Proactive Steps to Transform Your Body, Reduce Stress, and Improve Health

Have you noticed changes in your body after hitting 40? Things like unexpected weight gain, an increased craving for sweets, more stress, or challenges to your mental health as you navigate through menopause? If these sound familiar, you’re in for a treat.

Join me for an enlightening conversation with the remarkable Chalene Johnson, a fitness legend who has gracefully transitioned into a wellness champion. 

With Chalene’s guidance, you’ll discover practical steps to not only safeguard your health during menopause but enhance it, too. She opens up about her personal journey of self-discovery, listening intently to her body, and prioritizing what genuinely matters. Beyond her insightful revelations, Chalene generously offers her 14-day energy reset program for free!

This episode promises to be a beacon of inspiration and actionable advice for anyone looking to thrive during menopause and beyond. Trust us, you won’t want to miss out on this empowering dialogue. Tune in to transform your life with the wisdom and warmth of Chalene Johnson.

Freebies From Today’s Episode
Get Chalene’s 14-Day Energy Reset for Women Over 40


00:03:21 – Learn about Chalene’s background
00:05:50 – The myth you should forget in your fitness and health journey
00:10:37 Chalene’s blueprint for prioritizing her health
00:14:19 – Follow this challenge to transition into a more active lifestyle
00:18:44 – Turn menopause into an opportunity for wellness with these strategies
00:22:20 – These are keys to maintaining vitality as you age
00:25:04 – One way to transition to menopause more easily
00:29:35 – This health program by Chalene will help reset your energy

Resources Mentioned in this episode

Subscribe to my podcast

Website Chalene Johnson

Listen to a previous episode of my podcast with Chalene as my guest

Learn more about Chalene Johnson

Chalene’s Instagram

Chalene’s YouTube channel

Download your free Resistance Training Cheat Sheet

Know more about hormone replacement therapy

Oura Ring

Reignite Wellness™ Clean Creatine Powder

Click Here To Read Transcript

ATHE_Transcript_Ep 643_Reset Your Energy, Mind, and Body with Chalene Johnson

[00:00:00] JJ Virgin: I’m JJ Virgin, Ph.D. dropout. Sorry, Mom. Turned four time New York Times bestselling author. Yes, I’m a certified nutrition specialist, fitness hall of famer, and I speak at health conferences and trainings around the globe. But I’m driven by my insatiable curiosity and love of science to keep asking questions, digging for answers, and sharing the information I uncover with as many people as I can.

And that’s why I created the Well Beyond 40 podcast to synthesize and simplify the science of health into actionable strategies to help you thrive. In each episode, we’ll talk about what’s working in the world of wellness, from personalized nutrition and healing your metabolism to healthy aging and prescriptive fitness.

Join me on the journey to better health, so you can love how you look and feel right now and have the energy to play full-out at 100.

[00:01:02] JJ Virgin: This is going to be super fun today. I have my buddy Chalene Johnson with me. I’m in Miami right now, and she just moved there, and I’m like, Oh my gosh. We’re going to be in town. Let’s get together. So we just had a fun day of creating content, and I was super excited to do this because I’ve been watching Chalene’s Instagram channel and her YouTube channel and just going, Wow, I love the direction of your content because everything she’s doing right now is to help women  40 plus with all of their shifting needs.

[00:01:33] And what’s really interesting is you may know her from infomercials. She’s actually sold more exercise videos, has a Guinness book of world records for it than anyone else. But she stepped away from that years ago when she realized that she just had this epiphany.

[00:01:49] That what she was doing wasn’t healthy for herself, and she didn’t feel right sharing that anymore with the millions of women who trust her, so she took some time, took a break to really kind of recalibrate, and go, What do I need now as a, you know, 40 plus year old woman? What does my audience need?

[00:02:04] You’re going to hear her journey of how she dropped 10 percent body fat, the things that she used to do that she doesn’t do anymore, more importantly, the things that she does do now that she didn’t used to do. So, super exciting. I talked a little bit about Instagram. She has over 90 million downloads on her two YouTube podcasts, the Chalene Show and the Build Your Tribe Show.

[00:02:24] Incredible. I would highly recommend we put in the show notes, the links to her Instagram, and the links to her YouTube. They are such great resources. She’s also a New York Times bestselling author, and she’s been all over the media: ABC, NBC, Good Morning America, Inside Edition, New York Post, Daily Mail, Forbes, The Kelly Ripa Show, Success Magazine, Entrepreneur Magazine, hundreds of podcasts, and Huffington Post even list her as one of the 50 female entrepreneurs to watch.

[00:02:50] And again, what we’re going to really be digging into is powerful aging. I just recently was like going, I am watching her, showing her what she’s doing now at the gym, how she’s transformed her body. how much healthier she feels. So it’s like, we’re going to hear all of what she’s doing and those secrets.

[00:03:07] So I will be back with Chalene. She’s also giving you her free energy reset 14-day program. And you can get that at And I’ll be right back with Chalene. So stay with me.

[00:03:21] I am so excited. You’re here in the flesh. Awesome. We’re almost neighbors.

[00:03:25] Chalene Johnson: It’s amazing.

[00:03:27] JJ Virgin: So cool. Now, when I think of you, like, I think of all of those fitness videos.

[00:03:32] Oh my gosh. Thank you. Like a world record or something.

[00:03:35] Chalene Johnson: Yes, I’m in the Guinness Book of World Records for having done the most exercise videos. That’s so insane. But what’s insane about it is I couldn’t get hired to teach a fitness class anywhere because I was so bad. I mean, they would just told me like, “You need to, you don’t hear the beat. You’ve got a great personality. You’re so bubbly, but you really don’t hear the beat.” I was a full time at that time, legal secretary wanting to go to law school. And I’m just doing this as a hobby. And I can’t even get this hobby of a job. What is this? So 95, 90, no, this would be like 93 when I first moved to Southern California.

[00:04:08] And so, right. I was like determined to get better at it. And I learned from all the great people on how to be a better instructor and how to hear the beat. And eventually I got teaching classes, and eventually here we are.

[00:04:20] JJ Virgin: Yeah. But here we are: you did all of those exercise videos, and then you kind of stepped away from it. Why?

[00:04:28] Chalene Johnson: I was standing on the set of an infomercial, and I was reading the teleprompter. After having been asked to get leaner so that I could be more marketable, and then to be asked to get smaller was embarrassing. It brought up all of my imposter syndrome stuff, like, Oh, they found you out. So when they asked me to lose weight, I did.

[00:04:48] I didn’t even know how to diet. I was afraid of real food, and I started working out like four hours a day to get ready for that infomercial and eating very, very little. I’m standing on the set, about to pass out. I’ve lost my muscle tone. Everyone, however, is saying, “You look amazing. What are you doing? You’ve never looked better.” I’m like, I’m like the confusion. Like I’ve never felt, I’ve never been more unhealthy, and I’m getting all this praise. And now I’m looking into a camera, and the line that I had to read was, and you can get these results too, in just 30 minutes a day and eating real food. And I remember thinking, I just lied.

[00:05:23] And then I had to justify it in my head and say, Well, maybe that’s true for some people. It’s not true for me, and I need to be done. How did I get here? This is unhealthy for me. And so, with the number one show on the air for my own health, mental and physical, I stepped away.

[00:05:44] JJ Virgin: Wow. Well, bravo for you because I think you’re now really bringing a voice of reason out there, and, you know, this stuff has not been helpful. The stuff we grew up with. And we were just laughing offline about the fact that we’re a part of, Oh my gosh, I was like, sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry.

[00:06:00] Chalene Johnson: I have to make amends, you know, but you get so caught up in it and I think especially women of our age, like there’s so many of us that as teenagers, we saw the Jane Fonda videos, and the idea was to be perfect to think of the movie perfect.

[00:06:15] JJ Virgin: And I was in LA at the time, running an aerobics studio, when Perfect came out. I can’t imagine like in all the aerobics studio, all the aerobics instructors became celebrities.

[00:06:24] Chalene Johnson: Yes, yes. And there was no strength training. We didn’t know anything about nutrition then, and so the mindset, even as we started to learn new things, I think a lot of us are still, it’s there.

[00:06:37] JJ Virgin: Well, we had back then, we had a place in LA called the Sweat Factory. Literally, they would mop up the floors. It was like hot yoga, like that. You see people mop up the floor and stuff. This was not a hot place. It was literally, you sweated so much because you were working so hard. But I rebelled and started doing everything around resistance training because I realized that I couldn’t get the results for people doing all that cardio because they were all women, 40 plus.

