They Tell You It's All Wrong: Tuning Out the Noise in a World of Menopause Wellness ConfusionOct 19, 2023
When you think you're doing it all right, they tell you it's all wrong! In an era flooded with health and wellness “gurus” and “experts,” the quest for optimal health and sanity during menopause often feels like navigating a labyrinth without a map. One minute, you’re savoring your morning oatmeal, feeling virtuous about your healthy choice. The next, a so-called influencer brands it "toxic," and you're thrown into a tizzy. Maybe you are enjoying a walk while listening to a podcast when the “expert” on it shares that you are failing unless you’re doing high-intensity exercise and heavy lifting. This level of misinformation and constant drama is exacerbated for women in menopause because we’re made to believe that the stakes are so much higher, and the "right" choices seem to shift with the wind.
The Menopause Maze
The journey through menopause is like no other; it is unpredictable and highly subjective because every woman will experience it differently. Hot flashes, mood swings, and sleepless nights are only the symptoms that make it to the top of the list but there are many many more that are not talked about so often. This makes for a complicated tapestry that's not easily navigated. To top it off, we are flooded with advice that changes daily. Should you go keto or vegan? Is soy your best friend or your worst enemy? The goalpost keeps moving, leaving you bewildered and second-guessing your choices. It feels like the goal of this ever-changing narrative isn’t to clarify but to confuse, and therein lies the catch. The more perplexed you are, the more likely you are to buy into whatever solution is being peddled your way.
Follow the Money
It’s important to remember that the wellness industry is a business. A multi-billion-dollar one, in fact. Its profitability relies on your uncertainty, self-doubt, and willingness to spend on the 'next big thing.' Do you need collagen, supplements, a new workout regime, or is a balanced diet enough? It's easy to be swayed by persuasive arguments framed in scientific jargon. “Women control more than $20 trillion in worldwide spending, and 75 percent of women are the primary spenders in their household. The earlier we can be introduced to the sea of objectification and feel at home there, the more profitable these companies and ideals will be. If you can convince a girl that makeup and dress-up kits and princess ideals of tiny noses, chins, and waists along with big eyes and busts are not only preferred but necessary—because her very value is built upon being decorative—you’ve got her attention and investment for life.” (Quote from More Than A Body by Lexie and Lindsay Kite).
In this chaos of ever-changing health advice, we forget to consult the most significant authority on our well-being: ourselves.
Trust Your Intuition
Women have been managing menopause long before the wellness industry set its sights on this transformative life stage. Ancestral wisdom passed down through generations, can probably serve us better than the latest fads. And let's not forget the instinctual knowledge we've garnered through years of living in our bodies. You didn’t get to this stage of life without learning a thing or two. There's value in that lived experience, in understanding how your body reacts to different stimuli, and in tailoring your approach to wellness based on this intimate awareness. Let’s trust that knowledge over those of a total stranger bullying you into fearmongering.
A Spirit of Possibility Over Fear
As we navigate menopause, it's crucial to approach it as a stage brimming with possibilities rather than pitfalls. Replace fear with curiosity. Experiment, tweak, and adapt until you find what makes you feel joyful and excited. You are your own best health advocate, and your body is the finest laboratory to test what truly works for you.
Building a Community
While I advocate turning inward for answers, let’s not underestimate the power of collective wisdom. A community of women going through similar experiences can be a sanctuary of emotional support and shared insights. It serves as a safe and inclusive space where you can validate your experiences and perhaps offer or gain some valuable life hacks. I have relied on my community, a.k.a. the fitness fairies, for 15 years to share, learn, and solve problems that didn’t seem solvable. We all need that friend circle that keeps us sane, helps us talk things out, and lets us share and vent. Once you open up about your experience, you’d be surprised to find that there are many women out there with the same struggles. Maybe, just maybe, someone has a solution that worked for them, and they will share it for free because they care (unlike that influencer that is trying to get you to buy their supplement, diet, hack, program…). I aim to help create a community where women can share experiences and support each other. This newsletter is a small step into building that community. So, if you have something you’d like to share or have questions about, email me ([email protected]). You will always get a response!
Your path through menopause is uniquely yours. While being informed is helpful, don't let external voices drown out your internal compass. Confusion is not an inevitable companion on this journey; clarity comes when we quiet the noise and listen to ourselves. Remember, you've been living in your body all your life. You know it better than any influencer peddling the latest health fad. Take control of your narrative, and let this phase of your life be an exploration of you—stronger, healthier, saner, and ready for new adventures.