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Menopause can be a difficult time, what with whacked out hormones, bizarre symptoms and another strange phenomenon: The certainty that one has gained weight overnight. Some women experience a general weight gain while others experience a shift in body fat. It seems that, in one collective rush, the fat cells in your body take to the bloodstream, racing to your midsection, much the way animals in the deserts of Africa migrate to rare and precious water sources.

Waning hormones can contribute to this frustrating change in body fat, but Linda is one woman who isn't letting menopause stop her, even after gaining weight. Once she noticed her weight gain, Linda started doing dancy home exercise videos. She even went to an exotic dance workshop (oo la la!) which, for her, was a great "incentive to get skinny."

By adding a solid strength training routine to the mix, Linda has dropped 28 pounds and feels better than ever.

Linda's story proves that you can lose weight and that attitude is your most important resource. As she says, "It is all about what is in your head. Menopause is not fatal." Well said, Linda and thanks for sharing your story.

Read more of Linda's story and be sure to share your own, if you've got one. How have you dealt with menopause and weight gain?

Comments
August 14, 2010 at 3:39 am
(1) Thumbnail says:

I am a couple of years into menopause and I can safely say that I HATE it. I hate the fat, I hate the hot flashes and I hat the other symtpoms. I hate it. Now, I am trying to lose the 12 kilos I gained over the course of the past year. I have started walking every day, and am trying to jog a bit, adding about five minutes of jogging to the every other day walks, each week. So, after giving up alcohol, chocolate, desserts, milk, cheese, bread, pizza, pasta and potato chips, I have lost about 3 kilos. 9 more to go.

August 16, 2010 at 6:07 pm
(2) Stan says:

After age 45, menopause or not, most women and men suffer ftom the American Estrogenic Diet, which produces Estrogen Dominance. The more fat cells you have, the more estrogen you make. The largest contributor to fat cells is high fructose corn syrup. The biggest contributor to hormone-induced estrogenic fat is the consumption of whole, raw soy which is adulterating many of our foods. Asians consume mostly fermented soy, and soy is not as dominant in the Asian diet. But Americans consume large amounts of whole soy in many foods they eat. Read your labels and avoid HFCS and Soy! Also try to consume grass-fed beef instead of corn-fed beef. Corn and grain products cause inflammation. Inflammed bodies can’t lose weight effectively!

August 16, 2010 at 9:26 pm
(3) mattsmadre says:

Thumbnail, I hear ya. There is not much left of pleasure foods if we want to lose the weight. And at a time when we should be able to relax, we have to exercise more just to keep the pounds off. I have been experiencing the symptoms of peri menopause now for 10 years and still have not reached menopause. Sounds like it won’t matter except maybe to make things worse than they already are.
Stan, thanks for the tip. I didn’t realize soy was in so many of our foods nor did I know that corn syrup was so bad. I will definitely keep an eye out for both from now on. (In addition to already monitoring for fats,salt, fiber, sugar and calories, LOL)

August 17, 2010 at 11:44 am
(4) SusieQ says:

why not just eat grass? LOL

August 18, 2010 at 10:40 am
(5) Lou Ann Mallon says:

No, can’t eat grass either- it probably has pesticides! LOL!

August 18, 2010 at 7:10 pm
(6) Pauline says:

I am over 50 and has reached menopause. I have not gained any weight as a consequence, as I have always been active. I exercise five days per week and since I started the strength training I have lost weight. Strength training is a great thing.

August 20, 2010 at 12:29 am
(7) Mary says:

Went thru menopause 14 years ago, at 48. Never found it easy to lose weight, was 235 for the longest time. Even exercises and dieting didn’t seem to help much. But then I needed my knees replaced and want them to last so I knew I had to get serious, I pretty much stopped most sugar and starches, but maybe have a piece of dark chocolate, 85% when I want. Occasionally I may treat myself to something special so I’m not totally deprived, but I have lost 45 lbs in 2 years, I know that sounds like it’s not much, but for me it’s alot, especially since I can’t get down on the floor like I used to for some exercises. I believe you need healthy fats to feel fully satiated, eat lots of fruits and vegetables, proteins like beef, lamb and eggs, nuts like almonds, walnuts and pecans. I make nut butters in my food processor, great on celery, apples and occasional sourdough bread toasted. No soda, baked goods loaded with sugar, (ice cream, which I do miss). but when I indulge in such things, the weight starts to go up, so I’m sticking with it.
I like it when my friends comment about my weight loss, and I like what I see when I look in the mirror. Like to lose another 60 or so pounds, I need to be more regular on the exercise so it won’t take so long.

