Menopausal weight gain has arrived and announced itself: "Hello, I'm middle age spread!" You've got a couple of choices when it comes to menopause and weight gain: You can stress and feel frantic about it as many women tend to. And frankly given the thin obsessed culture we live in - where even women in their 60's have the bodies of 30-year olds- that's totally understandable. Of course they may have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on nips and tucks - but still! But have you ever considered that stressing about it may just be the very thing that's increasing your weight?
Here's the problem with stressing about it though -- stress in itself researchers know lead to:
You could lose sleep about menopausal weight gain. However, Dr. Eve Caulter from the National Sleep Institute claims that a lack of sleep may be the "royal route to obesity." And one of the problem might be that you're already losing sleep due to hot flushes and night sweats, which may be exacerbating your menopausal weight gain and middle age spread.
You could head off down to your local pharmacy to those shelves that hold all those miracle 'lose 40lbs in 4 week' cures - you know one of those famous lose weight quick diets. Only problem is they help you lose water and muscle and help your body become a more efficient fat storage container, and the weight you'll regain when you stop them will come back in double quick time. They are definitely NOT the solution to middle age spread. But responding to your menopausal body with intuitive eating and a diet of body-fun and self-love...that's a solution I can buy into.
Get to know the symptoms of menopause that impact on--and possibly exacerbate--how you're feeling about your menopausal weight gain.
Understand what is happening in your body and over which you seem to have little or no control. At least knowledge can reduce your levels of stress about it and make you feel more in control.
While there are many other symptoms too - these are the ones I've chosen because of how they might impact on how you feel about yourself.
So while middle age spread may be the one you most confront every time you dress, this is a time to look at yourself through the eyes of love and maintain your sense of humor because, you're most likely also having to contend with:
Well it's obvious that menopause isn't for cowards! Just looking at these symptoms is enough for me to march off and put in a demand that in my next life I come back as a man! (ok, I'm just kidding...but um... at times it has crossed my mind)
Above all KEEP YOUR SENSE OF HUMOR! BREATHE! Menopausal weight gain isn't the end of the world! (even though I know if might feel like it!)
Make sure that for every pound you feel you've gained you're gaining at least that in confidence:
Don't focus on your weight gain, focus on staying active, fit and healthy! Menopausal weight gain, just like hormonal weight gain during pregnancy and puberty doesn't mean there is something wrong. Keep reminding yourself this is just means your body is doing what nature intended it to. Find reasons to laugh about your weight instead of letting it depress you.
But ultimately -- and I acknowledge that this may be somewhat difficult to accept- whatever you do, don't increase your levels of self-hatred. Keep in mind that ALL average weight charts show that womens weight around the world rises during menopause.
Try to stay relaxed and maintain an attitude of curiosity towards your changing body. And remember that by the law of averages your body weight will start going down again once you're past menopause.
I've read research that says we need up to 25-30% body fat at menopause and that a bit of extra weight is protective against osteoporosis. Osteoporosis occurs when our bones lose their honeycombed structure and along with that their strength and flexibility. And who knows what else it might be helping with that we aren't even aware of. And be aware - having your weight yo-yo up and down - results in a loss of bone. And besides BMI ranges are a bunch of baloney made up by the weight loss industry to sell more products. Yes - really! Listen to how that happened as told by health Prof Linda Bacon. Besides which fatter people live longer.
By the way, Leptin, which is a hormone that controls: feeding behavior and hunger, body temperature and energy expenditure, is produced by fat cells. It's another reason we need fat.
According to Dr. Gerard Karsenty from the Baylor College of Medicine, there is a link between fat cells, leptin, the brain, and bone density.
Here's the perfect place to rant about your changing body... Or just tell your story or share your self-acceptance tips....
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Thanks for nothing
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