Okay, well some may not agree and that’s okay. You’re entitled to your experience and it’s very valid. I just wanted to let you know that not all women, especially those in other countries, have these experiences.
Next I’ll share something very personal. I am a woman in my mid-40’s, I am pretty mild-tempered, and my body temperature runs consistently cool, it has for years. I sleep pretty well through the night, only waking to use the restroom. Many women I know joke about having hot flashes, night sweats, and other symptoms associated with menopause. I listen without judgment and talk tea (I created a tea for “Personal Summers.” )
A couple months ago when my period did not arrive, I knew exactly what was happening. I could not be pregnant, trust me I know that for sure. I knew the onset of Menopause was creeping up.
Many women get excited about the thought of not having a period. Many feel excited over no more ability to get pregnant, which is actually not true, pregnancy is still a possibility. I felt an extreme sadness. I’m not ready. I completely embrace the wisdom I’ve gained with aging and look forward to more juicy lessons that comes with age. Menopause, I’m not ready to experience. It’s an end to something I value so much for myself, fertility. I love being fertile, being able to create babies. Unapologetically so! So now that I have the on and off cycle, which I have been experiencing for months but did not want to face what was happening, I’m moving forward.
Though it’s only the beginning, I suspect I won’t have menopausal symptoms. How can I be so sure? I follow a hormonally balanced way of eating, get fresh air, sunshine, and plenty of exercise. Plus, I haven’t experienced PMS symptoms in over 15 years, and that’s a sign that I may not have any menopausal symptoms.
As a teenager and early adult, I experienced horrible PMS. I mean mood swings, cramps, zits, you name it I had it. In my mid-to-late 20’s I started long distance cycling and saw that my symptoms subsided, but still occurred at times. In my early 30’s, I shifted my way of eating and then received an amazing belly massage. I haven’t had PMS ever since. Though I experienced bouts of depression (That went away after giving up gluten), my overall moods have been consistent. I have had no cramps and had to track my period very closely as it would just show up, very regularly, but I had no signs.
Study and Practice
In 2009 when I began studying Holistic Nutrition at Bauman College in Berkeley, CA, I learned about eating hormonally balanced ways of eating that are consistent with our individual makeups. I learned a different way of viewing food and I shifted my relationship with foods.
So, fast forward to now, I still have a hormonally balanced way of eating. I eat mostly grass-fed meats, very little dairy, gluten-free, and as much organic fruits and veggies as I desire. Is it always easy, no. I’ve had some financial challenges that have prevented me from eating that way all the time. But, I keep my body in such a healthy state overall, it usually doesn’t have a drastic effect on me.
One funny story, last year my son and I enjoyed our favorite ice cream treat more than usual. I noticed for a couple of months I would get weepy the day before my cycle began. The moment I cut out the regular ice cream consumption, the pre-period weepiness and pretty bad gas went away. My body does not do well with dairy unless it’s raw milk or cheeses.
So, what is all this for? I want to offer you that there are different ways of living that do not fall in line with the “Standard American Diet” or ways of living. Not all women experience PMS or menopausal symptoms.
This blog is in no way me wanting you to feel bad. You’re doing nothing wrong. Many of us were raised eating a certain way and continued on with those ways and belief systems. My deepest wish is that you feel empowered. Empowered to live life on your terms. Empowered to eat in a way that nourishes you physically, emotionally and spiritually. Hint, you can still eat in a more healthy, hormonally balanced way and enjoy life. Mostly, my desire is that you honor where you are in your life process, whether you are Menopausal or not, and know that you are not required to suffer through. Right now there are small steps that you can take.
If you would like to email me your thoughts, questions, or concerns, I will hold them in the strictest confidence. If you would like to talk to me about making some shifts in your lifestyle, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a 30 minute, complimentary no-pressure consultation. I’m here to support you.
*There is actual cross-cultural research studies that speak of the different countries, however I do not have access to them at this moment. Here is an article from 2014 that touches upon the subject: Menopause Around the World.
I’ll actually be researching a couple of topics this week and can report back with actual current research if that will help support you in any way.
Thank you for reading and sharing my journey with me.
Photo courtesy of Women in Balance Institute Article Menopause Around the World