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Au Naturel or Oh! Natural? Really?

When I decided to go HRT Free after my hysterectomy, a few people commented on how they had struggled with the flushes mainly, but nothing really negative was said.

I have always had thin hair, and since going HRT free it does seem to be thinner than usual.  It’s very fine, very soft hair.  I started going grey in my 20s and used to dye it until my mid 30s, where I found it easier to hide the grey in blonde highlights.  Over the last couple of years I’ve really struggled with dry and damaged hair. I go through phases of having it cut out, waiting longer to get the highlights put back in again and have been in an endless cycle since.  When I waited as long as possible before having the highlights redone, I noticed they were quite white so blending in.  I also realised I had no idea what I would look like if I just stopped colouring my hair completely.

I decided to let it grow out, so I could see what I was colouring and why.   Men get comments like “oh, look at you Silver Fox”, and “doesn’t he look distinguished?”.  Women get comments like “Your roots are growing out a bit”.  “You must be due a hair appointment soon”.  I started telling people I was letting my hair grow out and was going Au Naturel.  “Really?  Why?  Wow, that’s brave of you?”.  Then I get comments like  “I couldn’t do that, grey is a dirty colour, it just wouldn’t look right”.

My hair is going grey.  Actually it’s going silver, I quite like it at the moment.  Young women out there are dying their hair grey, it’s a fashionable colour right now and it’s not costing me a penny.  I’m getting older.  I’m in the menopause. I have wrinkles. I sag (in a lot of places).  I get hot flushes and struggle sleeping at night.   To be honest, the colour of my hair is the least of my worries.

I had the highlights cut out of my hair, and have had a few comments on what a lovely colour my hair is.  If I follow my Mum’s side of the family, I’m going to eventually end up white, but then I look at Dame Judy Dench and Dame Helen Mirran and I wouldn’t mind looking like them now.

I’m growing old Au Naturel and accepting it with style and grace.  I have more freedom to enjoy myself.  This year I’ve been glacier hiking, snorkelling in 2 degree water between the American and European continental plates, and now volunteer at one of my favourite museums most weekends.  I’m keeping fitter than I have in the past, I’m enjoying hobbies and my time now.  Growing old isn’t a bad thing, and I’m ready to face it – just the way I am!

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Winter is Coming …..



Not that we had a summer in the UK this year.  The local council possibly voted on it and decided it was too much effort.  Due to the lack of summer in July and August, and a colder start to September, my body went into winter mode early this year.  I can’t understand why I find the hot flushes easier to deal with in the heat of summer, and harder in the winter months.  I’m already in my “cardigan on, cardigan off, cardigan on, cardigan off” phase of controlling my hot flushes.

The nights are the hardest though.  During summer I had a air-con unit on the go, and I slept really well.  As the temperature dropped, it got put away again but my bedroom is still regularly hitting 24 degrees despite a cool outside temperature.  I sleep at night with the windows open and a fan on.  I’m waking up regularly as I’m too hot and look over to find my husband wrapped in the duvet shivering.  He has been away the last couple of nights, so I had all the windows wide open and the fan on. My bedroom dropped to 18 degrees and I slept great.


The other problem for me and winter is the fact I suffer from Vitamin D Deficiency.  It was diagnosed about 3 years ago and I take Vitamin D throughout the winter. Although the last blood test showed I was still deficient even on the tablets.  I used to start the tablets and a light-box around this time of year, but because of the lack of sunshine, I started in September.  My body is only just now adjusting.  This means I’ve had a really poor diet for a couple of weeks as I go through feeling tired, fed up, sore, hungry, grumpy, mood swings – the usual Menopausal Symptoms.  I know my diet impacts how my body copes with things like stress, but as soon as I start down the bad diet road, I can’t stop.  I’ve just eaten too much sugar, so my ability to deal with stress disappears, the hot flushes and sleepless nights increase, I’m more tired as I’ve not had a good enough sleep and the whole cycle starts again.  I know what poor eating does to me and yet I can’t stop it.

Today I’m making an extra effort to start all over again.  If you read between the lines, it says “I’ve officially eaten everything in the house which contains sugar and I’m making an effort not to replace it, so I can get my body sorted out.”

So here we go again, the 2-3 days of suffering as my blood sugar level drops and I battle the usual lethargy and mood swings which accompany that.  In the long run though it will help my stress levels, my hot flushes and my insomnia.

If I can work out why I binge eat bad food and find a cure, I figure I’ll be a millionaire within weeks.