Strong and Courageous with Dr. Vonda Wright on the MenoLounge- A Transcript

Dr. Vonda Wright on Strength and Courage

Transcript from the MenoLounge live interview on Tuesday, March 5th 2024

Julie Gordon White: Well, hi everyone. Welcome to the MenoLounge. I'm Julie Gordon White, CEO of MenoWell, menopause energy and protein bars. And we're on a special time today because we have a special guest. One of my favorite midlife, I'm just going to say badasses. I mean, she is the very best. I'm going to bring her up right away.

I see you’re here Vonda, Dr. Vonda Wright, her third podcast interview today. She is everywhere, all the time, doing the thing. Dr. Wright! Hello, hello! How are you?

Dr. Vonda: Good, how are you?

 Julie Gordon White: I'm so Glad to see you. I mean we were together, I guess it was a month ago on the Pause Cruise. So fun. When you hang out with somebody for five days, it’s like, I miss you. How are you? What's going on?

Dr. Vonda: Oh, why can't we all just live in a cul de sac? We could meet in the middle. I love it. Plan world peace.

Julie Gordon White: Cul de sac. Beautiful. All right. If anyone doesn't know you, and I know you do know Dr. Vonda, she is a double board-certified orthopedic surgeon. All things bones, ligaments, joints, tendons, all the good stuff. Specializing in sports medicine and longevity. She's a multi book author, podcaster, speaker, Spartan Racer and Midlife Badass.

Dr. Vonda: Boom! All the things.

Julie Gordon White: I just love hanging out with you. And I have to just, I've totally been fangirling you. It's kind of weird because I know you. But watching your content, I love, love, love your new podcast, all your new episodes. And it's fun to see you in my seat over here, uh, doing the interviewing.

I'm like, she already knows the answer to that question, but really, really exciting. And your content is fantastic! So if you're not following Dr. Vonda's podcast. I actually love watching you. You know I like YouTube. I'm a YouTube girl. So I was on YouTube watching. Make sure you head over there.

There's some great interviews, but we're talking today about being strong. Boom. Our favorite you and I and courageous during midlife, right? Yes, so, you know, yeah go for it. I know you've got a great piece of content out there We're gonna talk about how everybody can get it. But tell us why those terms strong and courageous land for you. And I really want to talk about courageous especially first, because I know we have a lot to talk about on the strong. But that whole idea of language, you and I share that language mindset is so important, especially for women in midlife and menopause.

So can we start there?

Dr. Vonda: Yeah, you know what strong and courageous comes from, you know, my old Sunday school days when we would talk about being strong and courageous, do not tremble and be afraid, right? And I find that in midlife, When we're going through these tumultuous hormonal changes or whether, you  can't see the future, which we've never been able to see the future, and yet somehow in midlife when our future is a different kind of aging than it is, sometimes that I hear the word fierce.

So from the mouths of the people I talk to, I'm afraid of this. I'm afraid of falling. I'm afraid of fracturing. I'm afraid of growing old, blah, blah, blah. And so I just thought for me, what is the approach, the mindset approach to midlife, because our brains are influenced by what we say.

If I go around all day saying, I'm afraid, I don't know what's going to happen. I don't know what to do about this. I don't know how I'm going to solve this. That sets us up for failure and it changes us chemically. But when we say things like, I am claiming this time as strong and courageous. When I reflect on my first adulthood, so I just turned 57, I'm like, okay, I've spent 40 years in adulthood. I've spent 40 years as an adult.

Julie Gordon White: I love that you said that. That you said your age, because you know I'm going to be 59. I love saying our age because we want women to know and being courageous to say your age so you can own it. We don't have to hide behind it. That's a huge signal, languaging to ourselves about that.

Dr. Vonda: You know, the older the better, frankly, because the stronger I am now at older ages, the more in awe people are. Frankly, maybe it's vanity of mine. Like, yes, I did a Spartan at 56. Why wouldn't I?

Julie Gordon White: Right.

Dr. Vonda: What we say to ourselves matters. That's why all the gratefulness journals, that's why all the positivity stuff we do, what you say matters.

So if you say, go in with the attitude of fear, that's how you're going to feel. That's how you're going to respond. That's how your physiology is going to be. But if you recognize…I mean, I'm just giving you the account, I lived through my first adulthood. I'm about two weeks into my next adulthood.

