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She may be a New York City gynecologist who specializes in midlife health, but Allmen, then 45, found that moment as distressing as does any woman who is suddenly bathed in sweat and asking, “Is it me or is it hot in here?”
Allmen wrote her new book, Menopause Confidential: A Doctor Reveals the Secrets to Thriving Through Midlife, to be a frank, no-nonsense and fun woman-to-woman conversation about confusion and fears that surround the midlife transition.
Here, she shares four tips about menopause, based on her expert opinion and experience, that she’d like every woman to know.
"MENOPAUSE IS THE BEGINNING OF A NEW CHAPTER THAT CAN BE THE BEST ONE OF OUR LIVES."
Allmen says, "It’s the perfect time for women to start making the best lifestyle choices we can. And that includes not only healthy eating and exercise, but also trying all those fun activities we’ve been putting off because we’ve been so busy taking care of everyone else. For one woman, it might mean taking up ballroom dancing, while for another, perhaps hiking in Nepal. If not now, when?"
"MENOPAUSE IS PART OF THE SAME JOURNEY THAT BEGAN WHEN WE WERE TEENAGERS."
She explains: "In adolescence we went through a hormonally chaotic transition to our reproductive years. As we approach menopause and the end of our reproductive years, we’re again going through a transition that’s hormonally chaotic. But now we have all the wisdom and tools that we’ve garnered over the last 30 years or so to help us move forward."
"MENOFOG IS REAL, BUT TEMPORARY."
According to Allmen, "Yes, most of us in midlife will experience some brain fog. We’ll find ourselves having difficulty remembering someone’s name or staying focused on a task. But the good news is that this experience -- what I call 'menofog' -- is often temporary and doesn’t last forever. And there are things we can do to maintain cognitive health and wellness. One is that we need to be physically active every day. What’s good for our hearts is good for our brains. And, two, we have to engage our brain with fun, stimulating activities. That could be anything that interests and engages you, such as French cooking, pottery classes, writing a book...aim high!"
"MENOPOT IS REAL, TOO."
She remarks, "Midlife is associated with both a reduction in lean body mass and a redistribution of fat. You’re suddenly carrying more weight in your middle. I call this malady of bigger bellies 'menopot.' I advise my patients not to think about weight loss, but to repackage their goals as health gain. The key is to eat more fruits and vegetables of every color and shape, and in doing that, you’ll be eating less of the sugary, salty, fatty foods we already know we should be cutting back on."
Dr. Tara Allmen says the bottom line is this: "Walk briskly everywhere, double down on all your vegetables and fruits, do fun stuff and embrace this wonderful chapter of your journey. Menopause can be a great time for women!"
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