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Why GenX Notes?
For active GenXers
Before I go further, I want to stress that GenX Notes is for everyone - women and men. All experiences are my own and not meant to be a guide or how to. I am not hoping to be an ‘influencer’ and profit on this topic and I am definitely not an expert. But I have been obsessively researching so that I can understand and help myself age well. Knowledge is power.
I have found that because I am open and honest about what I will be discussing here, people tend to ask me questions, or I find myself regularly sharing information. GenX Notes will be a place for me to refer people to, and allow me to do something I enjoy ~ writing. I am sharing my experiences in hopes you will do your own research, to help you understand how important it is to take your journey seriously and get help when you need it, and most importantly to do my part in reducing taboos and ageism due to lack of discussion, understanding, and empathy. Please read on.
For at least four years, I have been writing these stories in my mind, and I have also attempted to begin writing them a number of times. But a lot of what I want to write about feels a bit daunting, personal, and yes I hate to say it ~ at times embarrassing. Which is evidence of why I need to do this.
I am 52. Much to my surprise when I started thinking about this phase of my life, probably starting in my mid 40s, I never ever expected the topics of perimenopause and menopause to explode in the way they have. At the beginning of my journey, just a few short years ago, I felt like I was walking down a dark tunnel with absolutely no idea where I was going and no one to help me find the way. But NOW! Now… the landscape has completely changed. I can’t keep up with all the articles, all the books, all the podcasts, all the YouTube channels, all the everything that is going on around me. WHAT.A.CHANGE! I feel lucky to be living through a moment that is ~ having a moment.
The truth is, I am slightly obsessed with researching and learning about the late perimenopause/menopause transition (and aging). Because I am in it. And before I was in it, I wanted to understand where I was going (I’m a planner by nature and like to do research and have all the details laid out).
I think I can speak for most GenX women who are leading the forefront in researching and discussing this topic, WE KNEW NOTHING. Therefore, GenX women are saying WHY ISN’T ANYONE TALKING ABOUT THIS?! WHY do I know NOTHING?! What the heck IS Perimenopause?! WHY IS MENOPAUSE A ‘TABOO’ SUBJECT? F&*# ALL that! It’s time for us to change it! And thus, I add myself to this group of GenX women sharing our journey, so that the next generation of women (because we ALL will get there if we are lucky) has the information they need for a successful journey to their next physical phase of living.
To ‘complicate’ my journey, I am an athlete. Let me say that again, because it is important in how I approach talking about this subject. I AM AN ATHLETE. I didn’t call myself an athlete until early last year, at 51 years old. And right after I did ~ pretty much the wheels fell off and for the last year so many things have happened, making me wonder at times if I was ‘worthy’ of the ‘declaration’ I had made. But I am. I AM AN ATHLETE. And it is an important lens through which I am experiencing this journey I will be sharing with you.
If you want to be successful on this journey, and you have men in your life ~ tell them to read this and talk about it with you too! During this transition it is easy to want to keep the challenges of change to yourself, but it is important for MEN to understand and support women, specifically you, on this journey. Women make up half of the world population - HALF! Men aren’t existing solo in this world, we are their partners, their mothers, their sisters, their work colleagues, and what we are experiencing is real. We need to be truthful and honest with the men in our lives, otherwise the status quo around perimenopause and menopause will remain. No more pushing this discussion under the rug, and no more ignoring WOMEN, who are in this transition. It is important to understand that every single woman who is lucky enough to go through this transition, WILL go through it, and that includes MEN understanding it. None of us are exempt.
It is hard to even know where to begin, because there is so much to talk about. But the general outline for the topics I want to discuss in GenX Notes will be:
My journey with the words 'perimenopause’ and ‘menopause’.
Why calling myself an athlete is important, and what it means in regard to ~ everything.
My exercise history. I will discuss my history with exercise, my current routine, what I may be missing, how I have had to alter my routine, why I do what I do and how I got there.
Books, articles, resources. Believe me, I have A LIST! I’ve been curious, and I’ve been getting educated. I want to share with you some good and helpful resources I wish I had had a few years ago that are thankfully available now.
The importance of finding a good doctor, what my experience has been, and how you need a ‘team’ around you.
Being proactive, asking questions, being your own best advocate.
Acceptance without complacency. You can ignore the transition all you want, but it will be there every single day to smack you in the face. And you can do something about it!
Fatigue. My experience with fatigue over the last year.
Nutrition. Why I worked with a nutritionist over the last year, how my diet has changed since 2018, how my diet is evolving, what I have learned over the last year, and what I am doing differently.
Iron Deficiency. On the heels of nutrition comes something I want to discuss separately, having an iron deficiency as an athlete, why it took me a year to figure out why I was iron deficient, and where I am at on my journey.
Body composition changes. Yup, the stomach bulge and added tire are real ~ even more so if you are used to being athletic (yup, mind blower there). I will share my experience and what I have learned. I will talk about how this is more than about your body, it is a lot of work in regard to your mental health too.
Vaginal Dryness and why to take it VERY seriously. Hint: It’s not just about your vagina, this is SERIOUS stuff not to be ignored.
Birth Control, MHT and why they are so important before you hit the transition and through it.
Also, you should understand that for your partner’s mental health, you should also have a good support group of women, and professional women, who ‘get it’ or want to ‘get it’.
More and more.
I am not sure if these will be all separate topics, combined, or likely interweaving many times, but it is a beginning framework for things I will be discussing in regard to my own journey.
Additionally, there are more general topics all GenX-ers, specifically Kurt and I, can relate to:
Glasses. Just admit you need to wear them, and the best brands we have found for our athletic lifestyle.
Adjusting portion sizes, and what we put in our bodies, together as aging athletes.
Yes you can still wear, and should wear, lycra ~ and why it can be the most comfortable and sexiest thing you wear all week. Positive body image!!
If this is something that is of interest to you, or someone you know, please follow along! There are so many great things we can do here together on Substack to build a supportive community. Thanks for being part of the journey, and community!
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