The Truth about Turning 47

menopause lane

September 3, 2016   38 Comments

I saw this photo and it simply cracked me up -Menopause Lane right next to Erectile Dysfunction Blvd.

Almost every year on my birthday, I post about it because I like to share my gratefulness for another year of wonderful readers. Thank you for reading, sharing, and commenting on Snack Girl.

You beautiful people make this a labor of love with your constant encouragement and guidance. I will continue to be here – currently working on my “pumpkin spice” posts as are the other food bloggers – trying to come up with healthy, affordable, and fun meals and snacks.

This year, I am starting the drive down Menopause Lane and I think it is better to talk about it than be ashamed of a very natural transition. I am inspired by a much younger woman – Fu Yuanhui.

From the NYT:

The uninhibited Fu Yuanhui, the Chinese swimmer beloved for her over-the-top expressions, has made waves once again. On Saturday night in Rio, she freely discussed having her period while competing in the Olympics, breaking what has long been a taboo among female athletes.

Think about it. How many times have you heard a woman discuss her menstrual cycle on the world stage? How many times have you seen Bob Dole on TV discussing his erectile dysfunction?

Double standard? I think so.

So here I go. I am tired, cranky, my period got so heavy that it soaked through my clothes. Last week, I was on the edge of a migraine FOR AN ENTIRE WEEK. I have to watch what I eat because it seems that every cookie or bagel sticks to my midriff.

I feel like asking for a birthday cake made of kale but I won't go that far (my children would get too upset).

This menopause lane takes turns and sharp corners when I least expect it. Turning 47 is not a picnic.

On the other hand, I am healthy, my kids are in great shape and my husband is understanding. What else could I want?

Honestly, the worst part of 47 seems to be how society treats women past their childbearing years. It is like we are supposed to stop existing after we are no longer deemed “useful”. People don’t even see me so I can be invisible (which I sometimes like).

I am sharing in the hopes that others are comforted by my honesty. I do not need sympathy but I do need your continued readership of this website.

Please share any thoughts or comments on menopause.

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38 Comments:

Just wait until you're 70! Ha! That birthday was a very big reality check because, in my mind, I'm still in my early 40s. Fortunately, I have good health, am physically active, and can enjoy retirement. Menopause was welcomed by me because it was the first time in decades that I stopped having monthly migraines and I enjoy not dealing with monthly periods. I had a much easier experience with it than many. I hope you have a smoother transition going forward and keep doing just what you do. Thank you for all the useful info you share with this blog.

on September 3, 2016

I wish more women would openly talk about Menopause. I am turning forty next month. In my family, almost every woman before me has had a hysterectomy for one reason or another which means they bypassed Menopause. I have no one to talk to in order to learn what to expect. Will I get the extreme, will it go easy on me, will I get to walk the middle of the lane? These are not answers I can get from family so I would like more women to open up and help those in a situation like mine prepare for what will be. Thank you for being candid ^_^

on September 3, 2016

I was very fortunate to sail through with no side effects. But I do have plenty of 'results ' from being finished with it. The lot of women! Good luck to you snack girl!

on September 3, 2016

Oh I'm right with you sister! I'm 50 and heavy in the prep phases for menopause. Successful menopause is 12 months without a period. And I'm not there yet, so it's the lead up that's killing me, a.k.a. perimenopause. Periods from nowhere like a tsunami, Night sweats, hot flashes, crying at everything, but I'm trying to lose weight throughout the whole damn thing. Metabolism as slow as molasses uphill in January, but I'm doing it. As much as I crave junk, I definitely am feeling better when I eat healthfully, and the actual reward will be in the completion of menopause. And yes, I am 100% invisible to men right now. I'm using my powers of invisibility for evil.

on September 3, 2016

I'm with you, Snack Girl. I'm 49, having mood swings, wheat cravings and heavy periods that last over a week. Night sweats and prickly skin. Yeeha!

on September 3, 2016

You are still a puppy. I want back to school at 47 to learn a new trade. Not that I had to, because I wanted to. I had a terrible menopause. Hot all the time and felt like I was losing it. Past that and enjoying life. No periods, no cramps, and finally after all these years getting cooler!

on September 3, 2016

Menopause is a normal
Life change cycle. I was fortunate to
have had a very quiet transition. I do NOT feel our society has that perspective that older women are worthless any longer- I think that was a perspective a long time ago. Our population has aged and we have more people over 60 than ever before. Women can and are involved in lots of activities, clubs, civic organizations, and politics.

