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Ladies - give me a heads up - what happens in menopause

Hi ladies - I'm 48 in peri-menopause. I weighed 155 when I started at PT 4 months ago and I'm at 143 now, trying to get to 132. I was in the 120s during my 20s, 130s during my 30s, and 140s in early forties and 150s during age 45+

I have a new type of weight issue...I've always packed fat on my hips and thighs. But now, I have a muffin top, a slab of fat around my waist and back, a tummy pouch and this blob under my bra! I though after losing 12 pounds that would be the first to go, but instead, it seems to still be there, and the pants size dropped!!! I don't know what will happen if/when I lose the ohter 12. Will I have a waist, hips all the same size? Will I get my waist back? This is all new to me. I don't want to have no waist, or elastic waist pants - wah

Please let me know what you are or have experienced with peri and menopause regarding weight gain and loss!

Wed. Nov 28, 10:16pm

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Welcome to the spongebob body of menopause, it drives me crazy, if I wanted a spongebob body I would have not worked out so hard in my 20, 30 and now mid 40's. My gyn told me everyone is different and to try lifting weights several times a week besides cardio and since doing that I have actually started getting some waist line back. My weight is not really changing but I will get that size 6 body back even if I have to have lipo to kick it back to where my mind thinks it should be. I may be in my mid 40's but my mind tells me I am still in my 20"s.

Thursday, November 29, 2007, 9:28 AM

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I had my first baby when I was 37. Even though my weight got back to pre-preg weight, by body shape was very different. What I did was keep my health in mind, not a 20 year old fitness mag cover body. I also learned that some simple changes in my wardrobe helped a lot. I still look fashionable, but just different syles. You know, the whole dress for your body shape thing to accentuate the positive and de-emphasize the negative. You can fight mother nature all you want, but why not try to work with her instead? A lot less headache and you will still look great.

Thursday, November 29, 2007, 10:27 AM

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Menopause belly

I am 51-yrs old and noticed the big difference in my body at 49 1/2-yrs. Not only did I develop an "Apple" midsection, as I have read it is called, my skin under my ribcage began to look "cheesey" - ulgh!!!
I have always been fit and a very healthy eater, always a size 4-6 with a small waist and curvy hips. It has been VERY DIFFICULT dealing with this unwanted body shape, very depressing!! I have been exercising regularly for about two years now and it doesn't even seem to help. What would I look like if I didn't exercise at all???
I would also love to hear from women who have some good ideas regarding how to have more self-esteem during this awful time!

Thursday, November 29, 2007, 10:59 PM

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My breasts sagged A LOT. I've always been a DD cup, but without a bra (in my nightgown) looked ok. Now without a bra I look old and undressed. Like the older ladies in those 1920s & 1930s movies. If their dresses didn't have waistbands holding their breasts in check, how much lower would they be hanging?!

Friday, November 30, 2007, 6:55 AM

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I think Maya Angelou once said about her own breasts - they're in a race to see who can meet my bellybutton first.

Friday, November 30, 2007, 9:34 AM

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I'm 26 and have had two kids. I tell me childless friends to appriciate their bodies now because it's never the same after having babies. Now I realize I need to appreciate my body now while I'm young! Thanks for the heads up ladies!

Friday, November 30, 2007, 12:54 PM

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Yes, do enjoy your body now. My body rebounded just fine after pregnancy (lucky?) - it's only now that I'm having a problem.

Friday, November 30, 2007, 1:28 PM

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it was pregnancy that messed me up, but good. my breasts got huge and never got smaller again even after i stopped nursing. now that i lost a lot of my huge fat belly (not from the baby, he's grown with babies of his own now) there's nothing for my breasts to rest on so they sag. much more saggy even now that im in menopause. and the skin on the top of my hands is very dry and very old looking. much older than i really am. oh boo hoo. why did you start this thread? now im depressed.

Friday, November 30, 2007, 8:44 PM

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I will be 50 in a few weeks. My body has changed remarkably this year due to Pilates combined with weight training. I have lost an inch on my waist and put on additional muscle. I have always been active but apparently had hit a plateau. The combination on Pilates and weights really stirred things up.

About dressing...I LOVE Coldwater Creek. They have great clothes for women. My favorite is bootcut jeans with a tunic sweater or a white button down shirt and duster-length coat. They are stylish clothes with a bit of edge and attitude. And as you get older...find a tailor. No one can really wear clothes off the rack. A tailor (or friend who sews) will be your best friend.

