Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Who knows?

I always thought it was a foregone conclusion that any weight I gained, in my adult life, would go to my hips and thighs. That is the way I am built, my genetics. I have visual examples within my family to point to this in addition to my own experience.

And then I started my 40th year in my skin and it doesn't seem to be true any longer. Over Spring Break I ate all kinds of fabulous things and drank wonderful calories. I, therefore, expected to come back to find my slacks too tight and I that I would need to get walking / riding the bike. 

This time my slacks are fine and I have a tummy. What is up with that?

Some rights reserved by Lynie

Is this a part of aging? I wouldn't be as surprised if I was now adding weight in new areas, but it seems to be a shift. I find myself perplexed by the change. 

Of course there was the (welcome) season of thickening around the middle as "Pipkin" grew inside me. That was different. That had a purpose. Once she was born I took on the challenge of training for, and completing, a marathon. I walked hundreds of miles in the months following giving birth, primarily in an attempt to repossess my body. (Since I was still nursing it only partially worked, but I felt better.)

As I was trying to make sense out of this seemingly new body, I found myself thinking of my mother. Genetically she is my best guess as to what my body will do. There is one picture I think of in which was was really skinny - her wedding picture with Jim. She wasn't that much older than I am right now.

The next time we Skyped I told her about my ponderings. During our conversation 
she asked an interesting question - how will I know when I have started menopause since I am on Depo

I told her I had no idea. I had never thought about it.

Our conversation continued for a couple of minutes before I realized the possible implication of her question.

I know she went through menopause in her early 40s and hoped (because I am betting on being one of the 99.9% whose migraines end with menopause) it would start soon, but I figured I had a couple more years. 

She told me how her weight shifted to her tummy when she started menopause. 

Oh, is that why she asked the question? Hmmm.

J got home in the middle of this conversation, a bit amused at the tidbits he was hearing. I got off Skype with my mom and filled J in so he would have some context. As I was talking with him I started putting some things together. 

About two months ago I started wearing a big t-shirt to bed. He had asked me why. I explained to him that I got sick of waking up in a pool of sweat. (Are you laughing yet?) I had never even considered that it could be night sweats.

Hospital nurse testing patient's urineCredit Anthea Sieveking

I know the internet is not a doctor, but it is a resource. I was curious, both the answer to my mom's question and to learn more about menopause. Yup, I spent some time Googling. 

I learned something interesting. Insomnia is a possible symptom. I have always been an excellent sleeper, until a couple of months ago. Now I am up at weird times and can't seem to sleep 8 hours if I try, though I have always needed 9.

There are other small things, but I also realize we sometimes makes things fit into what we think we are experiencing. I will see my doctor this summer.

Who knows? I might be starting menopause.


  1. Hmmm . . .sounds possible. You may have solved your mystery.

  2. This sounds familiar! I went through this in my late thirties...and I was caught by surprise,too.

  3. As someone who also has visuals in her family (I look just like Mom, but have Dad's coloring) I really identified with your story. And Menopause...it sneaks up on the best of us.

  4. If it is any comfort, you are a member of a large club:)I am sure your slice had many predicting the outcome bfore you arrived at the end.