Drew Barrymore on body acceptance: ‘I have stood in my closet and just cried’

So many people have been speaking out about struggling to accept their bodies as they are, in part because of awful comments from thoughtless or awful people, and because of the pressure that they’ve put on themselves to look a certain way. Drew Barrymore is the latest mom to share her story of body acceptance and to offer words of encouragement to others. She wrote a lengthy note on Instagram and included two photos side-by-side: A paparazzi shot of her while she was pregnant, dressed in yoga pants and a tank top, hair pulled back in a ponytail and walking outside. In the other, she’s sitting in a director’s chair, wearing a red dress and heels, clearly made up and ready to be photographed. Those are above and here’s Drew’s caption.

I go up and I go down. The rollercoaster of my body is a challenging, but beautiful ride. I made two kids. The single most important purpose for me being on this planet is for them! It is a true miracle I was able to have these two girls. So whatever the aftermath on my body, well bring it on! That said, there have been times i have stood in my closet and just cried. Hated getting dressed. Didn’t feel good! It takes so much for me to look decent. I have to eat just right and Work my ass off! I cannot fight the fact that I have the propensity to be the Pillsbury dough boy! (Now all I can think about is crescent rolls) So DON’T Be fooled by what you see when people are thin right after baby. Don’t compare yourself to the magazines and the red carpets. If I looked decent on anything I have done since I had my two kids, I have clawed my way there. You can too! However, it is hard to sustain and can take a lot of the joy out of life with food. But not anymore. NOW I have found that elusive B called BALANCE. 45! It only took 45 years to find myself. Right where I am supposed to be.

And it’s not perfect. But it’s me. And most importantly, I want to share it with you. Ps this is the power of @marniealton, she’s the one who helped me be @santaclaritadiet ready!

[From Instagram]

Drew mentions a woman named Marnie Alton, and credits Marnie with helping her look “Santa Clarita-ready.” People clarifies that Marnie is a personal trainer. I like that Drew is one of those people who demystifies celebrity beauty, reminding us that so much of it is down to personal trainers and a great, as Tori Amos would say, “glam squad.”

Drew is directing her story to mothers, and telling them not to be fooled by celebrity moms who have quickly lost weight and look gorgeous so soon after having giving birth. Her comments are, of course, helpful for anyone who might need to hear them. I like that she stresses the importance of finding balance in her life, which includes enjoying food that she loves. I appreciate that she says that it’s taken her 45 years to get to a place where she can more easily find balance. I’m a few years younger than she is, but lately I’ve been thinking about the importance of finding calm, (and balance would help), so it’s nice to be reminded that it isn’t something that happens overnight. There have been periods of time when I think I’ve achieved something close, and then chaos erupts. I have also spent time standing frustrated in my closet, occasionally in tears, because I can’t figure out what to wear that will make me feel comfortable and confident. I’ve always liked Drew. I skipped Santa Clarita Diet because I’m not into blood/horror/zombie shows, but I’m looking forward to whatever she does next.

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Drew Barrymore arrives at the Z100 Jingle Ball

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52 Responses to “Drew Barrymore on body acceptance: ‘I have stood in my closet and just cried’”

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  1. brinibini says:

    Santa Clarita Diet was AMAZING! The jokes were really something else. I enjoyed the show and was sad that it got cancelled.

    • CommentingBunny says:

      Me too! Hilarious. She was terrific in it. The whole cast was great. I wish they’d gotten a final season … I *need* to know what happened with Joel and Mr Ball Legs!!

    • JanetDR says:

      There are just brief bits of gore, mostly it is wonderfully funny! I love all of the characters.

    • lucy2 says:

      It really was! I’m so sad it was cancelled too. It really was unique and funny.
      I generally hate zombie stuff, I find it really gross and couldn’t even watch commercials for the Walking Dead, but I loved Santa Clarita, despite the occasional icky moment.

    • K says:

      The first season at times was odd, and Drew was not acting to the best of her ability. But the second season got much better (even down to wardrobe and makeup suddenly being more flattering because they must have hired different crew)… only for it to be canceled. Boo.

  2. Scollins says:

    Drew should blast Drew Barry by Bryce Vine as she peruses her wardrobe. It would cheer me right up. “Ain’t nowhere I’d rather be right between your holidays” lololol.

