How menopause changes your body.
It is not your fault that your body changes after 40, but you have the power to slow those darn changes down. Here's how.
I was on a mission (and being WAY too stubborn about it) not to use reading glasses at all. I had never experienced a problem with my vision, but after I turned 40, my arms started getting shorter while I was reading. However, I vowed that there was no way I would use reading glasses before I reached 50. I almost reached my goal; I ended up landing short just two weeks. I was "forced" to purchase my very first pair of glasses, otherwise, I would've gone two weeks until my birthday without reading. (And we all know that's just not possible!)
But, my beloved CEOs, that was only the beginning for me. You see, after 40, our bodies and minds start going through a cascade of changes that can result in loss of control over the shape of our bodies, and which can leave us feeling frustrated, helpless, and just plain angry, if we let them.
These are some super-annoying changes that are actually quite common—even if no one is talking about them at your weekly CEO ladies' brunch—and some Heavenly Body tips for not letting these changes run your life.
1. Brain fog becomes an all-the-time thing: Do these questions sound familiar? "Where are my keys?" or "Where did I park?" or "Did I shower today?"
Heavenly Body Tip (HBT): Any cardio exercise is great for your body; however, it is also super-beneficial for your brain, too. Researchers have found that exercise is associated with lower rates of cognitive decline in postmenopausal women. Therefore, heart-pumping workouts can boost your mental health, including memory—even fun activities like hiking, biking, and dancing. It is time to schedule a hiking date with your CEO friend!
2. Oops bladder: You know what I am talking about: when we laugh, cough, or sneeze...then OOPS!
HB Tip: The bladder itself is a muscle, and it's surrounded by other muscles—therefore, to alleviate this issue, you can whip that "bad boy" into shape, too. Here are some very effective exercises you can use to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles: Kegels (pelvic floor exercises while lying down), pelvic floor ball squeezes, squats, lunges, and abdominals. Daily practice for about 6 weeks should bring some relief to your pee problems and allow you to belly-laugh with confidence!
3. "I can't believe I see a grey hair!": Do you remember when you discovered your very first grey hair? Yes, it's the same feeling you get when you discover your very first wrinkle. It is a terrifying feeling, because we assume the only solution to grey hair is to cover it up.
HB Tip: Scientists may have found that there is a way to prevent your hair from turning gray: exercise. Actually, Dr. Mark Tarnopolsky, Professor of Pediatrics at McMaster University in Ontario, found that exercise reduced or eliminated almost every detrimental effect of aging in mice. Therefore, any regular exercise alters the course of aging—including our grey hair. And that, my friend, is great news.
4. Hot flashes turning our beauty sleep into sleepless nights: Have you experienced those nights when you wake up with your pajamas soaking wet (I have), or days when you're in the middle of an air-conditioned meeting room but your body feels like it's on fire?
HB Tip: Some research studies have shown that exercise training can reduce the frequency of hot flashes. Exercise training can improve the thermoregulatory control system by decreasing core body temperature and by changing the temperature threshold for the onset of sweating. Therefore, you must sweat so you don't have to "sweat it."
5. Feeling not-so-pretty; the "ugly duckling" moments: Watching our bodies changing every day (and, let's face it, some days it feels like it happens by the hour)—the wrinkles, the lack of muscle tone, the lack of energy—it is hard to see ourselves as the pretty, young, attractive high school girls we used to be. However, I have a huge secret to tell you: that "ugly duckling" feeling is just the guilt of knowing that you can do better at taking care of your body!
HB Tip: Take just one day and make your body the priority. Treat it with nourishing food, get some exercise in the morning, and talk to your body with kindness and appreciation. I promise you, there won't be any 'ugly duckling' moments that day—quite the opposite, you will have Un-Sleepy Beauty-on-Fire moments throughout the entire day. There is no better feeling than putting your clothes on after a great workout and a refreshing shower! Let it shine!
QUESTION: What is your biggest "pain-in-the-butt" body change?
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As always, continue to advocate for your worth and your beauty!