Changeover #2

Things change in tiny and big ways when you enter menopause.

One of the humorous shifts for me was that I no longer wanted to wear jeans – denim – dungarees – as a matter of course every day.

They’re supposed to be a democratic fashion item because everyone wears them and likes to wear jeans.

Well I don’t like to wear jeans. I’d rather wear a denim skirt or dress or jacket.

By the time you hit your fifties it’s time to do your own thing not what others tell you that you should do.

What you want to do post-50 and what you were expected all along to do are often at odds.

This is why a lot of women go back to school, ask for a divorce, remodel the kitchen, or embark on other self-reinvention projects.

Like with all things, for me this process started by reexamining my wardrobe.

Out–out went the numerous pairs of jeans. I don’t think I look good in jeans anyway.

It’s so hard to find a pair of jeans that fits perfectly too.

I say: dark-rinse jeans are a better option when you’re going out.

This has been my version of a mid-life crisis: discarding what no longer works. Making room for new things.

The changeover for me started with getting rid of the denim jeans

What happens when you get older is that you suddenly realize that what was okay yesterday isn’t okay today.

It’s time for a makeup shake-up as well.

And for those of us who are looking for love at mid-life the stakes can seem higher.

I’ll end here with this:

Do what makes you happy. If that’s wearing jeans, that’s okay.

So much of these changes involving the need to exert power in a world where women have been rendered powerless.

That’s the bottom line in executing changes in menopause:

Talking control of the narrative of who we are and what we’re capable of doing.

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Changeover #1

Instead of dwelling on what’s not right I choose to focus on the positive.

This is one change I’ve made living in menopause: I’ve stopped dwelling on the hate and judgment that exists in the world.

This changeover has saved me from a lot of misery.

I no longer fall prey to the click-bait of hurtful and hateful Op-Ed pieces that writers are given a platform in the media to write.

This changeover has freed up a lot of my energy to focus on what’s going right in the world.

Focusing on the positive is the foolproof tactic at mid-life for feeling better and having the energy to tackle your goals.

Not only do I want to educate and empower readers I want to entertain readers.

Who says a blogger can’t write things that are funny and amusing?

In the coming blog entry I’m going to talk about lifestyle changes I’ve made in menopause.

Some of them are good for a laugh.

Common Sense Approach to Fitness

I’m a 54-year old woman living in menopause.

I have a shocking secret to tell you: Not ever in all my adult life have I exercised “5 times per week” like so-called experts tell you to do.

Years ago the New York Times offered this alternative guideline: to exercise for 150 minutes of vigorous exercise each week. Or for 175 minutes of moderate exercise each week.

Dr. Chatterjee in his book How to Make Disease Disappear lists a 15-minute HIIT (high intensity interval training) exercise routine you can do in your home.

A couple of years ago in the New York Times a champion track-and-field athlete wrote a column. She vetted that when she changed the frequency and intensity of her workouts (shortened them) she had better results.

I can vouch for this because I lift weights 2x per week for 45 minutes total in each session. I train harder because I have a limited time to do so.

Shortening my exercise routines has made all the difference.

Lindsey Vonn the Olympic gold-medal skier in her book Strong is the New Beautiful also empowers readers in this regard.

Vonn believes you’ll love to exercise when you find The Fitness You.

This can be salsa dancing or bike riding or gardening or swimming.

The key factor is to get moving and keep moving throughout the day.

I found my Fitness Me when I started to lift weights. Strength training was the number-one activity that toned my body and sharpened my mind.

To readers everywhere I say: put down the diet books. Find the exercise you like to do and keep doing it as long as it helps. Find something else to do when it better suits you.

At 54 years old I can no longer work out for an hour at a time in each session. I”m more of a sprinter not a marathoner in terms of exercise.

If you think you’re a “failure” because you don’t live up to the standards that so-called experts preach to everyone in America: think again.

I’m here to say that listening to what your body needs and paying attention to the signals your body is giving you matters more than what an expert says who hasn’t met you.

In the coming blog entries I’m going to report on other changes I made living in menopause.

The science backs up these habits.

Cereal Killer

I wanted to write about a specific change I made that turned everything around.

Just say no to boxed cereal for breakfast. I would even say not to buy any food “product” that comes in a box. Especially not frozen boxed lean cuisine that is allegedly healthful or a frozen choice passed off as a smart one.

Making one tiny change has made all the difference for me.

For over 4 months I’ve been scrambling organic eggs and organic veggies for breakfast.

The health coach I hired had zoomed in on my granola mush morning habit (pour milk in bowl; eat in five minutes) as a culprit in my lack of energy.

Ever since scrambling the eggs and veggies it’s true my mood has improved.

At the same time I changed up the frequency and intensity of my exercise routine.

For over 9 weeks I’ve exercised in the morning in my apartment 2x per week for 40 to 45 minutes total each session.

I’m 54 years old and living in menopause. For over 8 years so far I’ve been lifting weights at the gym and now at home.

You want to be fit and active at mid-life the secret is to do strength training to build bone and maintain your weight.

Since April when I started having the new breakfast food I’ve lost 8 pounds. I most likely lost the weight because of the exercise routine as well.

The older I’ve gotten I can no longer exercise for an hour in every session. The trick I’ve found too is to have my personal trainer create a new routine for me to do for 8 weeks. After this I meet with the trainer again to get another new routine. And so on. And so on.

Because the exercise routine changes every 8 weeks this is partly why I lost the weight.

I want to end here by telling readers: step away from the cereal box aisle.

It takes me longer to scramble eggs and veggies in the morning. I dice the peppers and cut up the broccoli florets in advance on Sunday night. This makes it quicker to cook the breakfast in the morning.

