Well, this is not about parenting but I’m going to write about it anyway.
I am a 45 year old woman and the perimenopause has been part of my life for a little while now, just subtly in the background, slowing making me feel uncomfortable and insane. About two years ago I started to deal with this head on by changing my eating and moving habits – which I have done. I am now much better at what I eat and I make sure I move my fat ass every day. But more changes are now needed – practical things as well as changing my mindset once more.
The perimenopause will be different for everyone but for me it is about irregular periods, hormonal mood swings, hot flushes, exhaustion, insomnia, heartburn, hunger with a splattering of night sweats, struggling to concentrate, headaches, forgetfulness, hair loss and, frustratingly, hair growth on my chin!
In short I am a hot, sweaty, tired, hungry, swearing woman who is depriving herself of chocolate and wine – it is fun, I tell you, fun! But it needs to be accepted, it’s where I am in my life. Some of it also needs to be tackled, otherwise life could be unbearable…
- I am walking and exercising even when I am shattered because this does boost my energy and it makes me feel happier and better about myself.
- I am eating as well as possible and continuing to be connected with what I eat – healthy snacks and hardly any chocolate or crisps. The weight is hard to shift but when the food is good, I feel good with less bloat and more energy.
- I wear layers during the day and at night because when a hot flush hits it can be unbearable and I need to be able to cool off quickly.
- I allow myself to rest when I need to and if work and family commitments mean I can be cosy in my pjs by 5pm then that is what happens.
- I get outside for a walk – the air as well as the exercise makes me feel better, it calms me, it helps me to manage my moods and it gives me some space.
- I snack on healthy food so I don’t go hungry when I am craving food.
- I’m drinking plenty of water and I’ve drastically cut down on the booze.
- I make lists and notes aplenty to combat the forgetfulness
- and I have invested in some bloody good tweezers!
I am a pretty positive, matter of fact person so much of this is has to be about embracing these changes – it is going to happen so it is important for me to manage it all as well as I can, to look after myself and to be kind to myself as well. I don’t want to be embarrassed about it, or ashamed – it’s here and it is very real.
I currently feel really happy, despite the changes which aren’t always that pleasant, I feel healthier – physically and mentally – than I did in my 20s and it is a privilege to experience these changes, it is a privilege to have my health and to get older.
And that comes with a huge dollop of confidence as well as an almost constant craving for chocolate cheesecake…