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  • Writer's pictureDawn Morabe

"Operation M"

Inside Out, The Beauty Of it!

Have you ever watched the kid’s movie “Inside Out”?  It’s a clever, well-made movie.  I want to offer a twist.  I watched that movie recently and thought there should be a movie like that made about the changes that happen in menopause.  Yes, I said menopause, which will now be referred to as “Operation M.” Instead of emotions, the leading characters would be your metabolism, thyroid, fat cells, and brain.  It’s interesting to me that, as young girls, we talk about the changes in our bodies that will be occurring.  But, as older women, that conversation ceases to exist.  Then, suddenly, one day, you ask yourself, what is happening?  Inside, many changes are occurring. 

For one, I was unprepared; by the time it happened, I felt like I was playing catch-up to figure it out.  I felt as if some of my internal functions had retired without notice.  Or they only occasionally decided to pick up a shift and work.  What did work well was my internal body heater, commonly referred to as hot flashes.  I imagine weekly board meetings were occurring to counterattack any lifestyle changes I made to mitigate the changes in my body that were happening.  As a younger woman, I was always fit and thinner, not to mention I slept with copious amounts of blankets at night.  My figure and pursuing perfection or the ideal weight were predominant factors for my worth and acceptance.  But like they say, beauty fades.  Well, beauty in the sense of youth.

Before I knew it, I was in a full-blown battle with my body.  Attempting to shed my new pounds, I restricted my calorie intake.  This resulted in my fat cells banding together like protestors, locking arms and refusing to budge.  My thyroid joined in and decided she would take a sabbatical, along with my metabolism.  It was a full-blown conspiracy.  It felt as if they had a meeting about the calorie deficit and kicked into low gear.  My brain was the CEO, and feeling the deficit of budgetary hormones and calories, she made corporate adjustments necessary to continue operations.  Operation “M.”

Through the journey spanning the next several years, I have learned this.  “Operation M” changes are inevitable, but with them also comes beauty—the beauty of re-evaluating and learning to embrace changes more graciously.  I continue the journey with a new mindset of patience and a more profound sense of acceptance.  Knowing I am resilient.  This is an awareness that my life experiences have shown me that I most certainly am.  I see the beauty of my body for her life-sustaining ability.  A life that offers new possibilities and a transition.  I am so thankful to wake up excited about the decades to come every morning. I am releasing superficial ties to beauty.  I still focus on my health and well-being and shedding those extra pounds, but I also embrace that as life changes, so do our bodies. 

So, I offer to you this.  As a young girl, you were educated about the changes to come; do so early in your forties about the changes to come.  Do so with a deeper understanding of health and beauty.  Embrace what life has in store for you—knowing that internal board meetings are occurring.  The board members of your metabolism, fat cells, thyroid, and brain are determined to fulfill their duties and take sabbaticals. 

Face the changes with humor and acceptance.  Come to have a deeper understanding of your value.  The wisdom and beauty you bring into our world.  It's a beautiful time.  Become grounded with self-acceptance.  Be present in the rhythm of life and our place in it.  Our place is a vision of our grit and strength as women.  We have so much to offer and share.   I know I am.  So may it be with you.

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