I went from this:
My Weight Loss Journey During Menopause
If you are in peri-menopause or full blown menopause then you understand what a challenge it can be to lose weight during this time of life. You know that all the normal things you do to lose weight, like cutting out sugar and bread and exercising more, are no longer working. You feel like you losing the battle and you can’t understand why. Your body feels almost alien… like you don’t have control over it anymore. No one seems to know anything about this… not even your doctor who likely gives you the old, “Just eat less and exercise more,” response. But, you KNOW it’s more complicated than that.
I’m here to tell you … YOU ARE NOT CRAZY!!
Why You Are Gaining Weight
There are several reasons why you are gaining weight:
1) Declining estrogen means you store visceral fat around your stomach. Hence the spare tire that magically appears. I could no longer button my jeans (pictured below).
2) In contrast, as you approach menopause, estrogen levels can also spike, which promotes weight gain. (High estrogen levels are associated with weight gain and higher body fat during the reproductive years.)
3) Your metabolism slows down
How Do You Get YOU Back??
Everyone is different and everyone has different symptoms and issues. There are 35 symptoms of menopause…everything from hot flashes to weight gain to heart palpitations. I’m going to walk you through MY journey. This is what worked for me. You should always consult your doctor before taking anything and make sure you get a plan that will work best for you and your body.
You can find all of our posts about menopause here.
Step #1 | Hormone Specialist
The first thing I did was schedule an appointment to see a hormone specialist who recommended a TON of bloodwork to get a full and complete picture. This is how I found out I also have mild hypothyroidism which leads to weight gain as well.
Hormone replacement therapy is NOT for everyone. You should consult with your doctor about the risks. It is especially risky for women who have had cancer or are at risk genetically of getting cancer.
I take Liothyronine for my thyroid, Progesterone and Estrogen are the two hormones that I take. Progesertone is a compounded hormone that I take orally once daily. Estrogen is administered by patch and I apply a new patch once a week.
Step #2 | Supplements
There are some other things you can take to help with the symptoms you are experiencing and keep you healthy. Talk to your doctor about Vitamin D, Omega 3, B-Complex, Adrenal Essence, Evening Primrose Oil, etc. For a full list of supplements that help with the symptoms of menopause be sure to read this post.
Step #3 | Dietary Changes
Again, consult with your doctor first. You may even want to hire a nutritionist who specializes in menopausal women. If you hire a “regular” nutritionist, you might hear the same “eat less” mantra.
In the past, I have tried Intermittent Fasting, KETO, and of course my normal go-to of giving up sugar and carbs. IF (Intermittent Fasting) didn’t move the needle. I got really tired of the KETO foods after three months, which you can read more about here. And, my typical go-to’s were no longer working as I mentioned above.
To lose my 15 pounds I gave up a TON of things. I basically became vegan with the exception of eggs. I ditched sugar, gluten, dairy, meat and alcohol. I followed the plant-based, vegan diet for 6 months and that helped me lose 10 pounds.
Recently, I started incorporating meat back into my diet. I am still mostly dairy and gluten-free. I definitely indulge in some sugar every now and then. I opt for organic, dark chocolate mostly. And, I love the Daily Harvest dairy-free ice cream here.
I quit drinking alcohol over 10 years ago. You can find out more about my journey here.
Step #4 | Exercise
Mixing up my exercise routine was also KEY to losing the extra weight. Initially, I tried all the ‘go-to’ workouts including: running for a year straight (I trained for the NYC marathon, which you can read more about here), a 17-mile mountain pass run/hike, some heavy weight training, P.Volve, BBG, Pilates, Barre. You name it, I did it! The heavy cardio worked, but it was not sustainable and it wreaked havoc on my body.
How I actually lost the last 5 pounds…? Doing the Tracy Anderson Method 6 times per week. I do Tracy’s aTAin online studio workout at least 5x per week now. It changes the game! Look at my legs in the before and after pictures above. You can see how much thinner my legs are! You can also see what my estrogen patch looks like… Ha! I could have edited that out, but I thought it might be helpful to see it. Tracy’s workouts have shaved inches off my body and given me more energy and flexibility. I recommend turning her music off and listening to your own playlist while doing the workout. I think you should also start with the Mat DVD, which is FREE on YouTube to see if you like it. Try it for 6 weeks!
You can watch the video that explains more about the Tracy Anderson Method including exactly how to sign up here.
Did I get super shredded like a badass fitness guru with zero body fat? Nope. But I feel SO much healthier and stronger! To me…that is what matters. Oh, and I can button my jeans again!
What is Working For YOU??
If something IS working for you, it is likely to work for someone else. PLEASE share your tips with us in the comments below. Are you doing Intermittent Fasting and losing weight that way? Have you been on KETO for a year and found great success?? Please share below.
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