Menopot Meltdown Recap
Thriving in Midlife and Beyond
Do you look in the mirror or try wearing clothes that cause midlife anxiety? You aren’t alone. I’m soon approaching sixty. Wow! Sixty. I started this blog when I was forty-nine. Incredible how time flies! I’ve been through menopause and sailed through some of the pesky issues that come with it, yet I’ve gained ten pounds. Just ten. Where did my abs go? I work out. I eat healthy low calorie, nutrient-dense foods. However, I see my mother’s body–less fifty pounds—in the mirror with my head. She was fifty pounds lighter than her mother. Also, how much we change in mid-life. I want to share some highlights from the Healthy Living Summit that might offer help and hope for you during this midlife’ tweener stage.
As you know, estrogen levels drop, which causes hot flashes, mood swings, and weight gain. It’s as if we are in junior high again but of the older adult variety. We aren’t old, but we aren’t young either. Our bodies go haywire when adjusting between childbearing years and becoming “elderly.” Those hormone shifts affect our bodies in so many ways! For the physical changes, I recommend having your thyroid checked when you go in for your regular check-up. Here are some of the things I do to help my body with these:
Eat anti-inflammatory foods by reducing animal-based fats with olive, grapeseed, flaxseed, and other plant-based oils. Eat less red meat and add more poultry and fish to your meals. Go for dairy alternatives like veggie cheeses, plant-based milks, yogurts, etc. Add plant-based proteins like soy/edamame, quinoa, black beans, nuts, and amaranth, which help balance hormones somewhat.
Increase your consumption of fresh and frozen vegetables and fruits with a greater variety, especially dark leafy greens, reds, and purples for antioxidants and phenols, as well as lower glycemic varieties to stabilize blood sugars. Reduce or drop sauces and dressings.
Eat whole grains in bread, pasta, rice, and cereals, but fewer white flour and highly processed, sugared items. Pair these with low-fat proteins to keep blood sugar levels level.
Consume less processed foods with red food dyes and preservatives while increasing home-cooked meals, where you can control the ingredients.
Drink more water, with less carbonated and sugared drinks. As we age, we can become dehydrated quickly. So go moderate on caffeine, and avoid alcohol.
Consider hormone therapy and supplements. I use a low-dose hormone replacement and collagen protein. Some people use black cohosh and other supplements to reduce hot flashes and mood swings. Check with your healthcare provider before trying any medical intervention or supplement to ensure they are safe.
Forgetting names, losing your keys, and general brain fog driving you nuts? I use these to help:
Utilize the same place for a drop spot. Put keys and other items you regularly use in the same place every time.
Use air tags to locate lost items. Use the Find My app to locate your iPhone, Apple Watch, etc.
Use a planner or appointment app. Keeping track of appointments, events, and special days is a challenge! Physical planners work well for this. Utilize the appointment app on your smartphone and use the alerts feature.
Stop, breathe, and retrace your steps. What you’ve lost will be in the last place you look!
Try playing brain games. AARP has some on their website that are fun!
Make connections between someone’s name with something unique about them.
Resist the urge to over-parent your adult children. Sometimes, in the frustration of being unable to control what is happening to us, we redirect our frustration to our kids, grandkids, and husbands.
Reduce arguments by asking yourself what you are angry about when family members and friends distance themselves from us. If there isn’t a justifiable reason to be angry, give yourself space and cool down. It’s probably hormonal.
Find ways to appreciate your body. Body changes can sometimes douse the spark in the bedroom with your husband. Also, changing your food and getting exercise will help you feel better about your appearance. As for the drive, etc. talk with your healthcare provider about your best options.
This is a great time to reevaluate your relationship with God. Maybe you have gaps in your understanding of the Bible. Find a good Bible reading plan to work through.
This season brings new opportunities.
Try practicing the Classic Spiritual Disciplines. Register for my Living the Disciplined Life groups.
Staying grounded in your faith in Christ makes a difference in how you view the changes you are going through.
Thriving in midlife boils down to attitude, lifestyle changes, and looking forward to what God has in store for you. May God bless you!
You can access all of the sessions for the Thrive with Me 2023 Healthy Living Summit here.