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Why this is not the second half of my life

Marta Wohrle
June 14, 2011 Reviewed by Marta 49 Comments

Within a few hours of publication, nearly 50 people had posted 5-star ratings on Amazon for a new book called The Second Half of Your Life. I was not one of them.

On the face of it, The Second Half of Your Life by Jill Shaw Ruddock should be right up my alley. I read it recently after a visiting friend from England left me a copy and found myself initially bored, then indignant and ever since I’ve been musing on why my feelings about turning 50 seem to be so very different from Jill Shaw Ruddock’s. Even the title of her book - The Second Half of Your Life – is nothing like the way I see myself as I head into my 50s.

I feel now as I have always felt: that I am just starting out.

It seems to me that life isn’t a linear thing to be marked in stages. It certainly isn’t delineated into two halves like a football game. For me, life is a constant stream of new experiences, choices to be made, uncertainties to try to overcome, new things to learn…..

When young, I was always on the brink of some new and defining experience: starting school, leaving home, falling in love, going to college, first job. As a 30-something, I got married, shifted careers to start a company, changed countries. In my 40s, the only constant (I am happy and proud to say) was my marriage; I started out in a new country (the US), changed careers, forged new and important friendships….

In my 50s, I’m just starting out – as an American citizen, the founder  of a growing website, a marriage that after 20 years is also starting out on a new, more mature, deeper phase. Who knows where all this is going. Sometimes it’s scary, mostly it’s a blast.

The Second Half of Your Life is meant to impart a positive message to a woman turning 50. She is going through menopausal mood swings (well, actually I can relate to that) and has to look forward to thinning hair, sagging skin and flagging libido. And Jill Shaw Ruddock actually wants us to embrace all of this inevitable decline on the grounds that estrogen is no longer boss. She says that as we are no longer dominated by this hormone that enslaves us to having babies and nurturing others as we were in the first half our lives, we can finally get on with doing things for ourselves. Our hair may be falling out, sex painful and wrinkles deepening, but at least we can get a hobby or even a new job.

So out of practice at doing anything for herself is the reader of The Second Half of Your Life perceived to be that she has to be reminded that there are basic fundamentals to grasp, such as the need to exercise and eat right. Empty nesters who also find themselves single again are given dating advice that I found extraordinarily patronizing, including being told that women over 50 should never ask a man on a date! What? Didn’t we stop agonizing about what might be construed as desperate way back in our teenage years? Haven’t we had plenty of practice at dealing with rejection of one sort or another? Hasn’t a 50-year old women in 2011 earned the right to take a chance and, heck, just pick up her smart phone and call a guy.

For all that the message of The Second Half of Your Life is supposed to be positive, I found it gloomy and defeatist. “Old is the new old”, says Ruddock Smith. No, no, no! Old is old. It is to be postponed for as long as possible. I have zero intention of aging gracefully. That’s doesn’t mean that I want to turn the clock back. I am very proud to have reached the milestone of my age (51). But I am not reconciled to getting old. No way. With the help of diet, exercise and a damn good eye cream I hope that I’ll keep on the winning side of the battle against aging.

Most of all, I hope I never ever lose that feeling that I’m just starting out.

  • September 24, 2016

    by Patti Finney

    I'm just starting this research I love your outlook!!

  • October 22, 2013

    by Cindy

    Marta, you rock! You are so right on. I feel like you do but unfortunately there are some women who have given our age group a stigma. People seem to think that if you are a woman in your 50s, you should have no energy & a rocking chair.

  • July 4, 2011

    by Jill Shaw Ruddock

    Marta,
    Just ran into Belkis Shah at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Delighted to make this connection. Please get in touch when you come to England. We have alot to talk about. I look forward to meeting you.
    Best wishes
    Jill Shaw Ruddock

  • June 22, 2011

    by Jlina

    Marta - thanks for giving us the space to have this conversation, it's one that is dear to my heart!

    Julie - there's no button but LIKE!! Yeah, we do, don't we?!!

    And, JC - on things like this I just keep getting another opinion until I find a solution. Allopathic or otherwise, Doctors look for what's broken - but when it comes to hormones it's harder to find, yes? I wish you all the luck in the world in finding your way back to feeling great!

