Saturday, January 22, 2011

A new stage....let the spotlight shine

Recently my body caused me to cart it to the doctor's office. 

Specifically the OB/GYN. 

I no longer use the OB part, but hoped that the GYN portion would open up secrets my body was keeping from me. 

I am not silly enough to think that this 53 year old body is at all youthful.  The hot flashes I have been experiencing for the better part of a year now have made sure I did not forget my advancing years.  When the blood work came back and the sweet, 12 year old nurse called me with the results, I wasn't exactly stunned and yet I wasn't sure what I was hearing. 

"Well, Mrs. 53 year old," she said in her young, high pitched voice, "the tests show that you are definitely post menopausal."

"Okay," I replied.  "What does that mean?"

"That your done with menopause," she said.  I could actually hear her smiling. 

Probably thinking she would never experience this.  And if she did, she wouldn't sound as confused as I did.

"What else?" I questioned. 

Now she was confused and she offered to return me to the scheduling desk so that I could make an appointment with the doctor.  Apparently my question was too large for her to answer.

So I did what most of us do when faced with a question we need an answer to ~~~

I consulted the oracle.


Post-menopause basically means a cessation of menses.  Well, duh.  I knew that.  But what does that mean for me. 

Obviously, I'm not having any more children.   

I seem to be worth my weight in sweat.

And my belly is almost, but not quite, big enough for it's own zip code.

But I guess being post menopausal means having more freedoms than I thought I had. 

I no longer have to worry about carrying "anti shark" equipment with me for fear that the now non-existent menses would show up at the most inopportune times.

I don't have to worry about getting pregnant.  Actually, I had that taken care of 25 years ago.  But now it's really engraved in stone.

But it is also a jewel in my old age crown.  A sign that there are enough years under my belt, if I actually could wear a belt, that I have some wisdom. 

Wisdom that comes from a longer time on this earth than the sweet 12 year old nurse that called me.  I know some things she doesn't.  In fact, things that can change lives. For example ~

 *  Let a roast rest after coming out of the oven for at least 20 to 30 minutes before cutting it.  Thus keeping
     the juices intact.

*  If you walk into a hospital or courtroom look as if you know what you are doing, more than likely, no one
    will bother you.  You might even get asked for information because you look like you belong there.

*  Too much sun will actually give you brown marks on your face and hands.  No matter how much you
     believe it won't.

*  And best of all,
          That if you manage to stay through the hard times of marriage with your partner, it really is worth it in
           the end.

So, after the diagnosis....which was slightly anti-climatic....I wrote down some of my thoughts and before I knew it, I had a poem of sorts. 

Post-Menopause! what crap is that?
It feels like I should pass around a hat
collecting hormones from passersby
before I absolutely lose my mind.

Sweating and bloating and lack of sleep
is making me think about taking a leap ~
not off a bridge or a third story ledge,
but back to my 20's or 30's instead.

When small children held my
attention and hand.
And when getting my period
didn't feel so grand.

But that was nothing compared
to these hellish night sweats,
and days where there's
nothing I don't seem to forget.

The child bearing days
are behind me now,
and nursing babies until I felt like a cow.

The days ahead glisten
like the sweat on my face.
And I find that I'm running life
at a much slower pace.

So with more yesterdays than tomorrows on the horizon of my life,
I'll do what I can to put away strife,
and focus on my hubby and family and me,
and remember that menopause ~
has allowed me to be free.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

My view from the elliptical ~

I remember a time in my life when I actually scoffed at the people who told me I wouldn't be thin forever.  That one day I would have a metabolism that could actually slow down to the point of non-existence. 

I scoffed.

Silly me.

I am now a believer.

A sweet young friend had this quote taped to the back of her apartment door ~

"Your habits have earned you the body you have now."

Ten words that sum up the result of scoffing when you are too young to know any better. 

I have decided, once again, to attempt at ridding my body of the results of all my bad habits in the hope that it will reward me with the ability to put away the elastic waistband pants.  I want to put on my jeans and button them without fear that the pressure behind the button will cause the closure to give way and damage a fellow human being or the glass coffee mug I have in front of me.

