Friday, March 4, 2016

The next phase, post menopause and weight gain, my doc explained a lot, makes sense

Getting  handle on menopausal weight gain

Okay, I had a great discussion with my doctor last week. RE: getting a handle on my weight gain over the last year.

*** Special Note, If you maintained your weight or lost during menopause, that is awesome, really! Unfortunately it is what it is for me. I've been only a normal weight from age 0-6 and from 46-50.  Only 10 years out of 50. *****

 We reviewed my

my thyroid test results from last fall
my low carb higher fat diet
my sleep habits
my life stressors
my menopausal history- years, symptoms, etc
my post morbid obesity
my binge eating history
my glucose readings from my home glucose meter

Diagnosis: Curvy Assets!
 Just kidding. Seriously, doctor said

1. Some people post menopause gain 5-10 pounds.
2. Some people post morbid obesity, now normal weight tend to be on the higher end of the menopausal weight gain, sometimes.
3. I will level out and I could fluctuate within the range, even some adults who have been"normal weight their whole life" have this.
4. Doc hates, hates, hates that I have a BMI cut-off for health insurance rates increase. Grrrrr.
5. Doc does not think I will hit my 131 BMI weight, we both think that I'm close to leveling off- now or soon.
6. Bio-identical hormones won't help me reduce the weight gain.
7. Don't stress about it. (probably the best advice ever!!! LOL)

Menopause and  weight variations are normal for me.

Job #2 Now that doesn't mean that I won't benefit from increasing my strength training, increasing meditation frequency, keeping my foods very nutrient dense, keeping up with my glucose monitoring as I make tiny shifts in my food template. Those things can only help me.

It goes without saying: Keeping the binge eating switch off and my brain away from the slippery slope is job #1.

All that will help me. I'm still in a lower to middle of the 23's in BMI. Super glad I'm still not having to go to health insurance jail and higher fees for body weight. 40 years of yo-yo dieting and extra fat cells that I carry day to day are my reward here.

Onward and I'll be working super hard to force a really big hard stop and an eventual reversal or downward trend. It's what I do. I still feel well and young. Less joint pain. Better glucose control. Better sleep habits. It's not all bad.  Abstaining has it's health privileges. Not all, but many.

I give myself 1,000,000 gold stars for not returning to binge eating over gaining 4-7 pounds over a year.  That right there is something to celebrate. I've never had non-binge related weight gain. Never, until the last year. Eyes wide open. Not letting me get me is GOLDEN!

Binge eating is never a solution. Never ever. I have normal menopause. I cannot fix menopause by binge eating junk food. Non-food solutions for non-hunger problems.

I'm still normal weight. Back in a few days with my 4 year and 1 month update.


  1. Thanks for the update and the points you raise.

    There are those women who sail through menopause with no problems whatsoever! However, I do think the majority of us don't ... and perhaps as you say the best advice is do not stress about it, sometimes easier said than done!

    ... and I think you deserve all, and more, of those gold stars !

    Have a good weekend

    All the best Jan

  2. Thanks, Jan! It's been an interesting trip. I really can't complain.

  3. Reassuring. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you Gigi. Going to my doctor, who has seen me since 1997 - obese, normal weight, morbidly obese, normal weight has been nice. She's up to date on her research and is great at looking at my family history and risk assessment. :)

  4. I am in the same position - post menopause for about five years now. I've read lots of blogs and information and do think that after awhile our bodies don't like being very low carb for long periods of time. I introduced some carbs (good carbs) back with no bad effects on my weight and watch food intake overall. One thing I do know for sure is that as we age our bodies simply process food in a different way. I look back to how I used to eat - loads of food when I was in my 20s and 30s - and didn't gain nearly the amount of weight I should have. If I ate that way now I'd be enormous!!

    We don't have BMI targets for insurance here that I'm aware of, well not for my insurance anyway. For health insurance I've never been asked and for life insurance all I had to do was put down my weight when I signed up... they don't ask again. Different story over there obviously.

    Give yourself a break - live life and don't get so hung up on the numbers. Celebrate every day (as I do) that you don't binge eat like we used to!! You look great :)

    1. That's a good point Lynda! I have moved back to the 30-35 gram total range and that seems to be a sweet spot for me. Binge urges are at an all time low. I was able to keep my glucose in a very good range during my 23-27 gram n=1 experiments, but my sleep may have suffered a bit. Too many carbs and I don't sleep well, too few carbs. I'm like Goldilocks and the 3 bears... LOL. I love my seasonal non-starchy veggies. Soooooo good.

