My Perimenopause Journey

When I was 11 years old I became obsessed with puberty and the transition to adulthood. I devoured every book and pamphlet on the subject. Thanks to the flowery text from feminine hygiene product companies I had high hopes for puberty. I thought it would lead me to an immediate state of confidence and equanimity. I was deeply disappointed. Instead, like most, my teen years were turbulent.  Pimples, growth spurts, allergies and so many feelings. Thank you hormones, you powerful substances produced by endocrine glands, for all that you did and continue to do to make life so confusing and exciting.

I’ve come to appreciate my puberty experience so much more now that my body is changing again. Yep, I’m in perimenopause and it’s throwing me for a loop and has for a few years now. Thankfully, I have my adult brain and access to much better reading material to help me make sense of it all. I feel like I am going through puberty once again, but with the wisdom of years by my side.

I’ve been posting a fair bit about it on Instagram and I’ve had many women reach out to me to commiserate as well as ask me questions. I have a whole lot of questions of my own so I decided to write a little more in depth about my personal experiences here at my blog.

I’ve been purposefully and diligently doing my research to get a better sense of what the science says and what I’ve found is a lot of inaccurate information (mainly that perimenopause IS menopause – when they are two very different states), lots of Big Pharma hype, and thousands of infommerical type blogs selling supplements. It’s pretty depressing.

Thankfully, I also found a few easy to understand well-researched resources. They match my way of thinking about this time in my life, this experience – that it’s normal and natural and that the attitude you have about it, the way you frame it, will greatly affect the way you experience it. While I’ve long been on the path of healthy living, based on what I’ve discovered I’m more determined than ever to focus on plant based, low fat high fibre eating, daily movement and stress reduction. It truly does seem to me the key to vitality through out the lifespan – during all phases. Pharmaceutical hormones may be in my future, but for the time being I’m looking to my daily choices to create a high standard of living.

A little background and a little catch up…

My perimenopause journey began a few years ago. Shortly after I got sober (December 27th 2013) I started noticing some physical symptoms (shorter menstrual cycles and the occasional night sweat) and at age 45 they began to intensify. No surprise there in terms of timing, but it was also when I became quite stressed because of my move to a new city, new job and greater role in my family’s life. Even without the perimenopause symptoms I would have wanted to make some improvements to my life, but the peri symptoms made my research and lifestyle choices all the more pressing. I’m starting to get a handle on things in recent weeks so it’s the perfect time to focus on blogging about all the things I’m learning and to bring my readers on my journey.

I especially want to reach out to women who are in the thick of it, but this journey is also one for younger women who are hoping to be well prepared for the experience and those who are past it. We can all learn from one another. Remember, it’s like puberty but with the wisdom of our age.

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