New Moves Coaching Program

Menopause Fitness: Should I?

Jul 27, 2023
menopause fitness, perimenopause fitness

One of the most-asked questions I receive begins with "Should I....?" This is often followed by something the person asking doesn't want to do but feels they have to. Like "Should I run to lose weight?" "Should I cut out all sugar to lose weight?" "Should I work out more often?". The expected response is: "Yes, absolutely! To get the results you want, you must do all of these things that you don't want to do." But instead, I answer with a question, "Why do you think this is necessary?" We are trained to believe that to achieve results we must give up all the things we love. Because without sacrifice...., right? I don't believe in this concept at all. The "should you" question arises from external influences, such as media portrayals of the "ideal" body, societal standards, or the opinions of friends and family. In our pursuit of a healthier lifestyle, we often encounter a barrage of conflicting information. The fitness industry, diet gurus, and self-proclaimed experts constantly bombard us with rigid rules and extreme approaches to achieving our health goals. They make us believe that the path to success is paved with pain and deprivation, leaving no room for enjoyment or balance in our lives. But the truth is, these one-size-fits-all approaches rarely work for the majority of people. These external pressures can make you feel obligated to engage in certain types of exercise or follow specific fitness trends, even if those activities do not align with your personal preferences or bring you joy. It’s no wonder that you end up finding yourself dreading your workouts, feeling unmotivated, and ultimately abandoning your exercise routine altogether. Moreover, they can lead to unsustainable habits, mental burnout, and a sense of failure when we inevitably deviate from these strict regimens. Forcing yourself through an exercise routine or diet that you think you should do but don’t enjoy is not sustainable. 

Here are a few tips on how to challenge the conventional notion that we must sacrifice all the things we love to achieve our goals:

  1. Shifting the focus from "Should you" to "Do I want to" and "Do I enjoy it.” 

It can have a profound impact on your exercise journey, fostering a more positive and sustainable approach to movement. It encourages a sense of curiosity and experimentation, allowing you to try new activities and discover hidden passions. This exploration not only keeps exercise engaging and exciting but also promotes a well-rounded approach to fitness, as you can incorporate a variety of activities that address different aspects of your physical and mental well-being. Doing things you love, encourages you to do more because you enjoy it. It creates a positive feedback loop and sustainable behavior change. 

One of the most important things in this equation is that you don’t have to do just one thing; find many things that you like. For example, I love a sweaty high-intensity workout when I need to let off some steam but to tame my body image monster, there is nothing like a heavy workout, and for a mental break from it all, I enjoy a long walk with my puppies and a good audiobook (preferably with my favorite author Stephen King). Find the right combination for you and listen to what you need, both mentally and physically. Everyone’s journey is highly personal; what works for one person may not work for you. In fact, I think it most likely won’t work for you, so stop trying other people’s ways and forge your own. Movement is about nurturing your body, mind, and spirit in ways that bring you genuine happiness and fulfillment. 

  1. The Problem with "All or Nothing" Mentality

When we adopt an "all or nothing" mentality, we set ourselves up for disappointment and failure. It's easy to feel motivated and committed to an extreme diet or exercise plan at the beginning, but as time goes on, it becomes increasingly challenging to adhere to these rigid rules. Life happens, and it's impossible to predict or control every situation we find ourselves in.

Think of it this way: if you decide to eliminate all sugar from your diet, what happens when you attend a birthday party and find yourself face-to-face with a delectable cake? The temptation might be too strong to resist, and once you give in, you may feel like you've ruined everything and proceed to abandon your healthy eating plan altogether. This vicious cycle of restriction and indulgence can wreak havoc on both our physical and mental well-being.

  1. The Importance of Mindful Eating

Mindful eating is a practice that encourages you to pay full attention to your eating experience, including the taste, texture, and satisfaction of the food you consume. It's about being present in the moment and listening to your body's hunger and satiety cues. By incorporating mindfulness into your eating habits, you can break free from the cycle of emotional eating and find a more balanced relationship with food. This approach allows you to savor your favorite treats while still being attuned to your body's needs.

  1. Self-Compassion and Acceptance

Self-compassion is a powerful tool in achieving our health and wellness goals. Instead of berating yourself for slip-ups or perceived failures, practice self-kindness and understanding. Recognize that setbacks are a natural part of the journey, and everyone experiences them.

Beating yourself up over minor lapses can lead to a negative cycle of self-sabotage. On the other hand, treating yourself with kindness and acceptance fosters resilience and the ability to bounce back from setbacks, ultimately leading to greater overall success.

  1. Finding Your Personal Why

When you understand the reasons behind your desire for a healthier lifestyle, it becomes easier to make sustainable changes. Take some time to reflect on your personal motivations—do you want to be more energetic, improve your self-confidence, or simply be there for your loved ones in the long run? By identifying your "why," you can better align your actions with your values and create a meaningful and purposeful approach to health and wellness. 

  1. Redefining Success

Success in health and wellness is not just about achieving a specific number on the scale or fitting into a certain dress size. True success comes from feeling good about yourself, having the energy and vitality to live life to the fullest, and finding joy in the journey.

Redefine your definition of success to focus on holistic well-being rather than just physical appearance. Celebrate non-scale victories, such as improved strength, better sleep, increased stamina, and enhanced mental clarity.

  1. Building a Supportive Environment

Surrounding yourself with a supportive environment is crucial for staying on track with your health goals. Remember, you are not alone in your journey, and having a support system can make all the difference in maintaining motivation and accountability.


The age-old belief that to achieve results, we must make immense sacrifices is a misconception that can lead to frustration and disappointment. Instead, by embracing moderation, a sense of exploration, mindfulness, self-compassion, and a supportive environment, you can create a sustainable and fulfilling path. Let's break free from the chains of "should" and start embracing a more fun approach to this thing called life. 


What are some things you think you should do but really don’t want to? And why do you think you should? 


I'd love to hear your answers. Email me at [email protected]