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....
Mindfulness. We hear the word everywhere these days. Physical Therapists recommend it. Psychologists recommend it. Places of worship recommend it. It must be important. It must be helpful. But how does one achieve it?
Breakdown: In its simplest form, mindfulness is tuning in to thoughts and feelings one experiences in his/her immediate environment. This can be accomplished in a multitude of ways.
Today’s focus is on one simple mindfulness technique to help you live in the present: Gratitude. Using the tool of gratitude takes some practice. Here are two examples of ways to incorporate it into your day.
Upon waking, rather than checking your phone, try thinking of 3 things you are grateful for. In the beginning, this may be difficult. Let it be okay to list very basic things, such as vision, the ability to walk, etc. With perseverance, it will get easier, and become a positive spiral.
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...
Mindfulness. Mind/Body. Intentionality. Mindful Eating. Body Scanning. Meditation. We hear these terms everywhere these days. Sources continue to extoll their benefits. So, we are probably all in agreement that mindfulness is a good thing. But how can you work it into your already jam-packed schedule? And which discipline is right for you? Pondering these choices can actually be so overwhelming that one becomes even MORE stressed, and less mindful!
Diaphragmatic breathing is a simple mindfulness activity that not only combines breath and posture awareness but can also help reduce back pain. Plus, you can do it while walking.
Diaphragm tightness can lead to low back tightness and pain. Try this diaphragmatic breathing technique to help ease back pain and improve posture.