  • June 21, 2011

    by Julie Kay

    This is a GREAT discussion! Women need Women... we nurture each other like no ones business. I've read this in its entirety, and it is worth gold. My menopause took FORever; not even certain it's over since they took my uterus when I was 30. I went peri in my 40s, and I swore I wouldn't take estrogen. But in early 50s I sat in the exam room and told my doctor, "One of us will not be leaving this room today if you don't fix this..." *laughs I'm still taking it; but I take half the lowest dose now daily. Susan, I'll have to look into your protocol; sounds interesting. As to aging- When I heard Pope Paul VI died (back what 10-12 yrs ago?) I also discovered he became pope at 58- I was like: He began a new career at Fifty-eight! Men do it ALL the time. It put a new spin in my head about aging and how it was going to affect my and my life. Not going to let numbers or AGE have the final say, right?

    We ROCK! ~jk

  • June 21, 2011

    by jc

    @susan, thank you so much for that feedback! i'm hoping my current doc is open minded enough to consider running certain tests if i can present them to him with some intelligence. i'm 43, so i guess i'm at that beginning age where hormones might fluctuate, but also other medications i am taking can affect all sorts of issues, like i never suffered with high blood pressure til these meds, also i developed what they're calling 'metabolic syndrome' or something like that. anyway, thank you for your thoroughness and i'll check out all those links and have something to share with my doc!

  • June 19, 2011

    by Marta

    Hello everyone, I've been watching this debate and just re-read every single comment. First, thank you Jill for being a good sport and getting the ball rolling.

    The Truth In Aging community is just extraordinary though. All ages, from 30s through to 70s and, to be sure, different strategies. But what really comes through from all of you is a generosity of spirit towards both others and yourselves. You are all so wise, warm, honest and strong. All of you are worth a book in your own right!

  • June 19, 2011

    by Naja

    I am not menopausal and am younger than many of the women on this website. However, my approach to aging is to still fight it every step of the way. Because I have dark skin and am religious about cosmeceuticals, I do not look my age at all. I dress and act sexy because I have the body and face to get away with it. Judging by the twenty-something men who routinely try to pick me up, I must be doing something right.

    I am not all interested in mid-life self-help books about embracing aging. Later for that BS. I am finally coming into my own as a woman and it's full speed ahead.

  • June 19, 2011

    by patrice

    oops meant to thank dear Penny, a 70+ sister for her comment. And thanks as well Teri for your kind remarks. Marta this was a great ? which allowed a host of us to share our thoughts re age.

  • June 18, 2011

    by Teri Dourmashkin

    Patrice...you have such an awesome attitude! Thanks so much for your inspiration and to all of the wonderful women on here who shared their comments!

  • June 18, 2011

    by Susan

    Hi JC,

    First off, I hope your doctor has had you thoroughly tested to rule out any possibility of breast cancer or other medical issues than hormones.

    If this is the case, then I would suggest you check out the Wiley web site, as I indicated in an earlier post. Also, Life Extension Foundation has a physician reference list, as does Suzanne Somers. Please keep in mind, not all doctors are equal and you might need to look a bit before finding a good fit to you.

    There are progressive doctors who treat men for hormone inbalances: testosterone, DHEA and estrogen. I don't know your age so this might not apply to you, but as men age their testosterone levels decline and estrogen levels rise (think big bellies). As with women, it is with men -- there are individuals who have extreme imbalances creating a host of symptoms.

    There are hormone tests available for men, and there are dosing protocols. Since you are using a testosterone supplement, I'm hoping this means you get your hormone levels checked from time to time.

    I hope this link works:
    http://www.lef.org/LEFCMS/aspx/PrintVersionMagic.aspx?CmsID=115964

    http://www.lef.org/Health-Wellness/InnovativeDoctors/?sourcecode=SUZ

    www.wileyprotocol.com

    I wish you great success in getting to the bottom of your health issue.

  • June 17, 2011

    by patrice

    JC I loved your comment. Fortunately I too made out with good genes and recently when I went into the doc's office, he came in looked at me and my chart, then went back out to check on the door and said he had to doublecheck because I just don't look 70 but 50. So for me it's payback, when I was young all my peers were gorgeous with great figures and here I was 28-28-28 called rickets, bones etc., I wanted sooo to look older. Well God was good, because at my reunions those great looking chics of the 50's don't look so sexy anymore and I get lots of stares and attention, especially for the old geezers who used to call me bones etc. Love it! Of course I'm no longer bones but holding at 135 at 5'2-1/2 (I hold onto that 1/2" with good posture and stretching exercises) also have breasts that don't sag (yet) and of course with the good genes passed on by my parents helps, but I supplement with good, clean living etc. Gotta love the 70's you young gals out there at 50 and 60, so look forward to your 70's and keep healthy! Will check in when I turn 80.

