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Menopause Good News and Great News

Springtime aspen leaves © lynette sheppard

I’ve been silent on the blog for a couple of weeks. Sort of a personal spring break phenomenon. I wasn’t just kicking back, going to the beach (although now that I think about it, it sounds like a mighty fine idea. Could be time for Spring Break 2 pretty soon.)

I didn’t forget my Big M sisters during “Break” however. You were all very much on my mind and inspiring me from afar. I just finished a big project to reach out to more menopause goddesses (see e-book announcement below.)

Work wasn’t the only constraint to posting however. Playtime figured largely into my schedule as well. I upped my hula classes to four times a week (I’m so sore) and all last week participated in a photography playshop. With all this work, exercise, play, and new learning, I barely had time to feed the animals and pay the bills.

So here are the latest news flashes from Menopause Goddess Blog.

Good news: Ladycare magnet seems to be working! (See review on the blog:  Cool New Menopause Relief Stuff.) My hot flashes have decreased from about 2 a day and 3 per night to 0-1 every 24 hours. I guess to really test it, I should now take it off for a couple of weeks, but I am understandably reluctant to do that.

I hardly notice that I’m wearing my Ladycare, although there have been some humorous moments when I’ve stood too close to the car or the dryer and my underwear suddenly “sticks” me to the metal object in closest proximity.

More good news: I am maintaining my weight post HCG diet. I eat all food groups with emphasis on healthy eating. I avoid corn syrup solids, processed foods (although I eat turkey bacon occasionally), refined flour, sugars and so on. I try to avoid food with additives or hormones – not always easy with our chicken or meat here on Moloka`i.

I eat sprouted grain bread (way more yummy than other bread), quinoa, brown rice, and I bake with amaranth flour. I eat lots of apples. Organic greens and veggies round out my diet. Newman O’s are a great dessert on occasion.

I have coffee in the morning, wine in the evening, and dark chocolate as needed. And my skinny clothes still fit. Best of all, I have lots  of energy and feel terrific. Life is good.

Great News: Menopause Goddess Lana Abrams at Mulberry West has  offered discounts for our readers on wonderful mulberry silk products. You can get 10% off your order by putting in a code when you click this link to this order page. You will be prompted to enter our special code: MPGB. Don’t worry; Lana does not save or sell your information.

Really great news: The Big M has been released as an ebook on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Apple iBooks. (Coming soon on Sony as well.) The book has a new title: Becoming A Menopause Goddess. Download a sample from any of these ebook stores. Links below. An ebook virgin or don’t have a reader? No problem.  All of these ebook stores have free apps for your computer, mobile phone, or iPad that you can download to get started reading if you haven’t ebooked before.  Ebooks are environmentally green and cost less than printed books. And they are much easier to store. For those who must hold a book in your hands, The Big M will still be available here.

FYI: book sales are the only revenue we get to offset the cost of this website. We are always in the red, but would like to be less so in order to continue our Menopause Goddess community. We have refrained from accepting advertising up til now because it’s annoying and clutters the site. No worries, we have no plans to go anywhere anytime soon. Just sayin’…

Best news: Springtime is here and we can celebrate it even while we enjoy the autumn of our lives. Happy Easter, everyone!

Becoming A Menopause Goddess links

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Apple iBookstore – download app and then search title.

Comments { 4 }

Menopause Demotivation Syndrome: What’s The Cure?

So many mental manifestations of menopause have plagued me and the goddesses at one time or another. Inability to concentrate, butterfly mind (winging from thing to thing without alighting long on any one), jellyfish brain, ADD (attention deficit disorder), forgetfulness, dyslexia, and more have at times dwarfed the physical and emotional symptoms. Yuck.

The weirdest is when you have several of these in the course of a single day. If my brain is not going to work, I at least would like it to malfunction in the same way for a time. So I can figure out how to deal with it.

And now, a new mental effect is afflicting me. I’m going to call it Menopause Demotivation Syndrome. After all, we seem to name everything these days to make it sound important at best and necessitating treatment at worst.

Living in two places requires that my husband and I essentially move twice a year. Which means making reservations, packing, organizing house sitters and repair personnel, etc. I’m not complaining – life is good, if slightly disorienting sometimes.

I’ve always been a self starter. I get stuff done. Or maybe I should say “I got things done.” These days? Not so much. Oh, I eventually get things done, but I feel my drive to do even those high priority items slipping into neutral.

Which is why, a week out from our departure from Hawaii to the mainland, I am still trying to get into gear. First gear would be okay, although with each day that passes, a higher gear will be needed.

Panic mode used to be a motivator
. That helped. I can’t find that mode anymore.  Or the mode where I put my head down and just do one task after another, forcing the motivation. Nor can I access the mode where I delight in organizing, packing, and planning.

In fact, it is taking every last shred of discipline I have just to write my blog entry for this week. I fear that I will exhaust my infinitesimal supply of get-up-and-go just doing this. I’m not sure this is hormonal, although it could be (by the way, goddesses, the decrease HRT project is going swimmingly, although I’m not sorry to leave Hawaii for the summer as it is heating up a bit.)

