New Moves Coaching Program

Navigating The Elusive Quest For Body Happiness in Menopause

body image Jul 11, 2023
body image, selfcare, self-love, fitness in menopause

Oh, the elusive quest for body acceptance and happiness! It seems that no matter how hard we try, true happiness with our body remains as elusive as a perfectly ripe avocado. Weight gain, mostly body fat distribution, especially an increase of fat in the abdominal area, during menopause is very common and is one of the symptoms women report most affected by. I include myself in that group. Since receiving my ticket to the menopausal roller coaster, my belly fat seems to have a mind of its own, and many of you, have expressed the same frustration. It's so common that many of my clients have created names for it: the menopod, the belly donut, menopouch, and many more.

So it's not surprising that wishful thoughts of how great it would be to have a slimmer body pop up. The temptation to try almost anything to lose weight becomes front and center in your brain. You fantasize that forcing yourself through countless spin classes, surviving on kale smoothies, and varnishing all carbs from your life will bring you closer to body image nirvana, where you’ll be greeted by the chorus of heavenly angels singing the praises of your svelte figure. And maybe, just maybe your efforts on the treadmill and turning down tempting desserts lead to your “goal” weight. But wait, why aren't you ecstatically happy? Did the happiness bus miss your stop while you were busy counting calories? Nope, that just might be reality giving you a slap on your (now slimmer) face.  Equating happiness with weight loss is, unfortunately, much too common and a losing battle. Happiness is not something you gain on a scale. We are indoctrinated to believe that we would be happier if only we could lose some weight. Although we know that it is a false equivalent, completely letting go of that idea is very difficult. Here are a few reasons why:

  1. The mythical “perfect” body: the pursuit of the perfect body can be as elusive as spotting a unicorn in the wild because nobody knows what the perfect body is. If you believe what you are told, the perfect body is always the body you don’t have. It’s designed to be that way to keep you feeling crappy and spending money. Imagine how many industries would go out of business if we all felt great in our bodies.  
  2. The “just accept your body” narrative is toxic: making it seem like it’s easy to love your body is being pushed everywhere. There are dozens of hashtags all about body love and body acceptance. Just do it! Well, it’s not that easy, actually, it’s not easy at all. Setting realistic expectations on what it takes to feel differently about your body is #1.  
  3. The emotional rollercoaster: weight loss can stir up a whirlwind of emotions. From excitement and pride to frustration and disappointment, it’s a wild ride. The journey often unearths underlying issues that you may have been trying to bury with occupying your mind with what next workout to do and counting your calories. It’s essential to address these emotional roadblocks head-on and seek support when needed.
  4. Comparison syndrome: the age-old trap of comparing ourselves to others can be especially tricky during menopause. We’re bombarded with ads and images of women that look “younger” than their age and selling you all the “hacks.” It’s important to remember that menopause is very unique for every person. Celebrate your progress and resist the urge to measure your happiness against someone else's highlight reel.   


I'm guilty of obsessing over my weight and body image for decades and it took me a lot of therapy and continuous self-analysis to break down those unrealistic expectations and false equivalents that were so active in my mind. At the core of all that work is one central question: What brings me joy? It seems like such an easy answer, but it really isn't. Have you sat down and thought about what truly makes you happy and brings you joy? And by joy, I mean the kind of joy your dog feels every time you walk through the door after being gone for way too long (like 5 min šŸ˜†). Pure and unadulterated joy. The joy that cleanses your mind.

Today I challenge you to answer that question for yourself. Name three (or even just one) things that truly bring you joy. I’d love to hear your answers. Email me at [email protected]