Breaking the Silence: Naomi Watts on Menopause
S2, E20
May 1, 2024

Naomi Watts is an actress and producer, the founder of ONDA Beauty and menopause wellness brand Stripes. Naomi joins Stacy to talk about her personal experience with early menopause, the importance of self-advocacy and explains why she feels that community is key during this stage of life. Naomi discusses her approach to well being and shares tips on how to maintain physical and mental health as we age.

Follow Naomi Watts @naomiwatts

Follow Stacy London @stacylondonreal

Hello Menopause is a podcast from the national nonprofit Let’s Talk Menopause. Produced in partnership with Studio Kairos. Supervising Producer: Kirsten Cluthe. Edited and mixed by Justin Thomas. Artwork by Stacey Geller.

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Stacy: I don't think that Naomi Watts really needs an introduction, but here goes. She is an award winning actress and film producer. She's also an advocate for women's health and is the co-founder of clean beauty brand Onda. And the founder of Menopause Beauty and Wellness brand, Stripes. Please welcome to the show, Naomi Watts.

I saw recently that there was a quote that you said something about how Babe Paley would be absolutely horrified that you were talking about menopause. And you know, as a Gen X woman or middle aged woman, nobody would ever have talked about it back in, in those days, right? I mean, that was just absolutely unheard of.

Naomi: And especially that kind of woman who is filled with grace and never said a wrong word, never let her hair fall out of place. You know, she was striving for perfection. So to have a conversation about such ugliness, you know, to be seen, to be complaining, although it's not a complaint, it shouldn't ever feel like a complaint.

It's just kind of a thing that we're all going to go through at some point. So you do need to be able to be given permission to share. But yeah, it was the New York Times, that article. And. They were asking all of us ladies what it's like to age in the industry that we're in. And it is a fascinating time how, you know, the work that you've been doing, the work that All of these doctors are doing around the country, having these speaking engagements that ears are finally open to this conversation and the ice has been broken and, you know, it's just so fascinating to me that it took so long. And we did suffer through it, as you say, Gen Xers, we were beaten up and so we beat ourselves up, but we do a lot and we are not fragile.

Stacy: No, that is absolutely for sure. And it's interesting when I think about Bey Paley and just that time, the way that women were still striving for that kind of veneer of perfection, that we, you know, I've seen in much younger generations, Jennette sort of sits in the middle of that, you know, between that old school idea that you're supposed to like, you know, look unfeathered like a duck, but be cuddling like hell underneath in the water. Um, and younger generations who are like absolutely open to the idea of imperfection, that imperfection is sort of, you know, leads to kind of more vulnerability and authenticity. So it's interesting to see me, someone from that time period where you didn't talk about menopause, you didn't talk about your period, you didn't talk about depression or pregnancy or anything.

Naomi: Or mental illness. Yeah, none of them. I mean, just the great long list. No negative noise, basically.

Stacy: I think what you're saying is exactly right. It was like decoration to be a society woman at that time. Whereas now, Somebody like you, who is a movie star, has an incredible platform to reach so many people about that list of issues.

All of these things that, you know, I would say we're sort of like the dark side of being human, but are actually just about being human. are able to kind of, you know, get on, on a soapbox and say, Hey, no, I'm ready to talk about this. So I am, I know a lot of people know your origin story, but I'd love for those who don't to know, when did the word menopause first come into your life? When did you hear it? And what was the story about what led you to this kind of advocacy and, and really using your platform for such good?

Naomi: I definitely heard my mother talk about it. I have a distant memory that she had gone into a menopause early, but it wasn't something I was thinking about. I didn't really remember it until I heard it directed towards me, which was right at the precipice of me wanting to start a family with my partner at the time. I was 36 trying to get pregnant and not getting pregnant after years of to stave away pregnancies Now I wanted a family. I'd met the right partner and my doctor said to me, let's take some blood work. Let's see what's going on. So I said, okay. And then I came back for the results and he said, it looks like you're close to menopause.