      Yeah! Part of my job involves anatomic pathology and hematology-oncology. I'm privileged to have made it to my 50's without triggering worse things. Too many of my classmates have already died. I'm ready to live life in a different way. Thank you so much.

  5. I found these most interesting:

    ---2. Some people post morbid obesity, now normal weight tend to be on the higher end of the menopausal weight gain...
    ---6. Bio-identical hormones won't help me reduce the weight gain [that's been my experience]

    Of course, this last bit is great advice, though following it sure is tough. :)
    ---7. Don't stress about it. (probably the best advice ever!!! LOL)

    I'm still pre-menopause so not sure how it will affect me in the long run. I look forward to following your progress, as you have always inspired me. :)

    1. LOL- yes, Ali, all of those. I have no doubt that my decisions to eat non-binge trigger foods, sleep well, and to stay active will really help. I've always known I could be susceptible to weight gain due to my past food addiction.

      It seems like family members, even normal weight ones gained in their early 50's a bit, then leaned out again. Time and strength training will tell.... It's nice to not have given into the slippery slope thinking. Thanks for stopping by the blog

  6. This is a very helpful, post. Thank you for your honesty and openness about your gain and how you are addressing it. It appears that most women gain post menopause. That is the reason I want to get as low as possible before I hit that point. My internist has already warned me about the weight gain I will experience most likely. Pleae keep us posted.

    1. Thank you Ali. I'll never regret getting to the middle of my BMI range. Sure has saved me a lot of insurance money. Plus, I got to experience life at a middle of the range value. I really enjoyed the way I feel in the 23 BMI range. I suspect getting more muscular via kettle bells will help me see how I feel in the 24 BMI range.

      As long as I'm strong enough to haul bags of garden soil and kitty litter with good bone metabolism, good glucose control, and no more auto-immune diseases, life will be pretty good! :)

  7. I read what you wrote thinking about all the younger bloggers that are sitting at goal+50lbs. There are a lot of them. It will be interesting to see what happens as they age.

    And I thought about the fact that so many of us are complex. Complex health issues. Caused by former obesity sometimes. But for some of (I put myself in this category and you too) us, I think the issues might have actually caused the obesity. Asthma and migraines for example. Also female issues and GI issues. We later learned the certain food types triggered some of these issues. But if we had no health conditions, I truly wonder if we would have ever been obese.

    1. Yes, Vickie. That's one of the reasons that I went to the middle of my BMI range. Biologically, I cannot escape the cell signaling and metabolism of my old fat cells. But I can control all the other aspects and have most excellent out comes. About 50% of it is simply not giving into the old thinking- eating treats, saying this isn't working- no one will know if I eat Paleo junk food.

      Nope, not giving in. I might code up mightily with type 2 diabetes, but there's no excuse for me to get that disease now, knowing what I know.

      I'm certain my migraines and asthma were very effected by the foods. Nuts = migraines and binge eating. Asthma- yes, I have it when sick, but I'm almost never sick and it resolves quick or with out any meds. I swear, I think I liked being sick in the past so I could binge eat cinnamon toast and "sick foods". Ugh, Terrible cycle. Terrible way to live.

      I had asthma before obesity at age 5.

  8. Great discussion as always Karen . Thank you! :) Have a cool weekend And yes more kitty pix please xoxooox Katie

    1. Thank you Katie!!! Thinking of starting an Instagram account for just the Torties... So funny. Will send you the link if I do..

  9. yeah I always read about the whole menopause weight gain and used to think .... yeah, yeah, yeah... excuses.... NOT anymore!!! hitting my low in 2011-2012 of 138 then gaining back to 181... now starting to lose again... man oh man it is coming off so slow!!! I won't starve myself so it is taking some time. It will come off with consistency but I also fight off the binge monster!!! You are definitely one person I follow! keep on trucking lady! you are doing awesome

    1. Karla, thank you. I accepted a long time ago that my binge eating would create a cellular environment that could set the stage for high cancer risk, weight regain, heart problems, etc. I knew many of my risks would decrease or never return. Unfortunately, high numbers of small, shrunken fat cells are still there and I can fall into the perfect metabolic storm of old cell signaling- with other changes, aging, high carb foods, high binge promoting cells.

      The mechanisms are there- I can see it in my genetics. The obesity genetic arrangements are there (not my fault) so keeping my food, sleep, and muscles and stress environments squeaky clean will be my responsibility for overall health.

      Thanks for stopping by and I agree, finding a way to have sustained weight loss by eating real food that complements what you can control- that's very worth the time and efforts. Cheering for you.