The Menopods

Canadian Masters Athletics and Inspired Soles Podcasts have partnered to bring our CMA members a 6-part series about the journey of women from peri-menopause, through menopause, and beyond.

CMA Director Carolyn Coffin and Kim Sankey, producers of Inspired Soles, bring their curiosity and experienced deep-diving skills to interview 3 women athletes, at varying stages, and ask questions of 3 experts, concerning nutrition, training, sleep and mental health. Both hosts are runners, have a background in physiotherapy, and are starting on the peri-menopause stage themselves. They will discuss the highs and lows, to shine a light on all of these stages, and to hopefully encourage discussion among women with each other and with their partners or coaches.

We at CMA hope this series will enlighten and support our female members…all of whom fall somewhere along this continuum. We want you to feel that you are not alone, and that yes, there may be challenges affecting your life and athletic performance, but there are solutions.

The series is conducted in English. 

Val Schonberg is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian with a master’s degree in nutrition science from the University of Minnesota. She is Board Certified as a Specialist in Sports Dietetics, a Certified Menopause Practitioner with The Menopause Society (previously known as the North American Menopause Society) and a Fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Val owns a private practice in Atlanta, Georgia where she specializes in midlife health and menopause, recreational and professional sports nutrition, all types of eating disorders and helping individuals break free from dieting and disordered eating.

In this conversation we talk about the common tendency to overthink nutrition. Val invites us to embrace the idea that nutrition can be simple, that midlife can be a great opportunity to rethink our health goals, and how we can shift our focus from weight to wellbeing. Val discusses her sensible “food first” approach to nourishing our bodies, testing vs. guessing when it comes to supplementing, and non-scale victories. Val is passionate about providing nutrition care to populations vulnerable to disordered eating and promoting positive nutrition messages that help people make informed decisions about their health and live a life where they are at peace in their relationship with food and their body.

Amanda Thebe is a Fitness and Women’s Health Expert from Toronto, ON, and an affiliated member of the Canadian and North American Menopause Society. She is the author of the Amazon best-selling book, Menopocalypse: How I Learned to Thrive During Menopause and How You Can Too and has nearly 30 years of experience in the fitness industry.

As a highly-regarded expert on women’s fitness and health, Amanda joins us as part of this series on menopause to talk about the role fitness plays in surviving and thriving through this phase of life.

Amanda is also Canada’s first menopause workplace educator. Through menopause advocacy and education, she helps companies to normalize the conversation around menopause and provide support which impacts 100 percent of their female employees.

When we invited Amanda to educate us and our listeners, we knew she would not only bring wisdom and knowledge but refreshing humour and a no-nonsense approach to subjects usually shrouded in shame.

Dr. Nese Yuksel is a full Professor with the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the College of Health Sciences at the University of Alberta. She also holds a cross-appointment with Alberta Health Services and has been practicing in the areas of menopause and osteoporosis for nearly 25 years. She is passionate about bringing her clinical experience to inform her research and teaching. Dr. Yuksel is a Menopause Society Certified Practitioner (MSCP, formerly NCMP) and the current president for the Canadian Menopause Society. Basically, she is very qualified to be here talking Menopause 101 with us but she brings more than her brains to this conversation.

Carrie Oswald is a 56-year old postmenopausal woman who underwent a hysterectomy at age 33 for uterine fibroids that were causing constant periods and extreme blood loss. Although her uterus was removed and she no longer had a monthly menstrual cycle, she still has her ovaries and therefore experienced classic perimenopausal symptoms in her mid-to-late forties such as hot flashes, night sweats, and mood swings. Once those symptoms completely subsided around age 50, Carrie made an active decision to get back into shape. She joined Orange Theory fitness and loved watching her body composition change, her energy return, and her confidence soar. A year or two later she decided it was time to return to sprinting on the track, something she hadn’t done since her teenage years. It was there that she met her people and took inspiration from like-minded masters track & field athletes, many of whom were much older and faster than she was. More recently Carrie hired a former Olympian to coach her for hurdles! Carrie has overcome a lot in her journey as a second-generation Trinidadian woman who was born & raised in Canada, but she’s also one of the most positive and optimistic people you will ever meet. This conversation left us hopeful about what the postmenopausal years can look like.

Sasha Gollish is a 42-year old elite middle and long distance runner who holds the masters world record in the indoor mile (4:38.73) and also represented Team Canada in the marathon at the 2023 World Athletics   Championships in Budapest, Hungary. Sasha has been very open on social media about the challenging perimenopausal symptoms she’s been navigating for the past several years and we just love her honesty & transparency on a subject matter that has historically been clouded in secrecy and shame. Seeing female athletes at the top of their game well into their 40s is a relatively new phenomenon and yet it’s starting to happen across many disciplines. Always one to stand up for what she believes in, Sasha is now using her platform to change the narrative about this stage of life and show women that we can absolutely kick butt into midlife and beyond.

Jill Moreash is a 56-year old who is absolutely thriving as a postmenopausal woman. She is a personal trainer and group fitness instructor at Variety Village in Scarborough, Ontario, and she owns & operates a fitness business, Your Wellness Warrior. A lifelong athlete who takes excellent care of herself, Jill figured she would sail through perimenopause but she still experienced some of the classic symptoms in her mid-to-late forties such as hot flashes, night sweats, sleep disturbances, moodiness, joint pain, urge incontinence and itchy skin.

Instead of being a victim of her circumstances, Jill took it upon herself to learn about what was going on and share what she discovered with others. Jill is currently enrolled in Dr. Stacy Sims’ menopause 2.0 course and plans to create a menopause course for her own clients. Jill is a firm believer in opening up healthy dialogues about this stage of life so that women don’t have to suffer in silence the way they have in generations past.

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