It was the bikini that got my attention.
No, last week’s desire for a funky hat has not led me down a slippery slope. I’m not a bikini kind of gal, and I’m fine with that. I would just like to know that I could wear one if I wanted to and look great.
Normally I’m not drawn to photos of beautiful women in minimal clothing. However, though my menopause experience seems to be improving — I’m getting back to being happy most of the time — I’ve struggled more with weight than I ever have. Although Weight Watchers tells me I’m in a normal weight range, I’m at the high end. And, the family scourge is high cholesterol and heart disease, so I simply can’t get away with even a few extra pounds. Trouble is, they’re harder to lose these days.
Enter Staness Jonekos, whose book I discovered during one of my more frantic searches for The Answer. She is the co-author and official guinea pig for The Menopause Makeover, a 12-week program for taking charge of our bodies when hormones are wreaking havoc. She happily provided her before and after photos, and she’s lookin’ pretty darn good.
Jonekos went into menopause while in the midst of planning her wedding. At 46, she had fallen in love and felt ready to take that big step, but had to contend with sudden weight gain, hot flashes, and other symptoms that many of us know and don’t love so much.
In The Menopause Makeover, Jonekos, using the guidance of Dr. Wendy Klein, explains how she took control of her life. She covers food, exercise, and changing your beauty routine. Since we’re changing, why not change the hairdo and makeup while we’re at it? Why not take a look at our clothing choices?
One of the things I really like about this book is that it focuses on the emotional and spiritual aspects of “The Change” as well. Through the help of Jonekos and others, I am not only “getting through” menopause, but am also learning to enjoy all the new discoveries that come along the way. I see it as a magnificent and extraordinary time of life.
Being a geeky sort, I love checklists and charts, and Jonekos provides plenty of them! We can determine our unique daily calorie usage and match it with our weight loss goals to arrive at a daily calorie goal. We can answer questions to help us figure out where our normal routines get us in trouble (for me, it’s travel). Finally, she provides a number of recipes to help us.
I’m not into hormones, and Jonekos recommends them for women who are suffering. I prefer to use herbal infusions to nourish and balance the body, and so far they’re doing a great job. Jonekos does not cover these approaches — however, I think each woman needs to make her own choice, and who am I to say what someone should do?
Having just read the book, I’m now ready to give it a test drive. The program makes sense. She’s not advocating anything faddish or unhealthful that I can tell. As I’ve reflected on the book, I realize that I can make some small changes that should make a big difference. That includes watching my portions more when we eat out and cutting back somewhat on starchy carbs. It also means focusing more on the strength training aspect of my exercise regimen, which will help me build muscle mass and keep metabolism levels up.
If you’re buying The Menopause Makeover, get the paperback. This is one book that doesn’t work as well on Kindle, because you’ll want to use the charts.
More than anything, The Menopause Makeover reminds me to stay in touch with what’s going on with my body and to not give up. There is hope, and yes, we can lose weight after 50 if we make some adjustments. We can be fit and fabulous — this is our time!