Posts made in August, 2010

Wednesday Bubble: The Mommy Factor? It’s personal.

Posted by on Aug 18, 2010 in Uncategorized | 22 comments

I’m fairly active on Twitter. And the other day, someone I follow and respect greatly tweeted the following:

Gaining a whole new appreciation for child-free by choice types and those without kids. Society views these women so very differently.

Recent data released by the Pew Research Center shows that childlessness is increasing in the U.S., with roughly 1 in 5 women past childbearing years currently childless. Although the research points to “never married” as a factor, it also emphasizes the power of individual choice, employment opportunities and most importantly, a growing opinion that ‘without child’ does not equate to ’empty life.’

I am one of those women who are child-free by choice.  I am a statistic. And my life is not empty.

“But aren’t you afraid you’ll regret it someday?”

“Don’t you feel badly that you didn’t give your parents grandchildren?”

“Do you understand what you are missing out on?”

“You’re an old maid.”

Guess what? I’m going to share a little known fact with you.

I became pregnant at a time in my life when I felt I was too unsettled to properly care for a child. A time when I was with a partner with whom I didn’t feel comfortable sharing parenting responsibilities. A time that was simply the wrong time. Period. And after that? I certainly weighed the pros and cons of having children, many times. However, I ultimately decided that I was happier without having children of my own.

Shocking isn’t it?

My experience might resonate with some of you. Others might disapprove of my decisions. At the end of the day? It truly is about personal choice, responsibility and a close, close look at oneself. Not everyone is suitable for parenthood.

Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

My life has been filled and surrounded by children for almost two decades now. I am an Aunt to three wonderful, amazing nephews and spending time with them brings me more pleasure than I can adequately express. I am also a surrogate Aunt to the children of an old friend, and although I don’t see them quite as often as I would like, I recently came to the realization that their presence, however sporadic, enriches my experience as a human being and as a woman in ways, again, for which there are no words.

As I near my fiftieth year (perish the thought!), I don’t feel as though the decision to leave the childbearing to other women is one that I regret or will ever regret. I made the decision based on timing, circumstance and a nagging feeling that I wasn’t meant to have a child, at least not in this lifetime, that I had a lot to offer the children in my life in ways that didn’t include being their parent.

So the next time you see a woman walking down the street without a child, or find a couple moving in next door without children, it’s probably best to assume that it’s best if all bets are off. There are many reasons why women don’t have children. And although being a mother is the defining moment for many women I know, I know just about as many who’ve chosen to remain childless and have experienced alternative defining moments in their womenhood, their lives and their spirits.

It’s all about choice. I’m grateful to have had that choice. Not every woman does.

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Hormone therapy and bones – fuggedaboutit

Posted by on Aug 16, 2010 in bone health, breast cancer, HRT | 1 comment

Another HRT-busting post…straight from the archives of  the Ahead-of-Print edition of Menopause. I’m afraid to say that yet, another analysis of the now infamous Women’s Health Initiative Trial, you know, the one that was halted due to links between HRT and significant increases in breast cancer, suggests that hormones might not be so great after all, especially when it comes to bone protection.

The loss of lean body mass as we age contributes to redistribution of fat and  apparently contributes to falls and fractures in the later years. This is one reason why many physicians prescribe hormones. However, in the latest nail in the HRT coffin, it appears that despite earlier reports of significant reductions in fractures among women taking HRT based on body mass index, age and bone mineral density, the ability of hormones to preserve lean body mass is a fallacy. In fact, when researchers looked at almost 2,000 women who had been enrolled in the trial who were assigned estrogen plus progestogen, estrogen alone or placebo, they were unable to find any differences in lean body mass after six years, even though there was some indication of protection at the three year mark. What’s more, the researchers say that although women who took most of their hormone medication before the trial was halted seemed to fall less, it wasn’t because their lean body mass was preserved.

The main point in relaying this bit of information is experts want us to believe that HRT is the panacea for everything that ails as women age –from bone health to heart disease to dementia. And despite evolving evidence to the contrary, they continue to seek reasons why the data are wrong and look for ways to question every negative finding. Some Associations whose mandate it is to defend women’s health, like the Society for Women’s Health Research, take money from companies whose hormone products have been found to cause significant adverse effects in certain populations of women and yet, they continue to lead the charge favoring hormone therapy.

In general, I take no issue with Western medicine or pharmaceutical companies. If you look at my background, I have spent years writing favorably about many products and the research that backs them. But I maintain a standard of transparency and don’t choose to hide who’s paying the bills, And, when it comes to hormone therapy, I continue to smell a rat. Be assured that  I will continue to write about what’s really going on until more women understand how fucked up HRT really is.

If you choose to take HRT and it works in alleviating your flashes, sweats, mood swings, headaches, sex life and the like, more power to you. I support your right and decision to take HRT. But like any drug, be sure you know the facts before you believe the hype. Be certain to be diligent and ask the hard questions, even when the information comes out of seemingly expert sources or associations. Always, always, follow the trail. You might be surprised at what you learn.

