Staness Jonekos tells you how to get your life–and your body–back after menopause.
When FOF Staness Jonekos was 47 years old, she got engaged for the first time to the love of her life. That same year, she “slammed into” menopause, gaining 30 pounds, suffering hot flashes every fifteen minutes, losing her libido, and becoming, in her own words, “a raging witch.”
In her bestselling book, The Menopause Makeover (2010), she explains how she got back on track, so that today, at 52 she says, “I’m healthier that I was in my 20s!”
At the Faboverfifty Beauty Bash, this October in NYC, Staness shared her top-10 menopause makeover strategies, live on the main stage. Watch the video, here, or check out Staness’s cheat sheet for starting your own menopause makeover.
Staness’s cheat sheet:
1. First, get your menopausal symptoms–hot flashes, weight gain, irritability–under control. Start with lifestyle changes – diet and exercise. If that’s not enough, consider standardized black cohosh (work with your doctor to make sure you get the right kind) and acupuncture, which has just been proven to help women with hot flashes. If that’s not enough, there are FDA-approved hormonal products. If you’re not a candidate for hormone therapy, you may be helped by the right anti-depressants. Work closely with your doctor to find the right solution for your symptoms.
2. Hormone therapy. The only natural hormones are the ones being made by our body. If you see the word “natural” on a product, that’s jut a marketing term. Even if it comes from a plant, it has been synthesized.
3. Bio-identical vs. non-bio-identical. We all want something natural, and “bio-identical” sounds nice, but the most important thing is finding the product the works for you. I actually didn’t do well on bio-identicals and ended up needing non-bio-identicals. When it comes to hormones, we’re all different.
4. Diet. Once you turn 50, your metabolism slows down and you lose muscle. This food pyramid will change your life. Eat it every 3-4 hours and your metabolism will kick off. Eating a combination of low-to-medium glycemic carbs with lean proteins makes all the difference. Have some low fat cottage cheese and some blueberries. Or egg whites and vegetables. Eat oatmeal in the morning mixed with some protein powder. If you eat the oatmeal alone, you’ll gain weight. The key is combining carbs with protein.
5. Fitness. We all know we have to work out. I work out 30 minutes a day—I’m not a nut about it. Most important, honor your body. If you have bad ankles and can’t do high-impact, then bike or swim. Don’t make your goal a marathon if your body can’t handle that.
6. Beauty. When we’re young, the cells of our skin rejuvenate every 28 days, but as we age, it slows down, leaving little fine lines and uneven skin texture. My big tip: Exfoliate 1 or 2 times a week, depending on the sensitivity of your skin. That changed my life.
7. Emotional roller coaster. If you’re really cranky and feeling out of control, talk to your doctor. If it’s hormone related, you can get it managed. If it’s emotional or you’re in a bad relationship or you have stresses, you have to address those issues or it won’t get better.
8. Relationships and sex. After you turn fifty, your vagina dries up if you’re not on hormone therapy. It’s just a fact. Astroglide, is a non-hormonal alternative. For women who have it really bad, there’s a new product called Vagifem, an estradiol tablet. You put it in your vagina, and lubrication and elasticity come back.
9. Spirituality. This is a great time for reinvention and knowing who you are. You’ve been taking care of your husband and kids for a long time—now’s the time to say “who am I? What do I want in life?”
10. Happiness. Accept that you’re getting older and going through changes. Feel gratitude that you’re healthy, because if you are healthy now, your odds of reaching your 80s are 75%. That’s a lot to be grateful for.