Now, let's get down to what my challenges are. Keep in mind that reality is perception (and vice versa) and that an attitude shift can easily cause a challenge to become less of one. This is a beautiful thing! It means you're moving in the right direction. Some of my challenges are not as challenging as they once were and have been down-graded to the category of 'speed bump' but could become much more without constant attention. My (current) list of challenges:
There are lots of little things that can get in the way of sticking to your goals but that is mostly 'white noise', chatter from your head disguised as real stuff that just simply isn't. Our 'self' is so good at getting in our own way that we usually don't even know it. Unless you're truly focused on reaching your goals and being completely honest with yourself. White noise is just a way of making things feel like they are more complicated than they are or than they need to be and that can take your focus off where it needs to be - on the prize! And when focus is gone, we start to slide down the rabbit hole to that lost place. That miserable, lost, lonely place. So keep your focus!!!
If you are not yet experiencing menopause or have safely navigated through its ever changing currents, you should know that every woman is affected differently and while I had moments where I felt completely frustrated with everything, menopause has also made more things in my life become crystal clear. In the initial stages, I did get the hot flashes and of course, those always seemed to come immediately after a shower as I was getting dressed for work. The night sweats showed up as a lovely little partner to hot flashes, keeping me awake to ensure I could also enjoy rolling around in a pool of sweat at night. Perfect! This gave me more time to reflect on feeling negative about menopause and getting older. This created a lot of anxiety about where I was and where I was going with the rest of my life.
I saw a specialist and got started on bio-identical hormone therapy replacement which has made a positive improvement in my life. This is something to be carefully considered and regularly monitored when undertaken. Before I started to experience relief, there had already been a few years of grief from the symptoms:
Mild depression from thoughts of aging and feeling like my best years were done
Trying to focus on work while I was so physically uncomfortable dealing with my own personal summer
Trying to focus on anything for any amount of time after months of night sweats ruined countless hours of sleep
Gaining weight as my metabolism seemed to come to a screeching halt
Losing enthusiasm for my gym time and any physical activity
What helped the most with turning this around was the bio-identical treatment and getting my sleep back. This may not be for you and I'm sure there are other ways to get through menopause gracefully. I did try some natural therapies but after several months on each with no success, I went the bio-identical route. The main thing is, if you are suffering with symptoms, there is help for you. You just need to reach out and find it. It will also take time, so be prepared to be patient.
Becoming a champion most assuredly starts in your mind. You can accomplish ANYTHING you set your mind to. Menopause wanted to get the best of me - my thoughts, my body, my fitness level, my femininity - and it did get a good piece of me. Just look at my current BEFORE pictures for proof. Please do not become a whiner if you need help. Become proactive in finding what you need and remember: a woman is her most beautiful self when she follows her passion, advances her intellect, displays compassion, would rather die than give up, develops a sense of adventure, and believes herself to be admirable. Not only will you display a light and energy that illuminates everyone and everything around you, you set a beautiful example for all women to strive towards.