Menopause and the art of the midlife pivot with Lizzie Bermudez

Hormones and the art of the pivot

With two teenage daughters, Lizzie Bermudez, 54, is well-practiced in managing change…and hormones. She started her period at 12, survived two bouts of postpartum depression in her 30s, and managed through a cancer scare and total hysterectomy at 52, immediately putting her into menopause. Post-menopausal for two years, she says that she wasn’t prepared for all of the physical and emotional challenges that menopause would bring. 

“Honestly, most days, it just still feels like a bit of a shit show,” she says with a chuckle.

Even so, she’s taking this life stage in stride and is intentional about focusing on the good things, including making sure she gets a good laugh every day. Earlier this year, she started Our Halftime Show podcast with long-time friend and writer Meredith Sinclair.

Self-proclaimed “fun seekers,” Lizzie and Meredith met each other almost 20 years ago when they were both creators in the mom-blogging space. They’d always wanted to collaborate on a project, but living in different cities, raising their families, and their respective project work made it difficult.

“We always wanted to do something together, and so now technology makes it incredibly easy,” says Lizzie. “We decided we wanted to do a podcast, but it took a while to determine what that would look like.”

They decided to focus on women in midlife but wanted to shake it up a bit. After exploring the podcasts targeting midlife women, they quickly realized it was a crowded field. Undeterred, they explored several angles and ultimately leaned into the concepts of fun and the art of the pivot.

“A lot of podcasts for women at midlife are talking in a clinical sense, like what you can expect as you age with menopause, what’s happening with your body and your hormones…people talking to researchers and doctors in a life hacking,” she says. 

“We also saw a lot of people talking about professionally laddering or starting a new career,” she continues. “Those were all topics we wanted to avoid.”

They kept it simple and brought “who we are and what we know” to each episode, with fun and laughter being foundational principles.

“I think it’s what we need for the second half of life. Because, you know, some days it feels like all the wheels are coming off the bus.”

Considering Lizzie’s background, making the midlife pivot to podcasting was relatively easy. Born and raised in the Bay Area, she spent years working as an on-air reporter and media personality in San Francisco. After over a decade of building a career in broadcast journalism, Lizzie transitioned out of the public eye to spend more time with her family. She didn’t realize it then, but it would be a significant life pivot that would ultimately lead her to use her voice, media savvy, and wicked sense of humor to champion fun and happiness in midlife and beyond.

An unexpected pivot from media to mommy-blogging

After graduating from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a degree in Political Science and a minor in Broadcast Journalism, Lizzie spent a year in an unpaid internship at a small station. Through that experience, she realized that she’d found her passion.

“I love to talk. I love to listen. I love experiencing something new every day,” Lizzie says enthusiastically. “And this fed into all those things that I was good at.”

The internship motivated her to create a resume tape, which she used to land her first paid on-air job. She worked her way up from “small market to small market” until she eventually got a job in a top five US market near where she grew up…San Francisco.

Lizzie thrived in her career and worked on-air until shortly after having her first child at 35. But returning to on-camera work and an early morning call schedule proved challenging. Postpartum depression led her to leave the career that had once given her so much satisfaction. 

After much contemplation and several discussions with her husband, Lizzie decided to stay home full-time to focus on raising their daughter. It wasn’t long before she realized she was more miserable not working. 

“I’d worked my entire life and had been pretty independent and self-sufficient. Let’s just say it was a tough transition.”

To channel her need for intellectual stimulation, Lizzie says it wasn’t long before she fell into researching postpartum depression.

“Research had always been a part of my job,” she says. “And so, I started researching… what’s this postpartum? Why does no one ever talk about this – or about motherhood? Everything’s supposed to be all rainbows and unicorns, but it wasn’t.”

Her research led her to the world of mom blogging. Lizzie immersed herself in the mom blog world, teaching herself how to navigate social media and writing and video blogging about motherhood while raising her two daughters. She also became active on Twitter.

Operating as “LizzieTV” on social media and while blogging, Lizzie says authenticity was at the core of everything she discussed.

“It was always real talk,” she says. “Real talk for moms. Anything from all the new baby products to how to keep your kid entertained without a device,” she reflects. 

“It was a brand-new market – 17 or so years ago – the whole mom blogger parenting market, it was all new. There were so many new things going on, and I was also doing some paid sponsorship work.”

