Looking for that M word:
Wendy at Menopause, the Blog, thinks Oprah’s passionate approach to her new diet is missing the simplest explanation for her weight gain and tiredness:

As I’ve written here before, it’s easy to find yourself taking a
handful of meds, including sleeping pills, in an effort to feel better
(and help you function) during the menopausal transition. But a
healthier approach to take is to look at the bigger picture,
acknowledge the fact that it’s Menopause, and work with a medical
professional to help balance your hormones and guide you on a journey
of overall wellness. (keeping a diary of the symptoms you’re
experiencing can help you “connect the dots” and see the big picture).

We all tend to behave like we’re the first woman to go through menopause when it happens to us.

Another thing to get you to the gym: Let’s say you’ve decided that those extra holiday pounds are OK for now – and besides, it’s cold outside. But what if you heared that moderate workouts can amount to better retention of cognitive skills?

Being sedentary is now considered a risk factor for stroke and dementia,”
says Poulin, a scientist in the Faculties of Medicine and Kinesiology
at the University of Calgary. “This study proves for the first time
that people who are fit have better blood flow to their brain. Our
findings also show that better blood flow translates into improved

The study, Effects of Cardiorespiratory Fitness and
Cerebral Blood Flow on Cognitive Outcomes in Older Women, compares two
groups of women whose average age was 65 years old. From a random
sample of 42 women living in Calgary, the study observed women who took
part in regular aerobic activity, and another group of women who were
inactive. Poulin’s team recorded and measured the women’s
cardiovascular health, resting brain blood flow and the reserve
capacity of blood vessels in the brain, as well as cognitive functions…..

“The take home message from our research is that
basic fitness – something as simple as getting out for a walk every day
– is critical to staying mentally sharp and remaining healthy as we
age,” says Poulin, a member of the Department of Physiology &
Biophysics, and the Hotchkiss Brain Institute.



Our Fitness Resolutions Week has sparked a lively amount of feedback from WVFC’ers. Karen O’Kane thanked Dr. Pat for the reminders:

“Thanks for all the common sense advice.  So many of us know what to do but run into the saboteurs from time to time–such as the holidays and all that goes with it. Mindful eating as described by Dr. Pat is key.  There most likely will be slip ups along the way, but you can get back on track. Timely article–time to get back to mindful eating.

Terry Hudak adds:

A year ago I was a neglected and anemic 46 year old who had let 25 extra pounds creep onto my otherwise gorgeous frame.  Dr. Pat encouraged me through my transformation.  Losing the weight became a journey, less about will-power and more about self discovery.  My eating plan is to eat every two hours ie. nurture, pay attention, be conscious, be mindful.   My capacity to eat has diminished and, more importantly, I’m feel cared for.   Having the email exchange, the buddy system, helped me to identify the saboteurs in all areas of my life.   Noticing, for example, I took that piece of cake, because someone made it.   I learned I was too obedient to take control.  The dialogue regarding the saboteurs was not guilt producing.  It was interesting.  “How curious.  That situation caused an interesting reaction in my behavior”.  I became  my own research subject.   And, by taking control of what I eat, I found my power in other aspects of my life.  I also learned that I can be what I create.  In other words, I had resigned myself to the belief that ‘as we age, the weight is harder to take off’.   I replaced that with a belief that I can choose to take the weight off or leave it on.  When I go off my eating plan, I gain weight.  If I go to a party hungry, I eat more than I had intended to eat.  These are about choices I make and not about aging or comparing my 47 year old body to my 20 year old body.     I would love to hear from other women on this blog, smart and accomplished, who are going through or have been through a similar transformation.



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  • alittleredhen January 13, 2009 at 4:59 pm

    ElderExercise, have I mentioned it here? It’s an online support group to get us moving after 50. Two bloggers, one in Paris and myself in Manhattan, started it last year.
    Nothing fancy–just state your goals and the group gives you positive feedback on your efforts. No shoulds; we’re only partial to daily pedometer use. Look over http:www.elderexercise.com, join up or contact us with questions.

  • Zipporah Sandler January 9, 2009 at 10:36 am

    OK, as a post-menopausal overweight woman, I thank you for reminding me that I need not place all of this guilt upon myself (it’s so self-defeating) and instead just move forward and help myself to feel better.