Weight gain, stubborn Belly Fat and what MENOPAUSE, HORMONAL IMBALANCE have to do with them

Weight gain, stubborn Belly Fat and what MENOPAUSE, HORMONAL IMBALANCE have to do with them

This is where hormonal imbalance collides with perimenopausal stage of a middle aged woman, and they usher in the most unfriendly, unexpected, unannounced, unwanted and RUDE visitor of EVERY WOMAN.

The woman is indeed saddled with uncountable emotional drama that are very hard for her to understand or unravel. The medical profession has continued to confirm that millions of women are in the dark about severe hormonal imbalance affecting them 10 days out of every month. Women are terrified by fluctuations in mood, depression, weight gain, accumulation of belly fat and arms which in some parts of Africa is called “Christian Mother Arm” especially in Nigeria. All these, the woman cannot tell what is causing them. But can I tell you what? All these impact greatly on the woman’s personality.

 

The once-upon-a-time beautiful, cheerful, accommodating, slender, sporty, full-of-life, woman; the life of every party, becomes restless, apprehensive, no longer agile, not able to concentrate, annoying, nagging, and at will displays unreasonable emotional outbursts. She soon becomes a drama queen, cries often as if a spell is cast on her, as if she is developing a mental disease/disorder.

My articles on menopause and its many baggage shall be addressing the African Woman majorly. This is so because we see things differently in this part of the world as a result of limited opportunities for research about this subject. In many parts of Africa, weight gain is seen and mostly accepted as “evidence of good living”. Even while the woman’s health is evidently impacted negatively and while her whole world is gradually falling apart, she would rather not attribute her quagmire to menopause which has indeed invaded her, to P-A-U-S-E a lot of meaningful activities in her life. My articles shall continue to highlight the many issues surrounding HORMONAL Imbalance and Menopause’s many baggage and all the challenges they pose to the health and well-being of Women of African descent. My goal primarily is to allay suspicions and help unravel the ignorance in which many have wallowed for decades. So many health challenges emanating from hormonal Imbalance that have plagued many African women are either attributed to witchcraft or sin that was not forgiven. These articles shall attempt to help women towards solutions, guide them on how to eat balanced food from all we have around us in Africa; and make wellness tea from herbs found in and around our environment.

In the daily life of the woman, tension sets in gradually, warning of something not too welcoming become obvious and symptoms daily stick out their necks increasingly and progressively so, are accompanied by incommunicable/unexpressible insecurity. The once-upon-a-time beautiful, cheerful, accommodating, slender, sporty, full-of-life, woman; the life of every party, becomes restless, apprehensive, no longer agile, not able to concentrate, annoying, nagging, and at will displays unreasonable emotional outbursts. She soon becomes a drama queen, cries often as if a spell is cast on her, as if she is developing a mental disease/disorder. Unfortunately, not many people around her want to come near her in love to help her understand what she is going through. Everyone seems to be irritated by her and wants to deal with her at arms length. She is easily misjudged and misunderstood. After reading this article, it is my hope that many will come to the knowledge of what the woman is saddled with and would want to extend a hand in love, even the woman does not understand it, she is lost too.

What is Perimenopause? According to Hopkins Medicine, Perimenopause is the time around menopause when a woman’s ovaries gradually stop working. This is a natural process that causes physical and emotional symptoms. It does not need treatment, but treatment can help lessen symptoms. Treatment includes hormones, antidepressants, and lifestyle change.

When we say, “lifestyle change”/(s) what exactly do we mean? According to delightmedical.com, these are behaviour modifications or habit changes that encourage positive changes in your life. These are a fundamental component to any wellness programme. Examples of lifestyle habits include: Sleeping patterns, Eating tendencies, Level of physical activity, Stress management practices, Hydration habits among other.

In essence, there are three primary categories of lifestyle change. They are:

Psychological changes which have a lot to do with changing your attitude, mood and your stress management pattern.

Behavioral change, although everything lifestyle change revolves around behaviour, we shall be looking at things like sleeping habits, activity level and planning efforts.

Diet: being intentional about what goes into your mouth and making healthy changes about it can play a good role in your weight loss journey, help balance your hormone, reduce stress and alleviate pain.

Food: Why food is one of my first choice of point to consider, you will need to know that whichever lifestyle change you choose to begin with, you should start small but be consistent. Learn to drink water to stay hydrated, eat small portions at a time, don’t just eat well, but eat right.

What are the causes of weight gain in middle aged women? Menopause weight gain is caused by decrease in estrogen and progesterone, along with aging in general which trigger metabolic changes in the body. One of these changes is decrease in muscle mass resulting in fewer calories being burned. If fewer calories are burned, fat will accumulate, especially around the abdomen.

To control menopause weight gain therefore;

(1) You might want to begin by doing some of the things you have not been doing, like, increase your activity/exercise level, take a walk around your neighborhood, ride bicycle, and dance.

(2) Cook and enjoy healthy meals, make something balanced out of the same food in our environment and cut down on quantity of food you consume at a time, eat enough vegetable, drink water to stay hydrated, avoid sugar, sweets, alcohol, smoking and processed foods.

(3) Go out to receive sun light every morning, this is the only way you can have Vitamin D which is so important to you at this stage of your life and as much as possible, avoid sedentary lifestyle.

It is important to note here that hormonal changes alone do not cause weight gain among menopausal women, weight gain can happen as a result of aging, lifestyle and generic factors, hence my suggestions above. A very important example to note is that muscle mass diminishes with age and fat increases, you can also inherit it genetically.

Belly Fat is caused by reduced level of estrogen after menopause, this can cause fat to be stored around your waist rather than on your hips and thighs.

*TO BE CONTINUED

Hello, I am Lilian Chudey Pride. Good to welcome you to my online world. I am a Writer, Teacher, Encourager, Author of Life Beyond Motherhood, Dignity of Womanhood and Publisher, iwriteafrica.com online Magazine. I love Africa so much and I derive joy in telling the world about her beauty and strength. I share the challenges of the childless African community, providing Support, Encouragement and Empowerment. While guiding the childless African woman to trust God, I help her to understand her peculiarity, grieve properly, heal and embrace purpose. See my book: Life Beyond Motherhood on Amazon. Welcome to Africa.
Mary Grant
Lilian Chudey Pride
Publisher
Lilian@iwriteafrica.com
www.iwriteafrica.com

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