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The Truth About the Menopause - Part 2

So today just some of my thoughts from my recent research on a number of articles, podcasts, books, all that jazz, I really just wanted to get my racing thoughts out on paper and would LOVE to know yours. Please, please share your thoughts, comments, send it to someone if you think it might be helpful. I love chatting about this stuff with you guys and your feedback, support and conversation is always so appreciated. If it rings true with just one person I’ll smile.

Here goes…

During the menopause and our ageing years especially, there seems to be this notion that we have to restrict really hard in order to look and feel great. I am here to help you to realise that you CAN be active and have fun, the rest will come – it doesn’t have to be boring, hard or long. Let’s find something you LOVE with a great support network. It’s my mission and am recognising this is where I’d like my niche to lie in helping lovely ladies to realise that.

Women face gender stereotypes from a very young age in sport and exercise – ‘men are stronger’, family comes first, team sports aren’t encouraged as much, teenage girls feel scrutinised, older ladies feel ignored. DO NOT let this put you off, exercise is SO beneficial for wellbeing not least because of the chat around heart disease once menopause kicks in! Are you really going to let society negatively impact your health? I hope not – you’re stronger than that.

It is NOT too late to care for yourself.

You should NOT have to put up with menopause making you feel irrelevant or the butt of somewhat sexist jokes. If nothing else - you give more to yourself and then you can absolutely give more to those around you.

Sport and exercise can help you make new friends, get away from a busy life, bring so many mental health benefits, help stave off Alzheimer’s and dementia and a myriad of potential physical issues that come with ageing.

You are not ‘too unfit’ to get into the gym, or ‘too overweight’ to run on the roads – people aren’t looking at you, if they are they’re thinking about how fabulous you are doing, and if they aren’t it’s on them – know that you are a better person than they are.

Men must talk about this stuff too – especially those in health and fitness and medical care – PTs I’m looking at you, if your clients are female you HAVE to talk to them about it, it should impact so much of what you do with them. Women also need to be supported by the corporate system. Turns out the biggest growing population of people in the corporate world at the moment is women over 50!!

Girls, your parents need you, your employers need you, your immediate family need you, your friends need you – they need you to be happy and healthy. Come together, support each other, stop comparing each other, build each other up.

I know with the way of the world there isn’t a lot to help women of this age BUT we NEED to control what we can and help ourselves, I want to start the movement together.

Menopause should not mean a decline in wellness and vitality. There is increasing talk about science being able to delay menopause but I don’t think it should have to be that way myself, I think we should be able to manage the symptoms effectively to keep women feeling glorious as their bodies do their natural thing. Okay a delay may extend fertility but why should we have to use medication and play with nature simply to offset the other preventable hindrances that women currently experience through the menopause? Many of you may think that as a 20-something I have no right discussing such things but I promise you I’ve had more menstrual issues than most my age – one day I’ll be ready to talk about it with you.

I promise you are not a lost cause because you are ageing or experiencing peri-menopause or the menopause itself. I wish we could embrace it – again, you’re probably thinking easy for me to say as a younger female, but let’s try, I have big vision for you ladies here.

I also don’t want ladies to fear approaching this stage of their life, I want us to be in a position where we can just see it as a phase of life keeping that vitality and happiness that we have. Remember, like restaurant reviews, you only ever hear the worst. We can’t fear getting older, it’s inevitable. We need to make the best of what we can control. Don’t put your energy into resisting the inevitable – what’s the point?

I’ll say it again. THE absolute BEST thing you can do to stay healthy and active and feeling good as you age is to exercise and eat well.

Studies using those in their twenties show health markers hugely worsened from a period of bed rest, showing the importance of movement and exercise – if that’s happening in young people, as age-related decline takes place, doesn’t this show you how important it really is? It is proven that health markers that decline as we age can be improved or at least delay decline with exercise. I can’t tell you how important this is. You don’t HAVE to spend hours in the gym dripping with sweat or pounding the pavements wrecking your knees, simply walking more is going to help here.

Girls, these CAN be the best years of your life, your best days haven’t happened yet – they are coming! We can enjoy and embrace where we are, what’s the point in worrying or complaining about it? It’s wasted energy. Let’s put our energy into helping ourselves FEEL better.

If you are dealing with awful menopause symptoms there is no way in the world weight loss should be a priority, getting your health optimal and feeling good again should absolutely be number one, if weight loss happens as a by-product when that’s needed then great but you should certainly not be putting pressure on yourself at this time if your symptoms aren’t manageable at the moment, let’s get quality of life back first.

Your shape may change but you can’t ‘spot-reduce’ fat – we can work to get leaner and it isn’t impossible in this phase of life. I’d be a millionaire if I had a pound every time a lady asked how to get weight off her tummy or her hips since the menopause. Body fat changes will happen, it may increase, but let’s keep this focus at a HEALTHY level and accept these changes – your shape isn’t worse, who made that up? You…society….It isn’t worse, just different. It’s so upsetting to me when ladies are so negative about their physical appearance because of what society has made us believe we should look like. Your kids don’t care if you’re ‘thin’, your parents don’t care either. Do you love your friends or your partner based on what they weigh? No, absolutely not. They simply care that you are healthy and that you FEEL fabulous, that way you can offer more positive time with them and THAT is why they love you, because of the wonderful experiences you have together.

Don’t let people think that taking hormones through HRT is ‘giving in’ or having some form of treatment is weak – that taboo is SO outdated. Let’s look at the science!! It isn’t for everyone but it MAY be beneficial!

So let’s refocus on the basics, including grains, loading up on protein and vegetables, stress management, moving well – we know it works. Be KIND to yourself. I’m not saying this is all it takes but let’s start here. Your nutrition and exercise might be the last things you feel like getting to work on right now but you need to have an honest word with yourself – you KNOW this works.

Until the research evolves, we need to work with what we have so let’s take action NOW, the more we chat about this the more you ladies won’t feel like you’re going nuts feeling the way you do – I promise all your friends are feeling the same!!

Men, TALK ABOUT IT. Ladies, I’d love to know, how do you feel about approaching the menopause? Ageing? The potential to delay menopause? Would you?

Thank you for listening to me ramble.

Peace and love, A x

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