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Midlife and Menopause

Personal Stories of Menopause and Midlife


"I felt I had to take better care of myself because of my children."

Virginia Valenzuela

While I was going through menopause, I was also going through a divorce. I was focused more on my children than myself. They were all teenagers at the time, or even younger, and it was a really tough time.

After menopause and my divorce, I increased my running and other exercise. I read about the best things to eat and focused more on eating right. I felt that I had to take better care of myself because of my children. If I didn't become healthier, what were they going to do without me?

As a matter of fact, if I came home stressed out, my children would say, "Mom go run," because they knew it was something for me that made me feel good. If I was healthy and took care of myself, I could take better care of them.

I actually took a running and weight training class. Now I'm a runner and I do weight training regularly. I subscribe to health magazines, and I ask the doctor questions when I go.

My doctor recommended more calcium, so now I take calcium. I've also been on blood pressure medication the past couple of years, which I hope to get off. But that's it. I don't take anything else. I'm really trying to stay healthy.

Excerpted from Our Bodies, Ourselves: Menopause, © 2006, Boston Women's Health Book Collective.

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