Friday, 14 January 2011

Stupid Hormones!

Oh, don’t get me started on those buggers!  God has to be a man, otherwise the reproduction process would have been organised differently.

On one hand I’m blessed. I never had much pain and trouble with menstruation and now that my 'best by' date has expired I'm loosing fat in areas that I had never hoped to loose fat from. But on the other hand – I'm a 'Jekyll and Hyde' personality. 

Argh ...
It’s not just the bodily functions that change during the second half of the cycle. It’s the personality change that goes with it. Aggression - well  that’s the bit that gets reported and joked about everywhere. Since I know about it I can control it it – to an extent, and I give warnings to loved ones not to take me too seriously. But it’s the depression like feeling that slows me down. I can concentrate less well. It’s OK with tasks which are inter related and make sense as a whole, but in my job as a secretary I have to remember thousands bits and pieces which don’t have anything to do with each other. Telephone numbers and dates are falling off my brain and everything that is not on my desk in writing is forgotten. I developed routines as safety net for everything I have to do in order to not having to think too much. That is time consuming and unproductive in a way, but the only way for me to survive this period of time. 

Yawn ...
And the fatigue! It’s not just being tired like not having enough sleep – sleep actually only helps to an extent – it’s crushing fatigue which almost makes me cry when thinking about the tasks ahead of me. My inner self feels dull and dark and heavy. No wonders one is out for kill if someone or something crosses the thoroughly planned day.

Before I changed my lifestyle there were so many factors affecting my body that I never could be really sure what is cause and what is effect. Now that I have eliminated a lot of bad influences on my body it turns out that quite a lot of these effects were down to hormones. 

Yummy ...
Who on earth came up with the idea that one needs to have more food during the second half of the cycle and especially carbohydrates in the shape of chocolate or muffins. This high sugar intake has a bad effect on the intestines which seem to be working slower during that phase anyway. All of a sudden even foods which usually don’t bloat can make one feel like a party balloon. The 'oh so healthy' high fibre food one is supposed to eat becomes a real killer then. Ever tried raisins or peas? Don’t! 

Oh, well!
Although I have to admit: Hormones have their good things. One of the reasons why I decided for a fitness lifestyle was that I had lost a bit of weight two years ago and it looked worse than before.  Bum and boobs went south and the little craters of the orange peel skin became as deep as volcanoes. I had been dieting before, but this time it was different the skin just wouldn’t catch up with the weight loss and shrink accordingly. So, at the age of 44 reality hit hard. With hormones on the decline I would become very wrinkly if I would just loose weight through dieting, I definitely had to find a solution for that.

Ladies, there is no way around it: From age 35 it goes downhill. It’s not that visible then, but from 40 on the signs are undeniable. Good news is, that a lot can be done to make you feel good and it even has positive side effects. Now, at the age of 46 I wouldn’t want to go back. For some reason, eventually I feel settled into my life and I like my body more than ever before. Looking at pictures of a slim, pert 18 year old Rika I don’t feel like wanting to have that back. I’m so much more in control now. For nothing in the world I would want to give that up.

There is just two things that need to be accepted. Firstly once the post menopausal stage is reached it becomes much harder to get in shape. So if you have the opportunity to get your stuff in order before that, you save yourself a lot of time and effort.

Secondly, you won’t get back the nice plumped up skin you used to have when you were young. 'To get a bit toned' becomes a bit like 'Getting a bit pregnant'. This 'A bit toned look' you see in younger women comes from moderately built muscles with a nice skin plumped up by a thin, even layer of fat which is able to keep water levels just right to look good. That is gone! Past the 40 you become either:
fat and smooth,
thin and wrinkly,
athletic and muscly.
So make friends with your hormones while you have them, they have their good although they might be teasing you once in a while. To befriend them might even be a first measure to tame them, and when they are fading – well then you will have the choice which new look you want to have. Moaning about lost features won’t help to turn time back. The one and only way is forward, and I personally find this a very interesting journey to a new self.

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