  • June 17, 2011

    by jc

    wow this article got a lot of responses. i must confess ignorance for the most part about bio-identical hormones, i mean i've heard of the subject, and i understand the concept, but i was just wondering, is there something like that for men as well? i mean i currently use a testosterone gel supplement but, for some reason, i feel it's sort of incomplete, that testosterone is one of several things my doc should be looking at. not to be too gross, but my doc does say it appears i have gynecomastia, and i notice when i'm doing well adhering to my test. regimen, my left nipple itches and actually sometimes lactates. so obviously just targeting testosterone and testing for testosterone levels isn't enough...i wonder if he should run whatever estrogen tests there are and include antiestrogens. that's why i'm curious about the bioidentical thing, because it seems more complete in its treatment. any good resources for a guy to look at?

  • June 17, 2011

    by Penny

    I loved seeing responses from our "over 70" sisters. At age seventy I look, feel and act like I did in my 50s. Happily when I was at my usual phys check-up this week, the technician did a double take look in my direction and said, "You're 70???" I answered "yes" and she said, "WOW! No way." The other tech told me that was meant in a hugely positive way.

    I often get comments about how young I look. People are always surprised when learning my age. How does this happen? Truly, I think it is by taking good care of oneself, staying aware and interested in life, EXERCISE and MOISTURIZE, having good posture, eating the right foods, sleeping well, and of course, it's in the genes, too.

    Kudos to TIA - Marta's wonderful attitude and intelligent questioning of all the beauty products out there. This is a wonderful web site!

  • June 16, 2011

    by patrice

    thanks Jina for your kind comment and also enjoyed reading your blog.

    Wow C.R. you are old!!!! Just joking of course. But way to go studying chinese!!! You must have the gift of linguistics..for me other languages are a struggle but if I pick up a few words it's better than none.

    I've just started attending a chinese mandarin church so plan on taking their basic Chinese language with some of the preschoolers. Either way I'm in the minority age-wise at both ends and ethnically as well, being caucasian. Love other cultures!!

  • June 16, 2011

    by Carol

    I can honestly say that I am more a woman now than ever. At 51, I feel more confident in who I am and how I look and feel, and know that this is shows in how I conduct myself and how I present myself. Its a wonderful feeling of positivity, self appreciation and inner peace, and I am so thankful that I have found this. Its priceless. I think older women are real women, with the wisdom that comes only from life experiences. Value yourselves for what you have been through and who you are now, and the world will see your worth and value you too.
    Cal

  • June 16, 2011

    by Jlina

    Thank you Susan. I love being opinionated and able to look so published about it on the blog. It's great fun when I have the time.

    I agree with the loss of elasticity in skin but haven't really seen it yet, and sex drive issues. For me I've pretty much bounced back - I had periods so severe that for about 10 years I had to fight to NOT get a hysterectomy (3 miscarriages and PID may have contributed). So mental relief might have a huge part to play in that! I did gain 40 pounds - major cravings like I was ALWAYS pmsing for say, 2 or 3 years....and chocolate. Weight totally takes away any and all wrinkles, but is probably not the solution for it. Anyway as I lose, I am still firm. I have always worked out 2/3 times a week, though. Aerobic and weight bearing.

    Teri - my friend uses the suppositories, but my gyno says they don't guarantee changing the internal dryness? I did get some kegel weights to insert daily and I think that the muscle tone issue is important and any "use" of it...lol....helps! I "just do it" too - I actually have sex and in part chose my partner to make sure I did to keep myself flexible and non prolapsing. The friend I spoke of has a prolapsed uterus and bladder and major issues. This is a nightmare situation!

    Anyway, I am intrigued by adding in some low dose testosterone from what I read, but unless something radical happens I will probably keep doing what I'm doing. I found using oral grade vitamin e, like from Walgreens - you can swallow it for your e vitamin intake - is a great lube. I was having major uti issues with any and all commercial lubes, so this was huge. And my doctor has me on one bactrim after sex to prevent uti's. I don't always do this but I do now immediately - sigh - jump up and wash off and take cranberry daily. And no uti's for about a year and a half.

    I did do the yam/estrogen cream when I was in my late 30's (you can put it on any fatty area - the stomach is good too and inner thigh) and never noticed any difference, but also got the conflicting opinions. Logically when you read how drastic the drop in estrogen is, it does make sense not to want your body to have to experience that.

