An Ode to the New Year!

Ahhhh, the new year…a fresh start, a new beginning, your time to clean the slate and start something new!!!  Most of us have just gotten through the holidays where we’ve eaten every bit of homemade, double baked, triple dipped, finger-lickin’, grandmas blue ribbon winnin’ morsel out there and now you’re just plain TIRED of polluting yourself!!!  With ‘Auld Lang Syne’ still ringing in your head you’re more than ready to leave the old self behind and try something new to help you feel better.  You promptly declare to anyone that’s listening that this is the year you’re going to eat better, exercise more, lose a few pounds and stop succumbing to the throws of menopause and hormonal imbalance!

So you march off to the grocery store and instantly you’re bombarded with magazine headlines like this one which elude to having easy ways to drop a few pounds.  “Lose your belly”?, (sounds good to me!), “10 minute workout”?, (yea because nobody’s got time for that!), “Slimming Smoothies”?, (simply magical…I’ll drink 3 a day!).  So you buy up a couple of those magazines for inspiration, a cartload of fruits, veggies, Lean Cuisines, and a variety of 100 calorie snack packs and you go home thrilled that you’re on your way to feeling 30 again!  

But somewhere down the road, whether it’s 2 weeks or 3 months, a peri menopausal or menopausal woman knows that those ‘lose weight quick” schemes, just don’t work for us.  We end up feeling cheated, depleted, and bored because we’d been trying so hard to follow the plan laid out for us by the so-called experts, but for very little or no reward.  Our appetite has become so ravenous that it’s grown into a whole separate entity that roars its ugly head every hour on the hour.  That, coupled with a huge lack of energy, just leads us right back to where we were before!

Although we will go over nutrition in the future all I want you to do right now is focus on the one headline that means anything at all on this particular magazine cover..”Walk Your Butt Off“!   (Yes please!!!!).  Now there’s the real plan!

When you finally decide to really do something about your health start with walking, but with the intention of running SOME AMOUNT OF TIME DURING YOUR WALK!!  Like 41/2 minutes of walking and just 30seconds of running.  It’s a great way to build up endurance and stir up your metabolism!  (Please see the How To Run page for full details).

And the sweat?  Whew!!  Even in the beginning I would get a nice healthy sweat going, but what I noticed was that I didn’t have the chills and sweats associated with menopause for the rest of the day! Could I be getting it all out in my workout?  A year and a half later and that still holds true!! 

Don’t be afraid to sweat girls! I realize that menopausal woman sometimes sweat uncontrollably and that can be embarrassing.  But it’s our bodies way of trying to rid itself of nasty toxins and crap that prohibit us from feeling and looking healthy!  I know there are women out there who are afraid to do anything that would cause them to sweat so they avoid aerobic workouts.  But I say bring it on and I can assure you the benefits of ridding yourself of that kind of toxic pollution will far outweigh the uncomforts of sweating in no time!  BELIEVE THAT!

In the beginning, I couldn’t do 30 seconds of running without thinking that I was going to cough up a lung….I would wheeze and my heart felt like it was thumping and popping out of my chest. I couldn’t believe that aerobically I was in that bad of shape! But even though I doubted at times that I would get better at running much less lose weight and inches, I stayed with it and NEVER waivered. By the end of the 12 week class we were running about 4 miles, which was a little more than a 5k! And a couple of months after that I went out for my routine run/walk, the stars and moon must have been perfectly aligned because I didn’t stop running for 2 miles straight! IT WAS SOOO WEIRD, but it happened just like that!! 

Ok, drumroll PLEASE….….(you’ll have to scroll down a bit)     

TA DAAA!  My butt after 10 months of sticking to it!!  When I first saw my menopausal butt on the left I was sure my mother had snuck in the room, got in the way of my body and therefore it was her butt I was looking at in the mirror and not mine!!!  Had my body changed that much over the last 10 years?  YES DANG IT!  I immediately texted a friend asking her what she knew about butt implants!  Nothing could have made me feel older and more blah about myself!  But after a few days of throwing myself a pity party I became empowered by that photo and more determined than ever to keep up the running, (I was only six weeks into my Running 101 class), in hopes of losing a little weight!  And boy am I glad I did!

Please believe me when I say that the after photo wasn’t as much about dieting, (in fact I ate more than ever and craved healthier foods more than ever before).  It wasn’t with the help of some tv advertised magic weight loss pill nor was it with photoshop trickery!  It was just simply being consistent with running 3 days a week!  I mean it!  You can clearly see that it took the saddlebags and love handles away!  I lost pounds, but not as much as I lost inches!  And almost two years later I have kept it off and have continued to firm up and go down in pant and dress sizes!  I feel so different and SOOOO MUCH BETTER!!!

I will have more to say about running in the near future like street running vs treadmill running, but for now just know that I believe you can do this too!  Consult a doctor if you must, but what doctor would deny anyone a little exercise?  

Please read the “How to Run” and “Must Have Gear” pages because they will help you prepare. It may sound like an impossible thing to do, especially if you haven’t been very active for awhile, but it’s not!  

Be kind to yourself, take it slowly, be determined, don’t give up.  If one day you do well, but the next time out you’re a little slower that’s ok too!

 So come on ladies!  Get up, get those running shoes on, and be on your way!!


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