And this was based on the fact that I had a high FSH level, follicle stimulating hormone. And he said, we like to have that somewhere between a 2 and a 14. And I was at a 27. So I was in shock. He then, you know, tried to calm me down very gently and said, There are other options on how to get pregnant. And started talking about donor eggs. So, it was a really shocking conversation for me to have because I'd not done any reading up about it. And, as I said, this was the moment that I recalled my mother saying she'd gone in early to menopause. But I didn't know anything. She didn't give me any other details about it. And again, she was of the era that there was no education provided either. I mean, I'd never heard of the word perimenopause, definitely, at that point. I'd heard about menopause, but not perimenopause. So I didn't know there were years leading up to it where that's where you could lose fertility. That's where you could have a multitude of symptoms. And before that one day that becomes your menopause day, your menopause birthday.

Stacy: You do have two beautiful children. So how did you work with this doctor around an early menopause discovery? I'm not even going to say diagnosis. It's just that you went into this earlier than most people do.

Naomi: I mean, there's a whole list of things that I did or tried to do. I had my first child at 38, so I had two years of spinning out, like, really tumultuous times of questioning my worth and really upset with my body. So many things transpired through those two years. I tried alternative things, I tried Clomid. I wasn't a candidate for IVF, I wanted to be doing IVF, but I didn't have the right egg quality and amount of eggs. Ultimately, I think what I landed on in the end was I found this book called Inconceivable and she had the same story. She had a high FSH and she took her health into her own hands. So I launched on a program, which she advised. You know, sugar free, wheat free, alkalining the system, and churning wheatgrass. And I was taking blood and testing the FSH level. Sometimes it was up, sometimes it was down. It was never below a 10, where my doctor had first said he'd wanted it. But I ended up getting pregnant, mercifully, naturally. And I had no idea. My first child and I couldn't believe it. I was peeing on those sticks for years and then finally I got one. Jackpot.

Stacy: Jackpot. The reason I was asking specifically is because it's, you know, I have spoken on many panels as I'm sure you have, not just with menopause specialists, but with fertility specialists, right? That there, we're now starting to look at this continuum of women's health that starts with menstruation and then what it means to have Female physiology, how our hormones work for pregnancy, postpartum, menopause. And I've heard such awful language associated with women when they are trying to conceive. That there's, they talk about performance and failure. You know, all of these words that I'm like are so damaging to the psyche. That, you know, you said you spent two years spinning out before you had your child.

And again, just the amount of work that you did to get your body to a place where you could have a child naturally to have words like that constantly said, I don't have Children and I was completely traumatized by hearing that we're talking about women in this way. that, you know, we're using these words like success and failure and performance around very natural, uh, issues that happen in the body. And it made me think a little bit about where we stand today, right? You know, we talk about menopause and women's health and the fact that Gen X is like, we're not taking it anymore. We want more information. We need better doctors. You know, we've got great spokespeople like you out there saying like, enough is enough.

You need to know what's going to happen with you. But when I really start to think about it, I'm like, Where, how far have we gotten, like what have you seen since you started talking about menopause, right? That was like, 20, 21, um, like publicly, um, how have you seen the industry change and, and how do you think that that has affected both like our psyches when it comes to aging and also like misogyny and, and bodily autonomy?

Where are we getting? I mean, do you see progress?

Naomi: I do see progress. Do we have a long way to go? Yes, there's so much more to do. Are we on an even playing field in terms of medical research with male, female? Absolutely not. But yes, I have seen this conversation in real time. Blow open because there was an absolute necessity for it to take place.

It was ridiculous that it took this long. I've seen it change in our industry. Now I get offered projects where the word menopause is everywhere all the time. And we're not just the crazy ladies. And I don't think that's true anymore. Everyone knows that there's other stories of women that existed this age bracket.

