Jan. 18, 2024

Navigating Midlife Fitness with Cam Allen

Navigating Midlife Fitness with Cam Allen
This podcast episode serves as a resource for women navigating the complexities of fitness and health during menopause. Inside the show, Dr. Fitness, welcomes guest Cam Allen, a former CrossFit athlete and coach specializing in integrated nutrition, health, and fitness for midlife women. Listen in as Cam discusses the significant changes that women experience during menopause and emphasizes the importance of adapting fitness routines to suit these changes and as she highlights the challenges and the need for proper hormone management. Be sure to stay tuned! Cam provides valuable insights into finding holistic practitioners and offers practical advice on nutrition and the significance of muscle-building exercises for optimal health in midlife.

Cam Allen, a former CrossFit athlete and coach, is an Integrated Nutrition Health & Fitness Coach specializing in midlife fitness and metabolism. She teaches women how to revamp their fitness routine to include strength training and make simple lifestyle changes that will improve their overall health and energy throughout midlife.

• [5:15] Cam experienced a range of symptoms including fatigue, weight gain, and slow recovery after a hysterectomy, leading her to seek alternative solutions to her health and wellness routines.
• [7:18] Cam describes that she found a holistic practitioner to help manage menopause symptoms after menopause significantly impacted her fitness level.
• [12:27] Cam shares how she shifted to exercise programming and muscle building to regain energy and confidence.
• [17:15] Dr. Fitness and Cam talk about the importance of strength training twice a week, with extra rest between workouts, to help women grow their muscles and rebuild during menopause.

For more information on the Your Health Moment podcast, visit: https://www.yourhealthmoment.com/

Connect with Us!
Max Sturdivant, Podcast Host & Health & Wellness Coach:
Podcast Website: https://www.yourhealthmoment.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/iam.drfitness
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/iamdrfitness/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@iamdrfitness1971

Cam Allen
Website: https://www.camoyler.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/heymomma_cam/
TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@heymomma_cam
Cam’s Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/midlife-mommas/id1574031618

🤝 This podcast episode was brought to you by McGowan Spinal Rehabilitation Center

🎙️ Podcast Production by Dandelion Media

🔊 Audio Produced by Mountain Valley Media


Max Sturdivant/Dr. Fitness  0:04  
Hello, and welcome to Your Health Moment podcast. I'm your host Max Sturdivant better known as Dr. Fitness. On this podcast, I want to give you the tools to start, continue and never give up on your journey towards health. Now whether you struggle with your weight, eating the right food, hydration, exercise, or even time management, you're in the right place and I'm here for you. Now let's dive right into this episode. 

This episode of Your Health Moment podcast is brought to you by McGowan Spinal Rehabilitation Centers. Are you tired of living in pain and feeling on the edge? Introducing McGowan Spinal Rehabilitation Center, located in the heart of Jacksonville, Florida, the team at McGowan is dedicated to unraveling the mystery behind your neck pain, your back pain, your shoulder pain by employing a wellness approach to diagnose the root causes of your pain and optimize conditions for normal function, as well as unlock a new level of vitality and vibrant health. Because you deserve to live pain free and thrive in every aspect of your health. Visit mcgownsrc.com. For more information, that's mcgownsrc.com. 

Welcome to Your Health Moment, I'm really happy that you came back to hear us because today we have a really exciting guest. It's Cam Allen. Wow. Well look at that. Now Cam is a former CrossFit athlete, and a coach, she is into integrated nutrition, health and fitness. And share coaching special specializes in midlife, fitness, and metabolism. And as we get older, our metabolism changes what we need to do for fitness and changes, changes. And cam teaches women how to revamp their fitness and their routine, so that they can include strength training, and make lifestyle changes that will improve their overall health and improve their energy throughout midlife. So this is a huge deal. That I mean, there's a large population of women that have gone through this and are lost. And when you have a trainer like me and most men, it's really difficult for us to properly support you because we can't really relate to a lot of things that are happening with the changes in your body. So fortunately for you there is cam Allen, and she's gonna give us some information that's going to totally help you if you're struggling with this to know what to do. So without further ado, thank you Cam for joining us and welcome.

Cam Allen  3:21  
I'm so glad to be here. Yes, I feel like the menopausal stage of life is an underserved population. And most women go back to what they used to do when they were 20 and 30. And when they do that, it just doesn't work anymore. So it's like, what the heck's going on with my body? And why is my body changing so rapidly? Even though I'm doing all quote unquote, the right thing, so I'm glad to be here. Well,

Max Sturdivant/Dr. Fitness  3:44  
so what's been the history when it comes to midlife changes for women in their fitness that made you decide that this is going to be an area that you think it's really important to tackle?

