I've decided to broach that dreaded subject of M-E-N-O-P-A-U-S-E because as far as I'm concerned it directly relates to older women and fashion. I mean, how can you feel fashionable if you're experiencing full blown menopausal symptoms?
I began experiencing menopause symptoms about 2 years ago. While some of my siblings barely felt a blip, I seem to have been blessed with all the symptoms:
hot flashes & night sweats and mood swings (watch out!),
insomnia (up at 2:00 AM every morning for 1 ½ to 2 hours),
weight gain (my stomach stuck out like I was giving birth to an alien), dizziness, fatigue and decreased libido (well I had almost all the symptoms ).
My menopause symptoms came to a head about a month ago when I was volunteering at a community garden and I tripped and landed face down in the dirt. I felt like my chronic insomnia had something to do with my loss of balance…I wasn’t seriously hurt, but I could have been. I decided at that point to actively do something about my menopause symptoms.
I wanted to do something natural; and only considered hormone replacement therapy as the last case scenario. I kept coming back to this one thought, I had my own business, yet I was feeling overwhelmed because I didn’t feel well enough to continue.
And then it clicked: All successful business owners I’d ever seen interviewed, when asked to describe their daily schedule all seemed to say the same thing: they exercised first thing in the morning. Well okay, good for them, right? What in blazes has that got to do with me?
Now, I am not an early morning type of gal. I’m no Oscar the Grouch, you understand, but I like to get my beauty sleep. My mornings normally went like this:
7:00 AM Alarm clock goes off
7:15 AM Roll out of bed
7:20 AM Stumble into the shower
7:28 AM Throw clothes on
7:30 AM Drive to work
So, after spending 30 years of rushing out the door to work after squeezing in as much sleep as I possibly could because I felt exhausted all the time… I can barely believe I am saying this…but the biggest change I made is to get up early in the morning and walk 1 ½ to 2 miles…me, Ms. Rupplestiltskin. The funny thing was, I was already waking up about 5:30 AM - 6:00 AM on my own because of my insomnia. So, going to the gym turned out to be not as hard as I thought it was going to be.
And now that it’s become a habit for me, I don’t hate it in the least. In fact, I love it so much because of what it’s done for me:
1) I have increased energy. I breathe a sigh of relief as I write this. I feel great and I go, go go with no problem!
2) My aches and pains, especially in my back and hips have vanished. This took about 2 weeks of stretching for me to notice the change. To stretch my back, I touch my toes. To stretch my hips (I think I may have the onset of arthritis in my hips, they ached so much), I do this butterfly stretch everyday. I don’t bounce with either of these exercises; I just hold the pose for as long as possible. And I do these stretches after I've walked so my body is warm and looser.
3) I feel wonderful, clearer headed, and less menopausal witchy.
4) My clothes do fit better, although I have yet to lose any weight.
5) My insomnia is definitely more manageable. I don’t always sleep through the night, but I fall back asleep pretty quickly.
6) My mood has improved (what, me cranky?)
By the way there’s tons of websites that talk about the benefits of walking for menopausal women. Here’s a few: