All posts by Some True Things

Let’s Talk Hormones!

Hormones are “chemical communicators or connectors” that carry messages to and from organs.  So why is it women usually speak of them with hushed tones? An open dialogue about the role of hormones, their imbalances and the toll perimenopause exacts is needed to share knowledge.

Btw, if you are in your 20’s and are about to click off because who gives a shit about olds,  if you’re on a birth control pill or ring etc,  you’re already manipulating hormones enough to fool your body into thinking it doesn’t need to drop an egg. That’s pretty powerful stuff when you think about it.

If you were a girl who got her period maybe a little younger than your peers, whose body exploded into tits and ass, BAM! And you have dramatic painful periods, are  super ‘moody’, feel ‘hysterical’ and so on,  there’s a chance you might be rocking a hormone imbalance.

It’s up to you to be your own advocate. Even with all the breakthroughs in medicine, doctors are more likely to suggest you take an anti depressant than order a hormone panel, that’s problematic to say the least. If you’re feeling depressed, gaining or losing a ton of weight for no reason, feel anxious…. No matter your age, insist your doctor run a panel.  Hormones can get wonky from a variety of factors and may seem to you or others like solely an emotional issue. Feeling crazed? Get your panel done!

We’re pretty quick in the states to use pharmaceutical pills that mask symptoms, leaving the real culprit unchecked. If you’re considering an SSRI,  getting a panel is doubly important. A simple plant based bio identical hormone could be your salvation. Insurance usually covers the cost, but check with your doctor on any or all of this, of course.

Another thing that affects your hormones is Perimenopause, the transition toward no more periods, Menopause. This can happen in your early 30’s through early 50’s.  It can be jarring to say the least. you might be experiencing amped up PMS like symptoms  27 days a month because your hormones are bouncing around as much as when you were going through puberty. It means fertility is waning, and if you’re over 40,  live in America, that means you’re viewed by society as 2 seconds from full on crone status complete with the invisibility cloak of a middle aged woman, which y’know… is weird.

Steven R. Goldstein, MD, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at NYU Medical Center in New York City spoke with WebMD.com about perimenopause and stated “Every woman thinks that it’s the sudden drop in estrogen from not ovulating that causes the problems. But in reality, it’s the fluctuation of estrogen, along with less progesterone, that is behind many of the typical symptoms of perimenopause,” Goldstein says. These symptoms, he tells WebMD, include not only mood swings and sensitivity, but also hot flashes, night sweats, and memory problems.

A hormone imbalance had a profound effect on my health when I dealt with a gnarly case of fibroids, benign tumors that grow in and around the uterus. Mine had taken over,  putting pressure on organs, wrapping around the spine and impinging my hip socket.  The general school of thought from progressive doctors is you don’t get a cranked out uterus like that without a hormone imbalance, usually an Estrogen dominance, oh,  and by the way,  fibroids are one of the top  causes of infertility and miscarriages. The old school of medical thought was, ‘We don’t know why they happen, just be happy it’s nothing more serious, it mostly only affects black women, blah blah, blah…’.  While I’m always and forever grateful they’re benign, I’m super bummed I had to get info on the fibroid-hormone connection so late in the game.

In my case there was way too much Estrogen, an Estrogen dominance, and zero Progesterone, which is also called the feel good hormone. I did not, in fact, feel good. I was crying all the time, anxious and couldn’t think straight. That’s what one missing  hormone can do! Once I began a plant sourced progesterone supplement and cut out estrogen rich foods that might add to the imbalance, like soy and dairy, (a moment of silence for malted milkshakes)  I felt and started to look like ‘me’ again. I was able to get off weight that’d been stuck, which also helped, as fat stores and releases estrogen.

Last year I had a friend in her 30’s, a successful business woman, mother and full on type A personality tell me she felt out of sorts, not like herself, was prone to bouts of crying,  and no appetite as she was very anxious. This was all very out of character for her and I could see why doctors offered Xanax etc. When I suggested she get a hormone panel she said she’d had one in the last year and that wasn’t the issue… But it sounded exactly like what I’d been through. Hormone levels can slide dramatically in just one year, so I urged her to get another test and in 9 months her levels had changed from normal to very low Estrogen, she got on a bio identical hormone and within weeks felt like her old self more or less.

Here’s a Web MD link to a less anecdotal take, it’s not the most thorough, but it’ll get you started on how the things we eat also influence hormones. Honestly I LOVE dairy, but for me feeling better in my body was worth giving it up.

Besides cremes or pills, there’s also a host of herbs like Black Cohosh that help abate symptom, they didn’t work for me but they might be the only thing you need to feel like yourself! Cameron Diaz has a  new book out soon addressing the subject and here’s one by Suzanne  Sommers, because I finally get how she a  zillion hawking natural hormone cremes .   xx Rachel

 

 

 

The Craft Script is here!