Cam Allen  3:57  
Yeah, so my story, I crossfaded my way through my 40s, I went through I left the classroom and I actually went through separation and divorce. I went through a lot of stuff in midlife. And exercise was my way to escape all the stuff that was going on in life. Little did I know I was exercising beyond my body's capability at the time I was overreaching, probably under nourishing I probably was under eating and over stressing myself. And at the end of my 40s at age 49. I had a complete hysterectomy, which meant they removed my uterus and my ovaries which means I was no longer making my hormones that were letting me do the things I was doing in my 40s. So one day I had hormones Max and then the next day I didn't. And so once I recovered it and sit. Yeah, and so most women go through like to attend a 15 year like retirement party of their ovaries. And it's kind of like not so obvious what's happening. And then one day you're like what happened? But it was it's kind of sneaky. My situation was like it on and off. And so I'm grateful for the I'm, I'm grateful for the situation. So I understand very, I very much understand what happens when we lose our sex hormones.

Max Sturdivant/Dr. Fitness  5:12  
Did they prescribe replacement hormones for you?

Cam Allen  5:15  
Well, the first six months? No. So no, just stay I was it was really rough. Let me tell you. So I know progesterone, because she said, I did not have a uterus, so I didn't need it, which is false. And second, she gave me an oral estrogen. So the doctor who did my surgery was not holistic thinking at all. And I really gave all my authority away to her. And I thought that this surgery was going to solve all my problems. And actually, it created a whole new set of problems and a whole bunch of solutions. So

Max Sturdivant/Dr. Fitness  5:46  
wow, I mean, what were the signs when you knew initially that, wow, there's something going on? That I needed to go to the hospital are there were there warning signs that just bing bing, bing? And did any of those signs have to do with your experience? Being a really great crossed fit athlete? I think you tie that in it.

Cam Allen  6:07  
I think at the end, like there was an 18 month period at the end of my 40s and things were happening rapidly. I was diagnosed hypothyroidism, classic symptoms. I was always cold, dry skin, losing my hair, gaining unexplained weight, like caffeine wasn't working anymore. Like all the things that was like my first diagnosis. Other things at the end of my 40s like slow recovery was certainly one very strange injuries. If I went too far, I'd be exhausted. I was just tired, like my recovery really slowed. And at the end of that, and ended up fibroids was the reason why I had the hysterectomy. And I thought that was the only solution to fibroids, which is not true. But at that time, my limited understanding that was the solution. Wow.

Max Sturdivant/Dr. Fitness  6:52  
And so since then, what is the understanding that you have today? Well,

Cam Allen  6:58  
after the six months of not being on the bio identical hormones, I started that I found a doctor in my area that like heard me and listened to me. And that was a game changer for sure. And then since then, when I tried to return to CrossFit after having surgery, and after getting on the right hormones, and and I was healed for a minute, I thought, well, I just need to heal longer. Like that's, that's the reason I can't do this exercise that I've always done. And it became very obvious that my body was dramatically different after after menopause. It was a day and night situation.

Max Sturdivant/Dr. Fitness  7:33  
Oh, and it's funny that you say that because, first of all, CrossFit is an incredibly demanding exercise routine. And I believe there's a lot of room for injury, particularly if you're going racing against the clock. Yeah. You know, I mean, like, Oh, my God, that in itself, it's like, wow, it's pretty tough. So to have other issues, like, you know, the hormone changes impacting it, I can only imagine, you know, what that experience would have been like, so lack of energy was one of them, and just not able to perform on the level that you were used to. And I guess you could tell in CrossFit, because you probably have timed exercises in the past. And then you compare them to what you're doing now. Yeah, and you can see, yeah, you've definitely been packed

Cam Allen  8:34  
well, and I always had, I call it the Go button. And I always had a GO button, I have the ability just to go there. I've never redlined myself or made myself sick, you know all the crazy things you hear about CrossFit. But I had a GO button and I could get there and I could do the thing that I needed to do. And literally it was like pushing on the gas pedal and the gas tank was empty. It was very interesting. The other thing that I noticed after my hysterectomy, and once I was in menopause, if I went too far, in too far, it was different. Like it wasn't anything like it was before. But if I did go too far, I was exhausted for days. And then I would be on the couch and then I wasn't even moving or I'd be really sore. So like, things dramatically changed once I hit menopause. And I think that's the message. I think women don't understand that this is happening and it may be happening slowly over 10 to 15 years, like I mentioned, and then all of a sudden that happened. And you don't get you're not sure it sneaks up on you but my experience was not it was day night.

