My Menopause Story: Going through “the change.”

Part One: Operating System Crash

You know what it’s called when you start thinking of something and then it starts to show up all over the place unbidden? It’s called the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon, but that is not what is important.

This is happening to me a lot in 2021. My fitness routine, nutrition, and overall health practices have been consistent for years. I have changed nothing in the last 12 months, but have gained 20 pounds, have terrible sleep patterns, massive mood swings, crippling depression and anxiety, and hot flashes that make me feel like a quick-charging battery pack.

Menopause. Or, at least I’m approaching it. At 47 years old, and only a couple of years beyond some of my best race efforts of my life, it’s all going to hell. Problem is, I didn’t know it was even happening until my clothes no longer fit. I felt horrible about myself and what was happening. So I started thinking about it. Reading about it. Hearing about it. And I decided to figure out wtf was happening.

My nutritionist is so sweet, she calls it a software update. I say that someone went in and changed the rules of my body and no one told me. The operating system didn’t update…it crashed. I feel like I don’t even recognize my body or what it needs. I feel like the things that took me 47 years to figure out how to do right no longer apply. Like I’m driving a car blindfolded. 

So, I’m going to learn about it. I’m going to continue to share my story like I have for 8 years, but with perhaps some uncomfortable truths about Women’s Health. I felt like no one was really talking about it openly even 5 years ago. There is little science around it, and even less around active women in this transition. I will listen to podcasts, hear women speak of their personal experiences, read books… I am not alone, and I know that. It’s time to grow my support crew again and in different ways.

What do I hope to achieve? I want to continue the conversation for women everywhere. If you are a woman, or know one, Menopause is a thing that you will have to deal with…meaning we will all have to deal with it in one way or another, so we might as well stop shoving it in a closet. 

I hope other women will find community and support with the resources I share here. No woman should go into “the change” not knowing what is in store or how to deal with it. No woman should be dismissed by ageism and sexism. 

We are still relevant, important, and have wisdom and experience to share. We are just getting started. 

This is My Menopause Story, and I am just getting started. Join me from time to time as I share what I learn, discover how to reclaim my body, and get back to my best self.

My Menopause Story is a regular blog. I hope to share stories as I learn and grow, but I would love to hear from you. Please let me know what you would like to hear about.

Heather Jergensen

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