Insatiable with Ali Shapiro, MSOD, CHHC

261. A Midlife Reckoning: Let Me Tell You My Story (The Shock of It All)

December 20, 2023 Ali Shapiro, MSOD, CHHC Season 14 Episode 1
Insatiable with Ali Shapiro, MSOD, CHHC
261. A Midlife Reckoning: Let Me Tell You My Story (The Shock of It All)
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Hello Insatiable Listeners! 

Strap in for this new season (the 14th!) where we'll cover all things perimenopause, menopause, and midlife. This introductory episode begins with my own personal story—including dramatic weight gain—and some shocking realizations that planted the initial seeds for this season we are about to embark upon. Let me tell you, midlife brings some serious changes and challenges on all fronts. 

In order to address these, in this episode, I provide an overview of the wide-ranging topics we’ll cover this season—that go beyond hot flashes—and give you a rundown of the incredible roster of guests that’ll help guide us through this often demanding and rewarding terrain. 

My aim this season is to create the resource I wish I had when I was going through this stage of life. Expect actionable takeaways and the deeper, more nuanced conversations you’ve come to expect from Insatiable.

Thank you for listening.

*New episodes will be released every Wednesday.
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This Season's Upcoming Guests (Introduced in this Episode)

  • Kelly Murray: An award-winning certified Pediatric and Adult Sleep Coach. Kelly has been a featured expert and contributor to places like Real Simple, goop, Forbes, New York magazine, she’s also taught at Google...the list goes on.
  • Rev. Kinsie M. Tate: An ordained clergy, a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, and certified Truce Coach. Kinsie heads the Restore Program to help clergy get to the root cause of chronic stress, so that they can enjoy a sustainable ministry.  
  • Laura McKowen: Author of the bestselling memoir, We Are The Luckiest: The Surprising Magic of a Sober Life and Push Off From Here: Nine Essential Truths to Get You Through Life (and Everything Else). In 2020, she founded The Luckiest Club, a global sobriety support community. 
  • Dr. Stacy Sims: An international exercise physiologist and nutrition scientist who has published over 70 peer-reviewed papers and several books, including the excellent Next Level: Your Guide to Kicking Ass, Feeling Great, and Crushing Goals Through Menopause and Beyond.
  • Esther Blum: An integrative dietician, menopause expert and bestselling author of See ya later, Ovulator. Esther has been featured on the Today Show, ABC-TV, and Good Day NY and is frequently quoted in goop, Well + Good, Forbes, Fitness, and Time Magazine.

Transcript & Show Notes for this episode: alishapiro.com/my-menopause-story

Connect with Insatiable & Ali:

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 00:10

Insatiable listeners, welcome to the shock of it all. Let me tell you a story. Welcome to the first episode of the new season of Insatiable. Can you believe this is our 14th season together? For those of you new to insatiable, welcome. What a wild ride. 260 episodes and nearly half a million downloads later, I'm still more excited than ever to be bringing you these conversations and information, especially because I believe this will be one of the best seasons yet. We have some incredible guests lined up, and this time around we'll be exploring all things perimenopause, menopause, and midlife. But before I give you a more specific overview of what to expect this upcoming season, I want to tell you a story. It's October 2020, and we're in a pandemic. 


 01:11

I'm at the doctor's office and there's a nurse with a clipboard standing next to the scale, waiting for me to approach. I'm here to get a referral to see a podiatrist. After walking around with heel pain for months, it's gotten to the point where I'm struggling to walk. I have a baby. I'm not sleeping. I have to keep my business going. We don't have sufficient childcare. So let's just say that getting to the doctor's office kept getting pushed down at the bottom of the list. But here I am, finally. 


 01:49

"All right, honey, hop on the scale for me there," says the nurse. I limp over to the scale and step up on the cold platform. I stand still and don't think much of it as the scale's metal beam seesaws. I've been walking my son Eça, a lot. 


