#4.2 Midlife Middle Management

Many women going through midlife begin to notice the middle of their body is changing. You may feel thicker around the centre of your body; your jeans may feel like they have ‘shrunk in the wash’; there seems to be an extra layer of something overhanging your jeans and your bikinis are making their way to the bin!

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The washboard stomach you may have once had seems to have the feel of a marshmallow and it feels much less appealing to strip off at the beach. Towelling robes at the spa day feel like a Godsend and luckily it’s pretty cool to wear ‘loungewear’!

The way you have always eaten doesn’t seem to be a perfect fit for you anymore, you may suffer with bloating after eating certain foods and feel you are gaining weight even though you are eating the same as you always have done! and the exercise plan that has always done the job is no longer working either!

So what can we do about this unwelcome change? If you have gone in search of “how to get a flat tummy” you probably found advice to do hundreds of sit ups, lots of planks and take up high intensity training. Oh, and eat better. Sadly, you may not have come across anything that will actually help you. Until now; I am here to put you on the right track.

It’s yet another unwelcome sign of menopause. Of course like everything else I have written about it’s not a given and will affect some women more than others.

To be fair, we have become a little obsessed with flat bellies. But look at how attractive belly dancers are and how beautiful all those women in those fabulous Renaissance paintings as they lounged across the chaise long with pieces of fabric draped over them, not a six pack in sight!

In reality, our bodies are not going to stay the same as we age. We need to accept that we will change and instead of putting another tick in the resentment box - we put a tick in the acceptance box.

If women never aged after their 30’s we would have a whole lot of 30 year old looking females on the planet and with all due respect to 30 year olds (as we were all one once) would anyone look at them and think ‘I’ll ask her, she has wisdom and experience’? No - but they would you!
In addition to that you would never get the chance to enjoy the admiring looks like the 40 something Anne Bancroft did from a 21 year old Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate!
In our youth we spent much longer getting ready to go out, choosing clothes and makeup, doing our hair. It was of utmost importance because we didn’t have all the stuff we have to think about now! Even then, find me a young woman who totally loved the way she looked!

So let’s cut out being cruel to ourselves. You are beautiful in your maturity, perhaps even more beautiful than you were in your youth.

We can always find things we don’t like about ourselves. In midlife the changes that are maybe more obvious to us. Grey hairs, looser skin, having to give in to reading glasses, wrinkles, looking older; these are all signs that we have moved further through our life. But ask yourself, what have you achieved in that time? There is often so much we can look back on and feel proud of!

In my case, I was born in 1964; given birth to 2 children; trained in dance and taught dance and exercise for almost 40 years. Therefore giving my body quite a hammering! So how is my body going to be the same as it was 25 years ago?!

See how easy it is to look at the negatives!

Ok, back to the muffin top.
It’s not a healthy thing to have an increasingly growing middle but there is a healthy balance to be had. Accept there may be a change but manage it so that it doesn’t get out of hand and have implications on your health.

Having an ever-expanding middle and becoming Apple shaped can contribute to health issues and the potential to develop METABOLIC SYNDROME. This is not a good way forward.

Metabolic syndrome affects 1 in 4 adults in the UK

This is defined as a collection of conditions that together can increase the risk of;

• Heart disease
• Stroke
• Type 2 diabetes

These are conditions such as....

• High blood pressure
• High blood sugar
• Central obesity
• Abnormal levels of cholesterol

Having one of these conditions doesn’t mean you have metabolic syndrome but will increase your risk of disease. You are likely to be in an inflammatory state which is not good. For women going through perimenopause to post menopause there are additional implications of developing Metabolic syndrome such as;

• Increased bone density issues
• Loss of muscle mass
• Pelvic dysfunction
• Insomnia
• Cognitive impairment
• Cortisol deregulation
• Cancer
• Non alcoholic fatty liver disease

For females increased risk over 32 inches. Serious health risk over 35 inches.

WAIST TO HIPS RATIO is also a good indicator
Should be 0.8 or below
How to measure – divide your waist measurement by your hips measurement

Central body fat can increase which may be due to;

• Lower Oestrogen and Enzyme changes (can promote central fat storage)
• Androgen dominance (increased testosterone)
• Oestrogen dominance / Progesterone deficiency
• Less movement and exercise
• More socialising / alcohol

So women face increased risks as they go through midlife.
Cardiovascular disease is the primary cause of death in women from midlife and beyond.
28,000 women in the UK die from cardio vascular disease per year - 77 EVERY day.

Where we store fat is important. Are you an apple or a pear? It is healthier to be a pear, even if you don’t like having a big behind!


We are not all the same! We need to assess what changes we may need to make and take action!
Everything we cover in this program will contribute to you maintaining good metabolic health but key factors are:

• Weight management / eating well
• Balancing your hormones
• Managing stress
• Taking regular exercise
• Managing your sleep

It seems that the answers to many of the questions you may have lead you to all the same places in the YEARS OF CHANGE program!!! Everything affects everything else which is why there is never just one easy answer!

Middle management is no exception. Addressing stress, exercise, nutrition, sleep, hormonal balance and lifestyle will usually provide some great help and improvements throughout this program.