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It’s 4am, I cant sleep.
I remember sleeping in late, but now I can’t even sleep more than a few hours. It’s funny how you take for granted people, things and even yourself.
I stumble to the bathroom and catch sight of myself in the mirror. At first, I’m startled in my sleep deprived state. I think there is someone else there – that’s not me. People once told me I was pretty now they just call me Mam.

I look in the mirror and wonder when I got old.

I have gained some weight in the last year. My mom just passed this fall after a 6 year battle with colon cancer. It’s unfortunate how old we suddenly feel when a parent passes or maybe it just brings our own mortality front and center. Either way, it’s a sad and scary time.  Then a series of life’s unfortunate events and post menopause and my former size 2 self is now 20 pounds heavier. My daughter scoffs when I complain as she is now struggling to lose 50 pounds herself.

It’s all about perspective, each person’s battle is difficult to them. The worst is not feeling healthy with this extra weight – I don’t feel like me. I have some really pretty clothes and I will  be damned if I have to buy more. Who wants to buy clothes because you can’t squeeze into your current ones ?

That’s not fun.

Midlife is filled with not fun moments for both men and women. Most people are suffering from the challenges of getting older and experiencing changes in body and mind. The key is not to change our spirit. I try to look at everything happening with a sense of humor and as a challenge. But, when you lose sight of yourself it becomes harder.

Starving yourself or crazy fad diets are not the answer. I know because I tried it – no luck.

I spent a lot of money to lose water weight and it’s just not a long term or healthy alternative.

Menopause and Andropause make it harder to do things exactly as we have always done them and reap the same results.  Change can be good if you look at as an opportunity to be a better healthier you. You have to start by getting help.  If your experiencing big changes in weight and health, check in with your doctor.

Gaining weight or feeling bad does not have to be the new you.  I found out that part of my menopause experience was suddenly out of whack hormones and thyroid.  A better diet, regular exercise and medication and I’m beginning to feel better. I’m still getting up earlier but I’m just using that time now for good and not evil. I’m not staring in the mirror at 4am examining wrinkles or grey hairs but taking the dog for a walk or writing.

By the way, taking power naps do work when needed. I’m learning that I’m still me – I’m just evolving.

Who knows, I may become a butterfly!!

What is your midlife experience and how are you dealing with it?