Gransnet forums

Dieting & exercise

Did anyone suddenly ‘balloon’?!

(25 Posts)
Flaxseed Wed 19-Jan-22 18:25:21

Last summer my DD, DSIL & DGS came to live with me temporarily. I used to finish up DGS uneaten food and succumb to the treat cupboard.
I was going to the gym less as I was also preparing to move (think 30 plus years of clutter confused )
I started to pile on weight.
They moved out and I moved in with DP in September. He’s very healthy and is a good influence on me. I have stopped any between meal picking and am generally eating far better than I ever have.
But I am now wondering if my weight gain was indeed the end of the menopause rather than the ‘picking’ and this is now me. (I had a hysterectomy years ago so can only go by hot flushes as an indication of the menopause)
Since the end of December I have an even healthier, low calorie diet and have joined the gym.
In the past, these changes would have had an affect, but not now.
Is there any hope for me?!!!!
Please post menopausal gransnetters, give me some hope that I won’t look this ‘matronly’ forever! (no disrespect to past or present matrons! I am actually a nurse 😂)
By the way, I refuse to weigh myself as I find myself becoming obsessed. I would rather gauge my weight on how my clothes fit. At at the moment - they don’t grin

GagaJo Wed 19-Jan-22 18:54:48

It is a nightmare, losing weight post menopause. I've been on a diet since June last year. Lost about 15lbs but can't shift any more. I really don't know what else to do about it. My motivation is low because I just don't know what else to do. I already do low calorie, low carb, lots of veg and low fat protein.

Oopsadaisy1 Wed 19-Jan-22 18:57:55

Well I ballooned , but not suddenly and entirely my own fault,

I need to lose half a stone, I just lack the will…

janeainsworth Wed 19-Jan-22 19:09:28

I’m 10kg lighter than I was when I retired 10 years ago. I’d then gone up to size 16 & my clothes weren’t fitting. I’m now size 12.
What works for me is no snacking, portion control, and no junk food. We very rarely have ready meals or shop-bought cakes, biscuits or desserts.
I find weighing myself every morning is helpful - if for example we’ve been out & eaten more than usual, it usually has an effect and keeping an eye on my weight tells me when I need to cut back a bit.

Doodledog Wed 19-Jan-22 19:13:45

I have a thyroid condition, and haven't been able to see my endocrinologist or even my GP throughout lockdown(s), and a combination of that and the resultant lack of exercise has meant I've gained a lot of weight.

My son gets married in the Spring, and I am determined to lose enough to look presentable on the photos, so have been cutting down since January 1st. I know what you mean about clothes, *Flaxseed - many of mine don't either. I'm leaving my wedding outfit shopping until the last minute, and hope it will be two sizes smaller than I am now.

Thoro Wed 19-Jan-22 19:18:36

It does take a little longer to lose weight as you get older and you need to eat slightly less than before but maybe you are just being impatient as it sounds like you are doing all the right things!

M0nica Wed 19-Jan-22 19:26:06

I never had difficulty controlling my weight until the menopause. then, like others my weight went up by 21 lbs, despite all my usual weight control eating patterns. I was reduced to trying fad diets, like the Atkins diet, (which made me very ill)

Then when I was about 70 the 5:2 diet became the rage, whether it was my age, or the diet, but I could stick to it and I lost 2 stone in 4 months and have kept my weight steady ever since.

Seven years on and since the menopause my height has shrunk by 2.5 inches and my nice steady weight is now at the top of the BMI for my height so I am back on the 5:2 to lose another 10lbs.

MerylStreep Wed 19-Jan-22 19:27:06

I’m lucky that I don’t have a big appetite.
Neither one of us is one for snacks. OH will make a carrot cake or apple every now and again.
I honestly can’t remember when we last had a take away.
I’m a size 12 and know by my waistband if I’m putting it on.
I’m very fortunate that I’m still very active with commitments and activities.

JaneJudge Wed 19-Jan-22 19:34:03

I've been the opposite. I have carried weight whilst fertile and menopausal now it is dropping off me

Doodledog Wed 19-Jan-22 19:39:37

I've still got a lot of commitments, and am active in my way - it's just that a lot of my work has moved to Zoom. It looks like that may change, though, at least up to a point. I think that a lot of what I do will stay with remote delivery.

