Dear Teenage Me,
I speak with great love and from years of hindsight and wisdom.
As we enter our next phase of womanhood , I reflect back and see some things I wish we had known when we were your age- things that would possibly make things better for us now. Perhaps they are things I did hear but chose to ignore so I write through the passage of time to ask or beg you not to ignore what I did.
- do not allow yourself to get constipated. Constipation causes strain on our pelvic organs and whilst it seems too embarrassing to talk to anyone about it now – please do …seek help and save us from the pain, straining and anal fissures. Drink plenty of water and use psyllium husks or something similar ( ask at the pharmacy , they will know what will suit you ). Eat your veggies and fruit.
- sit properly on the loo - use a footstool to get you nearer a squat, lean forwards and gently widen your waist and bulge your tummy. Try “mooing” it really helps. Don’t strain or bear down . Squatting like when we went camping is even better.
- do not diet you don’t need to- accept yourself as the beautiful girl you are. Dieting leads to all sorts of problems including constipation because you aren’t eating correctly, things will work out and you will grow into a beautiful young woman….we don’t need the angst of body image issues – there are plenty of more important things to worry about
- exercise regularly – you enjoy your sport , keep it up , it will help keep your weight normal and it helps the bowels work more effectively – a natural easy cure for points one and two
- start doing some pelvic floor exercises now – learn about it, educate yourself….am sure there are articles in teenage magazines if you are too embarrassed to ask . Most importantly, learn how to use it properly when you lift and do heavy activities. Keeping your core working properly will save us from problems later in life.
- when Mum said sit up straight she was right! I know those boobs are making you slouch but be proud of them ( they will serve you well in life ) good posture is vital for so many reasons…health, core stability, organ function, and if you do it for no other reason than vanity then do it- good posture makes you look fabulous!
- use the loos at school – don’t be embarrassed in case someone hears you going – it is bad for our bladder if you hang on too long – it can overdistend and not function properly ;or if you put off emptying your bowel , over time this can cause constipation and our rectum to distend beyond it’s capacity- all pretty yucky things.
- don’t drink so much coffee and alcohol through uni – it set us up for an irritable bladder later in life. Do you really want to be wetting our knickers when you get older? You hate wearing pads once a month, now, imagine wearing them every day to catch leaking wee!
- think very carefully about who you have sex with and for god’s sake use protection…just because you are on the pill doesn’t mean you can’t catch an STD…yes they really do exist and yes anyone can catch them, you are not immune and he must wear a condom. Remember the ad – ” if it’s not on , it’s not on?”
PS - one day you meet a wonderful man and have two beautiful children….life isn’t all smooth sailing but it is worth the journey …oh and take up yoga now , not at 40 like I did, you will wish you were more flexible by then…..now I am off to give this lecture to your 15 year old daughter…let’s hope she listens to me….but first I will stand under the fan because I can feel a hot flush coming on
love Menopausal you