Like many of us, I've made a New Year's resolution to lose weight. I know it's only a few days into the year, but so far I'm doing ok. I got the treadmill fixed, that was step one. Then I got on it. That was step two. So far so good.
I know I'm not the only one who has noticed a big difference in my weight gain since menopause. It's in my belly. My nurse practitioner (and everything I've read) says that's dangerous. Plus it used to be so easy to take off 5 pounds. Not anymore. And now I need to take off 15 or 20. Yikes!
It seems so unfair that during all of menopause's other hassles that weight gain--for no apparent reason--adds to a woman's mid-life stress. (For more on why this happens, see Sandy Greenquist's post on "Where Did My Waist Go?")
About the same time as my weight started increasing by more than a pound or two, my knees started hurting when I hiked long distances. My back hurt when I rode my bike. This is a real double whammy. I'm used to being active, and that kept my weight down when I was younger. But now these other factors were keeping me from exercising.
I recently read this quote. See if it sounds familiar:
"Here is a woman who uses food for emotional comfort and who doesn't like exercise. When you don't like to exercise to start with, and you're given a medical excuse not to exercise you usually take it."
These words were uttered recently by Bob Greene, who was talking about Oprah Winfrey. He's her personal trainer. He said they both realized that (duh) she is now in her mid-50s, so weight gain is common and hard to deal with. She's been an up-and-down dieter for many years, very publicly. But now, according to Greene, she has some aches and pains that come along with mid-life that make exercising more problematic.
YES!!!! Oprah IS part of the same human race as the rest of us! I'm not happy she's having troubles, but it is interesting that her troubles are just like ours. Except she has a trainer and gobs of money to spend on the "right" diet and exercise and the time to devote to both. Or, maybe I'm wrong and she doesn't have any more free time than the rest of us.
I've read that body fat can really screw up your hormones, blood pressure, and insulin. Fat mass contains more hormones that contribute to inflammation (thus perhaps my knee issues) and insulin resistance.
My approach is going to be less processed food (though I'm pretty good about that now), regular exercise (I joined a local Curves club because aerobic exercise -the treadmill-is not enough. Strength training has to be added to have a significant positive effect on lean body mass vs. fat mass), and looking to my exercise regiment to reduce stress.
I hope you will do the same, if you haven't already. I want to be a strong a woman in my 50s like I was in my 20s. I won't weigh the same, and I won't be AS strong, but I refuse to give up.
Happy New Year, and let's keep each other focused on getting strong & healthy in 2009. Send me your ideas, too.
Published On: January 05, 2009