Dalina and I are not in menopause – but WE ARE NOW CONVINCED – we need to talk about menopause WAY sooner! We realized through this recording: we know nothing about our mother’s experience – and her story can be a major “tell” of how your menopause will go.

And if you are in menopause? “THE CHANGE” has you managing symptoms like hot flashes and body changes – so we know diets can feel especially compelling. You’ll do anything for relief!

Today, we’re interviewing fellow RD Jenn Huber to discuss how to recognize signs of menopause, prepare, and take care of yourself *without* a side of diet culture. We chat:What is perimenopause? When should we start thinking about it? How does menopause impact emotions and hunger as Intuitive Eaters Normalizing the aging process Jenn’s take on supplements for those managing menopause.

Episode Resources:

Follow Jen on Instagram: @menopause.nutritionist

Join the Break the Diet Cycle Community on Instagram: @break.the.diet.pod

Connect with Melissa on Instagram: @no.more.guilt

Connect with Dalina on Instagram: @your.latina.nutritionist

Follow Break the Diet Cycle on Apple Podcasts

Follow Break the Diet Cycle on Spotify

This episode was sponsored by No More Guilt with Melissa Landry. Reminder that though we are dietitians, we’re not *YOUR* dietitian. Podcasts don’t constitute treatment. If you have concerns about your dieting behaviors, seek out guidance from a medical or mental health professional. And if you’re looking for the process, support, and focus you need to live life without food guilt apply for a coaching program from today’s sponsor. No More Guilt with Melissa Landry is currently enrolling clients into 1:1 programs, group programs, and, recently added a do-it-yourself learning format: the Ex-Dieter’s Guide to No More Guilt.

[what is perimenopause?] transcript

Dalina Soto  0:02  
Hola hola chulas.
Melissa Landry  0:04  
Hi there. We are experts in intuitive eating for on again off again chronic dieters, and we are here to help you take the guilt and stress out of eating so you can become the first in your family to break the diet cycle, just like we are in our families.
We want you to be who you are without food guilt. 
Be sure to follow us on Instagram. No more guilt for Melissa and your Latina nutritionist for Dalina.
Are you ready? Let's break the diet cycle.
Hey, it's me Melissa. Before we start, I want to let you know that this episode is brought to you by no more guilt with Melissa Landry. What you're about to listen to is not a professional coaching or counseling session. Each episode is a one time conversation meant for educational purposes. Look, we're dieticians. But we're not your dietician. Remember that podcasts don't constitute treatment. If you have concerns about your dieting behaviors, seek out guidance from a medical or mental health professional. And if you're looking for the process, support and focus you need to live life without food guilt apply for a coaching program from today's sponsor, me. I'm currently enrolling clients into one to one programs, group programs and I recently added a do it yourself format the ex dieters guide to no more guilt apply for a program at Melissa Landry nutrition.com I hope to meet you soon. Okay, so we are not in menopause right now. Dalina. And we were a little bit worried about this episode, because we're like, we know our audience isn't quite there yet. But here's why we put it forward is because one, first of all, we were both mind blown by the
information we rely on. Like, I'm so floored, and we have
conversations to have with our own mothers, which you will hear about in this episode. But I think the big reason why we're excited to share this episode with you all is that menopause is something that changes our body cues. And we want you all to start learning about body awareness and how to understand how shifts and changes in your body are communicating with you so you can make decisions about food and movement and self care. Just like Intuitive Eating tells us to practice so with that we're gonna dive into this episode hear from Jen what her experience was like going through early menopause and help you start thinking about this now and in the future. What do you think? Delina?
I mean, I think it's honestly y'all wonder listen to this because I someone who did not know this my. We're just like, what?
It's good information. Good to talk about it. So yeah, whether or not you're menopause. Without further ado, let's start this episode.
Dalina Soto  2:31  
One more thing chulas. We know how hard you are working to break the diet cycle out there. We appreciate that work because we know every single one of you who breaks a diet cycle is making our world war inclusive and safe for others to do the same. It's personal, we get it. That's probably why you're listening to a podcast. It's private and at your own pace. That's why if you've ever found benefit from this podcast, we want you to review and rate us there are more people like you who want the same benefit. Helping our podcast get found by women like you is the best way to help us further our mission to break the diet cycle. We literally couldn't do it without you. Will you review us after you listen to this episode. Thanks to that.
