Better & Bolder, the Blog

BSO four months


One.

Last night I ate too much after dinner. Again.

I say that this is the tug of menopause. It is the body’s will to grow a belly from which some small amounts of estrogen will be produced. 

I think perhaps I should exert more will to stop myself from eating more than I need. 

I think, too, of what a great privilege it is to go to bed with a full belly. This is luxury. This is what everyone in the world desires: to have enough, to have maybe even a bit more than enough, to be just a bit full at night. 

And there it is. I can give my attention to a desire to be thinner, or I can give my attention to a sense of gratitude and a delight in wealth and abundance. It should be an easy choice. 

Some women in menopause, they say they eat and exercise the same and their weight goes up. That’s not me at all. I had to eat a whole lot more to gain these ten pounds. I worked it.

Perhaps in the heat of summer, some of the fat will melt away. It often does in summer. I have the time and energy to exercise more and rest more. The hot sun calms me.

Perhaps, instead, this is my body in menopause, a little rounder. Perhaps I will, every night, feel the drive to eat just a bit more than I need. Perhaps being older will mean not that I gain weight but that I embrace the joy of having too much. How lucky I am to be an old woman with lots to eat.

Two.

Four months ago on December 22, my ovaries and fallopian tubes were removed in a risk-reducing bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy. 

I carry the BRCA-2 mutation that increases my risk for ovarian and breast cancer.

You want to know a secret? If I’d kept my ovaries, I probably woulda been fine. Statistically and personally, really, the chances of getting ovarian cancer were low. Higher than average by a lot, for sure, but still low. 

I just couldn’t live with the fear of it.

I wonder if menopause with my ovaries would be different than this menopause without them. I will never know. 

You want to know another secret? I can’t really tell the difference. Before the surgery, I had hot flushes and trouble sleeping. After the surgery, I have hot flushes and trouble sleeping that’s a bit worse than before. But, who knows? Maybe that was coming anyway. 

I hold on to the hope that everything settles down in a year or two. Menopause shifts into post-menopause. It’s like retirement. I may not have the energy I had when I was younger but I also have a lot less work to do. No babies to make. No eggs to drop, nothing to prepare for. 

Sometimes I imagine I miss my ovaries. They were still pumping out some estrogen and testosterone, and I love those hormones, both of them, so juicy and amplifying. 

Other times, I miss youthfulness. I miss a body that recovers more quickly from a hard workout and that doesn’t get injured so freaking easily. 

On the other hand, I’m also really loving menopause me. Menopause me is less volatile. Menopause me doesn’t get angry as easily as 30 year old me. Menopause me likes to look on the bright side of things, having learned that being relentlessly optimistic is as valid as (and much more fun than) being realistically pessimistic. Menopause me is a much nicer person than Fertile me. 

Maybe it’s not the menopause that has made me a kinder and calmer person. Maybe it’s a healthy diet and a vigorous workout regimen. Maybe it’s age: who’s got the energy to be uptight? Maybe it’s five decades of learning experiences. Who cares?

Three.

Today’s 4 mile run turned into an 8 mile run. It felt good. It felt important. I’m a bit sore and wobbly now.  I also am totally bragging.