I know many women have a tough transition through menopause - there are a lot of books at the library that have a lot of great information that can help you.

on September 3, 2016

My best advice is when you get a bad hot flash, open the freezer door and stick your head in for a minute! Good luck and keep your chin up!

on September 3, 2016

I will be turning 55 in January (considered a Senior Citizen in some places)In February of 2012 I went into "Mentalpause" I took a product called Amberen for my symptoms, after a week of taking it the sweats and other hassles were gone. I took Amberen for about a year and a half with no symptoms at all, then I stopped taking it and haven't had any symptoms since. I am post menopausal now. I find it very hard to stay in my weight maintenance range and have to be very vigilant. You are not alone Snack Girl. And Happy Birthday!

on September 3, 2016

Thank you for your honesty. If only more women would talk about it, maybe we would have more support from our doctors on how to survive perimenopause.

on September 3, 2016

Like my Mom Memopause was a minor even to all the pain I had throughout my productive years, in fact menopause was actually my friend calming the endrometriosis that had developed more recently. Compounding hormones has helped me with the few irritating symptoms. My latest problem is turning 60 in couple of months. After stopping all the crazy dancing, etc my weight has recently been climbing slowly up! Doesn't seem to matter what I do on WW and the new plan. I was at goal for 3 years after losing 126 lbs! Still trying to find my groove......

on September 3, 2016

I'm 62 and on the other side of the rough ride of meno. Was not easy. Invisible? Oh I think not. I speak whatever is on my mind, and for some, look out. I've earned it. Yes, I was pushed out of a great career due to age (yeah, prove that one!), but I've moved on to a new chapter and enjoying it. Yes, I have to watch my diet, but when did I ever not? I workout, color my hair and keep up with fashion trends AND I can still turn a head or two (may not be those of years ago, lol!). Enjoy whatever the age you happen to be as it is all so fleeting! Cheers!

on September 3, 2016

I will be 75 in Oct. and the "boys" still talk to me. Always remember to keep a young attitude and always look the very best that you possibly can. You will feel better about yourself and so will everyone else. I have to admit that I AM blessed with good genes, but it's still about attitude. You get what you give. Never think of yourself as an old, useless, invisible lady, or that is what you will be.

on September 3, 2016

I am 64 and do not find that I am invisible at all. I retired young by many standards (59) and have found many other interesting ways to be active. I am a reading tutor volunteer, I volunteer (by choice) to assist with an arts conference co-sponsored by the local university and office of education, I am involved in community issues and I support our local land trust by helping to build trails. I now have time for biking, hiking, cross country skiing, camping, and I do all of that.

I was a full time middle school band and orchestra teacher when I went through menopause and I had few symptoms. I later read that women who are physically active (I worked out vigorously every morning before going to work which was a longstanding habit - I know you are running so you have that base covered) and took balanced calcium supplements had fewer symptoms. I also never had another migraine once I finished menopause.

I would highly recommend you review the studies on www.betterbones.com, Susan Brown's, Ph.D., website. It is during this time that we naturally lose bone density and by checking to be certain that your calcium, magnesium (which can help with migraines, too), Vitamin D, and other nutrients are balanced, it will help protect your bones. Additionally, she has a bone friend diet posted so you could check that out to be certain you include all the components needed to keep your bones healthy. For example, you should eat a fermented food everyday - yogurt, sauerkraut, komboucha, etc. I wish I had known about the website when I was going through menopause because I did not eat this diet although the diet I ate was "healthy" - just not particularly good at maintaining or building healthy bones. Through this diet I have now gained bone mass. :-)

on September 3, 2016

To me age is just a number. I see life as a series of stages and menopause is just another. I love being past menopause because it is very freeing! Mine wasn't horrible. Did I have moments of wanting to rip into someone? Oh yeah....but I tried very hard not to use it as an excuse to be cranky. Carry a fan! There are cooling wipes that are very nice too. I focus on keeping my body and mind active. Focus on the positive and forget the rest. Like anything else in our lives, much of it is as we make it. Happy Birthday Snack Girl!