[00:07:04] And so I started doing loads of resistance training with people, and lo and behold, they got tighter, firmer, like everything they wanted; you know, they never got bigger. Yeah. Like never in 40 years have I seen a woman lift weights and get bigger. Yeah. Right. So that was always my focus. And then flipping off of that silly carb thing, like, yeah, that was ridiculous.

[00:07:24] Yeah. Like where you just can’t stop thinking about food.

[00:07:28] Chalene Johnson: The hardest part for me, thinking back on it, is worrying the impact that I had on other women and also on my kids. So we’ve had a lot of open conversations about it on my podcast, and, you know, when you know better, you do better. And I think that’s true for many of us—good habits and bad habits.  Too much of anything isn’t good.

[00:07:45] JJ Virgin: And it takes something to kick you in the face and go, but wait a minute, this is not what I did. So you had this realization, and now you’re, How old are you now?

[00:07:54] Chalene Johnson: 55. 55. I’m in the afterparty.

[00:07:57] JJ Virgin: Don’t you wish if someone had told me that things would be like this now?

[00:08:01] Chalene Johnson: Yeah.

[00:08:02] JJ Virgin: Let’s just skip ahead.

[00:08:03] Chalene Johnson: Absolutely.

[00:08:04] JJ Virgin: Blow through 35 to 50, blow through that, and jump over.

[00:08:08] Chalene Johnson: If you’re following the women, you realize there’s so much to look forward to.

[00:08:11] JJ Virgin: Yeah. And I have amazing female mentors that are in their 60s, 70s, 80s, which is super cool. Yeah. I remember being, we went to the Grammys a couple of years ago. And it was when Dolly Parton was one of the hostesses, and we’re going, look at her. And Diana Ross had her 70th birthday party there. And I’m like, these are okay. These are who I want to be like. And they’re killing it. So here you are now. What’s changed? What are you doing now? How are things different?

[00:08:37] Chalene Johnson: Yeah. Well, first I had to heal. I had to fix my relationship with exercise. I had to fix my brain. I had a scan of my brain at the Amy clinic right after that scene I described for you. And that was just more confirmation that I am unhealthy. Literally, it’s like, I know what you do, but these are not healthy results.

[00:08:57] JJ Virgin: Isn’t it funny? So you’re at the height of teaching people to be healthy. But the reality is I think we get very confused. The fitness industry is different than, say what I just was interviewing Colleen Walker from Mind, Body, and Green. And they really say now it’s not wellness, it’s well-being. And I think that’s what we need to shift into thinking. It’s like, what’s your well-being?

[00:09:19] Chalene Johnson: If you were someone who had a physique or a fitness career, immediately everyone’s like, okay, I need nutrition advice from you too. I remember when I signed my infomercial contracts, they were like, okay, so what is the diet plan? I’m like, I don’t have any background in nutrition.

[00:09:34] And they’re like, well, you need a diet plan to go with this. So I’m like, Okay, but I don’t know anything about this. I just, you know, they said, Well, we’ll have someone write one for you, and you sign off on it. I was like, okay. You know, just so many things that we were doing then because it was like social media and the times, and everyone was kind of doing it.

[00:09:54] And so I slipped into this place where it happened so slowly that once I decided to leave, I had to go. Who am I? What do I know? What do I need to undo? And how do I get healthy on the inside? And I need to tell my audience that I’m doing this because I’m stepping away, and they need to understand why I stopped posting any for four or five years.

[00:10:12] I posted zero fitness content—nothing. Not a video. I didn’t do any podcasts related to fitness or health. I only did business because I really need to take a break. I really said, I don’t belong here, given this platform, if I’ve led so many people, including myself, astray. Let me figure things out without the pressure of a contract, or a business, or, you know, you’ve got to sell so many videos.

[00:10:37] Like, I just want to know, how do I become healthy? And I started with my brain. I started by changing my sleep, exercising a lot less. Learning to eat food, learning what foods were anti-inflammatory for me, and what worked for me. Learning to slow down. And it took four or five years to get to a place where I’m like, I love my body again. I had to do the reverse dieting thing. Like I started to gain weight.

[00:11:03] JJ Virgin: Tell people what reverse dieting is. I mean, so I view diets as tools. And I think reverse dieting is such an important tool, especially if someone has damaged their metabolism. This is probably the most important tool you can use, and it’s scary.