    I was on really strong old school birth control pills for maybe 15 years tho, and I've read estrogen is like a bank...your body does fine for years until you go in the red (overdose) on it...and then you get the problems.

    I'm a licensed massage therapist and Reiki master tho - so I'm probably on the really holistic side of all things. I think there are even herbs that have a reall high estrogen content that can be substituted. But ideally, you want what Susan has - a pharmacological compounding based and backed up with blood work, etc.

    One other thing that's intrigued me and I've been doing - and it may seem very wooo wooo - is stimulating the pineal gland. After all, this is where EVERYTHING comes from. So, I saw a youtube video and the guy put his hands over his ears and tapped rapidly on the back of his skull (ocipital area) for like 60 seconds several times. I've been doing this to see if I can notice any improved reaction times, mental acuity, eyesight...etc. Most pineal things involve visualizing the third eye but this tapping is very much like EFT - or thought field therapy - which can change brain patterns so I am intrigued with it vs. visualization.

    Anyway, hope to visit more with you all soon.

  • June 16, 2011

    by Jaysie

    Susan - You are so right about doctors having a hard time keeping up with new research. Add to this that when the medical community does reach consensus and starts practicing new treatments, they sometimes have to reverse themselves, as was the case with HRT. This leaves us laymen with challenging decisions because this isn't about a new lipstick or a new facial Tx.

    Here's an example: I have a friend in SoCal whose Harvard-educated cardiologist (my friend has no serious heart problem) gave her Estradiol cream to apply to her arm and also told her it would be okay to use some on her face for anti-aging. When I asked my gyne about doing this (she's at a top hospital in Chicago) the response was I shouldn't fool around with a hormone. We all know doctors can't possibly bat 1,000 but such divergent opinions lead to a quandry.

    All of what you've stated about BHRT, and some of the other stuff I've read, is so logical and it seems to me that finding the best practitioner is the key. Hormones are really at the crux of how our bodies function and you have given me a renewed interest in pursuing this whole subject. Thanks again.

  • June 16, 2011

    by Susan

    First off, I have enjoyed everyone's comments. What a great group of women! I'm 55, but you women in your 70s are definitely younger than me. I find your comments inspiring to me to rearrange my thinking processes.

    Jlina,
    I had to make myself quit reading your blog. It is habit-forming and I've signed myself up. :)

    Again, I encourage anyone who might be asking questions about hormones to read. Don't be satisfied with your doctor's dismissal of them. Inform yourselves and make your own decisions.

    Most doctors, no matter how well intentioned, are not educated or trained in this new field of medicine. They are often overworked and are challenged to keep current in their own fields. Often they rely on studies such as the Women's Health Initiative and or pharmaceutical companies to gain new information.

    Jlina, you ask a very good question: if symptom-free and post-menopausal, why do BHRT?
    I, too, was almost at this state.

    At 50, I had two doctors (different clinics) tell me I hadn't quite dried up like the "Sahara Desert." Can you imagine my demoralized feelings??? In the past, women didn't have the choice but to dry up (so to speak). I decided I wasn't ready for my reproductive system to become dry like the Sahara, along with having a concern over diminishing sex drive. I'd also learned that hormones aid in skin tone, elasticity, texture, muscle tone, memory, etc., so all these factors pushed me even more.

    The Life Extension Foundation publishes a monthly magazine which contain referenced articles about cutting-edge research, which I found educational and helpful. I read "The Sexy Years" and "Breakthrough" books by Ms. Somers and climbed on board. I chose the Wiley Protocol, because hormones are balanced (big deal regarding cancer) and to fight the disorders that are problematic with advancing years and after we lose our hormones, e.g., diabetes II, heart disease, alzheimer's disease.

    This isn't just for women, by the way. Multiple studies are strongly indicating the health benefits to men by supplementing with bio-identical testoterone as they age.

    One last thought about the "danger" of estrogen. Prior to the Women's Health Initiative study being released, I'd read about the concerns researchers/doctors had about estrogen-dominance. My understanding is cancer is a risk if our hormones are greatly imbalanced which generally occurs as we age and estrogen takes on a dominant role.

    Add to this the synthetic hormones chemical structure which is quite different from ours and an even greater imbalance is created. Many women were supplementing with estrogen to relieve symptoms and creating more imbalance. Ironically, the synthetic estrogen from mare urine is the form least made by our own bodies. This is the controversy surrounding supplementing with HRT and/or with estrogen only.

