Midlife Mommas: A Girlfriends Approach to Life After Menopause

Finding power and purpose in perimenopause with Jessica Barac

July 03, 2024 Season 3 Episode 160
Finding power and purpose in perimenopause with Jessica Barac
Midlife Mommas: A Girlfriends Approach to Life After Menopause
More Info
Midlife Mommas: A Girlfriends Approach to Life After Menopause
Finding power and purpose in perimenopause with Jessica Barac
Jul 03, 2024 Season 3 Episode 160

Ladies! (and gents) This is a fabulous convo with Jessica. She covers so much more than perimenopause, so if you've already gone through the change, there is still a TON of wisdom in her words. Please join us.
Jessica has hundreds of thousands of followers and we are thrilled and honored to have her on the show. Jessica's heartfelt and authentic story is a pleasure to listen to. She's helped SO many women navigate perimenopause and menopause. We know you'll love her as much as we do. 
Connect With Jessica:
Instagram:
What the Menopause 

Free masterclass:
Perimenopause: Your Pain to Power Era  - https://www.whatthemenopause.com/masterclass-pain-to-power-era-ppp1


Stay Connected!
Amelia

Cam

Midlife Mommas IG: https://www.instagram.com/midlife.mommas/

Please share, rate, and review the podcast. We appreciate you! ❤️

Show Notes Transcript

Ladies! (and gents) This is a fabulous convo with Jessica. She covers so much more than perimenopause, so if you've already gone through the change, there is still a TON of wisdom in her words. Please join us.
Jessica has hundreds of thousands of followers and we are thrilled and honored to have her on the show. Jessica's heartfelt and authentic story is a pleasure to listen to. She's helped SO many women navigate perimenopause and menopause. We know you'll love her as much as we do. 
Connect With Jessica:
Instagram:
What the Menopause 

Free masterclass:
Perimenopause: Your Pain to Power Era  - https://www.whatthemenopause.com/masterclass-pain-to-power-era-ppp1


