Change! The beautiful, and not so beautiful, changes of life.
As we age we change. Just like we mentioned earlier as we get older we can handle less calories. One of the biggest shifts happens slowly during peri-menopause and heightens during menopause. For men its called andropause. Dr. Laurie recounts a picture in one of her psychology books which compared the bodies of men and women as they became old and how the pictures of both bodies appeared to be pretty much identical. Round.
For women the preparation for menopause and the gradual change in hormones with the slow decline in estrogen creates enormous shifts physically, psychologically, and emotionally. Whereas for men, the decline in testosterone results in loss of physical ability and can effect men also psychologically as well as emotionally. Dr. Laurie recounts several clients that have needed support because these changes have felt to them that they were ill, and as a result they found themselves unable to even function, causing them an inability to even go to work. They had gone from doctor to doctor for a diagnosis only to have found there wasn’t one.
We usually term this time ‘the change of life’ or midlife crisis. Psychologically and developmentally this period of time is extremely important because each of us needs to be able to look behind us to see all of our accomplishments and that allows us to move on to the next age and stage of life. However, if we were not able to make those accomplishments we have a a tendency to get ourselves stuck and that is when mental health disorders set in like depression and anxiety, says Dr. Laurie.
Generally speaking the only thing thats really talked about with menopause is to do with hot flashes. Women, mothers, don’t seem to pass down to their daughters how difficult and trying menopause can be. The physiological changes can be wide ranging, from chronic sleep disturbances, to restlessness and not being able to sit still, nervousness, headaches, inability to focus, changes in stamina, balance issues, irritability, lack of patience, tinnitus (ringing of the ears) and muscle pain. These changes are uncomfortable and in order to create more of a feeling of physical comfort is the tendency to increase carbohydrate and calorie intake in order to soothe these uncomfortable feelings away. So, during this period of time is when there can be a significant gradual weight increase when these symptoms are starting to be felt until they reach a crescendo when you can’t avoid them.
Around the age of forty we change from growing, learning and becoming to dealing with aging. We also experience losses, such as having to change jobs, deaths of friends, of family members, all of which adds to a need to avoid bad feelings and self soothe; sometimes through food and other times through the use of other substances. As well as, not to mention, all of the other age related illnesses that might be setting in based upon your genetic makeup and your stress levels. Moving beyond the child-bearing years comes with a time of transition, for some it happens over many years and for others it can be quite sudden and shocking.
Just like a Spanish I watched where the mother believed she was pregnant and when she was diagnosed as being menopausal instead, she cried that she was no longer a woman.
As you age it becomes really important to maintain your functional lean mass because with aging comes muscle loss, especially without any physical activity and we do have a tendency to become more sedentary as we age. The more functional lean mass we add the higher our metabolic rate. It is actually possible to be thin and have such low functional lean mass that the body consists more of just fat.
On the quest to lose 50 pounds in a year. Can she do it? Only time will tell....with the help of this blog.