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My Experience with the Implant

Since getting the implant I have had a lot of questions. ‘Does it hurt? Do you still get periods? Are you having mood swings?’ – just to name a few.

Contraception can be a bit of a minefield, and it’s hard to know what option is going to be the best for you. I, therefore, thought it might be helpful to share my experience. Of course, everybody is unique and so we all react differently to different forms of contraception. However, this has been my personal experience!

landscape-1462402491-vagina

WHY DID I OPT FOR THE IMPLANT?

There are a few choices for people with vaginas when it comes to contraception, all of which come with the potential of some pretty nasty side effects. The implant, therefore, seemed to me like the best of a bad bunch (I should go into sales, shouldn’t I?). I had taken the pill for years and found that it gave me terrible mood swings, left my period irregular and, despite setting an alarm, you can guarantee I would forget about it at least once a week. I decided it was time to look for another option.

I went to the sexual health clinic for some advice. What I will say is that, although it can be awkward and embarrassing, it is well worth making a visit to one of these places. They’re confidential and I have always found them a lot more helpful than going to see my Doctor.

While there I was given an in-depth talk about my options. We narrowed it down to either the coil or the implant. Neither sounded great, but when saw the coil and she explained what the procedure would entail, the implant sounded a hell of a lot more appealing.

So, that was that.

WHAT WAS THE PROCEDURE LIKE?

The procedure itself is super simple. However, if you don’t like needles, it’s not going to be exactly pleasant! I’ve never really minded injections and so I didn’t find it too bad. They numb the area with an injection, cut a slit in your arm and then insert the impact (which was a bit bigger than I expected but nothing too alarming). Relatively painless and over really quickly. They then wrap it up and you leave it in its little bandage for about 24 hours. It is 99% effective and lasts for 3 years. If you do decide you want a baby in this time, you can just pop back in and have it removed, meaning that it follows the method of long-acting reversible contraception.

I was left with bruising afterwards for about a week, but I bruise like a peach so that was to be expected. It took a little while to get used to the thought of having an implant in my arm. I still now stroke it every so often, just to make sure it hasn’t moved and it’s still there – it always is.

WHAT ARE THE SIDE EFFECTS?

The side effects of the implant vary from person to person and so you experience could be entirely different to mine. For me, they included pains in my arm and my period stopping (for now anyway). The first month after the implant I spotted slightly, but since I have not menstruated, which is an absolute blessing!

I haven’t noticed any changes in my mood at all, which was something I was worried about, and now I hardly know it’s there. It’s only when I run my fingers over it that I remember I even have an implant. For me, it is a lot more practical than taking the pill and just fit in well with my lifestyle. I also often get asked if it interfered with my training. Again, the answer is no! However, when I first had it put in, I was very aware of it and worried it would move during upper body sessions. It didn’t, but it is important to keep checking it to make sure it is still in the right spot anyway (I just run my hand over it whenever I remember and it is always still there). 

I’ll be honest, at first, I was worried that everything was related to the implant. I fell ill with glandular fever and thought it was down to the implant. I basically was just panicking (I am a self-confessed overthinker). When I spoke to the Doctor, however, they reassured me and said that everything with it was looking absolutely fine!

tampons

HOW IS IT GOING?

Well, I’m not pregnant so that’s a good start…

In all seriousness, I am finding the implant so easy.

I have actually found the implant super simple. Yes, it does take a tiny little procedure, but it has been worth it for me and my lifestyle.

I am relatively new to having the implant and so at the moment I am still monitoring my menstrual cycle as whether I will come on or not at some point is kind of up in the air – one thing I am finding a little difficult, but I just make sure I am always prepared for that eventuality.

If you have any questions regarding the implant and my personal experience, let me know in the comments down below. Trust me, nothing is TMI here. You can also email me on jamieleejenkins27@googlemail.com 

Jamie x 

Little Things You Can Do To Help The Environment

More and more people are looking at doing their bit to help the environment and live a more sustainable life. No longer is the belief that one person can’t make a difference cutting it and people everywhere are ditching the plastic bags and water bottles, cutting down on meat and sharing lifts.

However, it can be a little daunting to try and make your lifestyle more sustainable… The pressure to do everything all at once can get a bit much and so many of us recoil back into our old, unsustainable habits out a fear that we’re doing ‘eco-friendly’ wrong (Can you tell I’m speaking from experience here…).

Well, I am here to tell you that helping to protect the environment and leading a more sustainable lifestyle doesn’t have to mean ditching the car, never going on holiday again and waving goodbye to that Brazillian restaurant down the road. Even the smallest of changes can help, and you might not even notice you’re doing them! Here are some little things you can do to help the environment.