Stay Connected!
Amelia

Cam

Midlife Mommas IG: https://www.instagram.com/midlife.mommas/

Please share, rate, and review the podcast. We appreciate you! ❤️

What the menopause with special guest, Jessica Barrick. Hi. I'm Kim, holistic health coach, mom to 2 humans and 4 pets. Hi. I'm Amelia, laboratory scientist by day and food scientist by night. Welcome to our show. Join us as we share our holistic approach to life after 50. You can expect real life stories with a dash of humor and a ton of truth. If it happens in midlife, we're going to talk about it. So hit that subscribe button and follow along. We're the Midlife Mommas. Hello! Welcome to the show. Yes, I'm so glad you're here. Every everyone we would like to introduce to you, Jessica Barak. She is the famous woman behind What the Menopause. I knew about your Instagram page way before I actually met you in person. And when we were in the car, we were on the way to, Camelback Mountain in Scottsdale, and you told me that that was your page. I was, like, amazed that that's your page. So welcome to the show. We're glad that you're here. Thank you so much. It's such an honor and a privilege to be here with you. I'm excited. Well, let's start there. Like, you have this thriving community on Instagram. How did that start? Like, what is the origin of it for you? Yeah. So walk the menopause, actually, it started out as really, a kind of cathartic way for me to navigate what I was going through. It started out as a kind of I was struggling so much in perimenopause that it was a way for me to kind of find the the funny side of it in a way to use humor as a kind of cathartic way to help me to kind of get through it, but also in a way to educate myself and also to kind of bring education out through this kind of humorous way. So when I started that, I didn't really realize that it would take off in the way that it had. But there just wasn't really anything like that. And women have really just connected to the fact that, you know, there is a place. There's like a corner of the Internet where they can feel seen and validated and celebrated in their experiences. And that didn't really kind of exist beforehand. So I think that that's kind of why it's exploded in the way that it has. It's very entertaining. You need to go find it right now on Instagram. Well, after the podcast. Go find it after the podcast. Yeah. So, Jessica, just a couple of questions if you don't if you don't mind. A, are you willing to tell us how old you were when you started going through this? And b, what year did you start the journey of, what the menopause? Like, the the, you know, all the things. Yeah. Absolutely. So I started, perimenopause. I'd say 37. Wow. And I started What The Menopause in 2022. So I'm 41. So I must have been 39 when I yeah. 39 when I started, about the menopause. And, yeah. So, you know, and to be honest, when I when I first started it, I I never showed my face, to be honest. Like, it was it was very funny memes and things like that that I would kind of create and educate through. But whenever I did because I'm a registered nutritionist by trade, and so I was working with clients 1 on 1 to support them and, you know, all that stuff. And I used nutrition and movement as a way to help myself through perimenopause. But whenever I showed myself my face on there, I would get so much clap back. Like, oh, what would she know about menopause? How old is she? She's a baby. You don't know anything. And so I had this, like, anxiety was a huge problem for me. Like, I'd say the biggest perimenopause symptom that I had. And so this fear of just being publicly ridiculed, you know, for being what the menopause was just, it was too much for me at 1 point. So I was just like, oh, I just I was too frightened to kind of show up. And so, yeah, that's, yeah, that was that I mean, that that's taken a lot of kind of, you know, moving through, I'd say. I applaud you so much because that's kind of I had a similar experience. But, Cam, I wanna ask you from what you know with working with women, is that young? Is 39 young, or or or do you see a fair amount of women less than 40 that are beginning to experience this? Yeah. So perimenopause could start around 35. Do you agree with that, Jessica? Yeah. Absolutely. Yeah. It could and it's sneaky because you're not really sure what's going on. You just don't feel like yourself, and the symptoms are sneaky, but you could be losing your progesterone as early as 35. And I think the average age for menopause in the United States is 51. Is it the same in London? Yeah. It's the same in the UK. I mean, in the Western countries, it's it's generally fairly similar. Very similar. So, yeah, so your ovary retirement party can take anywhere from 10 to 15 years, and you're not really sure what's going on. And then all of a sudden, you're like, what the heck? And so Yeah. That would be my experience. My experience through my forties, I did not. I had 1 hot flash, which is, like, the typical symptom of menopause perimenopause. I didn't really have the anxiety or any of the mood swings so much, just the 1 hot flash. And it was shocking. I had a hysterectomy and went into complete menopause overnight. And so my experience was I didn't. I probably had perimenopause symptoms, but I wasn't aware. So what was it for