Lizzie’s candid take on new motherhood and rearing small children became a hallmark of her work. Her frank and humorous take on the good, the bad, and the ugly of mothering quickly gained her a sizable and loyal following of moms struggling with their new realities.

A second-generation native Californian, Lizzie’s parents are of Mexican and Filipino descent. She says that culturally, topics like struggling with motherhood or postpartum depression (or depression in general) weren’t discussed in her family.

“I’m Mexican and Filipino, and mental health wasn’t talked about in our culture. Medication was made fun of,” she reflects. “So here I was, this grown woman with this new child and I had so much shame. SO much shame to admit that I had postpartum. Looking back on it now, it’s wild to me.”

Although her views on mental health have evolved over the years, it took her some time to really understand her own postpartum and difficulty adjusting to being a mom. She’d heard about postpartum depression but wasn’t prepared for how it showed up.

“I could not get out of bed, and I had this newborn. My husband was a really great hands-on dad. When he’d get up for work in the mornings, he’d feed and change the baby. Then he would bring her to me,” she recounts. “And all I wanted to do was go back to sleep with the baby.”

Despite wanting to feel excited about exploring the world through the eyes of her new baby, it did not come easily or naturally for Lizzie. She struggled for “seven or eight months” before her husband (strongly) encouraged her to go to get help.

“He basically told me, ‘You need to either go to therapy or get on medication…or both.”

Lizzie did go to therapy and was prescribed Lexapro, an SSRI widely used to treat anxiety and depression. After she began to treat the depression, she decided to tell her parents what she’d been experiencing. It was a learning process for them all. Eventually, her parents came around and were able to support her through her early days of parenting. 

“There was a lot of pressure to stay home and raise my daughter. My parents had a very traditional old-school way of thinking, and I had to have more than one conversation with them, like, ‘This is my life; this is the way I’m choosing to do things.”

She says it took a couple of months to “kick in” between the medication and the therapy. She emphasizes that even with the medication, while she could function better than before, it took significant effort to adapt to her new mom life.  

“I tell people who have never taken an antidepressant – including my parents, that it’s not a happy pill. It didn’t work like that for me,” she explains. “It helped me from dipping to the point where I couldn’t get myself back up.”

Lizzie experienced postpartum after having her second daughter three years later but knew the signs and could deal with it much more readily than before.

“I was able to spot it, pick it up, get on it, start treating it, and then deal with it.”

From mommy blogging to menopause

As Lizzie’s girls got older and were well into their primary school years, she returned to work as a freelancer with the ABC affiliate in San Francisco. She balanced raising her family and managing journalism assignments for several years until she was laid off in early 2020.

Lizzie suspects that her age played a role in her losing her job and describes how she received fewer assignments in the last couple of years after they brought in someone younger.  

“I was working on a lifestyle show, and the work was just becoming less and less. They had brought somebody in that was younger, and they just were telling me that they don’t need me as much or they were going in a different direction,” she says. 

She acknowledges the impact of working in the media industry on one’s self-esteem.

“It’s a very subjective business working on camera and in television. It’s not merit-based, that’s for sure,” says Lizzie. “It’s about who’s the flavor of the month. That part of the business can mess with your sense of value and certainly doesn’t feel good.” 

To add insult to injury, within six months of being laid off, she experienced a cancer scare, ultimately leading to surgical menopause.

Due to increasingly severe pains in her lower abdomen, Lizzie’s doctor ordered an ultrasound, which showed that she had an ovarian cyst. A few months of monitoring showed that the cyst was growing, and she had bloodwork done to screen for cancer markers. What came back concerned her doctor, and it was recommended that Lizzie have a total hysterectomy with salpingo-oophorectomy, which would entail the surgical removal of her uterus, cervix, and each ovary and fallopian tube. 

Lizzie consulted with three different doctors before proceeding with the recommended surgery. Fortunately, the pathology report showed the cyst was benign, but she was immediately put into surgical menopause due to the procedure.

She began menopausal hormone therapy, specifically an Estradiol patch, immediately following her hysterectomy. Lizzie’s doctor had spoken with her before surgery about a plan to address the menopausal symptoms that the procedure would trigger. 

“After discussing it with my doctor, estrogen was always going to be a part of my treatment plan. She basically said that when I woke up, my body was going to be jacked up.”

