Making Menopause Your Bitch

Here’s the deal, unless you are a gay man living in a bubble (that is without a 40+ women in your life), menopause affects us all.

Because you are either going through it, or you will go through it, or your wife is or is about to go through it or your co-worker is… someone is in imminent danger of irrational behavior.

And for those of you going through menopause, or perimenopause, right now. You are not alone.

We all thought PMS was bad: monthly mood swings, cramps, cravings, weight gain and the rest of it.

Menopause is a little bit more insidious. It slowly moves into your life and you’re not even sure what it is.  

Suddenly your body doesn’t look like it used to. Suddenly you feel a little crazy, but not the kind of crazy that lasts 72 hours, it’s like a tsunami of crazy. It comes in waves, with almost no warning, and you don’t know how long it will last or when the tidal wave will recede.

We’ve all heard the horror stories about hot flashes, expanding waistlines, plummeting sex drives and thinning hair. The struggle is real.

But then there is this overwhelming desire to hurt someone. Usually your spouse. Every little thing they do (and have been doing for years) suddenly feels like an epic BFD. Poor bastards don’t even know what’s happening because they’re like, “What did I do?”  

The answer is everything. You are breathing too loudly. Snoring too loudly. You left the toilet seat up. The toothpaste cap off. Your coffee cup is still in the sink. You never empty the dishwasher. You forgot to take out the trash. You left your smelly sock on the floor. You are late. You are lost. You are a man… and we might have to kill you now.

Here’s the good news ladies… it passes. It’s yet another test of our strength. Our moral compass. Another character building lesson. Just hang in there.

Here is the secret to making menopause YOUR bitch… rather than it making YOU the bitch:

You must exercise and start eating right. You’re not going to want to. You’re going to want to wallow in all the cliche foods: pizza, ice cream, alcohol and french fries. Occasionally, that’s ok, but it’s no longer your go-to plan. If you want to conquer your inner bitch, there is only one way through it. You need to exercise. UGH right? Sorry. But I’m telling you, it’s the secret sauce. Every day. Something.

If you have never exercised in your life, I would start with walking. It’s the easiest, cheapest, safest, most convenient. Start with around the block. Or somewhere where you feel inspired. A park. A path. An easy hike. If walking isn’t your bag, then start taking classes. Yoga or Pilates are the most gentle and you will find a lot of other like-minded people in a beginner’s class.  

I alternate between tennis and yoga mostly, but during perimenopause I was recovering from an injury and couldn’t play tennis so I started riding a bicycle. It had been about 20 years since I had ridden one but I still rode almost every day. Sometimes just a few blocks. Sometimes 20 miles. I was in the best shape of my life and it quelled my desire to choke the living sh*t out of my husband who was oblivious to my inner hormonal rage. Eventually I went back to tennis and then back to yoga (which I should have never stopped).  

This truly will be your path out of the wilderness. It’s a must. It will keep your body in shape. It will keep your endorphins firing. It will keep you distracted from the little sh*t that pisses you off. It will keep your loved ones and co-workers safe.  

So for the sake of everyone’s best interest. Put down the ice cream scooper, get off the sofa and get moving.