you, Jessica, that you became aware, like, something I need something, something since I'm I don't feel like myself. Yeah. So, I mean, it was really difficult to pinpoint. I went through a a stage of of of anxiety becoming a very big problem in my life where, from nowhere from being a very kind of bubbly, energetic, ambitious person to, you know, this crippling anxiety that I couldn't really explain. And, you know, not wanting to go out socially, not wanting to see my friends, like seeing my friends and then thinking, Oh, I'm not funny anymore, or I'm not like you know, just a loss of confidence generally. I'm not interesting. I'm not funny. I'm not enough. And then to full blown panic attacks, you know, that things would happen and I would just, like, be killed over, like, you know, my and my husband was just, like, what has happened to you? This is not the woman that I married. I don't recognize you. You know, those problems sleeping and all those things. And he 1 day, he just said to me, Jess, you have to do something about this. Like, we, as a family, cannot actually go on like this because it's impacting the kids. It's impacting your work. It's impacting our marriage in a huge way because, you know, my sex drive was just, like, completely gone. Well, if you if you don't feel confident, I mean, and that we've done 1 episode on on this subject, but if you don't feel confident, and it sounds like you did it, and I kinda suffered that as well. It's huge. And I just wanna say that I'm just so, like, I feel such a sisterly thing with you over this because so many women experience perimenopause like this, and they're not told you know, I don't Cam probably told you, but our Instagram live started as what your mama didn't tell you. That's where we got midlife mamas because this stuff, nobody talks about, and your doctor doesn't talk to you about it. These nonphysical symptoms, if you're not having hot flash and you're still menstruating, how do you know? And it it can be. I don't know that my social anxiety was as extreme as yours, and I didn't cry constantly, but when I had these overwhelming feelings, I could never explain to my husband why. And I would just say, it's irrational. I cannot explain this. Like, why do I feel blue? Why do I feel anxious? Why do I feel panicked? You know, small, small things just took on a life of their own. And for a while, it felt a little bit paralyzing. I still went to work. I still did the things. But the amount of effort and energy it took to carry on daily life was profound. And I went through that probably for close to 10 years. It was a long time of holy crap. I mean, I just was living by the seat of my pants every single day. Yeah. Now I feel you. And, you know, we I went I really went through a time of of using things like alcohol and, you know, over exercising to kind of numb to just feel numb and just to try and kind of cope. And, for me, part of the journey and a lot of my message is really about refinding your power and stepping into your power. And, you know, I I had to give up alcohol. I couldn't like, it became such a it became so such a negative part of my life, you know, that I just had to say, look, I can't I'm not gonna do this anymore because this is not helping me. It's not helping me cope. It's making me feel even more anxious when I'm trying to use it to just, like, calm down, de stress, feel relaxed. It was literally doing the opposite. So, you know, I need those kind of that spiral of guilt and shame that you get afterwards after you drink too much is just was just, you know, too much. So I really had to, take stock really of my life and really look at, you know, what is serving me right now? What is not serving me right now? And getting back to where I, how I figured out I was in perimenopause. So I was going through this time of just this real apathy towards life and just like, almost feeling numb towards what I was doing generally, you know, just not not really caring either way as to, you know, what I was doing. And then I noticed that my cycles had shortened because I've been tracking my cycles. And it would generally, it was around 31 days, and it went to, like, 25, 26. And I was like, oh, that's interesting. You know, why would that really happen? And it was then when I, you know, looked into the reasons why that I heard about or learned about perimenopause. So I was speaking to my mom about it, and she told me that she she was in full blown menopause at 40 1. Mhmm. So she had gone through perimenopause, obviously, in her, you know, mid in her mid thirties. And that just made the penny drop. I was like, oh, and it was actually a huge relief to be honest because I thought that I was like, there were times when I thought I was having a nervous breakdown, like a full on nervous breakdown, no coming back, like, life will never be the same. But But to understand that, oh, okay. This is this is my hormones. This isn't actually me or my brain or my, you know, sanity. It's my hormones. And so, that was actually that was kind of if there was rock bottom, that was like the first step out of rock bottom, if that makes sense. Absolutely. Being understood and heard, that's amazing that you have that conversation with your mom. As Amelia mentioned, what our you know, what your mama didn't tell you, we