Why Lena Dunham is wrong about birth control

For Happy Hormones

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I literally jumped out of bed to write this post today! If you know me, you know that I don’t ever jump out of bed to write. But today was different because as I lay in bed scrolling through the Huffington Post (I know, I know I shouldn’t wake up and look at my phone…sigh, no one is perfect) I came across an article entitled:

“Lena Dunham Asks Why People Use Birth Control, World Learns Critical Lesson.” 

Naturally I clicked on it to have a read. It turns out that Lena Dunham has endometriosis, and in response to the government’s continued assault on a woman’s access to birth control (I’ll get to that in a minute), she tweeted this message:

I need birth control because I have endometriosis and it helps manage pain. Why do you?”

Within a short time there were nearly 1000 responses ranging from not wanting more kids to having PMS, PCOS, endometriosis and more. While I admire Lena’s advocacy for women’s healthcare rights, I strongly disagree with this message.

Women! We are not inherently broken and we do not need a birth control pill to fix us. What we need is a more comprehensive understanding of how our bodies actually work so we don’t live in constant fear of them. Do you know that 58% of American women who take the birth control pill also use it for reasons other than getting pregnant?? [1]

Let me translate this:

More than half of the women in this country have symptoms so bad every month that they need a powerful hormonal cocktail to make them feel better physically and emotionally. This implies that women’s bodies don’t work – that without a great deal of medical intervention we simply can’t be healthy.

And this pisses me off so fucking much!

Don’t get me wrong, the recent Hobby Lobby decision by the Supreme Court really pisses me off too. And the fact that the government continues to cater to these organizations is beyond my comprehension.

Women’s health in America today is truly under attack and I cannot fathom how the men making these decisions can’t see in the faces of their mothers, wives, sisters and daughters, the faces of every woman negatively impacted by their horrible abuse of power. I could go on and on about the lack of safe abortion clinics, the new rules on contraception, the chronic undermining of Roe vs Wade by state governments and myriad other issues.

But I won’t. No instead, I will just say this…

We don’t need to fear our bodies, we just need to understand them. The current women’s health care crisis is a perfect example of our lack of understanding, not only from these idiotic men who keep proposing and enacting these ridiculous laws but for every woman who is terrified of what her body will do every month because she has never been taught the basics.

We need a paradigm shift here ladies (and gentlemen – especially you!). Women today need to know that the pill or any method of hormonal contraception DOES NOT fix endometriosis, fibroids, painful and heavy periods, PMS, PMDD, depression, or any other condition related to our monthly menstrual cycle. All it does is mask an underlying hormonal imbalance that if not treated can and likely will cause a whole host of problems down the line.

I have been doing this work for four years and the stories I get from women every single day are completely gut-wrenching. We place our trust in our doctors and the medical system because we have collectively moved so far away from understanding the true nature of how our beautiful female bodies actually function. Essentially, we take our bodies to the doctor in the same manner we might take our cars to the mechanic – we have no idea what the hell is wrong and we pray that the doctor/mechanic will fix it because we have to get back to living life!

Unlike cars though, our bodies have cycles and systems that ebb and flow. When we slather ourselves in hormones to spot-treat individual issues, all we are doing is further hindering our ability to actually figure out what is going on!

Imagine how empowering it would be to know exactly when you were ovulating each month, the days you could have unprotected sex to either get pregnant or prevent pregnancy, knowing when your period will arrive, not living in fear of PMS or tons of physical pain, and finally, having an appreciation for all the hard work your body does every month for you.

This is possible for every woman. I know because I have helped thousands of women move from fear of their bodies to feeling at home in their bodies. The only way to stop this insane cycle of assault on women’s health is for women to START trusting their bodies and STOP giving their power away to doctors who don’t have the slightest clue about treating the root cause of anything. Continually relying on a prescribed pill which by the way, has been classified as a Class 1 carcinogen by the World Health Organization [2], is completely disempowering for all women. Instead I show women how to be far less dependent on doctors for fundamental answers that should be a part of their own knowledge and understanding.

If you want to learn more about how the pill and other hormonal birth control methods damage your amazing body, read this post and then this post. Or tune in to my radio show The Period Party for even more information on your hormones and how you can take back control of your health and your menstrual cycle. You can also join my Know Your Flow Facebook group community to get support from other women who are on this journey too!

If you’re really motivated you can check out my latest course, Fix Your Period:PMS in which I teach you exactly how to get to the root of your hormonal imbalance, treat it holistically using a combination of food, supplements and easy stress management practices and finally be free from hormonal birth control.