Perhaps this demotivation is naturally occurring phenomenon due to aging?
What do you think? Am I the only one? And do you have any tips for kicking into gear? Because I seriously need to get packing.

Right now though, I think I’ll have a cup of espresso……..Better make it a double!

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Menopause Information: Best Websites for Menopausal Women

Navigating the net can be confusing and disheartening. When you google the word menopause, you are bombarded with almost 10 million results. (9,680,000 to be exact.) Sheesh! Where does one start? How do we find good information?

Googling menopause blogs is not much more helpful. The top results are blogs that have few or new entries for several months. Sadly, Sue Richards of the top result, My Menopause Blog, has Parkinson’s disease and is unable to blog at this time. Google is woefully behind.

Add to that the overwhelming number of blogs and sites that are moderated by drug companies or selling something and it is no wonder that menopausal women are hard pressed to find good information on the net. The whole process just wears us down and we have to head to the kitchen for something chocolate.

So to save my goddess sisters from frustration and meltdown, I’ve compiled a list of what I believe are the best websites and blogs for women of a certain age. (Besides our own Menopause Goddess Blog, of course.) Here are the first few you will want to check out. Feel free to celebrate with the aforementioned chocolate.

Women in Balance
Women in Balance ( http://www.womeninbalance.org/) is a national, nonprofit organization whose mission is to empower women to take charge of their hormone health.

Education is a mainstay of this site. Not affiliated with any other group, they offer unbiased information from a multitude of sources. Their site also offers a healthcare practitioner finder. Subscribe to their monthly newsletter and watch for their one day Hormone Education days in a city near you. Last year’s hugely successful venues were Portland OR and Tampa FL.

They also publish selected entries from our Menopause Goddess Blog in the monthly newsletter. However, I loved and followed their site long before they asked.

I especially resonate with this philosophy from their Vision statement:
Knowledge is power. Balance is everything.
Hear, hear.

Vibrant Nation
Vibrant Nation (VibrantNation.com) is an online community dedicated to women 50 and older. Here’s an excerpt from their “About Us” description:

“At Vibrant Nation, these women (whom we’ve named “Vibrant Women”) can look for tips, share information, and join in smart conversations about work, style, relationships, wellness, books, and more.”

It’s a very user friendly site, where you can start a discussion or conversation easily. Or you can just “lurk” and read what other women are saying. Topics are broken up into the following:

# work & money
# fashion & beauty
# family & relationships
# love & sex
# health & fitness
# books
# technology & internet
# spirituality
# home & garden
# giving back
# going green
# food & drink
# arts & entertainment
# travel
# news & politics

They partner with all manner of vibrant women bloggers in the Blog Circle and are growing a real voice in the marketplace, making women over 50 a force to be reckoned with.

Lastly, I love the name. Vibrant. Yes, we are.

Minnie Pauz
Humor is what saves us during the menopause journey, so the third site we’ll highlight in this blog entry is menopause cartoons. minniepauz. com Hilarious and all too true, cartoon heroine Minnie Pauz says “If you don’t get it, You ain’t there yet.”

You can subscribe to the newsletter to get the latest cartoon. The moderator also has a good blog and a bulletin board where women can post issues and dialogue with one another. I personally found the bulletin board format a little confusing and “busy”, so it wasn’t my favorite part of the site.

I’ll be sharing more cyberspace gold in upcoming blog entries. For now, check these out and let me know what you think or share your favorite sites with us here at Menopause Goddess Blog

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Menopause Goddess Choices: Whale vs. Mermaid

whale tail for blog

My good friend and sister Menopause Goddess, Saskia, sent me this wonderful email that is currently circulating the web. It’s a must-read and worth reading again if you have seen it.

“Recently, in a large city in France, a poster featuring a young, thin and tan woman appeared in the window of a gym. 

It said, “This summer, do you want to be a mermaid or a whale?”

A middle-aged woman, whose physical characteristics did not match those of the woman on the poster, responded publicly to the question posed by the gym.

 To Whom It May Concern,

Whales are always surrounded by friends (dolphins, sea lions, curious humans. They have an active sex life, get pregnant and have adorable baby whales. They have a wonderful time with dolphins stuffing themselves with shrimp. They play and swim in the seas, seeing wonderful places like Patagonia, the Bering Sea and the coral reefs of Polynesia. Whales are wonderful singers and have even recorded CDs. They are incredible creatures and virtually have no predators other than humans. They are loved, protected and admired by almost everyone in the world.

Mermaids don’t exist. If they did exist, they would be lining up outside the offices of Argentinean psychoanalysts due to identity crisis. Fish or human? They don’t have a sex life because they kill men who get close to them, not to mention how could they have sex? Just look at them … where is IT? Therefore, they don’t have kids either. Not to mention, who wants to get close to a girl who smells like a fish store?
The choice is perfectly clear to me: I want to be a whale.

