When Menopause Weight and Inches Won’t Budge

Menopause weight seems to creep up even on women who are already doing all the things. They’re health conscious. They’re the ones their friends look to when dessert menus come out to see if you’re going to order or not. You’re the one who has already ran when you get to Easter brunch or open presents on Christmas.

If this is you, I created this episode for you. 

  • When it feels like you’re doing it all and nothing works…
  • You skip a workout and it’s like 5 more pounds come on.
  • You do the workouts and you’re slammed with fatigue. Still, no weight comes off.

If you’re in this place you’ve heard other women talk about but never really got til now… you’re in the right spot.

I’m going to unpack two sides of this equation:

First, are you really doing the right thing or just the thing that you’ve always thought is the right thing?

Second, are you subconsciously letting sabotaging thoughts get in your way?

So I’m only very briefly going to touch on the problem believing that more exercise, less food, being a warrior who doesn’t sleep, and a workaholic … can cause. Because those I address in You Still Got It, Girl!and my follow up book Hot, Not Bothered.I cover those in hundreds of YouTube videos and dive deeply into the real what you need to be doing in my programs.

The fastest way to get support around myths you still believe is the 28 Day Kickstart, where I literally take you through the process of change for 4 weeks with live coaching calls, a private Facebook group, and the actual what to do so you can be in the change while you’re learning the science behind the right way not for a quick fix but for lasting results by adjusting to your hormones messages. They’re telling you what to do and you have control if you pay attention.

I will link to the Kickstart(it happens to be open while I’m recording – it’s only open a few times a year now so I can really take a group through the process with me live and provide answers to questions in the group. Plus each registrant gets a 20 minute session with me so it’s grown so much I wanted to be sure I can accommodate everyone).

The mistakes women in midlife most commonly make end up trashing their hormones. You can’t burn off fat with exercise if you eat less and tell your body to burn less. That’s like having one foot on the accelerator and one on the brake.

If stress – from any source – put the fat on – more stress from any source won’t take it off. And exercise is stress, my friend. Yes, even for you who listening right now thinking, “No, I NEED exercise to decrease my stress.” That is likely a quick fix like cocaine, and then you need another shot either later today or tomorrow. You probably could benefit more than anyone from less exercise. YES, you need it. Don’t think I’m saying don’t. But for a week you cutting way back may get you more fat loss than more exercise will.

Other things we address during the Kickstart are things you ignore or don’t think you have control over: your sleep, your digestion, your libido. If you’re thinking, what? I thought this was exercise and nutrition? It is, but you’re an integrated whole and the status of your habits in these areas tell me as a hormone balancing fitness expert what to do with your training program.

So let’s leave that one behind and suffice to say that what you used to believe would get you in better shape may be keeping you fat and out of hormone balance.

Let’s look at how you think about the things you need to be doing. So you’re exercising, you’re in need of restful sleep, and you need to eat well. No arguments there, right?

How Does It Make You Feel?

So, be honest. When I say exercise, what do you think or feel?

Words associated with exercise are often: hard, work, struggle, pain, sweaty, messy, time, hot, and uncomfortable. It may be time comes up for you.

Tap into the emotions around exercise. Here’s a tricky one: even if you love exercise but you are so busy you can’t do it like you want to, exercise can become something with negative emotions tied to it.

So, if you’re listening to this and you can pause, do it and then come back to me.

Just stop think- or better yet write down- what’s your response to “exercise?”

Do you attach impossible goals attached to exercise? Do you tell yourself you have to do it every day, have to do more than last time, want to be good at a certain exercise (even though you have virtually no experience doing it).

Anything there resonate? Again, pause. Don’t skip really thinking through for yourself what this is like. If this is important, change can’t happen if you don’t tap into the emotion of it.

So if you’re back let’s go on. I hope you really did this. This is different than some episodes, but it’s a little more interactive and a bit like a workshop I would do as part of a retreat. You can’t just “listen” to something and get it. If you’re talking to yourself while you’re listening, or you’re nodding your head… that’s a good thing. I do it all the time. I’ll be on a walk or hike listening to one of the podcasts I follow and I’ll be responding. Entertaining for commuters and my neighbors I’m sure.

Does Nutrition Trigger You?

What happens when you think about the word “nutrition?” What feelings come to mind and what words describe how that makes you feel?

How do you think about the fact that you’ve maybe gone through Whole30 or you are doing Paleo or you’re plant-based?

If you say you “have a sweet tooth” how does that feel for you?

When you think about the holidays and eating how does that feel?

Does the word nutrition, when it’s related to you getting results you want but aren’t getting now, stir up any emotion? Do you associate it with “diet?” But I’m not suggesting that you diet temporarily but that you acquire a lifestyle that might go through periods of changing your diet in different ways.

Compare it to chocolate cake, and to salad, and to pasta.

Try on meal planning.Does that make you feel like there’s no spontaneous have what I want when I want it?

We get comfortable eating the things we like. Even if it isn’t working we sometimes refuse to give them up.

An elimination phase of testing food sensitivities can be a trigger for you. But realize, it can be from the words we use and the feelings attached to them. It’s not necessarily the activity.

We grew up thinking everything in moderation. We’ve got higher cancer, heart and other diseases because of it not in spite of it.

Actually, when you’re struggling with weight or energy or can’t sleep, moderation in alcohol or sugary treats or gluten – even exercise isn’t the answer. The right answer is the answer.

