The number one complaint for menopausal women is weight gain. With a combination of hormones, genetics and metabolism, increased belly fat can be one of the main symptoms. Our bodies transform from svelte, athletic shapes to curvy, Rubenesque, voluptuous figures. This can have a devastating emotional impact on many women.
The result? We start hiding. We hide our bodies in big, loose, baggy clothing. We restrict ourselves from doing the things we love, such as swimming or lazing by the pool on a sunny day. We deny ourselves pleasure because of shame about our body.
Luckily there has been a quiet revolution going on in fashion for the fuller woman. The recognition that clothes should be for all sizes is becoming more acknowledged. This means that companies such as Beachbelle are launching size-inclusive collections. The menopausal woman with weight gain, now has access to gorgeous costumes for the pool and beach.
So, how can we create a revolution within ourselves about our body image? What if we embraced our evolving body? What if we put our pleasure first, beyond the judgement of others? Here are three simple steps to help you back into that swimming costume, delight being in water again, or feel the sun on your hips.
- Mindfulness – part of our fears come from being judged by others. Mindfulness is a great tool for taking us within, communing with our soul, connecting with our heart. Staying within, rather than focusing outwards, can take us into that place of power. Imagine yourself striding down to that swimming pool or gliding through the water. Take a moment to feel your body caressed by the water and kissed by the sun. No more denying but instead embracing from within.
- Reflections – take some time to find the perfect swimwear to fit your body. Look for a brand that is body-inclusive, no longer excluding but welcoming you into the world of sexy, flattering costumes. Once kitted out, spend some time observing yourself in a mirror, see how it curves around your breasts, your soft belly, your beautiful hips. No focusing on the flaws, instead welcome the freedom this costume brings to you.
- Gratitude – psychology research has found that gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships. Take some time to be grateful. Identify how your new bathing costume is helping you to get fitter, stay stronger, and bring pleasure to your life. Acknowledge how the menopause brings with it a new wisdom and experience of life. Give thanks for your courage to step out in your new costume.
The menopause does not mean that we have to go into hiding. Beachbelle, offers you the perfect fit regardless of body shape, helping you embrace the things that bring you pleasure in life.
About the Author
Siobhan Riordan qualified as a Psychosexual & Relationship Counsellor in the early 1990s. She has been coaching and mentoring for decades and is founder of the first postgraduate programme in Women’s Leadership in the UK. Her counselling service, Soulutions, offers an alternative coaching service for executives, and an advisory for leaders looking in different places for new strategy.
She can be contacted at