And they're not all crazy. And it's interesting to do a deep dive on ladies of every age and sexy women as well. Women can be sexy. In fact, probably the most sexual role I ever had was in my late forties was a gypsy.

Stacy: Yes, because I have to tell you, my girlfriend has now seen the entire series twice. She is obsessed with it, and I know she would be so mad if I didn't say something, so I'm telling you. And we both thought you were so sexy in that movie. But thank you. I do. I agree with you. I think that, uh, in a certain kind of way, you know, especially when I look at the women who you, um, who co-starred with you in Feud, right? They're, these are, these are not women in their twenties and thirties. And you know, it's Jimmy Moore, it's Lisa Flockhart. I mean, Molly Ringwald, all of these wonderful actresses who, Are playing these roles of elegant, incredible women, but you all bring, I think, a real sex appeal to them. That, that, you know, look, hairstyles also, I think, modern hairstyles have really had a lot to do with how we're perceived as we age. But, um, but it's just that we've been beaten down so much by these cultural tropes. And then I look at what's happening politically in terms of the, you know, now, you know, the, the, the controversy over IBX. That an embryo is a child. Um, we don't have bodily autonomy, and I don't feel that we have bodily autonomy, even when it comes to menopause, because we've been locked out of research for so long.

And I'm wondering what, where you saw things really start to change. I mean, using you want, you launched your company, Stripe. And, you know, I know you got very involved in advocacy work as well with the menopause mandate. I'm just curious, like, how do you see these things coalescing in your industry? It's not just that, you know, women can be sexy and women aren't crazy. I mean, do you foresee that there could be a TV series where the lead is a woman who is middle aged, sexy, and openly talking about menopause? I mean, you know, that's how I think things get normalized in society, right? We see something to aspire to.

Naomi: Yeah, I know. I do. And I think you're right. All of those women in Feud are all gorgeous and sexy and brilliant. And why? And not to say that they're not without their Wounds and trauma that's accumulated along the way, but there's a self possession, you know, there's a wisdom, there's a strength that is only born out of experience and ups and downs and recovery over and over and over again. That you can't buy, that you can't bottle, that doesn't fall off the trees, it is earned. And I do see it changing in our industry, I do see that storytelling is more open to making a place for women of that age. I mean, certainly Ryan Murphy has done that with women and celebrated women over and over again. And in the medical industry, It's happening, but it's slow and it's so unfair. The patriarchy is alive and well, and we have to do a lot to buck the system. And we're still, I mean, I still get text messages from friends saying, my doctor won't let me do this, and my doctor won't let me do that. And it's just shocking to me. I say, go in with the book, Estrogen Matters, or go in with the article. Tell them that they have to listen to you. And if they're really going to meet you again with closed doors, then you have to think about changing your provider. It's not okay.

Stacy: What I think is so stressful is that one, you know, a lot of women, I think, just are, have been trained to be people pleasers when it comes to your doctor. Your doctor always knows better, right? We don't listen to ourselves. We've been taught to fear our own bodies because everything about us is weird or ugly. Yeah. You know, getting your period is gross and you know, not having your period is gross and aging is gross and all of these things that the patriarchy is sort of that lens has taught us to believe so that when we go into a doctor's office, we do tend to be people pleasers. And you know, my doctor knows what's best for me, instead of saying no, no. I know what's best for me. I know what it's like. I am. I'm paying attention to what I feel. I'm paying attention to my pain. I'm telling you what's happening to me and being, um, as Dr Judith Joseph says, a participant in your own treatment, right?

Is that if you are able to really understand what is going on with you and you don't just come in and say, you know, I don't know what's wrong with me, you're bound to get better results. And if you can't find a provider that can cure you, then that's probably because men and women, it doesn't matter. These doctors have all been trained in patriarchal medicine. There was no, you know, as far as I can see, there's not been enough research on female physiology for us to confidently say, this is what happens to women along the way. We've just been tested against men.

Naomi: Exactly. And having done these speaking engagements and having met doctors along the way and hearing from them, you know, at first I was just infuriated by the medical system and angry, but now I've spent time listening to them and they're just as frustrated in many ways that they were not given the education. And there was a survey done at one of these speaking engagements and they all said, You know, they'd had maybe 2 to 12 hours that was focused specifically on menopause through their entire residency. And that was shocking to me, given how much menopause can lead to other health issues. And then I also heard doctors speak about how they've got these short windows and if a woman comes in and doesn't know what's going on and they're in floods of tears, it's like, how do we get this appointment to an end? Let me just write you a prescription. Out the door with an antidepressant or out the door with a sleeping pill. I understand it. So you kind of just have to take the whole thing in your own hands, read up. Thank God the internet is there and go in fully organized with a plan of what you would like to do. And hopefully your doctor is going to be able to hear you and trust that you know your body and this is what you need and be able to be on the same page.

Stacy: I think you're absolutely right. I think, you know, one of the things that we've been talking a lot about, uh, on this podcast this season is what does self advocacy look like? What do you need to do for yourself? We want everybody to leave, uh, every episode that they hear with an action item list of things that they can go and do that are going to help themselves. And I, I assure you, when you say the medical profession, you know, There are so many doctors that we've both spoken to, Dr. Sharon Malone, Dr. Jen Gunter, who already have expressed such frustration with the fact that there's such a lack of funding. And, um, I think it's encouraging. Dr. Jill Biden announced the 100 million campaign, you know, Women's Health Initiative, but that's a drop in the bucket, you know, when we think about what medical research is really going to need. This is all a great start. It's a great start. We can all say that we did it. But what were the things that helped you most when you realized, okay, now I've had my kids, I'm really experiencing perimenopause, uh, and you may be postmenopausal now. I am. I don't know if you are, but, um, but I am postmenopausal.

I had to learn what to look for and sort of when you say all of the, you know, menopause has all of these other potential health outcomes, what kind of information did you arm yourself with? What, what became the catalyst for you saying not only Do I need to take care of myself? I need to start talking about this so other people can take care of their stuff.

Naomi: Yeah, so it really started with my skin where I got to a place where I didn't know what was happening with my skin and that's Our shared friend Larissa Thompson comes in and I was working on Gypsy your girlfriend's favorite series

Stacy:  My favorite series. Come on. It was really hot. You met your future husband on that set, right?

Naomi: Yes. I mean, there's lots of goodwill towards that series. I love it. But anyway, I was 47, I think, and my skin was itchy and angry and sensitive and really red and had to put makeup over it. And then that would make it itch more and then scratch off the, you know, it was a horrible vicious cycle. And working 16 hour days on camera and I didn't know what it was and I got ointments, topical ointments from dermatologists and which would work as a band aid fix for a number of days and then it would all come back. So then Larissa offered ideas with cleaner ingredients, more gentle, less harmful ingredients and that I saw a good result with. But then I became fascinated with my skin because I need to have good skin to be able to be on camera all the time. And so I did a deep dive on that and that sort of led me to stripes. And in terms of my whole general health, I mean, I, I went on HRT pretty much straight away. I trusted my doctor and I've been on hormone therapy successfully for over a decade.

Stacy: Wow. Oh my gosh. I didn't know that. That's wonderful. It took me seven years to fight to get on M H T, and I've been on for a year and it changed my life. I'm such a nicer person now. I sleep, I sleep seven hours a night. I mean, I had no idea that the change in my life would be so radical.

Naomi: Yeah, I mean, I say this to a lot of my friends, and I don't know why, I mean, I do know why. Of course I know why. The WHI study that I'm sure you've talked endlessly about, people are terrified still. And I think that's where the massive change has occurred because of the fear being addressed and, and doctors commenting on that study and the debunking of it. We are now asking our doctors for the HIT to relieve the symptoms and also now there's less shame around it since the New York Times article, since your advocacy, since all of these other great organizations that are out there chipping away at the horrible stigma around it that's just lasted for too long.