 02:08

It's one of the few fun and free pandemic activities we can do. He recently got voted most walked baby by two separate neighbors. I'm eating three meals a day, no emotional eating or binging. And I also ate really healthfully in pregnancy, and I haven't been pressuring myself to get my body back, even when I see wellness influencers on the gram looking amazing six weeks postpartum, that was not me. The nurse slides the square marker further down before it clicks into the next notch. We wait for the beam to settle. I don't weigh myself regularly at home. I assume I'll be 10, maybe max, 15 pounds above my pregnancy weight. All right, you can step off, says the nurse. I look up at the flickering fluorescent light and do some quick math. 30 pounds above my pregnancy weight. 


 03:11

30 pounds and maybe two if you subtract winter clothing. I am shocked. Aside from my pregnancy, the scale reads the most I have ever weighed in my life. I admit, in the past this would have sent me spiraling. The good news is that once the news sank in, I didn't slip into shame and start beating myself up. I thanked my own truce with food from 15 years prior for that. Truce with Food enables you to separate your worth from your weight, which means I wasn't panicked, but I was curious. Had I reacted like I did in my dieting days, I would have started restricting and working out like a maniac. 


 04:02

And with the official diagnosis of plantar flascitis a week later, I would have set myself back even further, because the reality is that often what worked before 40 ish is not what works after 40 and beyond. But I didn't know any of this yet. All I knew is that I didn't know what the hell was going on. The facts were that I was one year postpartum, not sleeping well, and I just wasn't feeling like the healthy and vital Ali I was just one year ago. When I came home from the doctor, I definitely cried from the overwhelm, the uncertainty, feeling like everything in my life was out of control. My weight was just one of the ways this was showing up. What I didn't do, which is what I would have done pretruce with food, is ask what the hell is wrong with me? 


 05:00

And then proceed to beat myself up for not paying attention to my weight over the last year. Instead, I asked, why does where I am make sense? And then I allowed myself to cry some more. I felt like I was drowning, exhausted to the bone. Eça wasn't sleeping through the night. I had my own insomnia, and I had developed so much anxiety around sleep, I couldn't even rest in the knowing that there was the promise of a good night's sleep at the finish line of each day. I was also burnt out from pandemic parenting and the isolation of it all. Carlos and I were fighting a lot about who did more, which was just a symptom of neither of our needs being met. Even our dog Coffee seemed to be pacing more, knowing something was off. My moods ranged from apathy to rage. 


 06:06

There were certainly good times, but they were often clouded by not feeling like myself. I hadn't really thought about my weight for over a decade, and to reiterate, my eating hadn't changed, and I wasn't stress or emotionally eating. Part of my overwhelm was my transition to motherhood, and oh Lordy, that's a whole other podcast series. But an equally big part of my overwhelm was being in perimenopause, but not knowing that this was indeed a massive piece of this puzzle. At the time, I didn't know how my insomnia, mood swings, and weight were connected to this new phase in my life. I just knew that it all added up to overwhelm. The puzzle pieces eventually clicked together, and it turns out that I was in the late stages of perimenopause. 


 07:04

And in addition to the physical changes, there was also the psychological shock of it all, that I was in midlife. Mid effing life. At least in American culture, you're still considered fairly young into your 30s and even into your early 40s. Most of us still feel young and certainly not like we're in "midlife." But at the time I did the math. At 42, I'd be at midlife only if I lived to be 84. 


 07:23

I certainly hoped to live that long, but who really knows? Carl Jung said midlife was marked by depression and disillusionment. I don’t know if I was diagnosably depressed but I was certainly feeling a lot of disillusionment! At 42, I'd be at midlife only if I lived to be 84. So what is midlife? I don't know if I was diagnosingly depressed, but I was certainly feeling a lot of disillusionment. I think most of us start to feel like we're in midlife when we notice bodily changes and or perhaps shift in ambitions. I like how past Insatiable guest and cultural writer Anne Helen Peterson describes this midlife transition as a portal. Like me, it might announce itself with lost hours of sleep every night. When you used to sleep soundly, this leaves you feeling exhausted, worn out, and old. 