Saturday, December 01, 2007, 6:48 PM

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Thanks 6:48 - that's great advice. I'm going with more and more shirts that hang over my waist - tunic like, I guess, but stylish. I'm glad high waisted pants are out of style, because my old ones which now fit in the rear again will not button without major discomfort and a huge roll of fat haning over the top. I'm getting rid of them tomorrow. I bought some new, lower (not teenage low) rise pants for work today and a really good Macy's sale. The tailor is a great idea too.

Saturday, December 01, 2007, 8:16 PM

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Smart Girl!

Nobody told me what this menopause was going to be like, and I wish they HAD!! I hope to let all young women know that everything they do with exercise and diet is important NOW, because even if you're good about exercising and careful about eating habits IT IS STILL A HARD TIME!!
I can't imagine how much worse it would be if I hadn't taken care of myself when I was your age...

Saturday, December 01, 2007, 8:28 PM

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The recent fashion magazines are all about the high waisted pant. It IS coming back and if you are concerned about muffin top you want to stay away from low waist pants.

Shape wear is very big now and it's not your grandmother's girdle. The fabrics are light and cool (limits the hot flashes).

Sunday, December 02, 2007, 9:13 AM

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Sex and the Seasoned Woman

A great book by Gail Sheehy. She interviewed women across the country on life after menopause. It's a great read. What she found is that women are re-defining what menopause means. By far, women reaching menopause now are in better health physically and financially. They are confident and accomplished. Getting to menopause may be bumpy but it seems to be smooth(er) sailing once you get there.

Sunday, December 02, 2007, 12:23 PM

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Not a weight related thing, but my eyebrows are starting to change!! On one side especially, I have 1 or to hairs that are, well, sticking out somehow instead of laying down! It's like they are growing forward now. I pulled them out a few times and it made a big gap in my eyebrow - doh! I have a few white ones too now, but as long as they lay down, I'm fine with them. Geez. I hope they all don't go 'wiry'. I guess I will have to vaseline or hairspray the darn things down. Just water or face moisterizer doesn't work. Maybe I need a little tiny blow drier and brush so I can blow it out straight. Geez!

Monday, December 03, 2007, 11:30 AM

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My mother (73) says her hair changed with menopause. She shaves her legs about every 6 weeks now, the hair grows so slow. But facial hair grows faster thicker. Try trimming the hairs that grow funky. Will keep color down at the skin surface but they won't stick up. If you get your hair colored. your colorist CAN do your eyebrows too. DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME.

Monday, December 03, 2007, 11:43 AM

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I had started a new thread on my menopause woes -- see 2 march, but i should have searched first as I just did, to see the other notes of similar topic.

I too, have been very frustrated and depressed. I try to get out of the funk as it is not a ''big' deal to anyone but me. My husband has not even noticed my weight gain. But - I was always the 'fit, slim, athletic' one of the group, and I keep hearing results of 10 and 15 lbs lost in 6 or 8 weeks, --- I have lost 5!!! in almost 2 months. I have added weights, x country skiing once a week, and a spin class... and have cut out most sugars, bread, milk products, and increased fibre, veggies, fish..
So -- I started a 2 week cleanse -- from a health food store under advise of owner trained in naturopathy. Pills in am and pm and add powdered fibre to food twice a day, and of course increase water intake considerably.

Will keep in touch on results.


Monday, March 03, 2008, 2:03 PM

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For Sheila

How much weight have you gained? Several experts (Christiane Northrup, MD, Susun Weed, etc.) actually recommend a small weight gain in your 40's for health reasons. Estrogen is held in body fat so you go into menopause with a natural store of it. The small weight gain also decreases your risk for osteoporosis. The slow down in metabolism may be nature's way of helping you along. This is NOT an excuse to pig out at the pizza buffet and quit the gym. Several books (google the above authors) explain how to do it. Keep up what you are doing with diet and exercise but be realistic about goals. A small amount of weight, especially if you have been slim/athletic with a low percentage of body fat, may not be so bad.

Monday, March 03, 2008, 4:55 PM

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Research on menopause

Hello from Sheila
Thank you, yes I will look these up.. I have just found that most of the articles list the symptoms, make some suggestions, ie. .. diet, hrt....

I had gained about 20 lbs but about 10 of that was due to getting away from exercise and not as much watching the cookies. But as mentioned, I just lamenting that since jan, when I really kicked it up and cut it out, I have seen such little change. I see several postings along the same line.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008, 5:54 PM

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menopause and eyebrows

What a coincidence! Just last night I was having my hair done when I caught a glimpse of my REALLY unruly eyebrows in their mirror. Just like yours, they were sticking straight out a la Albert Einstein! I asked their aesthetician to trim them and they look fine this morning...she recommended using clear mascara to control their direction. Oyy, isn't menopause fun??