If you think back and just make a little life resume of here's all the hardship that I did in the last 40 years. Look at all, I mean, just do the exercise people from the time you left for college or whatever, 17 until now list. Everything you've solved, who you've raised, what trips you've done, all your accomplishments.

What you got out of, you know, I've been married at least once and I survived that, you know. So, I've been married now to an amazing person, but at least once before. And give yourself credit for being strong.  

Julie Gordon White: Oh, pause right there. Give yourself credit. We're talking about being courageous in midlife. Women do not give themselves credit for all the things that we've accomplished.

We just think, Oh that's just what we do. Or it was easy. And especially if it was easy, we really don't give ourselves credit. But the reason why it was easy is because we had the skills, the capacity to actually do it. And that's really when we need to give ourselves credit.

Dr. Vonda: And you know what else is amazing about women?

Not only do we have the strength to get through it, but if we don't know how to do something, we will figure this shit out!

 Julie Gordon White: Right?

Dr. Vonda: Right. I mean, I didn't know how to raise a baby. I figured that out or I didn't know how to do a lot of things. We are capable. We've done a lot of strong things before. We're going to do strong things again. We are going to call on the mental resilience of having figured things out to be courageous, stepping forward. I will step forward and encourage to figure out menopause, to figure out midlife, to figure out my next career move, to figure out how we're going to pay for college, or whatever.

But that's why I chose those words, strong and courageous. And when I wrote my little PDF that I'm giving away, because people ask me thousands of questions every day, and I want to answer everybody, but I can't answer everybody. And so I thought, well, let me just dump my brain. The reason it's called strong and courageous, and you would think the very first thing I talk about is how to build muscle mass, which I do talk about.

But not the first thing. No, the first thing is how to pivot our mindset from worshiping. I always look over my left shoulder, worshiping our youth. We've talked about this where we're like, oh my God, 25 was so amazing. Well, it was okay. Uh, but I owe a lot of money. I wasn't done with school. I still called my mom to write checks. I didn't know myself.

Julie Gordon White: That's it. Right. No confidence.

 Dr. Vonda: Right. I didn't know myself well enough. And I didn't have my F this attitude that I really actually do now. I mean, I don't give a flying rat's ass who does or doesn't want me to do something because I have figured this life out So, you know who you are.

Julie Gordon White: We don't know who we are at 25 and that's part of the journey. I have a 25 year old daughter You have a young daughter, you know, they're figuring it out and they do care about what other people think that's the journey. But right now we're like I'm good. I'm fine with my decisions, right?

Dr. Vonda: And so that is the attitude going forward. And someone just said, I struggle with so much confidence. Well, you know what? Let's build that confidence resilience by just taking one little step. Maybe tomorrow. You speak up in a way you never would have before, and you'll gain that confidence or you do something you've never done before. I wasn't confident when I signed up for this Spartan obstacle Who-hah that I did.

And now that I did it, and now that I'm doing it again in May. I didn’t think I could get over a six foot, or eight foot wall, or any of the other things.

Julie Gordon White: And you and I are like pocket sized. We're teeny.

Dr. Vonda: But you know what? I figured it out. I outsmarted the obstacle. That's just what we do. Strategy.

Julie Gordon White: Strategy, right? That's the whole thing. We'll try it. This is what I love, and why you and I are so in sync, because when I started MenoWell, it was really about bringing empowerment to menopause through nutrition. And you know, we have a whole MenoFesta and the essence of it is to believe that the best is yet to come.

And the keyword is belief because we know aging is a blessing. It's a gift. The opposite is not so good, but we have to start with, if we are fortunate enough to be blessed to continue to age, then we should, we need to choose this word, believe that things can be fantastic and all new things are available for us.

And if we don't believe it, then that's when we get stuck. Then we fall and all the things and then you have to do surgery on us, but believe. And then confidence comes from action. I think a lot of times we think women should just be courageous. Well, where do you get it from? This is something I talk to my kids about and especially, I have two sons and a daughter but confidence comes from taking the first little step, right?

And like Martin Luther King says faith is taking the first step when you don't know where the staircase leads and that's, that's where confidence comes from, is starting, and in midlife we have to take some new steps and sometimes it feels uncomfortable. I like that word better than scary.