    Ok, I'm getting off the stage now.

    :)

  • June 16, 2011

    by Teri Dourmashkin

    Hi Jina: Your physician can prescribe bioidential estrogen that comes in a cream or gel which is applied directly to the vaginal area to help dryness. You might want to give that a try. I have been on natural progesterone (both OTC and prescripton)since I am 38(now 58) and bioidentical estrogen (compounded by a pharmacy)for about 4 years. Suzanne's books are great and as Susan mentioned, are well written. She has gotten a lot of flack in the media for not being an "expert," which I think is absurd. She does her research and the bulk of her books are interviews she conducted with physicians familar with bioidenticals. For those woman who have little to no symptoms, that is great (a 59 year old friend of mine has never even had a hot flash), but unfortunately many of us need some help. And all we are doing is supplmenting what I body was producing when we were younger.

  • June 16, 2011

    by Gloria

    Well I guess reading the book is out for me. Why bother. Susan you have sparked quite an interest in me regarding the BHRT. I have been post menopausal since I was 37 and I was on HRT for about 3 years. I went off after all the negative things started coming out and just learned to live with it. I have often wondered about BHRT. I do like Suzanne Sommers because of her approach on life in general. Thank you for giving all the information. I will certainly be reading more about it.

    Marta thank you for giving us all a chance to speak out about what we all feel inside about such an important issue. ANTI-aging is the motto for me. After reading eveyone's posts I feel so empowered to take on the rest of my days just being happy and being ageless!!

  • June 16, 2011

    by Jlina

    PS - Patrice, you sound inspirational!

    And Susan, if I'm done and symptom free - why do bio identicals? My gyno is more than happy to give them to me but he said he was unsure they'd even address vaginal dryness which was the only issue I'd had.

    I will say too tho - along with the workouts, the vitamins, the products...Cher said, "I've been 40 and I've been 50 and let me tell you - 40 is a breeze." My 40's were my primo beauty years and the hardest thing to not do is to compare ourselves to who we were - for me anyway!

    I'm lucky tho - younger boyfriend means great things in a lot of ways and probably functions as well as bioidenticals - haha.

    And as for thinning hair - take Biotin. Really - it's amazing and almost no multi I've ever seen has anywhere clost to 100% of it. It completely stopped a small thinning patch I had at my hairline - didn't grow it back, but it's been the same now for 5 years or so.

    And find a site like this one to share! and encourage and it's all good!

  • June 16, 2011

    by Jlina

    Hi! I've been thinking and sort of blogging on this for a year now. I too don't see my life in "halves." I have however finished menopause - or the symptoms - and am at the gym regaining control of my body. lol

    I have always moved from adventure to adventure in life - living in Puerta Vallarta, modeling in New York, salmon fishing in Kodiak Alaska. So my interest is in helping people not live in their "glory years."

    I want to help send a message that the best - of whatever - is still to come. That adventures aren't based on age, but on a flexible mind and an open heart.

    I have always been awestruck by the seniors that are out there red hatting it, or rocking along in the tour busses, and now the cougar sites on facebook are very active.

    I haven't found the perfect formula, or the perfect message - but I do know that I won't give up. Today's 50 leaves most of us with 30 more years of life. We can not afford to not challenge ourselves, keep our bodies as flexible and healthy as possible and continue to function as an asset to society if we give in to the notion of "aging." We - as a group -have to find a way to dispel the notion that there is a second half and that it's downhill.

    I don't want to spend even one of those 30 years infirm or without total mental acuity, and I hope I can prevent it while also giving hope to others!

    There's always going to be challenges, adventures, loving, giving, affirming, helping and hoping. And it keeps us young - all of it.

    Love to you all....

  • June 16, 2011

    by C. R.

    I am going to be 73. They tell me I look 15-20 years younger. I am a student, hopefully graduating next year, in Traditional Chinese Medicine to practice acupuncture and herbology. Age is something mental and vanity for the physical is super important. Good skin care, diet and exercise are important, but mental attitude is at the top of the list. If someone thinks they are aged, then they are because you become what you think! My favorite saying is I will stop when I drop and that keeps both myself and my spouse going and amazing ourselves and others. Some people are old at 25 and miss out on a lot of things because of it. I read, cook, study and work as a legal contractor. Life is what you make it is still a great saying.