on September 3, 2016

It depends on the kind of hysterectomy you have. I had my uterus out at 27 for medical reasons but still had my ovaries, so I still went through menopause. Night sweats, mood swings etc. I turned 60 this year and sometimes till have night sweats. Good luck on this next phase of your life - and Happy Birthday too!

on September 3, 2016

Not only am *I* going through menopause - so is my entire office. Highly entertaining, always dramatic, and the few men we have are absolutely terrified. It's AWESOME! I complained about the heat this past summer and a male acquaintance said "You think THIS is hot...?" and readied himself to tell me some "I was so hot I melted" story. I cut him off and said "Look. It's 30 degrees out here. I'm a Canadian woman, of Icelandic heritage, going through menopause. Do you have anything you'd like to say?" His eyes widened, he stepped back, and replied quickly "Nope". Good call, buddy. Good call ;-) Have a BEAUTIFUL menopause, and remember you can USE it to do all the whacked out things you ever wanted to...it's a FABULOUS excuse! Just remember this line: "I'm menopausal. Get off me". They will!

on September 3, 2016

You are a beautiful person and I just love your blog. Have a Happy Birthday! BTW I've found peppermint oil to be very cooling for hot flashes - just a dab on my temples & neck really helps :)

on September 3, 2016

Chuckle chuckle! Love the 30 degree story from Cindy! My pause was bumpy but not rough. I knew something was wrong the day I was standing in the compost pile, turning it (one of my fave activities - no joke), the wind was blowing my hair in my face and I was pissed! I stopped. Why am I pissed? Outside and doing my fave thing? I decided to call the naturopath my friends used and have a chat. I had no $ and told the gal on the phone that and she (receptionist) told me to buy 3 things from my local store OTC. I've forgotten now what they were, but it worked for me. Probably placebo effect, who knows. Yea, no periods!!!

on September 3, 2016

At 65, I have been in menopause for 15 years and there is no sign it is backing off.
I still have "PMS" symptoms sometimes twice a month. This is way worse than when I had my menstrual cycle. Headaches, hot flashes, achy body, night sweats, fatigue, insomnia, crabbiness and digestive problems.
On top of it all, I am diabetic and the hormonal issues play havoc with my blood sugar. High blood sugar causes extreme grumpiness. When the hormones take over, blood sugar can go high and it is hard getting it down.
I do recommend people beginning menopause, whether you have diabetes or not, get a meter to check your blood sugar. Emotional highes and lows may be related to your blood sugar being high due to
Last night I watched a documentary on Indian (Asian) food and it related that India is basically Diabetes Central ! Suddenly, I did not feel so alone. Fortunately, I have pretty good control of the blood sugar most of the time. Now if I can just get those pesky hormones to balance out!
Great article Snack Girl.

on September 3, 2016

My Mother was 78, and her sister was 91 when they passed away. BOTH were still having "hot flashes" .... so because I choose NOT to take "hormones" any longer (I did for years) ... I know WHAT my future holds with regard to them. "And this too shall pass" ... but maybe just NOT FOR ME?

on September 3, 2016

Happy Birthday Snack Girl! Your blog is one of my favorites so please keep up the good work. And as my 86 year old mother says when I complain about my age (62) "it's better than the alternative!" Yep - you got that one right :-)

on September 3, 2016

Happy 47th! I love your blog...it is funny...delicious....and honest! I can't tell you how many recipes I have tried and use on a regular basis. Keep on..Keep on!
Just before turning 47, I learned I had breast cancer!!! At the time I did not have any signs of menopause at all. Then BAM....after surgery,and starting chemo and radiation treatment I got slammed into full menopause!!! Never knew if it was the chemo or just symptoms of menopause that I went through.....really didn't matter...I was alive, I was going to be able to celebrate my 50th birthday....prior to all of this I was dreading being 50! Now every year I celebrate my life, my "lack" of having to deal with periods!!!! I am 64 years young and "nobody puts this baby in the corner'!!!! Ya the "mental pauses"are a pain, hot flashes are not for the faint of heart but every last symptom means I am here to complain about it!!! Life is a journey with many many twists and turns....live long....live well!

