In our quest to find and celebrate remarkable women doing remarkable things in their 40s, 50s and beyond, we discovered a true pioneer in the menopause arena. She’s helping change the way we think about this critical life phase one brilliant blog post at a time.
Who: Shirley Weir - Menopause Chicks Founder
“Yes, we’re shining a spotlight on women’s health. But we need a floodlight!”
How she manifested her pioneer spirit: Founded Menopause Chicks (menopausechicks.com), an online community whose mission is to empower women to navigate perimenopause through menopause (and beyond) with confidence and ease.
What first piqued her interest in the subject: At 46 I was trying to chart my own perimenopause journey; the first thing I discovered was how confusing and conflicting all the information was. Especially when I turned to Dr. Google at 3AM!
How she got started blogging about menopause: I was writing a blog about my experience, thinking after a while I’d go back to my regular life running a marketing and communications consultancy. But I got an amazing response to the blog and in 2013 I was invited to take over the Oprah Winfrey Network twitter account for a weekend when they launched in Canada. And then I got a call from sharecare, a Dr. Oz initiative, who selected me as one of the top ten bloggers on menopause. Which I found kind of funny because they probably did a Google search and came up with me since there were so few other people writing about menopause online.
What keeps her going every day: My 16-year-old daughter and nineteen-year-old son. By the time my daughter reaches her 40’s I want her to feel informed and prepared for this stage of life just as she was informed and prepared for puberty— which for her was no biggie. I’m grateful to my son for precipitating my research and for forgiving me! When he was in elementary school I was at the height of perimenopause, having moments of rage, and thinking, This is not the Mum I want to be! Once I started sharing my feelings I realized what my problem was.
Her biggest accomplishment: As a women’s health advocate I’m raising awareness on what we don’t talk about when we talk about menopause. The two most important aspects of my work are meeting women where they are with specific questions (there have been to date more than 170,000 questions sent to our community!) and I am tirelessly working to make sure that as a society we understand the huge disservice women are up against. We have to unlearn all the myths we’ve inherited about suffering and tolerating pain, as if those are our only options. And I want to encourage women to invest in preventing the conditions that limit us as we age.
Her best advice for women going through menopause: Get informed, surround yourself with a quality healthcare team, then chose the journey that’s right for you. Advocate for yourself. How? Put yourself at the top of your to-do list!
Menopause Chicks Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/MenopauseChicks/