I'm always busy, but not outside nearly as often since lockdown, which has definitely made a difference to the amount of moving I do. I got an Apple watch recently, and this confirmed my worrying lack of activity. I need to find ways to up that, ideally without risking getting Covid.

Flaxseed Wed 19-Jan-22 19:59:30

doodledog Good luck. I was Mother of the bride back in 2018 and am thankful that was before I ballooned. I still have one unmarried DD and know I’ll never look as slim as I did for DD1’s wedding sad

I still work full time as a nurse so can’t even blame working from home!

Thoro Maybe I am being impatient. I guess I have to accept this is going to be a slow journey.

I am seriously considering having a abdominoplasty as my tummy area is awful and my waistbands are so tight sad

Doodledog Wed 19-Jan-22 22:01:30

Thanks, Flaxseedsmile

Scentia Wed 19-Jan-22 23:17:53

I have gained a stone and a half in the last 2 years. It seems 1 stone of that is my new tummy😂
I try to eat well but I find I can’t eat much at all if I want to lose weight and I am inherently greedy so I am settling for this size😂😂

Hetty58 Wed 19-Jan-22 23:41:27

I eat an awful lot - but don't gain weight unless I cut down on exercise. I've never been on a diet, just try to eat healthily.

When my back was very bad (and when I broke my ankle) I soon found my clothes got tight until I was back to my daily walking for an hour or so.

Four children, menopause and lockdown have made no difference at all.

mokryna Thu 20-Jan-22 00:09:52

I did put on 10kgs when menopause happened and after a few years I went on holiday to a ‘fitness farm’, to kickstart a new way of life. Up at 6 am to do classes - gym, games, walking cycling, swimming … in fact anything but not sitting down till dusk, for a whole fortnight.
I did lose weight, gained muscles and felt good. Back home I was very careful how much quantity of food I ate and although I did not exercise I did lose more kilos. More recently I didn’t put on weight during lockdown. Now retired I walk an hour a day, do gym frequently.
I do put on weight while on holiday and with family or friends but with paying attention I can get it off after a few weeks. I only buy what I am going to eat, (the cupboards are bare) and no manufactured food or additives. Think early 60s eating but it works for me, sad isn’t it but I have come to the conclusion that food is so different these days, to what my body needs.

Hetty58 Thu 20-Jan-22 07:53:15

mokryna, yes, there's just too much temptation around with weekly shops, stocked cupboards, takeaways - and feeding others.

It's so much easier if you live alone, routinely buy healthy basic ingredients and only get treats when visitors are coming. The fruit and veg box arrives on the doorstep - so I work my way through it, determined not to waste anything.

Still, I seem to eat double the average intake of friends - and get away with it - being so active. My vegan diet is full of fibre with zero saturated fat, so naturally healthy.

Riverwalk Thu 20-Jan-22 08:20:01

GagaJo

It is a nightmare, losing weight post menopause. I've been on a diet since June last year. Lost about 15lbs but can't shift any more. I really don't know what else to do about it. My motivation is low because I just don't know what else to do. I already do low calorie, low carb, lots of veg and low fat protein.

Your body probably needs some some of kick-start - have you thought of any of the Fasting diets?

A friend has lost three stone in about six months and is maintaining easily by only eating, sensibly, in an 8-hour window.

SachaMac Thu 20-Jan-22 08:55:45

Once I hit the menopause my weight started to creep up, until then I’d always been a size 10/12. I ended up gaining well over two stone. I wasn’t really doing anything different with my diet other than perhaps drinking a little more wine after a stressful day at work. My shape also changed, I never had much belly fat but now extra weight goes around there and I end up with a ‘spare tyre’. I joined Slimming World & lost 1 & 1/2 stone but then Covid hit so the group closed and it was hard to keep on track. Even if I’m really strict with my diet & exercise (which I try to be most of the time) weight just doesn’t drop off like it used to. I definitely think your metabolism and fat distribution changes. I’m currently tinkering with a Keto diet, it works well if you are ultra strict but it’s not easy having so few carbs or fruit. I think weight gain is a common problem as I have friends in the same boat, they too have always been slim until menopause hit and are now struggling to shift extra weight, it must surely be linked to hormones.