January 14, 2011 at 11:26 am
(8) cco says:

Thanks, Mary. Your comment helps me. I used to do weight watchers and could lose two or three pounds a week. But, now, post menopause, it doesn’t come off nearly so fast. Sigh. I get discouraged.

July 29, 2011 at 8:49 am
(9) carol says:

I am 55 and one week from full menopause. I have been trying to loose weight for three months now and so far I’ve lost 20 pounds. I am at 210 now and need to loose at least 60 lbs. for me to be satisfied. I have high bp, high cholesterol and arthritis and came to realize my excessive weight, is casing ALL my health problems. So far I have been giving up breads, potatoes, rice, pasta, sweets (occasional piece of chocolate) and sodas. Eating healthier with fruits and veggies, yogurt, salads, very little red meats. When we go out for dinner, I replace french fries with a small salad. I eat a lot less at meals and feel so much better. My Dr just reduced my blood pressure meds in half and I’m doing fine. I am starting back exercising next week which my Dr says will increase my metabolism and help the weight to come off quicker.

October 5, 2011 at 5:27 am
(10) Amy says:

It is very difficult to lose weight. I am post menopausal and have managed to lose 22 pounds since March and hoping to lose some more but it is shifting slowly. As diabetes seems to be in our family as we age I am trying to prevent myself from getting the disease. I have also just gone on to HRT but may need a stronger dose as the hot flushes and restless nights haven’t improved as yet. I walk and try to put in as much incidental exercise as I can. I have looked to a weight loss company for support as I think I need a sympathetic ear and weekly weigh ins keep me motivated.
Good luck to all you fantastic women, you deserve a pat on the back.

December 8, 2011 at 11:07 am
(11) Julia says:

Everything was ok untill my 45 birthday – I slowly gained weight from 130lb to 230 lb (52 birthday) in the meantime i was excercising and dieting and getting discuraged since nothing i was doing helped to make permanent change. Occasionally i was able to shed some 10-20 lb to regain it all back. What is my story? I am not giving up – all those set backs didn’t stop me. Now when menopause is settled and there is less hormonal fluctuations i believe to have better chances. I also know myself better. I slowly loose pound by pound and i accepted that it is a very long process and the maintenance is forever. I want my 120 lb for next Christmas. I walk, bike and swim and yoga. Sweets, milk, cheese and breads/starches are not on my plate anymore.

January 5, 2012 at 10:50 am
(12) Opal says:

I am 10 years post menopausel…In those 10 years I have gained a 100 lbs.Finally I convinced my Dr to test my thyroid. I have hypothyroidism. I have stopped gaining weight since I went on synthroid.. Also have lost about 10 lbs. My energy level is coming back.

August 4, 2012 at 3:17 pm
(13) lynne says:

after hysterectomy 3 years ago was fine for 2 years until i hit 50 jan 2011 after that iv gained 2 stone and am unhappy i dont have a big appetite and most days only eat breakfast and tea and i get full quickly and suffer bloating after going to gp for tests only to be told its the menapauseim currently not taking hrt but would love some genuine advice on diet tips as i feel as tho im having a melt down on times as i have made changes to my diet but want to lose weight and also lose the weight around my upper tummy feel miserable with life and dont know what supplements to take

August 28, 2012 at 7:06 pm
(14) Betty says:

I have started exercising and lost weight while raising my metabolism. I am 107 lbs and 5′ 2. At 50 years old, I look like I did when I was 19 and have the same size waist, 27″. My period stopped January of this year. I had gained 20 lbs about 2 years ago and weighed 133 lbs. 20 lbs over my normal 110-115. I have cut out most carbs except vegetables, a few fruits and a very small amount or bread. I can’t stand the hot flashes but deal with them and think of it as having my own built in sauna. I eat 3 eggs every morning and that keeps my muscles from becoming flabby. I think we have to feed our muscles protein at this age and do strength training.
The B vitamins also help give me energy.

September 18, 2012 at 9:09 am
(15) Barbara says:

I have always been actuve. Was an athlete in high school, worked out in college stayed active after having kids. At 5’2 I weighed between 110-115. I have a muscular build. Now I am 48 in menopause and weigh between 135-140. I work out 6 days a week. I have had blood done and all is normal. Cortisol, thyroid and adrenals all normal. Have hired personal trainers, tried yoga, barre and boit camp. Weight is not coming off! Was put on specific eating plans. Plans that had me eat every two hours of small amounts of foid like nuts, eggs vegetables, etc I started to gain more! The only way I can lose weight now is to not eat! Unfiortunately, that leaves you with no energy and you get sick and compromise your bones. Recently I started juicing and I am losing about a pound a week! I will take anything! I only buy organic vegetables and fruit! In the am I juice 1 cucumber, 1 lg beet, 1 red apple and 1 lemon. In the afternoon I juice 3 stalks of celery, 1lemon, 1 red apple, 1 lg handful of kale and 1 large handful of spinach. For dinner I have so
E cheese cut up or some tomatoes and boiled eggs or soup. The point I am making is use common sense and do not listen to others “plans”. Do what works for you, but be smart! Do not compromise your health! I might never weigh 120 again, but if I weigh 130, look in shape and feel good that is okay with me! I am not going to starve myself and risk my health. God gave us these bodies to take care of. I do not want to take meds for high blood pressure, high lipids, depression, diabetes, ect. Good luck to each of you! You are worth it!
E soup.

January 2, 2013 at 2:25 pm
(16) renee says:

I am 49 and started menopause 2 years ago, I have gained 15lbs and absolutely hate it. I use to date and go out all the time, now I just stay at home and watch TV. I donn’t eat alot, I do smoke, and I love wine which I have decided to give up for a while to see if my weight will come down. I was a 9/10, now up to a 12. I was 147, now I am 165, and do not like myself. I am moody, and the hotflashes are horrible, especially at night, and after I have a cigerette, I know alot of these things I could change, I use to teach jazzercise, walk 5 miles a day, now nothing. I am going to school at night for pharmacy tech, I work at the college during the day, but am sorda limited on meals I can take to school. If I could afford to have a salad everyday, I would, I gave up caffeine, but am addicted to powerade, which is alot of sodium, yes all my fat is around my hips and stomach now.

January 23, 2013 at 2:49 pm
(17) pepper says:

I always have had a very flat stomach, until I reached age 59 and was completely through menopause. Now, even though I only weigh 108 at 5’2,” my stomach seems to be a fat magnet. I know I look skinnier than most women my age, but I sure do long for that flat as a board stomach I had as little as 3 years ago. I’m trying to drop maybe 5 pounds in hopes that will help. I’m on a vegetarian diet but should probably cut back on the sweets a bit. I don’t think I could live without sugar.

February 10, 2013 at 4:45 pm
(18) Marisa says:

I’m 51, and maybe 4 years post menopausal. Cardio kickboxing and strength training have been my answer. I’m in better shape than at any point in my life, and generally feel really good. 5’4, 130 pounds, size 6 everything. Even my post giving birth to 5 kids from years ago belly flab has gone away. I’m terrified of what will happen when i can’t do kickboxing any more, but i highly recommend it. It will get you in shape pretty fast. Keep it up and you’ll end up with a body that doesn’t resemble one belonging to an old lady!!

February 19, 2013 at 1:14 pm
(19) cmatthews says:

I don’t know what to say except I am very frustrated. I am not quite in Menopause, but have gained 15 pounds overs the past 3 years. I am a personal trainer so I know how and how much to exercise, what to eat, drink, etc. etc. My weight was 155 for years and now I am close to 170 (I am 5’11″). Nothing, and I mean nothing I do, gets the weight off. I finally stopped weighing myself. My waist was 29″ and now it is beyond 32″ I just gave up measuring – too depressing. No one has any answers about how to lose the weight. I already DO everything “the experts” say. I exercise 6 days per week, strength training, pilates, cardio, walking, swimming, I eat 5 small meals per day, I clock my calories, I eat protein, veggies, I sleep 8-9 hours every night, blah blah blah. I am about ready to rip my hair out.

March 26, 2013 at 10:50 pm
(20) Gmom says:

I’m getting a little depressed reading these stories looking for an answer. I am 51, 5’4″ and close to 140lbs and smack in the middle (I think) of menopause. I’ve tried the low carb and all that fat just ended up in my belly. I walk every day and work out three to four days a week. I used to do kickboxing and I was in the best shape of my life, but alas the instructor started her own business and charges 3 x’s more than the club, boo hoo. I am at my wits end and don’t know what to do. My husband who is 56 just stops eating bread and uses the elliptical and bow-flex and he’s lost close to 15 lbs, not fair!! It feels good to vent.

November 25, 2013 at 1:39 am
(21) Sherry says:

Wow. I was hoping things would change after the “going through” menopause was over. On the bright side it’s good to know I’m not alone and it’s not something I’m doing wrong. I went through chemo for breast cancer 2 years ago which put me into instant menopause. I also lost a lot of muscle tissue at that time. I’m 5’4″ and have always been around 120 lbs. In the last year I have put on 10 pounds all around my middle which looks not so cute because I have no breasts. Where before I could abstain from snacking and easily drop a few pounds, now nothing seems to work. What I’ve resigned to do is to continue to eat my healthy “keep the cancer away” plant based diet, continue to exercise as that cuts my recurrence risk by 50%. And believe that one day if I don’t give up I will see some results.

December 27, 2013 at 12:02 am
(22) Janie says:

Lots of advice here, some reasonable and some not so reasonable. I echo what a few of you have posted. I already do all of the things suggested. No results. I am 61 years old and easily surpass people 40 or more years younger in physical fitness. I am very active in my everyday life and I exercise 6 to 7 days a week. I am not talking about walking. I do hardcore exercises. Weight training. High intensity. Plyometrics. You name it. I eat 5 to 6 small meals a day. I have had bloodwork to test for glandular imbalances. Nothing. But over the past 6 years I have put on 22 pounds that will not go away. Period. Menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, sleeplessness, night sweats — they disappeared long ago. But my concentration is practically non-existent. I forget important things. The weight gain truly bothers me. The lack of concentration truly bothers me. I have read numerous books about menopause and they all say just about the same things in different words. I wish someone could tell me what the heck I could do to lose this weight and regain some mental clarity.

February 18, 2014 at 3:38 pm
(23) boops says:

59 here-5 years post meno. had strength trained for 14 years prior and am still a size 4 only with a small gut. and need to lose 5 lbs. , which I am trying to lose. cut carbs in half, cut out white carbs, meat in half, and only drink sugar free almond milk. Weight watchers works, also use myfitness pal online to keep track of sugars & carbs. A 1200 cal a day diet, is too much for me now, so I stick to about 1050 cal a day. So I didn’t start meno with weight to lose, so I think thats why it’s not so hard now.

February 18, 2014 at 6:50 pm
(24) Sue says:

So I am not alone. I am 55 and right in the middle of menopause. I have even been on hormones for a few years, however, I still get night sweats, and I have like half the energy I had before. I sleep at least 8 hours a night. I have always eaten healthy. Mostly whole grains, meat and lots of vegetables. I don’t even like sweets, and don’t really like fruit. I do like wine though. I drink 1 cup of coffee per day, then green tea and water. I don’t do yoga anymore because I am just too tired at night. I used to always weigh around 120 and now I am at 135 which depresses me and drives me crazy, and it’s all around the middle and the thighs. Oh yeah, I am now a C cup when I was always a B cup. I think I might give up the wine and MAKE myself exercise, if I can just find the strength.

March 15, 2014 at 5:46 pm
(25) Annie says:

And that was my MEANOpause speaking not me

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