By the time I reached 49, I had already been a caregiver to my father and was currently a caregiver to my mother and husband. Needless to say, I was overwhelmed, stressed, and not feeling that well. A total wreck! As is typical for caregivers, I put my personal wellness issues on the back burner. It was just easier that way.
I was diligent about going for my yearly gynecological exam, where I would tell my doctor about my health concerns, and my mammography, but that was about it. However, I was never told that I was in perimenopause. And then, at that magical age of 49, I had officially gone through menopause and was now in post-menopause. The perception of who I was as a woman changed instantly. I thought I was dried up. Useless. I entered a period of intense self-doubt, sadness, and an overwhelming feeling of being lost.
Once the shock wore off, I decided it was time to understand what was happening to me. I felt and looked different. Being in post-menopause doesn’t mean that your symptoms suddenly stop. In fact, many can last for years. I knew I couldn’t rely on my mom. Over the years, she would tell me that a woman who has gone through menopause could consider her productive years to be over. She grew up believing this. After all, this was a familiar story offered by society. My doctor could not offer much either. I would have spoken to my friends but they knew about as much as I did. In fact, resources were scarce.
Eventually, I understood that lifestyle choices could impact how a woman feels as she transitions through menopause.
These choices are based on the 4 Pillars of Wellness: Sleep, Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Maintaining Stress and Anxiety.
Not only would the correct choices help manage menopause symptoms, but they would also maintain inflammatory disease. Understanding this, I decided to earn my certification as a wellness coach. Already having many years of experience as a caregiver, I obtained my certification as a caregiver consultant as well.
In addition, I was also going through some personal changes. My children, grown and no longer living at home, were establishing lives of their own. I was newly divorced. My mother passed away. I needed to understand the next chapter of my life.
For quite some time, I worked on making myself better…whole. I Redefined Myself by applying the 4 Pillars of Wellness. Finally, I realized that being older did not mean I was no longer productive. I knew it was now My Turn to feel better both inside and out.
I had become a newer, stronger version of myself. My Second
Having achieved personal success, I wanted women 45+, transitioning through menopause, to reap the same benefits. As a result, I developed “It’s My Turn,” my exclusive, custom-tailored program designed to help women take control of their personal, physical, and emotional well-being as they transition through menopause and beyond. Each personalized plan is offered either through 1-on-1 private coaching sessions or within Women Redefining Midlife, my supportive community of like-minded women.
Women transitioning through menopause and beyond should no longer be defined by society. Simply reaching that stage of their lives does not mean that their lives are over. While their reproductive years may be over, their productive years, most certainly, are not. In fact, their most productive years are just beginning! We only get better with age! I help understand women that!
Eager to destroy the taboos about women “of a certain age,” I help companies address the many issues they face regarding menopause and caregiving, by bringing to light the many obstacles, misinformation, and lack of understanding and support many employees face within their work environment when trying to effectively deal with menopause-related issues and the growing dilemma that is caregiving. It is essential to understand how these issues may impact the company environment, productivity, retention, and the bottom line.
Through Women Redefining Midlife, I meet with groups of like-minded women to Chat About Menopause, giving them the opportunity to better understand the changes they are experiencing, share their stories, and realize they are not alone.
As a child, I had a grandmother afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease. Having personally experienced the effects this has on a family, I became a public policy ambassador advocate for the Alzheimer’s Association four years ago. Now that research has shown that a lifestyle incorporating the 4 Pillars of Wellness may greatly affect an Alzheimer’s patient, I recently became a Community Educator for their Healthy Lifestyle Program as well.
Ambassadors serve as the main point of in-district contact for a targeted member of Congress, helping the Alzheimer's Association achieve its federal policy priorities. They develop trusted relationships with their assigned member of Congress through ongoing, personal contacts. Currently, I am working with Senator Charles Schumer and his staff.
Ambassadors perform a number of grassroots advocacy activities that include periodic in-district meetings with elected officials, attendance at the annual Alzheimer's Association Advocacy Forum in Washington D.C., written and online communication with elected officials, participation in monthly calls & training sessions, and outreach to local media outlets.
Volunteer public speakers who provide Alzheimer's Association education programs to community audiences. I discuss the benefits of a healthy lifestyle and how those choices may keep your brain and body healthy as you age.
Looking for trustworthy tips as you redefine your midlife? Begin with: “It’s My Turn: 10 Tips for an Easier Transition Through Menopause,” as well as my newsletter updates.