age of 12, I can sympathise with my friends but I’m sometimes I’m very aware of a disconnect. I’m still working through what it is I’m feeling when this happens. I don’t for one second feel any less of a woman, so what the hell is this feeling all about?!

So that’s my Phantom Period. Anyone out there experience the same feeling of not being able to commiserate in quite the same way because you’re not experiencing it the same way anymore?

Thanks for reading!

Moxie McMurder

The Badass Manifesto

Homemade Vegan Body Scrub Ideas!

I love body scrubs.

Nothing makes me feel cleaner and super soft and if it leaves me smelling great well that’s just tickety boo with me.

Making your own body scrub is like taking on the persona of a kitchen witch. A little of this, a dash of that. (Midnight Margarita anyone?) Fun right? 

Use this an extra self-care tip, because your body deserves some kindness. Also by making your own body scrubs you know exactly what’s going into what you’re putting on your skin and you know it’s cruelty free -yay!

Before we start, just a quick FYI – Not all sugar is vegan, so check your labels. And do a skin test before you start slathering these scrubs on, just in case you have an allergy or sensitivity.

Sugar Skin Stats

Sugar is a natural humectant (NEW WORD!) which means it pulls moisture from its environment. So when you use products with sugar it’ll actually help hydrate your skin and keep in the moisture.

Brown sugar is the least abrasive, so if you have sensitive skin stick to brown. Unrefined white sugar is good for all skin types and it contains some essential nutrients good for skin.

Body scrubs are used to exfoliate dead surface skin cells to reveal the healthy-looking skin underneath. Sugar scrubs have some benefits over salt scrubs. For starters small sugar granules are gentler than salt, which is known to cause microscopic tears in the skin -yikes!  And salt scrubs can strip your skin of natural oils.

Let’s crack on shall we…

Coffee Body Scrub

What You’ll Need
  • 20 grams ground coffee
  • 20 grams cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 vitamin E capsules (optional)

I have a well known love of coffee and coffee scrubs have some excellent benefits including improved circulation, tightens the skin and reduces inflammation.
Olive oil penetrates deeply into skin making it good for very dry skin and this scrub can be used on body and face.

Lemon And Sugar Body Scrub

What You Need
  • 85 grams of granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
  • 6 tablespoons of olive oil or sweet almond oil

Mix all the ingredients well and your scrub is ready to go!

Moisten your skin, next massage and scrub all over your hands/feet. Rinse it off and dry.  The oils in the scrub should moisturise your skin enough but you may need to add a little of your favourite moisturiser afterwards.

This is one of the best scrubs to fight rough skin. It’s really good on feet and hands, leaving them soft and smooth. Plus the zingy scent of lemon is always refreshing.

Brown Sugar And Vanilla Scrub

What You Need
  • 20 grams of brown sugar
  • 20 grams of white sugar
  • 2 tbsp of raw sugar
  • 2 tbsp of sunflower oil
  • Seeds from 1 vanilla bean or 1 and 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Mix well then massage the scrub with gentle circular motions all over your fabulous body.

Sugar exfoliates and I love vanilla so you end up smelling amazing. In fact, I think this one is my favourite.

So, happy scrubbing and get inventive! There are loads of recipes for body scrubs out there that includes things like infusing your sugar with lavender or rosemary. 

Moxie McMurder

The Badass Manifesto