Have ALL the Seats

Summer Summer Summertime means  freedom. We’re free from the bad weather and drudgery of trekking through snow and rain and days of gray skies to enjoy sunshine, blues skies and and all things green. Summer time is NEKKID time err at the least, much fewer clothes time and for health and fitness enthusiasts we are freed from the gym. Boot campers, runners, bikers,  tail chi and yoga practitioners all head outdoors to do things in fresh air instead of the feet and azz smell of the gym.  I especially looked forward to the summer of 2015 because I would NOT be training for Peachtree which means I could walk as much and as fast or slow as I want (yeah I’m still complying with the no running rule). I could stop and look at butterflies and squirrels and flowers and not worry about my time.  Yeah, this summer was going to be awesome, or so I thought.

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Thus far I’ve had to enjoy summer at a distance, you see ye olde broad’s body decided that it didn’t have the energy to do anything back in June because it has gone full tilt hormonal.  Things got bad enough that the doctor told me to have seat, i.e. refrain from any strenuous pursuits which resulted in my 195,675th hissyfit of the year. My dears, this is getting old.

She advised, I consented and am hopeful that the trip that necessitated this dreadful outfit will result in my health situation improving and permission to exercise.

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Getting old ain’t easy, getting old as a woman can provide some special challenges, but a good healthcare team, the good Lord, and of course yoga has made it bearable thus far. Hopefully soon I can join you kids outside again.

So what have you been doing this summer? Spending more time outside? Doing new and exciting things? Traveling?  Allow me to live vicariously through you and tell me about your summer in the comments.

Until next time, see you anywhere but the doctor’s office.
Photos: MsThorns
Video: DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince on Vevo
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Making the Cut

Not that cut but it certainly was an exciting weekend of golf at the Masters, with Tiger playing into Sunday young  Jordan Spieth busting all these records on his way to victory. I actually enjoyed watching this tournament, while doing a little busting of my own:

OUT OF MY CLOTHES!!!!

and not like the Hulk but more like this. You see in the space of one year and the onset of the big P, a sista has put on 8-10 pounds depending on what day it is.  I am distraught, dismayed and sometimes disgusted but not too disgusted because I had a big hunk of CAKE just yesterday.  Hence, the cut from my closet clothing that this new body can no longer fit.

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Since it’s warming up here I was redoing the closet, moving the the winter stuff over and the summer stuff up front.  I thought it might be a good idea that I should try on a few things that I had in that fit well last year but perhaps would be questionable this year and they were more than questionable.  I think I can no sit a plate of food on my butt and and maybe a salt shaker on my stomach.  Pulling thos dresses out had me all up in my FEELINGS.  Even though I now that weight gain and a whole bunch of other stuff can and in my case is happening during this time, the medical reasons weren’t enough to help me feel better.  What did help me feel better? Shaking it off the next day and putting in some treadmill work.  It was that or lay around and sulk which is actually easy for me as a person who has struggled with poor body image forever and ever amen.  The thing is, the loss of the dresses weren’t enough to get me out the door and to the gym.  What did? The desire to have a good quality of life in the long term. I don’t want any further diabetes complications, nor acceleration of spinal and other joint problems. I just want to live and live well, so I continue to work.  If the work means that maintaining this new body is the best that can be done and all my numbers look good, then I will learn in time to be satisfied with where I am.

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What about you ladies AND gents, how do you handle weight gain physically and mentally? Let me know in the comments or on any of these other platforms.

Until next time, see you at the MALL, where I’ll be buying something that doesn’t require sucking in or Spanx.

Photos: MsThorns

FLO (For Ladies Only) – The Finish Line

It’s kind of like mile 5 of a 10k. You’re more than 3/4 of the way to the finish line and are either feeling strong and ready to kick in high gear or feeling beat down. Either way, you are more than ready to make it to the finish line so that you can get the shirt, the medal, the food and the beer. That’s my take on perimenopause. I know the end is near and that there is a party at the finish line. What’s not like a 10-K is the stuff that happens during that time. Things are wildly unpredictable, and though you know the end will come, you have no freaking idea when.

