Why I’m My Best Self at Midlife

When I was in my 20s, I knew everything there was to know about everything . . . or so I thought. 

My 30s saw a new dawning of maturity, one where I began to humble myself, think before I spoke and took the feelings of others into account. 

When I hit my 40s, I began to carry myself with a degree of ease and grace. Caring about what others thought of me began to give way to cultivating my uniqueness and sense of self.

Now, I’m a midlife woman on the cusp of 56 and for as much knowledge as I’ve acquired in my life, I know there’s still a lot left for me to learn. I’m sensitive to the troubles and hardships that others may experience. I still carry myself with ease and grace, and I generally don’t care what others think of me. I like the woman I’ve grown into and, for me, I believe I’m finally at my best.

Why I’m My Best Self at Midlife

What if that feeling you mistook for happiness 10 or 15 years ago was really complacency? That’s how I sum up my pre-midlife years. I had very little control over my life, even though back then I thought otherwise. But there’s a sense of empowerment that comes with midlife. I make better choices, I define the rules of my life and I find that, overall, I’m more content. Yes, there are hurdles to jump over, road blocks to navigate around and every now and then I have to pick myself up and push myself forward. In spite of this, I’m living my best life.

Even though I’m aging . . .
Even though there are days when my body is tired from doing nothing . . .
Even though I sometimes experience brain fog . . .
Even though I’m occasionally assaulted by hot flashes . . .
Despite it all, I’m my best self at midlife.

Yes, You Can Be Your Best Self in Midlife . . . Even in Menopause

For women, midlife and menopause go hand-in-hand. However, not every woman will experience it the same way. During menopause, we’re often at odds with our own bodies, battling everything from dry skin to dry vagina. But menopause doesn’t have to be a losing battle. While you can’t totally control it, there are ways you can manage your menopause symptoms and still feel at your best.

Hot Flashes
Alcohol, smoking, caffeine, eating spicy foods and more can trigger hot flashes in some women[1]. When you adopt healthier eating habits, your body will thank you and you’ll likely experience hot flashes less frequently.

Battle of the Bulge
Whether you call it a “menopot,” “belly budge,” “menopooch” or whatever, that bulge just below your belly button has likely gotten poochier as you’ve gotten older. When our hormones decrease, more stubborn fat is stored in the belly[2]. However, all hope is not lost. Combining exercise (and this doesn’t necessarily mean 500 crunches in an hour!) and smarter eating habits can help alleviate the bulge. As with combating hot flashes, diet plays a big role in how your body behaves. Cut out processed foods, refined sugars and saturated fats and, instead, reach for protein, healthy fats and veggies. Also limit your empty calorie alcohol intake and remember cardio and strength training are your friend as you age.

Mood Swings
You ever have one of those days where you go from zero to whimpering in .002 seconds? Or from serene and calm one minute and the next you want to rip someone’s arm off and beat them with it? Ahhhh, mood swings. They can be a disruptive force in our lives. Did you know you can likely thwart mood swings with exercise? When you exercise, the “feel good hormones” known as endorphins kick in and give you a euphoric feeling.

Reposted from Midlife-A-Go-Go by Valerie Albarda. All opinions expressed in this post are her own.

This post is sponsored by TherapeuticsMD, Inc.

[1] “Treatment & Relief For Menopause & Hot Flashes.” Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, 16 Jan. 2017, my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/15223-menopause-non-hormonal-treatment–relief-for-hot-flashes.

[2] Lizcano, Fernando, and Guillermo Guzmán. “Estrogen Deficiency and the Origin of Obesity during Menopause.” BioMed Research International, vol. 2014, 6 Mar. 2014, pp. 1–11., doi:10.1155/2014/757461.

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