And there's other things I do because it's still not a one stop shop. There are things that arrive that keep arriving. We think you have something under control. And, you know, I had a frozen shoulder for a year and a half. And I kept reading up about that and people around me had it as well. And they said it would go away. They did PT. I did tons of PT, but it wasn't going away. I suffered unbelievable pain for about a year. Where it would cause sleeplessness, I couldn't put my bra on, I couldn't really wash my hair without pain. And eventually I ended up having a cortisone shot and it went away. And I wish I'd had that cortisone shot in month one. About a year before.

Stacy: Exactly. And what do you think, you know, was that something everybody just kept telling you that it was going to go away? Did your doctor tell you that? Like, you know, I'm so curious when, when, when we hear like, Oh, a cortisone shot, It's not like that's even a serious medical procedure. Why wasn't that the first thing offered to you by your doctor?

Naomi: First of all, I can take some blame here myself because I didn't go to the doctors for a really long time. I was just reading about it and it took me a long time to get to a doctor. But when I got there, I said, this is a symptom of menopause. And he did look at me like I was sort of crazy. Yeah. And I can't remember the medical name for it, but there is a medical name for it, but they don't say it's menopause related. And I said, yeah, well, how come 12 of my friends have got the same thing?

Stacy: Exactly. I'm so glad you kind of beat him up or her up.

Naomi: Yeah. Well, it's just, they didn't know and it's shocking to me that they're not talking enough.

Stacy: Yeah. I mean, I, I think there is a groundswell for sure. Um, you know, uh, definitely, but, but I, I, I love what you were saying also about this fact that, I mean, even going in there and saying, Hey, like 12 of my friends have this too, is still educating. You're a medical provider, right? I mean, these are all super important things. And I think what we were talking about before, just to get back to that advocacy piece is what you were saying, gather all your facts, like write everything down, whether it's your physical symptoms or your mood swings or whatever it is. So that when you do, you know, we all know that most people don't have the opportunity to have a doctor's appointment that's much longer than 11 minutes. And if that's the case, right, the more you can go in and be prepared, as you were saying, I feel like the better you've got that shot of being a participant in your own treatment.

As Dr. Joseph said, um, and I'm, and you said that it led you to stripes, that skin was the one thing that was really the struggle for you in perimenopause after obviously you had, you know, difficulty originally getting pregnant, you got through that. But that was the next thing that was really a hurdle for you in terms of, uh, uh, hormonal change, right? And hormonal fluctuation. Um, and not being able to figure that out. You, you talked about Larissa, our friend, uh, being a founder, co founder in Onda Beauty, which was a, is a clean beauty, um, I'm curious, what else did you experience, um, or did you feel you had to wrangle in terms of, uh, you know, potential symptoms associated with peri or postnatal pause?

Naomi: Well, once I started learning about my skin, it was, okay, this is what happens when you lose estrogen, you lose hydration. And that's not just on your face. That's everywhere. That became my fascination and why I wanted to launch Stripes. But also, it was very clear to me that it wasn't just about skin. It's about education and the community and the three things must live together at once. And that was how I sort of envisioned the brand and why I called it Stripes, because I felt like we've earned the right to feel empowered by this moment, not invisible. This is not the end. We've accrued multiple experiences and we should be able to hold our heads high and advocate for ourselves if nothing else.

And that means you have to be armed with knowledge. You have to have skin solutions and you have to have each other. You have to have a community and be held up and supported by the strength of others that are like you. We talk about hydration issues. We talk about hair loss. We talk about weight gain.

We talk about how we live with this face? How to talk to your doctors, there's all kinds of real people sharing their stories with other real people in real time. Do I have to cut out wine altogether? Do I have to remove sugar from my diet? How do I manage all of these things? It's a huge undertaking.

