Menopause

Bodyololgy: A Giveaway!

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A post by Kelly Burton of Bodyology:

A woman’s thirties is a special time. After the trauma and insecurity that plague our teens and twenties, we finally begin to solidify our sense of self and become more comfortable in our own bodies. Too bad, considering it’s the exact time our bodies begin to hate us!

Hate might be too strong a word, but it at least feels like a revolt. For many women, our thirties is the time we’re introduced to words like acid reflux… biopsy…fibroid…ovulation kit (what the heck’s an ovulation kit).My 30s made its grand entrance with a lovely little condition called thyroid disease.

After a slew of crazy symptoms which I casually ignored, I finally followed up on that enlarged thyroid my doctor had mentioned a year prior to learn I’d developed Grave’s Disease (to which several of my friends and family later told me ‘I knew that ’because apparently I looked so awful).

I was quickly put on medication which leveled out my thyroid and most of my symptoms. The only one that refused to leave was what I like to call, “the heat”.

No matter how hot or cold it was I would sweat, not just under my arms, but in my back, under my breasts and in “other” places I dare not mention on a public blog.

I know it’s generally believed that menopausal women are the only ones who have bouts with “the heat,”but just about any type of shift in body chemistry can result in excessive perspiration.

My job required I do a lot of public speaking, and I couldn’t even concentrate for fear of sweating through my clothes. I needed something to wear under my clothing to keep me from sweating clear through them. I’m a social scientist by profession, so I decided to go where I go for all my deep, probing research – Google!

What I found was a whole bunch of nothing.

While there were a few undergarment lines dedicated to sweat, the styles were unflattering and the options limited. I then went to the department stores, and again, no luck. Therefore, I ultimately decided to start my own intimate apparel line called Bodyology.

Bodyology is a six-style (3 tops and 3 bottoms) moisture management apparel line designed to protect women’s clothes from sweat.

Our products infuse wicking and anti-bacterial technology, which facilitate the drying process while reducing odor.

We’ve paid special attention to the design of our garments, wanting to ensure that they not only work, but make women look and feel amazing while doing it. To learn more about Bodyology, visit www.bodyologywear.com.

We officially launched in January and it has been an interesting experience. Perhaps the most gratifying part of it all is that women constantly approach me, whispering softly…”Oh my God, I sweat too”. To which I simply reply, “Welcome to the other side of womanhood.”

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Giveaway! Bodyology, the first full-body women’s moisture management intimate apparel line is offering one lucky winner The Cosmo – their popular scoop neck undershirt. The top comes in black or tan. To enter, please leave a comment by April 25 saying why you think Bodyology might be helpful for you. Contest is open to U.S. and international readers.  Thanks, Kelly and Bodyology!  (To find where to click on comments, go to the very bottom of the post.)

Kelly

Kelly Burton, PhD is a social scientist and experienced entrepreneur.  While growing her successful research consulting firm in Atlanta, Ga, she developed thyroid disease which caused her to experience persistent sweats. After being unable to find modern, feminine garments that she could wear beneath her clothes, Kelly created Bodyology – the first full-body intimate apparel line dedicated to protecting women’s clothes from sweat.  To learn more about Bodyology, visit www.bodyologywear.com.

Grandchildren, Grandmother, Menopause

Grandma Update: Who’s in Charge Here?

Barbara and Grandson

Menopause shouts empowerment.

It’s all about taking control.

Learning to be your own boss.

Menopause Power!

That is, until a new force comes into you life.

You can’t fight it.

Best not to try.

When I’m at Mazen’s house, guess who’s the boss?

The boss of playing, that is.

Who decides

Whether to feed cheddar bunnies to Elmo or roll trucks along the sofa edge…

When to ride the tricycle and when to engage in a fast game of chase….

If it’s time to sing or no singing is allowed?

Who’s the boss of playing?

Maze.

How come?

Because that little boy is the best boss I’ve ever had.

