“You’re Really Wearing That?” – Confidence is always in style

Getting older crosses my mind every single day. It interrupts my thoughts constantly with internal chatter like, “You’re too old for that” and “That’s not age-appropriate.” And, with a 24-year old daughter close at had to remind me, it can be a difficult mantra to shake.

I used to think that between 45-50 women received notice, like certified mail, that it was de rigueur to make adjustments to their wardrobes. Throw out the cute and bring in the dowdy. I remember about 15 years ago, I commented on how awesome a 42-year old woman looked in her faded jeans, white t-shirt, leather jacket, and leather boots. She responded, “I can’t wear things like this much longer so I gotta take advantage of it while I can.” I asked her “Why?” and she said, “Well, after 45, I need to dress my age.”

Really? Who said? Some fashion “experts” do. Recently, I came across several articles that listed fashion mistakes that make women look old. They ranged from things like, wearing too dark lipstick, putting on super thick mascara, using too natural foundation and too shimmery eye shadow, sporting skirts above the knee, wearing tweed, to putting on those “mom jeans.” I could blow most of them off but then, I saw the worst offender: wearing black. I had read enough.

First, black looks awesome. It is always appropriate. It can be dressed up or dressed down. You can eat anything, including crawfish, in black and still look clean. It hides wrinkles and goes with everything. Most importantly, black is timeless which makes it ageless. So, there. But, what I had heard and read made me think about my fashion style and why I wore what I did.

I wear clothes that fit well. I get my dress clothes altered but you can find me in workout clothes most of the time. I run and lift. I eat well, take quality supplements, and am hormonally optimized (and I cannot emphasize enough the importance of this – thank you, BioTE®). As a result, I have a trim waist that I have worked my butt off to get. I have broad shoulders that are strong from weight lifting (which I took up at age 46), and I jog so my legs still have a little more muscle than cellulite. My clothing choices reflect the work I have put into maintaining my health and I am proud of it. There was no way I was going to trade in my running pants for sweats; my workout tops for baggy t-shirts. No way.

My skirts, dresses, and pants usually have a little stretch in them and conform to my curves. I love wearing black. My favorite ensemble is a pencil skirt right to my knees and a short-waisted sweater with ¾ length sleeves. My eyeliner frames my green eyes, the windows to my soul. My matte lipstick is a color that “goes with everything” and when I feel like it, I go ahead and add a dash of shimmer on my eyelids. I feel like a goddess when I get dressed. I feel beautiful. Top 10 Mistakes, you can take a hike.

I have discovered that true, authentic “fashion” isn’t built around color, length, or fabric. It has nothing to do with age, skin color, or hairstyle. Fashion ignores the height of your heels and, just for the record, beehive hairdos will NEVER go out of style. Red lipstick always has a place on your lips and a little dab perfume here and there will forever be intoxicating.

With that said, I’ve started my own fashion trend. It’s call “Confidence.” Wear whatever you want and wear it as long as you want. Accessorize with some confidence, a smile, and a killer walk and you’re a timeless, fashionista. Seriously, no one can argue with that kind of style. Fashion isn’t an age thing, girls. It’s all attitude.

Oh, and just in case you weren’t paying attention to trends, you know those “mom jeans,” those “high-waist” pants that “make you look old?” Last time I checked – like a week ago – they were a talked-about fashion trend of 2016. I bought a pair – a black pair – at the place my 24-year old daughter loves to shop.

I can’t wait to wear them.

Just for the health of it,

Kelly

BioTE® Medical providers are nationwide. For a provider near you, visit www.biotemedical.com


balanced hormones

Attitude at Altitude – How hormone therapy helped me reclaim my optimism

My emotional fly zone is generally pretty high and positive but understandably, has had some dips here and there. Having a positive attitude has saved me through some tough stuff. Most of the time, I have plowed through adversity believing that “most things work themselves out” and “most things are not as big a deal as we think they are.” Plus, I think it is a waste of time to dwell on “Why me?” so I don’t. Even so, I have not been immune to pessimism.

My fall from optimistic grace happened during menopause. It casually sashayed into my life and transformed me from kind, generous, thoughtful, and selfless to mean, angry, selfish, inconsiderate, and ugly. Nothing and no one was safe from my menopausal wrath.