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It’s not just genes that affect aging!

I put up a video a while back addressing how processed foods age us by way of inflammation and a few people commented  about my genes… Thanks a ton for saying nice things re my skin, but please know genes are only part of the equation.

First off,  I’ve never done hardcore drugs, or given birth… two things that age a body for very different reasons, I use sunblock and more importantly,  when I quit cig’s and started eating natural foods I noticed a huge difference in quality of facial skin.

Personally, I think folks say I look younger than my years because everyone else in Hollywood is lying about their age. That said, quality of food, hydration,  exercise, healthy gut bacteria, mood etc all factor into feeling good in your body.

In terms of skin care, most of my life I’ve washed my face with whatever was handy,  no moisturizer, no fancy serums or fussy regimes.  My formerly oily skin,  now more combo to dry,  is still prone to zits and def has fine and not so fine lines, so putting a little more thought in is required.

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These days I use a natural Mario Badescu face wash followed with Tretinoin, one of the few pharmaceutical products in my repertoire . Save $ and nix crazy expensive brands or the use of fillers & botox etc (which I’ve never tried cause.. weird.) and check it out.

It’s the  generic form of products like Retin-A and a vitamin A derivative  developed to combat acne with the handy side effect of softening fine lines and stimulating collagen growth.

Basically it sloughs  off dead cells and helps plump skin. I’ve tried natural vitamin A creams and they don’t work as well on zits or fine lines, so while it’s a bummer this is not an organic natural product,  it gets two thumbs up from me as it works well, though direct sun can cause skin irritation and some people get all peely from it in the beginning, my skin tolerates it well.

A dermo or family doc can fill a prescription for you and if you tell ’em it’s for acne insurance is more likely to cover.  I get the generic and use the lowest strength.  I’ve paid anywhere from $6-$35 a tube, which lasts about 4-6 months. I think that’s reasonable in a world of $300 eye creams,  don’t sleep on the affordable stuff.

Lastly, as far as feeling & looking good at any age, and this is maybe because my skeletal frame is small,  I personally find keeping my weight down helpful to feeling good in my body and keeping my skin looking its best.  Since I’ve gained 10lbs + after finding my boyfriend, the next post’s gonna be on how I’m going to get the weight off and I hope you’ll consider joining me in losing ten if you’re not fitting in your fav pants either. Tweet me if you wanna lose 10 too! Rachel

 

 

Support #SupportThePuff

This week in The bahamas a girl was threatened with suspension from school for wearing  her natural hair in super cute afro puffs.  That’s a country  full of kinky coily puffy haired black girls, yet the school’s principal told NB12 News that the girl was reprimanded because her natural hair looked “untidy and unkempt.”

It’s 2016, people it’s time to #SupportThePuff

Racism, not fashion,  dictates that hair growing out of of my head, of its own accord in its natural state be  considered wild, unkempt, unprofessional or unrefined.

Of course, people have the right to wear whatever hair style they desire, natural, straightened, weaves etc,  (I personally love curly clip in hair for work)  You do you, BUT-

European standards of beauty when applied to POC are a uniform,  a tool of integration into mainstream ie white society.  Over time or maybe right after Madame Walker’s  first relaxer hit the shelf,  American black culture by and large adopted this standard amongst ourselves. The over ‘k’ontoured, flat ironed images that have super saturated TV & the web for the last bit of time… have not helped.

“Let’s face it,  it’s people of color who criticize each others spotty edges and prize ones ability to get the hair to ‘lay flat’ the loudest”

And this paradigm sucks. Recently I’ve seen  elementary kids with weaves. In my opinion this is damaging their scalps and their self esteem to no end. Many times after shooting something for tv,  I’d unclip the hair, peel off the lashes and wash away the smoke and mirrors makeup job…  I’d often feel inadequate, unattractive… and I’m a grown adult whose has years of therapy which at least theoretically gives me the  ability to process thoughts like this. What happens to the psyche of a young girl subjected to these standards?

“I once had a shrink tell me I couldn’t go to auditions always looking like Phyllis Diller.  so I fired them”

We are People of color, we are beautiful as is, from our head to our toes.  Now go watch Chris Rocks film Good Hair & go to bed!

-Rachel

#supportthepuff

Here’s a link to an interview with the actual teen. http://ianthia-smith.com/beauty/she-made-me-feel-ugly-teen-at-center-of-natural-hair-controversy-speaks-out/

My Interview with Black Girl Nerds Podcast

Hey! I did an interview w/ the fab crew at www.blackgirlnerds.com They’re black, they’re nerds, they post great stuff! Def check out their site & twitter feed @BlackGirlNerds & @BGNpodcast & of course me @racheltrue – shout out to graveyardsisters.com @graveyardsister who co-interviewed me!

