The menopause blues aren’t fun. In 2017 Sporty was having a tough time of it.
Hauling herself out of bed in the morning required Herculean effort. Sometimes even that wasn’t enough.
We didn’t realise it at the time, but she was in the throes of early menopause.
Along with the usual hot flushes, she also experienced itchy skin, constant headaches and brain fog.
I had no idea at the time that brain fog was an actual thing. I thought it was just another term for cotton wool head. Living under a rock much?
Time to Sort Out the Menopause Blues
“Perhaps we need a break from the city?” I suggested one evening over a glass of Woolies organic Shiraz.
“And do what exactly?” enquired an understandably skeptical Sporty.
The last time I made a suggestion while under the influence of red wine we ended up selling everything we owned.
“What about becoming professional house-sitters?” I suggested.
Long story a little shorter, she agreed and we ended up looking after a permaculture farm in De Rust for a month.
As one does.
We’d lost sight of our comfort zone by the time we passed Stellenbosch, but living off the grid in plant-based paradise proved to be exactly what we needed.
Being away from the pollution, eating only organic produce and working outside in the fresh air, we quickly noticed an improvement in our overall well being.
Unfortunately, our next house-sit put us squarely back in the smog. Albeit on a small town scale. It also heralded a return to the pesticide-laden fruit and vegetables synonymous with modern day living.
Around this time I found myself experiencing some of those menopause blues. As someone who enjoys exercise, lean and fit was always my default setting. Until it wasn’t.
Suddenly (overnight, it seemed), things weren’t quite so easy anymore. My weight increased, my joints voiced their disapproval of my early morning runs and working out no longer held the appeal it once did.
Time to Sort Out Those Menopause Blues. Again
This time, inspiration came in the form of a book. Written by Ben Greenfield, a personal fitness expert with chiseled abs and a penchant for biohacking, 30 Ways to Reboot Your Body: A Complete User Manual for Getting the Most Out of the Human Body.
It’s safe to say he had us at the sub-title, but the description on Amazon sealed the deal. We could’t hit the ‘buy now with one click’ button fast enough.
A broken gut. Brain fog. Mysterious aches and pains. Low motivation and low libido. Body fat that just won’t go away.
Why Reboot Your Body?
If the above description hasn’t already won you over, mull on this.
We’re exposed to so much on a daily basis, from exhaust fumes and pesticides to electromagnetic radiation and GMOs. Not to mention the dodgy food ingredients we’re consuming every time we opt for convenience over homemade.
Over time, all these things add up. The human body is an incredible machine, but at some point the ick gets too much and it needs a break. We view the resulting symptoms as annoying, but they’re really the body’s way of saying, “Hey, it’s time for a clean out.”
We service our cars regularly, we restore the factory settings on our electronic devices, we defrag out computers, why not reboot our body?
Sporty and I experienced some incredible results from doing the reboot. The excess weight melted away, energy returned and the fog cleared. The itchy skin and headaches are also a thing of the past.
We can’t know what life holds in store for us, but if we focus on the things within our control —like taking care of our health— we stand a better chance of emulating the Blue Zones centenarians.
As beneficial as the reboot is, it’s also very much a solo journey. Sporty and I were fortunate to embark on it together, but if you’re facing the menopause blues alone it’s nice to have support.
I recently came across the Menopausal Godmother and I honestly wish I’d found Emma years ago. Her mission is simple: to share everything she’s learnt since being plunged into surgical menopause following a successful mastectomy and reconstruction of her right breast.
If you’re looking for support or advice while navigating the minefield that is menopause or perimenopause, I highly recommend checking out her website and signing up for her newsletter.
How Do You Reboot Your Body?
There are a number of things you can do to reset your body, such as upping your water intake, reducing the amount of coffee you drink and so on. They’re certainly beneficial, but sometimes a more focused approach is required.
Divided into three phases —each one 4-12 weeks long (you decide)— 30 Ways to Reboot Your Body takes you from reboot (cleansing the gut, detoxing the liver, fixing the adrenals, etc.) to elevate (reintroducing foods, higher intensity workouts) to vitalize (becoming the superhuman you were meant to be).
Because most of us live in the city, we should ideally do an annual reboot. If you’re turning 50 and you’ve never hit the reset button on your body, now is definitely the time.
However, you shouldn’t wait until you’re older. Everyone can benefit from doing a reboot. Take it from us, you’ll feel amazing afterwards.
Reboot Your Body 2.0
Our first attempt went pretty well, but the transition back to regular life wasn’t as smooth as we’d have liked because we were still untethered at that point.
We’re about to embark on another reboot now. As we transition from summer to autumn, it feels like the perfect time for a cleanout to preempt the cold, wet winter that lies ahead.