Updated: Feb 28
Warning! The content of this post may be graphic and offensive to some. Please read on with caution!
Now seriously, there is so much one could read into this title. What is she writing about? Pausing in life, taking breaks, meditation, the pause between our inhale and exhale or the big one! Menopause!!!
Well it's the latter, yep I'm writing about celebrating the pause as in menopause. It's a change of life all women go through, like entering puberty this is a natural part of our life and yet there isn't much talk about this subject. No one really tells you what to expect, because the truth is we are all so different there's no telling how the pause will affect you.
Some people want to share all the negatives with you like, weight gain around the midsection, or hot flashes, or dryness everywhere, skin, hair, and Vajaja! (yes I'm saying it). Guess what, there are some positives too! Hence why we need to celebrate this stage of life and not succumb to the drain of all the possible problems we might have with the transition. Remember every month the cramps, the boating, the acne and the mood swings, well no more of that!
I'm officially a full year without any period. I had a visit with my doctor back in November and she told me I wasn't in menopause until I had a full year with no period. The last time I went this long without a period I was pregnant and since there's no reward at the end of this year long wait, I thought I'd make it a point to celebrate and share with other women how I've made the transition into the pause!
First off, I'm going to admit, I was missing my monthly visit from Aunt Flow. We had a relationship from the time I was thirteen, connecting every 28 days or so. When that's gone you miss it, in a nostalgic way. Then I realized the freedom of not packing pads or tampons in every purse, or worrying about being surprised by the period that changed from every month to, oh I don't know when it's coming. Two weeks, two months, random spotting for no reason. Fortunately, the random periods were only a few years. I've heard of some women experiencing this for many years!
Now, that I'm officially entering the pause, I have had to change the way I eat, exercise and rest. All these things are better known as taking care of yourself. This is of significant value to me now, because in my thirties and forties I took care of everyone else before I took care of myself. Making my own health a priority means my friends and family get the best of me and not the tired, impatient overworked version.
Adding resistance training and more long walks has balanced my hormones and minimized some of the less than glamorous symptoms of menopause, like hot flashes. The decrease in estrogen, which helps regulate your body's temperature, is what is causing a hot flash. I could be freezing cold one minute and the next I'm sweating like I just ran 10 km! It's random and somewhat embarrassing when I suddenly have to put my head in the freezer because I feel like I'm melting!
I've found that drinking more water and resting when I'm tired has huge benefits. Regular Pilates and Yoga also brings me some relief from my fluctuating internal temperature. In Pilates we focus on the deep pelvic floor muscles, and this is increasingly important as we enter menopause. Strengthening the pelvic floor helps with incontinence, and strengthens the vaginal wall for better sex! Something I want less of, but still important to a balanced body.
As I talk to other women I've learned that this is not typical for everyone. We all may experience menopause in different ways, and talking to each other is another excellent way to celebrate and take some pride in this next phase of life! So let's celebrate together!
If there are parties for periods, then as a woman I am asking all you other women, how do you celebrate the pause? Let's start the conversation and see where it goes. Who knows, maybe we can plan a retreat to honour all the wonderful and wild ways women enter into The Pause!