THINK ABOUT YOUR FASHION CHOICES

 I have already written a post about fast fashion and how I think the solution is as much down to internal changes as it is external ones. You can check it out here if you haven’t read it.

While you might not think that your fashion choices have much of an impact on the environment, the truth is that the fast fashion industry is predicted to contribute ¼ of our total impact on climate change by 2050!

Luckily, there are things that you can do that can help protect the environment, while still keeping your wardrobe on point. Recently I have become a huge charity shop fan. I’ll be honest, I used to avoid them like the plague, but once I ditched my entirely unnecessary snobbish ways, I actually found that you can get some really good bits and pieces – not to mention it’s super cheap and helping out a charity! On my last browse, I got myself a cream Zara blazer for £10! Madness I tell you.

I have also started buying second-hand clothes off of friends rather than going out and buying new stuff. I am looking towards setting up a clothes swap group as well, where unwanted clothes can be swapped for someone else’s gear – the perfect, eco-friendly way to keep your wardrobe fresh.

CHARITY SHOPS

IMAGE: The Art of Thrift Shopping in Leeds

SHOP SUSTAINABLY 

Beyond clothes shopping, there are also little ways you can become more sustainable when it comes to food shopping – a lot of which you’re probably doing already, go you!

Most supermarkets in the UK have already encouraged this, but investing in a Bag for Life or reusing old plastic bags is a great (and super easy) way to cut down on your plastic use. The same applies to foods. When you’re strolling through the fruit and veg aisle selecting your Granny Smiths, if the option is there, opt for a paper rather than a plastic bag to wrap your foods up in. 

TRAVEL WISELY 

When it comes to getting around the place just jumping in your car definitely seems like the easiest option… I mean, I can’t drive but if I could I image it would seem like the easiest option.

However, no surprises here, it is not the best for the environment. Instead, why not join the sharing economy and download ride-sharing apps or share a lift into work with your friend. If a few of you are all driving from the same place to the same place, it seems a little daft all taking a car when you could just go together!

crete

If you’re travelling out of the country (lucky you), using sites like Airbnb is also a great way to be a part of the sharing economy and help look after the environment. If you’re a keen bean, you could even opt for a solar-powered apartment that would still come in cheaper than a fancy hotel. This is not something I have yet to try, but I will definitely be looking into it for my next city break.

Travelling sustainably might seem like it is going to require huge changes, but that really isn’t the case. Being just a little more aware when travelling can really help to make your lifestyle more sustainable.

CUT DOWN ON ANIMAL PRODUCTS  

More and more people are adopting an entirely plant-based lifestyle, but if you’re not willing to wave goodbye to your cheese on toast – that’s fine, it’s your prerogative and it doesn’t mean that you can’t still make little changes and do your bit.

Simply cutting down on your meat intake, even if it’s only one day a week, or switching to almond milk rather than cow’s milk, can really help. You might even want to try growing your own vegetables, which can help to reduce your carbon footprint (not to mention it’s loads of fun and really satisfying!).

ALLOTMENT

IMAGE: Country Living – Companion Planting. Getty Images – Ron Evans.

LITTLE LIFE CHANGES

The above are just a few examples of things I have been thinking about or experimenting with recently, but there are loads of other little things you can do to make your lifestyle more sustainable.

As I have said, they don’t have to be massive changes – in fact, you might not even notice you’re doing them. Making your own coffee in a morning, getting a library card rather than buying books (I still haven’t quite come to terms with this one… I love a nice, new book), even just spending more time outside are all little things you can do to help!

Since attempting to make some little life changes in order to lead a more eco-friendly life, I have learnt that a sustainable lifestyle not only benefits the world but has also benefitted my own health and wellbeing. Cutting down on meat and practically ditching dairy has really helped with keeping at a healthy weight, getting outside more has helped me get fitter, and I have found that I have been able to save a lot of money by just having a little more awareness. Give it a go – it’s easier than you think. 

What are your top tips for leading a more sustainable life? Let me know in the comments down below.

Jamie x 

For more advice and tips, here are some websites and blogs I found really useful: 

50+ Simple Tips To Live a More Sustainable Lifestyle

http://www.lovegeorgeandhaze.co.uk/

https://ecowarriorprincess.net/2015/10/101-tips-help-you-live-more-sustainable-life/

https://www.wwf.org.uk/what-we-do/area-of-work/promoting-sustainable-living

 

We need to talk about the reality of life after graduation.

