Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A New Change -Weight Gain

My weight has fluctuated throughout my adult life. If I was really stressed out, I lost weight and usually received a lot of compliments. Gee, Thanks. And when I was very happy I usually gained a few pounds. But it was mostly manageable. My weight fluctuations were in a 10 pound range and I could easily cut back on something or another that would get me back to my target weight. Fast forward to the approach of my second year in my 5th decade and I have noticed a change. I had always welcomed change, finding it either a fun challenge or exciting. This new change Perimenopause falls into neither of those categories.

For the first time in my life, my clothes are no longer fitting! This is serious! I can get my pants on and with some effort I can zip them, but I can’t button them at the waist unless I relinguish the fine art of breathing. What gives here? I’m doing all the things I used to do, regular aerobic and free weight exercises, yoga, eating “right”, not consuming too many sweets and as usual a minimum amount of alcohol. Despite all that, the pounds keep creeping up.

I am of two minds about this. One side of me says, hey that’s where I am in my life, go with the flow and accept what is. Be happy and keep doing what you know makes you feel happy. The other side of me is saying, “Oh hell no, we’re not going down like this”! Maybe it’s just because it’s winter??? Blame everything on winter.

So what’s the solution? One thing I could do, would be to change my diet drastically, like go raw or something, skip meals, cut out most carbs. How about, I’ve been there are done all of that and more, many times before. I did do Weight Watchers for a little while. The counting got on my nerves. These days I can’t do [drastic] especially drastic that’s imposed on me by me. Heck no!

The other solution is to work out at a madding pace like some of the [young] ladies I see at the gym. They’re working out feverishly and it seems they’re on a mission and they look like they’ll kick your butt if you get in their way. Hey, my energy can no longer do that pace. Lately when I try that I find myself depleted. I drag around and it seems to take a week to recover. Welcome to your fifties, I mean, my fifties.

On the other hand I must admit I’m finding this a bit intriguing. Perhaps once the spring rolls around I’ll become inspired and find a workable solution. In the meantime, I’ll continue to try to be grateful, count my blessings, and seek realistic and reasonable solutions…


  1. It seems that metabolism is a key, because as we age it gets slower. I ran across an article that speaks to this question for women at each decade:,,259_708153,00.html

    ~ Rocky

  2. What a blessing! Anu's Essentials. Love it!

    This comes for me at the most perfect time. I am out of control! Stress, being in my fifties, grandmothering, you name it and its my issue! A new change for me would be weight loss.

    Like you, I have battled my weight for most of my life. Unlike you, it has never been a battle about 10 pounds (must you brag?)Yes, I know it's all relative. :>)

    After going to the gym five days a week (religiously) for about a year,( I looked and felt great) I haven't been back since July. At that time I had stopped going to the gym because of a few injuries. I then decided to switch over to lap swimming, my favorite hobby besides reading and writing. I worked my way up to 20 laps per session,three to five days a week (weather permitting).

    Unfortunately that only lasted for the summer and I haven't done any extensive exercising since then - except for my elbow of course and its in great condition. End result, I look and feel as if I haven't done any exercising in years. The funny thing is that for me, excerising is essential. My body responds very well to the process although I have noticed that it is has become more of a challenge to achieve a goal than it was before I entered into the fabulous fifties!

    As a matter-of-fact, if I keep up at this rate, I will soon look like I'm actually in my fifties (at least how being in your fifties looked 20 years ago). And as a post-baby boomer, I ain't having it (you know how we feel about aging. . .gracefully). I just want to be my healthiest,lean-"est" and look my personal best.

    So I guess I have my work cut out for me and I'm going to start right now! Just seeing this site I have been encouraged by your invitation to join in on the conversaton.

    So thanks for inviting me. The next time I chime in on the blog-chatter, I guarantee you I will have been to the gym first and have eaten a healthy meal as well. Enjoy your day and thanks for the opportunity to share, grow (not physically of course)and to become more healthy with folks who share in the beauty, wonder and blessing of walking the path - no matter what your particular direction.

  3. Well Anu & Zak. I feel your pain. I don't want to count the number of times I've gained and lost the same 10 pounds in the last year. I know some of that is not paying attention to me...not eating regularly...eating on the run...and yes I do love sweet things. But I can also say I've worked out almost everyday for the past year. You know I do Bikram yoga and it's a pretty intense workout, 90 minutes in 105 degree heat. They say you burn 600 calories per class. Not me!!! My metabolism ain't got it like that. I can do yoga everyday and gain weight. It seems it's much easier for me to gain muscle than to lose fat. And a few months ago my doctor confirmed my thyroid does not function as well as it needs to for weight management. So I've been taking a supplement to help. I also have some adrenal issues which likely contribute to water retention and is probably related to stress. And we know the effect stress has on our bodies...Whew!!!

    I go to a wholistic physician so he won't take drastic measures...wants to see if he can get your body to do the right thing. Meanwhile, I'm still not liking looking in the mirror. I see him on Monday. Let's see what he thinks.

    Too much body fat is part of my problem. Oh, I know most people think I look just fine. But they don't have to look at the things in my closet I can't wear. And they don't know what it's like when my weight goes up and I can't do my yoga postures to my satisfaction. the one good thing about gaining muscle is my body has changed shape. Clothes fit better and my thighs have a better shape.

    But I just reached the point I couldn't keep going down the same road. So I've been eating 3 times per day and 2 snacks, around 1500 calories. Sometimes 1700. And you know after the first 3 days I gained weight!!! Oh My God!!! I was so disgusted but not discouraged. I did double yoga classes for a couple of days and dropped 2.5 lbs. I haven't been on the scale but I do notice some inches gone and I feel good. I'm happy about my improved eating habits and whenever I feel my body might be slowing down, getting puffy, I do some double yoga classes. This helps me slim down and feel encouraged to stick with my eating and exercise plan.

    I want lasting change so I'm working on this everyday. I don't let myself get too hungry 'cause that only makes my metabolism slow down. That's the last thing I need.

    Glad I was able to chime in on this issue. This comes at the right time for me.

    So I'm off to hot yoga! See you soon...

  4. Dear Zakiyyah,

    Your story is very familiar and one that many of us have experienced. However, at this stage of the game, it seems that taking long breaks from exercise is not as forgiving as it used to be. When we fall off the horse, we can stay there on the ground. We've got to get back up as soon as we can and get back to it.

    The aquatic exercises seem like such a good move, though I definitely understand your being hesitant about that in this climate. You seem to be making plans mentally and that's the first step. So go forward my sister. We're all cheering for you and please keep us updated on your progress.

  5. Dear Sandy,

    Gaining muscle, I'll take that any day!!! I seems that having the strength to do Bikrum everyday should give you the reward of having anything you want! But alas, no one thing really works that way. But it seems you are diligently studying what works for you and coming up with a good formula. Keep up the great schedule and let us know any other tips you might have.