Menopause can wreak havoc on our bodies and minds. Mood swings, general grouchiness, insomnia, forgetfulness, night sweats, fatigue, hot flashes, and weight gain are just a few of the gifts that menopause gives us. And, they can go on for years and years and years. When all of those things are combined, it can take a saint to maintain a positive attitude (I am no saint).

Sadly, it didn’t take me long to acclimate to my newfound negativity. I just knew people were sitting in their cars in a parking spot to prevent me from getting it. In the gym, I thought people were dropping their weights on purpose just for attention. At the grocery story, I got annoyed when the cashier took too long to scan my items. Didn’t he know I had better things to do? I saved my Oscar-worthy negativity for customer services reps. Each time I had to call for assistance, it was a foregone conclusion that it would end in fists-to-cuffs. I mean, c’mon, transferring my call to for a fifth time to another department was just asking for it, wasn’t it? I started using words like, “hate” and “stupid” – something I had sworn off doing years ago. I found everyone and everything unpleasant, most of all, me. I didn’t like it and knew I needed to reclaim my darling self.

Before I could fix my attitude, I decided to do a little research. In his book Learned Optimism, Martin E.P. Seligman, Ph.D. discusses the power of optimism. Optimists recover more quickly from illness and are happier than pessimists because optimists expect a desirable outcome even from adversity. Optimists see adversity as something from which they learn to be better rather than as a fatal character flaw. This helps them move on more quickly than pessimists do from challenging events. This can lead to a happier and more successful life. On the other hand, pessimists expect the outcome of hardships to be negative and are at greater risk of stress, depression, anxiety, feelings of failure, general unhappiness – you get the idea.

Okay. I could get on board with that. I adjusted my attitude and things got slightly better but I knew I needed more than a mental shift. My husband suggested I go get my hormone levels checked so off to the doctor I went. Instead of getting on an anti-depressant or anti-panic pill, I got my hormone levels checked. I found out that my hormone levels were so low that some didn’t even register on my lab results. I really didn’t understand the relationship between my attitude and my hormone levels until I found out that low hormone levels can contribute to a host of issues and can make others worse. I decided to give bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT). Within six weeks, I was back to in the doctor’s office in tears. Tears of joy. My life had changed completely. My hormones were optimized and I was a different person.

On BHRT, all of the symptoms of menopause disappeared for me. Getting more sleep, having more energy, remembering things, getting my figure back, and wanting my husband more than ever had a miraculous effect on my attitude. No surprise there. The point is, that sometimes, it takes more than mental will to make a change. Our bodies and our minds work in tandem. Tending to one at the expense of the other can sometimes have a net effect of zero. BHRT has been the best thing I have done for myself in the last three years. I looked in the mirror one day and with a smile on my face said, “Hello, Kelly. I’m glad you are back. I’ve missed you.”

I had finally reclaimed my attitude and once again, I’m flying high.

Just for the health of it,

Kelly

BioTE® Medical providers are nationwide. For a provider near you, visit www.biotemedical.com


bioidentical hormone therapy

Love – What’s optimization got to do with It?

There are many aspects to love. Friendship, care, trust, fun, conversation, intimacy, and common interests are but a few. Some people believe the physical aspect of love naturally reduces itself to holding hands or grabbing someone’s arm to avoid falling and breaking a hip. That may be true for some people but it doesn’t have to be that way. In thinking about this, I decided I didn’t want a “good-for-my-age” love-relationship with my husband. I wanted an “optimized” one. For that, I needed help.

I didn’t really know where to start so I just did what I knew: worked out more and lost a few pounds. The problem was that I never felt like I looked like all the work I put into the workout. Then, along comes a commercial about low testosterone. Being the good wife, I immediately called my husband and suggested he get tested. He, being the great husband, did. He told me that I might want to get tested. I asked him, “For what?” He said, “To know your hormone levels. Women can have low testosterone.” Whoa.

So, I got tested. My testosterone was too low to register. Shock. Enter bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) (i.e., BioTE®* pellets in my gluteus maximus). Within two days, I had more energy than I had had in years. Look, it’s not like I couldn’t do things before I started BHRT, but after I was on it for a while, everything in my life got better. And, that level of “better” has been maintained without the highs and lows that can accompany fluctuating hormone levels that synthetic therapies provide.

