Perimenopause Can Suck It!

As promised, here's a post about the lovely thing I've been trapped in for the last year, and that's perimenopause. 

It's awesome. 

Just kidding, it sucks balls. 

If you need to know what perimenopause is and what its symptoms are, you can check all of that realness out here.  It's basically a hormonal purgatory your body goes into before menopause hits that can happen as early as your mid-thirties. Since I won the genetic lottery, this thing hit me like a locomotive around my 37th birthday. Thanks, maternal side of my family! 

Seriously, the only thing I got from my Mom's side of the family up until then was curly hair and big teeth. Like the two things I hate about myself. Now I have a third. 

All kidding aside, 'female problems' as they were called back in the day, and probably what the Trump administration calls them now, runs on that side of the family pretty deep. I don't think a single woman had her uterus after the age of 35 on that side. So yay! I get to be the guinea pig! Go me! 

I won't get into the gory details of my symptoms, that's between me and my long suffering OB/GYN, but I will roll the highlight reel for you on some doozys. 

One doozy?  Boob growth. Holy mammaries, Batman. Another thing from my mother's side of the family is a breast reduction for your 45th birthday. Those ladies are #blessed and now I am, too. Literally overnight I went from a 34A/B to a very full 34D. Bigger than when I was engorged after having babies. I thought I was dying or had a pituitary tumor of some kind, and nope...just a winner of the genetic lottery. I hate them. Hate. For one, I have to get the wink, wink, "oh sure they're natural," look from people when they notice something different about me when Tits McGee walks into a room. Not even considerable weightloss has brought them down in size. 

Another annoying thing are the people who tell me to appreciate how lucky I am to have grown giant perky boobs at my age. No. I don't appreciate them. I hate them and I always will. If I wanted big boobs, I would have bought some a decade ago. I hate that I have to wear two sports bras, I have to watch my v-neck shirts to make sure I'm not trying to be a Hooters waitress, and anything I wear with a high neck makes me look like I have uniboob or I'm smuggling a ham in my bra. 

Such a nuisance. I used to be able to go into the girls department at a store and buy pull over t-shirt bras with my daughter, and now I have to wear something that promises me 24 hour comfort so I'm not homicidal by 6pm because I have bra straps digging into me attempting to draw blood. 

Since we're on the subject of homicidal tendencies, the other highlight of this is my raging 'toss cars and light them on fire' PMS that makes 2008 Britney look like someone having a bad day. I am an actual psychopath for 8-10 days before my period which makes some men weep and cry, "WILL YOU PLEASE JUST BLEED FOR THE LOVE OF HUMANITY." Yesterday, I was coming back from a meeting with a coworker, and I went on a PMS tirade in the car over something lame, making him fear me forever, and today I want the head of whoever brought in TWO MOTHERFUCKING BOXES OF DONUTS WHEN I'M PMSing AND COUNTING MACROS. 

I'm lovely. 

So my doc said, "Good luck, kiddo. Enjoy the next 10 years of this, I hope to be dead by then," and told me there's not much I can do hormonally because they're so all over the place it's not like there's a consistency there to treat. Sometimes a low dose birth control pill helps, or progesterone cream, but I am in the 'suck it up and deal' category, so here's what I do to ease some of it. 

  • Low impact activity every single day
    • I walk 2-3 miles everyday no matter what. It's a great way to get some natural balance in your body and brain. 
  • Have a meditation/relaxation schedule you are deeply committed to
    • I can't meditate because I'm crazy, but I do have a standing date with bubble baths and restorative yoga. The stress hormones coursing through your body are going to make you fat if you do not release them somehow. 
  • Increase your good fats and calcium and cut way back on booze. 
    • 40% of my diet comes from good fats and I make sure to get enough calcium every single day. Brain and ovary food, baby. Also, the older you get, the worse alcohol is for you in general, and I can tell you first hand, when this stage of life hits, it makes you fat in exactly 3.4 months. 
  • Practice acceptance of your new body
    • I want you to close your eyes and imagine your 18 year old body dying in a fire. Is she dead yet? Good. I hate to tell you, she's never coming back. BAI. Now you can focus on being the best you right now. Instead of being pear shaped, I am now hourglass. Honestly? I probably look a lot better and in proportion now. My bottom half doesn't bulk up as much now when I train, and I don't become the love child of Skeletor and Skipper up top anymore. I hate the boobs when they're in the way, but I really don't hate my body. I just have to let everything I experienced before go, and learn to dress and work what I have. No more boatnecks. Damn, I love a good boatneck, but now v-necks are my jam and I never wore them before last summer. Don't see it as a failure, see it as getting yourself out of a rut. My style was stuck in 1999 before my body changed.

Perimenopause sucks ass sometimes, especially when you discover your first boob sweat ring on your shirt in the middle of January. But honestly, it isn't the end of the world, it just forces you to accept change and love yourself a bit more. 

 

Jennifer Gulbrandsen