  3. Mellie says:

    I too have stood in my closet and cried….it stinks when you have nothing that you can wear that makes you feel good about yourself. It’s so hard being a woman sometimes. I might wake up one day and literally weigh 5lbs more than the day before and it’s not because I ate a refrigerator full of food, it’s just called being almost 50 years old. It’s a struggle. I work out nearly every day, sometimes two times a day, I eat fairly decent and still just feel like a blob most days.

    • Some chick says:

      Yeah… I’m thinking the issue might be more about impossible standards for women than any of us being particularly bloblike.

      How much of myself must I erase to be socially acceptable?

      We deserve to take up space.

      And we do not need to look like hair&makeup&diet&bandage dress photoready to be beautiful.

      I’ve been scary skinny (health issues). Someone always has to compliment me on how “good” I look. Even tho it is because I feel awful. IME, most folks prefer squeezing someone with some meat on their bones. Don’t get me wrong. I have had devoted lovers at all sizes. But I’ve come to believe that the worship of the super slender really isn’t healthy.

      One of the dudes I dated was into the fact that he could pick me up (and probably break me in half). That was hot for him but it creeped me out.

      I’m done chasing that dragon. Now I am here to take up space and roar!

      • Cobra says:

        exactly. i got super skinny 2 years ago due to health reasons. It was so scary seeing the weight go down in an alarming rate. But people (to be fair, they dint know) were complimenting me all the time. I wanted to scream ‘I am not well and something is wrong’. But it hurts that my Husband was admiring my slim body as well , more than worrying about the reasons. Turned out it was a parasite, after antibiotics I got better and the weight came back. But boy, it came back with a vengeance. Now I am at my highest and trying to reduce a little bit. Never ends. I am very lazy and a foodie though, so cant blame everything on age and society :)

      • Some chick says:


        I’m glad to hear you recovered! Back in the ’70s they actually sold capsules with parasites in them as diet pills! They were SUPER EFFECTIVE. (But, yeah.)

        TBH I think that the concept of the “sample size” has been so damaging. If you actually want to make money in the rag trade, instead of competing with Gucci and those horrible D&G dudes, just *make clothes that fit actual women.* It isn’t even that hard!

        It’s just that what has been sold to us as glamorous (and what is convenient for designers – if they only ever produce the “sample” in tiny sizes they will save money on fabric – yes, RLY) has utterly influenced everything.

        BITD, they used to design a sample size of 8 or 10. (OMG THE HORRORS!!!) Then they graded up and down from that.

        Now, no one makes a sample above 4. (IF that!)

        Actual average size of American women is a 10 or 12. (FU, The Who, and ALSO Lenny Kravitz! Because that is a super misogynist song and you suck for playing it!)

        Soooo… most everything has fit issues unless you go for plus sizes, which have issues as well. Like sequins being on everything! LOL.

    • Mellie says:

      True….even though SOME companies/advertisers are trying to change, women have higher standards that they feel like they have to uphold than men. It’s just a fact. There is a picture somewhere on the internet (haha) of a strong female, beautiful gal, doing a plank, and she’s had three kids and her stomach is just hanging…that’s how my stomach looks and it’s hard to realize that it’s probably always going to look like that no matter how much working out I do (unless I have surgery, which is not going to happen, I have college age kids to support right now and yuck, I don’t wanna go through that). I seriously need to get over it and be happy with me. It’s hard!

    • CC says:

      oh my god. It’s not just women that have to struggle with self-image.

  4. Mrs. Darcy says:

    I mean…she still is promoting body “acceptance” within the narrow parameters of her being at a certain size due to a lot of exercise and probably very organized for her nutrition. It just feels like co-opting body positivity, again, into the mainstream of what is still diet culture. That’s not truly body acceptance. “It’s not ok to hate myself when I am heavier but also now I have to get in shape again” is not really the end game of true self acceptance imo. Call me when a non- skinny celebrity says it’s ok not to spend your life restricting calories/on a diet. I do relate to her weight struggles but it seems like she is just gearing up to sell us another “not a diet” diet.

    • Wilma says:

      Yup, she still telling us that we should do the work, just being realistic about it being hard work. I just read some articles on discovering your natural weight where the author said that if you’re at a weight you have to work really hard at to maintain, you should accept that your body is not supposed to be that weight

      • Mrs. Darcy says:

        Right, also it’s not realistic for over 90 percent of people to maintain weight lost on diets/calorie restricting. It’s a failed experiment that has kept us on a hamster wheel for the past century. It’s possible to be healthy and active and not be thin. Some bodies are not built to be smaller, yes there are things we can do to try to increase our health but staying the same size our whole lives is simply not achievable for most people no matter how hard they try. I spent most of my 30s on diets and just weight cycled up. I’m out of all of it, I am all about intuitive eating and I joined a gym last year and feel a million times better not fixating on a scale. And I have actually lost weight according to a recent doctor’s visit (I don’t track my weight and don’t want to know it but I did find that…interesting.).

