Since October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, I felt the importance of devoting a series for Boomer Women and the steps necessary to take after Menopause.
The first of this three part series concerns weight gain.
It is well known that the prevention of weight gain is an important factor for women at any age. However, it poses an underlying threat for those of us who have ‘driven past’ menopause.
You see, body fat distribution in the trunk is more important than body weight when it comes to cancer risk in postmenopausal women, according to a study presented in Madrid.
The findings put a new spin on weight management priorities for women in this age-group, who are prone to abdominal weight gain. When assessing cancer risk, body mass index (BMI) and fat percentage may not be adequate measures as they fail to assess the distribution of fat mass. Avoiding central obesity may be the best protection.
The Susan G. Komen Organization gave the following information regarding weight gain after menopause:
- Before menopause, most estrogens in the body are produced in the ovaries.
- After menopause, the ovaries no longer produce much estrogen and estrogens mainly come from fat tissue.
- Women with higher estrogen levels have an increased risk of breast cancer compared to women with lower estrogen levels
- So, the extra estrogen likely explains at least some of the increased breast cancer risk among postmenopausal women who are overweight.
Women who are overweight or obese after menopause have a 30-60 percent higher breast cancer risk than those who are lean.
It also is a known fact that it is definitely more difficult to shed pounds after menopause, so it’s essential to monitor your portions and exercise more often. Staying active may also help relieve some menopausal symptoms like mood swings, power surges, troubled sleep, and forgetfulness.
This writer knows far too well the time it takes to shed that extra weight around the middle. Whatever happened to being able to eat 2 helpings at dinner? And, what about how quickly the middle grew? My response to this is simple…I am NOT going up another jean size to accommodate this weight gain!
So, I’m exercising more, lowering my portion size, eating more vegetables and fish, and hopefully will be able to shed a few pounds.
We are all in the same boat, Maties! All hands on deck! Time to remove the center ring!
Join our dialogue especially during Breast Cancer Awareness month. Let us know how you are curbing the pounds…let’s band together and help each other!
As always, I am…a leaner Boomer Explorer.