Annual Semi-Nude Lake Jump Day. Booty on the left (2016). Booty on the right (2015).
Notice a subtle difference? Here’s the backstory—pun intended! LOL.
In 2015, I noticed that my body was talking to me.
I was feeling tired—even after getting a full night’s sleep. My cycle was erratic and heavy. I was moody AF. Bloated. Night sweats. Plus, I was gaining weight without any changes to my diet or exercise routine.
Online searches confirmed what I suspected: Peri-menopause. (That’s the stage before actual menopause sets in.)
I went to see my OBGYN to discuss.
“Well, you are getting older. That’s all. Weight gain and sleep interruption are just part of the aging process,” says my doc.
“I’m only 42. Isn’t there anything I can do to feel better? Diet changes? Vitamins? Any holistic or natural options?”
I was offered birth control pills, hormone packs, or anti-depressants.
“Ummmm, have we met? I am not depressed.”
I started taking a low daily dosage of synthetic hormones. At first I thought my symptoms were subsiding. But they weren’t. I still felt tired and crabby.
I started educating myself about holistic options. I also began tuning in to my body even more closely than usual—particularly how my body reacted to various foods.
For about a month or so, I ate normally and paid extra-close attention to how my body responded to each meal. Burger with a bun. How’s that feel? Burger without a bun. How about that? Kale smoothie. Latte. Black coffee. Yay or nay? I took mental notes.
As it turns out, my 40-something body no longer appreciates alcohol, dairy, sugar and refined carbohydrates the way that my 20-something body used to.
At first I was very annoyed by this discovery (“F*CK IT! I LIKE CAKE AND CHAMPAGNE!!”). But then I realized that I can make adjustments to my diet without being rigid and extreme about it, and without stripping pleasure out of my life. (Just like I advise my clients to do all the time.)
I didn’t eliminate alcohol, dairy, sugar and carbs from my diet. I just reduced my intake.
Practically what this means is….
– One glass of champagne is fine. Two means that I will have night sweats. Sleep is not “optional” for me (ha!) so I make the choice to have one, or sometimes none.
– Black coffee instead of a milky latte, most days.
– A lettuce wrapped burger. Toasted bun sometimes, just not every time.
– Buttery scones for a special brunch treat or fancy afternoon tea, not a daily breakfast.
None of these changes felt earth shattering or dramatic. I didn’t stop eating the foods that bring me pleasure. I didn’t go “raw” or “Paleo.” Just a little fine-tuning here and there. Relatively small adjustments. But the effects have been pretty dramatic.
I’m happy to report:
My peri-menopausal symptoms are gone.
In the process, I lost 12 pounds.
Let me be clear: my self-worth is not dependent on the size of my booty.
I loved that booty on the right. I love that booty on the left.
I tuned in. My ass tightened up. That’s all.
The moral of the story is:
When your body is talking to you, listen in.
Whatever your body is asking for (“More sleep, please.” “A little less sugar, honey.” “PROTEIN ASAP!” “Sexxx.”) respond by saying, “You got it. I’mma take care of you.”
When you collaborate with your body—instead of fighting against it—your energy goes up, your physique tends to change, and your body feels like a safe place to dwell, instead of a battleground.
Listen with curiosity. Respond with compassion.
(Oh, and sometimes… challenge your “expert doctor” because he / she doesn’t always know everything that’s right for you or your bod.)
My booty & I thank you for reading.
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