 08:28

Or it might be like one of my clients that said she felt like she was drying up from the inside out, her nails, skin, throat, even her ears, and were constantly itching. And she said she thought she might just flake away as she also felt her ambitions flake away. Or you start to notice you don't recover from alcohol or the gym, the same way you might suddenly start to gain weight, even though nothing has really changed with your eating or activity. And then there's the psychological reckoning that many of my clients and Truce with Food participants have shared with me. Thoughts like, I'm not where I thought I'd be at this point in my life, or what does all of this mean? What is it all about? Is this all there is? I know for sure. 


 09:20

I didn't think I'd be wanting to lose 30 pounds, which is where I was in my early 20s before I gave up dieting, especially after losing those 30 pounds through my own truce with food more than a decade before, and easily maintaining my weight all those years. While I'm sure my weight fluctuated during those years, I only had one wardrobe prior to that, when I was wrapped up in dieting. There was the skinny section, the you better be careful section, and the oh no, here we are again section, which was all black. I've had clients who thought I didn't think I'd still be dealing with this food thing at this age, or getting divorced or becoming a widow wasn't supposed to be part of my story. 


 10:04

Or I've hit all my career goals and I feel like I'm over all of this work used to be such a part of my identity. What do I do now? Or I can't believe how much I've started drinking lately. It just kind of creeped up on me. Or sometimes even, "I'm sober and I'm starting to feel the confidence to finally tackle my eating." For many, there's also a reckoning at this point in life, an acknowledgment that we have made certain choices that have closed doors. For me, having a child so late in life with my cancer history was really a choice of only having one biological child. But I didn't know that at the time. Midlife specifically perimenopause and menopause is above all, a profound transition. It's a massive disruption. 


 11:00

The way we've treated our body has accumulated, and the menopause transition is really a reckoning with all of this. A lot of the issues we may have pushed under the rug seem to bubble up at this time. I like to think life is asking us to work through these things so we can enjoy the power and beauty of this time. For me, overworking and its ties to money and success were parts of my life that I didn't have to think too much about until motherhood and menopause made me pay attention. With the right kind of support, this season of life can be an important course correction so that the rest of our lives are more rich, beautiful and powerful. 


 11:51

I'm creating this upcoming season because this is the resource I wish I had when I was 38-ish and in perimenopause, yet didn't know it because I thought hot flashes were the only sign and I didn't have those. But I did have changing periods, sleep challenges and mood fluctuations. This season will draw on lessons learned from top experts and thought leaders. I hope it will be a holistic resource for you to work through this critical stage in life today. My plantar flascitis is gone, my sleep and energy is 95% better, my joint pain and injuries are behind me, and I'm stronger than I've ever been, physically and emotionally. 


 12:40

I've lost 25 pounds of fat, 20 pounds total for a healthy body composition. Work is no longer the center of my life, and I am happy with that, which is something I never thought I'd say, but a big BUT here, and I want to be clear. I'm still sorting out some big midlife questions. I don't have all the answers, but I've learned how to trust in slowing down. So the answers, with the right kind of effort on my part, start to find me. A question I got recently from my community was, "Once you've reached menopause, do things go back or do they settle where they're at? Specifically, hair loss, weight gain, mood swings? Do they disappear? Or is this our new reality?". So everyone's menopause experience is really different. 


 13:35

However, for most people, some of the symptoms may naturally reside on their own, but many will not. And there is mounting evidence that severe menopause symptoms like intense hot flashes may be associated with other chronic diseases, specifically heart disease and Alzheimer's. So while some symptoms, like your period changes will obviously clear up and your moods might stabilize, you might still feel more down than you used to, or your initial weight gain has slowed, but you're still gaining weight much more easily. Now, you don't have to accept any of this as your new reality. I'm going to be sharing how to do what you can to support your health, weight, and well being. I'm going to be promoting self advocacy and agency as always. But you can expect this season to meet you wherever you might be. 


 14:30

That might look like overwhelm, not sleeping well, dealing with body changes that feel out of your control health challenges fatigue. So much fatigue. Stressed with caretaking responsibilities from kids to aging parents, and having a demanding job, because that is where I was. And the key, as it has always been intrusive with food is less is more. Menopause is a time to practice and learn discernment of realizing the quick fixes can often do more harm than good and getting serious about your health by getting clear on what works for you. This includes food, movement, stress, and whatever crisis that found you. It's also a critical time to really care about your overall health. Yes, you can still care about your weight. Obviously I did. 


