Ontario, Canada is a long way from the South Island of New Zealand, but I ‘got it’ when Patricia mentioned that she loved her exercise and was really struggling to recover from the exercise that she had easily managed for decades.
There were a few emails that flew across the Pacific as I worked on helping her to understand the physiological changes that menopause creates in skeletal and cardiac muscle and in the liver.
This includes a slower uptake of calcium into skeletal muscle, a change in Co-enzyme Q10 in cardiac muscle, which declines during ageing (CoQ10 helps in the energy pathways in the mitochondrial energy cells, which are replete throughout skeletal and cardiac muscle) as well as changes to the number and type of muscles fibres that are our power fibres. These are the fibres that assist with jumping, running and strength training.
It’s tough when menopause symptoms impact the lifestyle that we’ve had for years, but for those women who have been active, as Patricia has, there is also the consideration that they may be carrying greater inflammatory changes into their menopause transition too, because of their higher-volume of exercise.
When Patricia sent me this amazing photo of her looking and feeling relaxed and fit, I asked her to kindly share her story. There’s a menopause story inside every one of us and this is hers.
“In August of 2019, I was scanning the internet in search of information to help my relentless menopause symptoms – severe heart palpitations, restless sleep, frequent urination and hourly hot flashes that made my work as a Dental Assistant extremely difficult.
That’s when I stumbled onto Wendy’s MyMT™ programme. What caught my eye was her reference to gut health. I had a peptic ulcer and bloating so I was already aware of the importance of gut health, but had no idea that this might be related to my menopause symptoms. So I took a chance and signed up.
Now, three years later, I am ‘me’ again. This programme is filled with lifestyle tips, healthy recipes, and science-backed information that is specific to women in their menopause transition. The best thing is that I no longer have heart palpitations, I sleep through the night and no more bloating and very few hot flushes (only when I am rushing around).
At 58 years old, I’m now feeling my best and have the energy to do what I love to do … this includes my Zumba classes, running, hiking and biking. I later did the Rebuild My Fitness programme and this programme helped me understand the changes that occur with our muscles in menopause and how our exercise tolerance changes.
The most important information that gave me clarity was the relationship between oestrogen and progesterone, my heart/ veins/ arteries and my liver function. I now understand what is happening to my body and why my symptoms were so bad at first and why I can now embrace healthy ageing, rather than fight against it.
Any lifestyle change is never easy. For me in the beginning, it was three steps forward and two backwards as I adjusted to making some changes. Some days were frustrating but with the support of Wendy’s coaching community and her programme, I never gave up!
Feeling tired and miserable was no longer an option!
The support I received from Wendy and the ladies in the MyMT™ facebook group was overwhelming and I could not have come so far without it. I’ve learnt that women no longer have to accept that feeling awful is just a part of our ageing and suffer in silence. There is information and support now available to guide us through this journey together and Wendy’s programme proved to me that healthy and happy ageing can happen!”
Patricia W., Ontario, Canada