Before her surgery, Lizzie was in perimenopause for about two years. She experienced various sporadic symptoms, including cystic acne, intense mood swings, and hot flashes. She also had painful cramping during her menstrual cycles, which had become inconsistent in frequency. 

In post-menopause, Lizzie’s symptoms are different. She still gets the occasional hot flash, but she believes the estrogen therapy has helped mitigate some post-menopausal symptoms she might experience without it. She says her sleep quality has improved, but she still struggles with bouts of Brain Fog. 

“I’m more aware of it than ever. But the forgetting of things has always been a big pet peeve,” she says. “It’s pretty frustrating, but I’ve been trying to stay calm when it happens and know that if it’s important, it’ll come back. But initially, it was very upsetting to me.”

Learning to manage a new set of symptoms was not the only challenge she faced post-surgery. She’s also had to recalibrate her expectations regarding physical and sexual intimacy with her husband. While her libido wasn’t significantly diminished, the way she feels “down there” and how she experiences pleasure is something she’s had to adjust to.

“Having sex afterward was really painful, and it had never been painful before,” she laments. “It felt very different. Parts of me are still numb… There was a period where I thought, can I feel down there? It felt like somebody had hijacked my body, and that was very upsetting. 

I had to mourn what was gone and accept that this is another phase of my life,” she continues. “But that was really hard. I used to cry whenever I would talk about it.”

With time, therapy (traditional and pelvic floor therapy), and some trial-and-error (for example, she says silicone-based lube works much better for her than water-based), Lizzie’s been able to enjoy some sexual intimacy. However, she says that it’s still a process almost three years after her surgery.

“You remove a womb and a cervix…inevitably, things shift. And even though they kept my vagina intact, you know, that shrinks. And now I’m in menopause, so my vaginal tissue is thinner and dryer… It just feels different.” 

Still, she persisted…

True to form, Lizzie used the experiences of being phased out of her job and having her reproductive system significantly altered (during a devastating pandemic) to pivot into her current purpose work.

Leveraging her “LizzieBtv” brand across her digital platforms, she shares and creates “keep it real” content for women in midlife. If you follow Lizzie, you know she’s not afraid to be her authentic self on camera, sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly of ‘momming while menopausal’ in midlife.

“You’re going to get real talk from me — and conversations about stuff that a lot of women aren’t comfortable talking about. I’ll do the Instagram live with the doctor talking about moisturizing our vaginas and how to have better sex, and how to increase our libido.

So, I have those uncomfortable conversations, and I’m very vulnerable. And a lot of women aren’t comfortable with that.”

That vulnerability makes Lizzie relatable to thousands of followers across IG and TikTok. It’s also her commitment to ensuring that women – especially younger women – are prepared for midlife and all that comes with it.

Lizzie recalls her mom’s frequent hot flashes and heavy periods. Still, she says her mother didn’t discuss her menopause experience. She wants to ensure that women like her two younger sisters — and, one day — her daughters know what to expect and understand that midlife can be a liberating and gratifying life stage.

“I want to destigmatize this whole aging thing. I want us all to just feel really good about where we are, who we are, and where we’re going.”

She acknowledges that this can also be challenging but says that getting in a good laugh is a critical part of her wellness plan. 

“Something that I live by that’s been life-changing for me is laughter; a laugh a day is what I shoot for. And not just a little ‘ha ha ha ha’ — like a good laugh,” she emphasizes. 

“Figure out ways to get it, you know? Go back into the memory bank. Think of a funny story. Go onto YouTube. Go onto Netflix. Call a girlfriend. Talk to your partner. Whatever it is, try and have a good laugh. It’s good for the soul and makes you feel alive.”

Whether through her podcast or her digital content, Lizzie brings the real. By speaking openly and honestly about her life, she hopes to help other women in midlife feel seen and know that they’re not alone. She emphasizes that connection and community are what we need and crave as women — especially at this stage of our lives. 

“I’m a big advocate of seeking out and finding some type of online community. You can turn to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok. Find your people, find your tribe. They’re out there.”

You can learn more about Lizzie on her website,, and follow her @lizziebtv on Instagram and TikTok. Check out the podcast on whatever podcast platform you enjoy, including Apple, Spotify, Stitcher.

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