CEO Thoughts: Why don't I take better care of myself?
Regularly I complain to my husband about how lousy I’m feeling.
Monthly I have terrible cramps. Like really painful. Like I have a soccer ball in my lower abdomen that makes me think it’s a giant fibroid or tumor. I’m bloated and I look pregnant.
He comments, “Heaven forbid you check in with a doctor to make sure you’re ok.” He adds, “It’s not like you know any qualified women’s health physicians or anything.”
He has a point. I run a women's health company with knowledgeable experts.
I am guilty of not doing anything to help myself feel better when I’m in pain or suffering through the woes of perimenopause.
My excuse? I don’t want to overreact to something that’s probably just “normal.” This way of thinking is the very thing that we’re trying to change at Gennev!
When people ask me who our biggest competitor is, I respond, “It’s women doing nothing.” Because that’s what we often do when we’re not feeling good, or we’re experiencing some embarrassing symptom that makes us feel old or ashamed: Nothing. Except suffer.
Besides we’re busy.
But too busy for ensuring that we’re healthy and able to thrive? To take care of those we love? To rock it in our jobs? Be happy and feel positive about our bodies?
With this email, I’m outing myself and am pledging to change my ways. And if this sounds familiar, I challenge you to change yours.
It’s been 6 years since I’ve had a pap exam, and equally as long since I’ve had a mammogram. I run, I swim, walk, ski, eat healthy and am fortunate to have good genes for muscle mass. But when it comes to leveraging the expertise of health professionals in my life for the big stuff, I just don’t do it.
Is it fear? Perhaps. It could be fear masked by “I’m too busy” or “it’s probably not anything” or “if it were really serious I wouldn’t be able to get out of bed.”
At Gennev, we often hear from women that they want to wait until they REALLY need to meet with a doctor or work with a health coach. That it’s not “necessary” until they’re REALLY sick. But what’s that magical line in the sand that makes it REALLY necessary?
It’s true that GenX and Boomer women don’t really have a calendar of check-ups to follow when it comes to managing our health in midlife. Companies like Gennev need to change that, and we’re working on it.
But, I think we need to become better at owning our health. Making time for appointments, checking in with our close friends on whether they’re paying attention to changes in their bodies and their moods, and simply making sure that they’re doing OK.
Here's my challenge for you: ask two friends how they're doing...how they're REALLY doing. By helping them feel heard, I hope it motivates you to take action for your health. Check in with a doctor (we've got one for you at Gennev if you don't have one), or challenge yourself to work with a health coach for 3 months. Start simple and see how great you can feel.
I, for one, have booked an appointment with a Gennev provider for starters. I need to be heard by someone who gets me. I hope you'll do the same.
Co-Founder and CEO, Gennev