    • Slowsnow says:

      Yup @mrsDarcy (love your handle). So sick of platitudes emanating from the need to shill a shake or a personal trainer. Or oneself.

    • Mrs.Krabapple says:

      On the one hand, I’m glad she’s speaking out that the “immediately return to size 0″ is fantasy. But, she has had plastic surgery in the past. I would like her to own up to that and address it as part of her “body acceptance” issue.

  5. BAddie says:

    I stand in my room and cry because my closet is so small. If I decide to walk into my little closet and cry that will really be my rock bottom! 😂 I’m easily stride tracked but it understand where she is coming from. I refuse to go shopping in stores because trying on the obviously mislabeled clothes is anxiety inducing!

  6. smcollins says:

    I turned 45 a few weeks ago and it’s amazing, looking back, how much time I spent (wasted) in my 20’s-early 30’s stressing about my weight. The unhealthy things I did (chugging Red Bull and smoking to curb my appetite, just to name a couple) just for the sake of being thin/skinny seems insane to me now. I also had my 2 kids later in life, at 38 & 41, so the whole “bounce back” post pregnancy never happened (I’m still a good 20 lbs heavier than I was before my first pregnancy). Now, truth be told, I don’t work out but I do eat relatively healthy so of course I could be more physically fit if I wanted to be, but I’ve instead decided to accept my body the way it is naturally. At least most days. Do I sometimes look in the mirror and think “damn, I need to lose some weight” and want to cry like Drew? Of course I do, I’m still human with insecurities, but I’ve found as I get older it’s not as big of a deal (to me) as I used to make it. I’m sure I’d feel differently, though, if I were a celebrity in the public eye continuously being judged and compared to my young/thinner self, being held to higher standard when it comes to aging & body acceptance. Although as a woman I can definitely feel the double standard society places on us compared to men when it comes to….pretty much everything.

    • Veruca_Salty says:

      Everything you said, it’s basically me lol. With the exception of a few minor differences! I had my son at 35 and 5 years later, I am still carrying an extra 20 pounds. Even though I look pretty slender (5’5 144 lbs), in my head, I’m still “overweight”. I’ve been 120-125 All my life but I’ve slowly started to accept that this is my normal, resting body at almost 40 years old. Not gonna lie, I still find myself comparing myself to other Moms my age that have multiple kids and are all rail thin. Doesn’t help that I live in SoCal and in an area that is literally OC Housewives territory.

  7. Kate says:

    SC Diet was SO funny! The character building was great too, I cannot comprehend why they stopped making it unless Drew chose to focus on other projects.

  8. Kendeezy says:

    As a former ballerina I struggle with with my weight constantly. But I also look back (especially at 90′s TV) and can tell that the extreme weight loss of actresses are due to bulimia and anorexia. You can see it in their face and teeth.

  9. sue denim says:

    Just here to say, hopefully to help others, that I think excess weight may be related to trauma. And I think these past few years we know there’s a lot more of that women have had to endure in this culture than we fully understood… So, at least in my case I’d been carrying about 10-15 extra pounds (I’m v petite so that’s a lot for me) for years, and thought it was just due to getting older. But since last summer, after some meditation and self-hypnosis from various meditation apps, mainly to deal w anxiety in these crazy times, I realized the extra weight went back to some earlier trauma. When I began healing from that, the weight just fell off and has stayed off. Mainly because I was eating too much too fast before. And now eat more slowly, calmly, and stop before I’m too full. I eat what I want but less of it, not as a diet but just attuned to my body. Anyway, that’s been my journey, hope it helps…

    • stormsmama says:

      I completely agree

      Drew is talking about self ;love and finding that through lots of work and exercise and yoga,
      but she’s not promoting some “ideal” as stated above. She’s promoting wellness.
      And wellness goes with longevity…so the key is to love yourself, take care of yourself, challenge yourself and grow, and live a long healthy life so you can raise your kids, work or whatever

      Many people are so numb to their own bodies…

      Dwayne Wades kid Zara talking about looking yourself in the mirror and saying HI and knowing yourself
      was so mature and so beautiful and something many adults can’t do.
      LOOK at yourself and LOVE yourself.
      I think trauma- whether sexual abuse, physical abuse, drugs, alcohol, poverty, injustice, you name it- it can all take its toll on our bodies— on what we see in ourselves- and how we love ourselves.