 15:29

But you can do this without resorting to fads and extremes that will set you back your health.  Midlife is a major indicator of your longevity and how well you will continue to age and the ten years post menopause is a critical window to tend to your health in the boring yet time tested ways. Did I mention nutrition, movement, sleep and stress management? It's that time of year again. Truce with Food: Trust in Satisfaction, Not Restriction, my six month group program is open for registration through January 31, 2024. I only run Truce once a year and I keep it small so that you get the best of both worlds. My individualized group, individualized attention and the benefits of an intimate, supportive group. So spots do tend to fill up pretty quickly. We begin February 1, 2024. 


 16:39

Perhaps you've struggled with food for years and suspect that the solution isn't somewhere out there in some passing fad or yet another restrictive diet. You sense that a deeper change is necessary, and midlife is a great time to address this deeper change. Over the years, I've guided hundreds of satisfied participants through this program, so you get the benefit of a refined curriculum that not only meets you where you are, but guides you to where you'd like to be. We cover a lot of ground in this comprehensive six month program, from learning what foods are best for you now, not when you were 20 or last time something worked for a short time to discovering the root cause of why you fall off track with your healthy eating. And this includes why falling off track makes sense. 


 17:29

Not that it's the problem, but it's the thing to understand and work through. These are results that will last and require no white knuckling. No one's got energy or time for that in midlife, especially if this sounds like it might be a good fit for you, join me for a completely free, no strings attached sneak peek in my find your flow when it's all in flux Salon series on Wednesday, December 27, January 10 and January 24 from twelve to 12:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, and bring any burning questions from this season so that you can get them answered on this call. Sign up for free at alishapiro.com/flow and no worries if you're listening to this after the three part series has already started. Once you sign up, you'll receive access to a limited replay of what you missed. 


 18:27

I hope to connect with as many of you who listen to this show as possible at this series once again. Visit alishapiro.com/flow for more details. Now back to the show.  Before I specifically get to what we'll cover in this season, a couple of terms to help orient us. First menopause. It's one day. It's the day at which you've had twelve months without a period. Then you are what most people call postmenopause. Postmenopause and menopause both mean your average stop releasing eggs. This is when your hormones stabilize at much lower rates than before. However, if you don't address your peri and menopause symptoms, they might not go away. Premature menopause. This is if you go into menopause before age 40. It can be from cancer treatments, surgery like removing your ovaries or because it's women's health. Drumroll. No one knows why. Early menopause. 


 19:41

This is when you go through menopause between 40 to 45 years old. And this is what happened to me, most likely from my cancer treatments 31 years ago. It can also be surgically induced, hereditary, or again, no one really knows why. Most people will, on average, be menopausal around age 52, give or take a few years. And then the term perimenopause refers to the time leading up to your last period. It's hard to know if you're really in it, but most people will fill it most acutely around ages 45 to 50. And most people will experience about four years of increasingly intense symptoms. Some people will go through perimenopause for eight to ten years, but it is defined as the time where your hormones of progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone are decreasing in a highly irregular fashion. Perimenopause is symptom driven. 


 20:43

Usually you know you're in it. If, first of all, you have a change in your periods, they may be coming more frequently. Shorter cycle, maybe a longer cycle. A lot of people report heavier periods. You may have skipped a period. That's usually the first sign. And if you're over 45 and have skipped a period, you can be pretty sure you're in perimenopause. Another big thing is mood changes. There can be a shift in your mood because the fluctuating hormones will affect your moods. Often there's anxiety and depression, anger and rage apathy, other symptoms of perimenopause and menopause, hot flashes, which I think we all tend to think of. But there's also brain fog, vaginal dryness and painful sex. Low libido, insomnia, weight gain, muscle loss, sagging skin. And I say all of this with an asterisk. 