Max Sturdivant/Dr. Fitness  9:37  
It was great that you found a holistic practitioner to turn to now what was your process like finding that holistic practitioner practitioner?

Cam Allen  9:45  
Yeah, so there's a few places I would suggest if women need help. Men of menopause.org is an amazing website. In the upper right hand corner you can search practitioners in your area doctors that have actually been trained in menopause because many doctors have not been true In the menopause, so that's one second, you could go to like a local compounding pharmacy, compounding pharmacies or pharmacies that mix bioidentical hormones for women. And talk to the pharmacist, my experience was amazing. He sat down with me for 30 minutes look to me eye to eye and said these people are prescribing these hormones. So you can kind of reverse engineer like, who are the practitioners in your area that are providing format? That's

Max Sturdivant/Dr. Fitness  10:26  
great. Yeah. Oh, my God, that's a strategy. I never would have even thought because in my mind, I think that pharmacies don't really divulge that kind of information about which doctors are prescribing all the six. He was amazing.

Cam Allen  10:42  
He was absolutely amazing. Yeah. And then you can cross reference and the one I'm thinking of in my area, I live in Northern Kentucky outside of Cincinnati. She was on both lists. And I was like, okay, good. And then my third strategy is, I knew that there was something called the Dutch test. It's a dried urine. It's a comprehensive hormone test. And you can also go to their website and who's been trained to read and understand these labs. That's another way to kind of like cross reference, who can I go see?

Max Sturdivant/Dr. Fitness  11:11  
Oh, that's really amazing. I mean, so that's really helpful. So now you know how to find a practitioner. I would have never imagined going to pharmacy compounding pharmacy route to actually find a part but that's like, wonderful because you a you line yourself up with a really good pharmacy, as well as a really good practitioner Absolutely. Worked out two birds with one stone, right?

Cam Allen  11:37  
And then if these people are showing up on multiple lists, you're like, Okay, follow your instinct. That's another lesson I learned about being a man and trust your instinct that you really do know what's best for you. I gave all of my authority away to this really young doctor who did my hysterectomy surgery and believe that I could take oral estrogen. And I didn't need progesterone, even though when she told me that I just said this doesn't feel right. And that's when I started my search. And I went back to school, because I was like, I've got to learn more about this now, now that my body parts are removed, and I'm in this new phase of life, I need to know everything I can about it.

Max Sturdivant/Dr. Fitness  12:13  
And so that's where I'm assuming you shifted to them begin really helping other women because I mean, it's just not, you know, the information doesn't seem to be as readily available as you would think.

Cam Allen  12:27  
Yeah, absolutely. That's exactly what it was. So I tried to return across fit. When I was in menopause, it didn't work. So then I started writing my own programming. I had experience doing that I've been in the gym for a long time. And it started working. And I started, I was able to exercise again, and not be exhausted. I could, I felt confident and empowered and not frustrated and sad. And all the other things that were happening before. Yeah, so that's exactly what happened. I made the switch. And I'm like, Okay, how can we exercise? And support on like muscle is the biggest deal that you can do it as far as I'm sure you agree with me on this? Oh, my God. Yes, muscle is your organ of longevity. And so how can we build muscle and not be exhausted and on the couch? That was the trying to find the balance?

Max Sturdivant/Dr. Fitness  13:12  
Now you've been a coach, you've been nutrition, a health coach and a fitness coach? Did you feel that there were any changes necessary to your diet as well, once your hormone hormonal system has changed?

Cam Allen  13:29  
Yeah, I would say this is the way I like to explain it. So estrogen is a very protective hormone. It protects you against stress. It's anti inflammatory, it helps you build muscle, all the things, and it's very protective. In menopause, you lose your estrogen, it's at its lowest level. So where you were on a mile wide road, and you could get away with the things that you did when you were 20 and 30. And it didn't like impact you as much the narrow it's a very narrow road. Now when you're in menopause, the bumper lanes are it's like a little tiny path. And so you really do have to watch as far as like, eating whole, whole real foods is really important. Getting your micronutrients and eating enough protein, all those things that you could get away with when you were younger, you just can't get away with that anymore. If you want to live optimally, if you want to have energy and feel good.

Max Sturdivant/Dr. Fitness  14:21  
That's, that's, that's a great. That's a great tip. So tightening up on your food, it's just naturally one of those things that it's really important to do as you get older.

