Empower! Steps for Thriving Through Menopause
The vast majority of women I see in my nutrition and holistic coaching sessions are struggling with some kind of discomfort related to peri-menopause / menopause. Typical complaints include belly weight gain they can’t seem to lose, lack of energy, poor sleep, a sluggish thyroid and hot flashes. At the same time many are struggling to manage a stressful job, a busy family life or elder-care along with the uncomfortable symptoms of menopause. It’s can feel overwhelming!
But on a daily basis there is a lot we can do to influence our hormones in a positive way and build much needed health equity for the "second half of life. For women in menopause its imperative to eat well and have daily habits that support hormonal balance and rhythm. For some, a more drastic change may be required if they have been addicted to stress, are chronically busy and have constantly neglected their own needs for many years.
There are three areas where we can really influence our hormonal balance in a positive way on a day-to-day basis. It takes consistency and a willingness to make some changes, but in reality, change is necessary if what you have been doing is no longer working.
#1 Manage stress! You must manage your cortisol stress hormone in order to lose belly weight, improve mood, sleep, energy and keep your immune system charged. Out of control stress equals out of control hormones. Controlling stress means to finally set aside time for yourself to recharge your batteries and break the cycle of chronic busyness, constant exhaustion and putting your needs last. This includes a review of personal, family and cultural beliefs about menopause and aging, and rewriting negative stories you may have been telling yourself for years.
#2 Nourish yourself! Eat a diet high in plant foods, healthy proteins, healthy fats and low glycemic carbs and starches to manage insulin for stable energy and to lose belly weight. At this point in your life you can’t skip meals, stress eat and yo-yo diet. It no longer works (and probably never did!).
#3 Exercise properly. Guess what? All cardio all the time is NOT the answer for weight loss. It’s now about balanced movement. Move, breathe and find ways to stay active that you enjoy! Get out there, get active and have fun. Take that dance class, go on a bike ride, or train for a 5K run/walk. Get a combination of strength, cardio and non-stimulating exercises (like yoga) so you ebb and flow with your energy on a daily basis. You must listen to your body now, you can't beat it into submission.
Finally, and I guess this is step #4, get help if you need it! There are lots of great support nutrients, herbs, energy workers and natural healthcare providers that can help and support you through menopause.
Individually I see a lot of women who are struggling or don’t have any support. I thought how wonderful it would be to bring a group of women together to share information, support and great conversations about our successes, struggles and questions surrounding this very important time in our lives.
If any of this describes you, I hope you will join me for my upcoming 3-week workshop, Empower: Thriving Through Menopause at Embrace Yoga New Hope.