Guest Author - Tammy Elizabeth Southin
Staness Jonekos, a strikingly beautiful and upbeat career woman, was planning her dream wedding when menopause showed up as the unwanted guest. Desperate to find help, she discovered that while there are numerous guides for many life events there are none dedicated to one of life’s most important transitions. Jonekos created The Menopause Makeover The Ultimate Guide to Taking Control of Your Health and Beauty During Menopause and gave women that desperately needed instruction manual.
In a recent interview, Jonekos revealed the drive behind creating The Menopause Makeover and how our attitudes towards ‘the change’ can be positive.
‘Menopause is our wakeup call’
Menopause has been at best ridiculed and at worst ignored for most of history. Women’s health issues have generally been relegated to fits of hysteria. At the same time, women have been simply dismissed as the weaker sex; members of society unable to cope with the stresses of the world.
Jonekos challenges these outdated notions by offering hope to the millions of women dealing with menopause. She notes that despite the fact that every woman who lives long enough will go through menopause, it is one of the loneliest times in a woman’s life. ‘Menopause is our wakeup call to examine our lives and our choices.’ For too long women have been looking after everyone else but putting their needs at the bottom of the priority list.
‘Menopause is more than just hot flashes!’
Jonekos wrote The Menopause Makeover to cover more than just the proverbial hot flashes and hormones. ‘Menopause is another phase very similar to adolescence when our bodies underwent numerous changes. Even after years of living and with a tremendous amount of experience behind us, we are still overwhelmed by menopause, what it means, and what will happen afterwards.’
Jonekos points out, ‘We have so much going for us by the time we reach our 40s and 50s, but many of us slam into menopause and caught completely off guard.’
Menopause still suffers from the stigma of being ‘the end’ of a woman’s life, at least in the sense of being young and vital. With their childbearing years behind them, women are often at a loss of how to define themselves. Menopause is and should be a time of transition and excitement; a time to discover (or rediscover) who you are and what you want out of the rest of your life.
‘How you choose to go through menopause defines who you are as a woman!’
Choose to go through menopause? Many women will automatically respond that they have no choice when it comes to menopause. True, we do not get to choose whether or not to have menopause or when it will begin; nature takes care of those details.
But Jonekos notes that we do have a say in how we will react to menopause. ‘Our choices reflect who we are. If we decide to throw up our hands and play the victim, we set ourselves up for a very low quality of life. But if we take control and empower ourselves with knowledge we can end the fear about menopause and face it for what it is – a natural transition in life.’
This is not just wishful thinking. The Menopause Makeover requires effort and commitment. Women are made of fairly strong stuff and are not about to let menopause simply take over. Jonekos reminds us that ‘menopause is time to take back control and not be a victim. No one wants to get older or look older, but as women we have so much more going for us. Menopause is not a life sentence but a chance at freedom.’
‘Menopause is our ultimate life test.’
Jonekos never treats menopause as a trivial matter. She knows firsthand all too well the misery menopause brings. As our bodies change without our permission we feel as though we have lost all control in our lives. We believe we are no longer the vibrant women we once were and have nothing to look forward to as the years march onward. Jonekos turned her health and her attitude around with a lot of work and very little of it came easily. ‘Menopause tests every part of us to see what we are made of as we brace for change. Change and menopause should not be feared.’
‘A vintage version of myself!’
Menopause may not be the most pleasant part of life and at times it will seem impossible to cope with ‘the change.’ But Jonekos sums up that when we approach menopause with a healthy attitude we ‘become vintage versions of ourselves’ with increased wisdom and insight. The Menopause Makeover guides us through menopause to end up as even better versions of ourselves.
A special thank you to Staness Jonekos for graciously taking time out of her busy schedule to accommodate our phone interview.