This particular trail, the lean body mass trail? It’s a dead end. Fuggedaboutit.


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The Jeans Have It

Posted by on Aug 13, 2010 in apparel | 3 comments

After Wednesday’s post about inappropriate dress, I had to share this discovery: hot, comfortable jeans for women who want to mold their bods a bit.

I had the privilege of being included on the guest list for teh Getting Gorgeous event during last week’s BlogHer conference. (Thank you Vera Sweeney and Audrey McClelland!) And while there were a lot of stellar brands represented, one of the best were MiracleBody® Jeans; something that every woman who has had children or women whose bodies are changing due to menopause, hormones or middle age can appreciate.

These lovely jeans rely on a design to maximize the areas you want to and minimize the areas you don’t — namely the tummy area and the thighs.  And while I personally prefer lower cut jeans and am fortunate to have slimmer physique, I  have to admit that they do flatter the figure in ways I would have never thought possible. Hence, the hype about looking 10 lbs thinner instantly really isn’t hype at all. What’s more, these jeans are not just flattering; they are truly comfortable.

I donated my pair to a friend because I didn’t feel that I would wear them as much as they deserve to be worn. Yet, I would recommend them to any woman who is feeling a wee bit self-conscious about a figure that for whatever reason, simply isn’t pleasing to her any longer. Mind you, these jeans are not inexpensive. Yet, I am of the mindset that we all deserve to have at least one article of clothing in our closet that makes us feel like a million buckeroos. In my mind, these jeans have all that and more.

Miracle? Or just a really great product designed and produced with women in mind? You decide! In fact, the kind folks at Miracle Body are offering readers a discount through mid-September:

Enter Code “TakeTen” at checkout for 10% off all jeans, and FREE SHIPPING and FREE RETURNS for a limited time.
Offer valid on purchase from 8/15 to 9/15 only.

[Disclosure: Although I received a free pair of jeans at this event, I was not asked to write a blog post nor did I receive any money to do so. As mentioned, the jeans are no longer in my possession.]

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Wednesday Bubble: “Age-appropriate” dress for women over 50?

Posted by on Aug 11, 2010 in appearance | 29 comments

Don’t know about you but I’m no dummy. Nor do I want to look like anyone else. So, when I ran across a post the other day claiming that women over 50 should be dressing age-appropiately, I just about lost it. Who’s a dummy?

In the author’s opinion:

  • Wearing jeans sends a message that you are trying to recapture one’s youth; even boot cut jeans are inappropriate.
  • Shorts shouldn’t be worn because they send a message that the woman over 50 is trying to look young and hip. Rather, capris are more age-appropriate and flattering.
  • Women over 50 should not wear tank tops in public.
  • Short skirts should not be worn by women over age 35. Rather, knee length is appropriate.

What planet is this woman living on? Moreover, what decade is she living in?

Women over 50 should wear what they feel comfortable wearing. Personally, I am not an advocate of tube tops (who is?), butt cracks, tummy rolls or writing across the ass. Yet, I feel that self-expression is just that — self expression — and I don’t want anyone telling me or anyone else what to wear when, where or how. Like many women my age, I work out regularly and am in great shape. I wear low-cut jeans, tank tops and shorts both at home and in public. I am not trying to make any statement other than this is me and this is how I feel comfortable.

When I think “fifty and older,” I think of Madonna, Meryl Streep and Lauren Hutton, women who have excelled at self-expression and breaking societal rules about age and appearance, rules that don’t apply equally to their male counterparts. When I think “fifty and older,” I think about forced invisibility in the workplace and in society and about ways to counter that. However, when I think “older than fifty,” I do not think old maid, marm, has-been, washed up, ancient or dead.

Ageism is a slippery slope and it’s time that women stop being told that they are supposed to act and dress a certain way based on decade old myths. Seriously, wake up. This is the 21st Century.  And in this century, fifty is the NEW, well, fifty.

I’ve got a message for the author: self expression is important, no matter one’s age. Let’s put aside the “should’s” and bring women out of the dark ages.

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Going Green with Micro-Kitty

Posted by on Aug 8, 2010 in sexual health, Uncategorized | 3 comments

Love this! Who knew that you could do the planet and your planet some good simultaneously?

When a certain unnamed friend turned me on to this (no pun intended), I knew that I had to share it with you dear readers. Micro-Kitty: The World’s First Solar Powered Vibrator. And it’s phtalate-free as well, meaning that it is not only environmentally friendly but health friendly as well. Eco-consciousness has a whole new meaning now!

So, do you need to play around in direct sunlight? Well, hell now because evidently, the Micro-Kitty can be charged by both natural and artificial light. What’s more, it holds power for two and a half hours in the dark. No need to compromise comfort or convenience.

When it comes to toys, I am a huge fan of the Swedish brand Lelo. And admittedly, I’ve not yet tried the Micro-Kitty although I’d be more than happy to give it a test drive if its manufacturers would care to send me one.

Who knew that going green could be sexy too?


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