So, we are nearing the end of January - I know how observant of me - many folk dread these introductory months of the year, ending up hibernating until they see the first signs of Spring start to emerge. Well…your pelvic floor isn’t going to thank you for that! No, no we all need to get our heads around the old January/February malarky and instead embrace this time of year, don your hats, gloves & thermals and get on out there. Not only will our bodies emit huge sighs of relief, our minds and mental well being will thank us as well…throw off those cobwebs and get into positive mode!
Bear with me - I would just like to briefly go back to those festivities, let’s face it we’re all human and not many of us manage to sustain a rigid exercise and dietary regime throughout!
‘Sandwich generation’…anyone feel this a tad more over the festive period?! It seems to me that ‘nature’ didn’t really think this through too well…when some of us reach our 40s and 50s not only have we those teenage darlings to cope with, but we sometimes have our parents to sort out as well. Most of us are still working plus, potentially, coping with the old perimenopause and then WHAM BAM Christmas hits you before you know it and you then start having to fly around ordering turkeys, pheasants, hams …it was goose for us this year very good actually ….fridges and drinks to stock and when kids return home from Uni…restock…and then restock again! How do we find that extra time…always bemuses me…you find yourself watching Mary Berry’s Christmas top tips and make yourself even more work by trying to do everything she’s suggested…bizarre!
We get swept up into ridiculous amounts of baking, catering and festive decorating…well you do if anything like me…anyone who knows me well knows I love Christmas and the lead up to it. Then it’s a case of resisting the temptation to get the Cmas tree too soon…yes ours was a tad crunchy on taking down! Nothing had dropped which was quite miraculous just crunchy!
Why oh why am I prattling on about Christmas…well for perimenopausal women it can be quite a demanding time one way and another…flushes can become more frequent and intense with all the extra stress and dare I suggest excessive drinking on occasion…joint aches are exacerbated by trawling the streets for just the right pressie (or are you a predominantly online shopper now - shame on you!) or maybe extra pressure on the old knees having been to too many parties and danced the night away!…sleep patterns not so good, back to that drinking and maybe a touch of indulgence on the eating front (not knocking it, why not It’s Christmas!). With all those extra things to do it’s quite hard to fit in pilates & yoga classes, as for going for your usual run…no chance! Anyone else forget to do their pelvic floors because their brain was filled with the likes of stuffing recipes, how many devils on horseback to do or …wondering if you had enough gin and prosecco in for that party?!!
OK, apologies if you are far more disciplined than me, don’t indulge, maintain strict exercise regimes and clench that pelvic floor frequently over the festive period - even as the gongs chime at New Year! But…most of us are human…which leads me onto one of my pet hates post Christmas - the bizarre notion that we should all go on a flipping diet, definitely not helped by all forms of the media at the beginning of January getting on the band wagon promoting the latest revolutionary diets, exercise regimes and must have lycra accessories! Ok how many of you started a diet (maybe already cheated…just saying ), have religiously pureed fruit and veg every morning for multiple smoothies, signed up for a 10K and are steam ahead with your pelvic floors again?!
Can I offer a morsel of advice…please don’t put yourself under too much pressure and don’t do drastic! Do, however, do sustainable levels, meaning…just go back to tweaking that diet rather than going for a dramatic change of diet. If you feel the need to have a fast then do a natural one while still maintaining a balanced, nutritious diet throughout the day…just have your last meal of the day at 5pm then make breakfast the next day after 7am and you’ve just fasted for over 12 hours…easy! Much better than going hungry during the day, having a depleted level of nutrition and basically confusing your body!
Exercise wise - little and often can sometimes work the best - set yourself realistic goals and maybe the odd new challenge. My goal/challenge for this year is to aim to combat the dreaded bat wings from developing - yep noticed a recent tightening in the upper sleeve department! Waist down I manage to keep a certain level of fitness up with the odd cycle, run, swim and game of netball but those old arms don’t get much attention, so have set myself a small challenge of doing a couple of press ups a day followed by an attempt at a plank…so far 10 press ups and I manage a very shaky (literally) plank for 10 too…11 tomorrow!
The whole dry January thing… I’m more of a dry midweek person having a wee dram Friday and Saturday…why be miserable?
So, after all those hours spent creating that perfect Christmas for everyone…organising the food, ordering the bird, filling the freezer with baking just in case…then all the wrapping, writing cards (anyone else had less cards this year?!) what I would spend time on now is thinking about yourself …go on …. buy in the food you want to eat, book yourself that massage, make time in an evening to read that book ( the ironing can wait!), give yourself a bit of TLC you deserve it! But don’t forget to clench that pelvic floor!
Here’s to a proactive February…!
On another note - don’t you think it’s interesting what everyone’s quirky ‘must have’ essentials are in life, whether it’s food, drinks, beauty products..what are yours?
This time of year - well for the majority of the year - mine are…
Tea : Twinings - breakfast leaf tea - yep you need tea leaves for a really good brew
Gin : tend not to be fussy, happy with a Gordons but love a Hepple or a Botanist
Blueberries : good supply essential all day long really!
Natural yoghurt : get that gut back to normal, personally like a bit of natural Yeo Valley
Seaweed organics foot cream with peppermint and tea tree : brilliant for dry heels…give your feet a quick massage at the same time, literally takes two minutes.
Snow fire ointment stick : anyone else get hacks this time of year - bizarre yet brilliant, works in a matter of days.
Vicks : as old as the hills but works wonders when your body finally succumbs to a cold. Just plaster it everywhere!
TCP : top tip from my father in law once years ago - at the first sign of a tickly or sore throat gargle with DILUTED tcp…seriously works I haven’t had a cold all winter
Come on then what are yours..?
Women Health Concern : https://www.womens-health-concern.org
Pelvic Roar : https://www.pelvicroar.org
Sylk : https://sylk.co.uk
Promensil : https://promensil.co.uk
Any information is as accurate as possible at time of writing and is for information purposes only. The information and support that Let's Talk Menopause provides is for your own personal use. It is not intended to replace or substitute the judgement of any medical professional you may come in contact with. You should always seek advice from your healthcare professional regarding any medical condition.