Well, it has finally happened. The weight has started to creep on to my hips and I am now heading down the slippery slope of being comfortable to land on.
The women in my family have several factors in common –
1. We all put weight on during perimenopause and menopause.
2. Migraines are rife between us with several trigger factors. One being fruit.
3. We all love our meat and look at salad as a small side dish rather than chomping our way through a plateful of plain lettuce with faces of glee and satisfaction. “Oh I will just have the small Caesar salad!” isn’t something we say in a restaurant.
However, as long as I am healthy and not obese then it shouldn’t matter, should it?
The media says it should, health professionals say it should, the scales say it does and so does the brainwashing of every article on weight gain ever written.
WOMEN MUST BE THIN!
Why? Is dieting a misery we must all endure?
If we listen to the media we hear of celebrities who survive on two runner beans a day juiced in to a bowl and served with a large slice of ‘this is good for you!’
‘Celebrity film star loses 5 stone in a week eating nothing but watercress soup!’
‘Lose 2 stone by the summer with these simple tips!’
‘How did this mum of 3 lose six inches of her stomach using purely hemorrhoid cream rubbed in four times a day?’
Okay, I made the last one up and exaggerated a bit. Apparently hemorrhoid cream is good for wrinkles although I haven’t tried it myself. You have seen them all. Everybody wants their pound of flesh. And if you can’t diet it off then get it sucked out so you can start afresh. Hmm.
In the past when I have put on a little weight I have simply cut down on the stuff which I shouldn’t nibble on and I have gone down to an acceptable level within a few weeks.
This time it isn’t working.
The thing is I really don’t eat a lot as it is. Yes, I have a love affair with chocolate and, yes, I have the equivalent of a Mars Bar sized amount a day. But that is hardly a pig out. My treat is a couple of slices of pizza once a week. We eat a pretty healthy diet here and my portions are small. I probably eat about the right amount each day, maybe even less and yet since Christmas I have put on nearly half a stone and the only thing I can put it down to is the perimenopause and a genetic predisposition which says I am likely to be overweight, still rather short of height and possibly with thinning hair by the time I am 60. Lovely. I had hoped my mother’s strong female genes would save the day as she was stick thin until she reached the menopause and then BAM! it happened to her too.
The question is – where do I go from here?
Underneath the increasing flab is a fairly muscular woman, it isn’t as if I am going to seed and I still have my six pack under the ‘baby tummy’ (thanks to having five children!), but do I buy into this whole diet thing? Do I do it now before it is too late? Can it even be done? Do I even want to do it? Will 5 almonds a day ever been seen by me as a treat when good food (read choice and traditional there) is so important to me?
There are SO many diets out there. It is a huge industry. And yet there is a part of me that fights against convention. Women are under so much pressure to look good for their age and to stay a size 10 or below. It’s expected…nay, demanded…and if you don’t comply then you are deemed lazy with low self esteem and, worse, ridiculed by other women and men alike. Women aren’t allowed to grow old gracefully like the men in our lives. We are supposed to keep our youth and figures no matter what.
I am very lucky in that the wonderful man I live with sat me down last night and told me he didn’t want to hear about me needing to lose weight. He tells me I am perfect and will always be so. He told me it is me he loves and if there is more of me then there is more to love. I won’t lie to you, it was good to hear. So the only pressure I have is what is coming from myself and what might be in the future if I don’t get a handle on it now.
Well, I have come to a decision. I am going to carry on eating healthily, keep myself as fit and supple as possible, give myself the odd foodie treat, take the vitamins and supplements I feel are good for me. I will be sensible but not obsessive. Everything in moderation and then…
I am going to just enjoy life in all its richness and not worry. If I go up one dress size then I shall think ‘So what?!’ Period.
Who’s joining me?