Women, weight gain, and menopause: Part one!

A number of my female readers reached out after I posted my last blog post that presented tips on how to control your weight. I knew it was a hot topic, but I was surprised at the number of people who are really concerned and feeling a bit deflated about recent weight gain. Ug. I get it. So let’s talk about it.

Forgive me for stating the obvious, but when we age, our bodies change. Our hormones, metabolism, memory, and all sorts of other things just aren’t what they used to be. But it is a fallacy that all menopausal women (pre, during, and post) gain weight. Let’s take a look at what is happening….

Lifestyle habits are critical to what happens to our minds and bodies throughout life. There are a few habits that can dramatically impact the outcome of our weight as we age (generally speaking! Of course there are other issues related to weight gain. I am not a doctor, so your particular situation may require a deeper dive and a visit with your doctor). Here is habit number 1 that I work on with peeps in my Healthy Habits program. My next few blog posts will cover several other habits related to women, weight gain, and menopause:

  • #1 – The level of stress that we experience across the spectrum of our lives is bad news for the body and mind. High levels of stress throughout life tire out our adrenal glands – they become exhausted, lazy…..dysfunctional. Women, in particular, spend so much time taking care of everyone else that often we neglect our own needs physically and emotionally. Our high-octane lifestyle and stress in the body cause our poor adrenals to wear down. Weight gain happens when our adrenals are dysfunctional. Young women – pay close attention to your levels of stress and develop lifestyle habits to deal so that as you age, your adrenals continue to work well. Why? Keep reading….

Here’s a little more detail about what happens with the adrenals. The adrenals are responsible for the production of many hormones including cortisol, adrenaline, DHEA, etc. The ovaries, on the other hand, produce our sex hormones. As menopause creeps closer and the ovaries produce fewer sex hormones, some of the responsibility shifts to the adrenals. BUT…..if the adrenals are dysfunctional from fatigue, the body will look for yet another hormone-producing helper, and guess where that’s found.  Yep, you guessed it, our fat tissues. As these fat tissues are called into action, the body stores the extra fat in the lower abdomen and just like bad magic, the tummy pooch is born. Now I don’t mean to freak you out, but once the pooch develops, it’s next to impossible to get rid of it. The pooch may be annoying to deal with, but darn it, you don’t need to gain weight. Stay with me…..

Your first line of defense against wearing down your adrenals and possibly experiencing weight gain is to control your stress, no matter your age. Start with meditation, or if that is too woo-woo for you, how about yoga? Don’t like yoga? How about a nice walk? Counting as you breathe? Repeating a mantra (mine is “I am calm, I am calm, I am calm”). Turn off the TV in the evening and allow yourself to sit in silence and reflect. Long, extended exhales.  Journal. Have gratitude. So many ideas. Simple ideas. The difficult part is just doing it.  Do it. Today. Be calm.

I’ll be back soon with more on how to manage weight near, in, or after menopause. Have hope, ladies (and gents because weight gain is a real thing as we age and it happens to all of us). Weight control is all about your habits. Next up: food, drink, sleep, exercise, fasting and detox.

If you are curious about how to get started in the next round of my 12-week program ~ Healthy Habits beginning September 2019 ~ please go to the “Tell Me About You” tab on the main menu, complete the wellness survey and I will be in touch to set up a time to chat and see if the program is a good fit for you.

 

 

2 Replies to “Women, weight gain, and menopause: Part one!”

  1. Alison, this is timely because out of nowhere I have the dreaded middle-aged lady gut. I work out as much as I can and I LOVE yoga but the reality is, if I’m going to dedicate an hour out of my day to workout time, it better be a damn good workout. How does a regular, full-time working 50-something keep her shit together???

    1. Hey Kathy. Yep, it’s a little discouraging when the pooch thing happens. My next blog post will be on exercise and how to squeeze the gazillion things that we need to do each day, in the short 24-hours that we have. Remember the simple days of kid-hood?! Where did that simplicity go? And why does 24 hours now seem really short when it used to be an eternity. Ah life!

      Watch for my next blog post – it will be out soon. Namaste!

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