“Dammit … It IS Menopause!” Excerpt: Holding a Space for Grieving Losses & Gratitude

I’ve covered the importance of gratitude. Gratitude leads to acceptance. Most of the time, it takes discipline for me to get into gratitude. Yet, I willingly do it because the benefit is so great. It changes me for the better on every possible level.

Lately I’ve been learning the importance of grieving. Not my favorite pastime, I’ve tried to avoid it if possible. Thank you, Big Love, for this growth opportunity. I would even venture to say that for whatever reason, this last six months has been a super-sized season of grieving losses.

As with all loss, there have been chapters ended. There have been chapters ended by the Universe and those ended by me. I’ve grieved the loss of my father, my second marriage, and even friendships. Of those chapter endings initiated by me, those took great amounts of courage to consider what was in my own best interest as the top priority.

I’ve also grieved about things that didn’t even happen within this...

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“Dammit … It IS Menopause!” Excerpt: Feeling Old, Forgetful & Overwhelmed

Feeling Old, Forgetful and Overwhelmed: Making Mistakes, Experiencing a Diminished Ability to Focus

I made the mistake of looking at my bare arms in the distorted reflection of the car window today. Bad idea: I feel really old. As if that weren’t enough, my four-year-old son keeps getting frustrated with me when I don’t complete sentences because I have forgotten what I was talking about mid-sentence.

Several times lately I have put on the wrong turn signal while driving. Things that used to seem insignificant now seem overwhelming and I just want to go to bed. I frequently forget where I was going, what I was doing, or whom I was calling, all for no apparent reason.

Meditation/Prayer for the day: 

Dear God, I feel so frustrated. What’s going on? Please guide me. Give me the ability to embrace “what is” for today.

You can find more excerpts from “Dammit … It IS Menopause!” by clicking here.

Sally Bartlett, ©2021

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[QUIZ] Is it … menopause? Is this community right for me?

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. 

  • Are you experiencing overwhelming physiological symptoms like hot flashes, vaginal dryness, mood swings, erratic periods, cramps, breast pain, waking in the middle of the night, inability to stay asleep or go back to sleep, body odor, dry skin, itching that wakes you up, night sweats, hair loss)?
  • Are you suddenly more forgetful than ever in your life? 
  • Have you experienced “brain fog”—trouble finding...
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My Story: How I Overcame Disordered Eating & Maintained a 35-lb Weight Loss, Even through Menopause

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....

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Healthy Aging through Loving Your Liver

Advice on what we “should” be eating abounds. Eat only protein. Fast intermittently. Be vegan. Eat high fat. How does one decide? As someone who has been maintaining a 35-pound weight loss for more than 30 years—without dieting—I am keenly aware of food talk and recommendations about eating. Working in the Wellness and Fitness field, I hear talk about diets almost daily. However, I have not participated in a fad diet for 35+ years.  The philosophy that enabled me to lose weight and keep it off has always been to eat all things in moderation. 

Still, my observations about the nutrition mindsets of my clients is that they continue to focus on “what food plan is the current rage” and “which food plan offers the quickest results.”  Meanwhile, current scientific research shows that high-fat, high-protein diets are not the best option for many adults over 50; especially menopausal women.

Women’s Healthy Aging Researcher,...

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