Looking back on the noughties & pondering whether my rather expensive HRT regime has failed

Wearing human hair braids with a fringe back in 1994

Saturday 23 June 2018 and I am stuck in yet another plateau at 156 lbs.  At this stage in the game I should learn not to pay too much attention to the scales and go by my dress size and by the way my clothes feel a lot looser. However the deemed lack of progress on the scales is beginning to really annoy me.  I started the week in a bit of a mood.  I love eating rice, yam, plantain, potato and carbs generally and feel annoyed with my body for not properly processing these foods anymore.  I have never been much of a drinker because I have had to allocate the bulk of my calorie allowance to food – so you could say that I gave up alcohol too.  In addition, I have found myself worried that my expensive HRT regime has failed.  You can understand why I have had to look back to the noughties for an uplifting giggle.

Ascot preparation is driving crazy too.  I managed to narrow down some choices but the downside is that my room looked for a while like a bomb had gone off which in itself deepened my bad mood because I hate living in chaos.  No judgement on anyone, we all have our idiosyncracies and I love and seem to need a neat and orderly environment to be at my best.  I still cannot make up my mind about which of the outfits to wear.  Do I go for comfort and wear flat shoes or block heels or do I go for glamour and wear super high-heeled shoes and risk having to limp around at the end of the day or take flip-flops with me or walk barefooted on the train journey back home?

My exercise routine went to pot this week so I also put the bullet proof coffee to one side.  I have been quite good at cooking all my meals especially since September 2017 but this week I have decided to shop for my meals at good old Marks & Spencer’s (M&S) picking up a selection of salads and proteins in the mornings on my way to work.  I feel like I need to give myself a break from as much as I can, including meal preparation.  By the time I get bored with what is on offer at M&S I will be ready to go back to cooking which is something I normally enjoy.

Part of the reason I started the week feeling so down is my worry that my HRT regime has failed. When I was experimenting with homemade HRT, I did not worry too much if it failed. Now that I have seen a reputable doctor, I am disappointed that my two worst symptoms seem to be making a comeback.  Insomnia is the worst for me and really disrupts my life.  I go to work feeling tired and in a fog and it leads to me missing exercise sessions like I have done this week.  I don’t enjoy the hot flushes either and while I don’t suffer them every day they are unpredictable and are starting to come on when I least expect them.

When I started expensive my HRT regime, I did not notice a difference for at least 2 weeks.  I was convinced I had wasted my money and time. Then by the third week, I noticed that I was actually feeling drowsy in the evenings when relaxed in front of the TV and if I managed to get to myself off to bed, I was getting at least 6.5 hours sleep.  While it was not the 8 hours that I would love it was 2 – 2.5 more hours than I had been getting previously.  In the past, on some nights I could not drop off to sleep at all but on HRT I began to drop off to sleep in the evenings as I had done many years ago.  This was fantastic! By week four, all the hot flushes had disappeared and I remember one Friday evening thinking that I felt exactly like I did in my early 30s in the noughties.

As I was feeling better with the HRT I decided to pour on the running miles and was disappointed when I noticed that gradually but distinctly the lack of sleep and then tiredness was creeping back and then as I mentioned in my last blog posting, the hot flushes reappeared.  I don’t know whether trying to push on with my exercise goals was a mistake.  I don’t have any muscle pains and I am careful to reign in my activities when I have not had enough sleep.  Having enjoyed a few weeks feeling really good the prospect of going back to not-so-great-most-times does not appeal at all.  The thought that sports is out of our reach when we get older makes me sad too.  I am always trying to carry out research about elite athletes and how they cope before, during and after menopause and I have only ever found a couple of articles.  The subtext is that athletics, elite or otherwise, is not relevant for women of middle age and beyond.  That’s downright annoying.

The HRT  regime I am on is supposed to be for 3 months so I will arrange a further appointment with my doctor and in the meantime closely monitor my symptoms.  I also want to make a decision about what formal regime in terms of eating and exercise I embark on next because I find that having structure really helps me.  I would like to aim to get all my excess weight off by September so I can move on to my next goal.

With lots of social and work engagements coming up over the next few weeks, I am going to aim to have lots of fun and stay as upbeat as possible.  Ascot of course is taking place on Thursday 21 June 2018 so unless I am inspired to write something, I will be focusing on enjoying the day so I will bring you up to date on that in my next blog if there is anything interesting to share.

