New Moves Coaching Program

Menopause Fitness: Nothing Works Anymore! What now? 

fitnessinmenopause menopausefitness Sep 21, 2023
menopause fitness, perimenopause fitness

Are you still hoping that fitness will change your appearance or make you lose weight? 90% of the women who reach out to me for help are doing so for that reason. The most prominent phrase I hear is, “What I’ve been doing forever doesn’t work anymore.” By “doesn’t work,” they mean that it no longer results in changes in how they look. Even for those who don't come straight out and say it, the hope that it will affect weight and body composition is there.

Just to be clear, I don’t think that having a weight loss goal or wanting to change your appearance is wrong. But those goals can become problematic when they are the only exercise goals. Why? Because those goals are moving targets. I dare to guess that most of us have tried to lose weight. Maybe just a few pounds, and maybe we even achieved it, but then what? Chances are that there is a new goal, maybe just a few more pounds. But those don’t come off as easy, so now we take more drastic measures, and so on and on. You get where I’m going. Probably because you’ve been there.

As women navigating the often challenging journey of menopause, we've all encountered the siren call of fitness crazes promising miraculous weight loss. From fad diets to high-intensity workouts, the message seems clear: exercise is a tool for manipulating our bodies. For as long as I can remember, that was my main goal. I admit that changing how my body looks is still a desired "side effect," but no longer my main goal for exercising. And for me, that is a win. As with body image positivity, expecting that we will change our mindset completely, preferably overnight, is unrealistic. One of the incredible women who participated in one of the cohorts of my masterclass admitted at the very end of class that one of her most significant revelations of the work she had done during the course was that deep down inside, she had still hoped that she would lose weight, even though the goal of the masterclass was not that. Does that resonate? I hope it does because if you can be honest with yourself, it is much easier to find a path out of that mindset. 

I've spent two decades in the world of fitness and menopause, and I'm here to tell you there's a better way. It's time to break free from the weight-obsessed fitness culture and discover the joy and health that exercise can truly bring during this transformative stage of life.

The Weight Loss Trap

Our society's fixation on weight loss is nothing new, and it often intensifies as we age. Menopausal women, in particular, can feel the pressure to maintain a certain body size. The idea that thinness equals health has been ingrained in our minds, but it's time to challenge this notion.

Countless fitness crazes promise rapid weight loss, often through extreme measures that are neither sustainable nor healthy. Whether it's the latest diet trend or a grueling exercise program, we've been led to believe that our worth is tied to the number on the scale. The fact is that the more you diet, the more you risk gaining weight in the long run. What’s mind-blowing is that, in women, even one diet doubles the risk of becoming overweight. ONE! It's a trap with lifelong consequences

Reframing Exercise Goals

It's time to shift our perspective on exercise. Instead of viewing it solely as a means to lose weight, let's embrace it as a powerful tool for overall health and well-being. As a health science professor and fitness expert, I've seen firsthand how exercise can positively impact menopausal women.

Exercise is not just about shedding pounds; it's about strengthening our bodies, improving our mental health, and enhancing our quality of life. It's about celebrating what our bodies can do rather than punishing them for not conforming to unrealistic beauty standards.

The Joy of Movement

Many years ago, I came up with a mantra on how to make exercise sustainable:


I still live by it, a guiding principle for my work. 

One of the most beautiful aspects of exercise is the joy it can bring. Rather than forcing yourself to do workouts you dread, why not explore physical activities that genuinely make you happy? Whether it's dancing, hiking, swimming, or practicing yoga, finding activities you enjoy can make exercise an integral part of your daily life.

When you engage in activities you love, exercise ceases to be a chore and becomes a source of pleasure. Movement can boost your mood and reduce stress, making it a natural way to combat the emotional challenges often accompanying menopause. Moreover, exercise can also be a key player in managing the physical symptoms of menopause.

Building Confidence and Self-Love

Perhaps one of the most significant benefits of embracing exercise for joy and health is the boost in confidence and self-love it can provide. When you stop obsessing over weight and start focusing on what your body can achieve, you'll find a newfound appreciation for yourself.

As a menopause expert, I've witnessed women transform not just physically but also mentally and emotionally through their exercise journeys. The sense of accomplishment that comes from reaching fitness milestones can translate into greater self-esteem and a more positive self-image.


In the world of menopause, where change is inevitable and challenges are abundant, exercise can be your steadfast companion. It's time to break free from the weight-obsessed fitness culture and embrace exercise for what it truly is—a path to joy and lasting health.

How high do weight loss and appearance rank on your reasons for exercising? I’d love to hear your answers. Email me at [email protected].