[00:11:17] So for you to go through

[00:11:18] Chalene Johnson: it. The process of reverse dieting is helping your body to have metabolic flexibility. So I had reduced my calories, and it was in such a killing me for so long. Exercising endlessly and then not consuming the right kind of foods. That I had no metabolism.

[00:11:36] JJ Virgin: Right. It’s metabolic adaptation.

[00:11:37] Chalene Johnson: So I did gain weight, you know, and what was hard about that was I was also in perimenopause at the same time. Oh boy. Yeah. And so then you’re really like, What is going on? And I didn’t know how much of this is because I’m fixing my diet and my relationship with food and fitness, and how much of this is perimenopause.

[00:11:54] I found a really great integrative doctor to help me through that process. But the one thing I will say, JJ, that I didn’t expect to have happen is I felt so much better when I was like underweight and undernourished; I felt anxiety. I was always thinking about my body every meal. I was obsessed with food, and I couldn’t relax.

[00:12:18] It was consumed by every thought. And once I started learning how to eat the right way and balance my hormones, I was like, even though I put on some weight, maybe six pounds. When you’re 5’2, that’s a lot—you know, 20 on me, right? And I was like, I fell in love with my body again. And I started learning how to eat foods and to prepare foods. And it was just such a happier time.

[00:12:41] JJ Virgin: And when you think about going through, when you’re in perimenopause, the single most important thing that you can do. is that take time, de stress, like that of all of the things. And, you know, I used to do meditation when I worked out. It’s like, no, no, no, sit your ass down, close your eyes, you know, and relax, you know, and take some time.

[00:13:03] It’s like, if you can’t do that, produce your estrogen—what you need for your adrenal glands—and you’re happy. So, let’s go back over to you. So there you are, you’re taking this time, you’re taking some space.

[00:13:16] Chalene Johnson: Yeah. I’m getting much healthier, that’s for sure. And I really was focused just on doing fitness and nutrition for me only, and I’ve felt so much healthier, and all of my markers were improving with the exception of my cortisol. And I also made a list of what things get me the most stress that I don’t even admit, and I just kind of looked at all of them and said which of these things, even though I love them, caused me the most stress, and I have there’s something I could do about it. And what calms me the answer was doing less and spending a lot more time just with my husband and friends, where they just give you energy.

[00:13:59] JJ Virgin: Well, she’s supposed to be the friend you have. Well, I, listen, let’s be honest. There’s a lot of people in our space who are friends because you can do something for me. And you know, I’ve got too many friends and different networks for me to, that feels stressful to keep up with all these relationships. So it’s like, I closed my world in a little bit.

[00:14:17] JJ Virgin: I’ve tightened up my circle big time.

[00:14:19] Chalene Johnson: So, and that helped because until then I felt like, God, there’s so, I feel stressed out that I’m not being a good enough friend and I’m not connecting with this person and networking with that person. And I needed to slow down, and I needed to not put so much pressure on myself.

[00:14:32] Like if I didn’t get a podcast. And I would say we own the business, so I don’t have to do that.

[00:14:40] JJ Virgin: Isn’t it funny when you own your own business, you tend to be the worst boss to yourself?

[00:14:46] Chalene Johnson: So last year, that’s the one big change we made, and then added walking, that made a huge change, I think, in my stress level.

[00:14:52] JJ Virgin: I loved seeing that too—that you were talking about, Neat, you were doing this walking challenge—because it’s really interesting. And I think it’s part of what happened during the pandemic when I had a big stress attack and got autoimmune gastritis during the pandemic. I think I wasn’t paying attention to my steps back then, like I’m maniac about walking this right now, like I’m focused on it.

[00:15:11] But I’m betting that I was probably sitting down more, like at five, 6, 000 steps a day versus 12 or 15, 000. That’s where I was. That makes a difference.

[00:15:18] Chalene Johnson: I didn’t even think about it. My whole thing was I kill it at the gym. Nobody works. My age works as hard as I do. I killed it. I’m doing these hip workouts.

[00:15:26] I’m doing. Strengths training. And you know, when you have fulfilled the form of the doctor’s office, I’m checking out very active. But then I started looking at my ordering numbers, and I’m like, Wait, how many hours was I inactive? What is going on here? Then I started looking at my staff count, and it was embarrassingly low.

[00:15:43] And I was like, I got a standing desk. I started creating, stacking new habits onto old habits. So when I’m scrolling social media now, I stand up. If nothing else, I just stand up. If I don’t pay separately, I stand up.

[00:15:57] JJ Virgin: I got a little treadmill under my desk too. Yeah. And then also, our house is two stories.

[00:16:02] And when we moved in, I go, Oh, I’ll put a like espresso machine up here and a fridge. And I go, No, I won’t. My office is up there, and I will have to go down for anything. So, all day long, it’s like up and down, up and down.

[00:16:12] Chalene Johnson: But it makes a difference. You don’t realize it until you track. So, with all things, we have to know what’s best for us and use common sense.

[00:16:22] And the health and fitness industry, for years, has been dependent upon making the consumer dependent. You’re not smart enough to know how to eat, right? You’re not smart enough to know how to work out, right? So here are all the rules, and you better follow them exactly.

[00:16:34] JJ Virgin: Yep. And, and making you like, you know, cause when are we most likely to do something?

[00:16:40] Because we’re fearful. So that’s why I think if we can think about where we’re going next with excitement, like Mark Hyman shared with me that if you are excited about aging, you live seven and a half years longer.

[00:16:54] Chalene Johnson: There’s an easy one. Yes, it’s so easy.

[00:16:57] JJ Virgin: I’ll take that. I’m adding all these up.

[00:16:58] It’s like, okay, let’s do that one. And then you start to go, okay, how do we create the life we love? Right. And now you live in this beautiful place where you can walk and you take time. It’s like, you cn do this.

[00:17:09] Chalene Johnson: Yeah. And there are seasons when it’s harder.

[00:17:13] JJ Virgin: Oh yeah. Young, young kids.

[00:17:15] Chalene Johnson: Yeah. Come on. When my kids are little, when your kids are little and you’re running a business, I always tell women, first of all, I had a lot of help.

[00:17:20] I had a full-time personal assistant. I had a full-time house manager. I want to be very clear about all of that so that you don’t put that pressure on yourself. You’re supposed to be doing all these things. The thing you should be doing is the thing that’s the number one priority to you. But every season is different. And I know what your experience has been, but for me, every season gets better.

[00:17:36] JJ Virgin: Yeah. This season is definitely the best. Well, I think the time when your kids are young is really challenging. It is. Like, I look back and I go; I have no idea how I got through that. No idea how that happened. But, I think for all of us now, the priority has to be on health, but in a different way.

[00:17:54] Like, I feel like the 20- and 30-year-old me did everything out of a kind of loathing, and you’re not good enough. Where now it’s like, something happens when you hit 50, we’re like, Oh, I’m great, you know?

[00:18:05] Chalene Johnson: I want women to get there. I think we’re there. But I hear from so many women. who are struggling with their mental health.

[00:18:11] Once they hit menopause, they are struggling with this new body that’s working against them, and things are shifting and changing, and they feel like they’re losing their youth. And then it’s becomes this downward cycle. Now I’m not getting sleep. So now my cortisol is up, I’m craving sugary foods, and I’m not moving as much.

[00:18:28] And now I feel worse about it. It’s just becomes this downward spiral that you can get stuck there.

[00:18:34] JJ Virgin: You can, and you can get out of it. You can get out. So let’s talk about, because you approached this, it seems like, and gave yourself that time, but what are some of the tips that you would give to get out of that downward spiral?

[00:18:44] Chalene Johnson: First thing I would say is you have to shift your mindset and your beliefs, because everything else follows from there. So stop following young, hot 20 somethings and 30 somethings, and start following women who are older than you. And so I think that’s number one, because that’s going to start to shift your mindset.

[00:18:59] And then you have to start taking little baby steps and patting yourself on the back, and don’t get caught up in the, I need to do this perfectly. And I want to help women break that thinking, you know, because there isn’t one way to do anything there. We’re all each very different, with different epigenetics, with different seasons, different stresses, different tastes, and different everything.

[00:19:21] And so, if nothing else, I think once you reach this place where you’re, you’re just a little bit wiser, like tap into that. And I want to go; this is to buy some sense. I’m not doing this. Like what makes sense for me to start with your mindset. Then the next thing I’d say is start moving. So the plan, like set a step count, but this week I found a study where they had taken two groups of mid-aged women and they gave one of them the prescription of a certain number of minutes to exercise per day, and the other group focused on a step count, and then they compared their activity levels at the end of the study and the women who were asked to follow or meet a daily step count goal. We’re nearly 60 percent more active.

[00:20:00] So when we know better, we do better. So now I’m going to change your advice. I’ve been getting, I’d say, if it’s appropriate for you, focus on  step count.

[00:20:08] JJ Virgin: As long as you know, you’re not one of the ones that gets really crazy. That’s amazing. Right.

[00:20:14] Chalene Johnson: Yeah. And that brings you closer with your partner.

[00:20:16] Take that walk together. We also have rucking too. You’ve been in what?

[00:20:18] JJ Virgin: Well, we have; we can’t do it when we’re traveling because we’ll really throw our suitcases over, but the little rucking fest? Oh yeah. So after dinner, we’ll go do a little ruck around the neighborhood.

[00:20:29] Yeah.

[00:20:29] Chalene Johnson: You know what I found, and that’s a habit we kept after our travels to Europe, and I’m looking around, and I’m like, Wait a second, there’s no obese people. Like this is not America.

[00:20:38] JJ Virgin: Not in Korea either, I’ll tell you. We went to Korea this summer, and I looked around. I go, Tim, I haven’t seen anyone who’s even overweight.

[00:20:45] Chalene Johnson: Yeah. Wow. Opposite of here.

[00:20:47] JJ Virgin: I was blown away. Yeah. I was like, complete opposite to here.

[00:20:49] Chalene Johnson: We continue to balance that habit after being here, but here’s the other thing that I notice is you just intuitively eat a little lighter because you know you’re going to walk.

[00:21:00] And it helps improve your digestion, and we look forward to them every single day. You know, the first couple of weeks when we got home to the United States, I’m like, Are we going to do this? And he’s like, because he’s like, no one walks. Yeah, no one walks. But I think it’s one of the best habits. And it’s made a huge difference.

[00:21:15] My husband’s lost 10 percent body fat in the last nine months. And those are just a few minor changes that we’ve made.

[00:21:20] JJ Virgin: I mean, see, that’s the thing is those little things.

[00:21:24] Chalene Johnson: Oh, oh, and we both color cortisol levels in half. Amazing. Like my thighs performing all the little things. So it was with intention sitting down and going, What does it mean to reduce stress?

[00:21:37] It’s not just a phrase. How can I do this? Sitting down with a pen and a piece of paper and making a list. And so, do you actually cut some things out? Yeah, I did. And it’s always a work in progress.

[00:21:46] JJ Virgin: Yeah. Yeah. I actually do that. I teach our mastermind group to do that, where we will get together and go. Okay, now we’re going to look at what else we can automate, delegate, delete.

[00:21:54] Chalene Johnson: Yep. Absolutely. And you know, it’s one of those things you have to do because you don’t realize what a big impact it has on your hormones. People.

[00:22:02] JJ Virgin: That’s crazy. A cortisol shift like that…

[00:22:03] Chalene Johnson: Yes. Amazing. Stacking those little things that you feel like—is this going to make a difference in totality? It does.

[00:22:11] So you have to be patient, and you have to be intentional.

[00:22:14] JJ Virgin: Yeah. Okay. So you’ve got the walking. What goes after that? Cause you’ve been killing it.

[00:22:20] Chalene Johnson: Yeah. I have to do strength training. Look at that. I, and this is just my personal aesthetics. So I do three days a week of heavy lower body strength training, and I do two days.

[00:22:28] Well, mix it up; do some upper body, lower body, or full body. And I have also returned to intermittent fasting in a very relaxed approach. And how do you do it? I wait until I’m hungry. And I don’t worry about any time on the clock. I don’t worry about what time I’m done eating. I just try to stop it after dinner.

[00:22:47] JJ Virgin: You know, I just did. Do you know who Dr. Andy Galpin is? No. Oh my gosh. I think he’s the top exercise physiologist. He talked about recently, he goes, “The single most important thing that you can do as you age is make sure that you maintain your leg strength because it is the single biggest one.” Just think about it. You got to get up the stairs. You got to get off the toilet. You have like leg strength.