Feeling confident at a house party back in 1993

Feeling confident at a house party back in 1993

In the spirit of fun, I read a fun article making the rounds called Cringe things we ALL remember doing on a night out in the 2000s? There were 34 tabled points but the following 14 applied to me.

1) Butterfly hair clips: I still have these and the jumbo clips can be great for keeping braids in place. I still use mine in the gym.

2) Flat caps: I think they are called Newsboy caps in the US. I would still wear these today as they can look so cool with the right ensemble. When I had a straight perm a flat cap was a wonderful cover up.

3) Texting on a Nokia phone: I resisted buying a mobile phone for so many years but I finally gave in come 2000. Blame Y2K and the rest of it! My first mobile phone was expensive at £300 and the guy who sold it to me laughed out loud at me when we bumped in to each other on the Tube at Stratford Station, London.  He was shocked that I was till using the same handset 3 years later when he had upgraded his handsets 3 times.  In the end I gave in and got myself a Nokia phone which cost about £30.  I learnt a valuable lesson that I did not need to get the most expensive phone and this lesson remained relevant until fairly recently.  I enjoyed my £30 Nokia handset and then moved on to Blackberry, Samsung and Apple iPhone when the old lesson became redundant because iPhones are expensive!  Still I don’t miss the days when I would have to take a weekend off to programme new handsets carefully transferring all the data across to the new handset. These days I log all my running miles on my mobile, I take down notes of blog ideas and it generally plays a big part in helping me stick to healthy living goals.

4) Tiny denim skirts: I have no issues with this. If you can pull them off by all means wear them at any age with or without thick tights. Call me mutton dressed as lamb if you must.  For some reason I am not as bothered any more.

5) Sparkly eye makeup: I still love this but still struggle to find the right place or time to wear it. I think I will just apply this and dance around the house with it on. Life is too short to wait for the right time and place.  These days of course I can put on ridiculous make up, take a selfie and share this on social media.

6) Thin eyebrows: I had the sense not to tweeze my eyebrows and would use a special eyebrow razor type gizmo that you can buy in shops that sell black hair products. I have always preferred fuller eyebrows and now I only use a bit of eyebrow wax even though this does not achieve the perfect eyebrow shape for today’s fashions. In some of my old photographs I look like I have no eyebrows at all.

7) CD mixes: I still love these. A friend gave me a mix CD last December 2017 with lots of tracks from the 1980s and I love to dance around the house listening to it.

8) Low rise jeans: Sometimes fashion gives you exactly what your body shape needs so I really enjoyed these and would have them back in a heartbeat!

9) Styling jeans with really nice top: Oh yes! Ditto 8

10) Wearing funky weathered belts especially with jeans: Yes again! Ditto 9

11) Wearing tracksuits especially Juicy Couture: This trend got out of hand but it was really useful to dress like this if I had to hit the gym before or after work.  These days of course we now have athleisure which I really love.

12) Wearing tiny backless cropped tops handkerchief tops with low-rise jeans, low-rise trousers or pencil skirts on a night out: Yes, yes, yes!

13) Going out in the winter but dressed for summer: The cold was terrible for me in my first 5 years in the UK.  On the flight from Nigeria, I wore a light pair of jeans with a white shirt and an old jumper with preppy black pull-on block heeled shoes with no socks.  Thank goodness my sister met me at Heathrow Airport with a massive warm coat.  The first few years were terrible and I lived for summer.  My body did however acclimatise eventually following my decision to travel around London by bicycle and within 5 years the cold did not seem to bother me as much.  I realised that I did not need to worry about whether or not I had an appropriate coat on nights out.  I could step out in my outfit of choice and arrive at the event unencumbered.  Insomnia is my worst menopausal symptom but sometimes out of the blue I am hit with a hot flush meaning that, while I will always love spring and summer, I am beginning to welcome the cool of autumn and winter.

14) Carrying a tiny bag and having to stuff it with keys, phone, lip gloss, travel card and so: Is it not weird how we went from carrying these tiny bags to the massive weekend bags masquerading has handbags that we still carry?  I wonder how many women now suffer from back pain as a result of these bags?

The good old noughties right?  Feel free to share/confess by leaving your comments.  It would be lovely to hear from you.

Until next time it’s

Picking up Christmas decorations for our office Christmas party back in December 2001

Picking up Christmas decorations for our office Christmas party back in December 2001


Author Julie

Lawyer (co-founding partner/solicitor of a legal aid practice), blogger, feminist, lover of fashion & beauty. I believe that there are two types of people - the living and the dead. Age has nothing to do with it.

More posts by Julie

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.