Judy Greer is keeping it real when it comes to perimenopause and other aging woes.
In an interview with InStyle, Hollywood's resident on-screen bestie discussed navigating the transitional period before the start of menopause.
"So much emphasis is on when you first get your period. And then it's all about trying not to get pregnant, then it's all about trying to get pregnant, then it's all about your kids, and then it's like, 'Good luck with the rest of it, ladies!'" said Greer.
Perimenopause refers to the gradual decline in ovarian function over time and can cause a number of physical and mental symptoms, many of which are not discussed enough, laments Greer.
"It's nice to have some support for this chunk right here. [Age] 40 to 65 is this big void that we're just supposed to figure out. Like, really, you're just gonna ignore us for 25 years?" she said.
As for her own symptoms, Greer says her transition into menopause has been marked by a host of symptoms that initially left her puzzled.
"Brain fog, having insomnia, being really cranky, being really moody — those symptoms I noticed right away and I was like, 'What's going on?'" she said.
The physical symptoms left her just as stumped as she began to have trouble keeping weight off.
"You know, like gaining a couple pounds over the weekend, you could lose it by Tuesday, and then all of a sudden it's like, 'Huh, that doesn't seem to be coming off as easily anymore,'" she said.
It wasn't until she vented while shooting FX's Married that she got an idea as to what was causing the influx of bodily changes.
"I remember complaining about it to Suzy, my on-set costumer, and she was like, 'Oh, yeah, you're perimenopausal,'" said Greer, who was admittedly put off by the statement. "I was like, 'F*** you!'"
"To me, anything related to the word 'menopause' at the time was, like, 'Then you're old and you're irrelevant,'" said Greer.
Despite her initial reaction Greer went on to research perimenopause and was shocked at just how little she knew.
"I was like, 'This is crazy that this goes on for so long and nobody's talking about it. And why is the first time I'm hearing about it from Suzy?'" she said.
Greer took her concerns to an OBGYN, who wanted to prescribe birth control and Prozac to help manage symptoms.
Greer ultimately declined both options, choosing instead to use plant-based supplements from Wile, a wellness brand with which Greer has partnered. (As Johns Hopkins Medicine notes, the FDA does not regulate such natural supplements, which aren't subjected to the same rigorous testing as prescribed medications.)
Greer has been able to connect with other women who dealing with perimenopause.
"I know women who have had such extreme experiences that they almost get divorced," she said. "I never was close to divorce, but I could see, intellectually, that my reactions were overblown but I couldn't control it. Or something would set me off that never bothered me before. And the sleeplessness. You feel like you're crazy if you're not getting sleep; it was messing my whole day up," she said.
Greer compares the cocktail of physiological symptoms to puberty: "I was feeling, for the first time since I can remember in high school, my self-esteem starting to plummet."
Now with a more refined perspective, Greer is able to reframe her self-talk and can look back on certain moments in her career with a fondness she didn't always possess.
"I always see pictures of myself and Jen [Garner] in 13 Going on 30 at the "Thriller" dance, in this cool, mermaidy look. I think of that outfit in that movie a lot. When I put that dress on, I was like, 'Oh my god, it's so tight, it's gonna show every curve, I'm gonna not be able to eat for three days,' and feeling like, 'Do I look fat?' I hate saying that and then looking back on it now, I'm like why weren't you just so happy with how you looked? Why weren't you just so confident? You looked amazing, Judy of 17 years ago. You looked so good and you should've been so happy — and you should've dressed way sluttier!"
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