Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Hot Flashes

When I first started menopause I had hot flashes – bright red skin turning hot flashes.  And night sweats!  Wow.  How can you sweat when the heater is off and its 28 degrees outside?  Well I did! 

I used HRTs for a while, then tapered off of them.  Heart disease runs in my family and I already have high blood pressure, so I was a little worried about the side effects of the drugs.  Over the course of a year I took them daily, then every other day, to eventually none. 

It’s been about 10 years since I took hormones and I’ve had little to no issues with hot flashes.  Then suddenly one day – They’re back! 

I sat in a meeting yesterday and my face and arms started to turn fiery red!  I felt like someone had turned the heat way up in my office.  I took of my sweater (fortunately is was a cardigan with a tank top under it) and opened the window.  Five minutes later, the window gets closed and the sweater goes back on.  Fifteen minutes later the routine begins again.

I’ve heard it called a woman’s personal summer.  It’s not.  Summer is lazy and breezy and wonderful when the sun soaks your skin and you relax in the beauty of it.  This is not a summer day.

I get why our bodies change as we age.  We don’t bear children anymore so our bodies don’t need all the parts and hormones and other things needed to do that job.  But why must other parts of our bodies rebel against the change?  Like the ol’ thermostat!

So what are my options?  Hormone Replacement again?  No – not worth the risk.  Taking soy supplements?  No – recent studies show that to be equally dangerous. 

I guess my options are to go out and buy lots of tank tops I can layer with shirts and cardigans – and get my workout taking them off and on and off and on…..

Ah – the joys of being an older woman.

Well, time to go shopping……

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

My Big, Fat, Menopausal Life

Menopause is an interesting phase of life.  I feel like me.  I still like to do fun things.  But when I look in the mirror I see my mother looking back!  When did that happen?

The Big Menopausal me
My body has deceived me!  I was always a tight, little, size 7 body in a 5' 7" frame.  I was athletic and energetic and I could eat - and eat - and eat.  I ran - I loved to run!  Then suddenly I found myself getting hot and sweaty for no reason.  My flat little tummy started to swell and my waist became, well, what waist?  My little size 7 grew into a 14 (twice the woman I used to be!) and a 16 and now, an 18!  And my sex life has changed.  Fortunately my husband's drive has dwindled as much as mine! 

This Friday I will be 60 years old.  I've been in menopause for about ten years.  My boobs droop and so does my belly!  And food has become an obsession - not what to eat, but what NOT to eat!!  My energy is waning and now I find myself not able to run because of arthritis in my food - and plantar fasciitis and bunions and bone spurs - Geez - this is stuff I used to hear grandma talking about!

So why did I start this blog?  Well not to complain and whine.  It is what it is and all us women will face menopause.  So I decided to start this blog for me.  A place to think about the changes that are happening to my body and to celebrate my aging self.

One of the biggest things I've noticed is the weight gain.  It's not healthy and, with diabetes and heart disease in my family, it's something I need to address.  I weigh 207 pound (up from my 115 pound frame in my twenties).  I've tried so many diets and exercises and have succeeded and gained and failed.  So what is up with that?  I was obsessing.  I spent so much time counting and planning that all I thought about was food.  I was unhappy and frustrated.  So two weeks ago I decided to make a change.

I know what I need to eat - and I know how much.  So my focus is simply to eat enough to fill my belly and no more.  Eat lots of veggies and even fruit - and to splurge on the more expensive ones to treat myself for being healthy.  

I do my stretches daily so I can walk - park far from the door and walk - eyes hurting at my desk, I walk.  And I set my goal easy - one pound per week.  That's it.  One pound.

On my weigh day (the only day I get on the scale) this last Saturday morning, I weighed 206.  Goal achieved.  No stress.  No obsessing.  Enjoying each day.  

So now I move into a new week, with new adventures and new challenges (and my birthday!).  I will enjoy each moment of every day on this journey through the rest of my life.   And I will succeed.