And as I said, it's an evergreen thing. It's always changing because like you, I have not had my period for a long time. I'm definitely postmenopausal and I am still finding new things. It's new changes and with the frozen shoulder or say UTIs or things like that, that I didn't think I would ever have. I got them in my twenties and I, and I know why, but I didn't think I'd be getting them now. And there was no talk of that. So to share those stories, I think is important to normalize them.

Stacy: And optimize for them. I don't even think it's just normalizing, you know, I think. In the time, certainly, that, that, that you and I have been involved in, in this kind of discourse, I've really seen us talk about this, like, you know, the normalization of this topic. I almost feel we're past that. Now you've got a lot of pissed off, angry people who are like, why didn't we have this education? Where is the money? Where is the funding that we need for this kind of research? I, I, what I was going to say is I feel like, you know, where we started was just this idea of, Making, you know, raising awareness about menopause, whether it was through a brand or whether it was through, um, you know, uh, sort of medical intervention with hormones, it was just getting the conversation out there. And now I really see this shift in all of the different kinds of doctors. I mean, I'm sure you're familiar and I interviewed Dr Kelly Casperson, who's a urologist. Right? I mean, is she not just the best? And, you know, we were talking about the fact that nobody was ever thinking about testosterone for women.

Why? Why is it classified as oxycontin when we make testosterone in our body, which is what Dr. Kasperson was telling me. She was like, why is that? Why is the use of testosterone, you know, to treat menopausal symptoms being treated like it's this like, you know, class whatever drug, class A drug or class D drug, I don't even know what it is, but to me, all of these things are so fascinating, and now we're seeing these conversations, not just to help prop people, to let them, you know, give them permission to talk about this, but really to kind of help people progress and optimize for this conversation so that generations after us are not going to have to do this work.

Naomi: You're right. It's not just about the normalization. It's optimizing your health. That step is vital. And to go back to your original question, yes, we are seeing progress. It's incremental. I mean, I feel like a lot has happened and there's a lot more to do. I'm personally very encouraged by the changes that I've seen in my industry and now amongst my friends who were also terrified of. Going on hormones or we're convinced it wasn't safe. I mean, we've had people ask at various events. Oh, can I really put this on my skin? Is there hormones on it? They're terrified. And I say, no, there's no estrogen in there. I promise you there's no estrogen in there. But I love that women are able to share. This is a time when we need to share, there's a lot going on in our lives at this point. How do we feel in our career? How do we feel in our partnerships romantically? How do we feel in our long friendships? How do we feel as a mother? There's so much going on and that's why we're called that sandwich generation. Now that we're living longer. We're so vulnerable, but we're so able to cope with these things. If we've got the support, if we've got the education and each other.

Stacy: Do you feel like your advocacy work has helped you in some regard in, in those other areas of your life and your research and your knowledge about this issue? Has that changed the way, because I, I mean, from the outside, right, looking at you, I've never, I, you've never looked more beautiful. You, your career is so amazing, right? You got married last year. Like this, this to me is super important to, to have people in our community Doing things that look like success, not like just the stuff that we're struggling with, but how we also get past that struggle and into a place in our lives where we feel truly comfortable in our skin. And I'm wondering if there was something, even health wise, what did you change about your life after menopause? Was it something psychological?

Naomi: Yeah, I think coming to terms with it, putting my hand up for help with doctors, with friends, making myself vulnerable, telling the truth, trying to say, Hey, this is what's going on with my body. I hope you can deal with it. I don't want to have to apologize for it because I'm pretty sure every other woman is going to hit this point too. And I have to say, exercise is a really necessary thing for me. When I'm shooting, I get less time to do it. I'm probably able to exercise once or twice a week at the most. I know I sleep better when I exercise. I know my mental health is in better shape when I exercise. I definitely drink less. I like my glass of wine or cocktail, but I don't feel great the next day. You know, so I, I say, well, I'm not going to do that this night. Well, but this night I need it. So moderation and the same with food, you know, like I know I'm going to have a restless night if I eat too late or too many rich flavors.