The Book:  No battle of wills on this one. Maze and I both love  to read (over and over) Jane Yolen and Mark Teague’s How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight. ROAR!!

Dinosaurs

Menopause

Any Time of the Month? Sure!

Doc Pic

I made a doctor’s appointment the other day.

The next morning  in the shower (why does this stuff come to us in the shower?), a memory came sailing back.

How fast I had forgotten…

For thirty-five years or so, I never made an appointment without first determining what time of the month it would be.

Yes, THAT time of the month.

Remember counting ahead? Trying to figure out when you might be having a period?

Even face

And remember being wrong and needing to change the appointment? 

Grrrr. How annoying!

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On the list of menopausal pros and cons, put a happy check mark next to the pros for this one. 

No more periods means no more figuring out when you can and cannot schedule a checkup.

For those of you not there yet, this is a small joy, a simple convenience you have to look forward to.

But in our complicated lives, we thank heaven for menopausal favors.

Happy Faces

Giveaways!  Congrats to Beth, who won the Haralee Cool Garments for Hot Women giveaway and to Silvia, who won Cast-Iron Cooking with Sisters on the Fly.

Losing a Parent, Menopause

Losing My Mom: A Peeps Poem (and a Book Giveaway)

Barbara's Mom

A post by poet Barbara Crooker:

When my mother decided she needed Assisted Living, we moved her down here to be closer to us, and I became her caregiver, although she lived in a senior residence (and then a nursing home at the end).

I went over daily, and always brought Peeps.

She’d loved them before, but I live in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley, and Peeps are made in Bethlehem, so we have more varieties than you see in other parts of the country.

We have things like Peeps cooking contests (chefs from area restaurants competing for “best dessert made with Peeps”), Peeps Easter Hat decorating contests, Peeps Diorama contests, and–the biggie–on New Year’s Eve, a giant Peeps comes down at midnight!

Peeps

Peeps, though, are seasonal creatures (why no red, white and blue Peeps for Memorial Day and 4th of July, I ask?), and so when they disappeared after Easter, I mail-ordered a case, so that she’d always have them.

After she passed, I mailed packets of Peeps to family and friends who weren’t able to be with us at the end.

Packages of Bunnies

You’ll notice I’d mentioned hospice; initially, our plans were to take Mom’s ashes back to her home church in upstate NY for a memorial. But by the time she died, at ninety, not only were all of her friends gone, but the minister was gone as well. So we held her services in my garden, which she loved, with the hospice chaplain. I can’t say enough good words about hospice. . . .

PEEPS

In those last few months my mother didn’t want to eat, this woman

who made everything from scratch, and who said of her appetite,

I eat like a bricklayer.  Now she listlessly stirred the food

around her plate, sometimes picking up a piece of chicken,

then looking at it as if to say, What is this?  Wouldn’t put

it in her mouth.  But Peeps!  Marshmallow Peeps!  Spun sugar

and air, molded in clever forms:  a row of ghosts, a line

of pumpkins, a bevy of bunnies, a flock of tiny chicks,

sometimes in improbable colors like purple and blue. . . .

One day, she turned over her tray, closed her mouth, looked up

at me like a defiant child, and said, I’m not eating this stuff. 

Where’s my Peeps?

***************************************************

When it was over, the hospice chaplain said some words

in my back yard, under the wisteria arch.  The air was full

of twinkling white butterflies, in love with the wild oregano.

Blue-green fronds of Russian sage waved in front of the Star

Gazer lilies, and a single finch lit on a pink coneflower, and stayed.

When there were no more words or tears, I ripped open

the last packet of Peeps, tore their little marshmallow bodies,

their sugary blood on my hands, and gave a piece to each

of us.  It melted, grainy fluff on our tongues, and it was good.