      • sue denim says:

        yes, thanks stormsmama, and just to add…trauma can come in many forms, mine was quite mild, more oblique emotional stuff than anything overt, so v mild compared w what so many have had to deal with, but it still sat in my body. Your body only knows what it knows, not in comparison to what others have dealt with…so I suspect many of us walking around as women in this world carry more trauma than we realize… and so the numbness and chronic confusion and anxiety keep us disconnected from our bodies and what they’re telling us on so many levels, these are the things we need to break through and honor ourselves for what we do know…

    • Elisa says:

      hey sue denim, which meditation apps can you recommend?
      Your comment reminds me of a former boss of mine who was a bit overweight: she had to frequently deal with tough sh** at work and she said her extra-weight protects her. At that time it sounded weird but today it kind of makes sense.

      • sue denim says:

        yes! I had an awful, verbally abusive boss for a few years and it was traumatic too, not the trauma I mentioned but come to think of it, prob in there as well. For a recommendation — I love the mindful movement guided meditations, inc one on weight management that’s a light hypnosis. She has a v sweet soothing voice and I think the meditations are beautifully done. They’re free youtube videos so not actually an app, and I don’t watch them, I lie down, close my eyes, and listen to the guided meditations. I also go to sleep to them now. It’s been truly life-changing.

      • Elisa says:

        I found it, it’s the healthy weight hypnosis, right? Will check it out tonite, TY! :*

  10. Noodle says:

    I guess I would be more likely to take credence in what she says if her “after” photo wasn’t so clearly shopped and tuned.

    • Jules says:

      lol I know right? The message seems to be, look how you can look after 8 hours of hair and makeup and photoshop.

  11. Lindy says:

    I’m 43, and had my two kids at ages 32 and 41. My youngest is turning 2 in April and I’m carrying SO much extra weight, still. I blame aging, plus a really difficult and intense 18 months of PPD after having my second. (I also changed jobs and added a commute and just felt exhausted and overwhelmed all the time). I’m finally coming out of that period of time, and looking around at my eating habits, fitness levels, and appearance and just feeling so down on myself.

    I’m trying to do what Drew says: find time to put in the work, stay focused on the things I love about myself, and have some patience for my body, which isn’t as resilient as it was 15 years ago. Even a small injury from running can really set me back these days.

    One thing I would love to hear other CBers in this age range talk about: I’m sort of feeling just this loss of *something* I can’t quite put my finger on. And I think it has to do with realizing that I’m moving into that “invisible older woman” stage of life, where I’m no longer an object of desire for men (except my husband, who always makes me feel good about myself and my body). Part of me is thrilled to move into that phase — what freedom!! And part of me feels a little sad. I spent most of my younger years being culturally conditioned to think that my appearance was the most important thing about me, and that being hot and fit and desirable was what gave me meaning as a woman. Even though I KNOW that’s not true, that cultural programming is hard to escape.

    So yeah, I’m finding mid-40s to be a weird place.

    • sue denim says:

      hey Lindy, kind of related to my comments above, but I would say try to reclaim your body for you. I’m not a mother but I wonder if motherhood has also changed your connection to your body… our bodies are too often first for men then for babies, we get that message over and over and over again throughout our lives… But our bodies at whatever size are amazing for all they do for us all day long, keeping us alive and able to be our best selves. I’m older and in that invisible phase, but I’ve learned to celebrate that and find it now so so so freeing, living from the inside out rather than the outside in. It’s so empowering actually. Try to find something, some new passion or interest or space that’s just for you. Also try meditating to reconnect w yourself. Anyway, good luck, and all best.

      • Lindy says:

        I love the idea of reclaiming my body for myself! I think I had this very brief period in my mid-30s, coming out of a brutal divorce and before I met my now husband, when I let myself do that. I got married so young the first time — I had exactly zero clue how to make peace with my body or feel at home in my own skin.

        While I love my husband (and he really is my biggest cheerleader), I think having kid number 2 (and breastfeeding struggles) kind of pushed me back into that place where my body and my experience is secondary.

