I’m a middle aged menopausal woman who has put on a fair few inches around the midriff over the last couple of years. “Thickening” is the official term for it. It’s another of the many crap things that Mother Nature decides to throw at us as a reward for surviving decades of periods.
Now, I exercise daily, I don’t smoke, rarely drink and I eat healthily, bar the weekend when I do allow myself a cake or pudding. Well you’ve got to have some vices, haven’t you? “Everything in moderation.” “A little of what you fancy.” Yep they’re my mantras. “Life’s too short not to eat cake!”
I think I have the right balance, but I cannot shift this tummy or the fluid retention or the cottage cheese effect that is the cellulite on my legs. I hate it! I feel repulsive! However, I do not let it rule my day to day life because I don’t often choose to look in a full-length mirror. I try to put it to the back of my mind but there are times in your life when you just can’t avoid it. Now is one of those times, the mindset of the Menopausal Beach Body Blues!
Every year my friends and I join 1000s of like-minded music lovers for a beach-based festival. Every January I am determined to get a beach body. Every June I acknowledge that it’s not going to happen and feel like I’ve totally failed.
Then of course I start trying on the clothes that I think I’m going to take, urghh further despondency! Nothing looks nice, I wonder if that dress might work if I buy really big knickers, and so many things just don’t fit anymore!
This week on Facebook, I see that many of my female friends, and friends of friends, young and old, slim and larger, are all facing the same struggles, having the same negative thoughts, and some are even contemplating not going (yes that was me last year too). It’s not attention seeking, it is a very real phenomenon. The responses to those posts, from male and female alike, are all positive. It seems we can appreciate the beauty in others, but not in our ourselves.
When will us ladies give ourselves a break? I look back at photos of my younger self and think “wow I was actually quite slim then”! Of course, at the time I thought I was “fat”. Do you think that when we are 75 we are going to look back at our 50s and think ” well you actually weren’t bad for a middle aged woman“? I think we probably will, and I think that when we are 75, we will wonder why on earth we wasted so many years worrying about the outside of a body when it’s really the inside that matters.
Men don’t seem to have these hang ups do they? I’m trying to think like my husband. The one upshot of getting bigger is that at aged 51 I finally have boobs. He says “no-one’s going to look at your stomach or your legs, they’ll just look at your boobs”. So every cloud does indeed have a silver lining.
So I’ve put those dresses that don’t fit away and if they don’t fit next year then I will get rid. I’m not going to torture myself anymore. I’m going to look forward to a wonderful time in the sun with my husband and my friends. People who love me for me. It’s about time we focus on the good things ladies. We really do need to love ourselves now.
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