Melissa Landry  3:16  
We are back Dalina for another episode we're going to talk about something that you and I maybe have not experienced yet, but is on the horizon and that is menopause. What is the word for menopause and Spanish into both? Yeah, it's the same. Yeah. Today we have fellow registered dietitian Jen Huber. She is fantastic on Instagram educates me quite a bit. I know a lot of my clients enjoy her content because she's talking about something that can really take over symptomatically when we're trying to become intuitive eaters, it makes it a little bit more nuanced and challenging. So we're thrilled to have Jen Huber here today. Jen, will you introduce yourself to our audience and then let's chat about menopause. Yeah.
Jen  4:01  
I love that. Thank you so much. Thanks for having me on the podcast. So you know I am a mom in perimenopause myself I would say fellow but you guys aren't quite there yet. I don't like. Yes. So you know in perimenopause, I am a Canadian trained and licensed registered dietitian but also a naturopathic doctor and for 20 years have been working with women and families in different kind of aspects of health. Really, in the last five or six years, my journey kind of propelled me to really focus on this area and you know, try and marry it with the work that I was doing with intuitive eating because I was seeing a lot of women who were not only going through the usual typical symptoms of perimenopause and menopause, but they were also you know, kind of trying to change their relationship with food at the same time. And so it was a really interesting intersection and I just love helping women make peace with food in midlife.
Melissa Landry  4:52  
It is so needed. So when we were talking about you coming on the pod I don't know if you remember my my initial reaction Like perimenopause, I'm 34 How old are you? I forget 33 I'm just a just a scootch older than you. And I was like it was something we need to be thinking about. So I think for our audience, we tend to like, have folks in your early 30s, mid 40s. Can you help us understand the difference between perimenopause and menopause to start before we talk about, like, what that's like and how that intersects with intuitive eating?
Jen  5:26  
Absolutely. So, menopause is the term that gets all of the spotlight. But menopause is actually one day, it is the day that marks 12 months since your last period, okay? Everything leading up to that is perimenopause, which can be up to 10 years. So we should really be talking about perimenopause, because that is when most women are experiencing symptoms and changes that get in the way of living a life. It's just today, it's just today, everything before that is parry everything after that is post
Melissa Landry  5:59  
and that that is really I think, the shook feeling believe that I really wanted to get my face. Oh, it's a day. It's a movement. I think it's because we hear people talk about like, I'm in menopause, I'm going through menopause, probably meaning the symptoms you're about to describe. So what what is it that we experienced leading up to that day? And then maybe after that day, what is it that you see in your clients or communities,
Jen  6:22  
so the stereotypical symptom picture is hot flashes, and mood swings, and you know, that's kind of what's portrayed in the media. But for many, many women, there are other changes in the experience that happen long before you miss a period and long before you have a hot flash. So these might be some cycle changes, like a heavier period, or periods that are coming slightly less predictably than they may have before. But a lot of women will also start to experience things like sleep changes, waking up in the middle of the night for no good reason may start to notice that they're experiencing more anxiety may start to have hot flashes, but maybe just the day before their period starts. So for lots of women in these really early stages of shifting hormone soup, as I call it, is sometimes hard to know, is this perimenopause, or is this just because I'm busy, and Life is stressful? And there's a lot going on? So is it a panorama? Yeah. You know, so much is going on. And it often is, you know, kind of colliding with a really busy time in women's lives. So you know, regardless of whether you have kids or not, our 40s tend not to be like the calm and quiet years. There are many, you know, women who are kind of in that sandwich generation who have kids and aging parents, for anyone who's in a career, they may be kind of at the peak of their career or starting a new career. There's just a lot going on. So it can be really hard for I think most women, you know, oh, this is perimenopause. But when you're having a hot flash, and you've missed three periods, it's a little easier to know, Oh, I'm getting close to menopause or I'm in perimenopause. So I think for a lot of women, when they learn that there's a whole, you know, 35 symptoms, that can be part of the peri menopausal journey and experience, they recognize themselves a lot sooner than they thought, right.
Melissa Landry  8:19  
So when does this all can this all start? I'm sure it's different for different individuals. But is there an age range where that experience can start to begin for people.
Jen  8:28  
So the average age of menopause is 51-52, which means that some women will go into menopause at 42, when some will go into menopause at 62. And since perimenopause can last 10 years, but on average is four to five. Usually, these symptoms are showing up for women in their 40s and early 50s. But for women like me, with a family history of earlier menopause, it started for me around 36, or 37. And that's not unusual, although it is not the most common age, I would say kind of somewhere 40 to 43-44, is when women might first start to notice that something isn't quite right, something is changing, something is shifting, they don't feel themselves anymore.
Melissa Landry  9:10  
Well, that's a good plug for intuitive eating, trusting your body, knowing your body, knowing what's normal, green blue like that. That kind of awareness often gets blunted when we're dieting and doing all these things, because we're so about the external. So we'll get to all that. But that makes a lot of sense to me that that would be a valuable, that body awareness would be a valuable tool.
