How To Get Through Menopause With Your Sanity...
For those of you that know me, understand that when I decide to write a blog it is because I have something to say.
Others write to “teach,” or “educate,” but I do that on a daily basis with my clients, and I don’t feel completely qualified to write scientifically on something.
Yet, I am NOT afraid to write emotionally or anecdotally about a topic, and I try to help people understand things while hopefully making my readers feel supported and inspired in some way (with my own sense of inappropriate humor).
I keep it real.
Sometimes too real but that ‘s me - love it or hate it - either way, just keep reading and enjoy this hormonal rollercoaster called…
Yep I went there.
Well technically I personally haven’t gone there yet, but stuff is happening that makes me step back and go, hmm???
What’s up Leslie?
Why did you just rip that customer service rep at the piercing studio a new one when she asked if you were going to be swimming in the next 2 weeks, and you respond by asking,
“UHH, submerged in water.”
Well…I proceeded to educate her on the various ways to be submerged in water.
Salt water submersion?
Tap water submersion?
Geez, I just wanted to have all the facts.
My daughter looked at me like I was from another planet.
Nope (not in denial at all). But I do recognize that during this “change of life” a whole lot of things are happening to the female body that create all kinds of reactions…
1.) Testosterone levels decline
This is one of the first things that can happen to women. This can start as early as late 30’s! Testosterone is typically seen as a male hormone but women need this hormone as well. Testosterone is produced in the ovaries with estrogen and helps with growth, maintenance and repair of a women’s reproductive tissue, bone mass, and human behaviours. Low levels can make a female feel sluggish, have muscle weakness, sleep issues, weight gain and oh goodness, reduced sex drive!! Ladies you are not nuts, this is real!
2.) Estrogen and Progesterone levels decline
These are your pregnancy hormones. Your body is preparing to stop being able to have babies. Now, most of us are ready to stop birthing aliens out of us, but we don’t particularly want to feel like aliens while we go through this. When these levels drop, that’s when those dreaded hot flashes start. Oh, but your period starts to stop (yay) and the mood swings start (boo). This other person starts to take over your being, and your significant other just needs to learn to respond “yes dear,” and “I love you,” with every conversation. This is for their salvation completely. Ladies you may feel like you are going crazy and can’t control your environment but this is normal and yet so very unfair.
THIS IS ALL GREAT LESLIE BUT THIS DOESN’T MAKE US FEEL ANY BETTER…
No, it probably doesn’t, but I can offer some advice on how to cope through this change that will benefit your mind and body in the long run.
1.) Strength train
By lifting an object against its gravitational pull, you are doing your body and bone density a world of good. Osteoporosis is unfortunately a huge risk for post-menopausal women, and it is shown that weight training can decrease this risk.
Lifting weights also is great for body composition and feeling “in control,” during a time when we can feel out of control at a moments notice (let’s be real, we don’t give notice, we just snap).
Strength training in a fun and supportive environment is important as well. Your trainer needs to understand that there are going to be days that you do not feel like you have the strength or desire to work. This is a real feeling, not an excuse and your trainer needs to be supportive of this, but also not letting your body let you down emotionally. There is a huge mind muscle connection that can be utilized, and at the end of the session you will be better both physically and emotionally.
Strength training can also help with that all elusive sleep. Which brings me to my next point…
Try to get good quality sleep. There are some really good apps on the phone that help with relaxation techniques. Yoga before bed may help too. There are many other “not natural,” ways to achieve sleep that you can discuss with your healthcare provider.
3.) Surround yourself with support and humor!
Ladies, we need to be supportive of each other as we transition into this next stage of life. It isn’t anything to be ashamed, embarrassed or even afraid of. This is life, and life is a gift. Embrace these moments and laugh a lot (just be prepared for the little surprise that may occur with laughter), and then laugh at that too!!
4.) Eat a well-balanced and colourful diet.
Yes, our metabolism does slow down during menopause, but that doesn’t mean deny your body food. Choose a variety of foods that fit into your lifestyle. Consider meeting with a nutritionist or get yourself educated on which foods fit best into your macronutrient count. The last thing you want to do is starve your body during this time, as this will only have negative impacts on your metabolism and hormones.
I guess what I am really saying…
Don’t jump off the roller coaster! Don’t stop doing what you love to do, and maybe even start something new. Move your body through exercise and an activity you love to do. Even when you don’t feel like it, YOU MUST! Along with positive energy and healthy living these steps will make this change more bearable because it’s inevitable.
I just want to clarify one last thing, the word MENOPAUSE.
Instead of looking at is as a PAUSE the O MENstrual cycle, I prefer to think,
MEN you better O PAUSE before you say something that will end up costing you! Like a Tiffany bracelet as an apology gift!! Ah heck, buy it anyways ,as we will change our minds about what irritates us at some point! Better to be prepared.
Ladies, I embrace the rollercoaster ride that I am about to embark on.
PS - At Vagus Fitness we pride ourselves on working with and helping clients just like this!
Sign-up for a complimentary assessment below, and we will also give you a $100 Gift Card to get you going…
Written by Leslie McKernon. Leslie has been a strength coach (and co-owner) at Vagus Fitness since it’s inception. She specializes in strength training for women over 50, teaching the fundamentals of strength training in a fun and positive environment. You can contact Leslie at firstname.lastname@example.org.