And, it wasn’t just that I was “on hormones.” That wasn’t the key. It was that my hormone levels were optimized, customized to me. Instead of just taking me to “normal levels for my age.” They were rocking. That meant my hormone levels were at their best levels for my body. Optimization had a tremendous effect on me, mentally and physically. I first noticed the change – a significant one – in my ability to sleep. The first time I slept through the night in years, I woke up thinking something was wrong because I didn’t know what just happened. Then, I noticed the difference in my running. I had more stamina. But, the good stuff didn’t stop there. The positive effects from being optimized extended to each aspect of my life, including my personal relationship with the LOML (love of my life).

Who knew there was actually is a link between “optimization” and love? Yes, I know, the way people love each other varies and some people place more emphasis on one aspect of love over another. Some components of love diminish and get replaced. Regardless of the differences in how people love, the common denominator is a desire to make the most out of every single moment with those we love. To do that, we must bring our personal best, our optimized selves, to the relationship.

Oh, by the way, a few months ago, someone at the gym didn’t say I looked good for my age. They actually asked me if I were a trainer. How’s that for “optimization” at 54 years old?

Just for the health of it,

Kelly

*BioTE® Medical certified providers are nationwide. For a provider near you, visit www.biotemedical.com


New Years resolutions debuting in February

Many people start their January New Year’s resolutions with a commitment to get in shape and stay healthy. But, sometimes the best of intentions take time to root.

Welcome to February. What better way to get started on January’s promises than with the month of Love? We must love ourselves before we can love others so let’s begin with the fundamental building blocks of taking care of our health and ourselves. Let’s talk about “hormones.”

Step 1: Get tested. Knowing your hormone levels is the first step to health. Our hormones regulate our overall health and can help prevent diseases and other troublesome health conditions that we experience as we age. While some medical practitioners may confirm that your hormone levels are “normal for your age,” that doesn’t mean they are “optimized for your age.” Normal hormone levels are comparable to watching a movie in black and white; optimized hormone levels is like going to an Imax theater with Dolby sound to watch an award-winning movie with your favorite actors filmed on location at the seven wonders of the world. Once you experience “optimization,” “normal” just isn’t good enough any longer.

A few years ago, I got my hormone levels checked. I am an active runner and weightlifter so how surprised was I to learn that my hormone levels were so low – especially my testosterone – that the  doctor said it didn’t even register on my lab results. No wonder I was always exhausted, had severe insomnia, had low energy, was overly sensitive, and was forgetful. Huh?

Step 2: Go natural. There are different ways to optimize hormone levels. There is the synthetic way (noooooooo!) and the natural way (yesssss!) which is the bioidentical way. I opted for the BioTE® Medical* method of subcutaneous, cardio-activated pellet bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT). Within a few days, my night sweats and hot flashes were subsiding and I slept through the night. (Both of those annoying menopausal symptoms are gone now.) At my six-week follow-up, my doctor asked me, “How are you feeling?” I actually cried and told her, “This has changed my life.” I meant it. It was the start of something good that is still going strong.

Step 3: Do it now. It’s never too late to start loving yourself but January’s almost over so it’s time go get moving. Taking care of your health is the first step in showing yourself a little love.

Happy New Year; healthy life.

Just for the health of it,

Kelly

*BioTE® Medical certified providers are nationwide. For a provider near you, visit www.biotemedical.com


natural hormone therapy

Don’t Fuhgeddaboudit – Hey, remember to balance

I am a thinker. Thinking is as much an activity to me as running. I can spend days alone thinking about things. My ability to think depends heavily on my memory. But a few years ago, I noticed that I was forgetting simple things. What did I have for lunch today? I dunno. Did we go to that restaurant for your birthday or our anniversary? Neither. Do you know where my sunglasses are? On your head. My memory just wasn’t as sharp as it used to be and it bothered me so instead of taking others’ advice to just “fugheddaboudit,” I wondered if there might be somethin’ I could doaboudit.

Oh, but to make maters worse, in a memorable parent-child moment, one of my kids said to me, “You don’t really forget things, you’re just saying that.” I cleverly replied, “No, I actually do forget and you ought to be glad.” I thought that forgetting things might be a blessing bestowed on parents who were suffering through the teenage years. Witty comebacks aside, the truth bothered me. It was time to deal.

In case you were unaware, thinkers research before they act. So that is where I started. I began with the only thing I thought I could immediately control: my nutrition. Kale? Tried it and actually threw up…four times. Ginkgo Baloba. Sounded like a board game. Beans? I’ll pass, thank you. While I did find foods that I love (like avocados, almonds, and whole grain pasta) the amount in which I liked to eat them made them prohibitive. There had to be a better way and there was.

