On diet, exercise, and the menopause

Women talk a lot about the menopause lately, which is good, I guess. However, I am noticing a distinct pathologising of a biological process which doesn’t need to be much more than ‘now you can’t naturally have a baby’. And ‘hurrah, no more periods to deal with!’ I went into menopause when I was 39 or 40, so I’ve been menopausal for nigh on a decade. After the initial shock of mortality, I can’t say I have experienced any particular issues as a part of menopause. Aside from the cessation of my periods, I have never had any of the symptoms listed on the NHS page for menopause. (Or, to be more specific, I’ve never had them as a consequence of menopause.) I suppose the biggest symptom I have had, is a general feeling of gratitude to be rid of something which was always superfluous to requirements: I have never needed

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On hiking with Morton’s neuroma

I’ve gone mad for walking and will need to update my bio from an obsession with microbes and fungi to one with hiking. I am starting to suspect that my carnivore experiment earlier this year slaughtered a colony of fibre loving microbes which were controlling me and making my every act be one of microbial veneration. Sorry bacteria, but at least the residual colonies are getting nice days out. Anyway, hiking. I love it, but alongside my achilles tendinopathy, I also have Morton’s neuroma which makes walking very painful after a few kilometres. Thankfully my Hoka Tor Ultra hiking boots are helping the achilles element, but they unfortunately do bugger all for the Morton’s neuroma element. The pain I get when the neuroma kicks in starts off with a kind of tingling numbness at the base of the middle three toes, and then very quickly turns into a sensation of burning

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On exercise goals

I don’t normally have specific exercise goals. I just have a commitment to exercise 3 to 4 times per week, to get stronger, and to generally support healthy aging. Actually, I suppose they are exercise goals! What I mean is, I don’t normally have a defined thing that I want to achieve like wanting to run x distance in under x minutes, or wanting to do x lift at x weight. I just kind of keep at whatever type of exercise I’m doing at the moment, and then switch up when I get bored. This year was different.¬†This year I wanted to get one pull-up. I have not been able to do pull-ups since I dislocated my shoulder in my mid-twenties. I have sporadically tried to get a pull-up for the last decade, but I never seemed to get close to achieving it. So I would give up after a while

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On rehabbing achilles after Vivobarefoot shoes (part two)

Earlier this year, I wrote about my achilles tendinopathy which was caused by wearing Vivobarefoot shoes. I still have the tendinopathy and am now on the waiting list for shockwave therapy. Please don’t wear barefoot shoes. Learn from my mistake and don’t wear barefoot shoes. I actually had this conversation with a newbie convert recently. He was devoutly proselytising that our feet are evolutionarily ‘designed’ to be barefoot, so wearing shoes which mimic this state can’t be bad for us. Yes, young padawan, but whilst our feet are designed to be barefoot, they’re not designed to be barefoot on tarmac or concrete, which is what most of us spend our outdoor time walking on. They’re designed to be barefoot on grass, sand, soil, and and other natural materials: materials which all have some ‘give’ in them. In my experience, those of us who live in urban environments need more cushioning in

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On willpower

Earlier this week, I was helping a woman with some basic calisthenics exercises in the park. She saw me doing some bar work and asked for help. She is eight years younger than me, and started exercising this year. She runs 4-5 times per week, including the park run, but she isn’t getting the results she wants, both in terms of how she looks and how she feels. Aside from the fact that she is running too much and needs to concentrate more on strength training to build muscle mass, the crazy thing is that she knows exactly why she is failing to meet her goal: her diet. She knows very well that you can’t out run a bad diet, but yet she still can’t stop herself eating loads of cake. (Her words.) Then she said that I must have good willpower. This really stuck with me as I don’t perceive

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