There’s been a lot in the news lately about the menopause and I think that’s a good thing. I feel sorry for all of those women who’ve had to put up with so many debilitating symptoms without proper support. It must have been terrible. The thing is, though, I don’t remember any of my older relatives showing any symptoms or talking about menopause. This doesn’t mean they didn’t have symptoms, obviously, but maybe they felt they had to hide their symptoms as, for years, being menopausal was seen as a negative thing…
I am going do be discussing menopause a lot because I believe in mind, body and soul wellness for everyone and I feel women going through menopause will need help and support with all of these things. I feel like I have been very lucky to reach the age of 52 without suffering too much; however, there have been some changes and symptoms that I have not been particularly happy about and, one of those things, is menopausal weight gain,
Can we blame the Menopause for weight gain?
This is a tricky one. As a Personal Trainer and Hypnotherapist, I know that there are all sorts of reasons why people gain weight and, sometimes, we can blame one thing, when it might actually be another reason. This is why we have to be careful. If you have noticed unexplained weight gain – I class this as gaining weight when your usual routine hasn’t changed. If you have been eating the same, exercising the same and doing the same job role, then any weight gain should be investigated by your GP. If you are the right age for menopause or peri-menopause, then your GP may tell you that menopause is the reason; however, there are a lot of medical issues that cause weight gain and so you should always check this.
Menopausal Weight Gain – What can I do about it?
Personally, I noticed my weight creeping up when I turned 45. Before that, I could pretty much eat and drink whatever I wanted and not put on weight. I had a regular exercise routine – that worked for me and my lifestyle was quite active as I walked a lot.
I started to buy into the belief, though, that weight gain was a natural process, at my age, and it was something that just happened which I had to put up with. I hadn’t done any hypnotherapy or Personal Training courses at that point, though, and so hadn’t been aware of how mindset and diet could affect weight management. Luckily for me, a new girl started at work who was a yoga teacher. She was 51 and looked amazing. I got talking to her and she said that there was no reason that anyone had to put up with unwanted weight gain, at any age, as it could be sorted with a regular exercise routine and a healthy diet. I had been eating, what I thought, was a healthy diet. A typical day’s meals would be some granola with semi-skimmed milk for breakfast, an apple for morning snack, brown bread cheese sandwiches and a low fat strawberry yoghurt for lunch and a stir fry for tea. My new friend told me that most of what I’d been eating was full of hidden sugars and so, i decided to train as a PT to help understand this more, so I could help myself and others. The weight started to drop off. I realised, then, that it was my diet that had been the issue. When I started my hypnotherapy I then understood that it was also my mindset and beliefs about aging that had caused this too.
Menopausal Self Care
Having said all this, now is the time to appreciate your body and all it has been through. It has served you well over the years and it is a good time to start to give back with some self care. You can follow some body positivity influencers on social media, so all the messages that go into your subconscious are positive ones. You can treat yourself to candle-lit baths, massages and scented body lotions. Buy yourself some new clothes to flatter your new shape and think about taking up meditation or journaling to ease any stress or anxiety that your weight gain may have given you. Now is not the time to start a gruelling new exercise routine with HIIT classes every night or exhausting spin classes. These types of routines can make you feel even more stressed and, as a result, your body releases cortisol, which causes weight gain, especially around the abdominal area. You need to de-stress as much as possible and, by doing this, you may even notice some weight dropping off if you have been working out too hard. Weight training, walking, swimming and yoga are perfect ways to keep fit, during this time of your life.
I will be holding a FREE Facebook challenge soon to help with weight loss without diets, so follow me on social media, if you are interested, where I will be announcing the challenge, or you can sign up on my homepage.