Grab a martini, let's demystify menopause.
Today’s Topic: TENSION & RELEASE
We women are busier than ever. If you’ve been following my blog at all, you know I’m not one to talk about problems without talking about solutions. You also are familiar with the one constant solution I have for most of a busy perimenopausal woman’s stress. EXERCISE. You also know some of the main reasons why, but it’s worth repeating: Vigorous exercise is magical in what it does for us. Magical.
Work! Work! Work! How many of you are reading this even though you KNOW you should be working? I get it. In fact, if you are looking for me these days, I will for sure be doing some sort of W-O-R-K.
Alone in my office, days upon weeks, I am (almost literally) screaming toward the completion of my current goal: the official publishing of my new book, Martinis & Menopause. This particular goal is extra exciting, but the getting there has been chock full of incredible stress.
The deadlines and the hours it takes away from the rest of my life combine with my other dreaded foe: self-doubt. Will they like it? Will my book serve women the way I want it to serve them? Will this book be worthy of my reader’s time and money?
Oy, the tension.
Then there is the release. The times I feel such extreme joy I could hug the person in front of me at the post office. The high-fives-I-am-doing-it moments that have me smiling on the treadmill. When those times come, I am quick to savor them, to let that happiness bubble up in me, because I know that the tension will return.
I know that the reality of the next steps and what I still need to do will be back in front of me, or the fear will return and I will again be back in the ring with my friend self-doubt - Is it good enough? and BAM- I will get hit again.
Tension and Release- Do you feel it too? The seemingly never ending wheel of activities, responsibilities, family drama, stress with work, slamming deadlines that make you want to scream?
Yeah, I get that. Feel it, but also take time to feel the release; any little goal met, finishing a particularly time-sucking job, choosing fruit over cookies, making lists and crossing off tasks, sitting still for five minutes with a cup of warm tea – These simple actions will release that feel-good serotonin and give you joy.
Allow yourself to feel those moments too.
First, an Easy Clarifier: the definition of vigorous exercise is the kind of exercise that makes you break a sweat when you are doing it. I call it Sexy Sweat. Why? Because the sweat is making you feel more alive, more vibrant. The sweat puts you in a better head space, and all that is SEXY, my friends!
Second, a Disclaimer: I am not a personal trainer, or exercise science major, or yoga instructor. I’m a woman who has lived with the stress-busting benefits of a consistent exercise habit.
Third, I am going to repeat some things I have said in past blogs. We need to keep hearing it. So, I say again: exercise is the key to a long and healthy life.
I know, I know, you hear it everywhere, not just from me. You hear how important exercise is to your heart, your bones, your brain, your body…blah blah blah…I am telling you, girlfriend – it is true. Exercise is good for EVERYTHING. This includes your perimenopausal changes. From hot flashes to brain fog to irrational emotions to weight management. ALL OF IT! Exercise is THE first line of defense to breaking free from the hormone hostage zone.
Some of you need me to bring in some research on this, so here it is:
The North American Menopause Society – the leading voice of menopause - states that “Exercise may cause the same magnitude of change as that induced by estrogen therapy.”
Now read that again. That is a powerful statement.
Reaching for pills is what our culture does to solve most medical problems. But taking hormones before incorporating an EXERCISE routine is like buying a European vacation package before paying your mortgage.
Uh, not so smart.
My ah-ha moment. I have always exercised for physical reasons, and there was a day a few years ago when I remember being particularly stressed. As I finished my morning run, (really a walk/jog, just being honest here) I realized that the horrible stress I felt from all the pressure of my life at the start of my run felt lighter and more manageable at the end of my run. The more I focused on using my workouts to relieve my stress, the more I began to see this transformative purpose.
As I entered perimenopause and all these changes started happening in me, exercise became even more important and it made me feel even better, stronger, and calmer. This was the AH-HA moment: exercise benefits me mentally and spiritually – perhaps even more than it does physically!
Commit to yourself. This is YOUR one and only life.
What if you don’t like to exercise, or have never cultivated a habit of making exercise a priority in your life? Or you start a program and go great guns for a few weeks, but then, your life takes over and as you spin thru your days the exercise falls to the side? What then? Just like any new activity, making a commitment to yourself and taking baby steps will help.
In my blogs and talks I have challenged you to find 30 minutes of activity, three times a week. Exercise can be as simple as lacing up your sneakers and walking during your lunch hour, walk outside or inside your work building. I know some women who go up and down flights of stairs on their lunch hour, and get a great workout.
Find a work-out buddy. Just knowing someone is waiting for you to show up helps you to stay committed. Some of my favorite exercise moments are walking the park near my home with a girlfriend. Not only do I get exercise, but the friendship and connection I get from walking and talking are life-affirming. Commit to getting your sexy sweat on – JUST DO IT.
OK? Have I convinced you to get your sexy on and get to sweating? Good.
Move your bodies. You deserve the privilege of that gift.
I’m rooting for you.
Martinis & Menopause Update:
The last few months have felt like I’ve been giving birth. For those of you who have delivered a baby vaginally, do you remember that “transition” phase, when the cervix is working to stretch to 10 centimeters, and then and only then could you start pushing? I remember those last three centimeters, from 7 to 10 being so painful and uncomfortable because and all I wanted to do was push. that. baby. out. Well, that is just what these last few MONTHS have felt like for me. Filled with the tension. I have been craving some sweet release.
Good news, tribe. I have recently sent my manuscript off to the copy editor! That means my months of detailed, committed, grinding-thru-edits are now over! We move on to proofreading, cover and interior design. Which means I get to breathe. So, stay tuned, this baby is going to be birthed!
We had a fabulous time on August 30th at Amadeus in Downtown Salem. Thanks for all the tribe members who came out for it and thank you Diana for having us all at your beautiful restaurant.
I loved seeing so many new faces! Lots of great prizes and of course LOTS of laughter and love.
Here We Are.
After six months of soirées and speaking with women across Salem while working on my book, I find myself on the cusp of exploring the “what’s next?” The word is getting out about the Martinis & Menopause message, and I will be traveling a lot the next few months, sharing the message that none of us going through this are alone.
We have each other.
We need each other.
Stay tuned for news of the book launch soirées, news of creative ways we can support each other through the tension of those stressful moments and turn those moments into sweet, sweet release.
Happy Fall everyone, move your bootie, and – of course - GO MENO!
COMING UP in OCTOBER:
The Tribe is growing! The Book is Launching! Stay Tuned!
I’m Kelli. I am a menopause survivor, who has catapulted, stumbled, laughed, and cried my way to the other side of perimenopause and menopause. Along the way I’ve learned invaluable tips and resources to live my best self and beat the Hormone Groan!
No longer a hormone hostage (at least most days), my goal is to help you live well and with personal power through all the changes we go through in this incredible journey of life!