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  • Writer's pictureTWN

Learning from Your Aging Mom Bod



As women age, they experience a range of physiological, emotional, and psychological changes, many of which are influenced by fluctuations in hormone levels, especially around menopause. So, let's get real and lets open up the conversation and stop the shame. Over a women's life, many shifts in who we are and who we want to be will happen. THIS IS OKAY!


Here are some of the key changes that can occur:


Physical Changes

  • Menopause-Related Symptoms: This is perhaps the most significant change, usually occurring between the ages of 45 and 55. Symptoms include hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, and irregular periods before they stop entirely.

  • Decreased Bone Density: The drop in estrogen levels can lead to decreased bone density, increasing the risk of osteoporosis and fractures.

  • Cardiovascular Changes: As estrogen levels decline, the risk of cardiovascular disease increases. The protective effect of estrogen on the heart diminishes with age.

  • Changes in Body Composition: There is often an increase in fat accumulation, especially around the abdomen, and a decrease in muscle mass and strength.

  • Skin Changes: Skin becomes thinner, less elastic, and more vulnerable to bruising and dryness due to decreased collagen production.

Emotional and Psychological Changes

  • Mood Fluctuations: Hormonal changes can also lead to mood swings, irritability, and increased risk of depression and anxiety.

  • Cognitive Changes: Some women may experience mild forgetfulness or cognitive decline.

  • Changes in Libido: Sexual drive may decrease due to hormonal changes, decreased blood flow, and physical discomfort.

Metabolic Changes

  • Slower Metabolism: With age, the metabolism slows down, which can contribute to weight gain and make it harder to lose weight.

  • Insulin Resistance: There is an increased risk of developing insulin resistance, which can lead to type 2 diabetes.

Other Changes

  • Vision and Hearing Loss: Age can affect vision and hearing, with increased risks of conditions such as cataracts, macular degeneration, and hearing impairment.

  • Urinary Incontinence: As pelvic floor muscles weaken, some women might experience episodes of urinary incontinence, especially when coughing, sneezing, or laughing.

GULP

But we can get educated and work toward finding solutions that feel right to us individually. Aging is not a disease to fight. It is our fundamental right to do it in a way that honors our authentic self. It happens without our intention but with intention, aging can be the awakening we come to love.

As we, as women, begin to practice and then master accepting that we age, we open the gates for more and more women to choose this path and then it becomes normal. We all just want to be normal, validated, accepted.


It is important to state what gets in the way for women. Once we see it we can work together as men and women to make things better for all people.


Here are some statistics related to aging women that can be considered alarming or concerning:


  • Economic Insecurity: In many countries, women are more likely than men to experience economic insecurity in old age. In the United States, for example, women over 65 are almost twice as likely as men to live below the poverty line.

  • Health Disparities: Older women are more likely to experience certain health issues compared to men, such as osteoporosis, arthritis, and autoimmune diseases. Additionally, women are more likely to live with chronic conditions like diabetes and hypertension in their later years.

  • Caregiving Responsibilities: Women are often the primary caregivers for family members, including aging parents or spouses. This can lead to increased stress, financial strain, and health challenges for women as they age.

  • Social Isolation: Older women are at a higher risk of social isolation and loneliness, especially if they live alone or have limited social networks. This can have significant impacts on mental and emotional well-being.

  • Violence and Abuse: Elder abuse, including physical, emotional, financial, and sexual abuse, disproportionately affects older women. Studies suggest that women are more likely than men to be victims of elder abuse, often perpetrated by family members or caregivers.

  • Limited Access to Healthcare: In some regions, older women face barriers to accessing quality healthcare services, including lack of insurance coverage, limited mobility, and inadequate healthcare facilities in rural areas.

  • Ageism and Discrimination: Older women may face ageism and discrimination in various aspects of life, including employment opportunities, access to housing, and societal attitudes toward aging.


“Growing older is a privilege denied to many. Cherish each year, for with age comes the richness of experience and the wisdom of resilience."


How can we navigate our aging bodies?


Find a practitioner who will listen. For us it’s been an NP or PA who is willing to take the time. You shouldn’t have to pay extraordinary amount of money to get your hormones balanced. It can be an investment but the information is out there. You don’t need to be spending in the 1000’s. 


Talk to each other!! Find your people. You don’t have little ones to help you make friends. If you have some hold on. If you don’t, figure out what you like to do and go to an event and be open. Or be an inviter. All ages feel like they are being left out, but in reality most people are waiting for an invite. Open yourself up. 


Don’t let symptoms discourage you from leading a full life. We've found that the more we talk (and yes overshare sometimes) the more we can find women who have answers or can tell me where to find answers. In this day and age there is no need to suffer. 


Find your gurus, teachers, mentors, or whatever you call them and don’t be afraid to pivot. There are gurus for mental health, physical health, emotional health and of course spiritual. Chalene refer to these people as pioneers. "They have walked the path before me and I treasure their experience and knowledge."


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