Hand me a microphone, ladies! I've got an announcement: I'm thankful for menopause!
Sure, when I entered perimenopause, I never thought I'd say that. Like many women, when I entered perimenopause, I was irritable, sweaty, sleepless, and felt like a permanent fog had taken over my brain. I had no idea what was happening--let alone how to get the help I needed to make it stop!
But when I finally visited a perimenopause and menopause specialist, I learned that what I was experiencing wasn't just normal. It was fixable! With my doctor's expertise, I embarked on a journey toward hormone happiness, and (guess what?!?) I achieved it! Now, without the threat of hot flashes and mood swings, I can appreciate this era of my life--that's right, menopause--for all of the blessings it has brought me.
So, why do you ask, am I thankful for menopause? Let me count the reasons:
1. I Feel Younger Than Ever
I am stronger, healthier, and more empowered today at 60 than I was when I was 40! For me--and for the women in the sisterhood who have mastered the fine art of hormone happiness--gone is the archetypal image of the old, cranky menopausal woman. In fact, most of my menopausal friends (and some are even grandmas!) are among the most vibrant, life-filled women I know! They are biking, surfing, and hiking with their grandkids. How awesome is that? Learn how to live younger than ever!
2. The Sex Is Amazing
By now in life, we actually know--and know how to use--our bodies! We are comfortable in our skin and can enjoy our sex lives for the intimate experiences they are. We can even ask for what we want...and get it! Reclaim your sexual empowerment during menopause!
3. I Empower My Daughter
It's our job to teach our daughters to own their experiences and to value their bodies and health! So I couldn't have been prouder when my daughter walked into her doctor's office and demanded to have the proper blood panels taken for fertility testing. She stood up for her health and her happiness. Talk to your daughter about hormones!
4. Freedom Is Mine
I used to dread the day my children would move from home and my husband and I would be left as empty nesters. But then I learned it meant we could do whatever we wanted whenever we wanted! Our schedules--and wardrobes, for that matter--revolved around no one but us! Have your kids flown the coup? It's time to get naked! Enjoy the benefits of being an empty nester!
5. My Mom Has Become My Friend
Of course I've always loved my mom. But it was through menopause that I gained the wisdom and experience to reflect back on my childhood and my mother's role within it. Only then did I learn to appreciate her for the incredible woman she is. Now she is one of my greatest friends and blessings. Here's the best thing I learned from my mom!
6. I'm First
To be the woman I want to be, both for the people I love and for myself, I have to put myself at the top of my to-do list. I take care of myself with the same commitment with which I care for my friends and family! Learn how to make healthy aging a priority.
7. I'm Closer to My Husband
My husband walked alongside me during my menopause journey and, because of it, we have grown to understand each other more completely. The result: We are more in love than ever! We have been married for 37 years and still date each other! Learn how to talk to your partner about perimenopause and menopause.
8. I'm Confident
My menopausal journey has given me the most attractive quality around: confidence. I love myself as I am and finally recognize all that I have achieved as a wife, mother, and woman. I'm pretty darn amazing (as are all of you!), and I finally know it so that I can squash down self-criticism for the lies it tells me! Learn the real way to look great in your swimsuit!
9. My Vagina Is Happy
I'm not about to stay hush-hush about my vagina. It's a beautiful part of me and as such I've learned to treat it right, doing everything from taking out the 'ole hand mirror and learning its ways to starring in the Vagina Monologues. Has menopause not been kind to your vagina? Learn about vaginal discomfort and save your vagina!
10. I've Found My Purpose
Perhaps my biggest joy, which I owe totally to menopause, is the ability to help educate and prepare women (as well as the people who love them!) for perimenopause and menopause. The only thing better than achieving hormone happiness is helping other women achieve it, too!
If menopause is still on your "hate" list, this is the season to find hormone happiness and start loving menopause for all of the joys it brings! By this time next year, there's no end to all of the reasons you will be thankful for menopause!
Reaching out is IN! Suffering in silence is OUT!
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Ellen Dolgen is an outspoken women's health and wellness advocate, menopause awareness expert, author, and speaker.
After struggling through the silence that surrounds menopause, Ellen resolved to help women reach out and end the confusion, embarrassment, and less-than-lovely symptoms that come with "the change." Her passion to be a "sister" to all women fueled Ellen's book, Shmirshky: the pursuit of hormone happiness. As a result of her women's wellness journey, and in response to the overwhelming thirst of her ever-expanding audience for empowering information, Ellen's weekly blog, Menopause MondaysTM was born.
Menopause MondaysTM allows Ellen an expansive platform from which she broadens her discussion of menopause, women's health, and life as a menopausal (and fabulous!) woman. Her weekly Menopause News Flash provides a one-stop shop for the latest menopause and women's health news and research, allowing women the access and know-how needed to take charge of their health and happiness. In addition to Ellen's ever-growing social media presence, EllenDolgen.com has fast become "the place" on the web for informative and entertaining women's menopause and wellness engagement. Ellen is #1 on Dr. Oz Sharecare.com Top 10 Social HealthMakers on Menopause. In 2012 and 2013 EllenDolgen.com was named first on the list of the "Best Menopause Blogs" by Healthline. Ellen is also a regular contributor to over a dozen leading women's health blogs. Her motto is: Reaching out is IN! Suffering in silence is OUT!
Ellen has appeared on the "TODAY Show," "NBC Nightly News", the "Rachael Ray Show," "The Doctors," Oprah Radio, Playboy Radio, NPR's "Tell Me More," Doctor Radio, and dozens of regional and national media outlets. In 2011 she appeared in a sold-out, San Diego production of "The Vagina Monologues." Ellen was one of the first regular contributors to debut on The Huffington Post's, Huff/Post50, which targets 116 million Americans over the age of 50.