  • June 15, 2011

    by Jan

    I am fighting it all the way with the rest of you !

  • June 15, 2011

    by patrice

    Marta I could not have said it better. You are absolutely right on. I started a new career at age 54, am now 70 still active in my business going on 15 years. Great marriage lasting 47 years. I do not mind being 'older' as long as I don't give in to what old is. I work at diminishing the wrinkles, sag, eat what I want, workout, volunteer. AND if my husband should be the one to go first, and I feel so inclined you bet I'll call up some good looking guy and ask him out. Forget the 50's attitude, gone, gone, gone.

    Thanks for the critique on 'The Second Half of Your Life' don't think I'll read it based on what you shared of its contents. After all these years I believe I have a good grasp of life and how it should be lived, better actually than when I was younger. Wisdom does come with age big time.

  • June 15, 2011

    by Susan

    Lori,

    Oh yes, I do see a physician and have regular blood lab work done. The hormones I take are prescription only and they are compounded at a pharmacy.

    I am not trying to push anyone in any particular direction, but on the WileyProtocol.com web site there is a directory for physicians who have been trained in the Wiley Protocol. There is also a wealth of information there.

    An alternative would be to go to the American College Advancement in Medicine web site( www.acam.org ). At the bottom you can input your zip code and a list of practicing physicians should appear.

    Lastly, I encourage you to read up on the subject. Knowledge is power and there are many good sources to choose from. I began reading up on the subject about eight years ago, while the hormone topic was still in its infancy. Time and patience were requirements.

    Oh yeah, Suzanne Somers' web site has a physician referral list, also.

    (Keep in mind, not all doctors on these lists are equal, and you might have to see more than one before you find a good fit. I was fortunate, in that, I found a fantastic doctor in Portland, OR, on my second try. Even though I'm moving back to California, I'm not going to give her up.)

    Jaysie,

    You're welcome. I firmly believe we TIAers benefit from one another! :)

  • June 15, 2011

    by Lori

    Susan (and anyone else taking bio-identical hormones), Are these prescribed by your physician? It seems difficult to find one in the area who supports the use of these and women's concerns with their quality of life are disregarded. Dos anyone take these hormones without a prescription or support from physician?

  • June 15, 2011

    by Jan

    This is the best thing you have ever written Marta! Touche!!!! Give yourself a big hug from me - so inspirational!! I'm turning 50 next month - thanks to good genes and years of using the best products I could afford, I thankfully look 10 years younger. However my mind and heart are still about 17 and I am proud of it! Why would I waste my time reading this book? I have too many fun and exciting things to do!!!

  • June 15, 2011

    by Kathi Harter Keefe

    After having a stroke at age 51 due to hormone replacement therapy (recommended by my GYN to prevent osteoporosis after I started menopause) I am totally without supplements. And I feel great. Perhaps I am fortunate, but I also do most of the right things such as exercising and eating sanely and live by this motto "Act old later". I'm now 61

  • June 15, 2011

    by Imelda

    I agree with you 110% Marta! I have no intention of embracing old age for as long as I can workout and lift weights, do the eliptical machine, eat nutritiously, and continue to enjoy a healthy life in my 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's and so on! And for as long as you review and recommend those great anti-aging products, I will refuse to accept defeat and just "age" no matter if its done gracefully. Thank you for your thought provoking post which I'm sure a lot of women need to understand when it comes to the years whether they are in the spring, summer , autumm or winter of our lives.

  • June 15, 2011

    by Jaysie

    Susan - Thanks so much for all the info you've shared...this is another one of those TIA moments when I wish I could buy your lunch or dinner so we could talk about BHRT!
    :)

  • June 15, 2011

    by Anna

    Okay, I am no where near this part of my life but I am NOT aging gracefully in the sense of just "bending over and taking it." I'm going down fighting and I'll age gracefully because I will LOOK and FEEL FABULOUS.

    In addition, I think it is beyond condescending to say that the only reason women are nurturing is because of estrogen, that we don't "look beyond the home" because of estrogen and that once you are free of estrogen then you can "be yourself." What kind of crap is that? I don't make my choices based on whether I have estrogen in my body or not.

    I thought we were beyond this. I tell my patients that they need to exercise and take care of themselves "go down fighting." If they think they're old and act like they're old then they WILL be old.

