I expected a lot of things when reaching middled aged as a woman: the beginning of fading into the background, perimenopause with hot flashes and grumpiness, a bigger sense of “I don’t care what anyone thinks,” and diving into whatever I wanted to do without care.
The one thing that surprised me was the weight gain.
Sure, I had been warned, I had been told by knowing women with sympathetic nods. But I wasn’t sure I believed it. Maybe I didn’t want to believe it.
Well, I told myself, if I eat right and keep moving, the gain will be minimal.
If I eat right and keep moving.
But did I do that?
I do get my 5 plus servings of vegetables a day and most days keep the fat down. On the other hand, I drink more wine than I should. After all, how else are you going to wash down bitter kale?
As for exercise? It’s become non-existent other than a 30-minute walk during lunch. I try, I really do, but one of two things happen, I either go all out on day one, surprised that I can no longer do what I could before, and then stumble around the next several days due to muscle soreness. Or I ease into it, start to see gains, then get swamped by work, book stuff, and life for two weeks and must start all over. I never make progress. As someone who used to long distance run just for fun, this is frustrating.
This weight gain must be the stuff of menopause lore and not snacking too much, drinking too much wine, and being a stagnant blob 23.5 hours a day.
So, I did what any educated woman in their 40’s would, I got on the internet to see what was causing my weight gain and unattractive belly.
Images popped up all over from my search. If your belly is shaped like this, then it means this. Oh good, google was guiding me into the right direction.
I studied the drawings. I went into the bathroom and gazed at myself sideways. I went back to the photos, and back to my profile.
What does it mean if your protruding belly doesn’t match any of their drawings?
Mine is kind of trapezoidal shape. You heard me right, trapezoidal, more specifically an isosceles trapezoid. It slopes slightly at the top, right under the breasts, then juts out in a flat line, and finally slopes towards the pelvis region. My back creates the parallel line to my protruding belly line.
What on earth does this mean?
(It means you need to lose weight!!)
My legs, not as firm and muscular in the past when I happily jogged along 15 miles on an early Saturday morning, were still oddly skinny.
My belly, as stated previously, had jutted out in a trapezoid shape. If you don’t remember your high school geometry, look it up. But let me say this, you don’t want any body part to look like this.
My arms, always an issue and chunkier than I wanted, appear jiggly and bigger than normal.
I’m a mess. I know it, and on top of it all, my doctor told me I had “male patterned baldness,” and I’m thinning on top.
A thinning hair pigeon shaped lady. It sounds like a pitch for an SNL skit.
When I go to the doctor, and she does routine blood work, the test results are normal.
I know I should be ecstatic for this, but my insides don’t match my outsides. My blood pressure is low. My cholesterol is low. All my blood markers hit right in the middle.
What’s going on?
The all-knowing older women in my life nod, and whisper the secret to my ears, “menopause.”
I think it’s more than that I think it’s menopause, not enough exercise, too much wine, plus stress. It’s an evil combination for the modern woman.
Or am I the only one who suspects this?
People tell me to embrace my body whatever shape it morphs into.
I will not go quietly into a larger pants size. I will do something about it.