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Do you feel embarrassed when you hear someone mention their period?

Do you think people should keep these things to themselves and refrain from talking about them in public?

Does it make you uncomfortable?

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, then I’m sorry, but you’re part of the problem.

Why is menstruation such a taboo topic? 

In the past, I remember being absolutely mortified when a bunch of tampons spilled out of my bag on a packed train. Or when I leaked through my white joggies (I know, I was a fashionable kid!) during gym class in high school. The worst was when my high school bully found my mum’s letter to the teacher that read:

Dear Mrs Green, 

Erin can not participate in gym class today as she has a very heavy period.

He showed it to the rest of the boys who all found it HILARIOUS of course, while I held back tears and tried to pretend I didn’t care.

Mortified.

Society has taught us to keep Shark Week on the down low because it’s gross, embarrassing and something that we should refrain from talking about. In primary school, the boys and girls were separated for “special talks”, where the boys were taught about growing hair in scary places and the girls were taught about what to expect when they got their first period. Why didn’t we have both those talks as a group so we could all learn about what the opposite sex had to deal with? Instead, it turned the whole thing into this huge secret that we couldn’t possibly mention in front of boys because it was embarrassing. It wasn’t for them to know about, right? Nowadays, we try to hide our pads and tampons on the way to the toilet (my friend, Kirsty, described it as: “it’s as if we’re taking part in some sort of dodgy drug deal”), we refrain from bringing up how bloody sore (pun intended) our cramps are, for fear of making others feel uncomfortable and worst of all, we’re made to feel gross for being on our periods because GOD FORBID, BLOOD is coming out of our VAGINAS?! Ewwww!

Because of this, I decided to make a change.

Now, I make a point of mentioning my period occasionally in conversation, I don’t hide my pads, tampons or menstrual cup when heading to the toilet anymore – people can just get used to seeing it and I started a youtube series called Week in the Life of a Period.

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I’m currently filming my 5th vlog in the series, (it’s been 5 months already – where has the time gone?!) and I’m loving it. Each video is filmed throughout the entire week I’m menstruating and I vlog about PMS, flow, cramps, emotions, leakage, products, spots…all the gory details. NOTHING is held back.

It was slightly terrifying to post the first video. I mean, my family and my boss watch my videos – did I really want them to see me crying in bed while stuffing my face with chocolate?

YES. I did.

Despite the fear of people thinking I was off my head, it actually went down really well! Comments started seeping in (lol) from women sharing their own stories about their cycles and engaging in discussions about the different types of experiences we have while bleeding from our vadges. More and more women have started opening up in the comments of these videos and it’s become a safe space to discuss periods without any sort of attached stigma or unnecessary negativity. However, these videos aren’t only for women. Men have commented too, explaining that it’s given them insight into what having a period is like, which I think is GREAT. Everyone is welcome to watch these videos!

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Menstruation is a natural part of life and this proves that the more we talk about it, the more it normalises it. If people start getting used to hearing about our experiences, it won’t be an “embarrassing topic” anymore, it’ll be normal.

Comparing our own experiences can also bring abnormalities to light, that otherwise wouldn’t have been noticed.

Having your period isn’t something to be ashamed of. This isn’t Carrie. I often hear the argument, “I don’t talk about my bowel habits, so you shouldn’t talk about your periods”. NEWSFLASH: POO AND PERIODS AREN’T THE SAME THING, (if you bleed from your bum hole, you should probably consult a doctor). I agree, I think poo is pretty gross, but I don’t take my menstrual cup out, see blood on my hands and think, OH MY GOD, I’M SO DIRTY AND DISGUSTING. Menstrual blood is clean. Of course, hygiene is important and washing your hands before and after using your cup is a must, but come on, comparing the two isn’t even a legitimate argument.

If someone makes you feel gross for talking about it then:

  1. They probably aren’t used to hearing about it.
  2. They need educated on the subject.
  3. They’re a douche.
  4. You should throw tampons at them. (Don’t actually do this, they’re expensive).

I’d encourage everybody who menstruates to make small changes to get rid of the stigma once and for all, be it refusing to get embarrassed when buying menstrual products in the shop or speaking more about it to the men in your life. Even the tiniest steps could make a huge difference!

Remember: Periods are natural, healthy, normal and definitely aren’t something to be ashamed of.

Click the picture below to see my Week in the Life of a Period Playlist! Also, shout out to Tara/Cattitude & Co for also making amazing Shark Week videos!