Stacy: Just for everybody who is going to get to listen to this, I was going to ask you about your diet because I did see you at the SAG Awards and that Dior dress was batshit amazing. And I was like, how did she do it? How do you do it? Your body looks so good. so banging in that dress. And I was like, I mean, in all of your pew, I'm not, I'm really, I'm not trying to blow smoke up your ass. You are one of my favorite people to see on the red carpet. I, I'm, I know your style is very well. I know your brother very well. Like I, I know your team and I, I am constantly in awe. You are a consistent Red Carpet favorite. We're also around the same age, and I really struggle with, uh, weight gain. I really struggle to maintain muscle. And, and I, you know, I'm curious, you know, when you say you exercise, are you doing strength training? Are you doing stability training?

Naomi: Yeah, I should have got more specific about that. My exercise routine has completely changed and I've done every type of exercise known to man. I'm not a fanatic, but I just enjoy it. I, you know, I used to run miles or I used to do dance classes with high impact. I've done a lot of Tarantumi's class, which I know you probably know about. And yes, my body's changed. What I used to be able to handle, I cannot anymore. So I'm absolutely of the mind, weightlifting.

We all used to think, Oh no, no, I don't want to be bulky. Right. I don't want to get big. I don't want to get big.

Stacy: Also our generation's body dysmorphia, psychosis.

Naomi: Exactly. And I've got friends that still say that. And I say, no, you are not going to with the rapid loss of estrogen. You need to lift weights to Keep your muscle. It's about keeping, not like transforming or building. There's no chance of that unless you're taking tons of testosterone, but you could be doing other things to interfere with it too. And my relationship with testosterone has been interesting because I was, I did try it early and not have a good experience. And I've only recently gone back on it at the suggestion of my doctors. And I'd been hearing a lot more about it from, you know, various doctors along the way. And I had a good experience. It feels good now. I felt horrible before. I felt like it made me a bit, Grrrrrr a bit mad or something. Oh, I wonder why. And so maybe I wasn't lacking enough to take it then.

Stacy: Yeah. Or maybe you were getting too much, right? I mean, this is the, the, also the interesting thing that, uh, Dr. Casperson was talking to me about is that women naturally make a 10th of just the amount of testosterone that, that men make in their bodies. So, It's not like we should be taking tons of it if we're trying to replenish what's been lost after medical. And I've had people say the exact same thing as you, that they tried one system, particularly pellets, which can be a lot more testosterone than, let's say, using a little bit of gel behind your knee or a little bit of cream behind your knee, and that the effects have been completely different.

Whereas I've heard about the, The kind of roid rage, right, that you're talking about. Um, but then testosterone can also be helpful for libido in building muscle or maintaining muscle. So again, it's like if we had more research, we would know how to dose. We would make this legal as an option for women. It's so frustrating to me. And, um, I'm excited to actually hear that you say that you went back on testosterone. I tried it very briefly and I got scared. I didn't, nothing really happened. I just got nervous. And my gynecologist just said to me recently, she was like, I think for you to maintain muscle, we've got to get you on some testosterone. So you didn't stick with it?

Naomi: I didn't. Right. Yeah. No, I wasn't sure. And then I heard things like, Oh, it can cause hair loss. And I was already experiencing that. I went off it very quickly and have come back to it, I guess, five years later. And it's like, I keep it in the bottle. I know there are different ways to distribute it, but I do it in drops.

And I don't do it every day, just when I feel like it. And yes, it helps with the libido, but I also feel like, and I don't know if this is placebo, but I feel like it does sort of make me feel a bit more in charge.

Stacy: Isn't that so funny when you say you feel a bit more in charge? I see this all the time. We forget that feelings are about hormone, right? I mean, feelings are actually just hormones. Hormones. And if you're, if you're tinkering with them, you aren't going to feel different things. Um, and also, you know, testosterone, uh, Dr. Casperson said was good for energy and somebody with your kind of schedule. I mean, that's gotta be a consideration. I'm sure as well.