I don't know, what do you think about that? Uncomfortable. Cause we're used to, we like being comfortable. Just as a society.

Dr. Vonda: I think that that is a better word. Because scary is like Friday the 13th. Right? Yeah, no one's trying to kill us. But time will, time and inactivity will kill us. You know, so, apply that lens.

Right? Yes. That's scary. That's scary. Because I'm frail, that's scary.  

Julie Gordon White: That’s really scary.

Dr. Vonda: That's Friday the 13th. But uncomfortable just means, uh, I haven't done it before. And the lens I use, and I use this lens as a doctor… I don't say it lightly, but what is the worst thing that's going to happen if we take the next step or step into our courage a little at a time in most likelihood, we're not going to die, right?

Embarrassment never killed anybody. I mean, I have embarrassing stories. Let me tell you. Sometimes we're frozen by being uncomfortable with the unknown, being uncomfortable with not knowing the end game.

Julie Gordon White: Which is all perceived, right? It's all made up because it's in the future anyway, it hasn't happened.

 Dr. Vonda: Exactly.

Julie Gordon White: Yeah, I love it. I think women forget that we need to, this isn't a journey. This is a practice like yoga. We need to always practice expanding our experience, the things that we try and tackle, if you will, because it never, it never ends. There's certain things that we master.

That's the gift of age and wisdom. But if we want to continue to grow and expand and have joy, then we have to put ourselves in places that stretch us like a little rubber band and the cool thing is rubber bands, usually, you stretch them far enough, they don't really go back. Like you just build more capacity for all of that.

So yeah, it's really good. I love it. I'm right there with you because I think having that courageous mindset that you talk about sets us up, especially in midlife, menopause, because we really have to be courageous and the body's like, uh…

Dr. Vonda: It's doing whatever it's doing.

Julie Gordon White: What the heck? And so, when we're courageous, that helps us move over to strong, right?

So let's talk about strong. And I watched your interview with Dr. Stacey Sims. Fire, fire, fire. It was so good. So good. Like fire in a good way. My kids say, mom, that's fire. So let's talk about strong. Tell us about your philosophy, what strong means to you. And then we can talk about some of the myths and some tips from there.

Dr. Vonda: Well, several people, as we have been talking, because they recognize that you've developed this great brand, which I eat all the time, I posted trying to find meno bars.

Julie Gordon White: The best videos! Like, where's my blueberry? That is, I still, I still have a smile on my face every time I think about it. Thank you.

Dr. Vonda: But they keep commenting about one of the things they're uncomfortable about is their meno belly and the 30 pounds that I gained and then lost. And I get that everybody hates that. The thing that has gotten me through that is getting strong. Because when we simply say, okay, I'm going to resort to whatever the magazines say to do and whatever I've done before, which is just starve ourselves, starve ourselves, right.

Julie Gordon White: And do too much cardio.

Dr. Vonda: Right. Do too much cardio, starve ourselves, do not eat enough protein and fiber. What we do is we lose equal amounts of fat, equal amounts of muscle. It slows down our metabolism. And then we just get in this vicious circle. The way I totally recomposed my meno body was by getting really strong.

And what happened is the muscle, because it's metabolically more active, it burns more calories. So I gained 30 pounds. When I recomposed my body, I gained eight pounds of muscle and I lost 12% body fat. I only lost 18 of the 30 because I gained 8 pounds of muscle. Do you see?

Julie Gordon White: Which is what we want. We talk about losing weight. We're always worried. And that's honestly, that's where I started with Menowell. I'd gained that 10+ pounds around the middle at 5’1, not good. I was focused on losing that, but then I learned about how important weights are and muscle. Because when you just reduce your calories only, if you don't put that muscle on, then as soon as you eat the same thing, you gain weight because your body's not working as hard anymore because you lost the muscle and that metabolic,  thermogenic effect of muscle. Yeah. So, and plus didn't you lose inches too? How about your inches?

Dr. Vonda: Oh my God. I'm an off the rack two to four. I'm a little person. I mean, I'm not saying I earned that. I was born that way. So, I may weigh more, but because I'm leaner, all those clothes, I don't have two closets, I just reverted back to whatever I had before menopause. I don't say that, ladies who are listening in any kind of way, except can we please focus on what's going to make us strong, powerful and live longer? Which is muscle. And it's not overwhelmingly hard and don't worry, lifting up some metal, which I'm happy to explain to you how to do, is not going to make you look like a competition physique athlete, unless that's what you want.