 21:43

Again, there is no one size fits all menopause. It will be different for everyone based on your unique health history, genetics, health. Going into this transition, your privilege all of it. I got a question of asking how to know when you're in it, and the key is to think less like this as a binary of in or out. But where on the continuum are you, especially once you're over 35? What is challenging is our hormones don't decrease in a linear, predictable fashion. Rather, they can be all over the place. So you might have a few cycles that are fine and then a stretch that isn't fine and then back to normal periods. But again, if you've had irregular periods, you don't feel like yourself, you have other symptoms. You're over 40, closer to 45, you are probably in it. 


 22:37

In this season, we will take a more natural angle and one that addresses root causes. There's been an explosion of menopause information, which is great, and a lot of it is about taking pills upon supplements, upon medical procedures, upon trying to get you to buy stuff. I've also found that the more conventional books don't really address diet at all. I wonder if they're afraid of sounding like diet culture. I'm not sure, but nutrition will support your sleep, weight, health, and can even help with hot flashes. It deeply matters. The nutrition, exercise and natural, largely free lifestyle choices we'll discuss in this season can support you so much right now, but this doesn't mean you have to do everything naturally. However, taking a more natural route can provide more sustainable solutions for the future and make any medical intervention you might need more effective. 


 23:44

And regardless if you want to age well or you're in the throes of perimenopause or menopause, or have been postmenopausal for years, this season applies to you. Women, on average, will spend anywhere between 30% to 50% of their life in the perimenopause and postmenopause phase. So it's really important to know how to navigate it. The more you can be prepared, the better. The more you can support your body with lower levels of hormones, the better. And as someone who wasn't prepared, I can also tell you it is never too late. So, are you in the right place? I hope you're starting to get a sense of the lens we are bringing to this season. 


 24:35

And before we delve further into who this season has been tailor made for, I want to save some of you potential time and frustration by letting you know upfront who this season might not be a good fit for. If you want to lose weight fast, like by yesterday, then you might not be in the right place. It's a tricky balance because while this season will support you in making sustainable changes to your overall health and many of the people I work with. Healthy weight loss is often a byproduct of these changes. We won't necessarily be covering tactics for weight loss. No rigid plans here, no ultimate blueprints, no magic bullets. Instead, we will be taking a holistic lens as we attempt to piece together this larger midlife puzzle. 


 25:22

Related to this the season might not be for you if you get triggered by mentions of weight loss, it's okay to want to lose weight. It just often becomes a problem when that is your sole motivation or goal because you miss out on the bigger opportunities that this stage of life provides. Midlife is so much bigger than just weight loss. However, I totally understand how weight loss is a piece of it. It definitely was for me. We're all in different places on our path to well being and wellness. There's no right or wrong place to be. Often when we are coming out of all consuming diet culture, we might need to swing the other way for a while and perhaps settle back somewhere in the middle. That's cool. This season will be here for you when and if you ever need it. 


 26:10

However, you are in the right place if you enjoy the deeper, more probing conversations like we always do here. You like to do your own research and you often rebel when you're told exactly what to do. You are tired of food and weight being a thing. You thought you'd be over your food issues by now, but you're not because midlife brings up all the things we've been avoiding. You're in the right place if you don't want a diet, and you've tried things like the effort diet, intuitive eating, or other antidice diet solutions, and they aren't working for you. I got you. Don't you worry. First, they didn't work for me either. Second, I get emails weekly with people struggling with these two extremes. 


 27:02

Anti-diet solutions can unintentionally further harm your relationship with food if they aren't exploring the deeper reasons you turn to food beyond food restriction. As a result, you keep eating in ways that ultimately make you lose further trust in yourself. Diet, culture and anti-diet are the black and white thinking that stems from the same belief that losing weight harms your relationship with yourself. It definitely can. Trust me. As someone who had dieted for 18 years, diets are not what I'm promoting on this, and weight loss doesn't have to harm your relationship with yourself. There is a middle way and it's called truce with food weight loss and or eating healthfully can improve, not harm, your relationship to your body and yourself. 


 27:56

For sustainable results, I'll share how you can think about food and weight in a healthy, not all consuming way and what worked for me and others while in the throes of perimenopause and now I am postmenopausal. You're also in the right place if you're over fads and investing in a bunch of stuff that doesn't work all that well and you want to take a more natural route where it makes sense to support your health and aging. Did I just sound canadian there route? Especially if you have to take meds. Again, no judgment here and you want them to work as well as possible. You want to prioritize your health and be at a healthy weight and take a less is more approach. 