Spinach and kale are healthy greens… as long as you don’t have drug interactions with vitamin K, and as long as you’re healthy right? You wouldn’t have them if you were sick with the flu. Well you wouldn’t exercise the same way with hormones out of balance as if they were in balance either.

Words associated with nutrition  – eating less, being hungry, limiting, restricting, depriving, go to bed hungry, no fun, no flavor. Or Nutrition can be just neutral and boring for you. Diet may trigger more negative feelings. Pizza or tacos may trigger another kind of feeling.

Changing for Menopause Weight Benefit

This word we talk about all the time that very likely has feelings attached to it and we don’t even realize.

The word is Habits.

The word alone may or may not get you. But going to bed early, not staying up late, getting up early, checking your phone constantly, snacking all day… all of these are habits and if any of them is yours and someone made you change from what is currently a habit, it would feel foreign, maybe “bad.”

You’d resist.

How do all those associated feelings motivate or convince you that you don’t want to do this?

Attaching Baggage to Habits Interferes with Menopause Weight

At the airline counter if your bag is too heavy you have two choices:

  1. Pay more
  2. Take something out

The same is true if what you’re doing isn’t working. Some of my students embrace change and understand the process. The students that keep finding themselves exhausted or carrying more weight are still trying to eat less and exercise more. They tend to push through instead of find ease in doing what they want to become who they are every day.

They try adding more supplements and trying more shortcuts before they’ve got the basics. I’m a believer that it’s ridiculous to invest in “super foods” unless you’re already eating a few more vegetables every day and you’ve gotten rid of processed and fast foods.

For a short time – a month – 28 days – concentrated focus on something means that a year from now it will still be important. During that 28 days you’re working on creating new systems and breaking old patterns.

Guess what you’re not focused on? Goals. Goals are temporary. Skills are permanent.

So if you want to know how to eat and exercise and be doing it more naturally and normally a year from now you have to take about a month and focus on it. Concentrate on it.

Also really important is making an environment where doing what you want to be doing is easy not hard. If you’re a smoker and you want to quit but you live with four smokers, it’s going to be tough. It’s similar with exercise or with eating differently. There’s both a need to stop something and to start something else. With food, get rid of all the stuff you don’t want to eat. I call it a Pantry Raid in the 28-Day Kickstart.

Make It Easy for Menopause Weight to Go Bye Bye

Create the least resistance possible by getting a plan, clearing the time, getting your thoughts about it right, telling your friends and family, thinking in advance about how you’ll overcome obstacles like approaching holiday dinners or parties, tailgates, time alone when you might ordinarily eat food you don’t want to.

Let me come back to “baggage.” If you get negatively triggered by words like “workout” or exercise, or by nutrition, and food planning, for instance, rename the actions you want to take.

You may also have to look at what it is you’re telling yourself you want to do. If you say you want to lose weight, for instance. What if you focused on getting healthy and feeling good? The side affects on the side of the bottle are going to read, warning: may cause optimal weight. The point is though if there’s no negative association telling your brain to avoid avoid, avoid, you’re much more likely to create the system that gets you where you wanted to go. It’s just that your GPS is broken!

Your brain avoids negative things. Things associated with pain, disappointment, and it’s not going to bring those things to you.

Menopause Weight Loss Voodoo?

This is no woo-woo episode. There’s literal science that began in the late 70s about the body’s physical ability to change based on your thoughts (and your emotions are just a result of your thoughts). So what you want to do is tap into the emotion to tell you what you’re thinking. You can logically change the thinking and when your emotions change habit change is easy, effortless, and fun.

When someone tells you you’re a “hardworker” or the most hardworking in the gym, are they hurting or helping?

Up to you.

Respond, no it’s easy. I enjoy it.

Because even if you think you value hard work. Your brain still does not want to go there.

Think about it. Hard work or vacation? Which one do you want more of? Struggle or ease? Which one do you want more of? Discipline or naturally? Which one do you want more of?

When you think of “fat-burning” or “calorie-torching” exercise what comes to mind?

How does it make you feel?

For 80% of the population the feelings associated with fat burning and calorie-torching are: hard, effort, intimidating, doubt, failure, exhaustion, punishing.

  • Are those words positive or negative?
  • And what will that do for your desire to exercise or to resist?
  • What will your desire to exercise or resist work do for results you want?
  • What will desire to do something or resist doing it for long-term staying power? (The ability to change your life!)

You won’t start potentially. You won’t stick, potentially. You won’t retain it.

Two things you want to do to lose menopause weight:

  1. Identify thoughts – your feelings tell you what they are – that sabotage you
  2. Identify whether you really know what to do now – in 2019 as opposed to what might have been the answer in 1979


I hope that was helpful and I would love to hear from you. (leave a comment) First, if the 28 Day Kickstart feels like a fit the last one of the year, but also of it’s kind is happening in November and it’s open for enrollment now. This session will be available in the future for our Café members and nowhere else.

If you’d like a live connection with me via a retreat in Scottsdale or Boulder or private coaching (which by the way my private coaching clients come to retreats for significantly less than anyone else), please contact [email protected]and my customer service experience wizard will give you the next steps to learn more. I’ve got one planned to kick off the year and another for summer at altitude.

Menopause weight and inches are temporary, girlfriend. As long as you find the permanent skills to adjust to the messages you’re getting from hormones. Don’t let them take up residence too long. Don’t give up and resign.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

28 Day Kickstart https://www.flippingfifty.com/28-day-kickstart

[email protected]


Dr. Ellen Langer Podcast interview  

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