  • June 15, 2011

    by Sue Sun Beach Nature

    Just to add... my lovely grandpa (famous musician in Brasil), who died at 92, used to say :" Aging is the worse disease!"...LOL
    Heart never ages, so why should we outside then? :)

  • June 15, 2011

    by Sue Sun Beach Nature

    Hi Martha: (loved your new pic, by the way :)...
    I have not read the book, so I'll comment on my point of view on aging and on what I read in here...No one wants to look aged, like no one wants to die!
    I am few years still from 50, and had not been through menopause yet...but obviously my whole body is already feeling the results on decline of hormone production(tissues, skin, hair...)So I try to learn alot (since I started reading TIA and your comments I have learned a lot about ingredients/products and how better care for my skin and hair).
    I will try (to the last breath :)...) to keep myself health and looking my best...with good sense, obviously. In my middle fourties I know there are certain types of clothes, or make up, or hair, that instead play in my favor, would make me look ridiculous - and those I avoid...wisdom is essential!I am also much more carefull, nowadays, with what products I use on my skin, hair, lips...
    Living within a budget, I do not have the condition to go for a much more drastic measures on keep myself looking younger (do not take me wrong, I'd love to try some fillers here and there, some Titan or other tightening treatments)... So I need to be very well informed (which I get through TIA) on where to spend wisely.
    The inside, is a constant pursue to be better as a person, and I think the outside should be too - especially after 40!!!

  • June 15, 2011

    by Susan

    Jaysie,

    Currently, I'm on the Wiley Protocol. It is a patented system of rythmic dosing to mimic a woman's naturally fluctuating cycle, rather than static dosing.

    Below I've pasted a link to the news article that might be informative pertaining to the Women's Health Initiative, which has become the "gold" standard for most:

    T.S. Wiley to Testify Before the Select Committee on Aging at the US Senate
    April 19, 2007–
    http://www.wileyprotocolsystems.com/news/press-releases.html

    I began reading about menopause and such in my late 40s, as I realized I knew nothing about the topic.

    I picked books by leading, respected doctors and increased my knowledge of this change of life fast approaching me. I even read a couple of books by Suzanne Somers. (For those who might be rolling their eyes, please read on.)
    Ms. Somers' books--at least the ones I've read--are a compilation of interviews with board-certified physicians and leading experts on anti-aging.

    Biomimetic hormone replacement was one of the therapies commonly discussed in these books, along with other bio-identical therapies.

    To ascribe to BHRT or not is a personal decision and an important one. I'm so thankful I live in a country where we are able to inform ourselves and thus make informed decisions.

  • June 15, 2011

    by Jaysie

    Well, I'm the perpetual virgin...as long as I continue to have those slap-on-the-forehead, "first time I've had to think about this" experiences, I can't feel old just yet. There's still too much to see, do, experiment with, and learn about. It's only a knee or a memory lapse or a mirror that reminds me to merely adjust expectations, but a curious mind never eliminates anticipation and never gets wrinkles.

    I'd love to know what books or professional advice convinced those on bioidentical hormones to go for it. I'm enthralled by the info I've read, but have chickened-out because my female gynecologist has pooh-poohed this idea as risky.

  • June 15, 2011

    by JustD*

    <> you said a mouthful Marta. I turn 58 next Wednesday, and I don't see this as the second part of my life at all. I am just beginning to fully appreciate the fullness that life is offering me now. If anything, I'm upgraded because it's my time now and the focus, albeit not solely on me, is definitely moreso about me than ever before. I get to enjoy and appreciate the amazing being that I am becoming and I will not go quietly into that good night without my anti-aging stuffeses.

    Thank you for a lovely and heartfelt review of this book. I am emboldened even moreso to arm myself with as much ammunition as I can get and keep it and locked and fully loaded. I too am prepared to postpone, for as long as I can, the inevitable. I really like how you put it, " It is to be postponed for as long as possible. I have zero intention of aging gracefully. That doesn’t mean that I want to turn the clock back. I am very proud to have reached the milestone of my age. But I am not reconciled to getting old. No way." Well said. I ain't going without a fight either, cuz ain't nothing graceful about aging, except how you carry yourself through the process.

    I'll be sixty in two more years, having read your review, I feel that I can take it on without taking any prisoners, because I have TIA as my backup. Thanks so much for all you do!

