Holly flew around Molly’s head, tickled her toes and then returned to her face. “As far as your lumpy, out of shape body goes, it’s your own fault as well as faulty hormones. It’s going to take time and work to get back into shape. You will never look like you did at twenty, but you can look a whole lot better than you do now. This will take more time than training your staff and more effort than giving up deserts.” Holly was nose-to-nose with Molly. “What are you going to do? Stay in bed and feel sorry for yourself or get your fat ass out of bed and start the next phase of your incredible life?”

“Molly, Molly.” The voice was her own, but soft and sad. “Instead of hiding, it’s time to embrace the changes. It’s not like closing your eyes will make you young again. Deal with it. Move on. Your twenty-year-old body is no longer an option.” Hot Flash Holly stood up, her hands on her hips. “Come on! Get up, get moving. So you have a few wrinkles. Have you done anything about them? When was the last time you went to the store and actually bought something for your face that you haven’t been using for ten years? Are you going to let a few lines on your face and the number that is your birth date define who you are?”


Molly was starting to sleep a little better…every third night or so she actually slept all night with minimal interference from night sweats. Her mood hadn’t improved much and her co-workers avoided her as much as possible.

One Saturday morning she crawled out of bed after a sleepless night, drenched in sweat. She waddled into the bathroom and leaned over the sink to peer in the mirror, shocked at the person staring back at her. Is that how she really looked? Even her double chin had wrinkles. And where did those ugly black hairs on her chin come from? She could see them even without her glasses.

She took a deep breath. Time for a reality check. She hadn’t looked in the bathroom mirror without the camouflage of clothing in a year…since her 49th birthday. Molly peeled off her sweaty t-shirt and baggy shorts, her eyes tightly shut. She opened one eye and peeked in the mirror, groaning. Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea. She preferred the image she maintained of herself in the creative side of her brain. She was lean and firm. No wrinkles. No sags. No bags. In her mind she looked pretty much like she had actually looked in her 20s. It wasn’t that long ago.

Another deep breath and she slowly turned around, opened her eyes and peeked over her shoulder, hoping for a better view. No luck there. Her ass was as wide as the state of Montana and her butt sagged like a couple of cantaloupes, with the same texture and color as an unripe melon.

Molly squeezed her eyes shut and held her breath. She slowly turned around. She might as well face the truth. The image in the mirror didn’t look much like what she remembered from a year ago, but then she had checked out her body after a night of partying and she had been hung over. It had been a quick inventory to make sure everything was still in the general area where it was supposed to be.

This time she was sober. Maybe that wasn’t such a good idea. Everything looked better through a haze of alcohol. She took a deep breath. It was time to face the music even if it sounded like a funeral in her head.

Molly opened her eyes and swore. It was worse than she imagined. When had her body decided to take a trip south without her knowing it? Her breasts hung half way to her stomach like a couple of deflated water balloons. She searched for her waist but couldn’t find it. And her thighs had managed to migrate to almost cover her knees. No wonder her clothes didn’t fit. Nothing would fit this mess of a body except large pants with the elastic waist and oversized shirts…just like her mother wore. Oh, no! She covered her face. She had become her mother and her mother was 80!

She grunted. She didn’t need to put on her glasses to see how her body had disintegrated since she had really looked in the mirror. Life sucked. Turning 50 sucked. She wondered how much plastic surgery and liposuction cost. She needed a complete body overhaul.

She wiggled into a dry t-shirt, shuffled back to bed and pulled the covers over her head.

 Molly fell asleep and the now familiar image of her alter-ego appeared. Molly had named her Hot Flash Holly and it seemed appropriate, because the dream made her warm and tingly all over. Hot Flash Holly sat on Molly’s chest and peered into her eyes. It was eerie having your own eyes looking back at you.













This was not what Molly wanted to hear. She wanted to have a nice little pity party with a pint of double chocolate brownie ice cream and a bottle of her favorite wine. She swatted at her alter-ego with one hand. “Go away! Leave me alone!”













Molly thought about that for a few minutes, opened one eye and then the other one as she slowly pulled the blanket off her face. She was certain that she would see the image of Hot Flash Holly staring back at her with a scowl on her face, but when she looked around, she was alone except for her sleeping cat, Waldo.

Molly thought about the dream and what Hot Flash Holly had said. Too bad the dreams with Holly in them didn’t fade from her memory like so many other things did these days. She wished she could blame everything on the hormones or turning 50. The truth wasn’t easy to accept, but she had to admit that she hadn’t been taking care of herself. She thought her life was a fairy tale and just expected to stay the same as she had forever. This was her personal reality show. It was time to take charge of her life. What if she lived to be 100? She was only half way there. Did she want to spend another 50 years getting fatter and slower and sick?

She padded into the kitchen and opened the refrigerator.  A bottle of wine, a bowl of mac and cheese, some chip dip and a stale loaf of bread stared back at her. She grunted. Not even a dried up apple or a stalk of shriveled celery. She checked the cupboard. It was stocked with chips, cookies and chocolate covered everything.

Molly sighed. It was time to pull out her laptop again and do some research. Munching nachos and walking into the kitchen for another glass of wine didn’t count as exercise or healthy eating.

                                                                  

 






 


It took Molly a couple of weeks to stop the dreams of Hot Flash Holly urging her to eat better and start getting some exercise. She had begun to think of Holly as a well-meaning, nagging friend. The only way to get her to stop making a nightly appearance was to do something positive. Molly took her first baby steps toward good health and the next phase of her life. She started to walk around the neighborhood every morning before going to work, cleaned out her refrigerator and pantry and restocked her kitchen with healthy foods…and a couple of bottles of wine, just in case the healthy lifestyle changes were just a myth.

Myth #2
Gaining weight is inevitable – buy pants with elastic in the waist and a wardrobe of flowered sack dresses.

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Note: This website is meant to entertain and enlighten. The only advice intended is for women to take charge of their health and their bodies. You know your body better than anyone. If you are not getting the answers you need, seek a second or third opinion. Research, research, research. There is a lot of information regarding menopause, symptoms and help. Get the best information and treatment possible and then move forward so you can enjoy the journey!