Just what’s all the fuss about the menopause?

Just what’s all the fuss about the menopause?

Did you see recently in the press and finally on mainstream TV a documentary on the menopause this week.

Talking about the time in women’s lives that seems to:-

  • Make us hot
  • Kill our libido
  • Stop our brain working
  • Increase our girth
  • Reduce our energy levels
  • Give us the ability to change mood in a nano second
  • And basically stop us feeling as attractive as we used to
​​​​​​​From Mariella Frostrup’s documentary on her experience of the menopause and also looking at the varying symptoms of many women, possible reasons for it and ways of trying to deal with it, there still seems to be a great deal of negativity surrounding this stage in a woman’s life cycle when really we should be looking at the menopause as a time to move forward rather than backwards.

It was mentioned though that no-one is talking about the menopause but certainly in the circles I live in, it is fairly constantly mentioned probably because yes I am nearly 50 and strange and wonderful things are occurring in my body and my mind which are also affecting other women I know.  I do think though that there is very little awareness or should I say concern being given to it by the younger generation and I totally understand that it might not appear relevant to them at this point in their lives, but therein for me lies the danger. The belief that until you get to that certain age everything is hunky dory and it is obviously because you have got to that ‘menopausal’ time that you will experience the above. Nothing you can do about it, that’s life!

But is it?

Let’s talk about ageing. I don’t think any woman really likes the thought of getting older but you know this is the natural cycle of life and okay there will be more lines of wisdom and the waist maybe a bit thicker, but rather than look negatively at these changes, we should really be looking forward to this next stage in our lives as being full of opportunity and stop treating it as a downward spiral.

So let’s play devil’s advocate here about health and fitness.

I think there are many people who are being complacent about their health and will settle for medication rather than actually take responsibility for their own wellbeing. I know some of you may scream and shout at me here and I appreciate for some, medication is necessary, but honestly some people just don’t put in the effort to make positive changes to their health because it probably means they have to come out of their comfort zone and we are all very reluctant to do that.

Have you been helping your health?

Are you eating well?

Are you exercising?

Are you keeping active?

How much do you drink?

Have you decided or drawn the conclusion that because you are older, that it’s downhill from now on?

Mood changes, loss of libido, weight gain can manifest in anyone who doesn’t age well ie. Not eating well, not exercising, basically becoming complacent about their health.

Why then do we not pay attention to our health sooner rather than later? (this would really help the whole menopausal process, if we look after our health earlier rather than later)

My mission through my 40s has been to improve my strength, because of a misguided youth, I knew that my bone density may well be an issue but women approaching their 50s don’t seem to be appreciating that this is becoming a common problem nowadays due to lack of weight bearing exercise and putting stress on our bones, poor diet and quite often too much alcohol.

The menopause documentary took three groups – runners, cyclists and a test group that did nothing and tested their osteoporosis readings. The test group were in the osteopenia bracket so could head towards osteoporosis, the cyclists were less near to osteopenia scale and the runners through constant load bearing were not within any osteoporosis range. Three of the women in the test group said they would now do more exercise.

This is very scary to me that only now in their late 40s/50s were these women going to get back into exercise.

Women need to be load bearing from an early age which doesn’t mean you have to go running, or start olympic lifting, but squatting, using dumbells to add load your legs more, etc., we need to give our body more challenge because today’s lifestyle is not going to make us healthy and this is the problem the next generations are facing because our lifestyles are making us more and more unhealthy with little chance that we will go back to living without the remote control!

I watched a Les Dawson comedy clip where he is dressed as a woman with his comedy colleague and in a whisper he says he is approaching ‘the change’. His mate looks at him perplexed and says ‘In what direction?’ I laughed but thought okay then ask yourself that question – in what direction do you want to go now you are experiencing the change? To me, even though I know it might be a rougher ride for some than others, we should be moving forward. Age is wisdom, being less bothered about what other people think, and a time of being able to look after yourself more so make sure you do that.

Don’t let the whole ‘dreaded’ menopause stop you from making the most out of the next decade of your life. Don’t dread it, be prepared for it if it hasn’t happened yet and take action to make it easier, even breathing better and meditation can assist. Do what it takes to get through this interesting next phase of your life. Share your experiences and never feel alone.

We need to try and celebrate all the stages of our life cycle rather than start to right ourselves off from over 50. Everyone is living longer, so it’s very much time to be getting stronger and if you are through the menopause, again don’t be afraid of weight bearing exercise because it still all about those bones.

Keep moving, keep active and be strong.