Saturday, January 17, 2009

Other reasons for weight gain

I wanted to blog about something that you don't always hear about. Something that could be called "When diet and exercise are not enough".

Lets say you follow a healthy eating plan to the letter, exercise 8 hours a week or more and still gain weight. One or two weeks it may be muscle gain. A month or more, enter in other factors. By other factors I am not talking about too much sodium, to many processed foods or anything of that sort. For some, metabolic factors come into play. Then for others, hormonal factors may be the cause. And then, enter in the Queen Mother of all wild cards- menopause ! Ladies, are you familiar with the affects PMS has on your body ? It is simply warming up for the thrill ride known as Change of life.

Sure, everyone knows that when this happens you stop having a monthly cycle and you get hot flashes. What many people do not know is that there are a lot of other things that accompany this time. Just as it is true that with pregnancy you do not just get a big belly , no periods and pop out a baby in 9 months. With menopause there are full body changes. In short, nothing works the same as it has all your life. Your ovaries stop working, your adrenal glands pick up some of that slack and they takes your entire endocrine system with you. Did you know that your cardiovascular system goes through extreme changes ? Are you aware that for the majority of women going through the change constipation is the number one complaint ? Did you know that your hair and skin become thinner as a result and sometimes just sitting on a chair can be painful- let alone anything else more interesting ? Did you know that you may have to take facial shaving tips from your husband as a result of the hormone changes ? Let's not mention those other changes- things that used to make your heart go pitter pat , swoon and want to shave your legs for and now just ...well, there and about as interesting white forsting on a snowman.

All of these changes are hard for the body to cope with. Then if you add the extra demands of weight loss to that mix your body starts screaming "ONE THING AT A TIME !!!" . Weight loss results that you experienced in your 20's and 30's are a thing of the past. Where you could push yourself and lose 3-5 pounds in a week at that time will only net you a half a pound loss now- or worse still a gain. And if you are in the time frame where you are moving into the change, the PMS bloat can become an every other week feature, or something you will not see for six months. No rhyme or reason- it is simply your body's way of moving into a change. Quite frankly, it sucks. It Sucks rancid bilge water with dead fish. But like it or not, if you are born a woman, you will go through it. Hormone replacement Therapy is one possible solution, but not without risks. Both my mother and mother in law took this route, and both are dealing with Dementia now as a possible side affect. No thanks- I think I will pass.

So , a bit of advice to the younger women out there who are half heatedly trying to lose weight- DO IT NOW !!!! While it is hard when you are younger, ,it will become an attempt similar to trying to empty the ocean with a thimble once you move into perimenopause. Had I known then what I know now, I would have forced myself back on track as soon as my son as born , and damn the other issues. Please belive me when I say you will not regret making the struggle . And to those of you who are like me, in that "magical" season of change, why attempt it ? Reason number one is that no matter what the scale says, you will be better equipped to deal with the challenges of menopause because of your efforts. With a healthy diet and exercise you can combat the affects on your bones, heart and mental attitude. You will not always see pounds go bye bye, but you will be stronger, healthier and more emotionally balanced because of your efforts. As that song from the 60's stated "You can't always get what you want, you get what you need"


Graciela said...

Wow, I totally relate to this post! I started gaining a few years ago, and because I wasn't paying a lot of attention, I ended up gaining 15 lbs without realizing it. Now that I've decided to address the weight gain, I'm finding out it's no snap to lose it again. And most of the gain is in my stomach area...I think that's another side effect of menopause.

I used to be able to lose 5 lbs in a week easy; nowadays, I'm lucky to lose one lb a week if I bust my butt.

I am taking HRT because my hot flashes got so bad they were unbearable. I was having one every 30 minutes and it would last for 10 minutes. That took a real toll on my well being and being able to sleep through the night.

I guess we just need to hang in there and keep fighting the good fight. Never give up! :)

Squishy ! said...

I will obey! lol I'm sorry that things are rough for you right now. I don't know anything about menopause right now, but I know about some weird hormonal happenings. They stink, and I wish that I could afford some laser hair removal. *chuckles* I'll be praying for you though, that you gain some relief during this crazy time of transition. *hugs*

Rosie said...

I can't directly relate, but my boss is just started hot flashes and believe me it effects me too... she's always hot and I'm always cold, when she's cold I'm hot. So we both dress in layers everyday.

Thank you for the entry, I'm def going to loss this weight before then.