Me-No-Pause: Staying Young at Heart

I started worrying about menopause years ago because I have always suffered in various and often severe ways when my hormones go UP and DOWN. What does the future hold, I worried! Will I go crazy? Will I get a divorce? Will I get fat and lose all my hair? I had those thoughts because I’ve seen women do all of the above.  I know so many women who have become extremely intolerant of their husbands and gotten divorced, been put on anti-depressants after telling their doctors they had no energy and no motivation, gained a lot of weight even though they weren’t eating more and still exercising regularly, quit attending to their appearance because they quit caring what their husbands thought of them, stopped doing anything fun and just stay home ,and just generally changed in many negative ways. This all scared me !

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Knowing of the risks and causes of these life changes, I have been fighting hard to maintain those areas of my life. It’s not easy! I’ve had some very bad weeks and months where I was very focused on everything negative in my life, especially little things that my husband does that annoy me. As a Christian, I prayed hard and asked God to protect me and my marriage, and change my thoughts. It wasn’t instant, but I do see how God has been at work! I believe he used the race training as one means to keep us from going downhill, which I appreciate. As for the other stuff, it’s a daily battle to keep from gaining even more weight. I’ve gained about 10 pounds in the past year. That is a lot for a short person, but I’m still wearing the same clothes, although they feel tight . I recently caved and bought some bigger clothes. It was depressing, but necessary. My husband loves my rounder, softer body, so I guess that’s something. My mood swings and other bodily changes, have been rough to say the least. I don’t have hot flashes but I have long periods. It’s not fun.

But I know this is part of life and I am trying to maintain my sense of self while accepting the inevitable changes. I attempted the Keto diet but I just didn’t feel good . My sister has done great on that diet, lost a lot of weight, has tons of energy.  She is 7 years older than me and now weighs less than me. I was looking at some old photos of us hiking in Moab and she was chubby and I was skinny. The tables have turned! But she gives me hope that I can regain my body eventually. And my 77 year old mother is very petite, although I recall her going through a stage when she gained a few pounds when she had a hysterectomy. Now , my mom eats less than a bird, so that might be one reason she weighs 100 pounds. I know that all of this is vanity, worrying about my weight, but I worked hard to lose those 50 pounds in 2010 and I really don’t want them back! And I want to be healthy and strong enough to run and hike all day long, as well as take care of my family and whatever else needs doing.

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THAT is my awesome 61 year old sister in Moab! I admire her so much. 

 

So I guess I just want to encourage all you 40s to 50s women who are struggling like I am to stay young, vibrant,  and beautiful. I can’t say that I am really embracing this age, but I will say I am trying to accept what I have to and work at the rest. I just started taking a Maca supplement after reading that it is good for menopause. I’ll let you know how it goes. We need to support each other and share information about what helps with these issues. One thing I see happening that really bothers me is women encouraging other women to leave their husbands. I’m talking about women who say they ‘just aren’t happy’ , but their husbands are not abusive or cheating or anything like that.  I’d rather try to help her through her irritable times and get her to the other side of these changes, THEN let her make up her mind. Do not encourage selfish, short-sighted, impulsive behavior that may have serious consequences for them and their families.  I know at least one couple who divorced when she got a hysterectomy and had instant menopause, then they remarried a few years later. Save yourself the money and trouble by staying together! One thing I do is go hiking or running or go read a book if my husband is on my last nerve. Remember, you are probably annoying at times as well. Men tend to be pretty forgiving of (or oblivious to) our grouchy moods, so let’s cut them some slack when they won’t stop talking about sports or politics or whatever their annoying habit is. Last of all, I am trying to remember that selfishness never leads to joy. Joy comes from showing love and kindness, serving, helping, honoring, and giving ourselves to others. Protect your heart and soul from the worldly ideas that are constantly shared in social media, and please don’t LIKE or Share them. We older women are setting examples for the younger ones whether we like it or not. I’m thankful for my mother’s example.