Jen  9:31  
And I teach attunement all the time, that it's not just a skill for intuitive eating, it's learning to know what needs you have and how can you identify when they're shifting, because you know, what you need as a 30 year old is a lot different than what you need as a 40 year old and if you have the skills to be able to tune in, that's gonna serve you at any age.
Melissa Landry  9:51  
Well, tattooed. What do you think today is not what you needed at 20? That's right. The program here it's very hard for our brains. Do you ever Do you look back and you're like, Oh, I'm not 23 Like, like, just the years just evolve on you all of a sudden, it's hard. It's very difficult. Yeah.
Jen  10:08  
I heard this statistic the other day that kind of blew my mind which it might blow your mind too. But 1970 is as far away from 1918 as 1970 is from 2022 that I was just like, is that right? Is that really true? And I calculated it, and it's right is.
Melissa Landry  10:30  
Oh my God, that's insane. And I think I also heard like on Tik Tok, all the kids are calling us the 1900s. Like you were born in the 1900s. And that is like, oh, purple. hurts so bad. Because remember, when you were in school, you were like, you know, typing or like writing something on Word document, and you're like, in the early 1800s. And now we have
Jen  10:51  
the turn of the century, I'm gonna have to ask my teenager and that she'll know,
Melissa Landry  10:56  
early 1900s, I can't, or the late 1900s.
So attunement is like super important to have that skill. Also, it sounds like having some family history, awareness is helpful to like, if you can think not be exactly the same as your mom. But if you could have that kind of circumnavigate when it might be happening, it may help you put those dots together a bit sooner. 
Jen  11:18  
Yeah. And you know, I think that for a lot of women who've had who, who've been pregnant or carried children, they often think to ask their mom or their grandmother or their auntie, like, oh, what were your pregnancies? Like, you know, was it hard for you to conceive, we don't have those conversations typically about menopause. And we need to because the mother's age of menopause is the number one predictor of the age that you'll go into menopause. Now, that's a little bit complicated for people my age, because so I'm about to be 45. And a lot of our mothers were part of what I call the hysterectomy generation, that when they started to experience some of those symptoms of heavy, more painful periods, they were offered hysterectomy, so that was really common in the 80s and 90s. And they weren't preserving ovaries like they do now. So a lot of people my age, not the case for my mom. But you know, a lot of people my age, when they ask their mom, they say, Well, I don't know, I had a hysterectomy at 38. Or they just didn't talk about it. Certainly they didn't ask their mothers about it. So it's not the kind of generational information that we should be passing down. Because it really is the best predictor of what your experience will be like,
Melissa Landry  12:26  
Oh, I'm texting me galena right after
we need to talk. I don't even really know. Like, I remember, maybe, maybe it's my mom's 50s. I remember some black cohosh lying around, we can talk about that. There was a lot of like, remedies that she was trying at that time. I remember for sure. But yeah, that is something we don't really talk about, again, the media trope is like, you know, a woman's experiencing hot flashes and an older woman's like, Oh, darling, it's the change. And then she like back into the shadow.
Along going through this at all? Yeah, I
Jen  12:59  
Yeah I mean, I think that some, there's a stigma to it. And, you know, there is a lot of like, we should just grin and bear this, this is natural and normal. So we just have to get through it. And I think that a lot of women didn't talk about it. They just kind of, you know, tried to kind of suffer through and wait it out. So it's not unusual when someone says why don't remember. But then when they ask their mother, they're like, Oh, my God, you know, like they get into this story. So I think they're just conversations that we need to be having.
Melissa Landry  13:29  
Yeah. And there's like shame about like, not knowing about your body sometimes, like, why don't I understand this? Like, why don't I know what to do. It's like, you've never been in menopause before and no one told you. So if you don't have a roadmap for it, that's why folks like you are so invaluable because it's giving information and support where like, we're not supposed to know how to navigate. If you've never done 
Jen  13:51  
and there's a you know, there's some really interesting surveys of women who are in perimenopause. And consistently 50% of them are surprised when they're in perimenopause. And I mean, that's crazy. So I use the analogy all the time of pregnancy. 50% of women who became pregnant, were surprised by that we would call it a massive failure of public health and education. So why is it okay? That you can get to perimenopause and be surprised by it. It's not okay. Because there's suffering in that there's, you know, there, there's women who are not getting access to the care that they need and deserve. It is unnecessary living with symptoms, like not sleeping and having mood changes and difficulty coping and, you know, it's just not supporting women in the way that they deserve to be supported.