Pumpin Peeps

Giveaway!  Barbara’s latest book is  Gold, a collection of poems about losing her mother. For a chance to win a copy, simply leave a comment on this post saying that you’d like to be the winner. Comments must be posted by April 15.

gold

Barbara Crooker’s poems  have appeared in magazines such as The Green Mountains ReviewPoet Lore, The Hollins CriticThe Christian Science MonitorNimrod and anthologies such as The Bedford Introduction to Literature.  Her awards include the Thomas Merton Poetry of the Sacred Award, three Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Creative Writing Fellowships, fifteen residencies at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, a residency at the Moulin à Nef, Auvillar, France; and a residency at The Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Annaghmakerrig, Ireland.

Her books are Radiance, which won the 2005 Word Press First Book competition and was a finalist for the 2006 Paterson Poetry Prize; Line Dance (Word Press 2008), which won the 2009 Paterson Award for Literary Excellence; More (C&R Press 2010), and Gold (Cascade Books, 2013). Her poetry has been read on the BBC, the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Company), and by Garrison Keillor on The Writer’s Almanac, and she’s read in the Poetry at Noon series at the Library of Congress.

flowers

To learn more about Barbara and her work, visit her website at http://www.barbaracrooker.com/

And to learn more about Peeps, visit the Just Born website. There are even career opportunities. Job switch, anyone?

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Menopause

The Land Line: Saying Goodbye

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“Time to give up the land line,” Cliff announced. “We don’t need to pay double for phone service.”

Give the land line?

Our phone number for thirty years?

Say you don’t mean it!

The calls I took:

From my brother: “Barb, Dad just died.”

From my daughter: “Hi! He’s born. His name is Mazen.”

From my editor: “Barbara, we want to publish your picture book.”

The calls I made:

To my husband: “There’s water pouring down from the guest room ceiling. Will you come home? Fast!”

To the doctor: “My daughter fell out of her crib. I can’t get her to stop crying.”

To my Mom: “Laura decided on a wedding dress. It’s gorgeous!”

And if I could have a penny for every minute I spent as  a young mom on that line, I’d be able to buy my own phone company. That line was a lifeline, especially after I got my first portable phone. I scrubbed bathtubs, sorted out toy baskets, and baked birthday cakes (delicious ones by kid standards) while chatting away on that number.

So give up my land line?

919-732-3108?

I gave it up.

You can tell because I just wrote the number on the Internet.

Here it is again:  919-732-3108.

Gone.

My grief surprised Cliff. In fact, he had the number “frozen” for a month, I guess in case I didn’t recover.

And I haven’t.

I still miss 919-732-3108.

But hey, I still miss kindergarten art on the refrigerator and our first cat.

Time mellows loss.

With the money we save, maybe we can, among other projects, repaint the guest room. That water left some nasty spots, and by golly, it’s only been twenty-some years.

What about you?

Have any of you given up your land line?

Emotion?

Photo: One of our first phones. I’m still amazed the cords stayed curled on those old phones. My hair sure won’t do that.

Further Information on the Flood: A hot water heater in an upstairs bedroom broke and sent gallons of water through the ceiling. (The bedroom used to be an apartment kitchen.)

An Observation: I find I no longer want to talk on the phone like I did as a young woman. What about you?

Menopause

How to Make Friends with Your Menopause

A post by Susanne Herrmann of St. Jude Retreats:

During menopause, many women experience physical effects associated with this time in a woman’s life, or as they call them the “gifts of menopause”.

Everyone who ever went through it, could relate to Samantha Jones in the famous Sex in the City episode.

From the hot flashes, to the weight gain, the way menopause is portrayed in the media often puts women in a position to fear this natural stage in their life as something to be endured. And women do. They suck it up and endure it, often too embarrassed to look for alternatives. After all, it’s normal to feel that way, right?

Not to mention that menopausal women not only have to contend with the physical side of menopause and the emotional problems as well, but with everything that society came to expect from a menopausal women.

Should we mention the irritability, the feelings of sadness, depression, anxiety, fatigue

How about the lack of motivation, the difficulty concentrating or the moodiness?

All things that will make any sensible woman want to run around screaming.

And yet, some women seem to have found the key to not only surviving menopause, but enjoying it. How do they do that? What is the secret?