 28:41

You're still a bit vain like me and want to look good while aging gracefully, but are looking for less intervention and more natural ways to navigate this stage of life. Okay with that, let's talk about the specific topics and all the exciting guests we will be having this season. But before I do, a quick disclaimer. This season is happening in real time. So while it's unlikely something might change due to circumstances beyond my control, like the order of the episodes, for instance. So here's the plan. In the next episode, we'll dive into all things sleep related. 67% of women in perimenopause and menopause report insomnia or sleep issues. Poor sleep affects already wild brain changes, hunger, cravings, weight, irritability, and can quicken burnout. It is also horrible for your health. 


 29:46

I had no idea four years ago this was a sign of perimenopause, and it was my main symptom. To help us unravel all of this, I've invited Kelly Murray onto the podcast. Kelly is an award winning certified pediatric and adult sleep coach. One of the many things I love about Kelly is that she takes a holistic approach to chronic adult insomnia that is rooted in mindfulness, functional health, lab testing, and science backed sleep coaching. Kelly has been a featured expert and contributor to places like real simple Goop, Forbes, New York magazine, and she's also taught at Google. The list goes on. And I happened to discover her first. No, not first, but before all those places. Kelly was also my sleep coach, and I learned so much from our work together. 


 30:34

She helped me reclaim those lost hours of sleep and how they affected my mood, my temper, which maybe is part of mood, my weight and my overall sanity that I desperately needed in our conversations. We're going to get to the root causes of insomnia that go way beyond the don't look at screens before bed, although that's a piece of it. Or take a melatonin supplement. We'll get into blood sugar, gut health, how to produce melatonin naturally, the four sleep chronotypes, and why more magnesium probably isn't the whole answer. Kelly's also going to be a special guest in this round of truce with Food 2024, where she'll host a Q and A to get all your sleep questions answered. I'm so excited for that. In the third episode of the season, I'm going to go solo to discuss nutrition and food. 


 31:29

The hormonal changes at midlife lead to a need to rethink your nutrition. There is so much you can do to manage your symptoms through diet. Ask me how I know and if you better manage your symptoms, you'll also be setting yourself up better for long term health. We're going to get into everything from practical tips you can start to implement now to how caffeine metabolism changes to my thoughts on intermittent fasting. Nutrition becomes even more foundational to your moods, sleep ability to put on muscle, preserve bone mass. I'll have all the physiology for you and practical implementation tips damn, our hormones control so much. In our fourth episode, we are going to talk about stress management. I'll get into the physiologic details of why you need to manage stress to not deplete your hormones even more. 


 32:24

When Kelly Murray tested my hormones as part of our sleep coaching work at the beginning of working with her, they were lower than postmenopausal women and why managing stress needs to be at the top of your list. Along with nutrition, I'm going to send out bingo cards with cortisol in the squares because I'll probably say that a lot. For this episode, I'll be joined by the Reverend Kinsey Tate, who was a truce with food client years ago. Kinsey also got certified in the truce coaching certification and also has a background in ministry therapy and internal family systems. Kinsey has been a therapist for over a decade and runs restore clergy to support clergy with holistic resources and programs that improve wellness in order to cultivate faithful and sustainable ministry. We'll talk about what we mean by stress leadership, in Truce with Food and more. 


 33:18

I'll also share more of my story about how I worked through the root cause of my own stress to gain back time and energy so I actually could focus on my health and weight. In episode five, I'll be bringing on insatiable favorite Laura McGowan to discuss alcohol and menopause. Laura is the author of the best selling memoir we are the luckiest, the surprising magic of a sober life, and push off from here nine essential truths to get you through life and everything else. She has written for the New York Times and has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, the Guardian, the Atlantic, the Today show and more. And in 2020, she founded the Luckiest Club, a global sobriety support community that I've had the privilege of teaching in. 