I believe these fundamentals should be seen as part of every woman’s basic education. Period. By the way, Lena I think you’re beyond awesome and totally love you to pieces!! 

1. http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/Beyond-Birth-Control.pdf

2. http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancercauses/othercarcinogens/generalinformationaboutcarcinogens/known-and-probable-human-carcinogens

Scroll down to estrogen to take a look.

So tell me how you feel about the issues I raised in this post? 

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Sigh. If only it was just a splash of blood every month...

For Happy Hormones

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Over the years I’ve read your messages and listened to everything you’ve had to say – what you’re struggling with, what you want to learn and how I can truly help.  It is my mission in life to help you translate the language your body is speaking. Because I believe you and your lady parts are simply not broken.

Yes, you’re dealing with a health challenge right now, but this challenge is your body communicating to you that she needs some assistance.  That’s it! I know it sounds simple but if you’ve ever tried to learn a new language, you know that it ain’t that easy! ;-) Trust me, I’ve been there. I spent years in and out of doctor’s offices, being mis-diagnosed with pretty serious conditions and ultimately getting nothing!

I hear that from women like you all the time, “no one can figure out what is wrong with me and I have no idea what to do!!” So where do you begin? And how do you start learning the words and phrases of your body’s language?   For starters, you can check out my newest 8-week program that I’ve just launched, the Fix Your Period: PMS program!

In this program I use a step-by-step process in which I focus on FIVE crucial pillars of your hormonal health that are all based on the latest research. 

Screen Shot 2014-07-21 at 11.50.41 PM Screen Shot 2014-07-21 at 11.52.13 PM

AND I’ve got FOUR really good reasons for you to snap this program up immediately:

  • There are only 50 spots available in this course - the reason it’s so limited is because our support team just isn’t big enough to handle more that 50 people at a time.
  • You’re getting $97 off the total cost of the course if you buy it by July 28th. Yeah girl that’s right, a 30% discount! I’m good like that.
  • I am giving you THREE live group calls with me during this 8-week course, for free! Our first one will be on August 4th.
  • AND finally, the program registration closes on Thursday July 31st or when it fills up! Eeeks!

I’ve even got a kick-ass video for you to check out too!! If you think PMS doesn’t affect you, you might be surprised by what I have to share. It’s only two minutes so it won’t take up too much of your time :-)

The best part is I’m going to support you on your journey and guide you along the way in our group calls and the private Facebook community. I’ll be there with you showing you everything you need to know and answering all your questions.

Look, I don’t know if there’s ever a “right” time to make an important life change. But I do know it’s worth you watching this and deciding to take the next step now versus later.  Every day with the status quo is a day you’ll never get back. It’s your time! See you there!

Love,

Hit me with your best questions below about the program so I can help you get the answers you need and get started. 

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Why we sleep in separate beds sometimes

For Happy Hormones

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I know, I’ve gone all June and Ward Cleaver on you!  You’re likely wondering why on earth two people in their 30′s, who are in a relatively new relationship and are childless (that’s a biggie!) wouldn’t be spending as much time in the same bed as possible.

Well, the answer is our sleep patterns are very different!

I am a bit of a night owl, I like to go to bed around 11:30ish whereas my man is pretty much passed out by 9:30pm. I have no idea how that is even humanly possible! I am also a super light sleeper and the slightest noise wakes me up. And guess what? He’s a big time snorer! The minute I even begin to hear heavy breathing it’s over.

He also moves around a lot in his sleep. I prefer a colder room whereas he’s fine to sweat it out. And he’s an early riser – like 5:30am – whereas I love getting out of bed around 8ish. Basically I am in awe of any woman who can sleep through all of that! LOL

Woman Who Can Not Sleep Because Her Husband Snores

As you can see, this creates quite an inconvenient sleeping environment. I’d venture to say that many of you are in a similar position too? Clients tell me all the time that their partners’ different work schedules or sleeping habits are continuously interrupting their snooze time.

In my opinion, there are far too many stressed out, hormonally imbalanced women who feel like they’ve done a triathlon each day not getting a good night’s sleep. And it has created a population of us running around with a serious sleep deficit! Here are the joys of that:

  • High cortisol levels – I talk about that here
  • Accelerated aging
  • Weight gain
  • Depression and other mood issues including anxiety

Hey, they don’t use sleep deprivation as a torture technique for nothin’ right?