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During my 2 weeks off from work, I walked the Stank Glen route in Callander and also along Loch Katrine in Aberfoyle. I filmed both of the walks (video below) but I thought I would share the photos:

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The Stank Glen loop starts at one of the Ben Ledi routes, is 9km long, has brilliant paths and great views over Loch Lubnaig.

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Drive to Callander

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Ben Ledi

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Loch Lubnaig

3 days after Stank Glen, I set out to do Primrose Hill in Aberfoyle but decided on a walk along Loch Katrine instead. Although it wasn’t planned, I ended up doing 14 miles altogether! Despite the sore legs, it was worth it for these views.

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You can see all the footage from these days in my new Creep Week vlog along with clips from Ben Donich!

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Scottish weather is a complete mystery. Sun can’t be guaranteed in summer and snow can’t be guaranteed in winter; you just never know what it’s going to be like outside. Deciding what to wear when heading out can be problematic – we can’t always rely on the weather forecast.

Yesterday, the weather forecast said it was to be dry and sunny, so I jumped on the chance of a drive to Arrochar for a small hill walk. When I got there, it was pissing down. Typical.
(Tip for walking in Scotland: Always bring waterproofs!)
Thankfully, it dried up later on and it ended up being perfect walking weather!

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Speaking of being prepared for the weather, in January, I was not prepared for the snow. Luckily, it only lasted for 2 days (thank GOD) and on one of the days, I enjoyed a stroll in Balloch Park, watching everyone sledging while everyone pelted each other with snowballs.

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The vlog from both of these days will be linked at the end of this post.

Here are the rest of the photos:

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Also stopped at Firkin Point, Loch Lomond on the way back from Arrochar.

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Balloch Park

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I recently walked the Glen Loin and Coiregrograin Circuit, Arrochar in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs. I managed 12 miles in 5 hours, (it’s an 11 mile loop, but I took a wrong turn at one point!) and managed to escape the rain. It was enjoyable, but it showed me just how long it’s been since I’ve hiked – my legs were killing me!

You can see the walk in my new youtube video, which includes footage of us hitting a bog and almost getting stuck; story of my life.

Here are some photos from the day:

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The video:

IMG_2215 As much as I love hill walking, it got put on the back burner after my Italy trip (despite the fact that on holiday, I constantly said I was missing the hills…crazy!). A few weeks after I got back, I decided to get a grip and attempt a smaller hill to easy myself back into it, so I chose the 454m high hill, Ben A’an in the Trossachs area.

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There is currently a temporary path leading to Ben A’an from the Ben Venue car park, which is pretty muddy, so decent shoes are definitely needed for this walk. I haven’t used the usual path, so I can’t tell you what I think about it, but the current one is decent – just don’t wear your best clothes!

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Parking in the Ben Venue car park is £3, although a nice man gave me his ticket (shhh), so I didn’t have to pay.

loved this walk. It took me approx. 1 hour 30 mins to reach the top, but I was constantly stopping to film, take photos and talk to people, so it’ll vary for everyone else. Unfortunately, I had my fair share of embarrassing moments…

  1. As I began to walk up the path I heard someone shout, “EXCUSE ME!” and when I turned back, the man who gave me the ticket yelled “YOU’VE LEFT YOUR CAR DOOR WIDE OPEN!”. So I headed back down, red-faced and realised that I’d left my driver’s side door wide open. What an idiot. Only about 6 or so people witnessed it though…cringe.
  2. About 10 minutes into the walk, I had the overwhelming urge to pee, so I veered off the path to search for a decent bush to do my business behind. It seemed that every bush was visible to other walkers and I was starting to give up until I looked round and saw an old couple staring at me from the path. They were obviously wondering what the hell I was doing, so I pretended to be looking for something. Ugh.
  3. On the way back down, I was trying to avoid slipping in the mud but it was inevitable. I slipped, landed smack down on my bum and fisted the mud with both arms. God.

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Once I’d reached the top, (after being overtaken by quite a few elderly men… putting me to shame!) the views over Loch Katrine were incredible. I spent about half an hour at the top eating my lunch and it was just so peaceful. Where I was sitting, not a soul passed me, and who wouldn’t want to eat lunch while looking at this view?

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I would definitely recommend this hill for someone who doesn’t feel fit enough to climb a Munro. Good practise! Although steep, it’s a great wee climb, not too strenuous.

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If you’re interested in seeing some footage, here is my Ben A’an vlog: