The Hotflash inc podcast

85. REPLAY Dr Maria Luque: "Muscle is life"

July 30, 2023 Ann Marie McQueen Episode 85
85. REPLAY Dr Maria Luque: "Muscle is life"
The Hotflash inc podcast
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The Hotflash inc podcast
85. REPLAY Dr Maria Luque: "Muscle is life"
Jul 30, 2023 Episode 85
Ann Marie McQueen

BIG NEWS: Hotflash inc is the #1 Women's Health Podcast on Goodpods, and in the top 1.5 percent of podcasts according to Listen Notes. 

Thanks so much for making that happen! 

While Hotflash inc takes a break, we are replaying a popular episode:

Dr Maria Luque is an Austin, Texas-based, United States Air Force veteran (she was a fitness program manager) and health science professor who studied fitness in menopause for her doctorate.

She is bothered by the reams of health, fitness and nutrition information on social media, never mind when it comes to what we are supposed to be doing in peri/menopause.  Her approach is careful, measured, and science-based, and at 47, she's really frank about her own challenges at this stage of life with brain fog, body image and more. She's also a huge fan of putting on muscle and all that can do for us, both now and down the road.

This episode was #66, originally published on March 18, 2023.

Highlights:

• Why it's better to add things that take things away (3.45)
• Losing weight doesn't address a poor body image (4.07)
• Why we are all tired of fitness (5.41)
• How the diet and fitness world is designed to bamboozle you (7.26)
• Diet and exercise can never fix everything – and it never did  (10.12)
• How perimenopause is opening up a Pandora's box (12.42)
• We have the wisdom to figure this out, we just need to listen (18.34)
• Why the HRT conversation needs a little more moderation (21.50)
• Navigating the tricky world of interpreting research (25.41)
• Other problems in menopause reporting + research (29:16)

Where to find Maria:
Web: Fitnessinmenopause.com
IG: @drmarialuque
Twitter: @DoctorLuque
Ideafit: Dr Luque

Keep Me Home Longer

An optimistic podcast about home care. Growing options for managing conditions in...

Listen on: Apple Podcasts   Spotify

Join the Hotflash Inc perimenoposse:

Web: hotflashinc.com
TikTok:
@hotflashinc
Instagram:
@hotflashinc
X:
@hotflashinc

Episode website: Hotflashinc

See hotflashinc.com/privacy-policy for privacy information

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

BIG NEWS: Hotflash inc is the #1 Women's Health Podcast on Goodpods, and in the top 1.5 percent of podcasts according to Listen Notes. 

Thanks so much for making that happen! 

While Hotflash inc takes a break, we are replaying a popular episode:

Dr Maria Luque is an Austin, Texas-based, United States Air Force veteran (she was a fitness program manager) and health science professor who studied fitness in menopause for her doctorate.

She is bothered by the reams of health, fitness and nutrition information on social media, never mind when it comes to what we are supposed to be doing in peri/menopause.  Her approach is careful, measured, and science-based, and at 47, she's really frank about her own challenges at this stage of life with brain fog, body image and more. She's also a huge fan of putting on muscle and all that can do for us, both now and down the road.

This episode was #66, originally published on March 18, 2023.

Highlights:

• Why it's better to add things that take things away (3.45)
• Losing weight doesn't address a poor body image (4.07)
• Why we are all tired of fitness (5.41)
• How the diet and fitness world is designed to bamboozle you (7.26)
• Diet and exercise can never fix everything – and it never did  (10.12)
• How perimenopause is opening up a Pandora's box (12.42)
• We have the wisdom to figure this out, we just need to listen (18.34)
• Why the HRT conversation needs a little more moderation (21.50)
• Navigating the tricky world of interpreting research (25.41)
• Other problems in menopause reporting + research (29:16)

Where to find Maria:
Web: Fitnessinmenopause.com
IG: @drmarialuque
Twitter: @DoctorLuque
Ideafit: Dr Luque

Keep Me Home Longer

An optimistic podcast about home care. Growing options for managing conditions in...

Listen on: Apple Podcasts   Spotify

Join the Hotflash Inc perimenoposse:

Web: hotflashinc.com
TikTok:
@hotflashinc
Instagram:
@hotflashinc
X:
@hotflashinc

Episode website: Hotflashinc

See hotflashinc.com/privacy-policy for privacy information

maria:

from a longevity, from a health perspective, quality of life, muscle is, Like, the more muscle you have, the more your quality of life's gonna be, better.

Ann Marie:

It's really good to finally talk to you. Yes. You're such a reasonable, voice and also so strong. Just a very strong, physically strong person.

maria:

Thank you.

Ann Marie:

We were just talking that You didn't enter this menopause space as a trend. You did your doctorate and you focused on menopause, women in menopause, so that was a long time ago. Can you tell me what made you decide to do that

maria:

My dissertation in 2009. I started going through it and I had to pick a topic to do my research study, and it really was organic. On picking the topic, because I was surrounded by women, a lot of my clients were going through menopause, like early menopause or going like full on or being post-menopausal already. So I got to experience through them what menopause was doing to them from a quality of life perspective. And I thought, I have a study group right here, like why would I not. Menopause and what physical activity can do for them during the transition from a quality of life perspective. Again, I like to really emphasize that because that's been my focus the entire time. Not the weight loss aspect, not the changing how your body looks or, but how you feel about your body and what, tangible benefits it has from, your quality of life. And so that's, I decided to do that and I en enlisted people here in the Austin community to be my. Participants and I had was lucky enough to have almost a hundred people sign up. And we did, you know, questionnaires and I talked, talked to a lot of people, and that's how I did my dissertation. That's what my PhD ended up being like, the final project. And since then, that's what I've been doing. So yes, it's been very frustrating to see, although I wanted menopause to become. This thing cuz I thought we need to talk about it more there. You know, there are things we can do to manage the transition in a positive way. But I didn't want it to become what it's currently becoming, which is of course, a big market that everyone wants to now be an expert at, and that everyone wants to sell you something that, fixes all of the things that you're experiencing, which is very frustrating to see. That's been my focus for over a decade now.

Ann Marie:

When you had this study group and you talked about quality of life and how you feel about your body, that's very different from the. Weight loss and tone that you hear now is like your body's changing. Your body is not your own, your body is like, you know, you don't have control over your body. That's very much the narrative. And so that's very different from your studying. Yes.

maria:

For me it was also very important to say because fitness is what I've been doing for so long to, to figure out ways and, and a lot of the women that I initially, you know, were talking to were my clients, so, I saw that it had a benefit, just the feeling stronger and doing something from a physical activity perspective. So my, my entire focus it's always been how can we add certain things that may be beneficial to help you see yourself different and to focus on quality of life, which your body image has obviously a big effect on your quality of life. Losing weight isn't going to, we know this isn't going to change your body image. If there's an issue with that, it's not gonna get fixed by you getting smaller. So addressing those issues. But the things that also, what was a little, I mean it wasn't surprising to me, but I feel like surprising was that my outcome and given this is, you know, I mean I had very small group of people and it wasn't like a full on fledged research study, but that moderate activity. Had a bigger effect on quality of life than like your high intensity activity and stuff. So again, kind of highlighting the benefit of moderation and finding things that you really enjoy versus the intensity part, cuz it's always, always still being pushed, just like you have to go intense. But now we also having stories of, you know, don't go too intense. Don't go too little, don't go too much, but don't do this. But definitely do that and it all contradicts each other.

Ann Marie:

The moderation is an interesting subject because I think a lot of times, The time we hit perimenopause. A lot of us aren't very good at moderation. Like I know I certainly wasn't very good at moderation. Right. In any regard. I would, I I was always someone with big appetites. Would drink a lot. I would eat a lot. I would work out a lot. I would eat very healthy a lot, you know, heaven was like hardcore spinning class and then hop on my car and race to Bikram yoga, like I cannot believe. I used to do that multiple times a week. That was just like normal. We hit our forties, we hit this like transition and, and that's not even talking about kids and marriage and all the other stuff you have to do in job, but like where do you think moderation fits in there? Like do you think just sort of your physical capacity is a bit challenged and so this doesn't work for you anymore

maria:

I think that we are tired. Of doing the same things and not getting the results. So it's you. By the time we hit menopause, we've already done it all. We've done all the fats, we've done all the diets. You know, most women have already gone through all of the yo-yoing that we've been told to do, you know, and in this generation I was like, we have gone through the fat free craze. We have gone through the sugar free craze. Like all of those things, there's, it's just a. Stress on what they're selling, right? It's, and it's going to continue this, we know that this will happen. So I think it's, there's a little bit of being just tired of constantly chasing something that doesn't work, but also like moderation feels almost like giving up. Like a lot of times when I talk to women and we're starting that process of finding that middle ground and the joy aspect, which is what should be driving at all? It's this, but what do you mean? I'm not supposed to be working out six days a week and how am I supposed to relax when I'm, could be, you know, doing a spin lesson. I could be, because we've been so conditioned that unless you're doing more. It's not going to be right. Like we feel guilty and as women, I think we have that in eight sense of feeling guilty if we're kind of sitting still and maybe taking care of ourselves. So I think there's a lot of mixed emotions and also knowing that things aren't working the way they used to. Like even if, if spinning worked for you. and then you hit that wall and suddenly it's just, nothing's working anymore. What am I supposed to do? So you hit that wall and a lot of women just give up. The messaging that's out there right now I feel like there's a paralyzing effect to that over information, and it's designed to be that, right? It's designed, to overload you with contradicting information. So you hire that person that gives you the solution, right? That one person, I have this program that will work for you and you will lose the weight and here's that skinny shot that you will take and you will never eat again and you'll be fine. And those things. So it's, it's designed, it's distract and overload, and then I'm here to sell you this thing. That will balance all your hormones and all your problems. We're desperate enough to say, ah, maybe, gosh, it's gotta be, there's gotta be something. Right. Maybe that person really did find, Yeah, real.

Ann Marie:

It's, it's funny that you see that cuz I saw just from like doing my own research for how to run hot flash, someone says you're actually these days selling someone less information. Like you're, that's what you're actually selling. And I thought it was so genius cuz we've gotten to this point where there's so much information that now you need to pay to find less of it, which is, oh my God.

maria:

You're right. Someone, I had to talk to a client the other day and she said she signed up for a podcast and she said, you're paying to get the condensed version. Instead of getting more like, it'll be like, this is great. It's a two hour thing. But if you want just the bullet points, you'll have to pay the membership, which I would totally pay for that cuz I don't, you know if it's too

Ann Marie:

Yeah, that's Chris, that's exactly what they're talking about. Like that person has figured that out. Okay, I, wanna ask you just a little bit about body image issues and how those are playing out now, right? Because. I think a lot of people hit the forties as well with like really unhealed body image issues. I know I definitely had them and it wasn't until 47 or 48 that I started to address it. So you grow up all this time hating your body. You followed all this crazy information. Like I, like once I slept on my workout clothes, cuz someone in a magazine said, sleep in your workout clothes and that'll be easier. Like they're very uncomfortable and hot to sleep in. And once I actually ate dinner with no clothes on, cuz someone said if you eat in front of a mirror naked, like that's just some dumb editor wrote some tw, not dumb, some 25 year old doesn't know and no one was responsible. And like, I actually did that. I'm so humiliated at that memory But anyway, we get to our forties and we've got all of these piled up. Very much confusion then, then. Then it stops working. Then you can't go on whole 30 for two weeks and, and fix your thickening like you could have 10 years ago. Then you can't hit it and do your crazy regime. Mm-hmm. like what's happening?

maria:

Well, I think that we're, the good part and bad part, I guess is. We're now being, you have to confront all of these things that you have been hiding for so long because the diet did work in your twenties. The workouts did work in your thirties, so you could mask. And avoid actually talking to that voice. You'll just like, I'll just work out more and I'll eat less and it'll work. And it did because you were able to manage your body in some sort of way, and now you can't anymore, or it's becoming more difficult. So you either, you have two choices, which are hard. It's you either keep going on the train that is futile. Like just working yourself to death and, and frustration, or you actually take some time and try to figure out where these body image issues are coming from and how to heal those, which is a, tall task. It is very, very tough. And I mean, I am very open about my body image struggles and it's, it's, it's tough and it's, you manage it. And I, I think one of the big things, the message that I always try to get out is that when people say, like, you work on it and you get over it somehow body image, you, you just make up your mind and you feel good about your body. And that's just not how it works. And I think, my personal perspective, I manage my body image. I'm good now. I don't have these episodes anymore, but I feel I have every day of, every year of my life. I expect to have at least one instance where I doubt myself. Or that I feel bad about myself. But the trick here is not to avoid having those, but to know that when they come up, you're able to deal with. So they don't derail your day. I think to me that is.

Ann Marie:

Yeah, and be aware of them. That just happened to me at a yoga class cuz I started working on my body issue around 47 when I started working with a younger girl who was making all these videos about her body. And she had a beautiful body, but she made it look ugly. And if somehow watching her with her rolls and her whatever, made me feel better. But just like a couple of weeks ago, I haven't been to yoga in a long time. Went with my younger friend and I felt chubby. Everyone in the class, you know, I'm a curvy person. Everyone was very thin in the class. And I turned to her before it started. I said, oh, I feel, I feel bad. And she said, follow me after. She said, that was so crazy when you said that, cuz I never hear you. She goes, I want you to know you look great. I'm like, no, it's just, it just hit me like, oh, that feeling's back. But I used to have that feeling all the time. And then I would run with it the whole class, like I'm, oh my God, you've let yourself go. You have to. You have to. You have to have to. And I would start stacking up all the habits that, you know, I had to do to wrangle myself back into place. And I think it's exercise and it's, Food. But you know, when you said you, you have to face this stuff, it's everything else too, right? Like it's all your other mental stuff

maria:

yes. And that's why it doesn't get addressed because it's when you open that box, it is, it's a Pandora's box and you have to be able, just like with any trauma or or thing, it's something big that you have been suppressing you. When you say, okay, I'm ready to deal with this. First of all, Hopefully you have the support system. Like ha you're in a space that you have, either a professional that helps you through this, a mental health professional, they're really great, or someone that is specializes in body image shoes. There's lots of really great people out there that helps you. Through the, that, that work through it, right? It's just like you can't do it on your own. Very rarely are you able, cuz you haven't been able to deal with it, right? Because chances are, you will close that box real quick when you figure out that, oh, I'm, it's not just diet and exercise. I have to deal with X, Y, Z in the past that I didn't deal with or that, you know, my, this person always, talked like I grew up being told that I'm fat. Or, you know, like those things that you just. I should just get over it. Mm-hmm. but you don't. Right. And so being able to be in a space where you say, okay, I'm ready to do this because I no longer want to feel this way because I, we are probably gonna live another 40 years. Right. Would you not want to make those the best? And I think a lot of women feel that way. They're looking at this transition as an opportunity, and that's what I really want women to look at. An opportunity for rediscovery. Now is your chance. To do things different from what you have done in your past because that hasn't worked. Yeah. And we know it hasn't worked, you know, so, yeah. What to do. So I think for me, like the first thing that I work with, is identifying triggers. Because you have to know what triggers your. Bad feelings or those body image issues. And then slowly but truly attacking those and figuring out how to manage those or avoid them completely. Cuz a lot of them you can't avoid.

Ann Marie:

What's a good example of something you can avoid?

maria:

Well, I, you know what? When you brought up the eating naked in front of the mirror, I think that's a, the opposite of what I would suggest, because that's almost like shaming yourself but you know, it's like we have those, you know, there's, I mean, I don't know, that show doesn't exist, but like the fear factor of like, you confront your fears and that a lot of people use that same. A tactic for their body. Like if you stand in front of the mirror naked, eventually you will accept it, which is not true. It's not gonna just happen. So if, if a mirror really triggers you don't get in front of the mirror. I have a big mirror in my office that is in the corner because I don't know where else to put it. Cuz I don't, I don't use mirror. A lot of times I don't even leave the house and I end up with, you know, some jolly on my face because I don't like, I've gotten to a point where I just don't, because anytime that you use that, especially if you have body images use, it's, you are looking almost for that one little negative thing that you have to pick on. Right. And what's the purpose again? It's like, is that something that you can just almost eliminate from your life? Probably can, or at least, The chances of you feeling bad are a lessened. Another example is if you are around setting strong boundaries with your family and friends around topics such as. Diets or judging other people or, you know, if you go out with a friend and they're constantly, the one thing that they talk about is how they've lost weight or someone else, or did you hear that blahdi blah. And then if someone walks by, they make a comment setting those boundaries and saying, look, I'm on this journey for myself. I don't want to talk about diets. I don't want to talk about people. Changing their bodies, like those kinds of things where you have strong boundaries so you don't have to deal with that. And it, it becomes easier to set those boundaries. Yeah, because nothing could comes out of it, and I'm sure. I'm not a mental health professional, so I deal with the tools that I have, but I know that there's lots of, you know, really good, professionals out there that deal with more ingrained issues. Like obviously if there's trauma associated with your body image issues, then there's other things that you have to deal about. So these are more easy, tangible things that you can actually do. And that's why physical activity, especially strength training, when you're talking about body image issues, There's nothing that makes you feel more powerful than being strong, like actual physically strong. There's something really incredible that happens when you're able to do something that you weren't able to do before, and it's something that you actually can do. Like it's not something that someone sells. You saying if you continuously progress through the weights, you will get stronger. It's impossible for you to not. It's, it's something where I can say, if you start here, I can promise you, you end up here if you do X, Y, Z, and you don't have to compromise yourself. Versus someone saying, you know, if you take my pills, then you lose 20 pounds down the road. First of all, they can't promise you that. And secondly, you will gain it all back. So it's like there's always that downfall. So those kinds of things were, let's focus on some, some strateg. That are, that, that help with the body image versus you fighting that, uh, skinny thing. You know, that constantly being smaller.

Ann Marie:

Yeah, constantly being smaller. We don't need to be smaller. And so, I mean, those are the things, but

maria:

again, it, all of these things are things that take time. Right. So it is very easily, you are very easily distracted when someone's. Coming at you from here saying, well, if you just do this, it goes much quicker. Like, I have a better solution. No one has, we've been around this block a million times, no one's gonna come up with this solution that no one else has thought about in life that makes you stronger, faster, or makes you lose like weight faster without a negative. right? We already know this. Like this is, we've been there. So, but it still is that what if that person is right? Right. We always still hold onto that to that. So letting go of that tactic, I mean the marketing, they, they're good at what they're doing. But being able to let go and, and also, you know, if you're on social media, really, curate your. I'm on social media a lot less, these days I cut off a lot of things just because it is even, I mean, I'm, I feel like I'm in a very healthy space and I'm very aware, but I'm more like, I get annoyed at this point. With all of the marketing and all of it, I get discouraged that I think it's a little disheartened because again, I've been in this space, in this menopause space for so long and although we're talking about it more, it's taking this really bad turn. Into this space where people, even bigger companies that sound like they're well-meaning and women owned companies, they're like, we are here to support and let's be the sisterhood of wa gra. And then they sell a skincare line for those wrinkles. And I'm thinking, there is a mixed. Thing here. Like either you just accept it, I'm not saying you shouldn't take any lotions or anything, but those mixed messages, right, where you're like, we want you to feel powerful and strong and, and, love your body as it is. But here is also this cream that makes everything tighter I'm, I'm very disheartened yeah, by all of that. Be because again, we're telling you, yay, love yourself. But here you will love yourself more if you buy these very expensive products from our company.

Ann Marie:

I'm very disheartened at the extreme focus on skincare. I always have been like, if, if you wanted to just set out and become a skincare influencer, I think you could track your growth would be like, Five times, I don't know, some astronomical rate compared to something just less superficial. Yes. I mean, it's, yeah, I've tried, I've tried this stuff over the years. Like, does one make a difference over the other? I don't know. I, I, I don't know. I don't think so. I've interviewed the, a great dermatologist here in Natalia Spearings in Dubai, and she's like, they're all the same.

maria:

It's billions of dollars. So of course they're gonna make you feel that. So I, I, it's, it's very explore like, predatory to sell this idea that I'm a woman and I'm going through menopause and I've created this great company and I'm gonna sell you all of these skincare products. Which again, I just, it's. It's such a sly way to sell you something by telling you that you do still need it. Right? You still powerful is, is this line of products, but we're doing these things because I'm, you know, it's selling that I'm going through it myself, so therefore I know. I'm like, yeah, sorry.

Ann Marie:

I also just cannot stand to the. Plucking my chin here and pointing out my wrinkles and that creepy skit, like that whole thing, it just rubs me so the wrong way because when I look everyone looks great. Like I think so many people look great. Mm-hmm. and I hate this kind of like entertainment, you know, like making yourself. Just think that's really damaging and I'm interested to see. I know you're not, like, I know you're very moderate about H R T and I am as well. I just see that the conversation is also. Very focused on, you know, when you talk about opening that Pandora's box about everything, and that's what I'm all about, is like, this is a huge shift involving every part of your life and body and mind and soul, and we're preparing for the rest of our lives. And then over here, it's like, ladies, you need testosterone and estrogen and that's all you need. And there's so many influencers who. Like building up massive followings, telling that story over and over and over again. A true story for them, I'm sure, but it's just so simplified. What do you think about that part of it? Like where are you at on that?

maria:

No, I, I think you're absolutely right. We're trying to sim oversimplify a, a problem, not a problem. A solution for a lot of people. That is very complex. There's so many things that come into play. I'm a big proponent of it. If that is something that you feel will help you. I mean, there's plenty of research on the effectiveness for hot flashes, right? When you're taking h r t. But it also, there's a lot of research to show women are taking it. For a lot of reasons that are not well researched, right? So that's where that, again, that predatory thing comes into play. Like everyone should be taking it. Well, no, no, no, no. What are your symptoms? There's a specific reason why we should recommend these and, you know, NAMS came out, you know, not a couple months ago with their recommendation, like it's very effective for X, Y, Z. Yeah. But there we don't have data that it's effective for all the other things, so why take it? We went from do not touch estrogen to like everyone should be taking it now. And we need to know why we're taking it. And, and then the testosterone thing is a huge thing, but it's a huge money maker. Like those testosterone pellets are very expensive. And, the research just isn't really there to, to say that they're beneficial again. And so been money making and it's basing on the fear of women of just, this is what I need for that. And, I recommend people, I, I forward them to practitioners that I would trust. I always refer people to the NAMS website if they wanna find a practitioner that is menopause, specialized, because that way they can at least find someone that has more medical. Knowledge that I do. I give them knowledge that I have, but I also wanna listen to what are the symptoms and why do you want to take it? Yeah. And then we also have to take into account history, you know, medical history, cancer history, like there's so many things. Like I work with clients, right? And it's not as extreme, but I have to take every client on its own. I can't create a program that is for everyone. Of course you could, but it's not, yeah. Not specific like I need to know, have you, you have injuries, can you move through there? So it's that simplified approach, but there's more money to be made when you can simplify. Because if you can just say everyone can take this, then you can sell it to everyone.

Ann Marie:

I just feel like people are really picking and choosing too, because you know the same people that are like, oh, it's got all these benefits that haven't been proven yet will be the same people that will pile on. Others for not being evidence-based. And so like I just feel, right, like there's this gap where it's like, so it's okay to talk about the preventative aspects, the preventative benefits that haven't been proven, but it's not okay to talk about, say, Someone who uses the Dutch test or someone who wants to know about how estrogen is metabolized, like these, these things exist in the same people I see on social media. It's like you're picking and choosing your science and your evidence Yes, to suit your argument. It's very confusing.

maria:

That's with anything, right? It's like you will pick, you will have on social media, it's, this is the trend, right? To show the screen of the study, but you only show exactly what you want to show. And then you're saying, well, it's based on this. Yes. Meanwhile, when if you actually go to the study, none of this has been, it's actually in there. But, people count on people not going and doing the research. And I teach, I teach a scholarly writing class, which is the first class. In the master's degree and we learn the basic is learning how to decipher and distinguish between credible and non-credible research. I need you to know what peer reviewed is, like what does a peer review, and to be able to distinguish between, what's credible and what's not credible. And it, I mean, the, and it's hard because there are predatory journals out there now that. They look and sound like the real thing. Yeah. And if you don't know to do like a little bit of research on saying, well, that university doesn't exist, or that doctor doesn't even exist, you know, but it looks right then, and most people won't because it takes an insane amount of time to double check everything that, you know. So I, I always tell people if it sounds. Too good. Then it probably is that it's like,

Ann Marie:

that's journalism two T. It's like, I don't know why. And sometimes nams, the North American Society puts out studies like that where I'm like, this is the weirdest study they'd won a couple of weeks ago it was just like the weirdest study. It was like, this bad thing doesn't cause this bad thing. Like it was almost like, don't look over. Okay, this bad thing doesn't cause this bad thing. It causes all these things. But it was like the weirdest study and I keep meaning to, ask to see the study cuz I would like to see who funded it and what it was.

maria:

Well and you know that, I mean, I'm, I, I feel l lucky that I have, cuz I teach, at a college right? At university. So I have access to a lot of research through the library. Which a lot of people don't have. So I tend what I put out, I've, I spent hours writing my blogs, even though they might not be really long, but I can tell you that it's linked and you have, you're gonna have this research and as you know right, it takes time to write something that's actually like based on something. Yeah. And so I feel lucky that I know where to look and when to call bullshit. So it is just, That's, that's also another part of the why I'm so disheartened at what's going on with information and misinformation out there, and I know that you have that CK, which I love. I I am now in that ck. Like demographic where I'm curating, where I'm getting my information from because I no longer want just random information scrolling down cuz it's, it's aggravating and it's confusing and I, I recommend everyone to find those people that they trust that are going to, to funnel through all of the information like I do. I trust the people that sign up for my newsletter or do things, know that I am doing the research behind it and it's trustworth. I put very little of my own opinion in there, and when it is, I make it very clear. It's my own opinion. My own basics on my experie. But you have to, you have to pick a couple of people that you know are doing, you know, that you trust.

Ann Marie:

Yeah. Cuz otherwise, if it's mainstream stuff, like Mo, like so much of the health and nutrition writing and the fitness writing that you see, I mean, they're like kids writing it, right? They're kids writing it and then they find a study here and they find a study there and they've got some beliefs in these articles that I see, like they're just getting worse and worse. And I know they had no time to write it cuz they're overworked and they don't have any background in the subject probably. It's just the mainstream stuff is just, yeah, it's getting, it's getting really.

maria:

Once I got hired to write a, a, a small piece on Muscle and Fitness, hers, and they, it was just going to be online and, I had never written for them before. I usually write with the same, same journal that I always do to two, three different journals that I know do the research as well. Like they check, double check my stuff. But they had, I sent it in, they posted it online. They sent me the link and what they did with that, they like linked whoever the guy was that. It was supposed to be an interview with me, right? It's like an interview and then, but it was everything that I wrote and then they, it did hyperlinks to things that I clicked on all the hyperlinks and I said, you need to remove those. I have not said anything of those, like it links to things that weren't based on any research or anything that I was saying in there. And ever since then I'm like, I'm not doing any more writing for any, because that's what they did. They just took what I wrote and then they put what they wanted in there to link to more things that they already had on their website, which I said, whatever you do, take the whole thing down or just undo that link. I'm my names on it and I take much pride on the research and the writing that I do, that I'm not gonna let one article like, cuz that's how I look at it when I read other people's work. And they write something like weird. I'm thinking you just lost all credibility right now.

Ann Marie:

So, but the other thing that is rampant, which if you get into this game of creating, you're gonna be involved in affiliate marketing in some way, right? Like, I've even done it in my newsletter while I'll put a link and you know, and people can click it or not click it. But I think what people don't maybe know is that all of those articles, There's products and you link to those products. The products that are mentioned in the article when you click on them, then the new site makes money. Like this is just, and they, like, I, I'm now looking and sometimes there's a little line that says, you know, you may, you may be buying. And sometimes there's not. Like sometimes they just forget it. So it's like we're in this world where it's being sold everywhere. So it's, and and it's mostly the health and fitness and nutrition type stuff that has this, and.

maria:

Sure, sure. And that I just, I, I guess, I'm not motivated by those things. If I have to sell my credibility, then I'm just, that's all I have. I really pride myself on, and I've worked in this for so long, I've been writing for, for journals for a long time as well, and, but every piece has. Researched and citable, I am proud of what I put out there and, I'm not there to make money off of the selling something that I don't believe in. If I recommend something, you know, I have on my website, I have a menopause menu that is really not selling any kind of anything, but I pick. Herbs or pro or fruits or vegetables, any kind of food, anything menu related that could be beneficial for menopause? Becau and I do the research on wine. And is that not just my opinion, but I never l there's no link to these specific organic blueberries from so-and-so are the best ones for, but, and I know don't sell supplements. You know, I wrote a, a, a little thing on creatine and I'm a big proponent of creatine. And that's the only time that I've really like mentioned, mentioned a supplement because there's so much science. Sports benefit, right? It's 20 years of science. It's really conclusive. There's no ifs spots about it. And so those kinds of things. But again, it's like I don't, you know, I'm not, could I be making more money problem? Yeah, probably. Yeah, probably. But I also don't want to sell something that I feel like people don't need. Right. The creating, just buy your basic creating,

Ann Marie:

why creatine? Why I've never taken that

maria:

Creatine is, I mean, again, it's like the science is incredibly, solid on this, on for, from a muscle building perspective and strength perspective, you naturally have creatine in your body and you get, if you are a meat eater, there's creatine is in some foods, but you have to really make a deliberate effort to get enough of it. And, it just has shown that it, especially for women, during menopause, since we're use, we're losing muscle as such an accelerated state if we're not really being careful, like we really have to watch. That is a big focus. Creatine can help you with strength building and it can help you with some of that muscle building that we need in that. Okay. The, the research again, is incredibly solid.

Ann Marie:

How much should we be lifting weights? How, how frequently in a week?

maria:

Ideally, it three to four times a week would be great. If you're just starting out, I always start people out with two times a week just to get adjusted and then add one, then do that for a couple weeks, right? See where you are, and hopefully by then you really love it. And then you four about four times a week. I'm not a big proponent of doing it every day because your body needs to rest. So I'm, I'm very much like five days a week is kind of like the maximum that I would personally suggest. If you're doing it right and you're doing it, it tense enough, you need those other days to rest and have enough time in between to rest or to mix it up with, you know, yoga or more mindful exercise. Not the same sitting on the couch, but, resistance training's incredibly. If you're not doing it, you're missing out. And we have to find, and given that women shy away from resistance training for a myriad of reasons, and a lot of them are still myths, right. The, I don't want to get bulky. I don't wanna get too muscular. I can tell you that you will not, it takes a lot of work to get muscular so chances are you're not going to but from a longevity, from a health perspective, quality of life, muscle is, Like, the more muscle you have, the more your quality of life's gonna be, better. Your resistance to disease and, and falls and, is stronger. Like there, the benefits of having more muscle are go beyond the aesthetics. So lifting and then focusing on. Getting to a point where you are focused on heavier lifting, because there's also some, I mean, we need a lot more research when it comes to menopause and women, but there's, a lot more coming out just showing the benefits of lifting heavier during menopause versus the longer bouts of, you know, 60, 90 minutes of moderate stuff. Also, if you really enjoy moderate lifting, then go for it. Like, as long as there's some resistance and there's some fatigue happening, we want, we do wanna push the muscles my biggest thing is we have to find how to make it joyful for you. Not everyone likes to go to the gym. So, a big obstacle that I try to overcome with my clients is, how can I help you find a way that make it fun for you? Okay. It doesn't have to be the way I do it. I'm a very traditional lifter. I like going to the gym. I like lifting weights. Yeah. So it's not a challenge for me, but most of my clients are challenged with that. They don't, they don't gravitate to gyms. They don't have equipment at home, or they travel a lot or they just don't, you know, yeah. How do we make it work? And there's, you know, we can, we can always figure out how to make it work.

Ann Marie:

Yeah. That's why I'm not a, I'm not a gym. I think it's, I think it's a holdover of like, I just don't really know how to, what to do. So I, but I just, I do like classes. I'm single, so I like to get out to classes. And something that always held me back was I thought, oh, if I just do weightlifting, I'm not gonna feel that great feeling I feel after a spinning class or a, or a run or something. But I realized you, I do, I felt fantastic. Like it's a, it's a, it's a almost. Yes. More satisfying feeling, leaving a good session. See, and the thing that you're saying right there,

maria:

I feel like the connection between how you feel like I want people to always make that. How did it feel after you worked out? Like, did it feel great, like make that emotional connection to an exercise or a type of exercise or an instructor or. Like what was it about this class that you really enjoyed? How can you mimic it? So making those emotional connections will make it more sustainable for the future because you are now have, it isn't just a workout that you went and did. It is more of a like, I felt so great. Like I want that feeling like that. I want to have that. And it's not exclusive. You don't have to pick one or the other Again, it's just. one doesn't have to be the other. And that's another conversation that I hate hearing about in on social media. Do this instead of that, like, do this instead of crunches or walking is worse than, you know, don't walk. You should run, you should do. It's, it's that, that whole like, don't do this and do this. And I'm all Well, if we, if you like them all, then do them all. Yeah. Like it's figuring out a way to mix them up. But don't give up one thing that you enjoy. Because someone told you that there's less benefit because my questions are always, what's that? Other person doesn't know what your benefit is? What if you really like walking for two hours and it does this? You know your mental health is really affected. You get to spend time with your what? Walking buddy or your dogs or whatever, and it's really good for you. Maybe your heart didn't work as hard and you didn't build muscle, but that is essential to your quality of. That person that is giving you that advice of how you should go to CrossFit instead because you get better workout doesn't know what they're talking about. It's that all or none approach. Again, I just hate it. I hate it. It's a buffet. Food should be a buffet. Workouts should be a buffet. Pick and choose and on, and let's look less on that. You have to do this, that, that. Otherwise forget.

Ann Marie:

And just a little advice for navigating the food thing because I mean, we are in it's crazy town. It's like now it's the order you're eating your food and, the pairing of the food. And everyone's doesn't want any glucose spikes and this is bad. And you gotta, I gotta walk for 10 minutes after I eat a bite of food. And I am, and, uh, milk carbs and carbs. And I like, I, yeah.

maria:

It's exhausting. And I do think it's designed to be that, again, it's like, it's that overload of dos and don'ts because someone then is gonna tell you the specifically that like monitor that they're selling you or the ring or the band or the diet or the the shake or that they're selling is gonna keep it all in. All of these things, the spikes and the things and the things, because we want to make sure that we get out of tune with who we like, what we feel. Right? It's like if you rely on other people to tell you what to do in, in apps and things, like for instance, I, I did the aura ring. I had that for a while, and in the beginning it was great because I thought, okay, maybe cuz I'm a bad sleeper, maybe I get to learn some things about whatever. I got to a point. I would wake up and I'm like, I think I feel slept okay. And when I checked in with my Aura app, it told me that I had bad sleep, and then I felt bad because my app told me. That it wasn't right. Yeah. It's the thing that, you know, what was it? I think they're still selling. It's like, well, you breathe into the sting and it

Ann Marie:

lumen the lumen. Oh my God. Oh, I, I had a lumen. It made me so anxious. Yeah. Because, oh, when I was having anxiety and bad sleeps, it was the, it was orange and whatever, and then, but then I felt really virtuous when it was green and blue and Yeah, it was, it was doing my head in,

maria:

we're waiting for an external validation. Of how we should feel about the things that we just did. Yeah. And if we felt good and the thing tells you that it wasn't good, then you no longer trust your instincts and how you feel like it. And again, it goes back to what I was saying in the beginning. It takes time and it takes work. And most people don't want to do that to actually check in and say, Gluten is the horrible, and then you think, well, is it really horrible? Like, am I actually feeling bad when I eat it? Because gluten is not bad for everyone. It's not. And so if checking in is like, cuz it could be celery that makes you sick. Right. Some people are allergic to that. So checking in and saying, well, what is it that if I feel bloated or how do I feel and if I feel great, then why would you cut that things out that that are bad? And so I'm a big proponent of intuitive eating and given that it is a difficult thing to master, but I think that everyone benefits from going that route of learning that to, to be able to just eat without judgment. and adding versus subtracting. Like that's something that I work on with my clients and I don't do nutrition, advice more than just sharing education and knowledge. Like I don't put together nutritional things. There are people that do that and they're really good at it. Yeah. I'm not, and so, but I always say, well, what can we add before we start deleting things out of your menu? what can we add that is nutritionally, you know, Strong, like chia is my favorite thing to add to everything. Flaxseed and those kinds of things like turmeric. You know, I add, um, mushroom powder to my, my shakes now. Like those things that I have done a lot of research on that I know that have potential benefits, but very little. Like there's no research that shows that they're really bad. Right. So yeah, I take it, it's like almost like an insurance policy. It's like it has a lot of fiber, it has this, it has that, and I do that and I add that to the things I already like, yeah, if I like a jelly sandwich, then why can't I add some chio to it and make it a superpower jelly sandwich. Yeah. But it doesn't mean that I have to replace. Yes. My jelly with chia, and then eventually you learn to have that middle ground where it's maybe you, eat a little less of that other thing that might spike whatever. I don't count. Yeah. I don't look at spikes and things. It's over. What are you gonna do with all the data that you're getting? Yeah. People dunno what to do with the data. They're just collecting the data. Right. And, and, I, when you have these devices that are giving you all this information, what if, if you have to control where you are, you are having spikes and cortisol spikes and sugar spikes, and this spikes. It's a full-time job.

Ann Marie:

Yeah. I feel like, well, when I, I, I've been given an Apple watch, I put it on, I always take it off because, It's three days later, I'm turning. I have a real perfectionist tendency. It's like once I start measuring all that stuff, it's my life is no fun. And this same with the sleep that you mentioned, and I just can't, I mean, this is a thing where I get very confused, like you're one of the few people that. That speaks this way. I get very confused because I feel when you're tracking everything and monitoring everything, that you are losing your cues for your yourself. And I hear people all the time saying, my sleep was awesome. It was like 98%. It's like, didn't you know that when you woke up like that feeling when you're just like, ah, it's such an awesome sleep. Like I don't, I don't get it. And. I mean, I just met the ultra human rep here on the weekend and he started saying, yeah, you should try it cuz it, it's, that's a continuous glucose monitor that's really trendy. Like, it's got this like sign, everyone's wearing it here in the U ae mm-hmm. Yeah. It's like a sticker on your arm. While I was talking to him, I was like, oh yes, I must, and I was actually like left thinking I've got, and then I'm like, no. I, if I eat like, I don't know, whatever. If I eat a piece of pie, I'm gonna know that it's gonna affect my sleep and I know that it's gonna spike, and then I'll get back on track. But you, this is very rare to hear anyone talk like this. Yeah. I, well, thank you. I like to Thank you. Plus, I think, I think it's not great to have all this stuff on your body. Like I heard Joe Rogan making fun of someone who wears an Apple watch saying, yeah, your phone was so great. You had to strap it to yourself. And I laughed. I really laughed because it's true. It's ridiculous when you think about it.