Julie Gordon White: Right. I mean even if you do want to look that way. It's still super hard. You have to eat a specific way, lift a specific way.

So most, 90% of us will struggle to ever look like a bodybuilder. So we can just let that go because what you have to do to get there is extremely complicated. It is. It's not just, oh, I lifted 10 pound dumbbells. Like, no way. No way.

Dr. Vonda: Yeah, it's an occupation almost. It's almost like an occupation.

Julie Gordon White: Yes, it is, full time job. That's a great way, it's an occupation. I know some amazing women in their 60's who are bodybuilders and enter body contests.  They are amazing. And what they do, they have multiple trainers. They have somebody who helps them with their food and on and on.

So we can just set that aside. Right. Because always, well, I'm going to get too bulky. Unless you want to do a lot of things. Yeah. Exactly. Okay. So where do women start? Let's, let's act as if they're beginners and then like the beginner intermediate and then advanced kind of things, because I do believe, especially in this menopause midlife conversation, we need to meet women where they are. You and I talk about menopause like drinking water. But other people are still, other women are still very uncomfortable with that. So same thing about lifting heavy. So let's meet them where they are and then kind of progress through. What do you think?

Dr. Vonda: So if you truly, and there is no shame if you're raising your hand saying, you know what, I have been taking care of everybody for the last 30 years and I've not taken care of myself and I don't know how to do it.

And I barely walk, I get in my car, go to my work, come home, pick up everybody else. It's okay. No one is actually judging that. If that is what's going on, for seven days, I just want you to commit after dinner to getting up and going for a walk because that is going to settle your blood sugar. You are gonna push the sugar from your dinner into your muscles and you are not going to spike and you're going to feel different, and you're going to feel like oh my god I committed to myself for seven days And that may be a new thing because you're taking care of everybody else. Now you're devoting 45 minutes to yourself. After you do that for seven days, if you've truly not done things, you get to your know your body.

So you can start with simple calisthenics. You can, you know, pick up one of my first two books, Fitness After 40. I'm looking at them up on my shelf Fitness After 40 or Guide to Thrive, which have functional body weight exercises, light bands, some kettlebells with pictures of me and my husband demonstrating.

Julie Gordon White: I love it. I love it.

Dr. Vonda: There are lots of resources, but start with simple body weight. Once you've done that for several months, And I'm going to tell you for sure, you're going to feel different in three weeks. If you can walk for seven days, commit for three weeks, you're going to feel different and you're not going to want to go back.

Julie Gordon White: And can I say something about walking? Because you, you live in a warm location. I live on the other coast, we're on the opposite coast. So we have the more calm climate. But for folks in the middle who are dealing with snow and heavy rain and on, on, on. Don't be afraid to walk inside. I have been known to walk 5k in a hotel room once.

Okay, call me nuts, but I heard somebody else talk about that and I just happened to be in a place that I didn't want to go to the hotel gym because I was by myself and it was at night and that's just a no-no for me, but in your room, right? Like, in your house, stairs, up, down, so really, you know, don't cheat yourself because maybe you're stuck in the house.

Just walk around, and if your family thinks you're weird, remember we're not worried about it anymore, so, okay, alright, I'm gonna say that.

Dr. Vonda: Yeah, in the Midwest where I'm from, we typically have an upstairs and a basement. If you have that, that's three flights of stairs. Just keep going, right?

Julie Gordon White: There you go.

Dr. Vonda: Get to recognize how your body moves and when you want to lift up some weights, starting where you are, i want you to start lifting your heavy.  

Julie Gordon White: Lift your heavy. Beautiful.

Dr. Vonda: Yep. Because when I say lift heavy, then all the questions are. What, how much do you lift?

Your heavy means what you can lift four times for four sets. So for instance, you've probably seen enough videos. Everybody can figure out how to do a bicep curl, right? Here's an example that I use all the time. I can bicep curl 15 pounds until tomorrow morning. It does not challenge my muscles, but when I pick up fit 25, I can only do four without like throwing my whole hip into it.

Right. Which is bad. That's what I mean, that's my heavy. For some people out there, that is a cakewalk.

Julie Gordon White: And no judgment, if your heavy is three pounds. And I know how you feel about the Mamzy Pamzy pink, uh, dumbbells.

Dr. Vonda: Oh, I do hate Mamzy Pamzy pink dumbbells. Cause they're one pound. Ladies, if we can only pick up one pound, we're frail.  

Julie Gordon White: We picked up groceries heavier than that. Kids heavier than that. Come on, ladies.

Dr. Vonda: The coffee can is more than one pound. So, you know, don't be afraid. We've talked about that. I think this is a good time, if you're new to the gym, to invest in your health by hiring someone to teach you.

You don't have to hire them for nine months. Say I need 10 sessions. Teach me how to use this machine. Teach me how to lift this weight so I don't hurt something. Right. So that you can be independent, right?  

Julie Gordon White: I like that a lot because if you just hire, first of all, it's an investment, right? So let's, let's go back to our language.

You're investing in years on your life when you bring in somebody who can show you how to lift properly because you don't want to, have to, but maybe you do, but go see Dr. Vonda because you're not, you know, you did something not so good to yourself. So invest so you can lift properly. Right. And that's usually, three to four sessions and then you're good to go.

Dr. Vonda: Yeah. You're good. And then you can find, you can either make it up yourself, or find good online programs, which are not that expensive. There are lots of good ones that, uh, from people we interact with through Instagram. They all reach out and like, that's a cool program. Yeah, there's a lot.

There's a lot. Feisty Menopause has a whole program called Strong to teach people how to lift. You can go do that. But before I leave the thought of investment, you can use your health savings account if you have one to do this, right? You could do that. You could save up $7.18 a morning, which is what the Starbucks drink I like costs, which I don't go get anymore. I just do it at my house. But for a month and have what you need. It's all about what's important to us. It's also what we think of as self-care, as only things like a massage or a facial or something, and that's fine, but once in a while, we’ve got to get a little sweaty.

Self-care is also self-health. Self-health, which might mean taking that money and getting a trainer. It's just a thought. And don't get me started on how many purses we have in the closet that we think are going to make us feel better.

Julie Gordon White: And shoes. Okay. I may have a boot problem.

Dr. Vonda: I know. I'm a shoe girl. So, okay. I don't buy shoes at the sacrifice of my health.

Julie Gordon White: Correct.

Dr. Vonda: Right? It does not replace self-health. Right.

Julie Gordon White: That's the thing. I love that. Remember we're investing in ourselves. So if you go see Dr. Vonda and we're going to talk about her upcoming event, it's an investment. And I love that you reminded everybody that they might be able to use a health account if they have that set aside.

But invest in your health and add years onto your life. Okay, so now we have started where we are with weights. Now we're doing four sets of four and I'm trying to see all the questions going by quickly. And even somebody said, you know, 10 sets of 10. But no, remember Dr. Vonda says four sets of four, because then you can lift heavier, right?

Because I think as women, we think about all these reps, like lower weights, lots of reps. But then we just wear ourselves. Now you're kind of doing cardio.

Dr. Vonda: Well you’re welcome to come into my weekend warrior clinic. After you do 10 sets of 10, the 10 sets of 10 is a very popular thing right now in the meathead gym community, because it was, it's ancient.

It's from, it's an ancient German technique. It went away. It's come back recently. The science shows, I'm not making this up. If you follow Stacy Sims, she talks about it all the time. The science shows that for women in midlife to build muscle, to stimulate muscle protein synthesis, to stimulate our stem cells, we must lift.

Heavy enough to do that. You cannot lift heavy enough if we're doing 10 by 10. Listen to that.

Julie Gordon White: Listen, listen, listen. It's almost about having the discipline not to go beyond 4. Because if you go beyond 4, that's an indicator that you're not lifting heavy enough. Yeah. Correct?

Dr. Vonda: Yeah. Okay. So someone, McGill is saying it's good to vary your weight.

So let me clarify on what I do. I'll just tell you what I did yesterday. There are four compound lifts that we lift four times for two upper body to lower body. There's a really heavy arm push. So some kind of bench press, whether it's a special bar, right? Or it's barbells, heavy bench press. There is a pole with your arms, whether it's rowing or those are the two compound motions for your lower body.

