**Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. This is a podcast that is informative and educational. It is a way for you to learn so that you may be able to go to your doctors and have an intelligent conversation with them and not feel intimidated.**
Menopause… We are going to talk about this subject for a while with this evolving master class I have coming up! A few weeks ago we talked about Belly Fat (you can find that podcast link at the end of this blog), and during that episode, I touched a little on menopause. So today I am going to circle back to menopause and take a deeper dive into it. So many people are like, “oh it’s menopause.” But do we really know what the hell it is!?
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So, let me do what I love to do and let’s DEFINE IT!
Menopause is a period going 12 months and a day without having your menstrual cycle. Not until you have gone through these 12 consecutive months and 1 day, are you officially into menopause. For many of us, perimenopause it can last up to 10 years! (And that time period can be a hot mess!) We think it’s a short period of time until you reach menopause, but it can actually be almost 10 years, and you could be experiencing these symptoms for that long as well! And let me tell you… It’s these symptoms that make us nutso!
Fun fact…. At any given time, there are 60 million women in some phase of menopause.
So, guess what? You are not alone! Many women are in the same situation as you because the average age that most women hit menopause is 51!! So, strap in for the ride, we are all in this together!
What causes menopause?
We all know we have a certain number of eggs and every month one drops down to say “heyyy you can get pregnant now!”. As we go through life, the viability of those eggs starts to dwindle because we are not getting the hormonal signals from our bodies to tell us to produce an egg. Our eggs are aging like we are. And over time we are producing less estrogen and less progesterone. Our bodies are no longer getting the signal to send out the luteinizing hormones as well as the follicle stimulating hormones that signal that says ok lets go! This is what starts us to getting our periods. But as our egg supply dwindles and our hormones, our periods start to get all types of wonky!
As you are going through this, you may see some symptoms:
● Sleep troubles
● Unexplained weight gain
● Libido will or can change
● Mood swings
● Joint pain – inflammation
● Brain fog
● HOT FLASHES
● Dry skin
● Some may also be feeling depressed
Surgical menopause 2 Types- Let’s talk about this quickly because this is another way for your body to go through menopause.
1. When you have a total hysterectomy. – This is when they take all of your reproductive organs. Ovaries, uterus, and cervix are all gone. You are instantly in menopause the minute, you come out of surgery
2. If you still have ovaries, but no uterus, your eggs are still releasing and still have hormones releasing through your system. Still have the potential to go through traditional menopause without having your period. You will only know by testing your FSH and LH level. You used to be able to keep your ovaries and cervix when having a hysterectomy. But they found with doing this, there was an increase in cervical cancer, so they no longer do this type of surgery. But some may have had this surgery still who are listening.
All of these symptoms we talked about can be caused by this hormonal soup that is happening in our body as we enter the next phase. There is not a blanket approach here, we are all different and will experience things at different times. Some may have nothing; some may have it all! One way you can get an idea of how you will be during this time is to look into your family history. When did your mother or grandmother go through it? What was it like? Find out and it can give you a better idea as to what to expect.
Listen… Yes, you can go to a doctor and get all the tests, they can give you all the pharma on the planet and you can take supplements! But unless we focus on changing our lifestyle to support our hormones, all of that stuff doesn’t freaking matter! Without a lifestyle change, you cannot support everything else going on!
At this point in life for many of us could have a lot of stuff coming at us. You may have a lot on your shoulders. Aging parents, work, children, burnout, the list goes on and on. So… What is going on in your life? Our body cannot differentiate between stress and being chased by a tiger, which means your cortisol levels are always going to be elevated and this… contributes to inflammation. Burnout will exacerbate menopause symptoms. I know, this word is blahhh but you have to calm down a bit!!
Really look into what stress management is. THIS is self-care that you need to focus on.
Regenerate and recharge your own batteries! Color, paint, ballroom dance, meditate, do things that bring you joy! (I have got a whole podcast about joy) Learn to say no! NO is a complete sentence!
That elevated Cortisol will push on that blood sugar to “fight” and will need more sugary carb-filled foods to have that instant energy to fight whatever you are going through. During your menopausal state, your body is are going through all these changes. And one of the fat-storing hormones is insulin. If you are having a higher carb, western diet, you cannot get away with the extra carbs like you use to. Take a look at your good fats. Am I having good fats? Ladies, you need to have over a minimum of 2-3 tablespoons of good fats a day. (avocados, seeds, not just olive oil! Any oil is okay, with exception of Crisco, soy, canola, vegetable, sunflower seed, any oil but those.)
How can you lower your blood sugar as you age? Many women over 40 have insulin resistance? Here is where you work take as much sugar out of our blood system as possible. You’ll do this be adding in fiber, exercise, getting better sleep, monitoring your carb intake, and making sure you are getting 20–30 grams of protein with every single meal.
When it comes to hot flashes, you have to be able to calm our systems down. Acupuncture was a game changer for me and my hot flashes! Wild yam supplements are another option. Another is HRT (hormone replacement therapy) yes, years ago the Women’s health initiative came out saying that it caused more harm than it helped. Good news, new research came out that a lot of women can benefit from this. You want bio-identical hormones vs synthetic hormones. .
There is a great book Estrogen Matters it talks extensively about estrogen and our memory. Estrogen IS A key indicator of memory. And estrogen imbalances may lead to memory impairment later in life. Estrogen is a way to preserve our brain!
Many of you are frustrated with trying to lose weight in menopause. Our bodies are conditioned to burn the carbs, but we want them to be metabolically flexible and burn the fat now. You want to get rid of that excess fat you have been accumulating. So… let’s start to become metabolically more flexible and do something different! If you want something different you have to do different things and it’s not going back to what you did before!
Tell yourself – I HAVE TO DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT!
Instead of subtracting, what are the good things you can add to your diet? Add in more good fiber, looking at the amount of food you are eating each meal, add more vegetables and good proteins, and more good fats.
We have to start looking at our whole system. And we have to look at our lifestyle.
● Are you sleeping? – What are your habits around it? Are you getting at least 7 hours of sleep
● What are my habits around stress? Or are you thinking this is how life is?
● What is my mindset? Am I telling myself I CANNOT break through this, unless I go hard because this is how I get results?
● Look at your alcohol intake. What is it like? (email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can email you that guide to go through!)
● Are you giving yourself boundaries?
● Are you creating a time to go work out?
● Are you creating a time to go to the grocery store?
● Do you always feel behind?
● Are you strength training 2-3 times a week?
● What is your nutrition like? Are you always hungry?
● What is your energy like? Am I always craving?
You need to start to look at these things and listen to our bio-feedback. That is how you know something is working. Not the damn scale! If I’m not sleeping something is off. If I am always hungry some things are off. If I have no energy regularly something is off. If I am craving something, it is off. Menopause can be a problem, yes, but it can also be some lifestyle things that we are doing to contribute to those lifestyle factors.
Does this feel like you?? Or did you resonate with what I spoke about? I am doing a full masterclass on belly fat. And how can we get rid of it even in our 40s? Are you done and want to feel like you used to or even just fit into your pants again? Sign up for this free masterclass because it starts in November! Get on the list to find out all about this and when it launches so you can be a part of it!
Cracking The Belly Fat Code:
Podcast Episode – Belly Fat:
Podcast Episode – What Brings You Joy