townmouse Thu 20-Jan-22 09:00:05

Looking back I think post menopause is when we are at our heaviest; if you gain weight easily you should be able to lose it in a similar time frame. I do think weighing yourself is helpful because your accountable to yourself and it’s very motivating to record pounds lost. I found fasting till lunchtime and then having soup or a salad worked well alongside the things you mention. I don’t eat bread or cakes at all when I’m on my program. It’s a good time of year to start a diet actually, by late spring you should see results. Good luck.

SachaMac Thu 20-Jan-22 09:14:52

I agree with townmouse on weighing yourself regularly, avoiding the scales makes matters worse. I’ve tried that & had a shock when I finally decided to weigh in. Much better to keep tabs on the situation, you’re more likely to see the numbers going down that way.

Riverwalk Thu 20-Jan-22 09:30:35

I weight myself every morning - it's so much easier to deal with a gain of a pound or two, rather than half a stone which has crept on.

You really don't want to wait until your clothes are feeling tight!

foxie48 Thu 20-Jan-22 09:49:43

I think most of us need fewer calories and notice changes in our shape when we have gone through the menopause even if we are very active! I've found the 5.2 diet suits me best as I already have a sensible diet. I'm another who weighs myself most mornings and I have a max weight which prompts me to lose a few pounds if I go over it. However, now in my 70's my shape has changed and no amount of dieting or exercise will change that, I also find that I look better with a few extra pounds rather than too skinny, but I may be kidding myself!

M0nica Thu 20-Jan-22 12:28:56

foxie48 yes, my experience is very similar to yours. I keep my weight within a certain range and weigh regularly.

I did find that a couple of years after I lost weight, my weight seems to have stabilised, so that even periods of indulgence, like Christmas, make little difference to my weight. When I weighed myself after all the Christmas festivities I was only 1lb above my chosen weight range.

Scotsmum Thu 20-Jan-22 13:17:15

What an interesting thread, thank you Flaxseed. I feel for you. Surgery sounds very drastic, I know of one or two people who have gone that route but in one case it was a medical emergency and in the other - well, she went back to eating habits that led to the op in the first place and it failed. In both cases it had permanent life-changing effects, you are brave for even considering it!

My body shape changed permanently after a CS but I never had a problem with weight until middle age, perimenopause and a non-functioning Thyroid arrived, which took years to diagnose and treat, by which time I had gone from size 10 & 9 st to over 16 st & size 22. Demoralized doesn't even come close to how I felt and I still find it hard to look at photos of my children's graduation and my moon face. I got a chunk of weight off eventually but always knew I was still too heavy. My joints told me. Then other health problems have followed which add to it all.

However, it's not all doom and gloom! It has taken 15 years of research and trying out lots of different approaches but what seems to work for me now is TRE (time restricted eating) and careful choice of nutrients. TRE is a bit of a cheat for me as I never liked breakfast first thing and I was delighted to be off the hook! Now I have lunch at some point and dinner about 4 hours later. I enjoy green tea and matcha which help too. Oh and yes, like others, I weigh every day.

To keep me on track at the moment I subscribe to The Fast 800; I lost 2 1/2 stone over 3 months using their approach despite being unable to exercise and it works so well (caveat: it must be suitable for you). I need to have the reassurance that it's safe and not a fad. Wonderful professional support and easy to transition back to eating more and maintain using the 5:2 mediterranean style. When I've learned the ropes I will just carry on. Best of luck.

Flaxseed Thu 20-Jan-22 20:32:58

Thanks for all of your views.
I think I have to accept that I need to be totally focused at all times.
scotsmum My tummy area has always been an issue and I have thought about an abdominalplasty for years. I am so fed up of tucking my tummy into waistbands hmm.
I have recently sold my house and could now afford it. However, after a lifetime of penny pinching I can’t quite commit to something so expensive confused!!