on September 3, 2016

I'm not going to go over all the physical symptoms and ways to ease the transition, since everyone seems to have those covered. I just wanted to say that menopause is very freeing. I've talked to dozens of women who agree. You will stop caring about what other people many think of you ( in a good way). I'm 63 & just got my first tattoo. I keep my hair colored with stripes in it. I wear what I feel like wearing. And I find I'm much more likely to speak my mind. For my 60th birthday I got a tiny diamond nose stud. You also tend to react to things more rationally than emotionally, which is also freeing.
There are definitely some perks to being on the other side of the 'pause.
Chin hairs? Not so good. ;>}

on September 3, 2016

Here is a great resource for menopause on YouTube. It is Menopause Barbie. She is a retired OB/GYN in Houston, and she tells it like it is. Very encouraging and inspiring:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSJItwa6IVPGxUVfTHKbwLg

on September 3, 2016

I can empathize with you, and also with Beth, who talked about being 70. How well I remember those horrible soaking menstrual periods! I'm SO glad to be done with all that -- I just turned 70, and I'm so much calmer and happier on this side of menopause. And both premenopause and menopause itself do end! The only downside is that then you're old. Just kidding. Margaret Meade talked about "postmenopausal zest," and I think she had a good point. For some reason, I've felt much more enthusiastic about life and my hobbies and projects since I've been older. Of course, it helps to be retired.

on September 3, 2016

you think you are invisible because you are ashamed or what? I'm not understanding. Take off the invisocloak and rejoice! You are free...once you have passed that one year mark ( that was so stressful on again oh no )start all
Over but once over that hill your sex life is so much better. I was 47 and would wow up soaked. My poor husband what a champ. My gyn got me through it by putting me on low dose bc please pills. Miraculous. Once off that easy street until my memory went. I was scared I thought I had early onset Alzheimer's HRT balanced me thank goodness I can do the hormone thing. Please talk to your gyns about what you can do. There's also homeopathic remedies. Rejoice you are beautiful women 💋

on September 3, 2016

Hey,I will be 63 Tuesday and life is good. No better time in life than right now. I have got grandchildren that are the love of my life. Menopause was not bad at all for me. It was a heck of a lot better than having periods. I am retired and I could not ask for a better part of life than right now. I would not want to be younger. This is the best it has ever been.

on September 3, 2016

I am a few months in to my 47th year as well and just started perimenopause. After doing a little research, I added flax seed to my morning yogurt, started drinking soy milk daily and added magnesium to my vitamin regiment. I also reduced my caffeine and alcohol intake (I won't be giving it up!). My hot flashes, night sweats, increased urinary urgency/incontinence, breast tenderness and irritability seem slightly improved. I am SO glad Snack Girl posted about this! With half the population experiencing menopause with varying levels of symptomology, this topic should be much more mainstream than it is.

on September 4, 2016

Happy Belated Birthday, Lisa! Enjoy your 47th year to the fullest! 47 is a wonderful age. At 68, I'm through with menopause which lasted about 8 yrs for me mostly consisting of hot flashes [aka power-surges], occasional night sweats, and brain fog followed by weight-gain and waist-loss. My advice is to get to know your triggers, mine were coffee, wine, cash registers, and crowds. So if you ever see an abandoned cartful of groceries, take pity. :) And get fans, personal fans, little battery-powered ones, big woven rattan ones shaped like big leaves, accordion asian ones that fold sweetly into your purse, oh, you'll use them! along with every playbill, magazine, and cardboard insert; you'll start eyeing greeting cards, junk mail, paper plates, you name it, with this new-found purpose: Instant breeze. As far as brain fog goes, just be forewarned, you will regain your mind at some point. Just keep telling yourself that, especially when you say something totally bizarre and realize you made no sense. Enough of that, its freaky. I just wish someone had warned me.