Melissa Landry  14:38  
Well said, yeah, for sure. And so when we think about mood changes, I want to come into some skills of for intuitive eating. So emotions are things that can shift and change with menopause. Sleep is something you're touching on I've heard from my clients as well that sleep is difficult, which can impact our connection with our body later on. hunger cues feeling very hungry than not feeling very so for you what are maybe some of the the ways you see perimenopause impacting the intuitive eating process?
Jen  15:09  
Absolutely. Well, I mean, when we think about how appetite and hunger, fullness is regulated from a physiological perspective, you know, it thrives on rhythm and routine. And when you are not sleeping well, you have, you know, your rhythms and routines and your coping skills, and just kind of that intuitive way of going about your day is disrupted. And, you know, we know physiologically that our brain craves quick energy when we're tired, right, and so a lot of women will pathologize that, and you know, we'll blame themselves. And we'll just say, like, I don't know what's wrong with me, I can't stop eating sugar, or all I want to sugar. And when I just validate that, yeah, cuz your brain is hungry. You haven't slept in like two years, you've been waking up, like multiple times a night? You know, they're just like, Oh, that makes a lot of sense. Yeah, it does. So how can we support sleep? The sugar is not the problem, your brain craving energy? isn't the problem. The problem is you're not sleeping. So how can we bring attunement? And where can we find solutions for that? There is also some interesting early research looking at estrogen fluctuations, and how that might influence kind of the hunger and fullness hormones like ghrelin and leptin, too early to kind of draw any conclusions. But I think that that's an interesting area of research to kind of be looking at. But I think more than anything else, it's the experience of not feeling like ourselves in our body, that creates emotional hunger. And so for women who are craving moments of pleasure, who are craving, just comfort and satisfaction, they have never given themselves permission to just lean into that, it's always been, that's a problem, you have to do something about that you have to fix that you have to restrict you have to control. So, you know, I think that the attunement of what exactly is going on? What are the unmet needs that are being either caused or exacerbated by these hormone changes that are normal, but still problematic for you in this life? You that you're trying to live? How can we actually try and honor all of that in a way that feels intuitive, so that the hunger and fullness piece comes up so much, because so many women really feel like there's something wrong with them, that they're craving these foods, when in fact, in the moment, it's self care, you know, like, let's just lean into it and stop feeling guilty about wanting a cookie when we've had a crappy day. 
Melissa Landry  17:33  
So validating
literally, this is like, I'm like, processing so much.
I think this grin and bare it thing you said just keeps hitting me right. Like the fact that Selena and I don't know anything about our mother's menopause is testament to this, like our bosses were once again, trying to hold all of their internal struggles within them. And we don't have a clue. And I imagine listeners who are going through this or maybe questioning if they're going through this, this is really I hope it's really validating for you to hear that. You know, it's a normal thing to feel wonky during this time is what you're saying like it does feel disruptive. It does feel disconnected?
Jen  18:16  
Yeah, I mean, I describe it as the hormone suit changes. So for the first part of your, you know, 20s 30s 40s, you have been making predictable hormone soup on a schedule. For most people. Obviously, there are exceptions to that. But for most women who have had normal regular cycles, they can landmark where they are based on how they're feeling. It's like, oh, my boobs are a little sore. I'm about three days out, Oh, I've got a headache. It's gonna start tomorrow. Oh, I've got lots of energy on midcycle. Like we can landmark, right? All of that changes, because when you get into perimenopause, your ovaries start to sputter. And when they start to sputter, the amounts of estrogen kind of can go wild, or can dry up and can change from month to month, the amount of progesterone that you produce is in decline, and the follicles aren't reliably producing the same amounts. So now you have the soup that you're making on a completely different schedule, with ingredients that have changed. Some are backordered, you don't know if you're going to get them again. And every cell in your body really has estrogen and progesterone receptors. So why wouldn't this be a whole body experience? Why are we only talking about period changes, you know, this really is your swimming and what I call a completely different hormone soup. And it's not bad or wrong, but it's just different. And if you've never been kind of, if that's never been explained to you, you may feel like something's wrong with you. And there's nothing wrong with you. But that doesn't mean that you have to wing it. You know, we can get support in this time of our life. We don't have to just wait for it to be over.
Melissa Landry  19:49  
Oh, I have a question about that because there's a lot of support, quotation marks, air ones that are out there and are so ridiculous. So ridiculous. So How do we know? What's real? What's not? 
