Let’s dig into what is going on with our bodies after 40, why you are being stubborn about thinking you are still in your 20’s and 30’s and how to come full circle with a few changes you need to make right now to help your body adjust.
This message is brought to you by the letters, O, U, C, H.
Yesterday someone rudely posted that it was the exact date our class graduated 30 years ago. My head my like…I don’t feel that old, but I KNOW I still could be making better choices. Yes, even me. I haven’t been making the best health choices when I eat things I shouldn’t as my body has autoimmune, and I know what I am supposed to do from over 22 years of research.
6 common mistakes you might be making after 35:
- Eating too much sugar. If you have been diagnosed with anything at all in the autoimmune family of diseases, any sugar at all can cause inflammation and joint pain. Trust me. White, processed sugar is not worth the pain. You might be saying, but I love my sugar…you have to think about what you want more in your life. Sugar or pain. Honestly, for me, it was a difficult thing at first, but after 21 days, I went to 30, then 60, then 90. No sugar. I have lived that way now since 2012 for the most part. Processed sugar, the granulated kind, isn’t a pure form. It reacts in so many ways with your body that you would be surprised. Over here I list all the details of why it’s important to have a breakup. Grow mint, stevia leaves, and other things and look into cane sugar on occasion, but not as much. Try as natural as possible. Monk Fruit has come onto the scene as well as many other alternatives, but I just honestly use my natural mint leaves and occasionally pure, natural, local, honey. NOT the kind in the bear with additives.
- Ignoring your body’s signs. If you are having depression, unusual side effects, things that don’t exactly feel “normal”, get all your vitamin levels checked. More and more people find they are deficient in vitamin D which can lead to a long string of problems. Do your research on your diseases/conditions and ask the doctor to do blood draws and test certain things. You need to be specific in what is going on and know that these things can happen if you are out of balance. Check this out for a bit more as well. To thine own self be true…and speak what is going on without hiding it. Use words like IBS, or say you have lots of bathroom issues if that is happening. We’re going to get to gut health here, so have a look. If you want more information on a leaky gut, or gut issues, have a read.
- Staying still for long periods of time sitting. I believe Shakira really wrote about Hips Don’t Lie because she was predicting we’d all need to move. Kidding, sort of…because your hips can really be a source for so much pain! Sitting hampers your blood circulation, leads to bad posture, promotes weight gain, and more. This article lists those reasons and more. So, what do we need to do? I suggest getting your walking in, gardening, going outside as well as yoga (of course since I teach it), but seriously you can adapt to chair yoga as well. Believe it or not, all of the above information and more help is actually here for you to purchase should you want to start trying adaptive movement.
- Muscle is your friend. Starting at age 40, we lose about 1 percent of muscle mass a year. Not only that, but we lose our flexibility, right? We hear of people shrinking. SHOCK. I grew a half-inch and never in my life have been 5’3 even without shoes on. I was so surprised!! My grandmother, poor thing, she lived to be 90 but at the end she kept telling me she was shrinking and couldn’t garden anymore. We aren’t tall people anyway, honestly, but I thought when I started getting sick at just 35 years old, things were going downhill fast. I noticed I was shrinking. I was in pain, and my joints hurt all the time. I was bloated and if I even looked at food, I gained 2 pounds. I wish I was exaggerating, but I saw my old weight recently and was shocked. I weighed 17 pounds more and I was at the time, 5’2.5. I was told I was obese (also, doctors shouldn’t really use this term if they actually offer no help whatsoever getting to the root cause, but that’s my personal experience). So I started yoga regularly in 2015. I was turning 40 that year. It is never too late to start. Hot yoga is good if you do not have RA (rheumatoid arthritis), but gentle yoga, that’s where you should start first. I learned so many things there in that class. Yes, at the time, I was probably the youngest as it was restorative, but I learned to start somewhere. I started being able to bend again after having immense pain for over 5 years due to my many diseases. I learned to take it slowly.
- Hormones and metabolism. Women, I feel your perimenopause pain. Literally. Men, my husband says things like the groin muscles don’t stretch as much and that he gets random pains after playing soccer (at 50, yes). The “dad bod” with the stomach is also a thing but wait. I do NOT expect him to have some crazy 6-pack. If he is happy and healthy physically and mentally, that’s all that matters. However, if you notice these changes and it’s taking a long time to feel comfortable with them and/or they are getting worse, that’s when it’s time to really take a good look at what your body is doing internally. It can be very frustrating when you realize you can’t eat all the food and still process it the same way you did 15 years ago. It’s time to realize that eating fewer calories and changing the habits can help with this process. A new craze, one I haven’t yet tried, is Pickleball for people our age. Again, it’s all up to you to get exercise in that you love. The things that are going on inside are things like stress, dehydration and fat storage occurs. There’s a drop in estrogen and that amplifies the negative effects of stress, and it also stops diverting fat into areas for reproduction. Meaning it stores in the belly faster. If we cheat on ourselves with food, even a late-night old-school Taco Bell run, it shows. Protein and fiber are our friends now and it will pay off to put more in our diets. Here is my new treat.
- Skin is neglected. Not this lady, but in my teens and then early 20’s, I used the ole’ tanning oil. Luckily, I guess, I was diagnosed with you know, horrible stuff by 23 that said, hey, don’t get in the sun because you need to become a vampire. So, I took my dermatologists advice very young. SPF everything, except I did forget about traveling in the car, and those “quick” trips to garden that were not quick without sunscreen. I started showing signs on my face and ordered a fabulous, giant, crushable hat. I get asked about the hat I wear sometimes, so you can check it out. I also started wearing a very thin mineral SPF lotion with a slight tint. I am NOT a big make-up person if you know me. You can browse the variations here. In addition to that, I teach face yoga to my Club members and offer advice on my private live classes in my group for women.
This is just a very small sampling of some things I learned the hard way and the not so hard way. The hard way was ignoring my intuition and cheating on myself by skipping workouts, walking, eating whatever. The not so hard way is learning that I can’t do this at all, or I will 100% feel it for days, sometimes weeks.
I would absolutely love to have a gut that works right all the time, but with autoimmune you have to learn to make changes, or the changes will start to overtake your once very active lifestyle and knock you down until you listen.
For advice and help in any of these areas, join us in our monthly Head|Heart|Health Club with new drop-in yoga starting soon.