we had no idea what was happening to our bodies. So it's great that you have that connection, if you will, to start understanding what was happening to yourself. That's good. Yeah. What would you say was, like, 1 of the first steps? Okay. So you had the conversation with your mom. What was 1 of the first steps after that to, like, get back to yourself? Yeah. So, as I said, I'd been kind of coping with alcohol and, you know, over exercising all this stuff. And I'm a nutritionist, so I know how to quote unquote eat healthy. So obviously, my first step was to dive more into the nutrition of like, okay, how can I like, what nutrients can I use? What kind of thinking that I'd find some magic herb or some kind of magic ingredient that I could then, you know, use and be great. But what I found was that I actually wasn't eating well for my shifting midlife physiology, that I I wasn't eating enough protein, that I, you know, could focus more on more fiber and more colorful, you know, plants and vegetables, all those kinds of things. And so really, it was a shift to more protein, which I'm sure your listeners know, you know, 30 plus grams of protein and, you know, just aiming for more colorful plants and, you know, for brain health and for, you know, antioxidants and to control inflammation that was happening and then healthy fats and and and really just kind of stemming back, my carb intake, you know, not not going keto or low carb or anything like that, but just being more aware of, okay, what carbs am I eating, and can I be more strategic about my carb intake? And so, when I dialed those things in, that really helped, to be honest. I had been kind of restricting during the day, like coffee, collagen. I'd been I'd kind of been fasting since about 2014, like intermittent fasting. And I didn't find that I personally didn't find it helpful in perimenopause. I know many people do, but I personally didn't. So I actually stopped doing that. And that was really helpful. I started having a proper breakfast at like, you know, 10 AM or whatever. And then then it was really just about, okay, how can I support my nervous system? You know, how can I and so I started doing breath work, and and I'm just, you know, trying to just calm my nervous system down, de stress my body? And I picked up the weights again. And it's surprising because I I'm a person I've been a personal trainer. And so I used to lift a lot of weights. I had 2 kids. I basically went through a stage of not lifting any weights, doing loads of Peloton and running and, you know, all that stuff. And I'd really been using exercises as the same way I was using alcohol, and it was to kind of numb and, you know, just to get out of my body kind of thing. And so I picked up the weights again, started lifting started lifting properly, and then prioritizing nature and walking. You know, these very simple things. And and just trying to kind of have more of a connection with myself, if that makes sense. And the journey of going sober was you know, it took me on a journey really of a lot of self reflection, a lot of navigating things that I'd been numbing with alcohol, just anything really in life. I had to really I had to come face to face with a lot of difficult things that I'd been numbing up in my life. And so I I really found that perimenopause, even though it was so at the beginning, I really struggled with it. It's really helped me to become more powerful as a person in midlife. And I think that that's such a beautiful opportunity for all of us, you know, just to take stock of where we are, you know, what needs to happen, what we need to let go of, what we need to bring in, what we need to add to our lives, and to help us to step forward and feel better now, not only, but also in the future for our future selves. I love that. It's we call it the midlife awakening. It's really an invitation to come home to yourself, and you're talking to all of those things. My drug of choice in my forties was definitely going crazy in the gym. I was a CrossFitter coach and athlete for many years, and that's how I numbed out my feelings. So did I have perimenopause symptoms? I don't really know. I'm not really sure. But I did notice once I hit menopause that my exercise tolerance was greatly diminished. Did you experience that at all in your journey? Yeah. I think that I just my body didn't feel I felt that tired and wired, kind of. Like, it just felt like everything was too much. And it felt difficult to do the same, to exert myself in the same to the same level Mhmm. As I probably could before. And it just now feels better in my body to know, it's almost less is more. Yes. 100%. I literally do like 30 minutes a 30 minute chunk of exercise, and that's it. Like, I'm not gonna go and spend an hour and a half doing some elaborate program. It's just that it's not where my life is at. It's not what makes me feel good. I love that. That's exactly what we found over here. Yeah. Do you agree, Amelia? Oh, a 100%. Because we we are basically the same person in different bodies. We've all done all that. But, Jessica, I wanna go back to 2 things that you mentioned. 