[00:23:06] Chalene Johnson: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I’ve completely changed my physique by focusing heavy on strength training. And have your legs gotten huge? No, it’s reduced my body fat. I’ve never, ever, even at the height of my fitness and commercials, I would have never been seen in public in a pair of shorts.

[00:23:22] I wouldn’t, no, no, but now I’m like, walk. I’ll walk away from you in a thong bikini. I don’t like it; I’m proud of my muscle. I’m proud of my legs. I’m proud of the work that I’ve done. Yeah. And the strength really does give you a confidence, increases your testosterone, and increases your IGF one, increases your human growth hormone. All of these are you.

[00:23:42] JJ Virgin: This is how you create your immune system.

[00:23:46] Chalene Johnson: If you’re over 40, you’re not late. If you’re over 40, you’re not lifty. When I say lifty, I don’t say heavy. Because I see these women with 3-pound weights, I’m like, your phone weighs more. Put it down. Can we talk about how all of these things we learn from other women? My doctors aren’t talking to me about any of this.

[00:24:04] I mean, I remember going, before I found a good integrative, going to my doctor and saying, I can’t sleep and I’m gaining weight. And they’re like, well, that’s aging. So do you want a sleeping pill, or maybe you should go on a diet? It’s like, gee, we can’t. But I thank God that we are educating each other, sharing videos like this with each other, and saying, Listen, here’s some science on creatine. Here’s some science.

[00:24:29] JJ Virgin: Here’s the thing in Andy Galpin also, he pointed out to me because doctors haven’t, they’ve got like an hour of nutrition and nothing in exercise. He goes, here’s the reality. I think, you know, I was all the way up in a PhD program in exercise studies when I dropped out because I wanted to study, and that was all exercise science, and I still look at this and go, Oh my gosh, there’s so much to learn.

[00:24:49] Like, I’m like unpacking everything. And then you have the nutrition side and all those classes over there. And then somehow we expect a doctor to go all through medical school and residency, and now they’re supposed to also, they’re all different things. It’s just that everyone needs to kind of know, Oh, you know what?

[00:25:04] I don’t know. Go over here. And I think the important message for women in menopause is things are going sideways. You need to do everything you can for stress. There’s no mar gin for error anymore. So all the stuff you can to take care of yourself and then find yourself a really good functional medicine doctor who specializes in balancing warmups. Cause they’re out there and they are fabulous.

[00:25:23] Chalene Johnson: You know, you have to phase your doctors as we have to phase our workouts, phase our diet, and phase with our seasons. Like you just do. It’s a certain point you have to recognize that you only have so much training and now you need a specialist.

[00:25:41] You need someone who focuses and understands longevity.

[00:25:44] JJ Virgin: Like think of the person that you were going to. So you’d have healthy babies. Is that the one that’s going to really get you this?

[00:25:48] Chalene Johnson: Not my case

[00:25:50] JJ Virgin: Now I started taking HRT like the minute I knew my hormones dropped. I went to the doctor. I go, I can’t remember how old you were.

[00:25:59] I was in my late forties, and I literally remember going and thinking, I’m not recovering from my workouts. Like I used to, I couldn’t figure it out. I’m like, this went on for like a month. Like I can’t, why am I sore? And then I started, my gut started to bleed, and I went into my dentist, and I go, What the heck is going on?

[00:26:15] He goes, estrogen. And I was like, All right, I know what to do here. I went over to my doctor, who’s helped me all through this. Dr. Alan Christensen was like the first one when I knew my thyroid went down. So literally, I’ve been balanced through this the whole time. And I think this is important because I have so many women wait. Like, what are you waiting for? How will they not need to feel miserable? So when did you start doing it? You’re on it.

[00:26:36] Chalene Johnson: Yes. Yes. Yeah. Let’s talk about that. So I started at age, I think 46 or 47. And hormones are all over the place at that point. So every month, it felt like it was different. It’s like, yeah, perimenopause, just put your seatbelt on.

[00:26:48] But it made it so much easier to transition into menopause. And so now it’s up to us to spread the word amongst our girlfriends. Like, no, there’s new research, and you need to take a look at it because the earlier you get on hormone replacement therapy, the longer you’re going to live and the more vitality you’re going to have.

[00:27:05] Just because someone has a doctorate on their wall doesn’t necessarily mean they’re up to date on the most recent research.