        I used to LOVE running — that was the one thing that got me out of my head, made me feel free and happy, gave me a chance to just be with myself and my body for a little while every day. But a series of injuries and surgeries have made that pretty unlikely as a go-to.

        I’m trying to figure out what I want to do instead.

        I would be so curious to know what kinds of things are on that list for you (and other CBers) — what are the things that spark your passion or give you a connection with your body, or help you remember the things you love about yourself?

        And also — how on earth do y’all make time for it? (Biggest challenge for me).

    • Snowslow says:

      I read in different places something quite harsh but that helped a lot: after 40 women should not drink alcohol and should not have – or reduce – sugar intake and fat intake. Drastically. There is not way around it. So, much to my annoyance – I started the much talked about intermittent fasting and it helped. A lot. Not just really for my exterior, it was really more about the feeling of being bloated, not digesting, water retention, fatigue, mood swings etc. IAnd bam. Super good.
      I also went back to my true passion, research, and started a PhD (with funding) in. order to publish and do more research later. I find myself coping much better with getting older than my husband who did no self-evaluation and set no goals for himself. It still gets hard sometimes, especially the feeling of being too old to achieve some academic goals, but I feel generally lighter and happier.
      I hope this helps in some way. I just meant by all of this that being invisible really depends on anxiety about one’s role in life, I found. About meaning.
      Also meant to say that it sounds like you have an awesome husband who loves you and supports you.

      • Lindy says:

        First, Snowslow, let me just say, that’s so badass to start your PhD (with funding, too!) and set those goals for yourself. That is no small thing! I got my PhD in my late 20s, and actually landed a tenure-track position at a top-20 ranked R1. And it was so brutal. Much of that had to do with my then-failing marriage, and with the university I was at (soooooo much toxic awfulness, in a climate that was basically winter all the time).

        I eventually left academia (walking away from that t-t job was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done and I still sometimes wonder if it was the right decision). I now work in tech, doing things that are not very intellectually fulfilling but which enable us to travel, have some flexibility for family life, and generally live pretty well. The transition was hard, and I feel lucky to have made it.

        I try to pay forward the help I got moving out of academia by helping other PhDs looking to leave with resume help, interview coaching etc. I’ve even spoken on some panels at various universities on transitioning from academia to tech.

        All of which is probably TMI, but also to say that I admire you for jumping into your PhD, and I think doing it later in life may indeed have its challenges, but probably also makes you a much better candidate, with more focus, and more of a real idea what you want to get out of it. So awesome!

        Also, yes yes yes! I hear you on this. When I was going through my divorce about 8 years ago, I lost a ton of weight (and hair) from the stress. It wasn’t ideal. When I started to get to the other side, I had to relearn how to eat, and I found that eating a lot of sugar, refined carbs, alcohol, and caffeine made me bloated, made me prone to bad headaches, and seemed to make my post-run recovery much harder, so I cut most of that out. For years I ate that way, and I think it helped me stay healthy and kept my energy in a place where I could keep all the balls in the air as a working single mom.

        After meeting my now-husband, I think I got a bit lazy and fat and happy. Which is honestly really lovely. He absolutely does make me feel amazing no matter how I might feel about myself.

      • sue denim says:

        sounds like wonderful changes snowslow, v inspiring!

        For me, to Lindy’s q, I’ve taken up ballet! I don’t think I would have had the courage to do it when I was younger, because it doesn’t come naturally and getting out into center where everyone can see you is scary, but I do it now, and with great joy and gusto if not exactly finesse, because I love it. You literally get to claim and fill space w ballet too, which has been incredibly fun, liberating, empowering. Doing something that’s scary for good reasons, by that I mean something you want to do but are afraid of failing at or looking silly, not something literally dangerous just maybe a danger to the ego (haha), also really builds confidence. It’s helped me in so many other areas of my life too.

        I mean, that’s been my joy, but I’d say listen to the whispers, what’s calling to you to try, listen before dismissing… Maybe even running again but modified to not get injured again… And maybe a return to academia or something more fulfilling but more on your own terms now. Like maybe not an R1 type place… I think it’ll be exciting to see where this all takes you!