So I, like countless others, joined a gym.  Tada!  I just know this time will be different.  I won't just be sending these folks a monthly fee to keep their doors open and their machines tuned.  I will visit this establishment and use the facilities I am paying for. 

But there is one problem.

My head.

You may wonder...your head?  It's your belly and butt that are your real problem!

Let me explain....

I have to first develop the mindset that getting out of a warm bed and into a cold car are worth the trip to a facility that is designed to make me hurt before I see results.

I have to convince myself that not everyone is looking at the middle aged woman who is trying to develop a new habit by working out on machines that are eerily similar to equipment designed to torture. 

I know I am not so breathtaking that everyone in the gym is watching my every move. 

But it feels like it.

And then I have to stop my brain from taking in all the woman around me.  In particular, the ones who are wearing gym apparel and who look like they came to work out.  But I question their sincerity when they have more make up on than I wear when I go out on a date. 

In fact, their hair isn't even frizzy from sweating for an hour. 

In fact, they are smiling.

In fact, they aren't sweating.

Did they even work out?

My whole thought process spirals downward as I stand atop the elliptical, sweating, frizzing and wondering why the bobby pins to hold my bangs back aren't working and wonder how these beautiful, thin women are allowed to register at this gym to begin with.  I want someone like them to wear a shirt that has a before picture on it so I can be encouraged.  I want proof that they have been required to work out hard.  Proof that they have sweat.  Proof that their now flat bellies once had the shape of a loaf of raisin bread with just the right amount of cinnamon and sugar sprinkled on top. isn't asking to much is it?

But that would require a shirt that is big enough to have a picture on it....of a chubby, middle aged lady. 
Because you can't fit that picture on a sport bra.

Maybe one day I will be a smiling, flat bellied, non frizzy headed woman who can stride through the gym like all the weights know her touch and all the treadmills wait for her to take a run on them.

Until then, I will pin my hair back with bobby pins....put on my least revealing workout clothes....and remember to pee before I step into the workout arena.

Because their is nothing more embarrassing than a middle aged woman in the middle of an intense workout on the elliptical to attempt to get off and run for the ladies room. 

I me.

Saturday, January 1, 2011


When you take charge of your life, there is no longer need to ask permission of other people or society at large.  When you ask permission, you give someone veto power over your life.
                        -Albert F. Geoffry

Have you ever felt like you are in the driver's seat of your vehicle but that someone else was driving?  To borrow a line of thought from the movie The Holiday....I should be playing the leading the lady of my own life and not the role of the best friend.  In essence, others have been directing my path.  Not of late.  But for some time.  They didn't come in demanding that I give them that kind of power, but I handed it over one piece at a time.
I hand it over in time.  I hand it over with money.  I hand it over mentally.  And each action causes me to lose more of myself and cripples their ability to stand on their own.  It is a fine line I walk between being a compassionate caring woman and being a shadow in my own life.

Last year I came across a blog about not making resolutions, but about choosing a word that could be used as a foundation for the year. This year's word came to me a couple of weeks ago.  The word is Balance.  Oddly enough, as I see the word in my mind's eye, the letters are on a curvy line and not linear at all.  As if I wrote them down while driving on a bumpy road.  I'm not sure I want them completely even by this year's end.  That might suggest a lack of flexibility.  I looked up the meaning of the word because that's the type of person I am. *Equal distribution of weight.  *Mental Steadiness or emotional stability. *Habit of calm behavior or judgement. ~~~ In wine making : ) ~~~ The degree to which all the attributes of a wine are in harmony.  With nothing too prominent or deficient.* I may be using a word as my north star, but the definitions I found can be the buffers to measure myself against.

My dear friend, Lacey, has a beautiful granddaughter who loves to watch an old video that was taken about two years ago.  Lacey and her husband, along with my sweet man and myself are jumping around and clowning around trying to get a particular pose down for a picture.  When the video is done, her granddaughter looks around and asks, "More Debbie"?  So that will be my theme....more Debbie.  That balance can help push away the fog that clouds my mind and the emotions that others use to take over the stability I need for me.