P.S. We are in an age when media puts into our heads the idea that only skinny people are beautiful, but I prefer to enjoy an ice cream with my kids, a good dinner with a man who makes me shiver, and a piece of chocolate with my friends. 

With time, we gain weight  because we accumulate so much information and wisdom in our heads that when there is no more room, it distributes out to the rest of our bodies. So we aren’t heavy, we are enormously cultured, educated and happy. Beginning today, when I look at my butt in the mirror I will think, ¨Good grief, look how smart I am!”

Let me just say for the record, I’m proud to be a whale. Lady Leviathan – that’s my new self image and I’m feelin’ good about it! Now if I could just learn to sing…

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A Call to Action for Clothing Designers – Make Comfortable Attractive Wear for Menopausal Goddesses

A year or so ago, I blogged about Menopausal Goddesses freeing themselves from constrictive clothing. More recently, I raved about the wicking sleepwear for us "hotties" as a godsend for flashes and night sweats. As a bona fide comfort convert, I realize that I’ve become downright evangelistic about wearing clothes that work. And okay, a bit of a gadfly about those that don’t. We’re the baby boomers ( and more), there are a LOT of us. So why is it so hard to find clothes built for the mature, ripe and wonderful bodies we now inhabit? Here are a couple of brief rants I just need to vent.

Rant # 1
Bras are yucky. The material composition of the average brassiere is often the stuff of hot flash nightmares; synthetic, stretchy, heat-inducing, moisture retaining, constricting, and just plain UNCOMFORTABLE for a menopausal woman. I’ve found some cotton ones that are stiff or scratchy unless you launder them a kabillion times, whereupon they are good for about two wearings before they fall apart in the washing machine.

I like to wear the "bra shelf" camisoles or tank tops as an under layer whenever possible. But wearing a dress or skirt and blouse demands a bra. (Two reasons: propriety demands that nipples not show and some of us need a titch more support than we used to. Which leaves out the option of "NO BRA" – my personal favorite.) Theresa and I were bemoaning this problem one day as we adjusted and complained about our respective chestwear. And here’s what we decided we’d like to see, purchase, wear, and praise from the rooftops. Remember your first training bra? If you were anything like us, you wore a flattish, ultrasoft piece of cotton that stretched across your chest with a little rose or pink bow for decoration attached to the front center. (If you were one of those girls we envied because you had real breasts by bra-buying age, you skipped this stage and went right to the main event. However, I can tell you that you missed a wonderful piece of clothing.) At any rate, Theresa-Venus and I are on the hunt for a "training bra" for Menopausal women. She and I don’t need a lot of support so it can be designed just a little bigger than the ones we wore so many years ago. And if more support is needed, perhaps an underwire and a little larger sizing. We think we are really on to something here. We’ve not found one yet, so please if you come across something that might work, email us ASAP. And if you are a clothing designer, please get to work – this could make you a fortune. There are a great many of us and we are desperate for comfort. We give you our idea freely – we don’t want anything except to be able to BUY them!

Rant # 2
Pants that ride low on the hips, just above the butt crack (if you’re lucky), now what’s that about? What sadistic fashion designer came up with the idea that these would be either attractive or comfortable? We’ve been waiting for YEARS for this trend to reverse itself and for jeans, pants, slacks that actually button at the WAIST to come back… Hello, the narrow part of the body is at the WAIST, even for us menopausal goddesses who may have noticed a little expansion there. Hip huggers were a crappy idea in the 70’s and they are worse now. Even the sweet young things don’t look good in these pants, but if they want to wear them, that’s just great. Just please, offer some higher waisted pants for the rest of us.

I’m actually on an adventure trip right now (to the Galapagos Islands with three of the Venuses, woo hoo) and this blog entry is being posted by my wonderful webmaster. Why is this relevant? Because I went to buy those lightweight zip-off leg, quick dry pants that are so great. My old ones (where the pant waist came to my actual waistline) were too small; a consequence of menopausal weight shift. I ordered a couple pair online – they were so low that I believe you would have seen my crack! They were returned. (Also, when did everyone get so tall that my pants have a FOOT of drag fabric at the bottom?!)

I finally bought a couple pair on sale at REI that came up marginally higher. I look like I’m wearing my daughter’s pants – and I don’t look nearly as good in them as she would. Which brings me to my friend Saskia’s latest, greatest recommendation for all us menopausal women: "Not Your Daughter’s Jeans". Apparently, someone HAS taken pity on us and designed jeans to fit WOMEN. I believe they are available in many stores – I’ve yet to go looking for them as I’ve been too busy buying lightweight pants that don’t fit! But as soon as I get home, I’m going on a jean hunt. Let me know if you’ve had a chance to try these as well. Maybe we can get to the manufacturer and get them to design other styles……….. or even training bras.

"The Big M", the long awaited chronicle of the real-life adventures, musings, wit, and wisdom of the Venus group of Menopause Goddesses is available now. Check out our girlfriend’s special: buy one at regular price and get the second for HALF PRICE. Click here to buy or for free download of Chapter One The Big M

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