Back story on me. I am 53 and have been post menopause since I was 32. I had a hysterectomy when I was 31. Everything was taken except my left ovaries. I chose not to do HRT (hormone replacement therapy). I chose to do this as I do everything through nutrition and movement. I had no symptoms. Was this because I kept my left ovaries? Unlikely, there was nothing to finish a cycle each month because there was no cycle. It may have helped in the beginning. The body adapts.
After one year of no cycles a woman is considered post menopause. For the next 20 years I still experienced no symptoms. I thought “Whoo-hoo!!” One symptom I was feeling in the summer of 2020 after turning 50 in March. I didn’t connect it with anything because it was summertime. I would have a “heat wave” it was short. I didn’t think anything of it because I was drinking hot coffee in the morning with a sweater on.
I did notice a slight weight gain. This weight gain for a small frame feels big too. It has held steady. Am I trying extreme and restrictive modalities to lose weight? Nope! 90% of all my clothes still fit. I am healthy. I still weight train, run and do yoga. What I did notice that bothered me is that I felt weaker on lifts and yoga moves that never felt heavy before.
I started to investigate this as this felt wrong on many ways. Especially since I’ve been post-menopausal for 20 years. Why now? I started logging my food again. What was I doing that I wasn’t noticing yet? This is key. Not the food per se but the logging of a food diary. What I noticed is that I wasn’t taking in enough of the right calories. What does this mean because we all know I buy certified organic; pasture raised and hardly touch processed or refined foods. I grow a lot of my own vegetables and I have chickens now so I can have my own eggs. So, what’s up with my diet?
Protein!! I wasn’t getting enough protein. Sarcopenia is a real thing. Sarcopenia is muscle loss. This is also a natural aging process. Does that mean I give in? NOPE!! How do we combat muscle loss? Our diet and our fitness routine. The minimum amount of protein a woman should be getting is 90 grams per day. That is, if you are not active. If you are active, you need to increase the amount of protein. Take your weight and multiply it by .75. This is your minimum amount of protein to take in per day. The next number is a one-to-one ratio. Now you have a range to work with.
My range is 90-125 grams per day. I do need to account for carbohydrate-based foods and fat. Those two are easy. Fat is always associated with a protein. Carbohydrates that I eat are root vegetables, squashes, and fruit. Every once is awhile rice and oatmeal. Every meal (including snacks) has a combination of a protein (40% or my plate); a fat (20-30%) and a carbohydrate (30%). I’m in tune with my system enough and I know what servings look like that I can intuitively eat. I can show you how to do this.
After I did this, symptoms went away, and I lost some weight. I also brought back heavier strength training and cardio. I did three small things that had a big impact on my body. Below are some other things for you to consider when managing heat waves, flushes, or hot flashes. I am also starting a Team Training at Ritual Strength Gym on Wednesdays starting January 10, 2024, between the hours of 7-9am before the gym officially opens. This is for perimenopausal, menopausal and post-menopausal women to build muscle back and to take back control of their food and bodies. Head to my Team Training page for more details. I have Holiday Pricing. If you get in now, I will lock these prices in for you for as long as you do Team Training with me.
Why the long back story? People assume because I am lean that I have no symptoms and I can’t relate. I can relate!
Alcohol: This is your enemy when it comes to hot flashes. Alcohol is a stress on the midlife woman’s system. Opt. for non-alcoholic drinks like Kombucha, Kefir or mineral water which are better on your gut too! I stopped alcohol quite naturally this year. It just didn’t taste good anymore. The consequences after for days was no longer worth it.
Coffee: Coffee stimulates the nervous system (the pick-me-up) which can create a stress response which creates that hot flush. This is more likely to happen if done on an empty stomach and straight-up black. There are ways to make coffee less harsh to your system. I still drink coffee in the morning. I barely finish an 8-ounce cup with half-n-half. My body is just about done with coffee.
Can’t get by without your coffee? Choose organic mycotoxin free coffee and consume after food and before noon. Sage and other herbal teas support the hormonal system and hot flushes. Just look those up and look for certified organic.
Heat stimulating foods: Foods and drinks that are heating in nature can stimulate a hot flush. Consume cooling foods like cucumber, celery, citrus, and berries. Worried about the sugar. First…don’t. You should always be eating foods with complete macros. Fat, protein, and carbs balance all this. You can also infuse water with these fruits and veggies.
Stress: Stinkin’ thinkin’, increased cortisol, toxins from food, personal and skin care products, cosmetics that aren’t clean creates on the system, environmental toxins, EMF’s (all those smart watches), stimulants from food, drink, drugs (prescribed and recreational)
What else can I do? Take a 3-minute cold shower- before bed works great if you suffer from night sweats (I definitely do this in the summer); keep hydrated -filtered water, with a pinch of Celtic sea salt (drink half your body weight in ounces daily); move to increase circulation, introduce ways to calm your nervous system such as meditation, tai chi or qi gong (need more ideas let me know because you may need something different; get a complete thyroid test (I recommend Dr. Luke Martin)
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I coach women in who are desperate in overcoming their midlife symptoms and who want to find their joy. 75%-80% of women in midlife experience hot flashes. I get more heat waves. I don’t get them often and I know why they arise. I can pinpoint why the
inner furnace is kicking into gear.
I experienced them when I turned 50. (explained above) Now when the heater (boiler for some) kicks in whenever I am under stress, or I haven’t eaten enough (another stress) or indulging in alcohol which was never much and even if it’s organic and preservative free.
Cold showers, magnesium, tart cherry juice and sometimes valerian root and meditation at night plus sage or other hormone balancing teas have been helpful. Cut the processed sugars and other stimulants. Stress in all areas of your life can create the imbalance and that fire starter within. Some women suffer so much—bless them! One of the biggest life savers was the Super Greens from Touchstone Essentails. I don't miss a day. Head to my link to check out this must have heat reducing supplement
Are you one of them that suffers? Do you know what triggers your flush and what have you done to help?
When we feel defeated, low confidence and losing hope it'shard to get going and or stay with a program becasue we want it to happen quicker than what is humanly possible.
So many of your problems would disappear if you stuck to the plan longer than a few weeks or months. Give yourself 1-2 years of CONSISTENT effort and watch your life change. Getting out of your mind and into your body through lifting weights, walking outside, prioritizing sleep, eating with a purpose. Creates a confidence and discipline that flourishes into almost every other aspect of life. I'm here to coach you through the self-sabotaging thoughts and feelings and turning them into stepping stones to success.
Client: How long will it take me to lose weight?
Me: 6 months to a year
Client: That seems like a long time
Me: how long have you been trying?
Client: 4 years
Me: 6 months to a year is a short time compare to that