Updated: Sep 2, 2019
Okay, so I’m not really going to list my 99 problems with menopause. But to start, one of my biggest frustrations with this sh*t, is sifting through THE OVERWHELMING AMOUNT OF INFORMATION out there embedded throughout the digisphere. Just try Googling “menopause” and you get more than 118 Million results…I mean, really? What am I supposed to do with ALL OF THAT??? My particular problem, is that a lot of what rises to the top is underwhelming, generic, hokey-pokey crap. BUT, if you’ve got hours to spend (and the patience of a pregnant elephant), amidst all of the clutter, you’ll eventually stumble across some pretty interesting stuff…
I don’t know about you, but most days I have the attention span (and bladder) of a three-year old, so efficiency and brevity definitely rule… Which brings me to, “Featured Finds” – my pithy attempt to highlight potentially useful (if not curious) info that might help make your menopause trek a little less daunting and a lot more interesting! This week I’ve been sussing out the menopause landscape on Instagram and was compelled to spend some time with a couple of accounts. Check them out below and let me know what you think and what you’re tracking!
Featured Find #1 : @megsmenopause - With more than 27K followers on IG, Meg Mathews is UK-based (a là “the menopause”), with global reach and appeal. Anchored in the feminine pink, Meg’s Instagram account is an aesthetically smart (i.e., beautifully curated images and content), comprehensive mix of menopause facts and insights, inspirational quotes, product highlights (including her own), and direct, relatable testimonials about the struggle that is menopause. She affectionately refers her followers “menos”, quickly establishing an ease and relatability that can be comforting during times of stress. For the most part, the “menos” are down with Meg’s menopause vibe, and are pretty engaged through comments and likes to her posts.
Earlier this summer, she launched a new IGTV series, “The Symptoms”, where each week she addresses one (or more) of the 34 symptoms related to menopause. Most of the videos are under 6 minutes and are Meg’s firsthand take on the topic (as we learn from watching the series, she’s among the enviable few unaffected by hot flushes…ahem, or flashes, if you prefer). Although she does enlist medical perspectives from time to time, LET ME BE CLEAR, Meg is not a medical professional (and doesn’t pretend to be). If it’s a straightforward medical perspective you’re looking for (which feels like an oxymoron and the point of this whole blog), @megsmenopause is likely not the IG community for you.
As I mentioned before, Meg does have her own product line so there is money to be made (no shade here!). Even so, I didn’t feel overwhelmed or pressured to buy her products, and didn’t come away feeling like that’s her end game…not exclusively, anyway. As the mother of a hormonal teenager, I also really appreciated the open conversation she has with her own teenage daughter about how her struggle with menopause affects the family. Anyway, Meg’s been at this for a couple of years now and has a pretty sophisticated ecosystem of content, including a podcast and an annual conference. You can check out more about Meg and her mighty menopause mission at www.megsmenopause.com.
Featured Find #2 : @peri_menopause_nutritionist is another U.K.-based find who has a notable IG presence that I decided to start following this week (BTW, the Brits seem to be leading the charge on normalizing menopause overall). The account is managed by Shirly Agullano, a credentialed menopause nutritionist (i.e., she’s got A LOT of letters behind her name) who’s all about managing perimenopause through nutrition and wellness (not that there’s anything wrong with HRT!). Specifically, she wants to “help you make healthy diet and lifestyle choices so you thrive through perimenopause and menopause.”
Even though she’s not quite broken 1K followers (899 at time of this post), her content is clean, modern and straightforward (in a good way)*. Shirly encourages us to eat healthy, posting vibrant and colorful pictures of what would otherwise be (and really is), boring old baked chicken and lettuce with some fixins. She highlights these healthy food alternatives, offering recipes and making them look appetizing, while subtly seducing you to do better (or to think about doing better, anyway). While I don’t know that I’ll need to track this feed everyday, I could see me going back from time to time to see what Shirly’s got cooking.
Note: Shirly does have a wellness consulting service, “Warm Blush”, through which she provides nutrition and lifestyle plans to better manage a woman’s menopausal symptoms. This Fast Find note is specific to her Instagram account, which is visually inconsistent with her “Warm Blush” website.