      • Snowslow says:

        @Lindy, thanks! Blushing! from what you say you seem to have made a right choice. Academia toxicity can be hell on earth. It’s a very small environment. I was very lucky with the supervisors I got and the staff in general. You are right. Being my age actually helps as I am there for the research itself (in order to publish) and not really as an unexperienced student. I have a job and a stable life outside of it.
        It seems you have gone through a lot and found a really good place for yourself with a loving family and partner. Enjoy, really. I let go of the idea of being sexy for others and find myself surprised when and if someone looks approvingly at me in the street. For my PhD I went on a 3 month research trip and forgot about my exterior bc I was immersed in study: invisibility by unawareness. It was sooooo freeing… Thanks so much. I loved this perhaps TMI exchange but so nice.

      • anony7 says:

        Snowslow, thank you for sharing. Just curious, was your funding from the university or from a program outside the university?
        The 3 month research trip and the immersion sounds great.

      • victor-i-am first time post. I started reworking on my undergrad in my 40′s (part-time), completed age 50, started graduate studies and received masters age 56. I have worked steadily ever since, both full time and now, age 70, freelance. so glad I committed to the path as it has brought me such joy.

      • Snowslow says:

        @anony7 I’m in the UK where there are government funded fellowships and bursaries, but you can also seek private funding (mostly at post-doctoral level though). I got a small funding from my university and then from a consortium. But I suppose it also depends on what field you are working. Mine is art history/art theory.

  12. Happy_fat_mama says:

    I became much bigger than I had ever been before when I became a mother. I had a very big round belly for a couple years after my child was born, and during that time a few neighbours asked if I was pregnant again. i replied in a very matter of fact tone, “No, I’m fat.” The neighbours seemed to react with embarrassment.

    To feel better about the changes in my body I read CB posts like these and the comments, because it helps me to understand that I am not alone in feeling body shame. I also put together a small capsule wardrobe of moderately priced clothes that fit, and that I enjoy wearing.

    I find that taking care of my health helps me to feel less shame. (I eat as much as I want when I am hungry, I eat healthfully most of the time, do moderate exercise on the days when I can, aim for 7 hours of sleep, i don’t drink or smoke, I go to a doctor when necessary – I am lucky that Canada has universal public health care).

    With a healthy lifestyle I am slowly shrinking – at a glacial pace really – even if I ever get back to the size that I was before pregnancy, I will be fat for years. So look out world, I am taking up space!!

    • pineapple says:

      “So look out world, I am taking up space!!” … what if we thought about it like this??? I love this idea.

      I think people put way to little emphasis on truly being happy. I have one very tiny friend who says she is “hungry all the time.” But being tiny and hungry is more important than being overweight at all. I am not sure that sits well with me.

      I honestly love the freeing feeling of getting older. The “forget this” attitude. Obsessing over your looks is very teenager to me. I get dressed, use make-up … but I don’t stress and i don’t like to be around humans who do.

  13. Michelle says:

    I have stood in my closet and cried many times. I am 51 and going through that ‘change’ so despite my best abilities of eating like a bird and working out like an Olympian the weight gain has hit. I’m too self conscious now to wear fitted clothing because of my expanded mid section and I don’t want anything around my neck because when a hot flash hits you want to get as cool as possible and as fast as possible. No one talks about these changes nor do they prepare you for them and I am here to say it SUCKS!! I have always prided myself in looking good every day and on some days it is really a struggle when you feel ugly, bloated and hot. I see why so many women give up on trying to look their best and reach for the sweatpants and hair scrunchy.

    • Snowslow says:

      In anticipation of this my daughter gave me a book called Flash Count Diary that I loved – although I am not there yet – in menopause I mean. It is very freeing and compassionate at the same time.
      Hang in there!

    • (TheOG) jan90067 says:

      About 20 yrs. ago, before I went through menopause (I’m 63 now, went through it 10 yrs ago), I went with a bunch of friends to see “Menopause, the Musical”. It was HYSTERICALLY funny…then lol. No, seriously, it went all in about hot flashes, weight gain, hormonal swings… and while I literally laughed til I almost wet myself, I *truly* didn’t get it until I went through it all. And I have to tell you, it’s NEVER over. I still get hot flashes (though much less frequently), and even though I’m the lowest weight I’ve been since my 30s, (yet my waist/mid-section expanded 3 1/2″ in menopause (!!), and keeping the weight off is a DAILY struggle, even with conscious, healthy eating (and cutting down on carbs (even complex carbs and whole grain products).

      I would *love* to lose the last 15-20 lbs. I set for myself (and that is *still* not near the weight that would make me “thin”. I’d say I’m “average”, but at 5’1″ and size 12 now, it’d probably just make me feel better, mentally/health-wise. But I’m lazy, I do love the occasional gastric “splurge”, and I just won’t give up my nightly glass of a delicious cabernet lol. Trade-offs! lol

  14. Lindy says:

    Y’all, just want to say how much I love this thread. You are all such smart and thoughtful conversation partners. Thanks to CB and crew for letting these exchanges take place here :-)

  15. dawnchild says:

    I love the community here too! I’ve learnt so much. Thank you for the guided mindful movement tip. I’m definitely doing that!
    For those with hot flashes…I don’t know if this is helpful, but try veganism for a bit. The healthy version, with little refined sugars including white flour (which is basically sugar). I’ve had little to no hot flashes, and I learnt this tip from a very smart Aussie lady! I don’t know if the good result is genetic or diet-related, but fwiw I’m 95% vegan. Sugar is my downfall though!
    Oh and alcohol is bad for women…anything over 2 drinks a week raises cancer risk. They don’t tell you that, but breast cancer researchers all know.

  16. TOK says:

    I’m a little bit of an outlier here in that I didn’t have kids, but I have some perspective to share regardless. I’m built short and stocky, and spent my teens and twenties wistfully wishing I was thin and willowy. In my early 40s, I embarked on an intense effort to counteract a metabolic slow down. I did the low carb/low calorie thing, cut out grains and dairy and all alcohol and sweets, and added 5x a week HITT training to my regular running routine. (This is how you know I don’t have kids; I had time to work out a lot!) I’m just 5-2, so the 15lbs I lost over a 6-month period really showed. I bought my first-ever clothing in size 2. I bought a two-piece bathing suit. And you know what? Being thin and “looking fit” didn’t change a goddamn thing in my life that mattered. It didn’t change any opinion about me that anyone who mattered to me had. It didn’t give me the golden life of willowy 22-year-old. It did interfere with my sleep, cause me to lose my period for a year, give me a drawn appearance, and make my hair thin at the temples. After about a year, I realized I was suffering for NO REASON and moderated everything. I’m back to the stocky medium size I’ve been most of my life, which we women are conditioned to think is “too big.” I’ll turn 50 this year, and my neck is kinda crepey, and my face is starting to slide southward, and I’m fully in the invisible middle age bracket, but I feel GOOD in my body and take care of it and feed it well. Age comes for us all, if we’re lucky. And if we’re really lucky, we’ll realize sooner rather than later that our worth has NOTHING to do with how our bodies look. Rock on, sisters.

    • Lindy says:

      Age comes for us all if we’re lucky—I love this so much and will put it in writing on my bathroom mirror so I can be reminded every day of how lucky I am to still be alive and kicking:-)

  17. Jaded says:

    I’m 67, a breast cancer survivor, I eat a very healthy diet and exercise HARD 4-5 days a week. I weigh about 15 lbs more than I did when I was in my thirties but I don’t give a crap. I wake up every day to a great, supportive partner, I’m thankful to the medical folks who got me through several surgeries and a lengthy recovery, and most of all I’m not the least bit worried that I have scars, a spare tire and cellulite. Life is good if you give up all that body shame and just friggin’ enjoy yourself.

  18. Kathy Kack says:

    This would impress me more if she wasn’t shilling a product. It comes across as tacky IMO.

  19. JustMe says:

    I just turned 51 and started a whole new career. I am exhausted all the time as I get maybe 3 -4 hours of sleep a night. Menopause hasn’t hit yet but the midsection weight gain sure has. In the summer I’m active rambling many kmS on my shore walks but I LOATHE winter so I don’t go out much. I lost 30 lbs a few years back from stress of partner being undiagnosed bipolar and it was crazy. Now I feel huge at 5 ft 3 inches and short waisted with big boobs (think Jessica Simpson). I’m now 10 lbs from where I was at my heaviest and while I don’t “look” that heavy it depresses me – so I snack to feel better and I smoke weed for chronic pain so munchies.

    But for sure social media makes it so much worse when everywhere you look are gimmicks for magical weight loss and pictures of slim celebs everywhere ( and can someone please explain how the HELL Kardashians fit into vintage dresses made for 5 ft 10 in 120 lb models????)

    I think as women we are trained from young ages to compete to be thin with unobtainable images and that needs to stop. Do I LOVE the body i have now? Not really but I didnt love it at 120lbs either.

    It’s not the bodyweight we carry that makes us unhappy – it’s the weight of carrying society’s unrealistic ideals.