As a tossed my cap into the air, I breathed a sigh of relief – ‘I will never, EVER have to look at another history book, ever again.’ Flash forward 6 months and I have applied for a distance Masters in, you guessed it, history. 

I have reflected on the past 6 months of my life in a previous blog post, ‘I had an epiphany’, which you can find here. In this post, I get very deep and share my personal experiences of leaving University, moving out and beginning my ‘adult’ life. In this post, however, I plan to be a lot less philosophical. While we will touch on similar themes to what I did in that post, in this post, I am not sharing an epiphany, but rather asking a question.

I believe I speak for a lot of graduates when I say WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON? 

 

When I finished University I was one of the lucky ones in the sense I had a job sorted and knew exactly what I was going to be doing.

‘Well, that was easy…’ My life had all fallen together quite nicely.

Flash forward a month and I was poorer than I had ever been at University, renting in a place where I knew nobody and questioning why I did my degree in the first place. To be quite frank, nobody gave two shits. Two months later I realised how lucky I had been and how much I had taken my degree for granted. Truth be told, I really missed learning and my life was anything but sorted. How naive I was… 

The problem is, we are fed from the age of about 13 that everything builds up to that moment when you throw your cap in the air and get handed your degree. You then go on and change the world. But what happens if at 22 you’re not doing that? What if you’re in a graduate job, struggling to make ends meet and more than a little bit clueless about exactly where you want to go in life? Well, you’re totally normal. Life beyond graduation isn’t always all-go straight away. In fact, it’s a bit of an anti-climax.

However, that’s not what we’re being led to believe. A thought that crosses my mind on a daily basis is that I am running out of time and that all of these big dreams that I had for myself are futile now. I tell myself every day that I have failed.

I am 22. 

This all sounds pretty entitled, doesn’t it?

I have been privileged enough to have had access to degree level education, I leave, walk straight into a job and then 6 months later I’m moaning about it.

What am I actually looking for here?

Put simply, honesty.

For the majority of graduates, leaving education is scary. Many will fall in and out of jobs for years before finding what they want to do with their lives. The fact that more than 43% of us will be searching for a new job within two years is probably not only down to a desire to work for more than financial gain but also down to pressure to be ‘living our best lives’. If we’re not in our ‘dream job’ in our early twenties, the rhetoric that we should have everything sorted is enough to drive us into looking for something else. The idea at 22 that I am ‘trapped’ and that I will never progress is terrifying. Why am I not achieving everything my peers are?

Post-graduation life is tough, and if you are anything like myself and a lot of my friends, leaving University does not result in finding the answer to hundreds of life questions. If anything, it just brings up more questions. I am not for one second trying to make people yet to graduate fear the future. Rather, I want to tell them that it’s okay if things don’t fall into place straight away. There is a big wide world out there and we’re all just starting on our journey in it. A journey that is likely to take hundreds of twists and turns before we reach the end goal – if, in fact, that exists at all.

If more of us speak about the experiences we are having in our early 20’s, then perhaps we can help to get rid of this preconceived idea that you should have everything sorted because, well… chances are most of us don’t. Chances are you’re doing absolutely fine. Maybe instead of asking what the hell is going on, we should try to make the most of this new chapter in our lives to explore, make mistakes and develop.

You don’t have to have everything figured out right now, and it’s about time more people told us that. 

Jamie x 

Inspirational Women | 2018

In Vogue’s list of Influential Women 2018, they asked: What does power look like? A question, they acknowledge, is becoming all the more difficult to answer. Power is no longer just a white, middle-class male sitting in the cabinet making big decisions. The face of power and influence has changed, and it has become about a lot more than simply governing, but also about inspiring, starting conversations and initiating change. Power is being redefined, and with it so is the world around us.  

This year, once again, hundreds of women all around the world have inspired me and made me proud to be a woman – whether it be celebrity activists, movers and shakers, or simply women I encounter on a day-to-day basis in my life whose attitude and spirit have motivated me to become a better version of my self. Here are just a few.

Jameela Jamil 

As I recently declared on Twitter, my new life motto is WWJD (What would Jameela do?). Her relentless battle again the impossible beauty standards placed upon women has acted as a reminder that I am enough, just as I am. As well as calling out BS detox diets and the negative consequences of airbrushing, Jamil also set up the iWeigh movement, which I urge you to follow if you don’t already. The movement acts as a reminder that we are all a lot more than how we look and encourages us to think less about what we see in the mirror and more about our values, achievements and qualities beyond this.

A wonderful, witty woman with an incredibly powerful message!

FORKING brilliant.

