Practice Body Positivity During Perimenopause and Menopause
When you are going through menopause, your body experiences various changes and symptoms that you probably have not experienced before. Those are hot flashes and mood swings among others. One of the common symptoms during this transition is weight gain. Fluctuating hormones can bring some changes in your body, for instance, having more fat in the abdominal area and having difficulties with losing weight. For many women in menopause, this results in decreased body image and quality of life. So, how can you stay positive about your body in menopause? Here are some tips for you to have more body positivity.
What Is Body Positivity in Menopause?
Body positivity focuses on accepting your body and believing in your self-worth as a woman. Even though menopause is a natural biological process, many symptoms associated with menopause such as hot flashes, lack of sleep, irritability, or weight gain can leave many women feeling frustrated.
As a result of these developmental changes menopausal women were found to have fewer positive evaluations of their fitness or their perceived body image than premenopausal women. If for example you find yourself agreeing with the previous statement, then it is important for you to focus on self care to support yourself as you transition into and out of menopause. Remember to focus on yourself, devote a time during the day to be reflective and positive about what you enjoy, how you are managing and how this is not an easy change. Leave aside duties for work or family. Simply focus on yourself, the beautiful being you are inside and out.
Ways to Increase Body Positivity
Do you want to become more body positive in menopause? Here are some tips to help you along the way.
When you look at yourself in the mirror next time, do not try to find your flaws; instead, compliment yourself. Focus on the parts of your personality and body that you really like and say flattering things about those. If your thoughts drift away to your flaws, try to come up with a positive aspect for those. For instance, if you think that you are too short, how about focusing instead on the fact that you can wear high heels whenever you want?
Treating yourself to an enjoyable activity that makes you feel good about yourself is a must. When you are engaging in something you enjoy, you naturally lower your stress and anxiety levels. When you are relaxed, your stress level lowers and you are able to be positive about yourself and your body. Body positivity starts from the inside, so set time aside for yourself to relax and re-energize. A DIY spa day is an excellent way to pamper yourself. You can also have a night out with your friends or a date, or you can simply read a book in solitude if that makes you feel good.
The thing with healthy foods is that not only are they healthy, but they also make you feel good about eating them. Have you ever noticed the difference in how your body feels after eating a burger with French fries compared to eating a meal with grass-fed beef, whole grains, and vegetables on the side? Well, fried, sugary, and other fast foods make you feel tired and heavy. Healthy foods, on the other hand, leave you happier, lighter, and more energized after eating them. So choosing healthier foods can help you in becoming more body-positive, and you will also start noticing results in your waistline!
Exercise for Body Positivity
Whether you are losing weight from going to the gym or remain in your current weight for some time already, exercise helps you become more body positive. That is because you know that you are putting in a lot of effort to shape your body in the way you want it to be. When you are not body positive, you might also experience emotional imbalance. Exercise helps to tackle it by decreasing the amount of stress hormone cortisol in your body (2). So, you can love your body more knowing that you are doing something good for it. You will also be more confident in presenting yourself to others.
Work on Your Mindset
While you can do all the things above, the real body positivity starts from within. It starts with your mindset. You often hear from the media, your friends, or others around you about the standards your body should follow to be considered perfect. Many women end up being trapped in these stereotypes and that is why they lose faith in their own bodies. Or, they can also have a negative opinion on menopause and its symptoms in general, and that can impact their body image (3). The key here is to be able to let go of these standards and live your life without relying on the opinions of others.
Using Probiotic Supplements
Probiotics do not make you body positive – this process involves a lot of working with yourself and developing self-love. However, probiotic supplements are known to improve mood-related disorders and also help with weight loss in menopausal women. You can find these beneficial bacteria in foods and drinks like live yogurt, natto, tempeh, pickles, sauerkraut, and kimchi. And you can also add probiotics to your diet in the form of supplements. MenoLabs has created probiotic supplements that fit the specific needs of women going through menopause, so you can feel better and live a healthier life.
(1) A. Deeks and M. McCabe. “Menopausal Stage and Age and Perceptions of Body Image.”
(2) A. Hillier, D. Murphy, and C. Ferrara. “A Pilot Study: Short‐term Reduction in Salivary Cortisol Following Low Level Physical Exercise and Relaxation among Adolescents and Young Adults on the Autism Spectrum.”