How Do You Like Them Apples?

It happened again! Glamour magazine just called me an apple! As opposed to pear-shaped. Disclaimer: Don’t bother reading this blog if you don’t regularly get labeled some kind of fruit!

I don’t mean to compare apples to bananas but you know who you are. Always too full to eat dessert, even when it’s Molten Lava Cake? You buy bags of fun-sized Snickers in Sept, which stay intact and accounted for when actual Trick-or-Treaters knock? Upon ordering, you request waiters to wrap up half your lunch in doggy bags (and you really do have a canine at home that devours it). And you shun the ‘five seconds’ rule, throwing away the yummiest of dropped morsels even on newly waxed floors!

“Oh, I really couldn’t eat a thing,” my friend Tiffany laments when she’s upset. So how come when I get angry (after being told how to dress as an Apple, for example!) – – I eat everything in sight?? Including biting poor Tiffany’s head off?? And if I hear another busy person remark, “I just realized I forgot to eat all day long.” I’m gonna reply, “Gosh, I can relate. Last night, without a moment to spare — I became aware that my heart hadn’t remembered to beat all evening long.” Seriously? These harried individuals need to write “consume something” on their daily planners?!

Why is it that when my co-workers come down with a nasty bug, their taste buds are thrown “off” and suddenly they have no appetite? Within 48 hrs, these sick office-mates demonstrate how their jeans fall down. (They’re each receiving a belt for Christmas) Yet when I get the exact same flu, cardboard toast and plain white rice never tasted so divine! And everyone else’s prescription seems to list possible side effects like weight loss, yet I get that one persistent sinus infection requiring a steroid that makes me bloated.

Finally, how come no matter which thyroid condition (hypo or hyper) I’m diagnosed with, I never get the one with weight loss as a symptom? Listen, I know my rights! And one of these (I think it’s Hyper!) causes a sped-up metabolism!

If you can relate, are 35-55, and feel like your recent weight gain has upset your entire apple cart, the culprit may be close to home. In fact, it may be your own body — in particular your thyroid. I joked about it above, but it’s really no laughing matter. Recent studies suggest that millions suffer from undiagnosed thyroid problems. Women are particularly likely to develop thyroid issues and experience weight gain, especially in the abdomen (hello Granny Smith!) because the thyroid is linked to other systems that impact weight – – namely proper functioning of the sex hormones (estrogen, progesterone and testosterone) and the adrenal glands.

It is imperative to go to an experienced, healthy aging doctor who understands how to properly test. A whole thyroid panel (not simply TSH) must be run. If not, a patient can be deemed to have normal levels and left unfairly struggling (as a Fuji or a Gala!) with fatigue, dry hair/skin, foggy thinking, increased cholesterol, puffiness around eyes/face, memory loss, and even yikes, heart disease! But once you find someone competent that you can trust, they will be the Apple of Your Eye!

Newsflash: Swimsuits Out of Style Forever!

Ok, Ok, so that was my first 49th birthday wish, but (Thanks to Twiggy and Kate Moss!) skimpy swimsuits are still very much in style. I think there should be a special “menoclause” added to the “menolaws” when you’re over forty – – you get to have Three birthday wishes! So can this desperate Peri-menopausal woman find a “Peri-Godmother” to wave a magic wand for her 2nd wish? Because if there’s a San Diegan Prince throwing a (beach) Ball, inviting eligible maidens to attend, then I want to escape my wicked diet/evil exercise regime for just one magical night, wear a two-piece (with glass flip-flops,) and promise to come home by the stroke of midnight or before I have an actual stroke (from holding my breath while sucking in my stomach)…whichever comes first.

It’s so unfair! When you gain friends, knowledge, money, creativity, or energy – – opportunity knocks. But gain some weight (or a jean size?) and bam, Jenny Craig comes a knockin’ with Richard Simmons shrieking by her side! In fact, a recent survey reported women confessed they would rather subtract ten years off their life span than add on ten pounds! Let’s face it, in our appearance-obsessed society, weight gain is the scariest “menocausal” symptom of all!

I have a boyfriend (bless his non-muffin top heart) who (sensing that I had the “menoblahs” over my recent “menoflaws”) serenaded me under my window with that Billy Joel song, “Just the way you are.” While he earned my “menoapplause,” I still continued to resort to every trick in the book to lose my “menopudge.” First I heard drinking half my body weight in water helped shed stubborn lbs, so I became passionate about staying well hydrated. Whenever the Culligan Man or Sparklett’s Guy came near me, friends admonished, “Sheesh, get a room!”

Next I drastically banned carbs. I even cut out anything that remotely sounded like “carbs,” which meant I stopped nibbling on all those “curbs, cards and carts” between meals. Hmmm. After that it was the Cookie Diet. Really!? Perhaps Elmo and Big Bird have an eating plan too? And finally I gave the Paleo Diet a go. Gathering berries, seeds, and nuts like my ancestors went fine until one day I was so starved, I gobbled down an actual caveman. But at least he was gluten free.

Unable to make the pounds vanish, I finally decided to just make the scales disappear. Yep, tomorrow I hold a Garage Scale, err I mean, Sale. All the mechanical devises and electronic gadgets ever invented to torture vulnerable females will formally line my driveway with a sign “Everything Must Go! (before my sanity does!) and another which will read, “Best Scoffer Takes All!” Remember ladies, scales are for fish!

And my “Peri-Godmother” just granted my third wish – – because now there is, I kid you not, a new scale out there (don’t believe me? Just google it!) that WON’T tell you how much you weigh, but only whether you lose or gain each time you step on it. My boyfriend (bless his trim, in-shape brain) told me this is akin to having a doctor who WON’T tell you which disease you suffer from but only whether you’ll live or die!

Speaking of doctors, if you want to find one who WILL give you some straight-up answers over the confusion that women our age experience, including explanations for this seemingly unexplainable weight gain (and a myriad of other symptoms) then you need to ask your girlfriends for a referral to a really compassionate alternate health care practitioner because out there somewhere is your own “Peri-Godmother” who will not only grant you three wishes, but will turn an ordinary pumpkin into zero calorie pumpkin pie!