maria:

Yeah, yeah. But, you know, we were, we're being, it's, it's almost like. Because it's available. You should, yeah. Like why wouldn't you wanna have more data and what if you have a heart attack and the watch could detect it? Like, it's that fear mongering of just like, what if, what if you slip somewhere? You wouldn't, you want to have something that tells you, like a smart device that you can yell at and then call Henry falling down and Abu Dhabi, you know? But what I mean is, is, yeah. It, it, I, I am in a very like, let's minimalize and try to come back to where we are and in tune with ourselves. Yeah. And cut off all of these, first of all, very expensive devices. Mm-hmm. Um, and, and of course the menopause community now is having all of this, like what the wristband that controls your hot flashes, like the neck, whatever it is. I've seen a couple of at conventions and, they're very. Are they going to help? Maybe, maybe there's also a placebo effect, which is great if that's what you want to do. I'm never gonna judge people that are doing it, but I always want to urge people to just say, okay, if, if you really wanna make a change, let's just check back in with here, like where I'm at. So like in my, when I did my master class, it. The main focus was to kind of you like, let's check back in with you and figure out what movement is fun, what worked in the past that you may have just forgotten that you really enjoyed, like let's check back in with you and figure out what it is that makes you happy. And because then it's sustainable. Right? Yeah. And like start, forgetting about all of the things that are you being told that you should be doing. Because generally someone's selling you something that is not gonna work and that you're spending a lot of money on, go on vacation instead, use that money for something else. Take yourself to dinner or to the movies, like those kinds of things, right? Where, the simple things I've really started to do a lot more. Of that because as similar to you, I can't do, like, when that aura ring started controlling my life, I, I know that I'm a perfectionist as well, and I will go down that rabbit hole really quick. I'm very competitive. I stop competing at things because it, it ruins me. It like, that's all I see. Then I must win. I must be the best and I must have all the data. And then it, you know, and then you get overwhelmed with, what am I, am I gonna have an assistant that categorizes my data You know, like it's What do you do with it? Like, that's my question. Usually when people come up with these things, so what is it, what benefit are you getting?

Ann Marie:

Well, this is all very reasonable, which is in kind of short supply these days, so I'm happy to have connected with you. You be one of my touchstones of like, Because I do a lot, I dunno to you, I do a lot of this. Like, it's, I That doesn't seem Yeah. Just Mm. I dunno.

maria:

It just doesn't, I didn't sound right. Yeah, I know it's true, but I'm, mm. Yeah. And I love that. I mean, everybody that knows me, now comes up with like, when these fads or something comes up, Outrageous. They always let me know. So, and I, I love hearing about these things cuz I talk about them then to make sure that everyone's aware. But it is just shocking and it, it does make me less and less. Like I, I have less of a presence. Like I, I, I am less on social media. I post less. I have people that, subscribe to my newsletter. Those are the people that want to hear from me, and those are the people that I'm going to cater to. So people that actually are interested in hearing what it is versus me trying to. Do a silly dance online and trying to, you know, so I'll do it if I want to and I want to, yeah. A lot of times, and I want to share information, but that urge to like have to fight Yeah. For attention out there and yeah, it's, it's futile. It's very bad for everyone's mental health.

Ann Marie:

Yes. Yes. Okay. Speaking of where do people find.

maria:

They can always email me. I'm very happy to get emails from people at maria fitness and menopause.com. My website is a great place to go. You can contact me through there. It's fitness and menopause.com. You can subscribe to my newsletter. And I, it goes out monthly and I try to share a little bit of everything in there. And I mean, I, I'm very open to hearing from people, so I, I'd love to hear from people what they wanna. I there's gonna be a couple new things coming out. I'm always working on some stuff. So sign up for a newsletter. Tell me what you think, and I'll promise to give you always no nonsense.

Ann Marie:

Yeah, no nonsense. Love it. I love it. I love talking to you. Thank you so much, Maria. Thank you. Thank you so much. Thank you so much for joining me. If you like this conversation, I hope you'll check out some of my other interviews on the Hot Flashing Podcast, subscribe, give a rating, maybe a review, and come back for more next week. Hot Flash Inc. Was created and is hosted by Annemarie McQueen, produced and edited by Sonya Mac. The information contained in this podcast is intended for informational purposes only, and is not intended for the purpose of diagnosing, treating, curing, or preventing any disease. Before using any products referenced on the podcast, consult with your healthcare provider, read all labels, and he all directions and cautions that accompany the products. Information received through the podcast should not be used in place of a consultation or advice. Care provider. If you suspect you have a medical problem, ie. Menopause or anything else or any healthcare questions, please promptly see your healthcare provider. This podcast, including Annemarie McQueen and any producers or editors disclaim any responsibility from any possible adverse effects from the use of any information. Contains herein opinions of guests on this podcast. Are their own, and the podcast does not endorse or accept responsibility for statements made by guests. This podcast does not make any representations or warranties about a guest's qualifications or credibility. This podcast may contain paid endorsements and advertisements for products or services. Individuals on this podcast may have direct or indirect financial interest in products or services. Referred to here in this podcast is owned by Hot Flash, Inc. Media.

(Cont.) 85. REPLAY Dr Maria Luque: "Muscle is life"