Jen  20:03  
Well, I hope that anyone listening to this podcast would know that if there are any, like wild claims about how diet can cure everything, the chances are that's not the case. But that's really the biggest one, you know, is that I think, in all aspects of health, but a little bit, it seems to prey on women in midlife, is this idea that everything can be cured with food? Yeah, and that, you know, diets that are free of carbohydrates are high in this or low in that or whatever it is, are going to be the solution to all the problems. But I think that, you know, we all know that for the most part, those kind of restrictive diets just cause more problems than they solve. Even if sugar is triggering a hot flash, that doesn't mean that you have to avoid all sugar, right? Like, we can take the information that is real and true, like your lived experience, and combine it with facts and evidence to kind of come up with something that is sustainable and work for you. So I think that for the most part, it's really the restrictive diets, or the promises of that supplements can cure every symptom, or that there are alternatives out there. I mean, as a naturopathic doctor, I absolutely love the integrative approach. But that doesn't mean that hormones are bad. So you know, a lot of women will want alternatives to hormone therapy, because they believe that it's bad or dangerous or isn't as good as a natural approach, when in fact, hormones are pretty natural. And so if they're, you know, if that's what you need to feel like yourself, again, so that you can navigate these next few years with self compassion and confidence. Great, if that's not for you, and you're looking for a different approach, great. Like, we don't have to pit them one against the other. 
Melissa Landry  21:44  
Yeah like, staying you center, like these are all tools at your disposal. That different focus feels like different folks are going to choose different things at different times different situations. And that's okay. I think the problem with a lot of the diet messaging is intrinsically if you say, Okay, this way of eating is going to stop these hot flashes, symptoms, whatever. And then you're saying, well, actually, the hormone soup is changing. So you can do that all you want, but this unpredictability is causing those symptoms, what happens to blame, it falls on the person following the diet. And that is how these diet cycles get really, really reinforced. I'm also wondering about binge eating among women with menopause because like this idea of like sleep and emotional dysregulation and hunger and then maybe we're restricting certain foods on top of that, to try to get the symptom deep. What do you observe around binging in menopause communities?
Jen  22:38  
Yeah, I mean, non eating disorder associated binging is very much associated, as we know with restriction and emotional hunger. And so and I think that women in menopause and perimenopause really kind of flip flop between those two frequently I see that all the time. But there is also a second peak of women with eating disorders and you know, like clinical bulimia and anorexia, that it's it. There's another peak that happens in midlife. There's research suggesting that body image dissatisfaction has another peak in midlife. So there might be a physiological tied to that that because our brain and perimenopause actually looks a lot like puberty. The hormone changes in those two periods of life are kind of, you know, similar. So I think that when we acknowledge that there's an emotional connection to our relationship with food, and there's an emotional connection with our hormones, we can see how those three kind of all blend together maybe a little bit more often. But yeah, I see it a lot for sure. 
Melissa Landry  23:37  
Right? And then there's this like, societal or cultural layer on top of that, that trickles down on this individual experience that you're having. And so I want to talk about body image for menopausal or menopausal women, you know, and getting ready for the episode, Leanne and I were talking about what we see in the media. And I'm sure it's it's not even hitting us the way that older women experienced because we're not yet there. But specific things we see is like, belly fat, really, these you know, those stupid ads, oh, my gosh, God, or it's like, melt away the belly fat and like, what is what is this situation that we are? There's a lot of targeting of supplementation diets around that. Can you speak to a little bit about like fat distribution changes the normal aging process? How does that body image experience appear for women and how does that impact their nutrition?
Jen  24:30  
So what happens with body distribution body fat distribution is that as we get further into perimenopause and get closer to menopause, our estrogen levels are starting to bottom out and when our estrogen levels are low, we tend to have a shift in where our body is soft and round and curvy. And so we go from that, you know, kind of pear shape that's always described, you know, for reproductive women to more of an apple shape, so meaning that Your how your body looks is going to change even if the scale never moves. And so a lot of women will experience this, oh my goodness, you know, I now have a air quote belly or and I never had that before, what am I doing wrong? What do I need to do differently. And I try and reassure them that this change has been programmed into your DNA, since like the start of time. And so you know, leaning into that, not necessarily loving it, but just leaning into the understanding of, okay, this is happening. And it's because my estrogen levels are lower. And we know that women who take hormone replacement therapy, for example, that body composition doesn't change when we introduce the estrogen backend. So it's not just the estrogen like this is a change that happens 80% of women experience body and weight changes, that has to be normal on some level, or if it's happening to 80% of, you know, people with a uterus, this is happening, because it is part of, you know, kind of how we develop and how our bodies change over time. But, you know, there's so much targeting of how that's not acceptable. And it gets, you know, we start to blame that, you know, start to try and attribute it to health reasons like, oh, well, even if you could learn to love it, isn't it unhealthy? Shouldn't you try and change it? And you know, so I try and tell women that the what we need to do is to normalize the body change, and to focus on the behaviors that are health promoting, and to just not, not totally forget about it, because I think that's a big ask, especially if you have been in diet culture for a long time, and had been trying to change your body for the better part of your adult life. But just to start to work towards body neutrality, where that your belly isn't the focus of what you look at every time you see yourself in the mirror, that you can learn to accept that your body has changed, that it's not your fault, it's nothing that you did, it's nothing you need to fix. And that you are that your self image can become so much more than just how you see your body and how you perceive the world sees your body. But it's a journey. It really it's not an easy, it's not an easy thing.
