Why This Woman Froze Her Eggs at Age 39

Easter eggs/Flickr.com

Easter eggs/Flickr.com

The pros and cons of egg freezing have topped the headlines since Apple and Facebook announced last month their intentions to offer the procedure as a health plan benefit. While some applauded the move for allowing women to take charge of Mother Nature, others said the announcement signaled that these companies want women to spend their childbearing years slaving away in the office instead of starting families. But the debate over egg freezing ignores how deeply personal the decision is, making it unlikely to be influenced by external factors alone. To shed light on why some women make this choice, I spoke with a Los Angeles-area acquaintance I’ll call “Meg” about what prompted her to freeze her eggs as she approached 40. Continue reading

How to Trick Yourself into Eating Mindfully

Fork with sprinkles. Matthew Reid/Flickr.com

Fork with sprinkles.
Matthew Reid/Flickr.com

An acquaintance of mine just completed a 25-hour fast. The other night he ate a whole pot of Mexican-style rice, which he followed up with a chaser of Reese’s Pieces and M&Ms. He skipped meals for a day as penance.

“I have an addictive personality,” he said.

But does he? Given that a study released in August found that U.S. citizens consume nearly twice the amount of calories they should be, I doubt that my acquaintance is any more addicted to food than the typical American. I know that all too often I’ve suffered the bloated belly and regret that follows an evening of comfort eating. Working in a deadline-driven environment where sugary snacks are as free flowing as marijuana on Willie Nelson’s tour bus hardly helps matters. That’s why I’ve been researching mindful eating, the meditative eating method in which practitioners take time to notice the texture, aroma, flavor and color of their food.

“Mindful eating is not a diet, or about giving up anything at all,” the New York Times noted in 2012. “It’s about experiencing food more intensely — especially the pleasure of it. You can eat a cheeseburger mindfully, if you wish. You might enjoy it a lot more. Or you might decide, halfway through, that your body has had enough. Or that it really needs some salad.” Continue reading

5 Signs Your Relationship May Lead to Domestic Violence

 No More Domestic Violence

No More Domestic Violence Ted Eytan/Flickr.com

With Oscar Pistorius dodging a murder conviction for killing his mate and Ray Rice losing his contract with the Baltimore Ravens for beating his, domestic violence topped the news headlines this week. Survivors of such violence shared their decision to stand by or leave their abusers, causing the hashtags #WhyIStayed and #WhyILeft to trend on Twitter. News agencies asked experts on domestic violence to discuss why men, particularly athletes, hit women. And the NFL faced accusations that it had long known the extent of the brutality Rice had unleashed against his wife.

Largely missing from media reports about domestic abuse are the signs people can look for early in their relationships that hint their partners could turn violent in the future. Contrary to the Lifetime movies you’ve seen, people typically don’t switch from Prince Charming to raging brutes overnight. Beware if your mate displays any of the following behaviors: Continue reading

Six Ways to Prepare for Surgery

Operating Room

Photo by Ruhrfischer/Flickr.com

A handful of years ago when my husband, Anthony, and I were still dating, he quizzed me about my experiences in hospitals. He wanted to know if I’d ever been hospitalized or rushed to the emergency room. I answered no to both questions. The only times I’d visited hospitals were to visit sick relatives or to report on healthcare for newspapers. I still remember the look of disappointment on Anthony’s face when I made this revelation. He, after all, had been hospitalized multiple times. Over the years he’d suffered from appendicitis, sports injuries and once in college was even struck by a hit-and-run driver as he stood on the sidewalk with friends. How did I have the good fortune to pass through my childhood, teens and twenties with no serious injuries or illnesses?

Little did we know that my luck would change in 2011, our first year of marriage. After just 10 months of matrimony I suffered a severe allergic reaction to hair dye that ballooned my face to triple its size. Off to the emergency room we went—at the ungodly hour of 4 a.m. Nine months after that I discovered that I had a huge uterine fibroid tumor (the doctor likened it to the size of a newborn’s head) that would require major surgery to remove. I had the surgery, an abdominal myomectomy, in the spring. But I wasn’t quite finished going under yet. Just more than a month ago I had all four of my wisdom teeth extracted.

The combination of that surgery and starting a full-time newspaper job in August resulted in me taking an abrupt break from writing for this website. Now I’m back, and though I won’t be able to write as frequently as I once I did, I’ll aim to write at least once weekly. I’m devoting the first entry upon my return to the tips I’ve learned about surgery over the past year. Continue reading

At What Age Do You Let Yourself Go?

Let Yourself Go

Photo by Amber Rae/Flickr.com

I’m in an awkward stage of life right now. Not the terrible twos or the transitional tweens but the dirty 30s. At this age, it can be challenging to know what to wear. I recently decided to chuck the halter dress with comic book script I bought in my 20s, but I’m hardly ready to do all of my shopping in the women’s section of a department store chain. I’m not the only one who feels this way. Fashion pioneer and actress Chloë Sevigny recently told The Cut that she felt confused about styling herself at age 38.

“I’m kind of in that window where I’m not sure if I can still dress like I used to, if I should be dressing more like a lady. I don’t know,” she said. “When do you let go of your childish ways, as far as fashion is concerned? I’m not sure. I see older women dressing like kids and I’m like, do I look like that? I don’t know.” Continue reading