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September 19, 2023

LeAnn Rimes: On Living Well After 40

Women's Health, Life Stories, Longevity

At the milestone of turning age 40, country music legend LeAnn Rimes’ mission is to build her life around health and well-being. Part of her goal is to set herself up to go through perimenopause and menopause as well as possible. She wants to be a leading voice in the conversation about it all. We’re honored that Dr. Mindy Pelz recommended Sunlighten saunas as part of her overall healing journey.

Sunlighten: You turned 40 this year…what are your thoughts about that? It’s a big milestone. 

LeAnn Rimes: I was really excited about turning 40. I love the fresh energy of a new decade. I feel like I’ve lived a lot of life in my 40 years and have garnered great wisdom from all of my experiences leading up to 40. So, I felt like I was really settling into myself, allowing my heart and soul to guide my life, and beginning to live more from the inside out, rather than the outside in. So far, this new decade has felt more grounded, and I feel the most comfortable and confident I’ve ever felt in my own skin.  

SL: How did you get the idea to build a healthy foundation before perimenopause hit and why is that important to you?

LeAnn Rimes: Throughout my life, I’ve heard from my mom or other women in my life that “everything goes downhill after 40,” and I was like “nope, not on my watch!” I am aware of the hormonal changes that women go through during this season of our lives and the cascade of health challenges that our ever changing hormonal landscape can usher in, but I also am very aware of the influence we can have over our own health journey by educating ourselves and making lifestyle changes to not only survive perimenopause/menopause, but to thrive during this time and make the transition a whole lot smoother.   

At 39, I stumbled upon Dr. Mindy Pelz’s work. After reading her book, “The Menopause Reset,” I reached out to her for help and my upgraded health journey began. I have always been healthy and taken care of my body, but not even close to the degree at which I take care of my health now. The knowledge I have gained about my female body--its magic, wisdom, needs and challenges--that knowledge is now vast and guides my day-to-day choices. I am BEYOND grateful for Dr. Mindy and her guidance. I know I would be headed down a very different path with my health if it wasn’t for listening to my intuition and reaching out to her to help guide me during this stage of my life.  

SL: Have you experienced any perimenopause symptoms yet? Which ones?  

LeAnn Rimes: I have, and I’ve probably been experiencing them for even longer than I am aware of. I was on birth control since I was 17 years old and on continuous birth control since my early 20’s. I had such severe periods that my whole body would swell, including my vocal chords, so in order to rectify that, my doctor put me on continuous birth control. I would go from one pack of pills to the next without ever having a period. Back then, it seemed like a great idea, but now, I know better. I can only imagine what that truly did to my hormones. At the age of 38, I began having breakthrough bleeding and so, I thought it was time to come off of birth control and allow my body to return to its natural rhythms. Since then, I have been working on balancing my hormones and getting things to come back online naturally that had previously been manipulated by synthetic hormones. But I am also at that perimenopausal stage where hormones start to dwindle, so the mix of the two has posed some challenges.

Over the past couple of years, I have experienced significant brain fog, higher anxiety from decreased progesterone, more significant mood swings and as of late, night sweats, here and there.  

SL: What is your sauna routine, when do you do it, how often, what settings?

LeAnn Rimes: When I am at home and not traveling for work, I try and use my sauna as often as possible. Usually, that looks like 4-5 times a week and I fit it in during my day whenever possible. Sometimes, my sauna sessions are in the later afternoon, but mostly, I like going in during the later morning after my workout and just as I’m breaking my fast. I’ve noticed that my body treats a session in the sauna like it would a workout and releases stored sugar while I’m in there, so blood sugar rises, and it usually throws me out of ketosis for a moment. Knowing that, I try and avoid it while I’m fasting, but I go in as soon as I break my fast. I usually use either the detox or weight loss setting. I like the weight loss setting when I want to kick the heat up a notch and have a little less time on my hands.

SL: How long did you use the sauna before you started noticing a difference?

LeAnn Rimes: In all honesty, I noticed a difference right away, especially in my mood. The days when I feel depression creeping in or feel really low on energy, I am a different person by the time I walk out of the sauna. I feel more awake, vibrant and uplifted.  

SL: What do you love about your Sunlighten sauna that you want to share?  

LeAnn Rimes: I really love the whole experience of the sauna. The chromotherapy sets a lovely tone for ultimate relaxation and since I listen to podcasts, books, guided meditations, or music during my sauna session, the Bluetooth feature is fantastic!

SL: You are building your life around your health – describe what that has meant for you and what things have you changed or built into your routine to lay that foundation for yourself.  

LeAnn Rimes: Putting my health first had to begin with a complete shift of the mind. I truly had to let it sink in that without my health, nothing else is possible. Everything begins and ends with a healthy mind, body and spirit. Rest has become a priority. Not only sleep, but rest, which means longer stretches of time at home from touring and traveling. It’s also meant building a lifestyle around my cycle and my hormonal needs, which includes everything from learning how to fuel my body with the right foods at different times of my cycle to creating daily habits such as meditation, breathwork, and my sauna, of course, to help reduce acute stress, to creating a fasting lifestyle, at the appropriate times in my cycle, helping to heal my body at a cellular level… just to name a few. Honestly, there are so many different components to how I take care of my health and my life does revolve around it. My health is my number 1 priority. 

SL: What is one thing (or as many as you’d like) you’d like people to know about your journey that might encourage them or give them hope?  

LeAnn Rimes: I won’t sugar coat it--putting our health back together is a full-time job and it’s a decision one has to make day in and day out to stay dedicated and focused. It’s hard work! But, I believe, taking care of our body, mind, and spirit to the fullest is the most important act of self-love that we could ever give ourselves. All the daily planning and effort that goes into educating ourselves and supporting our bodies so that we can live a life of optimal health that most of us have never even known before is beyond worth it.   

Every single person’s healing journey is unique, so it’s important to listen to our bodies, learn its rhythms and resist the temptation of comparison to someone else’s journey. Our bodies know how to heal when we provide the most nurturing environment possible for that healing to occur and no one is going to provide that for us but ourselves. Find a great support system to help guide you, stay consistent, be patient and kind to your vessel, and allow the body to do what it does best… heal.   

Since being diagnosed with an autoimmune condition at the age of 2, I honestly had some deep beliefs I had to confront around my body being “broken” and had pretty much succumbed to the idea that illness and subpar health was just the hand that I was dealt during this lifetime, but I am on a completely different trajectory, one I never thought possible. All I know is that if healing and optimal health is possible for me, it’s possible for anyone willing to put in the work!   

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WRITTEN BY: Sunlighten

Shining light on infrared technology, Sunlighten® is the #1 choice for personalized infrared light treatments. Since 1999, we have been committed to innovating wellness products and services that empower our customers to improve their quality of life. Our patented SoloCarbon® technology rejuvenates the body by delivering the highest dose of infrared energy to the body - proven up to 99% effective. Our technological innovations are fueled by our passion to make a difference. And we are building a global community of businesses, consumers, and trusted experts to support each other along the way and make the world a healthier, happier place.

Sunlighten saunas are not a medical device as defined by Section 201(h) of the Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act. Sunlighten provides general information relating to various medical conditions for informational purposes only and is not meant to be a substitute for advice provided by a doctor or other qualified health care professional. Please consult with your physician regarding diagnosis or treatment.