I swear I went to bed one night a svelte size 10 (UK) and woke the next morning a 12. My waistline has thickened, my bum has spread and flattened, and alongside all of that, I now sport a pair of bazooka’s that could have your eye out with one dainty swing. I’m not used to it. They get in the way (unfortunately, mostly under my armpits when I lie down). Consequently, none of my clothes fit, and as I am on the short side, I now look like a hobbit when I’m dressed, and The Blob when I’m not.

I’ve always thought the term ‘hot flashes’ to be quite endearing, reminiscent of slightly older gals sitting in the sunshine, sipping G&Ts and wiping their delicate brows as they chat about their lives (chin, chin, darling!). Oh boy, was I wrong!

It’s more like sitting in my own personal, private, inferno, complete with hair plastered to my head, sliding make-up, and wondering where in hell those saggy jowl lines sprang from. (Added bonus: they make a handy channel to divert rivulets of sweat down into my new-found cleavage.) And, joy of joys, (whisper it) alcohol makes it worse. So there goes the G&T – I’m now a tee-total hobbit.

Night sweats are my own personal favourite – I go to bed freshly showered and smelling lush, and wake up three hours later freezing cold having apparently dived into a swimming pool in my sleep. Surely all the night time shenanigans I am now unwittingly up to means I should lose weight?

Curiously, my skin itches and I went through a stage of losing wads of hair when I brushed it. What’s that all about? I am assured it’s nothing to worry about, but still – why? I’m sure I look utterly fabulous as I morph into a balding, red-faced hulk who’s clawing at her arms, sporadically swishing droplets of yuck around.

I’m told it ceases eventually (although one in ten of us lucky ladies can experience it for up to 12 years – chin, bloody chin, darling) and I’m already in year 5!

Whoever coined the term ‘menopause’ almost had it right. As a single woman of a certain age, I’ve discovered that the ability to start a relationship with someone new has certainly men-o-paused. So I think it should be renamed womenopause – because that’s how it feels – like I’m on pause until my body reboots.

Chin, chin!

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