Yet the results have been phenomenal: I feel better having eggs to start the day. And starting to exercise in the morning has been the best wake-up call too.

This said I’m not a fan of obsessing over the number on the scale. I feel better at 8 pounds lighter. Yet it’s not my goal to lose any more weight.

The trick is to know that your weight might have a set point or a range of weight numbers at which your body feels better and is fitter.

I’m not a fan of thinking you should weigh 127 pounds if you’re currently at 205 pounds on the scale.

More than how much you weigh it’s your health habits that will determine how you feel in your body if you ask me.

Is any kind of cereal really the best breakfast to start your day off with? I think not.

In the coming blog entry I’m going to talk about what I think is a common sense exercise plan for a woman living in menopause.

 

Attention WalMart Shoppers

1 fast food

The book in the photo is an eye-opener.

I don’t like the right-wing nationalist fervor that Mr. Toupee galvanized to win the election.

I knew he would become our president. No one believed me.

Yet the damage had already been done in the NAFTA agreement prior to Mr. Toupee’s reign.

In my life I stopped eating rice for dinner over 10 years ago. I haven’t bought bananas in years.

To read We Are All Fast Food Workers Now is to understand the threat to humanity posed by industrial agribusinesses.

The governments in other countries do the bidding of American transnational companies.

Indigenous people’s farmland is taken over by private companies to be used as sugar, rubber, and palm oil plantations.

That’s one good reason to stop or limit our sugar intake.

And I have long known of the ethical dilemma inherent in buying food products made with palm oil.

Just that word: food products should ring alarm bells in buyer’s ears.

If food doesn’t come from God’s Green Earth in a natural pesticide-free way, I say: limit your intake of that “food.”

I’m not perfect in my buying habits either.

Yet living in menopause I’ve started to examine my life and my choices.

Post-50 years old we are everyone faced with this caterpillar-to-butterfly slogan:

Change or Die.

The cost of Xenophobia in America is too high.

The cost to humanity of cheap food and other cheap products is high too.

Reading We Are All Fast Food Workers Now I understand that change might come slowly.

On the cusp of 55 I find myself at a fork in the road: which path do I want to take?

One person doing one thing at one time can change the dynamic like a butterfly flapping it’s wings.

Yet sometimes it’s not that easy.

You also have to be true to yourself and how your life is. To accept that you have limits. To do whatever you can whenever you can.

I’m learning that sometimes it’s not that easy to make a decision.

More in a coming blog entry about a remodeling project I’ve taken on in menopause.

It started with food and exercise. Are you a woman? Perhaps you can relate to the theme of food and exercise.

 

 

 

Beyond Beautiful

beyond beautiful

The author of The Curated Closet Anuschka Rees has returned with the book referenced in the photo.

Beyond Beautiful is subtitled: A practical guide to being happy, confident, and you in a looks-obsessed world.

You can check it out of the library like I did or buy it. The book comes in an e-book version as well.

Rees doesn’t like the new body positive movement that focuses on liking how your body looks.

She is against the fitspiration and thinspiration and other impossible ideals held up to women like “Look better naked or look better on the beach.”

Ree advocates for focusing on and championing women’s achievements apart from how our bodies look.

The prime purpose I had in starting to lift weights when I was 46 was to have a fitter body and to cope better with stress.

My goal wasn’t to lose weight. As far as my body goes I can take it or leave it.

Only I won’t wear shorts. I won’t wear any kind of bikini or swim suit. This is because quite simply I don’t like to go to the beach.

Strange yet true I’m not keen to get a tan in the summer. I have pale white skin and black hair and dark brown eyes.

The photographer who shot my first photo for the original website asked me: “Are you really Sicilian?”

Alas, I am. Yet still I think it’s ridiculous to want to get a tan in the summer. You won’t see me going to a Caribbean island on vacation and basking on the beach.

If it’s any consolation, even I can’t find a guy using any of the online dating websites.

In coming blog entries I will talk about what it’s like looking for love at 50 and beyond.

The book Beyond Beautiful is a must-read.

It’s high time for women to rebel the beauty myth that says you have to be thin, pretty, and young to be happy or have others like you.

Readers I tell you to stand up and shout to others:

“I’m hot. Are you blind? Can’t you eff-in see this?”

A Tale of Two Haircuts

Before:

2018 sephora

After:

1 red lips

Straight-haired women want curly hair. Curly-haired women want straight hair.

I had wanted to post these two photos so readers could weigh in: what haircut do you like better?

The fact is I was born with curly hair. My natural hair is curly.

For years and years I dried my hair straight.

Two years ago my hair started to frizz up and curl in unruly directions in humid or rainy weather.

Bandannas to the rescue on these bad hair days. Only I wasn’t pleased with this mode of cover-up.

Enter spring 2019. Basta I decided to grow my hair longer. It was an experiment.

Today I scrunch up my hair while I’m drying it. Last I turn my head upside down and blast the hair out.

Stand up and fluff my hair up.

The first photo was taken after a Sephora makeover two years ago. The second photo shows how I look after I’ve done my own makeup.

I’ve come to love my curly locks. I can relate to any woman who has tried to conform to a beauty ideal in the name of fixing a perceived flaw in her body.

Ladies: admit it: the hard effort it takes to dry your hair straight is too much. It’s even harder when you’re living in menopause and don’t have a ton of energy.

You’re not Hey, Nineteen anymore. Your energy might be gone for good.

In the coming blog entry I’ll review the new book Beyond Beautiful by Anuschka Rees. This author of The Curated Closet helps women focus on our strengths and accomplishments apart from how our bodies look.