  • June 15, 2011

    by Gloria

    Well I too have not read the book but it certainly has sparked an interest to read it just to have a better opinion. I can honestly say that since I went through menopause at age 37 and cancer when I was 26, I certainly would have wasted a lot of years trying to redefine myself. Everyone here has great insight as to what it all means to them. What makes this all great is opinions are free and personal to each person. Life is a barage of decisions & choices. I think no matter what age we are we are the same as we always were as long as we want to be. I mean, the best you can be is always at your fingertips. You may have to change your routines such as eating different, exercising and resting more, but it is not age defined. Great feedback on the book. Jill your last statement here speaks to most of us. I know for me I will never be old, just better at accepting who I have become, simply marvelous dahling(most days.)

  • June 14, 2011

    by Jennifer

    I understand what both of you are saying. I'm almost 40 and I can see myself feeling without much of a purpose when my children don't need me so much. Sad but true. This is where I understand the "second part" idea. I need to work on me some now. But what Marta is saying would be wise. It may insulate against an empty nest crisis-for me anyway.

  • June 14, 2011

    by Jina

    Hi Marta,

    Totally with you and your views on the future. I wonder if Madonna has picked up a copy? :)
    Regards

  • June 14, 2011

    by Junko

    Given the situation or the company that I'm in, I can sometimes feel 12, 24, or any age depending on where my mind is at...damn those pesky mirrors and calendars for managing to change my perception! Thank you Marta for such an inspirational article.

  • June 14, 2011

    by Susan

    I'm on board with Teri Dourmashkin. I'm taking bio-identical hormones (estradiol, progesterone, testosterone, thyroid) and I don't intend to ever be without estrogen.

    What I appreciate about your article, Marta, is it is thought provoking and it has people sharing their thoughts.

    I probably won't read the book. No offense meant to the author, Jill Shaw Ruddock. Most likely, many empty-nesting women will appreciate reading a book to help define how they see themselves.

    As I never had children and didn't marry until my late 40s (both decisions were by choice), I was required to define myself outside of the home and family--while in the full throes of an estrogen-dominated brain.

  • June 14, 2011

    by Kimberley Fristed

    Thanks so much, Marta!! I appreciate the birthday wishes! That little birdie is looking at me right now and is so proud of himself... haha!

  • June 14, 2011

    by Marta

    Hi Kimberley, a little bird told me its your birthday. Many happy returns!

  • June 14, 2011

    by Kimberley Fristed

    I haven't read the book, so I'm basing my comment solely on what I have read here... It seemed to me, and has been supported by Jill's comment here, that the idea is suggesting a woman's life is based on the early phase of family and home life and the next phase of venturing out to find herself. This is the disconnect for me; at age 42 (and prior to menopause), I have not waited for something to "push me to look outside the home to define who I am". This post has raised great interest in me and I'm considering reading the book. Yet, I'm wondering -- would it be more informational and meaningful to a woman who looks at her life as different stages of being a mother?

  • June 14, 2011

    by Teri Dourmashkin

    I agree Marta...you expressed yourself beautifully. And while Jill's comments make sense and you would probably agree with at least some of what she said, I certainly don't want to be redefined because of a lack of estrogen. Does she talk about bioidentical hormones by any chance? I am post menopausal and wouldn't even think about not taking them as my body seems to absolutely need them. So, is she saying that a lack of estrogen is the major catalyst for positive change? So, what happens if we decide to take them? Will our creative juices, passion and courage be squashed or suppressed? As I have not read her book, I am confused on that one. As far as the comment about not asking men out, this is just her point of view obviously. However,it is still shocking and stunning to hear that in this day and age.

  • June 14, 2011

    by jc

    beautifully written marta! i think i'd prefer your perspective over jill's book anyday! i'm 43 and agonizing about fifty...it finally hit me around 39 that birthdays come more quickly after forty! LOL! your comments here make me look forward to it as well as encouraging examining perspective in the moment!

  • June 14, 2011

    by Jill Shaw Ruddock

    Sorry, but I think you need to reread my book. My book THE SECOND HALF OF YOUR LIFE is not about menopause but about life after menopause. Without the fuel of oestrogen our goals change and we want to redefine ourselves in different ways. It alters the way our brains work and how swe see the worlk Although we can't give birth anymore, we are welcoming a woman who can give birth to herself.

    Backed by the latest medical and scientific research, without oestrogen it pushes us to look outside the home to define who we are. The post menopausal woman can now focus on becoming the person she always thought she could be.

    You need to review my FIVE A DAY. This is the beginning of another adventure, a chance to find the best in ourselves to make sure the second half is the best half.

    We have to age but we do not have to grow old. That's the message.

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