Jameela_Jamil

The Campaigners in the Irish Abortion Vote

Less a single woman and more a group of incredible inspiring women (and men), who stood up for the women in Ireland to have rights over their bodies. The vote was a huge leap forward for women in Ireland and symbolised the power of activism and fighting for what you believe to be right.

An incredible moment in history that represents progression and changing national attitudes – bravo Ireland.

What an inspiration.

Orla Doherty 

TV producer and environmentalist, Orla Doherty and her team, have made waves this year, raising awareness of the damage being done to our oceans by our excessive use of plastics.

Over 10 million people watched the final episode of the BBC’s Blue Planet that Doherty produced, and the message has certainly resulted in more action – it certainly impacted my behaviour and for that, we all have to thank Doherty.

Dua Lipa 

At only 22 years years old, Dua Lipa became the most streamed female artist in Britain and made history when she became the first woman to received 5 Brit nominations in one night.

Why is she having such a huge impact on the music industry? 

There are many reasons for her success, but for me, her music goes beyond simply a good track to dance to. New Rules has a far deeper, cultural message about female sexual empowerment that females everywhere found themselves relating to – not to mention it has hit over 1 billion views on YouTube. To find out more about the songwriter Emily Warren and how she came about writing New Rules, check out Elite’s Daily article here.

WOMEN 2

Diane Shippey

A name you probably do not recognise, but a woman that inspires me every single day – my Mother. I have written a lot about this wonderful woman here on the blog (you can read more about her here). She has taught me a hell of a lot of the past 22 years, and this year her drive, determination and dedication to what she believes in, has astonished me.

Putting her beliefs and morals before financial gain, she has gone on to start her own little business – working incredibly hard and teaching me that no one is any better than anyone else and if you have something you believe it, then you bloody well fight for it.

Priyanka Joshi 

Another name you might not have heard of, but you definitely should have, is Priyanka Joshi! As only 29 years old, Joshi is a research fellow at the University of Cambridge, offering cutting-edge Alzheimer’s research, looking into drug-like molecules to target the causes of degenerative brain diseases.

This year, dementia has left a huge hole in our family and we are certainly not alone. Dementia is now the leading cause of death for women in England and Wales and so her work in the field is crucial – now more than ever.

In the words of Jameela Jamil, I am a feminist-in-progress, constantly learning and trying to become a more informed human being. I am far from perfect but these women have all helped me on my journey, and for that I thank them. In my research for this post, I found myself in total awe of the incredible work women have been doing this year that I haven’t heard about and sadly I couldn’t write about every single one of them here. I urge you to take a look at some of these lists of Inspiration Women and read their stories.

Here are some of my favourites:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-46225037

https://www.vogue.co.uk/article/vogue-25-the-women-shaping-2018

From Pankhurst to Pink: 100 of the most inspiring women from the last 100 years

Which women have inspired you this year? Let me know in the comments down below or over on my latest Instagram post. 

Jamie x 

Why do I feel so unnatural being natural? | Collaboration with Love George and Haze.

Something a little different for you today folks!

I have had the absolute pleasure of collaborating with two of the kindest girls, and most talented writers I know – George and Haze. These girls have provided me with countless amounts of inspiration for both my writing and how I live my life. I would urge you to go and check out their blog! You can also find my most recent blog post over there. If you have any questions for the girls, pop them in the comments down below and stay tuned for the next instalment of our collaboration. We have a lot of exciting stuff coming up in 2019, so watch this space. 

Now, let me hand you over to George and Haze. 

G AND H 1

The Christmas holidays started as a well-needed break — I was happy to see my family and more than ready to tuck into Mum’s box of Quality Street. But it wasn’t long before I started to feel the ‘itch’. We’ve all had ‘the itch’: the ants-in-your-pants feeling after you ~ finally ~ allow yourself to relax out of the hectic lifestyle you normally lead. So, I decided that I ought to move my body about and get myself to the gym.

As I was putting my contact lenses in, I caught a young woman in the reflection of the mirror getting changed. Her body was beautiful, as though it had been sculpted by Aphrodite herself. She had perky D cups, abs galore, toned arms, and a nice round bottom to top it all off. I blinked (mainly to get my contacts in, but also out of awe). It was evident she had worked very hard to achieve her muscular physique. And her boobs were perfectly shaped due to cosmetic implants. For no valid reason, I suddenly felt somewhat conscious of myself. A little insecure gremlin knocked on the door of my brain and said:

“You’re not good enough”.

I call this gremlin Graham. He enjoys making me feel insecure by comparing me to other people, or should I say, women.

Graham can be even more invasive than he was when I was changing at the gym. Normally he doesn’t knock, he barges straight in, especially when I’m online, and makes me think I need things, like… new clothes, new make-up, a gym pass, tanning lotion, wax strips… the list goes on.

