If you don't want to hear anything about weight or eating less, maybe skip this one.
That last conversation had me thinking about how I approach weight myself. I'm definitely no longer having those moments of panic where I want to start calorie counting, or eliminate some food, or start some crazy exercise plan. Usually, what happens is my jeans will start getting tight or the scale will start creeping up. I'll think, hmmm, what changed? Perhaps I've been stress eating at work, or eating a third of my food intake as candy, or getting too hungry in the afternoon and then really eating a lot at night. Usually, if I think about it for a second, I know what the issue is. Once I bring a little awareness to it, I can gently adjust by managing stress in other ways, buying more foods I'm excited about eating (so I don't fill the "I don't know what to eat" gap with Hershey's and Lindor), or making time for a better lunch so I don't hit the evening hours overly hungry. If I can't identify an obvious pattern that isn't working for me, I can still make some easy adjustments like eating one candy bar instead of two, or half the avocado instead of a whole one. There's still no diet, no rules, no deprivation. I'm still eating for maximum satisfaction, I'm just not eating well past satisfied, or eating in a mindless blur, or eating out of line with my own values because I'm rushed, or stressed, or not paying attention.
I thought I would get specific about that, because it's not magic or luck. It really is just awareness, KIND awareness. It's not a hunger and fullness diet, or serving myself sad little portions. Even if my weight is up or my pants feel snug, I still eat what I like. I still eat until completely satisfied. I just maybe don't need all four of those. Or maybe I need more of something else. If I adjust a couple of things and carry on enjoying my food, weight will eventually trend back down. It can't be about what I "should" eat, and then rebelling against that. I eat for how I want to feel. Tiny or skipped lunches tend to lead to very big dinners plus dessert plus snacks, for me anyway. I get very hungry and it's like a snowball effect where the snowball is rolling downhill picking up speed and food as it goes.
I do feel like I have slightly less margin for error in menopause. If I pay zero attention to what or how much I eat, whether I'm full, if I'm actually hungry, that all shows up on my lower abs in no time. Where maybe it used to go to my biceps, or my fidgeting, or my hips and thighs, now it's belly, and really quickly. But like I said, I'll notice, make a couple small adjustments, and gradually lean back out with no rules or nutrition software.