Tag Archives: menopause

10 months on – The daily fight

Standard

Ten months on from stopping smoking, I don’t feel any fitter or healthier. My body has been through hell, ridding the nicotine and I never want to have to go through it again. Keeping cheerful has been difficult. We get to the coast as much as we can. This is me with my feet in the North Sea two weeks ago.

 

At the beginning, the constant gnawing and craving preoccupied me, but as my hormones began to party without the nicotine hanging on for a ride, my weight gain has become my focus.

That’s me in the purple and black in October 2017, and here’s me in March 2018

If one more slim, yogatastic, enlightened 30 something tells me to embrace this new part of being a woman and be excited about my crone phase, I’ll punch them in the face…not really, but you can hear my frustration. I didn’t ask for this. I thought stopping smoking would make me feel better…I’ve never felt so depressed and anxious.

Smoking held back some, but not all my menopausal symptoms. Everything has been heightened since stopping putting nicotine into my body, so my IBS has been chronic too. I feel like my body is returning to factory reset, shaking everything up along the way, but rather than settling, everything feels off kilter.

I had to stop running, my knees couldn’t cope, partly because I’m running on the road and there isn’t a single flat section anywhere near me, and probably because I already have knee damage and I’m heavier than I should be.

I am not alone. Thousands of women are waking up one morning to find their once taut bodies have softened. I haven’t been this fleshy since I was pregnant and the irony of that is like a stab to the heart…you’re no longer capable of conceiving a child, but your body looks like you’re carrying one. Wicked.

It isn’t all bad news… I’ve stuck to my walking every morning as soon as I get up, and my new morning best is 5.2k steps. I always do at least 2k, and often do 4k. Having said that, I do walk some lunchtimes too, but now the evenings are dark, I’m not walking in the evening. I’m guessing I put on two stone at the beginning of the year with eating a bit more and the change in hormones and have now lost one of those, but I still can’t get my clothes on. In fact, last week I bought bigger jeans. Gutting.

I am a fighter. Every morning when I walk, Dr Dain’s affirmation rings in my ears ‘All of life comes to me with ease and joy and glory’. Life is amazing. I have a wonderful partner. My friends and family are dear to me. I live in an amazing house in a fabulous part of the world, with a roof over my head. I’ve started doing a little yoga after my walk, just a few balances and stretches…the plan is to build up to more, making sure my thighs don’t get too bulky with all the extra walking. Loki likes to be carried around on my walks…He is a fidget though

There is other good news. I’ve gone back on my original HRT. I now sleep through most nights. I sweat less during those nights. The day time sweats are occasional.

But every day is a battle, making my steps count and attempting to balance my body. As you may know, my diet is already plant based and I cook most meals from scratch, so how I lose this lump orbiting my middle, I’m not sure. Food and I have battled for most of my life and I’m gutted I’m being forced to re-evaluate again, when I thought I was doing the right thing becoming plant based.

Women need to stand up and say, ‘This isn’t just hormones! Have you any idea how life changing their fluctuation can be?’

I’m re-inventing myself. I may have had to buy bigger jeans but I also bought the cutest pinafore dress, and I’ve booked in for a new tattoo. Support the women around you while they deal with this life changing transformation. No more jokes about menopausal women being grumpy!

 

Advertisements

Women of a certain age

Standard

As we learn and grow our bodies, as well as our minds, change before our eyes. I look for tips, advice and sharing on social media from other women, as we tread this path of change together. Knowing other women feel as I do really helps me, as I embrace my crone years, rather than dread them. Here’s a little of my story and the tips I use.

Pre-menopause symptoms began for me in my early 40s. By 45, I was suffering the ‘big heat’ most days. I loathe the phrase ‘hot flush’! It suggests a warmth that comes and goes as simply as a pull on the toilet chain! I suffered in silence, embarassed in the supermarket as my face exploded in sweat, running into my eyes so I couldn’t punch my pin to pay for my shopping. My friend and dance teacher, Deana, suggested fenugreek tea and though a little weird as you feel hot and prickly straight after drinking, it did reduce the length of any ‘big heat’ episode but then came the night sweats.

DSC_1181I suffered these for many months, often having to change the bed twice in one night. Sleep deprivation caused more ‘big heat’ during the day and I gritted my teeth, determined to find a natural way to help myself. Evening primrose didn’t work and black cohosh made me really ill. On a trip to the nurse at my doctor’s surgery for a smear test, she asked me how I was and I burst into tears. She was wonderful and an appointment with my doctor was made. I now take the lowest form of HRT there is which has almost eliminated the night sweats and makes the ‘big heat’ moments bearable.

I’m sharing this because I’ve always wanted to be a natural girl but, as in giving birth to my children, sometimes you have to go with what is best for your body. Night sweats changed my life. I could no longer function through lack of sleep and I changed into a growling, grumpy monster. Taking HRT at first made me feel like a failure as I was unable to cope with the perfectly natural changes rampaging through my system but now I treat my little pink pill as something my body is missing that it needs.

It seems to me that stress and diet plays the biggest part in dictating the hormonal balance in my body. We came to Wales to help alleviate the stress and since sticking rigidly to no dairy in my already vegetarian wheat-free diet, I feel really well. There will always be stressful times but recovering from them quickly and with new found energy also helps.

My skin has changed drastically and after applying moisturiser the other morning, I realised how tight it felt across my cheeks. After consultation with my lovely friend Sarah at Spellbound Herbals, I now use two of her herbal, hand made products and I’m loving the results. I highly recommend ‘Bright Eyes’ skin lotion and ‘Magic Fountain of Youth’ face and neck skin cream. Pop along to http://www.spellboundherbals.co.uk for a browse.

Finally, aches and pains. I regularly dance six hours a week and for the past five years I’ve been using Sarah’s ‘Sore Muscle and Ligament Injury Oil’ before bed. It’s wonderful! It smells gorgeous and you can feel the warmth of the herbs spreading into your muscles immediately. In the morning, I wake up pretty much ache free. I’m always recommending it to other dancers but it works just as well after a day in the garden weeding!

Wales to 1 August 2014 002I hope this sharing will help you on your impending crone journey and feel free to share. I look forward to hearing your tips and advice. Love and light xx