Naomi: Oh yeah. Yeah. We work crazy hours in the industry. Yeah. And the muscle built, which is important. And I don't think I take it regularly enough for it to really. Make changes there, but maybe it's helping a bit and that I'll go with because we need to protect our bones.

Stacy: That was actually one of the things I was going to ask you is sort of we wind up here. The three things that I have heard from sort of almost every doctor that you and I both know, um, is that, you know, the things that menopause sort of post menopause that we have to worry about as women, the most are his bone health. Cardiac health and cognitive health, and I'm curious if there is anything in particular that you've changed about your lifestyle, um, or your diet, or your sleep, or your exercise habits that are specific to those things.

I know we talked about strength training because that does matter very much to your bones, right? That, that matters in keeping your bones strong. But in terms of cardiac and cognitive health, how, how do you, um, think about things? How do you, how do you think about taking care of yourself?

Naomi: I mean, really trying to eat right and get the right amount of sleep. I wear this Oura ring, so I study my sleep. And I've definitely tossed it away for a period of time because it's only giving me bad news, but then I go back to it and I'm highly addicted to it. It's the first thing I do when I wake up is check my results from the night before. And it's really pretty impressive how it can gauge it because that's exactly how I feel. It conditions me. It makes me think, okay, no, I'm not going to eat at 10 o'clock at night. I'm not going to have that last glass of wine. I'm not going to eat something sugary or salty at this hour. You know, I don't take sleeping pills, but I might take a melatonin or, you know, one of those CBD gummies or a, you know, if I've got jet lag, I'll take a Benadryl.

Just because I know I need to sleep and the sleep loss leads to all kinds of other things. Yes, the brain fog. Yes, the anxiety, state of mind, all of it. You know, the diet, I think is the same thing.

Stacy: Do you follow kind of a Mediterranean style diet?

Naomi: I moderate. I think I messed around with food when I was a kid and like interfered with metabolism and I am very much of the mind of just anything you want in moderation. If the minute I go on a diet that's when I start craving things I never normally crave, you know? And so I allow myself to eat what I like and moderate portions and balance it with exercise and I'm not going to not eat birthday cake. I'm not going to eat lettuce in Rome. I'm going to, I'm going to eat pasta and lots of it.

Stacy: I mean, look, we've got to live life and I truly appreciate that. But I think this key of moderation, we always talk about this, right? You know, we talk about moderation in terms of how hard you work or moderation in terms of sleep or moderation in terms of food. It's funny that I think that that moderation muscle. Get stronger with age.

Naomi: We're more disciplined as we age, and that's another benefit. We have to be. We know it doesn't work. It's just not worth not being disciplined. And also, I'm going to bed at 9. 30. I don't want to be out and about. I am with you.

Stacy: I love being in bed by 930. I love a six o'clock dinner reservation. But you know, it's not just the discipline. I think it's also our ability at this stage of life to be kinder to ourselves. And you know, not saying like we're holding ourselves to a standard of who we were when we were younger. Because A, what's the point of that? And B, it sort of disvalues or devalues everything that we have gained, every strife we have earned. And so it really, you know, I really do think it is wonderful to be able to say, like, you have discipline and you have moderation and you have kindness for yourself. And that is sort of part of the legacy of, of aging well.

Naomi: Yeah, I think so. And we're kind of to ourselves and each other. I think at this age when we're not comparing ourselves so much as we used to, we're not competing with each other. I think there's something really wonderful to look forward to from the next generation about going through this time. It feels like we're in it together. And I know that's how most of my friends feel. Over the secret keeping we're over the, Oh, I wish I had this. I wish, I mean, you can still feel like, Oh, there's many things I want to do to look better and everything.

And I never begrudge anyone for doing what they need to do to feel their best. But I think the strength of these long, long, long, Relationships, these long friendships really bolsters us in this time.

Stacy: I completely agree. Community, community, community, community.