PERMINOPAUSE BITES

I have entered the phase of ridiculous hormone changes! Before I go any further, let me say . . . everything you hear is TRUE! Seriously, the horror stories, the hot flashes, the weight gain, the crazed mood swings . . . it’s all true! I understand that NOT everything pertains to everyone and everyone is different, but if someone tells you a horror story – don’t discount it!

I’ve been in the fitness industry for the past 24 years. I stay up to date on research and the evolution of my field. Nothing I have learned has prepared me for this phase of my life – not even my Graduate Certificate in Gerontology! When I was 29 years old I was asked to write a book chapter on fitness in the peri-menopausal woman. Ok, no problem! I did my research, I regurgitated what I found – problem solved, just do what you’re supposed to do! At 44 years old, I do everything I know how to do and it still doesn’t stop my body from getting squishy! The best thing to do is to eat clean, rest, and strength train, which helps manage all the symptoms, but doesn’t stop them. I had no idea how difficult this transition phase would/could be until I started going through it a few years ago. Oh my goodness!!
In 2013, I wrote a special report on Women, Exercise, and Metabolism. I just reread it for a refresher. Yup, I’m still doing everything I know how to do – correctly. I consulted with another middle-aged female fitness coach and she’s experiencing the same sorts of changes in her own body. She started a “Menopausing so hard” group on Facebook where women can talk about these changes without judgement or criticism and to feel supported through this transition. I feel like my generation of women talk more about our bodies than the previous. Possibly this transition will be less frustrating for the next generation of women because they’ll be more informed. Knowing what I know now, I’m telling my sister everything! Then there’s The Shit They Don’t Tell You About Menopause. It made me laugh!
Sadly, this is a natural process with not much you can do to stop it, but it’s nice to know this transition is “normal” and you’re not alone. Everything you’re feeling is valid. I’m not at the acceptance phase yet, but I am working towards it. I’ve not experienced so many body changes since puberty and I thought it was frustrating then! Thirty two years later, another “puberty” of sorts. If you know a middle aged woman, the best thing you can do is to be patient – and get out of her way. LOL!

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