It is a squat or a deadlift motion. Those are the primary very compound motions. Yes. And then you vary by adding the lifts that support that. So, for instance. If I'm doing bench press day, I do four by four, which is the heavy, and then everything that supports that, biceps, triceps, delts, rows, I know you can't see me, I'm demonstrating, but rows.

I do eight times four. So the accessory lifts, we can do a little lighter, but only eight, not 15, not four sets of 20. So that's how it goes. And that is what is supported in midlife in the literature.

Julie Gordon White: I love it. And it's what Dr. Stacey says is you know, we're not small men. So you have to be really careful about what we read and who we follow because we're not men. We're not small men. We're different. Especially in the stages of menopause, whether you're perimenopause or post menopause, it's going to be different. So we really have to pay attention to the nuances. Make sure you're listening to all the women who know.

The women who are, it's really important because we are different. Um, okay. So I love that. All right. So let's talk about, so we're lifting now. We're going forward. We're progressing. We're adding weight over time, progressive, um, We're getting, getting stronger, overloading. We're getting stronger and stronger, which is so fabulous.

We're building up our metabolism so we can eat more, which we have to eat more to support all of that. Otherwise, you won't have the energy, which is food in order to lift. So it all goes together. We're burning more fat.

Dr. Vonda: It makes our brain better.

Julie Gordon White: Thank you. Brain fog. Hello.

Dr. Vonda: It makes our brain better.

Julie Gordon White: So zone two, those of you are here who are following all the conversations now about not doing Tabata or HIIT, all those things that create stress in our midlife bodies and cortisol, which is not really our friend unless we are actually running from a saber tooth tiger or something like that.

But there's sort of controversy now about zone two, which zone two is steady state. So 30 to 40 minutes, which I happen to love. I have a cycle bike in my office right over here and I love it. It just, it does, it drops those endorphins for me. I feel so good and I do burn a lot of fat doing that.

So, what do you think about that? I know there's some like, we're doing too much, even zone two now. So what do you think?

Dr. Vonda: So, ask yourself what your goal is, right? Ladies, ask yourself why you're burning every single day. Why are you killing yourself in HIIT classes six days a week. Ask yourself, what is the goal?

If your goal is longevity, and cardiovascular health, and metabolic optimization, then I'm gonna ask you to do what the pros do. And I'm an orthopedic sports doctor from the best places in the country. I've had the privilege of taking care of really elite athletes. They do 80% of their training at baseline, meaning lower heart rate. Now it takes a lot of work for them, some of them cause they're in such good shape, but for us mere mortals, it's either come to me and I'll do a lactate threshold and I'll tell you at what point you switch from burning fat to burning carbs. But if you don't come to me, then it's 180 minus your age. So  120-130 for 45 minutes, three hours a week.

But that's not the end of the story. What that does for you is makes you metabolically more flexible, meaning able to move back and forth from burning fat to carbs easily without carb spikes. It makes you grow more mitochondria, which are the energy powerhouses in your body.

Julie Gordon White: Plus it doesn't wear you out with high levels of exhaustion and cortisol and injury, right? Because that's what used to happen to me. My recovery was just so long and uncomfortable.

Dr. Vonda: So it's very little recovery. I feel great after I do that. I mean, and it's not like I don't break a sweat, you guys have seen me walking on this treadmill doing zone two.

I'm sweating. But then twice a week research based we need to do maximum effort. So I say sprinting and people freak. Cause I'm like, I can't do it. Well, I don't know what you, if you would call, if you saw me doing it, sprinting, it's certainly not like Richardson or Bolt, those sprinters, but on a track, like running as hard as you can around.

I feel like I look like them, but I don't. But what it means is I am giving maximum effort for 30 seconds. So I'm doing my thing. I'm doing my zone two. I get done. I'm totally warm. I punch up the treadmill to 11. Then I'm trying not to fly off the back of it.

Julie Gordon White: I was gonna say, hold on sister.

Dr. Vonda: I'm working really hard, but only for 30 seconds. Right. It's enough stress. That it stimulates metabolic pathways and nerve pathways after 30 seconds, I totally recover and I do that four times.

Julie Gordon White: So, and total recovery can mean minutes.

Dr. Vonda: That's like three minutes or so, it takes me to get my heart rate down to 130 or so. So that's what we mean by you still need to sprint, but not every single frigging day.

