I love ferns. They are all over my backyard. I am fascinated by the journey of each individual “fiddlehead” of the fern. A new fiddlehead unfurls itself toward the sky to join the existing fully developed fronds to increase the collective beauty of the plant as a whole.
Each unfurling fiddlehead reminds me of a human spine as it articulates out of flexion and into a beautiful upright posture. The new fern fiddlehead represents the spine of a confident, courageous woman who is transitioning and articulating into her full upright potential in life. I am so moved by this growth process that I based my business logo on ferns.
My parallels between robust, flourishing ferns and robust, flourishing women continues. Many ferns are so hearty that with the proper care, they can withstand both winter cold and summer heat. With women, it is the same, and women need water and the right balance of sunshine and shade.
Every so often, fern fronds turn brown and they look a little...
The Varsity Menopause Quiz
I’m so happy you found your way here—to a community of women who have experienced menopause (and yes, survived all the emotions, physical symptoms, ups and downs) and have made a decision to make it a Varsity Menopause experience.
But, how do you know if this is the right place for you? And … is it even menopause anyway? I’ve put together a quick YES/NO quiz to help you determine if what you’re experiencing is a hormonal shift, perimenopause or menopause, and if this community is right for you.
Around the age of 10, my mother put me on my first diet. She had only the best of intentions. But, looking back, I realized that my weight had made her uncomfortable. I had been fine with it. The body that made her uncomfortable was functioning just as it needed to be in preparation for the onset of puberty.
Years later, I have made peace with my cherished anorexic mom, knowing that she loved me as much as a mother could love a child, and was merely passing on what was taught to her at my age. I am grateful for having the right mom for me.
Nonetheless, this began my 14-year spiral deep into the world of what I refer to as “diet mentality,” which included endless dieting accompanied by dangerously rapid weight fluctuation and progressive weight gain, perfectionism, compulsive exercising, people-pleasing and negative self-talk in an effort to feel good enough and thin enough to be lovable. You name it, there was not a diet I hadn’t tried between 1969 and 1984....
Dammit … It IS Menopause! I was SO hoping it was just a hangnail or something. This was my first response when the menopause symptoms began at age 45. Apparently book titles are super important. Who knew? This being my first book, I had no idea. Never gave it much thought. Having said that, I’d like to give some backstory of my journey, how and why I wrote “Dammit … It IS Menopause!”, and how the book got its name.
It Began with PIES—The Secret to Loving My Body at Any Weight
My original book title was “How to Avoid Basketball Stomach.” Why? I have maintained a 35-lb. weight loss without dieting for more than 30 years. That said, when I began my perimenopausal journey in my mid-40s, my biggest fear was gaining a disproportionate amount of weight in my midsection. My thinking was, “I have spent ten years loving living in this body. I’ll be damned if I’m gonna lose it now.”
I consider myself a former...