[00:27:10] JJ Virgin: Right. And the other side of that, because I had someone ping me and she goes, I’m 70. And I just am so upset because now I’m hearing everything I had. I think Dr. Felice Gersh on my podcast going through the Women’s Health Initiative, point by point, all of the problems with it.

[00:27:26] And you’re like, Oh my goodness. I mean, it did such a disservice. She was like, Now it’s too late. I’m like, actually, no, it is not too late. And that’s been debunked as well. It’s never like the minute things start going wonky is when you want to start doing this. No need to be miserable. And some might say, You know, it wasn’t hard for you.

[00:27:44] Well, if you can get the hormone balancing piece done, it’s going to make it easier, but then, you know, you’ve got estrogen and you’re fine. So if you’re thinking about this, unpack it, and there’s amazing functional medicine doctors that will assess your risk to just think and go through all of your genetics and epigenetics to look at all of your family history and all of that put together and go, Hey, okay, here, but the reality is women are doing the most of heart disease, and you look at hormones and they protect your heart, your brain, your bones, you know, and the small one is breast cancer.

[00:28:23] Chalene Johnson: If nothing else at a minimum, understand that there are so many ways to improve your hormone balance, even from a naturalist perspective, right? Things like strength training—there’s so many things you can do with lifestyle and supplementation for that person who’s like, it’s just not for me.

[00:28:37] I’ve done my research, and I don’t want to feel guilty cause I’m. not doing HRT. That’s okay. That’s, we just want women to know all the information so that you can make those decisions for you.

[00:28:49] JJ Virgin: Choose wisely. Yeah. Choose wisely, but you have options, which is fantastic. One of the things I really love about you is your willingness just to go. Hey, here’s what I’m doing.

[00:28:59] Here’s what I’ve changed. I was wrong over here. This is how I pulled myself out of it. Here are the things I’m doing now. And then. Like, you’re flipping pictures in your bikini, and like, they’re straps. It makes me so happy. It’s like, go you.

[00:29:13] Chalene Johnson: Well, you know, that’s the best part about aging is like, you can always say, I’m older than you. What do I care what you think? You know what I mean. It’s like, I would have never posted photos like that ever in my life when I was in my 40s. And now I’m just like, I don’t care if some people are uncomfortable with it. I want to inspire women who are afraid of aging. I want them to know, Oh no, it gets good.

[00:29:34] Really good. Really good. Yes. Now you’re back with health program.

[00:29:36] JJ Virgin: So we’ve got some fun things we can share. We’ve got this energy reset. They had this 14-day energy reset. So we’re going to put that at What is it?

[00:29:47] Chalene Johnson: First of all, I want to be in charge. I didn’t want any marketing machine to tell me what to tell women and what they should be doing.

[00:29:53] I want to empower them and help them to understand you sit in the driver’s seat. I’ll keep you accountable, give you some tools, and give you some information. But if you don’t have the energy, you don’t, you can’t do anything. You don’t feel like shopping for the right foods. You don’t feel like getting in your stuff; you don’t feel like doing anything.

[00:30:06] So I wanted to help women understand, like, let’s start with your energy. And go from there. So it’s just 14 days where I take you on a guided walk while you’re walking; you put in your little earbuds; you’ll hear from me; you’ll hear from JJ; and we’re teaching each other. Like, what does it mean to get your energy back naturally without energy drinks?

[00:30:24] Like, how do you develop those habits? Like, what are the little things you can do to get your energy back? Because once you have your, energy, that’s half the battle.

[00:30:33] JJ Virgin: Perfect. Thank you.

[00:30:36] JJ Virgin: Be sure to join me next time for more tools, tips, and techniques you can incorporate into everyday life to ensure you look and feel great. And more importantly, that you’re built to last, and check me out on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and my website,, and make sure to follow my podcast. So you don’t miss a single episode at See you next time.

[00:31:10] Hey, JJ here, and just a reminder that the Well Beyond 40 Podcast offers health, wellness, fitness, and nutritional information that’s designed for educational and entertainment purposes only. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health. You should always consult with a physician or other health care professional. Make sure that you do not disregard, avoid, or delay obtaining medical or health-related advice from your healthcare professional because of something you may have heard on this show or read in our show notes. The use of any information provided on this show is solely at your own risk.
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