New Moves Coaching Program

How Much Is Enough? My Menopause Aha Moment!

perimenopause quality of life Apr 18, 2023
menopause, fitness in menopause,

Are you tired of constantly being told you're not doing enough? I am, and I finally decided to stop listening! It is one of the most freeing decisions I’ve ever taken, and I highly recommend it. Here’s why I did it and the strategies I’ve implemented to help me continue to tune out all the noise. 

I’ve been a certified personal trainer for over 20 years and a fitness enthusiast for most of my life. I happily learned, did everything, and followed all the guidelines that promised to make me strong, lean, and healthy. I am an Aries with an A-type personality and am highly driven to push my boundaries and constantly see what’s beyond. I don’t know how to rest on my laurels because I love the challenge of something new. Needless to say, it’s not difficult to get me to follow a protocol or rules if I believe there is a benefit. For most of my adult life, if the marketing for a product or plan was good, I was all in. It turns out that the only place it got me was to constantly worry about the right foods, the best workouts, and the next best supplement that would get me to…. well, I don’t know where it was going to get me, but it was going to be amazing once I got there. But, of course, I never did because the elusive perfect body doesn’t exist. Sadly, it wasn’t until recently that I had that AHA moment that changed everything. 

At the crux of it all was the protein debate that seems to be dominating menopause social media right now. Seemingly, no one is consuming enough protein, especially during breakfast. Apparently, 30g of protein at breakfast is the absolute minimum. I have always prioritized protein consumption, but the constant barrage made me question my choices. Here’s a little glimpse of my internal dialogue: “Am I eating enough protein during breakfast? I don’t think I am. Oh no, has it all been a waste? Am I sabotaging my ability to keep my hard-earned muscle?” In hindsight, maybe my menopausal anxiety helped take this dialogue to a slightly exaggerated level, but I hope you get the point. Here I was, someone who was always pretty confident in her protein choices, now second-guessing everything because of the never-ending online narrative. The worst is that it is fear-mongering. Don't even bother waking up if you don’t get at least 30g of protein. You will find countless influencers showing how easy it is to get all the protein you need. It’s so easy; why are you not getting it done? 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big advocate of maximizing protein consumption and paying attention that you eat protein with every meal. Protein is a crucial factor in overall health, specifically muscle development, which is critical as we age. What I despise is the fear-mongering that surrounds so many messages. I’m using the protein debate as an example, but the messaging is everywhere. If you don’t do this exactly, you’re not doing enough. I’m here to tell you that you are. Menopause can be challenging enough without adding additional unreasonable goals to the mix. 

Here are a few strategies I use to help me tune out the noise:

  • Unfollow all accounts that spread fear-mongering and try to sell me a “secret.”
  • Focus on seeking out less information and paying more attention to what I already know and how I feel. 
  • Do the best I can and accept that this changes every day. 
    • I mentioned in my last newsletter that my perimenopausal rollercoaster has me currently in insomnia land. Some days, I’m barely functioning. For those of you on the same insane ride, I’m sure you can relate. Instead of trying to power through with all my plans (precisely what I would have done before menopause), I try to recognize that forcing myself, for example, to go work out when I haven’t slept in 3 days is not going to accomplish anything positive. A walk with my dogs might be more beneficial, so that’s what I do. 
  • If there is a specific goal I like to achieve, such as more protein, I take every meal as a new opportunity to do it, but I don’t force myself to eat things I don’t want to eat just to meet that goal. 

The bottom line is that you are probably already doing more than enough. Fear-mongering has always been a staple marketing technique. I’m tired of it, and I’m ALL OUT! Are you in? 

I’d love to hear about your experience with all these fear-mongering messages. Any strategies that helped you that you would like to share? You can email me at [email protected]