T Nation

Question for the, Ah, More Mature Chicks


#1

So I notice there is a healthy percentage of over 40s here. Just wondering if anyone has been through the dreaded menopause yet and if so, how did it affect you? I'm 42 so I'm not there yet but, being honest, it scares the living shit out of me.

I hear two things (other than the hot flashes and general hormonal insanity) - you put on weight round the middle and your face ages overnight. What I want to know is does it affect strength, energy and general ability to haul 200lbs off the floor?


#2

I’m also 42 and I honestly can’t wait until I stop getting periods. Nothing but a pain all around. I know quite a few women over 50 who still pull some damn fine numbers.


#3

I am 44, not there yet, but my cycle is getting irregular enough to drive me batty. Of course I have had a number of events in the last few years that can also cause irregular cycles, so who knows.

I can tell you that my 71 year old mother in law is stronger now than she has ever been, started lifting a few years ago and was in her first powerlifting meet last March.


#4

I am 48 and am on the end of perimenopause. The five years of off & on hot flashes sucked. (I call them “personal vacations.”) The change of life has not affected my strength negatively, nor do I feel less energetic. I am lifting a lot more now than I did before my hormones went on their crazy journey and it does not feel like that will dramatically change anytime soon. The weight gain thing, unfortunately, is true.

I can’t see it affecting the dedicated women on this forum much as it has been my experience that being physically fit and lifting weights really helps to minimize the symptoms experienced during this time, particularly the wacky hormones & the temperature regulation issues.

I don’t miss the periods, except that for a couple of years, you have no idea when it is going to hit you, or if.


#5

I’m 55. When I was 51, my periods just stopped. I skipped maybe 3 month in that year, but that’s it. I had no symptoms whatsoever. Was it the lifting that made menopause easy for me, or was it luck? Maybe both.

Now I no longer have the cramps, bloating and other hormonal stuff that gave me some trouble in the gym every month. I’m feeling strong every day.

I did NOT gain any weight.(Lifting or luck??) But my weight seems to have shifted to my waist. I never had much of a waist, anyway. Now I’m pretty thick through the middle. So what if I don’t look as good as I used to?? My body is strong and fit. Like playing my bass, it’s the performance that counts. People don’t pay to look at musicians, they wanna hear the music.

Old age ain’r so pretty on your face and skin, and it only gets worse. If all you value is your good looks, you’re in trouble. You need strength and wisdom now, bacause getting old ain’t for sissies!

So keep lifting and get smart.


#6

This is somewhat reassuring but I know it’s different for everyone. My own mother went through hell with fibroids. I hope that doesn’t happen to me. Unfortunately I can’t really talk to her about it now as she had a stroke a couple of years ago and has acute aphasia. She’s all there mentally, but just can’t articulate the words she wants to say.

I’m glad you ladies are staying strong - that’s my main concern, really. I’ve been lifting since I was 20 and it’s a part of my life and my persona. I’d hate for that to change.


#7

[quote]Cal Jones wrote:
I’m glad you ladies are staying strong - that’s my main concern, really. I’ve been lifting since I was 20 and it’s a part of my life and my persona. I’d hate for that to change.[/quote]

I think that only ever changes if you let it :wink:


#8

My mom had a hard time with the hot flashes and suddenly lost all strength in her core, to the point that she now can’t do a sit-up. That may be different for people who stay active, though.

What she told me is that there’s a disappointing lack of reliable information about menopause. Everybody tells you what’s happening to your body at puberty, but at menopause you’re on your own.


#9

Hi all. I’ll be 49 in a few days and am near the end (I hope) of perimenopause. Can’t say as I miss my monthly friend at all! And overall my flashes and emotional issues seem to be not too severe- so I guess I am lucky.

My mother went through hell with flashes and ended up on meds for radical mood swings- but I seem un-affected - or maybe I just don’t really give a shit? This is actually more probable according to my hubs…

It has definately affected my ability to haul heavy weights- in that I don’t have “crampy” days anymore to make me feel whiney and wuss out of the gym.

And yes, it is like my looks died in the space of a year… but at least the oily skin and breakouts have left the building.

So there you have it- the only thing you can be certain about is that “the change” will change you. It is different for ALL of us. More mysteries to be revealed as time passes.

Good luck and happy thoughts.