If you’re a fit, active & athletic woman, perimenopause will be an unexpected gut punch.
It can feel like you’ve lost your strength, stamina and endurance overnight.
Your strong, fit, toned, muscular, energised body starts to shape shift, and it feels out of your control.
In this episode I share insights into your changing physiology, my own ‘WTF’ is happening story, 3 things you need to do differently, and two resources that will give you a greater understanding of your changing physiology so you can reset your body & brain and feel like yourself again during perimenopause and beyond.
Sign up for my free masterclass: Reset Your Body & Brain and Feel Like Yourself Again here!
If you are fit, active and athletic, then perimenopause will be an unexpected gut punch. It can feel like you’ve lost your strength, stamina, and endurance overnight. Your strong fit, toned, muscular, energized body starts to shape shift right in front of you in the mirror and you can just feel it in your bones and it really feels out of control. Perimenopause is the ultimate betrayal of body and brain, especially after years of optimizing your physical and mental performance and fine tuning your strategies. Hello, I’m Stephanie Holland, creator of The Body:Brain Reset, the best friends guide to perimenopause and the secret to feeling like yourself again. And in this video I’m going to share the three core things you have to do differently as a fit, active, and athletic woman when perimenopause strikes, and how I reset my body and brain, as well as at the end, two resources that will help you understand your new perimenopause physiology so that you can get back into peak physical and mental performance ASAP.
So the physiological changes of perimenopause make exercise feel harder and this new physiology will last, last decades. So if you are a fit, active, athletic person, then I’m pretty much sure that moving and being active is one of your most favorite things about being alive. Adapt your self-care, healthcare and lifestyle to this new physiology and you can reset your body and brain and feel like your fantastic, active, strong, fit, and healthy self again, really quickly. So I’m not going to pretend this is easy or that this transformation back to yourself happens overnight, but neither did what got you to peak physical and mental performance in the first place, right? Remember, it was years of experimenting, adapting, optimizing on repeat, constantly upleveling, constantly aiming for better than yesterday, consistently trying to beat your own record. I’m the same, right? I spent years refining, adapting and perfecting my health, wellbeing, and fitness at every life stage. For me, there is nothing better than feeling fit and strong in my body and the thrill of accomplishing physical feats. Like when I was finally able to deadlift 75% of my body weight. This had a profound impact on every aspect of my life. Strengthening my physical self fueled a stronger mental resilience, enabling me to tackle life’s challenges with curiosity, open-mindedness, fortitude, determination, and consistency. And this was all honed through years of self care and fitness training. Understanding my body’s response to different foods and different exercise made it easier to create and maintain predictable results.
Whenever I felt off balance or out of sync, I turned to my health and wellbeing toolkit and was able to reset my body and brain in just a matter of days. And sometimes, you know it, sometimes even in hours. So you experiment, you get results, you keep doing what works, got a new goal, you experiment, you get results. You keep doing what works. I was eating for my blood type and thriving like for 22 years. I was training and fueling myself for my somatype for about four or five years. I’m a lean ectomorph that needs a ton of healthy fat to build muscle. I have body fat of 18. I am really strong for my tiny five foot, three inch frame. I feel energized when I wake up. I’m a champion sleeper. Protein powders don’t really work for me and in general, plant-based proteins work better for me than meat.
But just before my period, my body wakes up craving literally salivating for lamb shank or a burger and I eat it that day. So I’ve developed like you this intuitive way of giving my body exactly what it needs, when it needs it. I know how to thrive and I know what works for my body. I know how to reset when something is off. There is almost nothing that eating, exercising and a couple of my favorite adaptogens couldn’t get me through though. You can imagine my surprise when seemingly overnight I lost my physical and mental strength, stamina and endurance, and nothing in my usual wellbeing toolkit at work. My gym workouts slayed me and I didn’t recover between workouts and forget cardio. That was just knackering. I felt exhausted all the time, whether I exercised or not. My body felt like lead. I felt like I was wading through glue every day, and my bed felt like a magnet.
I just literally, it was so hard to peel myself out of it. In the morning, I developed belly fat. A pot belly, which horrified me. I mean, I spend every day in a bikini. I live in a beach town in Mexico. And so I can see my body 24-7 and feel it much more profoundly ’cause you’re in a bikini all day. I could not shift this belly fat. I implemented every, I threw everything at it could not shift it. My body shape was changing. My clothes didn’t fit just like my body mass, my composition was just shifting and it felt gross. It really felt gross because I’m so used to having control over what my body looks like and feels like. And for the first time, I just had no control over my body. And the psychological shifts were more frightening actually. I felt this irrational anxiety that made no sense whatsoever. I felt moody, negative and hopeless, which, and I was, wasn’t enjoying my company, which is the worst thing for an inter introverted, her hermit. I had this impending sense of doom that something dreadful was about to happen pretty much consistently. I knew something was off and I, you know, partially I felt like something was off like fundamentally.
But I also questioned whether I was losing my mind. ’cause All these changes were so foreign to me, what the F is going on. I actually had no idea. And so after a whole lot of digging and researching on planet internet, I discovered this thing called perimenopause. And though I had heard the term before, I’d never imagined the extent to which this phase of life would transform my physiology or how long it could potentially last. So adapting every aspect of my self-care, healthcare, and lifestyle became crucial for optimizing physical and mental performance. Honestly, I did not know how profoundly the menopause runway also known as perimenopause, would change my physiology really. I mean, I literally had to do everything differently to optimize my physical and mental performance. Again, it was like I was 16 again, trying to figure out, you know, what are my goals?