Mid-body consciousness, I thought: Why do I feel so unnatural being natural? I had no make-up on, no jewellery on, no body piercings, no cosmetic surgery; I have an untoned stomach, non-muscular arms, hairy thighs, and one inverted nipple! That’s probably what I will have for the rest of my life, and yet I felt inadequate. Like I had failed some sort of test: The How to Be a Sexy Woman test that I didn’t even know I had entered. Graham told me I got 40%. In university terms, I still passed, but not well.  

Online, on television, and in advertisements, bodies are modified, optimized and hypersexualised. This constant exposure has its drawbacks.

My brother once told me that if he heard me fall in the shower, he wouldn’t be able to come in and check if I was okay because “it would be too awkward.” At first, I thought this was a fair response. Perhaps, a lot of people would agree, and of course, privacy and modesty is important. But as I’ve got older, I’ve realised how backwards this mindset is; my brother would prioritise my “modesty” over my physical safety. Why? Because bodies connote sex, particularly the female body. Now, I wonder whether this connotation is really worth dying for?

Its also this inescapable exposure to the “Instagram body” that is not only damaging for our mental health, but for the environment that we live in. Natural states, in all senses of the world, are becoming undesirable and unusual. I’m not saying that we should all become hairy hippies, but we do need a serious realignment with Mother Nature.

Of course, adopting a natural lifestyle doesn’t mean you can’t actively try to be fit and healthy. In fact, we believe that the two are intertwined. When I volunteered in Fiji, all of the men had the physique of rugby players because they spent every day either outside on the farm or playing sport with their friends. They didn’t have sinks/running water, let alone weights and shakes. They didn’t have phones to scroll through all day lazing on the sofa, either. They were the fittest, healthiest people I’d seen, and their only tools were motivation and nature.

It’s a Western mindset — the idea that a half an hour treadmill session is more valid, and feels more like exercise, than an hour dog walk in the fresh air. It’s the same for supplements. Why are expensive protein bars or sports drinks, or even weight-loss tablets more appealing than taking real control over your diet and eating a balanced variety of healthy wholefoods?

Fitness, despite going hand-in-hand with natural health, has become a commercial industry, and yet another thing for us to consume. We’re not saying cancel your memberships or stop going (we too are members of our university gym), but remember that your 30 minutes each day to drive to the gym and run on the crosstrainer is not the exclusive answer to feeling healthy and natural in your skin.

I walked back into the changing room, all buzzy from the endorphins. This time though, there were lots of women getting changed. Mothers and children, both stripping with ease, as well as young women, middle-aged women, and elderly women too. I wasn’t intending to be the creep that ‘looked’ but I couldn’t help myself. I was surrounded by women, all here with the intention to keep their bodies ‘in shape’,  yet they were all so different.

Some had big boobs, others tiny boobs, some had rolling bellies, some flabby in places others were tight. Their figures didn’t fit into the shapes women’s magazines had told me they were supposed to — I didn’t see any  “apple”, “pear”, or “hourglass” shapes — I saw human bodies. They were just bodies and it wasn’t and deeper than that.

Social media, society, advertisements, women’s magazines all told me there was one body type that was perfect. Graham was wrong. Women’s magazines were wrong. I was wrong.

Stupid, I thought, as I took my sports bra off. I shouldn’t be surprised when I see other shapes and sizes — but I was, and it saddened me to be so. My own body doesn’t entirely comply with an ‘ideal’, yet I was still surprised when others’ didn’t, either?!

I peeled my sports leggings off with confidence, ready to join this liberal, nakedness movement and show what my mama gave me to the room.

It is naive to say that the gym is the culprit behind the warped distance between healthy mindsets, bodies and nature. When I was younger, I begged my Mum to let me shave my legs because the other girls in PE all did. I was so impressionable, I remember crying about it. Crying! Because of some tiny blonde hairs! But everyone else had beautiful smooth legs, so my unconscious bias told me that was what I needed. I was completely immersed in an environment that valued image and compliance with expectation without a second thought about natural states.

But how far are we going to push it before it’s too late? If you’ve seen Black Mirror’s Nosedive, you know that striving to make yourself look better online is not going to lead to life fulfilment. The natural is not the enemy, as much as capitalism likes us to believe.

It‘s a common truth that if all women woke up and were confident in themselves, millions of companies would go out of business.

Love,

George and Haze xxxxxx

G AND H

I hope you enjoyed this post as much as I did. Let me know your questions for the girls and keep coming back as the next instalment will be up soon.

Jamie x