Cam Allen  14:32  
Absolutely. And if you do it for a minute and then you step back into you know, eating something sweet for breakfast and you feel horrible all day, then you know what you were feeling like, you know the difference between Oh, feeling really amazing. And having energy and not. There are two hormones I like to say in menopause that we can control and it's cortisol, like our stress. You know, how are we thinking about stress? What is our our plan for self care? error. And the other one is insulin. So it's our food. How is our body responding to the food like blood sugars are really big deal. So those are the two hormones. I really like to help my people understand and that you are in control of those things. You can have a good

Max Sturdivant/Dr. Fitness  15:14  
yeah. Now when it comes to other replacements, has anyone in New Year of physicians mentioned anything about different peptides that you may need?

Cam Allen  15:26  
I have not explored that. No. Okay. Yeah. Oh, yeah. Yeah, I don't know about that.

Max Sturdivant/Dr. Fitness  15:33  
It's, you know, different types of hormones. Growth hormone. Sometimes help, but Right. It was really neat, though. But I'm sure you guys are like, amazing. So this has been, I've learned a lot already. spending this time with you. And I hope everybody else is picking up on all the really great things that I am. Now, it's about sharing it. Well, have you? Have you finished a book yet that you're really getting out there into the world and doing this and sharing all of this great insight and information? Yeah,

Cam Allen  16:11  
so a book is maybe on my list, I think I could tell a very humorous story about my whole surgery and going into menopause. But it's up here still. So what I have what I offer to the world is I have a free like week of like, what is menopause fitness look like? What does it feel like? What are the dial movers? And so I have a group called move the dial and then I have a free jumpstart Academy to get people started. Oh,

Max Sturdivant/Dr. Fitness  16:34  
I love it. Yeah. And they can do it online with you. And you did. And you take the course the coach the course online, it's

Cam Allen  16:41  
all yes, it's all recorded. So the thing, the reason why I coach the way I do, I don't coach in person anymore. I did for many, many years. When we're in menopause, we need more rest and recovery in the workout and the days between the workout. And so actually everything's recorded. And you can go at your own pace. In fact, that's really beneficial to most women, like I don't have to keep up with the instructor. You can go at your own pace.

Max Sturdivant/Dr. Fitness  17:08  
Oh, fantastic. Is there anything else that we missed that you think it's vital that we share,

Cam Allen  17:15  
I really want to emphasize the importance of having muscle do whatever it takes making sure that you get your strength training in my protocol, if you will. But midlife muscle protocol is strength training about twice a week, your whole entire body both times with extra rest between so like one thing that I noticed, women that are doing Monday, Wednesday, Friday, that might actually be keeping them stuck, they may need to do like Monday, Thursday, those two days not strength training, we actually need more time to recover and menopause. So that's what like a really easy thing to do is spreading out your workouts. And when you do work out, make sure you're lifting as heavy as you can with the best form that you can. Because that's how we're going to grow our muscles. And then in between our workouts, the rest is how they actually grow. Rebuild.

Max Sturdivant/Dr. Fitness  18:02  
Wow. So thank you so much. I really appreciate you taking this time and covering this important information. And how can people reach you? Yeah,

Cam Allen  18:13  
I'm on Tiktok and Instagram and Facebook. I guess it's Hey, on pay mama underscore cam. See I am. Yeah, so you can find me on the socials.

Max Sturdivant/Dr. Fitness  18:24  
Oh, fantastic. And if you missed any of this, we have cams information on the show notes. So you just go to the show notes and cams, contact information is going to be there. So cam, thank you so much for doing this. I really appreciate you being here. And we're in country are Yeah,

Cam Allen  18:44  
so I'm outside of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. We're big Colts fans up in this neck of the woods.

Max Sturdivant/Dr. Fitness  18:51  
Yeah, so definitely good luck. Bangles fan. Football day. Yep. So thank you again for joining us. And remember, if you are a woman and you're reaching that time where your body is starting to change, and you're not sure if your fitness program is doing what you needed to do, Cam Allen is the person that you need to reach out for so remember this podcast, thank you definitely get in touch with Cam and she has a great course for you. And and that's where I think I'm gonna leave it. 

Thank you for listening. Thank you cam for joining. And everyone. God bless. Thank you so much. 

Thank you for listening to this episode of Your Health Moment podcast. If you enjoyed what you've heard, you can visit our website, yourhealthmoment.com for past episodes, show notes and all the resources that we mentioned on the show Feel free to connect with me on social media to send me a DM and let me know what your thoughts are about the episodes that you've been listening to. And don't be shy about requesting any other show topics that you might like to explore.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai