So, I’ve been struggling with hormones lately (another thing I have in common with middle school students- crazy chemical imbalances) Things have evened out, fewer hot flashes, fewer random rages, fewer unpredictable gushes.
One of the terrifying things I read when I was first dealing with peri-menopause (definition- menopause is a one time event: last period was a year ago, bam, that’s menopause. Peri-menopause is a long term thing while your body and hormones try to drive you crazy.)
Anyway, one of the terrifying things I read was “just gain the 10 pounds.” As a woman who has spent my entire womanhood being worried about my weight, as many of us are, it was so weird to hear advice of “don’t worry about the fat.”
Here’s the logic- (and recognize, I am not a doctor, I have no medical training beyond CPR and First AId, I am not giving medical advice) the logic is that fat cells produce estrogen. If your mood swings and hot flashes and other symptoms are being produced by a lack of hormones or an imbalance of hormones doesn’t it make sense to maintain some cells in your body that produce them?
Rather than trying desperately to lose that final 5 pounds (Do we all do that? Why do we all do that?) or exercise more and eat less in order not to gain that dreaded 10 pounds. Why not allow it to happen? If your ovaries aren’t producing estrogen anymore, why not let a little bit of belly fat do it?
I remember talking to a colleague at a lunch meeting, maybe 5 years ago, who wasn’t eating. I was tearing into my sesame chicken, and she was calmly drinking tea. I asked her if she wasn’t hungry, and she shrugged, then said, “I was gaining weight, and I decided that if I was eating 3 meals a day, and gaining, I just needed to eat 2 meals a day, so I don’t eat lunch anymore.”
WHAT?! (I didn’t yell at her there at the meeting- I was operation:cool, but I wanted to yell.) Cutting your intake by 1/3rd? What about your body going into starvation mode?! Don’t you get hangry?!
I still see this colleague- she works at a crosstown high school, but we haven’t had a lunch meeting since, so I don’t know if she is still skipping lunch…
I started out with that spooky idea of allowing a bit of belly fat to remain, bucking the trend of “lose that ugly belly fat” but I want to end with the spooky idea of never eating lunch again. If I have to choose between 2 scary things, I’ll choose the one that allows me to eat sesame chicken. How do you feel?
I’ve been thinking about the “body project” idea lately. I’ve got some thoughts to share about how we feel about how we look. Watch for upcoming posts…