Here’s the hormone real talk

Lack of sleep has a snowball effect on all your hormones and eventually they all come tumbling down that hill. If you sleep well and wake up restored, your cortisol reaches a peak within 30 minutes of waking up. This sets off all your other hormones, thyroid, estrogen etc. If you don’t sleep well, cortisol is high in the morning and  this can disrupt the conversation between estrogen and progesterone, it can cause your thyroid to slow down, which slows down your metabolism and causes weight gain! Ugh, quite a cumulative effect.

What about sleeping pills?

Trouble with sleep is so common that American’s are popping sleeping pills in record numbers. In 2011, an estimated 40 MILLION sleeping pill prescriptions were dispensed and MOST OF THEM WERE FOR WOMEN [1].

Did you know that sleeping pills generally only increase the amount of time you sleep by a matter of minutes (a measly 20-30)??

Yet they can significantly impair your ability to function like a normal human the next day and they can also have a rebound effect – once you stop taking them, you may suffer “withdrawal” symptoms worse than the initial insomnia. What’s even more frightening is there are now actual studies that show how sleeping pills are linked to these issues [2]:

  • Higher risk for certain cancers (35% higher)
  • Increased risk of death, including from accidents (four times more likely to die as people who don’t take them)
  • Increased insulin resistance, food cravings, weight gain and diabetes – very bad for women who are already hormonally imbalanced
  • Amnesia, even from events that occurred during the day – whoa!!!
  • Depression, confusion, disorientation, and hallucinations

All of this can occur even in people only taking them less than 20 times a year. Oh dear, is this you?

If you’re not willing to risk this madness then read on…here’s what you can do now.

  1. Get a comfortable bed and luxurious bedding. No seriously, if your bed isn’t the best bed for you and your partner you will suffer the consequences. I’ve noticed that when my guy is on an uncomfortable mattress he tosses and turns and snores a lot more. This is years of experience in hotels – ah, long distance love. Buy the best mattress and bedding you can afford and try to get one that is organic/eco-friendly. Conventional mattresses are full of chemicals including flame retardants that are extremely hazardous to your health. Ikea makes great natural mattresses and they are reasonably priced.
  2. Sleep in another room! I know society paints a bleak picture of couples who sleep separately – “they sleep in separate beds, OMG they must be on the verge of divorce!” While sleeping together can be intimate, soothing and comforting, I believe there are times when sleeping apart can increase these feelings and totally save your sanity and thus your relationship. Right now, this is our best option because our bed isn’t comfortable but we’re moving soon and it doesn’t make sense to buy a new one. Practicality rules this household! :) All jokes aside though, how much is your health worth to you? Apparently it’s worth a lot to the 25% of Americans and 10% of Brits who are opting to sleep in separate rooms.
  3. Keep your room cold. The National Sleep Foundation suggests that temperatures above 75 and below 54 degrees Fahrenheit can disrupt sleep for most people. Studies suggest that women sleep best at about 64 degrees F. Of course everyone is different, so the ideal is to keep your room cool (to you) so that you’re most comfortable. It’s hard to sleep if you’re too hot or too cold so find what works…and hope your partner agrees! If not, see #2 above! :)

Remember, when your circadian rhythm is off, you create a bad neighborhood for your hormones.

Therefore, the goal is to get that restful and restorative sleep every night. As in, you fall asleep within 30 minutes of laying down, you sleep through the night without waking up, you wake up in the morning feeling energetic and ready to take on the day and you are able to get through the day without feeling the need for a nap. Lemme know below! Happy dreamtime to you! xoxo

COMMENT

A New Cycle - Book Review

For Happy Hormones

  • COMMENTS11

Are you ready for a book that will forever change how your view your cycle?

Yes?

Great! Because A New Cycle: Your Guide to A Better Period Naturally is here and it’s available for you to buy now :) This gorgeous book was manifested and created by Tracy Puhl, the owner of Glad Rags, a company that makes high quality sustainable menstrual products and empowers women by positively transforming the experience of menstruation.

IScreen Shot 2014-06-10 at 6.03.16 PM feel honored to be a contributor to this groundbreaking book in which various experts come together to break down the inner workings of the female menstrual cycle. A true collaborative effort, this book is a compilation of essays by renowned women’s health experts that explores natural birth control, ovulation and the menstrual cycle, pelvic floor health, Chinese medicine, herbalism, Ayurveda, detoxification and much more.