Move It Up

You probably have heard that one before but a regular exercise program can do miracles for menopause or any stage of your life for that matter. Of course, the exercise doesn’t have to be rigorous, if you have other issues that do not allow that. Many fitness centers offer programs especially for women above 50 and would be happy to accommodate a level of activity that you are comfortable with. Yoga classes are an excellent example, as they can bring that balance between mind and body that you are looking for.

Food for Thought

A healthy diet is the best way to feel at your best at all times. Eat regularly, eat healthy and you will notice the difference. If you need help in deciding how to change your dietary habits, many large grocery store chains offer dietitian services, free of charge at that. If you can, take advantage to talk to someone who is knowledgeable and can relate to your situation. Improving your diet will go a long way when it comes to leaving a healthy lifestyle. If you don’t have access to such services, many books stores and libraries have a large selection of healthy diet books.

Get Creative

You might also want to find some sort of creative outlet such as painting, ceramics, or get involved in a favorite charity group. Find something to put your focus on and foster a sense of achievement at the same time. There are also many online communities that you can join that will help you meet people in a similar situation, offer support and maybe even help you make new friends.

Stay Connected

Be sure to stay connected with your family and friends. Sometimes, menopausal women who become sad or depressed will tend to isolate and this is one of the worst things you can do. Isolation is often a reason for women to engage in destructive behavior like alcohol or substance use, thinking it will ease their discomfort. These behaviors are ultimately a choice, but it is a known fact that alcohol use usually adds to the perceived distress. In fact, alcohol is known to cause sleep disruptions and increase hot flashes that women experience during menopause. Build your support network and stay connected!

Make You Happy

The good news is that there are certainly many positive options available to women to help replace feelings of sadness and depression, so why not make a list of the things that truly make you happy. Maybe you’ve been busy with your career or raising your kids and you never took the time out to accomplish your own goals.

This can be a great time to take that class you never took, start the hobby you’ve always wanted to do, or if you were a homemaker, start the career you always wanted to start. Happiness is subjective, so it will be different for everyone, but if you put your focus on creating a happy life, you will then be happier.


Susanne Herrmann is the Director of Business Development for Saint Jude Retreats.  Susanne travels the US and networks with different professionals in the substance use field to promote the lifesaving Saint Jude Program.  The Saint Jude Program is a non-12 step, alternative substance use program and is the definitive guide to self-directed Neuroplastic change.  When not traveling, Susanne shares an interest in physical fitness with her husband, David, and enjoys her three rescue dogs, a Jack Russell Terrier, a Mini Dachsund, and an English Bulldog.  If you would like to contact Susanne, please call 1.877.351.0731 or email 
at sherrmann@saintjuderetreats.com.

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More info on Saint Jude Retreats:

Saint Jude Retreats is a non-12 step, non-treatment alternative to traditional alcohol and drug rehab.The Saint Jude Program focuses on empowering individuals to change behaviors and solve lifelong self-defeating habits such as drug and alcohol use. By utilizing positive reinforcement and integrating the science of Neuroplasticity (the ability of the brain to change and rewire itself), we educate in a customized process that focuses on integrating positive thought processes into individual’s life.While the fundamental educational pieces are crucial for  success, the integrated social aspect provides the confidence and necessary life skills to return home and build a fulfilling life.

Menopause

Friends of Friends!

Menopause Card

Friendship boasts plenty of joys, that’s for sure.

One is hearing stories of your friends’ friends.

Friends of friends!

You care about them, think about them, even give advice to them through your friend, their friend.

My friend Susan’s friend Blair learned about Friend for the Ride from Susan.

And this fall, Blair left these funky menopause cards on my doorstep.

How cool is that?

Thanks Blair!

What about you?

Have you enjoyed friends of friends in your friendly life?

The Word Friend:  Here’s a fascinating thread on the word friend” posted on wordreference.comIn most languages, the word derived from the word “to love.” Other root words include “like,” “free,” “beautiful,” and “tie.”