1 is intermittent fasting, and this 1 is alcohol. The first question would be, how what helped you realize that the alcohol was actually a depressant besides published fat? Because I knew that too, and I still use it. Because that euphoric feeling that I feel after literally, I think well, now it would be like 2 sips of wine, but I mean, because I'm so not used to drinking it at all. But at that time, when I was drinking 2 or 3 glasses a night, it would take the 1st glass, and I felt great. And, you know, when you drink every day, which many of us have done, in our forties, or at least that's what I did, I didn't recognize that slump that I felt the next day. So that's the first question. The second thing is how did you know about intermittent fasting? Because that's another part of my story as well. Yes. So with alcohol, I mean, my history with alcohol has been, abusive, I would say. I wouldn't say I was an alcoholic per se, but I've definitely abused alcohol throughout my life. And there came a time when I was I was struggling so much with the anxiety and with, you know, the all of these different as aspects of what was going on. I just felt a real deep inner calling, I suppose, to, like, you need to give this up. You know? And I think it was also the fact that, you know, I have 2 young kids and I'd always thought, Okay. With the pregnancies, you can't drink when you're pregnant. So it was always like, Oh, well, when I'm trying to get pregnant, when I'm pregnant, that's a time when I won't drink. You know? And then so following that, you know, after having my second child and not planning on having anymore, it kind of felt like, is there anything that's going to actually stop me from drinking now that I'm not gonna have pregnancy to make me stop? And it just kind of felt like I'm just gonna have to give this lot. For my own for myself, I need to just stop doing this because I'm afraid that it could get very much out of control. And I don't want to be using this as a tool in my life to cope. I want to I want to be present for my kids. I want to be present for my family. I want to show up for myself in my life. And it really just became a decision for me, you know, and the kind of person that I wanted to step into that just alcohol wasn't a part of that picture anymore, which was a huge thing for me because, you know, I always loved having a good time. Drinking is, like, such a part of the culture. And all of my friends obviously still drink a lot of alcohol. And, you know, and so having those conversations of, well, I've decided to go sober. A lot of them were like, what are you doing? You're crazy. But, you know, it's you you know your real friends because they're the ones that support you in it. And did you ever have a time where you're like that that pull to get even that little bit of relief? You're like, oh, man. Because you talked about showing up, which I absolutely love. Were you afraid that without that, quote, support that you wouldn't be able to show up? Because I went through a little bit of a period where, I had to be honest with myself, and I had to go to the place of what is the worst that could happen here? Like, if I've had a bad day at work, and I'm very performance driven. So for me, be doing a good job is, like, a primary motivator for behavior. So, I had to like really step into, if I don't drink and this, it goes bad, that was the support. And so now if I've given that up, what happens? So I was just curious if you had any situation like that. Yeah. So to be honest, giving up alcohol, I'd say it took a year. Wow. I decided to give it up. And then I was like, no. Will I give it up forever? And everyone was like, are you giving it up forever? And I didn't know, and I couldn't decide. And I thought, well, you know, maybe if I'm in Italy and I'm at a winery, I wanna have a glass of wine, whatever. So, you know, I gave it up for about 6 months, and then I had a, you know, a couple of glasses. And then I was like, I think I should give it up. But I kind of to and fro'd for a while. And then I just, you know, after about a year, I I just made the decision. Like, I have to make a firm decision on this for me. Not everybody does, but I had to. So I did. And I was like, No, I'm not going to drink anymore. And I'm going to find other ways to support myself. And so, you know, I did. I took up a kundalini yoga practice of, you know, breath work and, and just giving myself different types of tools to cope. You know? So that really helped me, you know, going for a green walk helps. I mean, it seems silly, but, you know, it works. Like, these things seem small, but they actually are very helpful time in nature. Going and smelling the roses, just being in the present moment. These things are all transformative. They sound simple, but they really can transform your life. And I love that we're actually talking about those things and it's not just woo woo something out there. It's actually supportive to our systems and support our life. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So intermittent fasting. So I started intermittent fasting when I was a personal trainer, in 2,014, it was like it it just became the cool thing. We're all doing it. Oh, sure. You know, we're all, like, drinking long blacks and having butter in the coffee. And so and for me, it was a it was an excellent tool to just shed fat. It worked perfectly for me. It was my go to. If I needed to kind of get a bit shredded, that would be my, like,

