Woman of Interest
Model Vickie Heath On Menopause and Loving the Age She's At
By Pause Well-Aging
It’s never too late to do what you love, and our launch campaign model Vickie Heath is the perfect case study. At 62, she’s full swing into an acting and modeling career and an up-and-coming beauty influencer on YouTube and Instagram.
Embracing her age has been at the crux of her success – her long, silvery hair garners endless compliments on social media and in real life. Here, she opens up with her own menopause story: How it happened, what it’s like now, and why she has no desire to chase her youth.
Connect the Dots: So let’s start with the question everyone’s supposed to hate: How old are you?
Vickie Heath: As of last month, I’m 62!
CtD: Congrats, congrats! So, we're assuming by now you’ve gone through menopause, you’re now in the post-menopause phase?
VH: That’s right. Menopause… I have gone through it. I guess I'm going through it still. Really, it hit me years ago, when I had my insides removed due to endometriosis. It threw me immediately into menopause. That happened back when I was 50. When that [menopause] happened… from my children's point of view, they said I was a mad woman from the beginning.
CtD: But did you feel that way? Like a “madwoman”?
VH: That’s the thing, I didn’t feel that way at all! [Laughs] I mean, I was moody for a while, but after the first eight months, I knew what to expect and gained some control over the mood swings and got used to how my body had just changed.
CtD: What were hot flashes like for you?
VH: I got the mood swings earlier and I didn't get hot flashes until later. I remember one night, I woke up in the middle of the night, I'm going like, ‘What in the world?!’ And I was freaking drenched from head to toe, seriously drenched. I had to get out of bed and change my clothes. That’s when I thought, ‘Oh, now that's real menopause.’
It happened a few times, and then finally, it pretty much stopped. Every new moon, I might get a little sweat but I just smile and fan myself a little bit, then it's over.
CtD: That's a great approach... Just smile a little bit, fan yourself…
VH: If you live long enough, you're going to go through it, so you have to adjust with it just like you adjust with age and anything else.
CtD: That’s so true. In your case, since it was surgical menopause, you knew when it was coming. Were you prepared?
VH: Knowing in advance did make it a lot easier. I read up on what symptoms to expect, I talked to my doctor. So when the mood swings came, the hot flashes, I knew why it was happening. The only signs of perimenopause I had before my hysterectomy were a few very far-apart periods. It was almost symptomless.
CtD: So what’s it like now, in postmenopause?
VH: Well, I now I have what my mom used to call the “Old Age Spread”...
CtD: Old Age Spread?
VH: You know, it’s this extra ten pounds that seems to come from nowhere, even when you eat less and eat better?
CtD: Oh, got it. Like how suddenly, at a certain age, all this weight piles on between your belly button and your knees?
VH: Yes! Exactly that. But I think as long as you know that you're going to go through changes, whether it's mentally, physically, or whatever, I think if you're aware of it, you can just deal with. You're going to get wrinkles. Your hair is going to get thin. There are just certain things in life that are inevitable and if you keep dwelling on it, I think that's when you start having issues.
CtD: Acceptance is quite freeing. . .
VH: That’s right. Menopause is what it is, you can’t stay young forever. And, personally I don't want to stay young, I just want to stay well as long as I can.