Julie Gordon White: Yeah, I love that, and I'm a bike person. I used to be a runner. I still love running, but you can talk. I love having this. I love my bike. And so, and it's not even the fancy one. It's one I got on Amazon, you know, less than $200. But I love it. And so I will do my sprinting. I just crank it all the way up, turn up whatever music.

Music is huge, by the way. Whether it's steady state or doing your sprint, find those things, make that playlist that really gets you going or has the right cadence for you. That really makes the time go by fast too. I get those songs and just, you know, go at it. That's my way of doing it without going outside most of the time.

Dr. Vonda: Completely right. Completely right.

Julie Gordon White: Yeah. Super good. Uh, okay. So we're not going to talk about food today. But you know nutrition is important. It's a huge component. You have 360 degree perspective. Maybe you can come back on and we can talk about how food relates to being confident, courageous, strong, and all the things. But I do want to answer one question that somebody said, Can you talk about frozen shoulder and menopause because that is a huge issue, symptom, that women don't even know. And when you have one of the best orthopedic surgeons right here on the MenoLounge, we're going to ask that question.  

Dr. Vonda: Here's the bottom line about frozen shoulder. When we are inflamed, we will get a frozen shoulder. How do we get inflamed? Several ways. We can be highly stressed out and cortisol everywhere. Number one, number two, we can be too sweet. We can be eating lots of simple sugar, not enough fiber. We can be frankly, either really sweet or frankly diabetic. And what that does is sugar cross links literally, I'm getting a little sciency.

It cross links all your collagen in your body and makes it stiff. Diabetics get a lot of frozen shoulder pertinent to our conversation. Women who have lost their estrogen are highly inflamed because estrogen has an anti-inflammatory effect and interacts with our immune system to keep our inflammation down.

And once she's gone, everything gets hot, baby, including, I know, including our soft tissues. So frozen shoulder is when you wake up, you did nothing, you did not hit your shoulder against the door in the middle of the night. And you can't move it and you certainly can't reach behind your body and hook your bra and it hurts like all get out and you're thinking, what did I do?

Well, nothing happened. You are inflamed from losing your estrogen and this is just one of the places it focuses on. So what do you do about it? Number one, recognize it. Number two, do not wait to start moving it. Even if it's painful to move, gently help it if you have to. Move it through a range of motion.

Because the longer you protect it, like this, I'm literally doing what women do. They crunch their shoulder up. Within one week, you will have no motion. You'll come in unable to raise your arm. Keep it moving. Go to a physical therapist if you can. Um, anti-inflame. Evaluate what you're eating. Find the sugar source that's making it worse.

If you are not on HT, please evaluate if that's a choice you want to make for yourself. Do not make that decision out of fear. You know, I say this every day. I love these people. Read Estrogen Matters for God's sake. It's a book that changed my life. It is the Bible of estrogen data. Read it. You deserve to know.

Julie Gordon White: Yeah. So you can make an informed decision, right? Cause your doctor, other than Dr. Vonda, your regular doctor, probably, they don't know.

Dr. Vonda: They don't know. Then go get some help. Go to therapy, go to your orthopedic surgeon. The average orthopedic surgeon is going to offer you a steroid injection. In this case, it's, I do offer it.

I don't love steroids, but I do offer it. It's so painful. So keep moving. In my clinic, I also, when we just can't get people past, I offer them platelet rich plasma, which is your own growth factor that I take from your blood and it has a huge anti-inflammatory effect because what I'm trying to avoid is taking you to the operating room to manipulate it. I'm trying to avoid that.

Julie Gordon White: That's another level right there. So, yeah, and there's so many things that women can do because they don't realize that it is a symptom of menopause and they think it's an injury or something else. And if their doctor doesn't know that it’s potentially a symptom of menopause, they may go to that elevated option versus let's start with your food.

Let's take out some of that sugar, right? Let's add more fiber. Don't get me started on fiber, you know. I think fiber is our BFF. And then all the other things. And work your way up from that lens, versus let's go straight to something a lot more difficult to recover from and invasive. So, okay good.

You know I could keep you all day, but you have things to do. I don't know. Is this like your fifth interview today?

Dr. Vonda: It was a good day. You know, it's just the stars collided, I had time today.  

