Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Review of Take Charge of the Change by Pamela M Smith

A dear friend of mine brought me over a stack of books several years ago after I had talked to her about going through that change of life.  Many of these books were humorous and had some information that was helpful. Some with the thought of: we all go through it, just grin and bear it, you will get through it too. Some were a little more helpful - Healthy tips, advice to go to your doctor because he can prescribe hormones and anti-depressants, learn to laugh your way through, etc...  But probably the LAST book I picked up (and maybe should have been the first) was the book that looked like it was too technical and deep - Take Charge of the Change by Pamela M Smith.

This is a topic that most women do not want to talk about openly and for many years women suffered in silence.  But the times have changed and I began asking many ladies about their 'change' of life. I was grateful that most were very open. Some ladies went through it pretty easy, as simple as going through 6 months of not feeling good...  I sure wish I was one of them!!  Some said that said they felt they could not function normally, everyone got on their nerves, to even feeling like they were going insane. Others had hysterectomies, which makes the change very different. When I jumped into this 'change' over 6 years ago I had no idea how it would be... nor how long it would take.... and no, I am not through it yet!  For one to be through this change, they have to go through a full year of no monthly cycles.  Unfortunately, one can have sporadic cycles with seemingly no rhyme or reason during this time.  Personally, I describe this change as PMS on steroids all month long, month after month, year after year...  ugh!!!

The first few years were not so hard, some emotional ups and downs (kinda like when we were going through puberty)... when I began feeling sad all day, every day, for months at a time about 3 years ago I began trying to explain it to my husband.  We decided to go to the health food store to see what options they had. I began using a progesterone cream that was a life-send!  The only problem, I didn't need as much as I was using and it made me quite happy-go-lucky.  My kids called it my 'happy cream' - and you could obviously tell when I had or had not taken it, because either mom was OVER happy or OVER sad. It has taken me years to find how much I need and know when I go through a rougher day, to have an extra half pump here or there helps.  

I researched into bioidentical hormones and I would LOVE to be able to afford this when someone makes it affordable...  which is about the time (about 7 months ago) that I finally picked up this book... Take Charge of the Change. Yep, this was just what I needed!

The information in this book would actually be good for ANYONE - a lot of practical advice on many topics that everyone faces whether they are going through the change or not!  Things like sleeping better at night, mental fuzziness and memory loss, mood swings and body blues, migraines, and even love life problems - She has real, simple and natural solutions to so many problems we face!! Yet, she does emphasizes that someone who needs hormone replacement therapy is not any less of a person than a person who can take charge without.  

Pamela is very 'technical' in her descriptions in this book, explaining the science behind what we are going through, food and diet, exercise, etc...  Those sections are hard to read, but I forced myself, knowing this is what I NEEDED to learn.  I usually enjoy reading nutrition stuff, but some of her information can be a little harder to read through and fully understand.  That is okay, as long as I can get an overview and understand the whole picture.  

She stresses the importance of exercising moderately even in the busy lifestyles that most of us face. It is worth the time we set aside to keep us both physically and mentally alert.  She also stresses the importance of a well balanced diet, 10 fruits and/or veggies every day, and LITTLE sugar... yep, my biggest weakness!  Food combinations are important for maximum vitamin absorption in meals and snacks and she encourages more meals throughout the day with smaller portions to keep blood sugars from rising and dropping too much throughout the day.  The biggest help of all was the chapter on sleep and I wish everyone could read it!! I have slept better the past few months than I have in a long time!  

The only thing I didn't like was her focus on Soy products.  The edition I have is more than 5 years old, so I am sure if there is an updated version it won't have this same push!  Other than that, there was little I disagreed with.  

The practical advice in the book is worth the time, even if you skim the 'science' behind it all!  

For my weekly update - I have lost another two pounds the past week!  YAY!  This makes a total of 12 pounds from the start of this blog.  I have only 33 more pounds to go...  which may seem like a lot, and seem impossible, but I am very optimistic and excited with the combination of Taking Charge of the Change and Trim and Healthy Mama (which will be my next book review in a few weeks).  

Have you read Taking Charge of the Change?  Was it helpful for you, what did you like/not like? 


  1. I was hoping you would do a review on this. I had not heard of this book.. my"change of season" came during and right after Nathan death. Talk about difficult. Physically no problems but emotionally I was a wreck.

    1. WOW! What a tough time to go through such a major change!! This book is really good for anyone with all the health tips and ideas to everyday problems for anyone!