Thursday, March 19, 2009, 9:12 AM

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I always had an hourglass figure and flat stomach even when overweight, so my menopause pouch came as an ugly surprise. I struggled for years to lose the weight, and only now the pouch is finally shrinking. What changed? My eating habits. What is working for me? First going gluten and casein free (basically no wheat or dairy) and finally transitioning to a plant based diet that includes healthy fats every day (omega 3's especially) instead of oil. I've lost 4" off my waist and my tummy is getting flatter all the time. We're talking years of research here and refining the way I ate; I wish I had known at 48 (peri-menopause) what I now know at 54 about eating for nutrition. We are what we eat, and for me the grain and dairy were keeping me fat.

Besides the pouch - be prepared for cold flashes; I kept a wool scarf at hand, it really helped relieve the bone chilling cold. I knew about hot flashes, but these took me by surprise. Making sure your essential fatty acids are balanced will help mood swings - too much grain = too much omega 6 and then you can't absorb the omega 3's you are desperate for. Also, stay away from meat that is full of xeno hormones. Exercise! Walking a brisk 20 minutes a day in addition to regular exercise also helps mood swings. In the begining I used OTC estrovan or something (generic on sale worked just fine) and that really helped. Now I use an all in one formula (vitamins) that has herbal support for mid life issues as part of the formula.

The best advice is to just be healthy; eat lots of fruits and veggies, have an ounce of healthy fat (nuts, seeds, avocado) each day, and exercise. You might read 'Eat to Live', that really started me thinking about nutrition.

Thursday, March 19, 2009, 11:45 AM

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and drink green tea- it is proven to "prefer" belly fat as its fuel for thermogenisis. Don't be upset about bodies!!! You are great Spirits.

Friday, March 20, 2009, 12:34 AM

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and be prepared to wax your upper lip once in a while ;)

Friday, March 20, 2009, 11:36 AM

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This last blog from March 19th is so right on. Eliminating dairy and breads is huge in the battle against belly fat. I am finding that out, by surprise I may add. I started eliminating different foods for over a period of 4 months. When I dropped the cheese and bread products, BINGO! the weight around my belly started coming off. I already stopped eating red meat but had increased my grain intake. I switched to lowfat cheese, but now I am convinced that cheese needs to be dropped as well. It's tough but I have seen two pants sizes drop since doing this. Dairy has hormones and so does soy products, so for me switching to soy didn't help at all. For us women who seem to gain weight while just smelling foods, the no dairy and no breads is huge. Keep in mind that oatmeal, even though it is a grain didn't seem to impact my weight like eating a bread products, so I can enjoy a bowl of oatmeal with no problem. Sure I have had to adjust the way I eat, but the sacrifice is worth it to not have a muffin top while going through this body change. I'm just considering this change a part of aging which sucks, but it's being dealt with and I'm getting positive results. You'll just have to experiment as you go.

Now on to the breasts going south. I had breast cancer in my right breast so when the reconstructive surgeon did my right he also lifted my left. There is NO other solution to gravity. I suggest that everytime you loose a pound you put away some money to pay for a lift. It's been worth it let me tell you. I am 50 and can go braless. It's awesome. I didn't get a larger size either. The bigger you are the lower you will hang. Even my left breast will have to be re-lited in 10 or so years if I care to do it then. Probably my neck in ten years. I don't think cosmetic surgery is for everyone and it can be a huge risk, but talk to a surgeon and see if it's right for your situation.

Friday, March 20, 2009, 12:51 PM

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in response to eyebrows...

One of the unfortuante things that has happened to me IN ADDITION to Einstein eyebrows (the rogue hairs that are 3 times longer than the others and have a bend to them) is the outer portion of my eyebrows have gone looks like I have funny accents over each eye instead of a full length brow.

So guess where the hairs have gone?? Yep, my eyebrow hairs are growing out of my chin. Talk about things going south.

Friday, March 20, 2009, 4:49 PM

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It's such a relief to know I'm not the only woman with these problems! Thanks for sharing!

Saturday, March 21, 2009, 2:04 PM

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This was the best thread I read this evening. Very helpful. I am 39 and perimen. It sucks but I already have some of the other stuff you all mentioned. I do have the eyebrow and hairy lip thing but I also have a weird funky hair that tries to grow on top of my nose!!! I bought a 10X mirror and keep a close eye on that stinker!! I have a much harder time losing weight than ever before. The stupid pouch under my belly button. Grey hairs on my head (Can't decide if I want to color them or just leave them) And the droopy boobs. Man and to think it gets worse........If I could afford plastic surgery I would be all over that like stink on a june bug. I've been married for 20 years though, and my hubby always tells me how beautiful I am. He is such a good and sweet liar lol.

Saturday, March 21, 2009, 9:29 PM

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