Julie Gordon White: So perfect. Let's stack it up. I know you've done one  Mind Body, all the good things So, yeah, all right. Where can we find all things, Dr. Vonda, including how do women sign up for your event, which there will be Menowell bars.

Dr. Vonda: Oh my gosh, you guys fed my last retreat. And do you know what, Julie? So I gave out these gorgeous purple gift bags. I don't have any here. And Menowell was inside. Do you know, I came back into the conference room and they're trading it.

They're trading it like money. They're like, I'll take two orange for your pink. It was adorable. I love it. It was adorable. Yeah. I love it. So here's how you find me. I am on Instagram, Dr. Vonda Wright. D R Vonda Wright. And I post almost every day. Sometimes it's funny. Today, I posted my little oste, my bone cell.

Julie Gordon White: I saw that. Let me share that on my story. I thought it was great.

Dr. Vonda: But I post real information as well as inspiration. Find me there in my bio, the link tree, there's a link to everything. My YouTube page, which has so many videos, exercise videos, past conferences. It has my keynotes. It just has so much great information.

You should go to YouTube and sign up. The other thing I have as a free resource right now on Instagram is Strong and Courageous. The PDF get right, so you right after this, go get it.

Julie Gordon White: It should have a price tag. That's what I'm just going to say. It's a real, it's a book. So go get it before she starts charging for it. It is phenomenal.

Dr. Vonda: Go get it. Go get it. It's, you know, it's a 30 page mind dump. Really, so good. And then finally, who doesn't want their purple gift bag filled with everything, including mental wealth. So I do retreats four times a year called Midlife Mastery, because I think our middle life is menopause, but it's so much more.

So we teach you about menopause and. You know, amazing people, experts in the field that I'll announce soon will be there, but we also teach you how to lift. We measure your lactate threshold. We measure your biomarkers of aging so that you know how old you are inside. I bring this amazing speaker named Julianna Hauser, who's a PhD family counselor, to talk about friends and lovers.

How do our relationships change? And so every woman is equipped with her own midlife mastery plan. And I know because I see what goes on. You're not going to get that at any other retreat. So I proudly say, come to Lake Nona. We're going to treat you like royalty. And do you know what my group of women do?

They have an Instagram chat. They talk to each other every day, whether I'm on that chat or not. They have built a community, which is so meaningful because they came alone and now they have 30 more friends.

Julie Gordon White: I love it. And so when is the next retreat, Vonda?

Dr. Vonda: It is May And you know we've expanded it.

So on Saturday of this retreat, Thursday, we're together. Friday, we're together. Sunday, we're together. Saturday, I give two options. You can Spartan or spa. You want to go to the spa, that's perfect. We'll take you to the spa. Those of you want to come with me to do a Spartan race, I'm going to take you to a Spartan race.

Julie Gordon White: Is there a, can I do both? Can I, can I Spartan in the morning and Spa in the afternoon? I want all the things.

Dr. Vonda: We would work it out for you my friend. So, you can sign up for that on Instagram or you can email me. You can find me. I'm on the internet. Yeah. Okay.

Julie Gordon White: Well, Dr. Vonda, thank you for all you are doing.

You have such a unique lens that you are bringing to this menopause midlife conversation. It's just so important and it's about lifting heavy. It's about being courageous, but it's about the core of who we are, comes from our bones, from our skeleton and, you know, the thing that carries us around every day, which I really, really love and respect that perspective.

So thank you for all you do and showing up on Instagram in between all your patients and all the stuff.

Dr. Vonda: Thanks for having me. I miss you.  

Julie Gordon White: I miss you too. I can't wait to see you in person. Might see me in May. I'm just saying, you know, the bars will be there. So if you go to Dr. Vonda's, you'll be getting all the Menowell bars.

So because you've got to get your fiber and your maca and all the good things. Yeah, so thanks for being here. There's going to be some great Reels that we're going to post from this so you can get all the bites. Follow Dr. Vonda if you aren't already. Follow us @MyMenowell and we will see everyone next time.

Oh! One more question! What does Menowell mean to you?

Dr. Vonda: Oh! It means Being Meno well means being strong and courageous in the best years of my life. That's it! Yeah.

Julie Gordon White: Have a wonderful day. Be well everybody. See you next time. Thanks so much for being here. Bye Dr. Vonda. Bye. Bye.