Change is sometimes forced upon us. Menopause is a little like that. We don’t have any control over when it will happen, how long the transition will take, or what symptoms we will suffer. But just like paying taxes and dying, women will travel through perimenopause on the way to destination menopause. But what we do have control over, is how we react to and manage this change.
I am 47. It’s a little weird to see that number on paper, as it confirms that I am creeping ever closer to 50 and yet it doesn’t seem possible. I still feel 24 in my head, my body usually acts like a 30-year-old and my outlook on life remains young. Yet I can tell my body is changing. Although it’s been pretty smooth sailing up until now, I know bumpy seas may not be too far away…
Entering my forties was a breeze – in fact I was in better condition both physically and mentally than I was in my twenties. I felt awesome! The baby-making days were well and truly over (you can read about my Bump, Bubs & Beyond story here), I was running faster & further than ever (pic above is me running New York City marathon in 2011 age 41), lifting, jumping, studying, I started my own business, worked with a charity, managed an active family. Life was (and still is) good.
Then earlier this year, I started to notice a shift both physically and emotionally.
Physically I’m not bouncing back quite as quickly from training as I did 12 months ago. I need to include recovery, restorative activity and rest days regularly or I pay for it (hello sore back!). I’ve noticed a little “marshmallow” around my tummy and upper legs despite no deviation from my usual diet. And, I have days when I am completely s p e n t.
But I think it’s the emotional side that is most telling. In general, I’ve never really been too up & down with the monthly ebb & flow of hormones. Not any more – I’m all OvEr the place! Some days I’m clear headed, efficient, super productive, can handle anything that comes my way – good or bad. Other days I’m in a complete fog. Making a decision is stressful, being “on” and “up” for clients a real challenge, and trying to see the good in situations or people takes a lot of effort. My darling daughter tells me that there are times when my fuse is really, really short and I’m super grumpy mum! I also have days when I’d prefer to be by myself.
So, although I haven’t had it medically confirmed (blood tests next week) I’m pretty sure I’ve just taken a seat on the perimenopause train. This could be a quick express trip or stopping all stations. Either way, this is why I’ve started researching, questioning, listening and talking with other women about menopause. I want to know the facts that will help answer all the “why do I feel like this” questions I have. I want to find solutions and work out strategies so I can embrace this stage of life and see it as a positive experience. And I want to STAY STRONG, FIT & ACTIVE (in active wear) for a long time to come.
Women are brilliant at talking! Sometimes we just need a little kick start to get the conversation flowing, but when it does – BOOM! Let’s start this conversation about menopause. It (menopause) will happen so staying silent is not going to make it go away. Being a negative Norah (sorry Gran T x) about all the side effects will not make them feel any better. If we share our experiences, talk openly and honestly – without judgement – we can help each other through this stage and out the other side with our dignity, sanity and badass attitude intact! Because guess what – we still have a whole lot of living to do.
If you’ve got a story to share, questions to ask, strategies that have worked for you, I’d love to hear from you. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or join the closed Facebook Group I’ve created especially for all of the 40+ fabulous women of the Heart Body & Soul community.
All power to the badass ladies of Heart Body & Soul xx