Additionally, it includes resources and action plans at the end of each chapter to help you get your derailed menstrual health back on track. What stood out for me while reading A New Cycle was each writer’s dedication to their craft and the women they serve. Many of them have transformed painful stories into powerful expertise which they have masterfully woven into the fabric of their essays.

This is a quick and easy read – I literally read it on a 2 hour flight last week – and you’ll want to highlight and refer back to a whole bunch of gems so make sure to grab your copy today.

Of course I wouldn’t go on and on about a book that I love and not give you the chance to win a copy. So go ahead and enter the giveaway below for a chance to win an e-book copy of A New Cycle: Your Guide to A Better Period Naturally. In one week on June 18th I’ll choose 3 lucky winners!! We’ll send you a copy of the e-book via the email that you use to enter the giveaway. Good luck!! :-)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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What happened to my life & my period when I surrendered control & chose happiness

For Happy Hormones

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Hi lovelies,

My name is Caroline Zwick and I am a life coach who focuses on women who want to create amazing lives, but don’t quite know how. I am also the creator of The Busy Girl’s 6-Week Plan To Balance & Fulfillment, which is a course packed with amazing lectures, exercises, and interviews with top experts that will strategically guide you towards taking charge of your life from the inside out. In other words, it’s my baby :)

FYI: I am offering a super special discount to all of you just for reading this post! If you enroll in the program by Monday June 9th, you will get $100 off the price! Just enter coupon code busygirllove for your exclusive savings.

The other -very important- thing you should know about me is that I am one of Nicole’s lucky apprentices, which means that she is teaching me all about our lovely and highly complex female bodies and how I too, can help women like you get their cycles back on track naturally. Needless to say, I feel like I am in wonderful hands with Nicole – & so are you :)

happy

Why would a life coach suddenly want to learn about periods?

Good question and there are 3 reasons:

1. My original plan was to go to medical school, because I have always been fascinated with the human body and its ability to give birth to another human.

2. I see imbalances (hormonally, emotionally, spiritually) in my clients all the time and want to make sure I am the best possible resource for them by understanding them on all levels.

3. My personal experience: When I stopped taking birth control on my 29th birthday, I didn’t get my period back and was told (again) to go back on the pill. Every single little hair in my body stood up and I just knew in my heart that this was not the solution for me. I began doing research on my own because I had this pulsating desire to be in touch with my body and heal it back to optimal health naturally. Fast forward almost 2 years and I am on a much better track. Even though I am not fully back to monthly cycles quite yet, I feel very much in tune with my body and have no doubt that I will give birth to beautiful babies in the coming years.

Over the course of my apprenticeship and friendship with Nicole, we continually come across the fact that my work as a life coach and Nicole’s work as a health coach drastically overlap all the time, especially when it comes to healing the emotional side of our lacking, sporadic, painful, crazy, out-of-sync _____ (insert your personal description) monthly cycles.

Here is the deal:

Research from the field of Positive Psychology has found that –opposite to what most people believe- happiness creates success. Not the other way around. Research by Shawn Achor, a scholar of Positive Psychology, shows that when we are in a state of happiness and positivity, our productivity, creativity, and endurance sky-rocket.

The reason is because happiness and positivity are related to the amount of dopamine our bodies release. Dopamine, which is produced in the adrenals, in turn is the hormone that fires up the learning centers in our brain and makes us more adaptable to changes and more resilient to new challenges.

In essence, when we are happy and positive, we can handle stressful events more successfully. At this point you probably are well aware of how stress and out of control cortisol levels affects our sex hormones and therefore our menstrual well-being. Not good news.

However, creating and sustaining happiness and positivity sounds easier said than done…. I know that from my own experience.

Personally, I spent my 20s having to learn how to stop making my happiness contingent on other people’s approval or external validation and figure out how I can create a life I love based on my own authenticity.

This journey of coming home to myself wasn’t always easy, but it was the only way that allowed me to overcome the physical and emotional hardships of a back-injury I suffered in 2008, tons of career confusion, and crumbling faith in true love after years of dating frustration.

I had to learn how to trust myself, release the need to control, and be playful with myself. I had to surrender my perfectionism and change my relationship with myself. As a result, my life started to flourish from the inside out: I created a career I love, I am engaged to the man of my dreams, and my back pain finally subsided.

This pattern of perfectionism and feeling out of control is something I see in my clients very often and it affects theirs lives on multiple levels: work, love, health, and play.

