Food and menstruation….oh what a lovely combo. Boys, leave now as feminine shit’s about to go down.
So let me tell you what happened last week. Driving to work Tuesday morning and I have a sudden, debilitating craving for Heinz tomato soup with crumpets, spread thickly with both butter and Marmite. Now, I can’t say that I have ever eaten this combination of foods before but I just knew that I had to and that I would love it. So I spend my day in the office dreaming of soup and crumpets, telling anyone that would listen about my fascinating craving. I had it that night and let me tell you, it was a complete triumph.
Wednesday starts like any other, smoothie for breakfast, a nice salad for lunch and a couple of satsumas to snack on. Then talk in the office turns to food. This is not unusual and as such we have set up an office ‘fat club’ in a bid to save the building from collapsing under our ever expanding weight. We discuss old school dinners, agreeing on chocolate cake and chocolate custard as a favourite. Anyone who grew up in Britain in the 80s and 90s will surely agree that this was the highlight of the week. Then one particularly devious colleague decides to bring up cheese and potato pie. If you don’t know what this is then you are missing out my friend. It was something we both had at school and was a bit of a staple at home too, simply mashed potato with a tonne of cheese mixed in, more cheese on top and baked in the oven. We used to put slices of tomatoes on ours as, you know, vegetables and that. This discussion brought back so many memories of childhood and having my mum cook for me everyday that I wanted to recreate it as soon as I got home. I was too hungry to wait for the real deal so I made some mash, stirred in a shameful amount of grated cheddar, sat, spooned and slobbed. Just that, for dinner. And it was worth every calorie.
At this point I think nothing of my sudden comfort food cravings and get on with my life. Thursday again feels pretty normal. I start my working day with a bowl of Shreddies and have a nice rice bowl planned for lunch. The rice bowl never quite makes it to lunch though as I suddenly feel ravenous and start munching my way through it mid morning. I then start to feel a bit out of sorts. I’m hot, flustered and my patience levels drop through the floor. Then, it happens and suddenly the past two days make sense. I start my period. Not a big deal you might think….well, let me put this into perspective for you. I haven’t had a period for years (I’m fine, don’t worry, all checked, just a particularly welcome side effect of the contraceptive pill I take) and this has come completely out of the blue. I feel scared for a bit thinking I’m like really dying or something, then I’m angry (why would you do this to me after all this time!?) and then I’m really, really, REALLY hungry. Not hungry. Hangry. That’s what you call it when you need food so bad it makes you mad. I have an all encompassing need for a Snickers and I need it now. I force one of my colleagues to go to the shop. I would threaten with dismissal if I had to and would use all tools in my armoury to ensure I got that Snickers. And fast. She delivered, and swiftly returned with a Snickers Duo and some packets of crisps. ‘Taking one for the team’ she called it. By this point I had told the entire office (sorry lads) of my woes and even my boss was aware of my womb-based situation. Everyone was starting to feel the wrath of a menstruating woman. During the next few hours I managed to eat 3 packets of Walkers crisps, 1 Snickers Duo, 1 normal sized Snickers and the Dominos Winter Survival deal which consisted of a large pizza, wedges, garlic pizza bread and 4 cookies. I was the raging woman rocking in the corner, foaming at the mouth with wild eyes ready to attack anyone who dared cross me. And then it was over. My period finished and I resumed normal life.
Now you may think that this was an over-reaction to what was effectively a 5 hour period. One is absolutely entitled to think that but psycho-hangry me will totally punch one in the face if they dared try to tell me that.
So what did I learn from this harrowing experience?
- It’s a bloody good job I don’t have regular periods if this is how I react. I would be friendless, possibly jobless and weigh about 25 stone.
- Comfort food is clearly the route I take when faced with troubling times.
- Heinz tomato soup with crumpets and Marmite is ridiculously underrated.
(Honestly, try the whole soup and crumpet thing. If you wanted to send me a thank you card or a gift of gratification or anything really just contact me for my address.)