Menopause Weight Gain can creep up slowly or suddenly arrive fast and be confusing. So you're not eating any more or exercising any less, but there it is creeping up ever so insidiously. That middle-age spread is slowly but ever so surely wrapping itself around your midriff.
Or alternatively, maybe you do suddenly find yourself with more of an appetite. Possibly be because of sex hormone fluctuations that happen during menopause?
Most women find menopause weight gain difficult to deal with. I know that because of all the many questions I get in my inbox about menopause. It's when our body feels like it's out of whack, when the accumulation of those years of dieting ourselves fatter are all catching up with us and perhaps our once youthful beauty feels as if it's all disappearing down the tubes despite the thousands spent on those famous wrinkle creams. It's also around that time when many women look in the mirror, see their double chin and see their mother staring back at them.
And if their partners have a problem with their menopause weight gain too - it can be a double whammy. Women can land up feeling misunderstood, unfairly criticized and judged. It can be a challenging time sexually as well, not only because women usually feel less sexy with weight gain but also because of other menopausal symptoms such as vaginal dryness.
It's not difficult to understand why women find it a difficult time to deal with - we live in a culture that glorifies celebrities that are 60 yet have bodies of 20 year olds. And the not to subtle message is that if they can (and should want to) do it we can do it too. It doesn't matter that what we see has cost more than many of us will ever earn in a lifetime thanks to botox, fill 'n freeze, multiple nips, tucks, obsessive dieting or gymming themselves half to death. And on top of that, the images of these celebs are the photo-shopped to the unrealistic thinness we see in those magazines.
Remember a confident woman is a powerful women and something that multiple industries fear. The longer they can keep you distracted by all your insecurities, the more you'll spend on their solutions.
If you've been a chronic dieter, it's often a time of looking back at the body you once hated at the time you started your multiple attempts to 'get thin' and wondering what on earth you were thinking as you realize you had a perfectly good body back then. And by the time you reach menopause, you've spent substantial dollars and decades on diets, messing up your once upon a time perfectly functioning metabolism. You've spent so many years battling your body and you're so tired of dieting that it's also a time when you're ready to free yourself from the diet mentality and finally say: "ENOUGH already" and stop dieting realizing that it hasn't brought you one step closer to loving yourself.
It's when many women find Intuitive Eating and start considering that success may look different than what they'd always thought it might. It's when they suddenly realize that: “A cultural fixation on female thinness is not an obsession about female beauty but an obsession about female obedience." -Naomi Wolf. And that's when they start reclaiming their power.