menopause diet blog

Time for a Change

The Stranger in the Mirror

on June 6, 2013

At the time of writing, I am 47 years old and have been ‘going through the menopause’ for the last couple of years. A bit earlier than the norm, but my mum was the same, and I’m told these things are often genetic. Hot flushes and monthly migraines are a regular occurence. The migraines last for 3 days and 2 nights – pretty consistently. Painkillers reduce them to a manageable level but don’t get rid of them.

My jeans that fitted me for years are too tight and I have had to buy a size bigger. When I stepped on the scales a few months ago I had put on around 9 pounds. Not a huge amount, I know, but for someone who has maintained a pretty constant weight for the last 20 years, it was a nasty confirmation of my suspicions. Accompanied by a glass of wine and Dairy Milk, I have resolved to ‘do something’ about it!

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Two months ago I tried to ‘do something’. For about a week I made an effort. I felt amazing. I swore I would never go back.  The wine, the Dairy Milk and this blog are a testament to the enormity of the task. Some of you reading this might be feeling impatient with me… after all 9lbs is not that much, its not that hard to lose, surely? For those people, this blog is probably not for you.

If you are going through the menopause and have tried to shift those stubborn menopausal pounds, whether it’s 9lbs or 90lbs, you’ll know what it’s like. I am trying to come to terms, not just with growing older and the physical symptoms of the accompanying hormonal changes, but also with my changing role as a mother, wife and individual.

I must admit that my diet (and I am not referring now to a slimming diet, but to my general pattern of eating) has been appalling over the last year. In a nutshell – too much sugar, not enough care and attention and my food choices too tied up with my emotions.

Today it was uncharacteristically hot weather. I was doing the housework. I got pretty sweaty so I put on a vest top and a pair of short shorts. Probably the first time this year I have been out of my layers of winter fleeces. I decided to take a good, long, hard look in a full length mirror. I should point out that I have not, in recent years, made a habit of looking in the mirror. Apart from washing my face in the morning and evening, I pretty much whizz through the day avoiding them! I work from home so I don’t have to get ‘dressed up’ for the office. I live in casual, comfortable clothes, in fact, I probably wear about 10% of my wardrobe on a daily basis.

So, vacuum cleaner by my side and fluffy duster in hand, I got a bit of a shock. A slightly overweight, middle-aged woman stared back at me. It was not who I was expecting. The last time I looked, I mean really looked, I could have sworn there was someone slimmer, younger and frankly, more attractive there.

I went into a bit of a panic. I have a friend’s 50th birthday party in 2 weeks time. We are hosting a 50th birthday party for my husband in about 6 weeks time and we have a family holiday in the sun booked, plus later in the year there’s a big family ‘do’ in which I will be seeing family members who haven’t seen me for a while. I can hear it now (they are human after all)… “She’s put on a bit of weight, hasn’t she?”

Things have got to change.

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