intermittent fast, 16:

8. Perfect. Like, that's, you know, it just really worked very well, until it really did it. And I just didn't feel good doing it. I didn't didn't feel I can't describe it. It wasn't anything big or but it just stopped feeling good for me. And it's great for some people, and it's very helpful tool. But for me, personally, it just it stopped, you know, feeling good. And I just found that having 3 good full meals of protein and colorful plants and healthy fats, and then just trying to, or have focusing on that instead of, you know, restricting for most of the day and then binging in the evening, which is what I would generally do. You know, the coffee in the morning, I had a little salad, and then dinner with wine, and, you know, then you just kind of go that downward slope of snacking and salty and sweet food. Yep. You know, just refocusing on, well, we have 3 solid meals for a reason. And that is because it helps us stay satiated, keeps our blood sugar balanced. It just, it helps my anxiety. It helps me to feel good in my body. It gives me energy. I don't have, like, brain fog. I feel good. And then, you know, stopping at, you know, I won't eat past, like, 7 o'clock. So it's not like I'm not fasting, but I'm not intentionally, like, you know, feeding window, fasting window. It's just, you know, I I stop eating at around 7, and then I love that. You know, I'll have breakfast about 9 or whatever. I was still doing it when Cam and I met, and she had to talk me out of you know, I was still doing fasted workouts because the whole thing is, you know, you work out and you're torching calories even after, and I believe that. And I'm kinda like you. It started off like gangbusters, and I loved it, but it did not take long for me to start feeling, brain fog. Like, I'd get to work, and by 10 o'clock, I'm like, I can barely function, but I gotta make it till noon before I can break my fast. So that was a disaster, unmitigated disaster. My weight really didn't even change, Jessica. It wasn't like I just dropped £10, but I was able to maintain a weight. And I was over 50 at this point, so I was already struggling. But I was like, you know what? And Cam really kinda talked me out for, like, this might not be so good. She was so gentle and sweet about it, but I'm with you. Like, I and so many of my friends do it, like my younger friends, and it may be fine for men. Like, my husband accidentally does it. If I don't make him a good fruit and vegetable smoothie in the morning, he might eat or he might not. So for dudes, I think it's just very different and helping our lady friends understand that your body is different than it was when you were younger, and it's different than your husband's is just it's crazy because we have these, at our age, Jessica, we always think that it's so hard you learn to calorie restrict so young, and that would work. It is work every day to tell yourself that that is no longer a healthy and sustainable lifestyle. Yeah. Absolutely. Yeah. And I think also, you know, what's a good something to bring into the conversation is just this kind of the focus that we've had on being small. Yes. And I would say like, how small can I get? Like, just try to get smaller. And now we know, obviously, as we age, especially, it's just we need to be focusing on looking after our body. Like, we need to build the bones and the muscles and, you know, this fear of, like, getting bulky or getting big. It's just it's just, I don't know. I don't know who made it up. I don't wanna look bulky. Like, who came up with that? Because no just you literally have to be, you know, properly cross fitting, you know, every day to really bulk up like that. Like, it takes intention and strategy to bulk up. So I think it's, you know, such an important thing from for midlife women, all women really, to reframe around. Yeah. And diet culture told us that exercise more, eat less was the way to get to the body composition or the number on the scale or whatever your motivation was. And yeah, and it doesn't work. No. It doesn't work at all. And the other thing is that diet culture, Cam, you know, we were after a weight or a size. We didn't really nobody told us or at least I didn't understand what body composition was. We've talked about skinny fat on the podcast before, Jessica, where you can be uber thin, have 0 muscle tone, your bones, you know, if you take a fall, you might break a bone. So that's also body image. I mean, I had have always had body image issues, and, you know, I'm at a very healthy weight and body fat, percentage right now, but I'm never gonna be a size 2. And I don't even think I was when I was like 14. So, you know, recognizing that we're all different and beautiful in our own ways, that's a whole another conversation. But I think for our age group, it's important to talk about it because we wanna slide back into that diet culture and that size and so easily. And if you're not paying attention, you may unwittingly, you know, maybe be reignite some habits that aren't so good. Yeah. And that I mean, that is why conversations like this are so important. We need to talk about it. Because if we're just left to our own devices and we're reading magazine coverages and we're reading, like, you know, Instagram, whatever, The messaging is still there, you know? So we need these conversations. We need to be sharing the message of, you know, you know, skinny is not in, really. Let's be strong. Let's focus on being strong. Yes. As strong as possible. And I love how you take your message about perimenopause into your power era. Like, that is very powerful, Jessica. That's great. Yeah. Thank you so much. I think it's, you know, I just I think it's important. And for women who really are struggling, because there really are a lot of women and, you know, I get messages every single day of women just feeling like just like, what do I do? I feel so alone. How do I feel better again? I don't know what to do. And, you know, it is like, it doesn't have to be like this. I think step 1 is we need to become more meno literate. I like to say it's just an understanding socially, which is getting there, but also just personally, we need to understand the changes that are happening in our body right now. And we need to, you know, put in a plan and intention of how to to, you know, make ourselves feel better in a way that, you know, gets rid of the stuff that's not serving us and pulling in the stuff that is. I think that's, you know, that's really simplifying it very much, but it's that. Very cool. Well, 1 of the things you listed, and I'm eager. We talked about, you know, doing the things, the power of community and connection. Tell me about that because we're that's kinda where we are. We're talking about opening the conversation, but tell us how you view view that power of community and connection. I