Posts made in January, 2009

News Flash! Menopause – the new glass ceiling

Posted by on Jan 9, 2009 in menopause | 2 comments

News out of  Nebraska today….

Evidently a woman is suing the Union Pacific Railroad for discrimination. The reason: menopause.

56 year old Porfiria Alonzo claims that she was laid off by the railroadbecause the organization perceived “that she was having health problems due to menopause.” Sources say that she was seen crying and upset on several occasions. And despite having attended mental health evaluation (where nothing was found that indicated that she would benefit from counseling), and at the Railroad’s insistence, a second round of evaluations (where once again, nothing was found), she was still barred from returning to work.

No trial date has been set as of yet.

What do you think about this? Is menopause the new glass ceiling?

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“Getting” menopause

Posted by on Jan 8, 2009 in humour | 5 comments

I ran across this today while doing some research. Had to share.

“If you’re a plastic doll, do you still get menopause?”

In case you’re wondering….Barbie evidently turns 50 this year.

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Wednesday Bubble: Restraint is the new black

Posted by on Jan 7, 2009 in exercise, weight | 5 comments


Taking a restrained approach to eating may help to keep extra pounds and body fat away in middle age.

Sounds pretty dicey right? Especially since conscious restriction of calories has long been thought to lead to loss of control and binge eating.

Yet, results of a novel study published in the January 3 issue of the American Journal of Health Promotion suggest that women in midlife who do not restrict their eating have more than twice the risk of gaining substantial amount of weight than their peers who do.

In this study, researchers from Brigham Young University followed 192 women (mean age 40+3 years) over a three-year period, tracking their body weight, body fat, energy intake and physical activity at regular intervals.

Over the entire study period, and compared to their peers, women who did not restrain their eating had:

  • a 69% greater risk of gaining more than 2.2 pounds
  • a 138% greater risk of gaining more than 6.6 pounds
  • a 49% greater risk of gaining more than 1% point in overall body fat

What’s more, the risk remained despite adjustments for age, weight, restrained eating, caloric intake and physical activity at the start of the study, and changes in caloric intake and physical activity during the study.

The researchers concluded that women who do not become more restrained in their eating habits or become more prone to emotional eating, are likely to gain both weight and body fat over a relatively short period of time.

While these data seem counterintuitive to a healthy relationship with food, the message is clear:  because our metabolism slows in midlife, we either have to cut calories or increase physical activity (or both).

Keep in mind, however, that any major change in your diet or exercise requires a conversation with a healthcare practitioner and certified trainer to insure that you are on the right track, and not heading into the injury jungle.

Makes sense, right?

Last year, I wrote a post about the need to move your body AND restrict caloric intake.  In fact, if you click on the word “exercise” in the tag cloud, you can access quite a bit of information about exercise during the menopause.

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What’s it all about

Posted by on Jan 5, 2009 in menopause | 3 comments


Menopause is pretty straightforward. Right?

Clearly it’s not since all of us go through it differently depending on our genetics, physical and mental makeup and our environment. Hence, I  thought that it might be to good idea to tackle some menopause terms. Especially since there can be a lot of confusion about what menopause is and whether or not you’ve actually started.

So what’s it all about? Menopause, that is…

Natural menopause – permanent cessation of menstruation. You are not considered to be in menopause until your periods cease for 12 consecutive months  and this cessation is not linked to causes other than those that are natural. Menopause can only be determine with certainty if your final menstrual period is known.

Perimenopause – the years leading up to the cessation of menstruation. Perimenopause can last anywhere from 2 to 8 years, and includes the first year after your period stops. Perimenopause is accompanied by a barrage of symptoms as your reproductive capacity starts to end.

Premenopause – The reproductive years leading up to the menopause.

Postmenopause – The period of time following menopause.

Climeractic – a term for a woman’s transition from a reproductive to non-reproductive state during which many physiological, psychological, and sociologically changes occur.

Premature menopause – Usually, menopause that occurs before the age of 40. Note, however, that since there is no reliable measure of age distribution among women transitioning to menopause in developing countries, the cut off of 40 years of age is arbitrary. In some cases, premature menopause is interchangeable with induced menopause, which describes menopause that occurs after surgical removal of the ovaries (with/without hysterectomy) or removal  of ovarian function (due to chemotherapy or radiation). has an excellent article that goes into further detail about the physiological changes that occur during menopause. I encourage you to visit the reference if you desire more information.

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To thine own self

Posted by on Jan 2, 2009 in Inspiration | 2 comments

I’ve thought long and hard about the most appropriate way to honor the transition between 2008 and 2009. And I can think of none better than to be true.

Be true.

These words hold much meaning. They can change depending on the situation or individual. To me, they hold the essence of what makes us human, and what drives us to success or failure.

One of my favorite Poets, Rainier Maria Rilke, wrote:

Be patient towards all that is unresolved in you and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms, like books that are written in a very foreign tongue. Live the questions now.

I believe that Rilke was giving us permission to be true to ourselves so that we can discover the answers that we seek.

To be true, yet kind and mindful of others – therein lies the challenge.

As women in midlife, we are faced with many challenges, obstacles to fully realizing who we are without disregarding those who mean most to us.

This year, I pledge to be true to myself and yet balance the centeredness of my “self” with the needs and desires of those around me.

Tell me, are you being/have you been true to yourself? And how important do you think that these two words are:

Be. True.


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