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Many Women, Many Choices

January 20, 2005, Vol. III Issue 2

Dear Friends,

I’m always on the lookout for speakers I think will be just what the nurse (and doctor) ordered. When it comes to information, attitude and perspectives about menopause, I am pleased to introduce you to Rebecca Hulem, RN, RNP, “The Menopause Expert,” in this issue.

Menopause continues to be a hot topic, with heightened interest since the Women’s Health Initiative study was stopped in July 2002. Rebecca not only has the credentials and expertise, but personal experience, passion, and a fabulous sense of humor about a topic that isn’t going away anytime soon.

Have you ever experienced a product or service you really, really, really loved, but it was hard to explain and didn’t have buzzword status yet? Well, the Nia Wave is about to sweep the nation with the release of the book, The Nia Technique: The High Powered Energizing Workout That Gives You a New Body and a New Life. I’ll be at the book release here in Portland next Tuesday, where after a “Blast Class,” teachers and authors Debbie and Carlos Rosas will do a book signing at our downtown Portland Borders. More in our next issue.

REBECCA HULEM: Many Women, Many Choices

Just when we think we have everything figured out, everything changes. Rebecca Hulem, RN, RNP, thought she was set for life in a career she loved, when “The Change” knocked on her door.

Rebecca had excelled in the field of women’s health for over twenty- eight years. She was working as a nurse midwife in her mid-forties when the first signs of mid-life change appeared. “Physically, I felt like I had run into a brick wall,” she says. “I had no energy or patience for the simplest everyday tasks. Even the drive to work was becoming a trial. Traffic, finding a parking space, the annoying aspects of daily life that I had always accepted suddenly started grating on my nerves. Worse, I started letting my moods affect my interactions with my coworkers, and even my patients. Of course, I didn’t notice it as much as they did!

“I continued in this moody existence for several months, thinking that everyone around me had become intolerable until one day a dear patient of mine, whose baby I had just delivered, gathered up her courage and confronted me. ‘Rebecca,’ she said, ‘ You must have been having a bad day when you delivered my baby.’ ‘Why?’ I asked, somewhat surprised at her remark. ‘Well, you snapped at me and raised your voice several times while giving me instructions during my last stage of labor. Never, in all the years that I have been coming to you for my healthcare, have you spoken to me like that.’

“I was devastated. We all have bad days and bad moods, but it’s not my nature to treat anyone in such an unkind and unprofessional manner. Thanks to this courageous patient, I stopped and took an honest look at myself.

“I realized that in addition to becoming impatient, I had also become distracted. I was having difficulty sleeping and getting migraine headaches. Most discouraging was the realization that I had lost my passion for working with pregnant mothers and their babies, a passion I thought would carry me blissfully to the end of my nursing career.”

It was time to look for some answers. As Rebecca tackles most everything in life, she delved into the topic wholeheartedly. In the process, she was shocked to un-earth a zeal for teaching that had been asleep for a very long time. And, a whole new career path emerged.

In January 2003, she walked away from her secure corporate environment and ventured out on her own, taking her love for speaking and strong desire to educate women on their many choices about menopause on the road.

“Even though women go through many of the same symptoms in menopause, I believe it is very important that we, meaning the medical community, media and consumer products industries, stop trying to treat every single woman the same as we have for decades,” Rebecca advocates. Her mantra is, “Many Women, Many Choices.”

Her first book Feelin’ Hot? A Humorous, Informative and Truthful Look at Menopause, is an entertaining while enlightening read! In it she tackles all of the physical aspects, including the role of diet and exercise, as well as the “other” issues like the affects of menopause on libido.

“Menopause is not the end, it’s the beginning of a whole new second half of life,” she says. “For me so far, this is the best half and it just keeps getting better.” Rebecca’s enthusiasm and drive have given her the courage to run two marathons, attempt snow skiing, climb both Mt. Whitney and Half Dome, and hike down and up the Grand Canyon three times, and all after the age of fifty!

“Reflect on what has come before, anticipate that there will be a future, and accept every present moment,” she advises. “You have found the key to what we call time.”

Rebecca’s speaking topics include:

Feelin’ Hot? Winning in Business (and Life!) Despite Your Hormones
Making Midlife a Positive Passage
Not for Women Only: Helping Men Survive “The Change”

You can order her book at:
where you can also sign up for her e-newsletter, “Menopause Moment”
If you’re interested in bringing Rebecca to your city for an event
call me at 503-699-5031 or email me at

In the Headlines: Time to Do It, Not Just Think About It

Drumroll, please . . . The “Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005” were released last week. They made the front page, the business page, the nightly news, and the editorial page. They’ve probably even been the brunt of the late night commentators, but I don’t stay up late enough to check that out.

The guidelines are a joint project of the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Agriculture and the latest of the five- year reviews required by federal law, and are the forerunners of the anticipated new food pyramid, which actually may take a different shape than a pyramid when all is said and done.

The most interesting thing I’m seeing, is that this version is taking a stronger stand. Instead of just advising, like “This is a good idea,” mentality, the guidelines are saying Americans MUST make a healthy body weight a top priority when they’re making decisions about what they’re eating, and physical activity (read exercise), 30-90 minutes a day, MUST also be a priority. The wishy-washy is being replaced
with grist.

Even food manufacturers are paying attention. They’re seeing that if they can say they’re following the guidelines, it will be good for business. Moving beyond lip service, some are even realizing that they have to deliver the goods, not just label products as “healthy.” I say, the buyer still has to beware. I read that Quaker said they’re reducing the amount of sugar in their cereals. Hmmmm, the oatmeal I buy doesn’t have any added sugar in the first place. It’s 100% certified organic oats.

Interestingly, by law these guidelines must be applied to menu planning for school lunches, to supplemental nutrition programs for the poor and to set health policy objectives for the nation. Stay tuned . . .

The “2005 Dietary Guidelines,” Executive Summary, Key Recommendations, and consumer brochure, “Finding Your Way to a Healthier You,” are available free at

Go Red for Women: Wear Red Feb. 4th

Are your Red-y? Get out those red sweaters, red dresses and red suits and gear up for Friday, February 4, “National Wear Red Day for Women,” red being the American Heart Association’s color for awareness about women and heart disease. Wear a red dress, shirt, hat or other item on February 4 as a show of support for all women who have been touched by heart disease. Men are rallying to the campaign and will be wearing red, too.

Go Red for Women is the American Heart Association’s national call for women to take charge of their health and live stronger, healthier lives. AHA, says, “We specifically want women to recognize and reduce their risk for heart disease. Women, and men, develop unique life- changing power when they take steps to reduce their risk. That’s because much of heart disease can be prevented! There’s a lot we all can do to protect ourselves.”

Absolutely! That’s a major reason I do what I do and so many of our speakers have a passion for this topic as well.

Until next time, be good to yourself, for your well being and those you love, and wear red. It’s a vital color that will rev up your energy level and boost those around you as well. Hey, you’re worth it! Live it, love it!

Yours truly,

My vision for The Speak Well Being Group is to be a connector for speakers I
know, love and believe in, with the audiences who will be inspired, motivated, and transformed by their perspectives, knowledge, empathy, compassion, information and, most importantly, capacity to enjoy the process, laughing at themselves and with you along the way.

You’ll find many of our speakers on our website.

Or please call anytime and let us assist you: 503-699-5031

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