Menopause vs Man-o-pause

Menopause vs Man-o-pause

Posted by Nicole Sherwin on

Now that we’re in November/Movember, I thought it apt for me to share my experience regarding my health awareness journey during my stop and pause life changes. I, like many others I’m told,  was not keen to invite a period into my life that was commonly perceived as basically becoming an old goat. 

Hot flushes that stop you in your tracks

My perception that I wouldn’t be viewed as youthful, young, or useful anymore, was quite a belief system, drummed into my subconscious by the collective through generations I suspect. Then, out of nowhere, I started feeling lousy, and on came the hot flushes. Those torturous beasts arrive in the middle of the night when you least expect them. They pretty much arrive whenever they jolly well feels like. Not just once or twice, but on a daily basis. Not just at night either, but during a business meeting or presentation, playing sports with family, sipping cocktails with friends. You get the picture. Just whenever. Certainly, no invites from me. So I found it all quite rude of life, and extremely uncomfortable. I felt uncomfortable in my own skin. Those flushes can literally stop you in your tracks. But maybe that’s just what they are supposed to do. Stop us in our tracks to pause.

Stop and pause

I thought about this stop and pause idea quite a lot during this time, as I was not at all happy with the state of affairs of my physical, emotional, and mental changes. Then instead of fighting with myself, I thought, ‘what if I accept this change as a positive change. Maybe a chance to re-invent my health, to strengthen my mind, and to balance my emotions. I liked that thought. It felt lovely. I decided to act on it, and so began my deep inward journey. How could I make this pause phase, just that; a period to pause to reflect. To re-imagine. What was to be this new chapter of my life?

I chose to stay in the ring and box against global negative perceptions. I needed to radically understand how I could be my best and most valuable health care expert.  I wanted to be able to experience vibrant health, and take some of the wisdom learned in the past to create the best possible life experiences and the most happiness I could. Enter the new next chapter of my life.

I was asked to cast for a JD Williams, British fashion campaign, and low and behold, I booked it. Just before my 50th. A heaven-sent, gentle, and lovely reminder that we are only as old as we decide to feel. The timing, smack bang in the middle of my pause when I was at the height of not wanting to admit or embrace it. Not to myself and certainly not to others.

Timing is everything 

They say timing is everything and I really do believe this. Take a peek at the background in the video (green dress) from the shoot. As Alanis Morrisette says, ‘Isn’t it ironic?’ Check the shout out, ‘HOT FLUSH’, in a large, proud statement, on a bright, blaring neon sign. I had a good chuckle when I arrived on set and saw that. Thanks, universe.

I realised that this life phase is not something to be embarrassed about or believe that I’m ‘over the hill’. Instead – I need to CELEBRATE the fact that I got here in one piece. Warts, war-wounds n’ alles. I managed to stay on the planet to experience and embrace a huge life shift.

Menopause is quite a thing to come to terms with. Society and our gullible minds tell us that we are approaching the end of our ‘youthfulness’. This can make you feel not only confused and embarrassed but also quite depressed. Again, I remembered, I am only as old or young as I choose to feel. I decided to shift my thinking from a fear-based perspective to a love and kindness perspective. It just felt so much nicer. I decided to focus on balancing my gut, skin, and wellness pH in order to eliminate the hot flushes, as well as reverse the aches and pains. There was all the crazy emotional stuff to consider too – and so began my journey to clean up my GUT.

Did you know, the health of the gut plays the MOST vital role in menopause symptoms. The foods that we unconsciously consume can either be health support or health hazard.

Self-healing journey 

I began this journey of self-healing through a plant-based, nutrient-rich diet and chose foods  that supported cell-regeneration & renewal from the inside out.  I researched many different natural and homeopathic remedies and supplements  to balance pause symptoms and also doubled up my meditation practice to twice a day and started swimming in the ice-cold Atlantic ocean, every morning. Wim Hof is a legend.

Thankfully, my skincare was already taken care of, as I had been using my full Eco Diva face and body range for at least 2 years, so I knew there were no chemical nasties playing havoc with my skin or hormones. (BTW- always check the ingredients in personal and skincare products you use).  After a few months, my health began to shift. My energy began to restore, the hot flushes became less and less and my emotions started stabilising. It was and is a continual health journey, but one that I feel I am fully and completely responsible for, with the choices I make every single day. Choices of what I eat, what I think, how I feel, how I react, and if I’m in flow with life, not against it. What a relief.

Menopause and ‘man-o-pause’ are a real thing. It’s just that not many of the mainstream media or for that matter, people, talk about man-o-pause. Like they never used to talk about female menopause. Hopefully, we can bust out of that belief system. Hopefully, with time, men can also seek the help or guidance they may need, without feeling self-conscious. Everyone should seek out their own health and happiness and discover how to stay balanced during the pause as well as through all stages of life. My best ally, self-education.

Both men and women can suffer from pause symptoms, like hot flushes, mood changes, body aches, and pains, not to mention weight fluctuations. Almost like being a teenager again. In fact, that’s how I prefer to view menopause. Not something to hide, but something to celebrate, as a new phase of my life begins and I can choose to be that teenager again if I feel like it. I must say, I’ve never felt better or had more energy. It’s quite lovely and I’m really enjoying and celebrating this new phase of my life’s journey.

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Video of JD Williams Campaign


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