Melissa Landry  27:05  
And you mentioned neutrality. We just did a whole episode on this. So go back if you did not get the steps on how to do it. Awesome. Well, this.
So I have like a bunch of things going through my brain right now. Because I think of this from the Latinx point of view. And so like, there's two questions I have for you, and I don't know if we can combine them into one. One, my understanding has always been and maybe you could debunk this, maybe this is old knowledge. And I just haven't kept up with the research. I don't know. But my understanding was that because our body isn't producing estrogen anymore, and fat is needed to produce estrogen. Our bodies kind of get wonky thinking maybe if I hold on to more fat distributed into different places, I can create estrogen from this estriol that I have that is not converted. 
Unknown Speaker  27:49  
That's absolutely one of the theories. Yeah. So you know, I think that one of those theory, or I think that that theory isn't talked about a whole lot, and I think it's difficult to like definitively say, Yes, this is why, but it makes sense, especially when we look at the data on bone health, right. So there was that really big finished study that came out just a couple of months ago, that found that women who had the largest weight gain in over a 25 year period, were least likely or she had the smallest amount of bone loss at like 75, or something like that. And you know, so I think that when we look at the role of estrogen and you know, maintaining bone density and protecting bone health, it makes sense that that could be one of the most important roles of the shifting distribution in midlife.
Melissa Landry  28:36  
The other my next, my next one, is I think of like, I always think of frickin JLo because everybody loves JLo. And I think about the fact that she's in her 50s. And everybody's a good look at her, like, blah, blah. And I'm like, first of all, nobody really looks like that in real life. The second of all, like, this broad has probably gone through menopause. But no belly fat. So like, I feel like this. And then this is like the perception that the media has, and in the light and its culture RTV just like the media that were being said, a lot of these women tend to continue to look like this, even after they go through menopause. So it gives this false sense for us. And I think in all media, but I, I just talk from my experience, this false sense that we should continue to look like that. And I think it's so it's it's so sad that that's
so loud. When Yeah, J Lo J Lo transcends my best friend tech. We're in our 30s My best friend text me probably every day. A story about Jennifer. Yeah. I'm in the middle. Something I can't read about Jayla right now. But she loves it. But I'm thinking of like, what's her name? Rachel? Rachel, Jennifer Aniston. Rachel, from our friends of Ross and Rachel. Hello. Jennifer Aniston. Angelina Jolie. I don't really know their exact age but there's They're recording. All these celebrities are kind of more on the ultra thin side of the spectrum, there is this very loud celebration. And I think ageism is wrapped up in this ableism is wrapped up in this. There's a lot of isms that make it hard for women to really feel comfortable aging gracefully, because the it's like when someone celebrates weight loss, it's like, okay, I'm learning to be okay with my body. But I remember when you celebrated how thin I was, or okay, I'm learning to be okay with my belly fat. But why are we all doing cartwheels every time JLo just steps out of the car, like, yeah, really hard for I think all of us to live in that messaging.
Jen  30:38  
Yeah. And I think it's like every other aspect of our culture, we only elevate those in the media who meet the criteria of the thin ideal. So there are people who I think naturally have fewer body changes than others, because that's the diversity of the human body. Right. But the media selects for us what we see correct. And so we're not seeing, you know, like, there was a story a couple of months ago about Pierce Brosnan and his wife, that picture went around, I don't know if you guys saw that. And I and I loved it. Because you know, they've been together for something like 25 years, and it showed like a picture of them in the 90s. And then a picture of them now and their bodies have changed. And I think that was the only time I'd ever seen a picture of the two of them. That really reflected, I think, a average midlife body change. And so you know, when we see people like JLo, and who knows, maybe that is her natural genetic, you know, predisposition, I don't know, I assume that a lot of people probably also have some plastic surgery, like certainly that that happens a lot in that sphere, how much of it is natural, right? How much of it is related to things that she is in control of. So I think that remembering that we only see the 5% That's what the media chooses to present to us. And so, you know, really seeking out that body diversity, and all ages and stages, as you both know, is how we normalize all bodies.
