Tuesday, April 24, 2012
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?
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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.
Credit 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.