We cover a ton of topics, give a listen, Here’s the podcast! xx Rachel

Diggs Kinda Sorta Has A Point On Racial Identity…

Recently the actor Taye Diggs made a statement that he didn’t want his mixed son to identify as black, causing a bit of an internet backlash and major trolling for Diggs via Black Twitter.

The thing is, I get what he was trying to say… and I don’t  totally want to agree with the dude who presumably (temporarily) broke the heart of America’s sweetheart Idina Menzel, the white mother of Tayes son.

I’ve worked with Diggs,  he’s intelligent and I think if you look at his actual statements in conjunction with the very positive childrens books he has written, you’ll see the words for what they are, a parent wanting a world where kids just get to be whatever they are, and in this case they are mixed or bi-racial.

I’m the gen-x mixed daughter of a white father, who had full custody, and a black mother but I learned long ago it was easier to say I’m black, mostly because that is how I’m perceived when I walk in a room  and also I’d grown tired of having to prove my mixed-ness…

“well, you don’t look mixed…”

“you’re really dark for a mixed person.”

“Why don’t you just say you’re black?”

“I’m not down with the swirl” (it was the 90’s)

You get the point.

At times there was an internal struggle and I would attempt to code switch to fit in.

I felt I had to deny my parentage to fit in or placate my contemporaries, who were already confused by the patois of my voice, my northern twang still evoking claims of ‘talking white’.  My  very high yellow, let’s just say ‘Gina from Martin taupe’ light (same dad, diff black mom’s) half sister once said I didn’t know what it was like to be mixed. I corrected her by saying “I don’t know what it’s like to be light skinned and mixed”. Being mixed means  having a different cultural back ground, not simply looking  ‘mixed.’

So I feel Taye is saying  why should his child or any child, have to deny part of their story because it doesn’t fit the narrative.

The narrative is bullshit.

The narrative says brown people who say they’re mixed are denying their blackness.

The narrative is anyone in the US with more than 1/16th black blood is black -this dates back to slave times and ownership of people as property.

The narrative is mixed people are always lighter than a paper bag,  ‘exotically pretty’ and tragic.

Uh, no, old school bullshit narrative..NO!

For me and many others this couldn’t be farther from the truth… When we say mixed, we’re acknowledging all our ancestors and hopefully expanding the world view of what ‘mixed’ is.

We all agree for the most part that race is a social construct… We’re all humans right? So to have a phrase such as ‘mixed’ or ‘biracial’ cause such divisiveness in 2015 is mind boggling.

In truth, I am Black AND I am Mixed. I can be and am both. I love my blackness, besides being a woman it is the singular defining thing about me, and I did me some me.

To troll Diggs for wanting to explore and make his child feel comfortable with his full genetic background seems immature.

I agree he phrased it in some pretty clunky questionable dialogue, though…. for a writer and all.

Rachel True

 

 

 

Compliments with qualifiers…

“The thing about compliments with qualifiers, is it detracts from the compliment you’re genuinely trying to  give… duh.”

If I say… “You look great!” Or “that top look amazing on you!”  That might make you smile.

No let’s try this again, I say ~ “You look great, for 36!”… Or “that top looks great, if you lost 10lbs you’d look amazing!”…. or “you’re handsome for a white guy”~

You’re probably going to think I’m socially awkward at best, (which I am) even though my intentions are good.

If you can’t not mention numbers, for the record I’m 211 & rarely seen in daylight, so  get it right.  Or weight ~ none of your business…. Or height ~ I’m whatever height the part calls for. Rest assured I’m comfortable in my skin… though I am as always, a work in progress.

A few short years ago, like so many Gen-xers, I was as the saying goes… fat sick & nearly dead after a garden variety illness & major surgery… Since then I committed to living a healthy lifestyle (for me that means no dairy, no meat, tons of veg and water, exercise… not fillers, botox, or short cuts, I’ve never even had a facial)…  It’s been great & I’m delighted some of y’all are kind enough to compliment the results.

If you’ve been feeling sluggish or not your best energetically, try adding more water, fruit & veg into your normal diet, these foods deliver nutrition & help repair your cells the way nature intended!     ; ) True

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Things I’ve said…

“Hold on, I gotta change my clothes for this grandma audition.”

That said, I have dressed like an extra from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat for most of my 211 years, and perhaps it’s time for a change… I’m thinking French lady chic? Which begs the question…  How do I tie a neck scarf and not look like Rizzo from Grease?  Also, will I feel like a grown up if I start dressing like one?  True

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