When I started writing about menopause and its impact on women's health this year, I wasn’t expecting to reach as many people as I have. Women who read my articles are celebrating the fact that we are talking about this very misunderstood and underserved topic. The men who read them, are reading about menopause and finally understanding the issues that the women in their life are facing. Male and female trainers, with little experience in this field, are reaching out to me to find out more about how they can serve their over 40 female clients who are likely to be experiencing some menopause symptoms. The conversations are happening!
Is it true, have we finally made menopause sexy? Wouldn’t that be fun!
For the women experiencing menopause, this is quite liberating. Women over 40 are finally being heard. I have been sent so many articles, newsreels, advertisements from women in prominence in the media who are starting the dialogue and not being embarrassed about the subject any longer. It seems that menopause and midlife are now trending! Hell yeah!!
The Importance of Raising Awareness About Menopause
As a fitness and nutrition coach, it’s my job to find out what women need and then offer them solutions. That means I often reach out to my community of followers and clients to find out what their challenges are, especially during menopause. In addition to the physical symptoms that they experience, other issues affect them that are rarely discussed and often are too embarrassing or taboo to mention. Things like anxiety, depression, lack of self-worth, incontinence, weight gain, losing forward vision and ability to thrive again amongst a few.
When dealing with these issues and then trying to write about them, I am faced with the reality that I am not reaching everybody who needs to know about this stuff, because let’s face it, Menopause is boring and unsexy, it’s not relevant to a 20 year old man or women, it’s for old ladies with wrinkly, soft skin, who are over the hill and past their prime. This is the cultural view of what menopause looks like.
The problem with this short-sighted stunted view of menopause is that it is far from the truth. I am 4 years into menopause and I think I still look hot at 47 years old. I personally feel too young to be going through menopause and so do most of the women who I speak too. My group of women at Menopausing So Hard, are posting photos of them beating their own PR’s in deadlifts, doing weighted chin-ups, doing more push-ups than their husband and kids (that’s me actually) and still looking absolutely fabulous.
Menopausal Women Are the Hot New Warriors in Fitness
It’s time to show us some bloody respect, and this is why!
Changes in family dynamics, work-place, caring for aging parents or young children, can leave women feeling invisible and frustrated at this age. Combined with the fact that she is probably exhausted from insomnia and is likely feeling she is going doolally-flip because she has ridiculous problems with short-term memory loss.
The way to help a woman out of this rut is to know she still needs to be heard.
Menopausal women have experience, maturity, and wisdom that you should tap into.
I can totally relate to this on a personal level. I often hear myself shouting, “can anybody hear me?”.
I can’t keep up with the number of times my kids have realized that I could actually be quite cool! I’m a black-belt in karate, I own my own business, I have a blog and a podcast, I have good taste in clothes and scrub up pretty well when I slap a little bit of makeup on. I know nutrition and exercise at a level that can help improve my kids' athletic performance.
Yeah, I know some shit, so start respecting me for this, instead of passing me by.
Maturing women are not represented or respected in the media. I would love to see that change take place. The typical fitness model on magazines is either ripped with a six-pack, half naked, airbrushed, usually white and always young. It is time for the HNW to be celebrated, we come in all shapes and sizes, have wrinkles and grey hair, have cellulite and muscles, and happened to be the biggest population of gym-goers in North America, so let’s see some real women in media, talking about real women issues.
Menopausal women are facing challenges that other people probably couldn’t even grasp. The symptoms that are thrown at us each day can be hellish, yet we forge through with little complaining (you are not allowed to challenge me on that!) with grace and strength that would crumble most mere mortals.
Want some tips on how to celebrate and respect menopausal women in your life?
- Tell her she is amazing because she is!?
- Remind her of her beauty.?
- Embrace her wisdom and knowledge.?
- Celebrate her grace.?
- Know that she is strong and capable.?
- Listen to her.?
- Appreciate all she does for you.?
It would be really great for this community, as well as trainers of this community if we did have more conversations about this phase of a woman’s life. It would make the transition for them a little smoother and having the acknowledgment that they have support during this time can be a game changer. I often joke with my clients that they are the real hot chicks of the fitness world, exercising with hot flashes is no joke. Wouldn’t it be great if we could make that happen!