Mood swings are not uncommon

The WKC karate world championships are coming. In three weeks, more or less, we (Eldest and I) will be on our way to Orlando to compete as part of Team Canada. Kind of like last year in Dublin, except this time Catherine is competing in sparring instead of kata - I'm still doing both.

Another difference since last year is that I'm a year older. And yes, it makes a difference.

I'm about to hit 47 (in fact my birthday is during Worlds, wanna know what I'd like?). And as you'll know if you are acquainted with a woman roughly my age, perimenopause is a world-class bitch. Mostly because it interferes with the training. And, er, most everything else.

I've had symptoms of Impending Changes for a few years now - probably about five years. But for no good reason at all, they've ramped up in the last six or seven months, with no sign of going away.

I get hot flashes and the dreaded night sweats (and boy, ew). Mood swings. A very irregular cycle. My joints go loose and hurt. I don't sleep as well as I used to. I have less energy. And looking at a stick of celery makes me bloat. Basically I'm like an unstable teenager, minus the energy.

It's all a big giant bother. Especially as you're trying to keep up with the youngins with whom you train. And especially as we crank it all the way up to 11 to be ready for Worlds.


I've had to re-tweak my diet again, to eliminate even more of the already-low carbs I was ingesting. I find that carbs - and especially refined sugar - sap what energy I have. I barely touch bread (or rice, or any other starch). I even limit my fruit intake (did you know there's a ton of sugar in a single cup of 100% pure freshly squeeze orange juice?) and more or less swear off processed foods. Even beer is mostly a no-no. Something I can have once a week, as a treat. Otherwise it's half a glass of red wine. Because it has less sugar.

And you never get a freaking break. Actually, scratch that. You do get little breaks sometimes, when you feel good. Usually it lasts three hours, tops. And you always pay for it.

And I'm sick of paying for it.

I manage by making sure I always exercise, even on my days off training - of which there aren't many. I've increased my jogging distance to 6km every morning, whether I feel like it or not, and I do weights and other light exercises on my own just to keep things moving. I am religious about my sleep - even if I don't sleep, or don't sleep well, I lie in bed for 7.5 or 8 hours at a stretch. I take naps whenever possible.

It's crazy how much discipline you need not to feel like a blob of sluggish lard. I positively hate it. I've tried ignoring it and when that didn't work, I rebelled against it.

Didn't work either.

I'm told the only reliable thing to look forward to is my 60s. Apparently things get peachy again in your 60s. That's great! But, um, what about this here nowish era?

Discipline, discipline, discipline. And then some. I hate it, but there's no other way.