Love your body

Learning to Love Your Perimenopausal Body

Learning to love your perimenopausal body can be tough. Seemingly overnight you the reflection in the mirror is unfamiliar. Your body evolves, your feelings shift, and even your scent might change. It’s not uncommon for women to feel like a stranger to themselves during this time.

And of course it’s hard to accept and love this new you. Women are celebrated for their youthfulness and physical appeal. Society tends to idolize the beauty of youth, often overlooking the grace that comes with aging. As you grow older, this narrative can make you feel marginalized, as if your worth has diminished with age. 

Learning to love your body during perimenopause is important. Really important. It’s time for you to start viewing yourself through a lens of kindness and compassion. Creating a nurturing space for acceptance in your life is key. This period of change is not just a challenge but an opportunity to embrace body positivity and self-love. It’s about recognizing and accepting the natural evolution of your body and learning to cherish it in all its stages.

Unrecognizable in the mirror

Common Body Changes 

Perimenopause is a time of life when you might encounter a wide array of symptoms:

  • Hormonal Fluctuations: During perimenopause, your body undergoes numerous hormonal changes that cause your estrogen and progesterone levels to fluctuate wildly and can lead to a range of symptoms.
  • Menstrual Variability: Your menstrual cycle may become unpredictable, with cycles that are shorter or longer and sometimes involve heavy bleeding or irregular bleeding.
  • Physical Symptoms: Common experiences include hot flashes, sleep disturbances, vaginal dryness, and discomfort during intercourse. Weight gain, particularly around the abdomen, is also a frequent challenge, often persisting despite diligent diet and exercise.
  • Emotional and Cognitive Shifts: You might notice mood swings, increased stress, anxiety, or depression. Some women also experience memory problems or a sense of “brain fog,” which can be linked to hormonal changes.

It’s important to remember that every woman’s experience is unique. If you’re concerned about your symptoms or how to manage them, talk to your healthcare provider. Ideally find one who understands the menopause transition. By staying informed about these changes, you can take proactive steps to maintain your health and quality of life during perimenopause.

Your Perimenopausal Body

Body image is the mental picture you hold of yourself. Your thoughts and feelings about your appearance, height, shape, and weight.  It’s how you perceive and move your body in space.  For many women, the perception of themselves is very different from the reality that everyone else sees. 

Body positivity, on the other hand, is the celebration and acceptance of all body types, moving beyond societal or cultural ideals. It’s about recognizing your body’s needs and engaging in self-care practices that nurture health. Whether it’s through sufficient sleep, balanced nutrition, or enjoyable exercise, body positivity is about cherishing and taking care of yourself.

Can You Get Your Old Body Back? 

Nope. I’m just being honest. It’s common to look back and wonder if you can reclaim the body of your past. but you will never look the same as you did in your 20s or even 30s. So stop being so hard on yourself. Stop listening to the mean girl in your head. Accept that as you age, there’s a lot of things changing in your body. You may gain weight or fill in places that weren’t full before. Your skin will loose collagen and may start to sag. Your hair will change colour. 

 Recognize that these changes are part of a natural process. And rather than chasing weight loss through restrictive diets, embrace a nourishing, anti-diet approach focused on healthy eating and sustainable exercise habits. Learn to appreciate the journey your body has been on and its continued strength and resilience. C

Sex and Your New Perimenopausal Body

As we age and our bodies start to change, it’s hard to feel confident getting naked by yourself, let alone with someone else in the room. In fact, there’s a few ways that perimenopause hits women that can be a downer for your sex life:

  • Weight Gain – Not going to beat a dead horse. Obviously this is a confidence crasher, and if you don’t feel good about yourself, chances are you’re not going to swinging from the chandeliers to have sex.
  • Low Libido – It’s not uncommon for libido to ebb during perimenopause, leading to a decrease in intimacy. A low sex drive is a frequent perimenopause symptom that many don’t know about or talk about. And if you don’t know about it, your partner probably doesn’t either. Communication about how your feeling is really important during this time. As is looking for new ways of connecting and maintaining closeness with your partner. 
  • Vaginal Dryness – More than just causing discomfort, vaginal dryness can make sexual activities challenging or even painful. Open and honest communication with your partner is really important.  Let them know this is a common issue during perimenopause, and ask them to grab som lube on the way home.

Understanding these changes is the first step in maintaining a healthy sex life.

How to Love Your Perimenopausal Body

Embracing the perimenopausal phase involves recognizing the natural shifts that come with it. Your approach to self-care, including nutrition, exercise, and mental health, can redefine your relationship with your body during this transition.

Accept that Your Body is Changing

Understand that perimenopause signifies a time where your body shape, hormone levels, and metabolism are evolving. Instead of resisting these changes, accept them and begin to align your health goals with your new body.

Learn to Listen to Your Body

Mindfulness practices like yoga can help you become more attuned to your body’s needs. Rest when you’re tired, and seek a doctor’s advice if you have sleep problems or feel persistent anxiety or depression. Your body communicates its needs, often through signals like stress or fatigue. Don’t ignore the whispers.

Eat Nutritious Whole Foods

A balanced diet rich in protein, healthy fats, and carbohydrates supports healthy eating habits. Limit alcohol consumption – it causes sleep problems and anxiety. Strict dieting or weight loss regimes were never a good idea. But they’re definitely not appropriate now. Stay away from packaged food and instead focus on healthy, nutritious, whole foods and eating until you’re satisfied. 

Buy Clothes You Love… In Your Size

Stop being fixated on the fact that you used to wear a smaller size. Ignore the labels! Instead celebrate your current body shape by dressing in clothes that make you feel confident and comfortable. You can still wear clothes that you love – just get the right size. Nothing looks more incredible than clothes that fit properly. 

Stay Active

Regular exercise is key for maintaining your health and managing weight. Find activities that you enjoy, whether it’s walking, swimming, or a dance class. Staying active isn’t just about weight loss. It’s about keeping your body strong and reducing stress.

Practice Gratitude

Get in the habit of being grateful for your body and all that it does for you. Replace the critical thoughts in your head with ones that are kind and supportive and self-love. Say goodbye to Regina George! If you wouldn’t say something to a friend, why on earth would you say it to yourself?