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"