Stop me if you’ve heard this. We need diet and exercise to maintain optimal health.
I know. I’m tired of hearing it too. So, I decided to stop fighting it and hunker down to really look in to how it can help with my symptoms.
As I hit 40 and kept moving up into my 50s, I really noticed that my energy levels were down, I wasn’t sleeping well, I was breaking bones far easier than they should break and I’m noticing a loss of muscle mass. I'm also grumpy as hell.
Sure, I could quit smoking, but I don’t smoke. I could exercise regularly but I do walk about 5km almost 5 days a week. I’ve heard the right nutrition and exercise can have a huge impact on my symptoms and my overall health. Ask any expert and they’ll tell you:
· Exercise regularly
· Eat more protein
· Get more omega-3 fatty acids into your diet along with fibre and calcium
· Cut back on the carbs
· Add more dairy, healthy fats, whole grains, fruits, veg and phytoestrogen-containing foods
· Cut back on the w..w…..wwww…WINE. (NOOOO! Not the wine!)
During perimenopause, our estrogen and progesterone start to fluctuate as these hormones levels begin decreasing. Estrogen levels may go up and down a bit more before leveling out as we settle into menopause. These natural hormone fluctuations of perimenopause can often cause different symptoms for different women. There’s no one-size fits all solution because we don’t all get the same peri/menopause symptoms and we don’t all experience our symptoms the same. all but there is one piece of advice that fits everyone – diet & exercise!
I can’t lie, I’d rather Netflix binge on the couch with a bag of corn nuts than haul my butt to a workout class at 7pm. I’d also rather eat chicken wings than put the extra effort in to creating a healthier meal plan. By the end of the day, I’m just tired. I’m also always hot and hot-flashy.
So, what made me want to kick my own ass?
After one of our podcasts with cardiologist, Dr. Beth Abramson, I decided I wanted to see if I was a candidate for HRT (hormone replacement therapy). What followed was not what I expected – and not in a good way.
But that’s a story for another time. Suffice it to say – GET YOUR CHOLESTEROL CHECKED! Estrogen protects our hearts and our uterus. Once we start producing less, we are at risk of higher cholesterol and cardiovascular disease. Don’t ask, DEMAND to have yours tested. It really is life or death.
I’m on a mission I hooked up with my old-time coach and friend, Susie Opie to get back into the Phat Fit workouts. My dear friend and trainer, Roz has brought the much-loved, outdoors as your playground workout to Toronto and we enjoy a gorgeous sunset in the park as we get our sweat on. This workout is perfect for me on so many levels. The women are so fun and while we work hard, we also laugh and tease each other, and the time goes by fast. It may not be a Cross-Fit workout for the more hardcore of the group but it’s still a challenging workout and a great ‘cheat day’ workout where you can be outside in nature, rain, or shine, and enjoy some camaraderie while you swear under your breath at Roz.
Guess what happens next? More energy! More energy to dive into this thing called the Mediterranean Diet. This isn’t really a ‘diet’, it’s more a way of eating that is incredibly beneficial to women over 40. It checks all the boxes (omega-3s, protein, etc.) and if you’re creative, it doesn’t get boring. Yes, I still have my cheat-night chicken wings. You can’t be perfect all the time.
So, from time to time, I’m going to share my findings with you. I’m using myself as a guinea pig to see if exercise is healthier than couch surfing and if there is anything out there to budge this ‘meno-pot’ or ‘muffin top’. I’m on my third week with Phat Fit TO and feeling more energy already. Once the heat subsides, I’ll be adding more to my weekly workout.
As for the food… one thing at a time!