Similarly again -when it comes to the reclaiming of a healthy, regular menstrual cycle- I had to learn how to integrate Nicole’s wisdom of blood sugar balancing foods, proper supplementation, and avoiding environmental toxins, with my ability to truly let myself play, have fun, and treat my body with the utmost kindness and love. After all, I believe that the best mom is one who is connected to herself on all fronts: physically, mentally, emotionally.

The most amazing things have happened in the last couple of months once I made the commitment to control less and play more: The last two times I ovulated happened right after

1. I began talking to my ovaries and sending them love by rubbing lotion on my belly (an area of my body I used to hate and scold for not being flatter), and

2. I spent a weekend far away from my desk and reconnecting with nature: hiking, walking in grass, swimming, playing.

My message to you is this: If you want to get into true harmony with your body, the emotional aspects must be addressed as much as the physical ones. We are mind AND body and I truly believe that having smooth, pain-free, fertile cycles require a happy, free, and joyful mind.

The best place to start is with the quality of your inner dialogue. Here are 3 steps to get started:

1)  Become aware of how you speak to yourself. Are you mean, derogatory, sarcastic? Do you say things to yourself you would never say to a friend or a loved one?

2)  Formulate 3-5 sentences for how you really want to talk to yourself?

3)  Read one of these sentences to yourself every morning when you wake up and before you go to sleep. The more you can get used to hearing nice things about yourself from yourself, the better your relationship with yourself will be. It’s all about breaking the cycle of negative self-talk and re-conditioning the way you treat yourself.

If you want to dive deeper into these topics and really create a loving and fun relationship with yourself – which is key if you want to create a menstrual cycle and life you love- I’d love to invite you to stay in touch with me and check out The Busy Girl’s 6-Week Plan To Balance & Fulfillment.

Don’t forget I am offering a super special discount to all of you just for reading this post! If you enroll in the program by Monday June 9th, you will get $100! Just enter coupon code busygirllove for your exclusive savings.

With love,

Caroline

Caroline Zwick photoCaroline Zwick, M.A. is a life coach for women who want to create lives they love but don’t know how. She has helped hundreds of women from all around the world who are struggling with issues around their identity, job, relationship, & body. Caroline has a M.A. in Counseling Psychology and graduated as a published author for her work on women and the mind-body connection. She uses a combination of mindfulness, depth psychology and positive psychology to help her clients find unique solutions and get the results they want in a way that is highly effective yet fun and insightful. Caroline runs a successful 1-on-1 coaching business and is the creator of The Busy Girl’s 6-Week Plan To Balance & Fulfillment. Her work has been featured by The Huffington Post, MindBodyGreen, Your Bella Life, The Beauty Bean and Cafe Truth. She has spoken at companies such as Martha Stewart Living, Yelp, AMEX, Twitter, and Charity Water. Download her video step-by-step guide to kick-start your dream life today– it’s free! Get your free 30-min phone consultation here.

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Take care of your sugar cravings the healthy way!

Summer Food Swaps

For Happy Hormones

This is a guest post written by the lovely Jessica Stone, creator of www.greenappetite.com, a site dedicated to seriously healthy recipes that don’t skimp on taste! When I met Nicole at CRAVE, a gathering of women-owned businesses, I knew she was onto something.  Nicole stands out in the sea of health coaches and was talking about […]

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Warning estrogen
What's my liver got to do with it?

Hormone Balance & Your Liver Function

I talk a lot about the liver in my daily life! A lot of women don’t realize that their livers play an integral role in their hormonal health. Let’s put it this way…if you’re hormones are all whacked out, then it’s most likely that your liver is not feeling so hot. Here’s why: Your liver […]

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Introducing the Fix Your Period Lite 4-Week Program

It’s a New Year and I’ve got a new program for you! Today I am officially launching my latest group venture, the Fix Your Period Lite 4-Week Program. You may be wondering what the “lite” is all about so I’m gonna tell ya.  Many women have told me that they would love to do my […]

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Alyssa & I at a breast health awareness event

Loving Your Ladies Could Save Your Life

In honor of breast cancer awareness month and all women who have been touched by breast cancer, I decided to interview my colleague and dear friend Alyssa Millman on everyday breast health awareness and what women can do to be proactive in their own breast care. Enjoy! Nicole: What is your title and what do […]

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Five Years Ago…

Five years ago I was living in Florida. I was working on TV commercials and live events, a career I had wanted since I was fifteen, and I had just moved into a newly-purchased condo.  I had recently bought a great new car and my husband and I had  just taken an awesome vacation to […]

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