I Lost My Estrogen and Gained What?

by Joan Jacobsen | September 28th, 2011 | Fitness Expert

treadmillWhy is it that women receive the short end of the stick in the aging process? Is it fair that besides losing our precious estrogen, we have to gain something that we don’t want? Okay my bitterness is over; I’m ready to take on my waistline. Whining doesn’t work. It makes us grouchy, mean spirited, and unattractive.

While reading about weight gain and menopause, it appears the stage is set to undermine our “middle” before the process actually begins. During perimenopause, we tend to gain weight around the midsection because our metabolism is changing; it is harder to work off our caloric intake as we age. Throughout this phase, women should become proactive and start a routine to stave off their impending weight gain.

Unfortunately, sometimes our good intentions don’t always coincide with good timing. There are many factors that determine why our “middle” expands. Did our mother and grandmothers have large girths? Are we habitual couch potatoes, or are we consuming more processed and fast foods? You can stop the middle age spread quite easily by eating less and becoming more active. Easier said than done right?

Recent studies from the National Health Research Institutes in Taiwan show by merely being active with some form of exercise for 15 minutes daily or 90 minutes a week can prolong your life expectancy by three years. I also discovered by simply cutting 200 calories from our daily menu can mean the difference of a few extra pounds. Less fat, more fresh fruits and vegetables, and whole grains will be an excellent start to any healthy eating plan.

When I started my journey at the age of 56, I was on a destructive path towards heart disease and Type 2 diabetes, which was discovered from a routine blood test by my doctor. I decided to work out at home with Wii Fit, a walking video, and a weighted hula-hoop. These were my choices for living a non-sedentary life. I worked out every 12 hours, before and after work, for approximately 1-hour sessions each. I began my healthy eating choices by adding more fiber (vegetables and fruit), whole grains, lean protein, and reducing my sodium and fat intake.

I never even considered age or menopause as a deterrent. I was more focused on getting healthy and fit, and being older was never an obstacle for me. In my mind I was still that young schoolgirl who unfortunately was not going to enjoy her next school reunion if she didn’t take action to overcome her health issues. I worked slowly and steadily to win my race, and I gained so much more on my journey. Fortunately for me it was not the large waistline that I was doomed to inherit. Shouldn’t we be enjoying our old”er” age by acting and feeling younger? We should all live by a quote of Douglas MacArthur, “Age wrinkles the body, quitting wrinkles the soul”.

  1. lois says:

    Great job Joanie!
    Continue the good work. You inspire us all.

  2. lois says:

    I’m having a tough time losing weight, but I’m not
    going to give up. Love your blog.

  3. Fran says:

    I started a diet on Monday, and have already lost two pounds. I always do my routine exercising in the morning, and am now adding an evening routine. I started with salads (a suggestion of yours), and completely cut out anything with wheat in it. It seems to be working. I always look forward to reading your blog, and would never miss it! Thanks for your inspiration>

  4. Fran says:

    I started a diet on Monday lost two lbs. Taking your suggestions, never miss your blog. Great Job!

  5. denise says:

    You are living proof there is no age limit to looking and feeling good at any age.Start slow and steady and you will actually enjoy the results.

  6. Erin says:

    I like that you wrote that “being older was never an obstacle” for you. Having a positive attitude is the first step. Never lose that!

  7. Joanie says:

    Thanks everyone for all of your lovely words and comments I appreciate it very much. Keep healthy and fit!!!!!!

  8. Lisa says:

    Hey Honey so glad you have kept on your journey of keeping fit and healthly. I know how commited you were to looking and feeling better. You are proof that if you beleive you can acheive. Just small little things can make a difference. Never deprive ourselves. I try to remember we eat to live not live to eat. Better to eat quality wholesome food than a whole bunch of junk. Just remember you are what you eat. We nourish ourselves from the inside out. I admire you and miss seeing you. Thanks for keeping us motivated! Keep up the good work!

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All health and fitness information is provided for educational purposes. Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise regimen.