What is Perimenopause?
“Perimenopause means “around menopause” and refers to the time period during which a woman’s body makes its natural transition toward permanent infertility (menopause). Perimenopause is also called the menopausal transition.” The transition begins sometime in the 40s but can happen in the 30s in some women. [Mayo Clinic] I made the move last year at 46 when my body just flipped the hell out!

What’s the flip out like?

  • Menstrual irregularity – As ovulation becomes more unpredictable, the length of time between periods may be longer or shorter, your flow may be light to heavy, and you may skip some periods. I missed one and was like HELL YEAH this is about to be over! Then it came right back. The timing is so off right now, I MUST use a calendar.
  • Hot flashes and sleep problems – Many women experience hot flashes during perimenopause. The intensity, length and frequency vary. Sleep problems are often due to hot flashes or night sweats, but sometimes sleep becomes unpredictable even without them. Never been a good sleeper and temperature-wise I’m either freezing or roasting. Then one day I just busted out sweating for no reason and was not ill. They don’t happen often thank God but when they do, I just want to be nekkid.
  • Mood changes –  Some women experience mood swings, irritability or increased risk of depression during perimenopause, but the cause of these symptoms may be sleep disruption caused by hot flashes. The cray cray, enough said.
  • Weight gain. The hormonal changes of menopause might make you more likely to gain weight around your abdomen than around your hips and thighs. Hormonal changes alone don’t necessarily trigger menopause weight gain, however. Instead, the weight gain is usually related to aging, as well as lifestyle and genetic factors. I’d not really gained weight I lose and gain the same four pounds every week, what I did notice though was that the weight appeared “redistributed” i.e. my stomach was on SWOLE.
  • Breast tenderness/swelling – especially troublesome for this member of the ibtc 😉

Perimenopausal women may also experience:

  • Vaginal and bladder problems
  • Decreasing fertility
  • Changes in sexual function
  • Loss of bone
  • Changing cholesterol levels

The kicker though is that even though the lady parts are aging, if not careful a miniature human can be produced O_O.

In perimenopause there’s a whole lot of stuff going on in one body. The process is part of life, a good thing, but can prove particularly worrisome. Here’s some things you can do to make life more bearable as you approach the finish line.

  • See your doctor – if some or all of the above is going on, the first stop should be your practitioner’s office. Your doctor can run tests to rule out other conditions and let you know if you’re in transmission mode. They can also prescribe medications to help your symptoms.
  • Eat well – as a woman of a certain age, you’re probably not eating the stuff you used to eat 20 or 30 years ago anyway. That said, though you may crave more comfort foods because of the change in your body, steer clear. Sugar and booze may feel good but too much of it can become problematic. Eat well for YOUR body. I won’t recommend any type of eating here, because what makes me feel good, may not be the same for you. Seek all the information you can and devise a way of eating for LIFE, not just the short term. For help, contact your doctor and or nutritionist.
  • Exercise – If you’re already exercising great! Turn it up a notch by increasing intensity during your cardio sessions and increasing the weight during strength training. Not strength training? Hire a trainer to get you up and running and show you how to use proper form. Don’t worry you’re a babe, you will NOT look like the Hulk from strength training. Just understand that muscle mass decreases and metabolism slows with age and if you’re in perimenopause or post menopausal get what? You’re aging. If you’re not exercising now or need to lose weight, I can’t stress enough, make your first stop your doctor for an evaluation/clearance to get started.
  • Don’t forget your brain – all hormonal, all the time can make you foggy, moody and you may even have bouts of depression. See a mental health professional to address these concerns. Your mind is nothing to play with. To enjoy your time at the finish line make mental health/wellness a priority.

Perimenopause is not this evil thing even though sometimes it may feel like it. We’re living in a great time to make the transition because there are a number of resources and treatments available to us now that our mama’s and grandmas did not have. Take advantage of all that’s available to you and enjoy it. This might just be the best time of your life.

Until next time, see you at the gym where I may be sweating with no effort at all. 🙂

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Sources: My PCP and GYN, Mayo Clinic, WebMD, About.com, Google and my mom.

Photo: MsThorns