mean, I think that the problem is, and you I'm sure you've spoken about this, but at this time, mental health for this age group of women is a huge issue. And suicide rates in this age group are the highest in among any age group. And so with perimenopause, the fact that it is so difficult to pin down makes it very difficult for women to understand exactly what's happening in their body. And they really do think that it's them, or their marriage, or their husband, or you know, they can't identify that it is something that's happening for them hormonally, and there are steps that they can take to help them. But the importance of community is that women are feeling so alone and so isolated. And I felt this as well. Like, I felt, even though I've got a really supportive husband, amazing parents, great friends, I'd never felt more alone than I did when I was really going through the thick of that anxiety and panic attacks. I felt disconnected from life, from my friends, from people in general, from my husband. And so the amount of messages that I get every day of women just saying, I'm so thankful that I found this page because I thought it was just me. Mhmm. And women will just say, this comment section has literally changed everything for me. Just reading the comments of other women because they don't understand or know that what's happening to them is normal. You know? We're all going through an iteration of this this time of, you know, struggle. It's a seize it's a seismic shift, you know, that we're going through. And so for me, the power of community is we just need to talk about it, and we need to be there for each other. And so the more that we can talk about it and normalize the conversation, as you are doing so beautifully own answer. They can there are places they can go to get help. They can go to their healthcare provider and they can get hormone therapy or that, you know, there are so many steps that they can take. And it's about them understanding that they can take agency over themselves and that this is not, you know, really, it's not the end of their life. This is, this can be such a beautiful new chapter. And I think that community is at the heart of that. And connecting with other women at this point is really at the heart of kind of women coming to that understanding. 100%. When I went into surgical menopause, I felt so alone. You looked around my doctor who did the surgery. I said, when do I come back? And she said, you don't. And I was like, wait a minute. What what what just happened to me? And it's so I identify with all of those things. And that's how Amelia and I met actually on Instagram. She reached out and I was like, who is this woman? And now we're the greatest friends. I know. And I mean, you know, and it's other like, depending on your culture, we kinda bat around, like, cultural things. I'm from the deep well, it's not deep south of the United States, but it's in the south where everything has to appear wonderful. You have to, there's a country song about, I forgot, it might be Carrie Underwood, talking about don't go hide your crazy. I mean, the Southern women really live by that edict. Like, don't show any of this. So even among friendship groups, unless you're someone like me or Cam who are completely out there and talking about this for all the world to hear, it may be difficult to open that conversation. And, you know, it could be difficult with your marriage. Like you say, when your hormones tank, your libido goes out the window. So you feel isolated there. And, you know, Southern women don't talk about that with even with their friends. So some of these symptoms are so we perceive them as being embarrassing because we think we're alone, and I just love it. You know, I just feel like where can we find this community? And obviously, online is great, but I'd encourage our listeners to reach out to 1 of us or or your or your friendship group or whatever because you are definitely not alone. People just start talking. Yeah. Absolutely. And what I think, you know, podcasts like this and just, you know, platforms on Instagram can help women understand that, you know, talking helps, communicating helps. So if you have a friend, like check-in on your friends, number 1. You know, check-in, even if you're not the first 1, just check-in. Like, are you okay? How are you like, how are you coping? Is life okay for you? You know, that can be step number 1. And checking in on your colleagues, you know, having the conversation. Workplace is harder, but, you know, women are struggling in the workplace. They very much are. So, you know, if we can if we can, you know, be the ones to take the first step and be powerful and be brave in doing it, it can really you don't know whose life you're changing. You really could be changing somebody's life in a very, very, very impactful way. Goosebumps, Jessica. That's exactly it. That's why we do what we do when we show up on Instagram and have this podcast, so I love that. Mhmm. So you're offering a master class. Will you please tell us about that? Yes. So, it's called perimenopause, your pain to power error. And it's really all about perimenopause, what's happening, kind of explaining it, and then just speaking to step by step how you can turn this into your power error. And that's through a very holistic approach of using nutrition, using movement, finding joy in movement, optimizing your sleep, de stressing, and then, you know, and how all of those holistically improve your symptoms, help you to lose the the fat that you've put on if if you need to. And, yeah, it's a lot of fun. I love it. Yes. We will have the link in the show notes. So ladies, please sign up because you can learn from Jessica firsthand how to tackle your perimenopause symptoms and make it your power era, which is perfect. Love it. Oh, thank you so much. And tell us where our listeners can find you, Jessica. Yeah. So you can find me at what the menopause on Instagram. That's basically, you know, I'm a I'm an Instagram girl. So on Instagram is the best place for sure. And that is the best name of any page ever. That's really how I felt about it. Go at the beginning, like, what the? Story? What is happening? That I felt that way for sure. Yeah. I love it. Well, Jessica, it has been absolutely a delight to talk to you today, and we appreciate you very much. So thank you for being here, and thank you for what you do for the world and all the women in midlife. No. Thank you. And thank you for this podcast and the platform that you both have. It's so beautiful and so helpful and so needed. We need to all be talking about this. So thank you. It's such an honor to be here. So thank you so much. Thanks for listening today. You can find us on Instagram@midlife.mommas. For all of our other contact info, check out the show description below, and we will talk to you next week.