God bless you in your journey! He will keep you safe as you trust Him

1 Corinthians 7:10-11 English Standard Version (ESV)

10 To the married I give this charge (not I, but the Lord): the wife should not separate from her husband 11 (but if she does, she should remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband), and the husband should not divorce his wife.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 English Standard Version (ESV)

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;[a] it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.

19 comments

  1. Can I just say, thank you!! I have not entered menopause yet…but it is in my upcoming future. I am dreading it. I remember how irritable and just unpleasant my mom was through that stage of life and I am in absolute terror that I will be that way as well. Thank you for the reminder to rely on God. He can get us through anything! She did take a supplement, spirulina (not sure of the spelling) that made a HUGE difference in her mood. You could always tell when she forgot to take it. I hope the Maca helps. I would be interested in hearing if it makes a difference for you. I am gathering my info now 🙂 God Bless!

  2. Thanks! We will survive! We have God helping us. 🙂 Another thing I meant to add is that I haven’t really felt like writing. Hormones control SO many parts of our brain, including the chatty, confident part. Might be a good thing to be less talkative in some situations, haha! Have a blessed day!

  3. Giiiiirrrrlll, this!!!! Thank you for this. My period has been coming in later and later for the past few months and my cycle has always been regular all my life. I have been to my GYN and he says it’s hormone changes which I interpreted to mean that I’m menopausal. Yikes 😱! I later confirmed with my Mom that she started menopause at age 45. Guess who turned 45 two weeks ago?

    A few weeks ago I wrote a piece on aging: http://www.racquelwrites.comgrowingold

    I too have gained weight this year despite working consistently and not eating more. I’m just not ready for this. 😞

  4. Well done, Paula! You know I’m a bit ahead of you on this journey …. for me, I didn’t START losing all the extra weight until after I was well into menopause. Figuring out my thyroid issue, increasing my exercise and now intermittent fasting …. I weigh almost 40# less than I did when the hot flashes took over my life …. btw, it’s been about 6 1/2 years since they really started. While I still have them, they are vastly less frequent (and have been diminishing for at least the last 6 months) and were only “almost unbearable’ for a few months. I began using the NOW Foods supplement Menopause Support along with Young Living’s EndoFlex, and continued the progesterone cream I had started after a miscarriage at 40. (After testing, though, I did drop that down to once a day from twice.) Now, I rarely use the YL oil but do still use the Menopause Support. I also use a Hyland’s homeopathic for menopause — I think it’s just called Menopause. I have never considered this before but the diminished hot flashes do coincide with when I began intermittent fasting. Hmmmm… I know they didn’t just stop right away but have been gradually lessening – may be no connection at all. Different things work for different people so you really have to keep trying things until you figure out what works for you. BTW, the fact that your husband prefers the ‘softer’ you says a lot – it may just be that this new weight is where you are supposed to be! You aren’t by any means fat! Thank you for encouraging women to stick it out through these tough times. And you’re so right – we as wives may be just as annoying, without realizing it! – as we think our husbands are! Going to Scripture is always the right thing to do. 🙂 love you!

    • Love you back! So thankful for good friends like you. ❤ Thanks for the tips! I am still not sure if I need to keep using the progesterone cream. I am trying out different methods. Some months,none, others just a few days when I feel super irritable. Lol.

  5. I absolutely love this blog post. I am in that same boat with you. I lost about 45 lbs a few years sgo and I don’t want to go back there. And now I don’t feel like exercising and I know I have to. Pray for me 😃

  6. My voice is from the other side of menopause: it’s not so bad. Embrace it as the wiser side away from hormones monthly swings. Going through it I wondered if I’d make it with parts intact! Yes long and painful monthly “times”. But I’m glad I didn’t get a hysterectomy. Sounds like your husband is a keeper. Most men like a little more fluff than women’s fashion allows.

    • I’m looking forward to that! Thanks! I feel like I’m getting closer every day. I was having some pretty bad times that made me consider a couple of different options but so far I am trying to wait it out.

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