Weight Gain - Motherhood and Menopause - Ellen Dolgen
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Weight Gain – Motherhood and Menopause

The only M&M’s most of us knew about as kids, were the candy kind that melted in your mouth—not in your hand.  But, these days there’s a new M&M combo in town—Motherhood and Menopause—the melt is still there, as in ‘meltdown,’ but only if your symptoms spiral out of control as you’re racing to ice cupcakes for the class party, preparing for work tomorrow and getting the family fed.   Sometimes even the calmest of us need a little extra help.

Motherhood and Menopause are strange bedfellows, but with more women giving birth after 40, they’ve become properly introduced as a tag team.

How to keep calm and carry on, while not losing it with your kids on a daily basis?

The trifecta:

  • Friends
  • Diet
  • Menopause Specialist


The sisterhood is a powerful group.  Friends are ageless.  It doesn’t matter whether they are long-time friends—the ones who knew you since you were both 15 and understand the essence of ‘you’ or new ones who are willing to listen.  They can prop you up when things are slipping out of control, and you’ll probably help them right back!   Even the renowned Mayo Clinic understands that friendship will ‘enrich your life and improve your health.’

We share, we listen, and we help each other through good and bad times. It is wonderful to have a supportive group of friends of all ages that you can talk with, learn from and openly share your challenges and feelings. No matter whether you meet for coffee, a drink, a walk or quick phoner –it’s amazing how much better you will feel sharing with your friends! Cheapest therapy ever!

As young as we still feel in our minds, it is a real challenge to deal with kids in our ‘40’s and ‘50’s, and ‘60’s.  Don’t fall victim to those magazine covers in the checkout line touting Halle Berry and Tina Fey doing ‘wonderfully’ after giving birth at 45.  They look pretty perfect on those covers and seem to have it all under control, but behind the scenes, they have lots of help.   Patsy Kensit, an over-45 actress, recently shared struggles with ‘menopause hell’ and motherhood (she has a son who’s 14).  She went public with her hysterectomy and ensuing struggle to find the proper HRT combination.  Now that she’s through the fog, this former rock star has rediscovered the value of female friends.  It’s good for us to know that we are not alone – everybody goes through it.


We have all heard the old saying, “You are what you eat”.  Most of us ignore this as we grab that doughnut at work.  However, we do know that during perimenopause and menopause women often suddenly see the numbers on the scale increasing. Menopausal weight gain is largely determined by five factors: hormones, diet, exercise, stress, and genetics. Though we may not be able to control all of these factors on our own, you can control what you put in your mouth!

Lay off the cupcakes while you’re icing them and send sugar and refined carbs packing.  Moderate dietary changes can have a solid effect on your frame of mind. Research shows following a Mediterranean Diet rich in olive oil, vegetables, fruits and nuts decreases menopausal symptoms by as much as 20%!

Menopause Specialist:

This is likely going to be a new specialist and not the one you’ve been seeing since your 20’s or the one who delivered your babies. A Menopause Specialist is trained to determine how best to handle your symptoms together with your other health issues and would not dismiss them. I have a Menopause Specialist Directory on my website.  These specialists have been recommended by the sisterhood. You can type in your zip code and see if someone has recommended a specialist in your area.  If you are unable to find a specialist in your neighborhood check out these additional tips which will help you find a specialist and hormone happiness!   A great Menopause Specialist who can develop an individual program to fit your personally needs, is better than a good glass of wine!

Bottom line—welcome your new M&M (Motherhood and Menopause) houseguests to the party.  With a few simple steps you can embrace menopause and love motherhood!

Suffering in silence is OUT! Reaching out is IN! 


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