lauragreenbaum Posts: 1,017 Member
It sucks, right? In addition to hot flashes and mood swings, it seems much harder to lose weight. Or maybe it's just me? I also am carrying more weight above my bellybutton which I never had when I was younger. Any advice or exercises to get rid of that? I do Pilates every day and walk a minimum of 8000 steps. Thanks
Since you can't spot reduce fat you'd just have to lose weight all over and hope it's noticeable there...or get lipo.
For the last year and a half i have been stuck in a plateau, but I just broke it the last two weeks by doing alternate day fasting...but that's what works for me and you'll have to find what works for you.
I started menopause a year ago, so I think my plateau was a combination of that and all the lockdowns, but it is possible to lose weight in menopause. Good luck!1
There are some studies suggesting that regular strength training can be helpful, others that suggest including some higher intensity cardio may help (not every danged workout, though!), but I don't have a reasonable cite at hand.
It's certainly true that as we age, we lose muscle mass unless we do something to counteract that, and that affects
* "metabolism" (a little),
* activity level (weaker tends to mean we move less, and backslide faster, because moving becomes harder, less fun), and
* posture (which affects the appearance of any central fat we do have).
On top of that, sometimes our lifestyles are less active, and that conspires with the muscle/fitness declines to solidify habits of reduced activity, with all of the above happening so slowly and gradually that we don't really notice.
There aren't any miracle cures, though, AFAIK . . . and I'd caution that the gee-whiz blogosphere is full of magical theories that say otherwise (plus supplements, exercise programs, etc., that they want to sell us as menopausal women).
It's not just you that finds menopause hard. You'll find many other women who agree.
Personally, I didn't find menopause per se all that hard, but I'm 100% biased by having gone into menopause in *one month* at age 44, as a consequence of starting 6 months of chemotherapy, and being dosed with anti-estrogen drugs for 7.5 years after that, creating essentially not only drug-induced menopause but a sort of hyper-menopause. (Our body still makes estrogen after menopause, mostly in fat cells and adrenals. The anti-estrogen drugs block that estrogen, too.) Just getting past the chemo (and the cancer) was such a positive change that residual effects from menopause seemed pretty manageable by contrast. Can't recommend this route, if optional, though: Bad hobby.
I'm *not* saying that menopause doesn't create physiological changes, or make weight management/fitness a different sort of challenge. It can. I'm also not saying that these effects are all women's fault if they don't do X after menopause.
I do think it can be easy to catastrophize about menopause, cognitively letting the effects become a hard barrier, rather than being challenges that can be countered to some extent.
I'm now 65, so about 21 years in menopause. I probably do have relatively more abdominal fat than I did at 20-something and this body weight, but I think my body composition isn't hugely different (my wedding clothes from age fit again, now). Body composition does make a difference in appearance, and a small difference in weight management.
IME, some of the side effects tend to dissipate with time, like the hot flashes and mood swings. It's hard for me to speculate about a timeline, given my anti-estrogen drug regimen. I'd bet it differs by individual, anyway.
Best wishes finding a route through the transition!3
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