Four Reasons We Need To Stop Silencing Menopause

Menopause written in scrabble letters on a wooden table

Over the course of twenty years, I’ve listened to the joys and struggles that people experience daily with their wellness. Over these same twenty years, I had the opportunity to see what worked, what didn’t, and where opportunities for improvement presented themselves. Over time, it became very clear to me. This newfound clarity also helped me uncover the ultimate wellness secret weapon that could literally transform their power, their strength, and their ultimate happiness.

When I left my lucrative and successful corporate career, I opened Fitness on the Run (FOR) to help others find their best fitness, even with hectic schedules, like I had and like so many Washington, D.C. folks do. Over the course of my time at FOR, I found people struggled to find their ideal fitness and wellness. After asking question after question, and listening, and listening, and even more listening, I realized I was onto something. Feeling “fit,” or strong, in our bodies, has way more to do with our choices outside of the bounds of merely “working out.”

Feeling good in your body is so much more than the pant size or number on the scale.

Busy schedules, high stress lifestyles, the roller coaster ride of dieting, and trendy exercise programs consumed many of the women I met. When I recognized these lifestyle choices were impacting members’ wellness goals, I then realized my personal journey through perimenopause could be a catalyst and essential tool to help them.

Adrien Cotton of Alexandria Wellness sitting outside cross legged by a fountain

Most of my clients were in their 40s or 50s.

How could my experience through my mid-forties help other women? Although they were also experiencing the same change I did, I knew I had to speak out on my personal journey.

The issue was silence.

Yes, every woman on the face of the earth goes through menopause. Every woman, typically sometime between her forties and mid-fifties, will begin her menopause journey with “perimenopause.” Perimenopause is the transition to the phase when reproduction ends, which is menopause. The average age of perimenopause is 47.

The classic signs of perimenopause are depression, sleep disruption, hot flashes/night sweats, and vaginal dryness.

I know I never got a good night’s sleep. I was so stressed that my photo should have been next to the word “stressed” in the dictionary. I felt puffy and fat, and I had a belly I never had before.

My old game of outworking others – on my business and on my body – was failing me. I worked so hard, yet my body never reflected the work and energy.

Menopause written in scrabble letters on a wooden table

I was in my mid-forties and my symptoms were classic “deep” perimenopause. In other words, I was well on my way to full blown menopause and didn’t even know it.

I was miserable. And I now know I wasn’t alone. When we can speak out and connect on a personal level about our individual journeys, we can achieve the wellness we always dreamed of. We can break the silence on the effects of perimenopause and menopause together. We can transform this journey for ourselves, and ultimately, others who experience this journey after us.

Here are four reasons we must stop silencing and start embracing this important period of our lives as women:

  1. Every woman goes through menopause. It is a physiological and developmental stage. Although some women experience it due to medical reasons, most women experience “natural” menopause.  Every woman experiences symptoms at home, at work, and out with friends and family. Menopause symptoms don’t only happen in secret!
  2. Menopause has more to do with our whole bodies than just our reproduction. From our physical, to emotional, to our mental health, menopause affects us in a myriad of ways. It’s not just the end of our reproductive years, it’s a transition that encompasses all areas of our wellness. We cannot ignore it.
  3. Our bodies are different in menopause. Let’s acknowledge these changes and fuel our bodies accordingly in a way that truly serves them. It is simply different. We may even need to shift our approach to exercise. I know this much – 30 minute walks will behoove you!
  4. Silencing menopause can be easily compared to ageism. How can we turn a blind eye to something a whole demographic experiences? Because every woman will experience this at some point in their lives, my mission is to help women – and men – talk about it, normalize it, and respect it as an opportunity to shift the old ways of chasing the perfect aesthetic.
Menopause and fork in the road graphic

The best way to end the hush-hush nature on menopause is to take the reins on your own journey. Break this silence by educating yourself on how to feel better in your body. I beg you to share your newfound wisdom with others – women and men. You can purchase my MASTER Menopause NOW! 5-Module Course and share it with women in your personal life and networks, and you can be at the forefront of stopping this silence for good. Let’s master menopause, together!

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In Strength,
Adrien