Melissa Landry  32:07  
Right, it is a process to unravel that, you know, like, like you've been mentioning, you might have been pursuing that or maybe even had that experience of a thinner body all those years. And that changed. That's a hard shift for a lot of people. And that's okay, if it feels challenging. And at the same time, you can question why that has felt so valuable to you can think about other values that you have, particularly this season of your life, it was I only have my what the early 20s to compare to at this moment. But it changes it's okay, if seasons change and what you care about changes to
Jen  32:40  
Yeah, and I think that that's just such an important thing to for a lot of the women that I see, they felt like what they had done in their 20s and 30s. worked, right. And so even if their definition of working in hindsight, wasn't actually working, but they felt like it was because they could keep doing it or keep going back to it. But then you hit midlife and something fundamentally changes. And that's kind of what I hear over and over again, they'll just say, it's stopped working. I don't know what's happened, but it has stopped working. And again, when we unpack well, like, was it really working? If you had to keep going back to it? Like if it was 25 years of trying? Is that working? And you know, what else could you have done to feel better in your body? What else could you have done to pursue those health goals? But yeah, there's a shift that happens. And you know, that shift is a kind of like a point of no return. And that's not meant to be like a doomsday kind of thing. But my fertile years are over. I can't change that. Even if I went on hormone replacement therapy, I'm not going to become fertile. Right. So and as a result of that, my hormone soup has changed. And I have to accept that that comes with some changes on the outside and the inside.
Melissa Landry  33:51  
Yeah. Change is hard. It is hard. And the awesome. Great. 
Unknown Speaker  33:58  
That's the thing about midlife that I always want people to take away from I wouldn't go back to being 24 or even like 34 No offense because it's better. Because at 44 I absolutely love that I know exactly what I want and what I don't want. I love that I am in a creative time of my life because my brain isn't thinking about reproducing anymore. You know, I love that I probably won't swear on here but like I have no more F's to give about things that I don't care
Dalina Soto  34:30  
about. Or the F bomb Fuck yeah,
Jen  34:31  
no. I have no more fucks to give and that is the best part about midlife.
Melissa Landry  34:37  
Is that I guess cursing, would you would you believe
Jen  34:41  
so, you know, I think that for a lot of women, it's they dread it, they fear it, they fight it. Lean in it is awesome. Even if you don't love your body every moment of it. It is awesome.
Melissa Landry  34:53  
I think we might need you to come back for another episode, but I want to focus on sexuality after this
We just had a sex therapist. Yeah. Yeah, it changes. It changes.
I just felt like now I need to learn more. But apparently I might be in perimenopause.
We don't want to have all her ducks in a row for the rest of her life. Okay, this is gonna feel like a major right turn. Okay. Because we have brought up supplements a few times in this conversation. I mentioned my mom's, you know, supplementation, or that would that was very popular whenever she was going through it. This is a tough one. Because I think on the one hand, you know, people want that quick fix, they want to believe that they can take a supplement and everything will, you know, work out on the other hand, I hear lived experience that supplements can help people that they do notice a difference with them. And then I know there's people like you who have the training and expertise to think about that from a more integrative place. And so tell us a little bit about your take on supplements, how do we think about them without falling into diet culture, Pitfall? No.
Jen  36:02  
So I mean, the the category of supplements is huge. So I think if we break that down a little bit more, there are some integrative treatments, specifically with herbal medicine, for example, that can be really effective for symptoms like hot flashes, and night sweats. And, you know, things like sleep and mood changes. And for some women, they are absolute game changers. And that's wonderful. I love when that when that's an option for people, but they don't work for everyone, just like, you know, not everyone responds to all things. But I think that what we need to be really cautious of, is that for the most part, in most parts of the world, the supplement industry is relatively unregulated, it may be regulated for safety, you know, meaning that like you can't produce it in your backyard and throw it into a bottle and sell it, it may be regulated for a minimum standard of efficacy, but it is not regulated in a way that we can, you know, safely apply to all people. So I'm a big advocate, obviously, of really kind of getting professional advice on that. I think that when you go into a store, where they're where they sell a lot of herbal supplements, for example, it can be really overwhelming. And the tendency because this is how our brain works is to buy one with all the things it's like, oh, this has 10 things, that's going to be really good. But you're really going to be getting like token amounts of all those little things. And so when you work with someone who is trained and knowing, you know, kind of what to use and win, chances are I'm going to use maybe one two or three things and you know, your your chance of having a good response to that is much higher. Obviously, a lot of the diet culture supplements around weight loss are all bogus. There isn't any supplement that ever has been invented that is legal, you know, that works for metabolism or fat burning or anything like that. So that's a that's an easy steer clear recommendation.