What do I wanna create in my body? How do I wanna feel? What do I wanna look like? And taking one step at a time. So I’d been in this position before when I was 16, and then every time I wanted to kind of uplevel, I was essentially started from scratch. But this was really like, I had really bottomed out when perimenopause kicked in. But along the way of this sort of perimenopause research phase, which was a solid couple of months before I gained any traction or was able to integrate my own body brain research strategy. But along the way I discovered that all of the conventional wisdom in health and fitness revolves around research on men, the male physiology, the male biology. And that’s why a lot of the mainstream health and fitness advice for getting rid of belly fat and building muscle in your thirties and forties during like on the perimenopause runway doesn’t work and leaves you weak and undernourished and losing muscle mass and losing bone density.
Here’s the thing, during perimenopause, women need to nourish their body as well as possible and give it a regular supply of high quality fuel. You have to maintain healthy energy availability at all times. This is the most critical insight that you must integrate in every cell in your body today, that you must fuel yourself adequately. So this is not the time for any kind of deprivation of fat, protein or carbs. Okay? Healthy fats, healthy protein, smart carbs. This is not the time for diet trends such as intermittent fasting. Now, research suggests that for women, intermittent fasting worsens insulin sensitivity and blood sugar. It increases oxidative stress, it has adverse effects on the endocrine system and it slows down thyroid
Function and metabolism. The same research suggests that men generally thrive with intermittent fasting. The female physiology during perimenopause is unique to women and unique to every single woman. No two women will have the exact same set of symptoms at the exact same stage of life or, or at the exact same stage of perimenopause. So we have to develop our own individualized body brain reset strategy. In my FREE MASTERCLASS, I teach you the 4-step formula for developing your own body brain reset strategy. No matter how you’re feeling right now, no matter what combination of symptoms of perimenopause you have right now. And even if you don’t know if you’re in perimenopause, the 4-step formula outlines the specific aspects of self-care, healthcare, and lifestyle so that you leave no stone unturned when developing your own individualized body brain reset strategy. You can sign up for that at my website, stephanieholland.co/masterclass, and I’ll also put a link down below.
But during perimenopause, your superpowers, estrogen or estrogen, progesterone and testosterone start to fluctuate and fall, leaving your body wondering what to do and when. And you wondering what on earth is going on. And this when this is happening, eating right and exercising isn’t enough, at least in the way you’ve been doing it up until now. So there are three core things you have to do differently. The first one is that you have to fuel yourself differently. I’ve touched on this already. Like for example, eating cruciferous vegetables becomes a non-negotiable. So for example, eating broccoli increases levels of DIM in your body, which in turn stimulates production of a beneficial type of estrogen, which helps prevent fat gain and helps maintain your natural levels of testosterone, which is good for building muscle. Eating real broccoli is always going to be the most bioavailable form of nutrients for your body versus popping some kind of DIM supplement.
But do whatever is within your capacity to do, essentially. It is so easy to include broccoli as part of your daily smart carbs intake. Now, if you are like me and you have a problem with broccoli, when you eat too much, for example, I get crazy bloated if I eat too much broccoli, just experiment with smaller portions more frequently throughout the week, that’s all. Two tablespoons of broccoli is enough for my body at any one sitting. But if I do that five or six times a week, I’m getting my DIM intake. And you know what, it has been a really crucial part of my strategy to increase cruciferous vegetables. Another
Tip is just to throw a few flowers, florets of frozen cauliflower into your smoothie. You don’t even notice it. It adds a bit more extra frozen smoothness and creaminess to your smoothie and it helps you increase your cruciferous vegetables effortlessly. Okay? Number two is that you have to hydrate yourself differently. Water isn’t enough by itself, and sodium-based electrolyte drinks aren’t the answer. Adding maple syrup and a tiny amount of salt is the best day-to-day hydration you can give yourself. It contains the perfect electrolyte balance and it makes sure that your body’s absorbing all that water that you are so diligently drinking as an active athletic person instead of your body just peeing it out and you run into the loo like a mad woman all day long. Number three, you have to train differently. And you have to move differently on your rest days in order to consistently build strength, muscle and bone density.
So you have to develop a deeper understanding of how to adjust your self-care, healthcare, and lifestyle to your changing physiology. A lot of your healthy habits might not be helping you right now. Now, I was a huge intermittent fasting advocate. I loved it, but now it just exhausts me and I know why. So I’ve eliminated it from my lifestyle and I’ve upped my game by nourishing myself throughout the day. Without fail, I’m actually eating more by eating smaller portions. So I’ll have five small meals a day now instead of three larger meals and a couple of snacks. Okay? This just keeps me energized, keeps my body fueled much more regularly throughout the day. So perimenopause is not the time to slow down and stop. It’s just an invitation to do things a little bit differently. So creating my own body brain reset strategy for my new perimenopause physiology, I’ve rebuilt my body and I’m still in the process of rebuilding my body and I’m thinking about my body for the next 50, 60 years.
This decade, yes, right now, yes, but also: “What kind of body do I want to build now that will carry me through the next 40, 50, 60 years of life?” So I share exactly how to reset your body and brain in my premium course, The Body:Brain Reset. I teach the exact four step formula in my free masterclass, and I will be sharing endless information and my own results on my blog, my podcast, and my YouTube channel. I’ve made two resources to help you understand your changing physiology, which will give you a strong foundation to launch your own body brain reset strategy. The first is the video, “What is perimenopause?” and the second is the “34+ symptoms of perimenopause”, so watch those now, hit the like button if you’ve enjoyed this episode, subscribe for future episodes and I’ll see you in the next video.