Hello my friends!
I hope you are doing well.
Gearing up for my new perimenopause/menopause series has me reflecting on the process of aging.
There are so many gifts inherent in aging. For one, the gift of just living. If we’re still here, we’re among the fortunate.
Another is the gift of perspective. By now, we’ve all experienced so many cycles of anticipation, joy, change, disappointment, and loss. Hopefully, by being around the block a few times, we’ve loosened our grip a bit on chasing pleasure, knowing that it passes. At the same time, we’re learning to ride out the painful times with a little more grace. Change is the constant, right?
Another gift of aging is losing our concern over what other people think.
Yet another is embracing our sense of vulnerability. Unlike in our teenage years, we have a sense of our own mortality. Perhaps to you this might seem heavy. For me, the certainty of my mortality brings me into the here and now — which is where it’s all happening. One of my mentors, Dr. Sara Gottfried, recently posed the question: If you had one hour to live, how would you spend it? That question was frightening and emotional to consider, but it really helped crystallize what’s most important in my life. Answer the question yourself. Then assess how well your current life aligns with what’s most important to you.
The years we have ahead of us are important. We want our lives to be vibrant — our minds, our spirits, and our physical bodies. Just as puberty is a jumping-off point for adulthood, so are our middle years a time to lay the groundwork for our future.
Two years ago, I studied under Dr. Gottfried, one of our country’s foremost hormone experts. Her book, The Hormone Cure, is on The New York Times best-seller list, and I’d encourage you to get yourself a copy. Gottfried talks about the concept of organ reserve, “the capacity of an organ, such as your ovaries, thyroid, or liver, to function beyond its baseline needs.” The idea is that we don’t want our bodies to be run-down and ragged with stress, toxic build-up, over-exercise, and lack of sleep. If that’s the case, there’s nothing left in the tank when any of life’s curve balls come our way.
Through targeted nutrition, quality sleep, thought patterns, exercise, supplementation, and supportive relationships, we can keep our tanks full — building up a reserve for our body’s organs to continue functioning optimally in times of stress. Guarding our tanks through radical self-care is THE most effective way to stave off the less desirable symptoms of aging.
What’s Going on Now
In our bodies, there is a symphony of messaging going on, ideally played by a balanced and well-tuned orchestra of hormones. In women’s bodies, because there are so many instruments, the likelihood of the orchestra getting out of tune or falling out of time is strong.
When our hormones become imbalanced, it gets harder and harder for us to feel or look like ourselves. We get irritable. We gain weight. Our skin loses its luster or breaks out. Our libido fades. We get anxious and depressed. We crave sugar. We get achy. Our indigestion gets unpredictable. We develop allergies. We rely on coffee to wake up and wine to relax. Our hair falls out. Our memory and mental clarity aren’t quite there. And then there are hot flashes and night sweats to add to our sense of sexiness.
We can accept all this as our lot in life, we can get mad at ourselves for having weak wills or not exercising hard enough, we can go on one more diet — or we can learn to look “under the hood.” Whatever symptoms we’re experiencing are messages from our bodies that there is an imbalance. Getting mad at ourselves isn’t going to help us restore that balance.
Get your (Peri)Menopause Makeover
It’s time to get educated and learn what small changes we can make to the way we eat, move, sleep, think, and supplement to bring about healing in our bodies. According to Gottfried, 95 to 98 percent of hormone balancing can be done without a prescription. This is such good news — it puts us in the driver’s seat of our health. We just need to get educated as to how to do this.
For example, did you know that regular meditation can reduce night sweats? That maca can reduce the severity of PMS? That apple cider vinegar can restore healthy levels of acid in our stomachs, thus enabling our bodies to absorb more calcium and iron? What about vitamin K2 and bone health? What about vitamin K2 and heart health? There’s so much to know!
I’d love to have you join me for a new workshop: Get Your (Peri)Menopause Makeover. It’s a five-session workshop starting February 24th. It would be an honor to share what I know with you and to shore up our health together. We will spend some time learning, some time exploring new foods, and a lot of time “filling up our tanks.”
Both the morning and evening sessions are half full, so let me know soon if you want to join us.
Stay in touch…
I look forward to hearing from you! In the meantime, take care of yourselves and each other.