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Judy Greer was feeling off. But at the time, she couldn’t quite pinpoint the issue, or where it was coming from. In her early 40s, the actress thought she was still a ways off from having to worry about the effects of menopause, but soon realized there was a hormonal explanation for all that she was feeling.
Greer, who’s currently starring in NBC crime drama The Thing About Pam, remembers when she first started feeling inexplicable changes in her body. She was working on FX series Married and says she “just wasn’t feeling” herself on set. Solutions from medical professionals ranged from birth control pills to Prozac and prescription drugs, but it wasn’t until an offhand conversation with the show’s costume designer that Greer realized there might be another reason for her inexplicable fatigue and brain fog.
“She was like, ‘Oh, honey, how old are you? Your hormones are all over the place. You’re going through this hormonal change, like a big shift,’” Greer tells The Hollywood Reporter. “And I was kind of like, ‘No’ — I think at the time I was maybe like 40 or 41 — ‘no, not yet.’ And she’s like, ‘Oh yes, just you wait.’ And at first, I was kind of annoyed with her. And then I started doing research. And I started realizing, yeah, she’s right.”
Her journey led to to step in as a founding partner of Wile, a women’s naturopathic supplement brand, about a year ago. With Wile, the 46-year old actress wants to shine a light on this “invisible” life stage for women over 40 — past the days of what’s considered “young” by societal standards, but not quite menopausal. As the website calls it: “Not Old. Not Young.”
Greer — who’s been consistently taking the brand’s supplements for over a year now — swears by them. She takes them every day and more as needed as a natural way to balance her hormones.
“I’m not only a part of the company, but I’m also a customer, too, which is really important to me,” Greer says. “I don’t really want to lend my name to things that I don’t believe in.
“You just get to that age [where] you kind of get largely ignored by the medical community,” she adds. “You’re left on your own to try to wonder — why am I not sleeping? Why am I cranky? Why am I forgetful? Why am I unable to lose those 5 pounds from the weekend? I used to be able to do it. Why are things shifting so much? And why is no one talking to me about this?”
The actress encourages women who may be struggling with similar issues to feel empowered, rather than helpless, during this next stage of life.
“We, as an age group, as a generation or a demographic, have so much to offer. And we have so much going on. A lot of us are empty nesters. Finally, a lot of us are finally putting ourselves first, focusing on self care and our relationships have kind of taken shape. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t be as vibrant and important and happy and successful and confident as we were when we were in our 20s and 30s.”
These days, as famed actresses of the ‘90s and 2000s enter their 40s and 50s, aging in Hollywood has become an important part of the conversation. Kate Winslet — who won an Emmy last year for her performance in the acclaimed Mare of Easttown — told The Guardian about how middle-aged women have historically been left out of the spotlight.
“Middle-aged women have long been underestimated, disrespected and disregarded in the film and television community, and now that’s changing,” Winslet said. “Look at the actresses who won at the Emmys. None of us were in our 20s by any means, and that’s cool! I feel way cooler as a 40-something actress than I ever imagined I would.”
Likewise, Unforgivable star Sandra Bullock thanked Netflix at the film’s premiere for expanding opportunities for actresses in a wider age range. “If it wasn’t for Netflix, a lot of people wouldn’t be working,” Bullock told THR. “Who would think that me, as a woman, would still be working at this point? I would have been out in the cow pasture. It’s true.”
Says Greer of her own experience with the pressures of Hollywood standards, “It’s a little different for me personally, because I’m more of a supporting character actress. I think when you’re a movie star, like Kate Winslet and Sandra Bullock, there are different concerns there. I’ve been able to work as much as I wanted to — thank God — in all the phases of my life, and that is probably because I wasn’t pigeonholed as a leading lady early on. I think it gets really tough when you are in that role, and you’re a leading lady and what people imagine the audiences want to see. And it’s hard. It’s like, yeah, you’re not like this young starlet anymore.”
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As for what women in their pre-menopausal years should look out for, Greer cited symptoms such as sleep disruption, decreased sex drive, forgetfulness, moodiness and general PMS-familiar symptoms. “In some ways, it’s like PMS, but it doesn’t limit itself to the week before my period, and it doesn’t go away. During this time, you’re probably really busy, you probably think you’re just really tired and stressed out, but you are probably going through a shift in your hormones.”
Greer shares that she takes Wile’s 40+ Hormonal Wellness and Women’s Stress supplements every day. Her second favorite is Drinking Your Feelings, a functional chai blend designed to help manage stress and curb emotional eating. Other products in the line include Un-Worry, Burnout Relief, Hot Flash and others designed for specific hormonal imbalance responses.
“We’ve put together a proprietary blend, there is nothing like it already on the shelves,” Greer says of each supplement formula, many of which feature holistic ingredients blends made up of adaptogens, phytoestrogens, nervines and nutrients such as ashwagandha root extract, superfood maca, ginger, turmeric, alfalfa leaf extract, reishi and more. “We’ve come up with our own formula working with a naturopath who’s been working with this type of natural medicine for over 30 years, specifically geared toward women.”
Though the products are geared toward women ages 40 and above, Greer emphasized that anyone can take them, regardless of age or life stage. “You’re not going to start aging faster,” the actress adds. “It’s fine for anyone to take.”
See below for some of Greer’s favorite Wile products, and shop more from the brand at Wilewomen.com.
1. Wile 40+ Hormonal Wellness Herbal Supplement
Designed for better overall mood, stress response, sleep and periods, the 40+ Hormonal Wellness supplement features a 100 percent plant-derived formula made up of ashwagandha root extract, alfalfa leaf extract, fennel seed powder, vitex agnus castus and kudzu root extract powder. Wile says it will boost your mood, focus, stress tolerance and resilience, while also promoting a healthier sleep schedule and easing pre-menopause and perimenopause transitions.
2. Wile Women’s Stress Herbal Supplement
The Women’s Stress supplement can be taken daily for clinically backed stress relief, formulated specifically for women 35 and older who may be experiencing hormone fluctuations. With an adaptogen blend primarily made up of ashwagandha extract and lemon balm powder, the brand notes that the product helps to reduce tension in the body and mind, while improving cortisol levels and nervous system response.
3. Wile Drinking Your Feelings Herbal Supplement
Curb unwanted indulging with this tasty chai blend, designed to be mixed into your favorite hot beverage. With notes of vanilla, chai, cinnamon, ginger, turmeric and more, this anti-stress supplement helps to reduce cravings driven by boredom and stress, says Wile.
4. Wile 40+ Period Support Herbal Supplement
Naturally regulate your period with this adaptogenic formula to promote more predictable, even cycle and moods without synthetic hormones.
5. Wile Un-Worry Herbal Supplement
Un-worry yourself with this easy-to-use herbal remedy that can be dropped directly onto the tongue or into your favorite beverage. Made up of brahmi, holy basil, passionflower and reishi, this blend will help relieve stress and worry, while also bringing natural positivity to your mood.
5. Wile Burnout Relief Herbal Supplement
Feeling over-extended and exhausted? This plant formula was created to help relieve physical signs of burnout, improve energy and bring a calm, centered focus to your day.
5. Wile Hormonal Sweatshirt
Rep your hormones loud and proud. This cozy sweatshirt is soft and oversized in a heathered navy color.
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