Healthy Living: Embracing Who You Are and Your Older Age Gracefully

I woke up this morning very happy. The boys went camping this weekend and when Will is gone, I let Liza sleep in Daddy's spot as you soon as she goes to bed. Unfortunately, she ends up in bed with us when he's here practically every night about 2:45 a.m. on the dot, but that's another story for another day. 

I looked at her little face and just felt at peace with life. You see, my bloodwork says I'm officially at menopause. 

I told a friend that last night who is under 40, and she said, "I'm sorry!" 

I said, "Don't be sorry! I'm happy. I welcome it." 

You see. I get it now. I was probably in perimenopause when my son was born at 37. My hormones have been off for ten years, and I didn't understand what was wrong with me. It is hard to explain. I would go to my OB-Gyn, and she would dismiss things. The response was, "It happens. A lot of women feel this way."  But, there was never a why. 

I have battled cystic acne that came on very seasonally for over 14 years now in my chin area. I've been on medication off and on. I used cleansers that were once only subscribed by doctors. But, in February when I was under a writing deadline, it went like out of control crazy. Because I'm a hypochondriac at heart and worry about health, I have practically every physician's numbers in my favorites on my phone. I went to see my dermatologist. 

She listened. She helped me. She tested my hormones. I had to walk out with a prescription that is known to help block androgen production. I'm not happy about that because my goal is to get off less prescription medicine. Not add more. 

She said, "We're seeing more and more women in their 40s developing this hormone acne now."

I am certainly not an expert on this issue, but as a journalist, my education taught me to learn how to connect the dots. 

If this is more common now then something is causing it. I have worked to become more educated about my health.  I've read things. We have hormones in our food. We are eating processed foods too much. We are slathering things on our skin, our largest organ of our body, and it is absorbing chemicals that are known to cause hormone disruption and other issues. There are more than 80,000 chemicals on the market today. Many don't have any safety data. This is particularly true of ingredients in the skin care and beauty industry. The Personal Safety Care regulations have not been changed since 1938, and only 11 products known to cause health risks are banned in the U.S. Europe has done more studies and have banned 1400 ingredients in personal care products. Companies are allowed to use known toxins--ingredients that been linked to cancer, reproductive issues, hormone disruption--without telling the consumer. 

Even everyday facial cleansers can be a problem. Baby products, too. I encourage everyone to download the Environmental Working Group's Healthy Living app. When you are at Target. Scan your products. Look for safe products with "Green" listed as ingredients.  It's kind of like a stoplight. Green is the target. Yellow, you may want to use caution. And Red, well, there are some things in it that are known to be health risks. And many of that is with the undisclosed chemical make-up behind the word "Fragrance" 

Yes, I'm menopause. My boobs sag,my stomach pooches, and I have lines on my face, but I have many years ahead of healthy living. I have switched my anti-aging (clinical results are proven behind this line) skincare and cosmetics to Beautycounter because they work for me and I know they are safe.  I tried more eye creams than you can imagine through the years and I tried the Countertime and was sold within a week of using it. I saw more results with this than what I was buying from my Dermatologist's office. I also now do not have to worry about parabens which are known to cause breast cancer and hormone disruption. 

Beautycounter is the only game in town who has built its whole company around our health and changing legislation so that safe products can be in the hands of everyone at some point all price points. Not everyone can afford Beautycounter which is why legislation has to change. 

I talked to a mom yesterday who has a child with severe allergies. He is allergic to almost everything, and because she wants the best for him to help him, it impacts her family budget and she has had to go without herself. We need to change legislation so being healthy doesn't cause financial sacrifices. Budget-friendly Food Lion is already making changes to put organic and hormone-free meats and produce in their stores at a lower price point. I've been hearing the ads on the radio. They know that consumers are caring. There is also Aldi and Trader Joes. We're doing better on our food side, but we still have a long way to go with personal care products. 

I use safe non-toxic cleaners, soaps, and other household items, and supplements through a Young Living membership. Young Living sells safe skincare, too that people love plus you can make your own. For me, Beautycounter eye cream worked better. You do what works best for you.  What I buy with Young Living gives me points back for more savings. This company is not FDA-regulated, but their products are natural essentials oils and other natural oils/safe ingredients to make natural, chemical free products. Each time I buy my Super B vitamins at a membership of $19.75 for a three-month supply. I earn reward points that will either buy me another bottle for free or another product. I do my homework. I've shopped Whole Foods and I cannot get it cheaper there for a comparable quality product. Same thing with Thieves household cleaner. A little bit goes a long way when you make your own. I paid $22, earned points back on that purchase, and have used the same bottle for eight months now. I'm almost out and reordered this month. 

I am still doing baby steps in my lifestyle but I want my children to have a healthy start. I started reading food labels years ago, but now I'm always thinking about things before I buy. If you want to talk to me about what products I use now and why and how I use them.  I'll be happy to help you and talk. Just contact me via email, Facebook. And be sure to subscribe to my Healthy Email Blast that can be found on my sidebar.  I am not perfect. I do baby steps. Folks, I ate a Dunkin Donut yesterday. That's life. I am not superwoman. But, I just try to buy and eat smarter on most occasions. 

I leave you today with this fabulous song. I love it and am so glad I discovered it this Sunday morning. It makes me smile.  And on one note, I'm not quite ready to go gray. That may never happen. Blondes do have a lot of fun. 

This is my new life. 

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