Melissa Landry  37:57  
Yeah, that's helpful. There is seemingly more of that I noticed advertisements for like metabolism type supplements lately. I do think that as there's more awareness about like anti diet movements, dieting, it feels taboo for a lot of people, right. So like, my husband just told me there days I was walking in the park, and I overheard these women talking. And one of the women said, Well, I don't diet, but then proceeded to talk about how she is restricting all throughout the day. And he's like, that's so interesting. Like, people don't want to be associated with dieting as a behavior anymore. But maybe they're still restricting. And they don't want to all this to say I think that gives a strange opportunity for the supplements to kind of come in, and almost act as if we're working with the body in a way that's, you know what I mean? Like there's these weird loopholes that I think diet culture start taking advantage of, and this may be one of them, where people are trying to work around well, not dieting, but the supplements natural, that kind of stuff. Yeah.
Jen  38:55  
And we get we get like a comfort from thinking that something is natural, there's a an inherent safety that we believe is there. And I think that applies often. But it's not assumed. And it's not guaranteed. And it doesn't mean that the alternative is unsafe, you know, so when it comes to people looking for hormone replacement things, I mean, one of the reasons why I started focusing on this area is that I tried some hormone replacement therapy, and it didn't agree with me, I tried it several times, and I'm just one of those people that the side effects just don't work for me. So I was really motivated personally to you know, find things that worked and I'm thankful that I have that have helped me kind of smooth the journey, but it doesn't mean that one is better than the other. It just meant that one was better for me. And so you know, when you have when you can when you have one party or half a team that can really help you navigate those decisions, so that you feel confident, then that is the best choice for you.
Melissa Landry  39:48  
Right, right and picking up all those factors like we've talked a lot about, like your past history with dieting, your relationship to your body, your mother's age at menopause, there's all these other factors factors that really should be thought about before selecting something off the shelf and absolutely good with any regularity. So, yeah, it is helpful to be strategic, I guess or experiment in a way that's informed so that you can find what works. Absolutely. You're just, I'm just so impressed. I never even thought about all this stuff. This is really helpful. 
Dalina Soto  40:24  
I don't know how to say, I'm flabbergasted and that doesn't happen a lot. Like I don't ever just stay quiet. You know this. I don't even know where to go. 
Melissa Landry  40:31  
I do want to make like a reel of your face just react. Specifically, the phrase sputtering estrogen I watched you remind, she was like what it does what?
Jen  40:44  
And it was in a great visual visual, you just see like the jalopy car, down the road.
Melissa Landry  40:51  
Amazing, amazing. Well, good. I really appreciate your time and expertise. As far as I'm aware, you are one of the only anti diet menopause voices I have seen. And I'm just so appreciative for that. I think you represent a group of people that really want this access to information. I know for my mom's generation, there is there wasn't a lot of support for anti diet culture messaging are. So it's just so so important where you're doing. So I want to make sure you keep keep going with this because I think I think you're onto something where can our followers find you and tag along with your work?
Jen  41:25  
So the best place is always on Instagram, that kind of is you know, where I hang out and anything that I'm doing or have on offer will be on there and in the link in my bio and yeah, that's kind of the safest place I think to find me regularly. At menopause dot nutritionist. Menopause dot nutritionist.
Melissa Landry  41:44  
I will put that in show notes. So if any of you are interested, you can go give Jenna follow. Thank you so much for being with us today. Enjoyed it.
Jen  41:51  
Thank you for having me. This has been great. I love this conversation. All right.
Melissa Landry  41:55  
Bye, everybody. Thanks, Jen, by helping you feel less alone in unlearning generational dieting is what I do. That's why I was super thrilled to talk about the impact of our moms biology has on the diet cycle, right? It's not just how they treated us or taught us a role model for us. There's also biology involved and how that impacts what our bodies look like and all the rest. So this conversation was super interesting. And right now I am bringing women together through the no more guilt community membership to learn about intuitive eating through my repeatable framework. And so if you are a mom of little children or adult children, I want you to know our space is welcoming no matter what generation you're from or where you're at. We believe that you can break the diet cycle whenever you're ready to do it. So if you've been doing intuitive eating and body image work on your own, spinning your wheels, it's okay to say you know what, I don't know what I don't know. And sometimes a little bit support is all we need to get where we want to be. And that's why I'm inviting you to become a No more guilt community member if you're interested in this and are looking for ways to get your feet wet. With deeper work on intuitive eating and body image head over to Instagram at no more guilts my Lincoln bio will have the membership or the waitlist or you can DM me with any other questions about services happening now. Alright, Lena, thanks for being here and for being who you are same to our audience
Dalina Soto  43:17  
Peace love and break the diet cycle.