In walks bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) to my rescue (I chose BioTE®*). Before my research, I thought “testosterone” therapy was just for men and it simply increased libido and addressed erectile dysfunction. Wrong about that one. Women need testosterone, too. I also needed DIM, and compounded progesterone. Once I knew more about BHRT, I didn’t have to give it a second thought. I was in my doctor’s office lying on my side, buns up ready to “get pelleted.”

Within a few days after getting my hormones, I began remembering things. I seemed to develop an uncanny ability to remember the names of people I had met in passing. I noticed the change and so did everyone else, including my daughter who declared, “My mom remembers everyone.” (#ParentingSuccess)

How did optimizing my hormones really help my memory? Here is my over-simplified explanation of my understanding of it. Hormone optimization improves blood flow and reduces inflammation in our cells. Testosterone and estrogen increase blood flow. They dilate blood vessels that allow more oxygen to reach the brain. With oxygen, brain cells function better which help improve memory. Cells that are not inflamed function more appropriately. Estrogen production decreases as we age and doesn’t control cortisol levels (stress hormone) like it once did. This makes our neurotransmitters malfunction and change the structure of brain cells where we store memory. Hormone optimization helps reinforce the connections in the brain that are related to memory.

An important component to a better memory is adequate sleep. Sleep deprivation affects the body’s hormone production (e.g., less sleep can increase cortisol levels and cause us to get even less sleep which increases our cortisol levels… you get it). Hormone optimization increases the ability to sleep better and restores our hormone production levels without our suffering the latent effects of some prescription sleep aids.

You know, I may not be as sharp as I used to be but I think I’m doing just fine for 54 years old. Recently, I took a formal psychology assessment on memory and scored in the 99th percentile.

What do you think about that?

Just for the health of it,

Kelly

*BioTE® Medical certified providers are nationwide. For a provider near you, visit www.biotemedical.com


How Sweet it Is – “Goodbye” to sugar sweetened my life

Lent*. It started early this year and I gave up the same stuff I have for the past 40something years: sweets, chips, fried foods. In addition to the spiritual value the practice holds for me, I embrace the discipline of it. The chips and fried foods fell off of my eating habits years ago naturally but sweets…cheesecake and chocolate are the devil in disguise.

Cutting out sweets (I’m talking about added sugar) from my diet has been easy-tough. I know barring sugar from my life is good. That makes it easy. But, sugar makes things go from tasting like cardboard to a little slice of heaven. That makes it tough to resist. But, I’m getting there because the ills of sugar keep piling up in the literature like the frosting on a triple layer cake.

Sugar is toxic. It can cause us to overeat, gain weight, and become obese. Sugar keeps our heads from telling our stomachs to quit eating because sugar prevents cells in the brain from working properly. That may easily explain those midnight trips to the pantry and refrigerator raids.

Sugar is linked to type 2 diabetes, stroke, poor memory formation, depression, learning disorders, stroke, Alzheimer’s, liver problems, and metabolic syndrome which can domino into other health problems. Some can be difficult or impossible to reverse. As scary as the thought of those things are, they don’t even compare to what our addiction to sugar is doing to our brains.

To clarify, our brains need sugar to function. It needs to get that from glucose (blood sugar), not added sugar. High sugar diets keep the brain from producing a chemical that helps us form new memories. Without that chemical, we’d have a hard time learning, much less remembering. As this chemical decreases, sugar metabolism starts to worsen. Hello diabetes. No, thank you. Not for this girl. Not in this lifetime, if I can help it. And, I think I can.

This no-sugar thing is clearing my mind, heart, and body. It makes me feel like I am the master of my health. Rather than gaining weight, I am gaining momentum and I am feeling better than ever. Seriously. I am less hungry because I am not crashing in the afternoon from sugar withdrawal. I have more energy – believe it or not – because I am getting my energy from the naturally occurring sugar I am consuming in fruits and grains.

I am on a new kind of “sugar high” and it is turning out to be as sweet as ever.

Just for the health of it,

Kelly

BioTE® Medical certified providers are nationwide. For a provider near you, visit www.biotemedical.com

*Lent is the forty days and nights before Easter in the Catholic faith that commemorate Christ’s fasting in the dessert before his crucifixion.