All in all getting older is wonderful. I truly believe menopause make us stronger. You can still eat and exercise in such a way as to have a significant impact on your health and well-being. You're freer to change whatever it is you would want to change about yourself. For me, I like to prepare healthier versions of favorite dishes. And stretch my mind, learn something new, read! or join organizations. I listen as intently as possible to my son's grant proposals on neuroscience research [which is no easy task!] to keep mentally sharp. And I finally ditched the hair dye and embraced my aging-love my gray hair!
Lisa, your beauty shines through from your confidence, self-respect and loving and generous nature you show us with your helpful, always enjoyable, and witty blog. Post-menopause, to me, makes new and improved versions of ourselves and is the perfect time to explore new passions without pressure. Look how much you have to look forward to!!

on September 4, 2016

At age 52, my body transitioned to an annual period for 3 years. oh.what.fun. I've been having hot flashes for 4 years now, with some ebbing but no end in sight. Watching my calories, trying to limit caffeine intake, and starting a regular exercise class this week. Your website/blogs help tons!

on September 5, 2016

I am 45 and already fighting peri menopuase which started with having my period for about 6 months straight while trying various "treatments" I started with pills then ended up with a hormone iud which has settled the problem for now, it is not an easy road, but you are not alone.

on September 5, 2016

I just turned 45 on sartuday...BLAH! I have now gone through menopause 3 times. The first was at 28 after a surgery for cysts and endometriosis, then again at 30 and again with cysts and endom., both of those were through the doctor with drugs that shut down my system because of severe endometriosis, the 3 and final time was at 32 with a complete hysterectomy, both ovaries, cervix, 2 sections of bowel, appendix and more cysts and endometriosis. So although I don't miss laying in a ball for 8 hours 2 or 3 days from the pain of my period, it changed so many other things because of all the issues. I use an estrogen patch cause it helps, but i still after 13 years get hot flashes when I am upset or angry and sometimes get very emotional when there really isn't any need to. So for some it may go away quickly It still has not for me, and the dryness issues with intimacy are horrible and it causes stress for me when it never did before. Not looking for sympathy either, just wanted to share my take on it.

on September 6, 2016

I am 57 and survived menopause without any hormone replacements. I tried Black Cohosh for a while, but don't think it helped that much. I have a fan in my office for the now infrequent hot flashes. What really helped at night was to wrap a flat ice pack, the type you would wrap around your knee, with a hand towel and put it under my pillow. The second I woke in the middle of the night, I would flip my pillow over to the cold side. If the hot flash seemed like it was going to last for a while, I would put the towel-wrapped ice pack on my chest. I definitely didn't lose as much sleep this way!

on September 6, 2016

I'll be 60 in December and I don't feel old. When I was a kid I remember people like my Great Aunt Ruby who was in her 60's and she seemed so much older in the way she dressed and projected. I think with the changing times women are living longer staying active and involved, taking care of themselves not sitting in a rocking chairs. In my mind I still feel like I'm in my 30's. My menopause systems were not to bad. I still have hot flashes and night sweats on occasion, but thats no big deal. I guess for me the worst thing is the dryness with intercourse and I find sex to be painful now. I noticed no one talked about that. Sometimes I feel like I'm the only person with that issue, but I'm sure I'm not. Thankfully I have a understanding husband. Could be worse my Mom was like hell on wheels when she went through the stage as she called it. Sometimes she would be so mad at my Dad for nothing really and would get in the car and drive and drive then come out of her brain fog and wonder where she was. Luckily I didn't get that way, but it did scare me. Lol!

on September 6, 2016

After having an emergency hysterectomy when my son was born, (he is a teenager) I have gotten used to not having to deal with a period and have ben happy not to have to deal with it. About a year and a half ago I started with the hot flashes and night sweats but they went away after a few weeks and silly me thought that it was all over with! Well, they came back with a vengeance, hot flashes and night sweats! I tried the black cohosh but it did not help. After a few months of waking up covered in sweat I called my Dr and got a very low dose of something that has been a life saver! I can function and more importantly sleep now.

on September 7, 2016

I will be turning 51 and aside from still having migraines when my period does get here and dealing with weight gain, for the most part I think menopause is OK. I have noticed I am willing to speak my mind more and care less what others think about it. If
anything all the hormone changes have made me more assertive instead of invisible. I think menopause is what you make of it and your perspective. I have had hormonal migraines for 30 years and being done with all these periods and migraines makes me pretty excited!

on October 1, 2016

Do you guys gain weight like you're GOING to get a period but then don't?

on April 22, 2017


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