 34:05

Laura and I will talk about why so many women start drinking more or relapse from their sobriety. In menopause. We're going to dig into the health implications of alcohol for help and menopause symptoms and so much more. In episode six, we will be joined by Rockstar Dr. Stacy Sims. Stacy is a forward thinking international exercise physiologist and nutrition scientist who aims to revolutionize exercise, nutrition and performance for women. She has published over 70 peer reviewed papers in several books, including the excellent next level, your guide to kicking ass, feeling great, and crushing goals through menopause and beyond. That book was a lifeline to me when I didn't know what was happening with my body. 


 34:51

Among the topics we'll cover in our conversation are how we need to move our bodies to preserve muscle and mimic the physiological effect of the hormones we are now missing so we can age well, prevent unhealthy weight gain, heart disease, which is the number one killer of women, and osteoporosis. Fractures are a big cause of death and immobility. As we age, we'll discuss how muscle is now considered the largest organ in your body. It helps on so many levels, including in making you feel more satisfied from your food and having less cravings. We will get into how to move to support your health, weight and moods. If you're doing all the cardio or think movement only counts if it leads to calorie burn or weight loss, this episode will be a paradigm shift on how to move and what counts. 


 35:42

Now, in episode seven, we are going to talk about all things hormone replacement therapy, really better called menopause hormone therapy with Esther Bloom, an integrative dietitian menopause expert and author of see you later ovulator. She is so sassy and you will find her so much fun. She's been everywhere, like the Today show, ABC and Good Day New York, and is frequently quoted in goop, well and good forums and Time magazine. There's so much confusion, and she's going to help us get it all sorted out. We'll cover why most people's initial reaction to HRT is it causes cancer and it is bad. Who should consider HRT? The different types of HRT. It's not a monolith. Bioidenticals. What does that mean? 


 36:35

And I want to get her opinion on how long she thinks women can should stay on them because the pendulum has swung the other way and some experts are saying stay on hit for as long as you can. There is lots to discuss. There's so much nuance and it's important to understand. And finally, we'll close with episode eight, which will be a summary of the season and where we go from here. My goal in each episode will be to continue to have the deeper conversations you're unlikely to hear anywhere else, while also providing concrete and actionable takeaways you can immediately implement while each episode stands on its own. My hope is that taken together, they will be greater than the sum of their parts. I've learned that with perimenopause and menopause, you can't just cherry pick doing one thing. 


 37:26

For example, HRT isn't a magic bullet, but it can work magically in conjunction with healthy eating, movement and great sleep. Perimenopause and menopause is a major transition for women. Some people call it a reverse puberty, so think about how big of a change puberty was. Same thing going on here. This is not something to just get through or only focus on your weight and make decisions through that filter. Trust me, I know it's tempting, but it will likely backfire with your weight and your health, so that's where you can expect. Had I known this stuff ten years ago, it would have saved me time, money, lost sleep, and probably 15 pounds. But I'm glad I learned and applied it these past three years or I might be in worse shape and missing out on the beauty and power of this time. I just ugh. 


 38:26

And what a loss that would have been. There's a lot packed into this season, and the great news is that summaries, transcripts, all that good stuff will be at alishapiro.com/podcast.  Also, be sure to check the show notes of each episode for more information. So no matter where you are on this path, my hope is that this season will support you. Information is power. Before we close, I'd like to ask you to consider doing the following three things. First, sign up for the three part free. Find your flow when it's all in flux Salon series that goes along with this season. Find out more at alishapiro.com/flow and you'll also learn the three core concepts of Truce with food in that series. Number two, subscribe to the podcast on your favorite listening platform so you don't miss an episode. 


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The plan is for each new episode to go live every Wednesday. And last but certainly not least, please consider rating and reviewing this podcast wherever you happen to listen, whether that's Apple, Spotify, or anywhere else. I know if you're a regular podcast listener, you're used to hearing this ass, but it really does help other listeners find the show, especially the more independent shows like this one, and allows me to continue bringing you this kind of information and conversations. I know how busy we all are, so please know in advance that it's truly appreciated and leaving a reading literally takes 5 seconds once you're listening to it in your app. Thanks for tuning in and I'll meet you back here next Wednesday where we dive deep into sleep, have a wonderful holiday season. 

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Overview of this season's topics and guests

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