We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
How often do you hear people say "I never lost 8 of the pounds I put on with my first kid" ? Clearly women do not need to be menopausal or post-menopausal to gain weight. Just look around at all the fat American women.
I think it matters in life to stay trim and strong, whether pre- or post-menopausal. You can be more athletic, agile, energetic, sexy, cheerful, and able to avoid many of the physical consequences of being overweight from plantar fasciitis and arthritis to breast cancer.
Plus it makes life more fun and you can wear better clothes. Except for those blessed with the right genes (physical and psychological), most people have to take deliberate responsibility for their level of fitness and, in the modern world of sedentary ease and carb abundance, it can be a challenge if you have an impulsive rather than obsessive-compulsive personality.
Is getting fat partly a socio-cultural phenomenon? Of course, but that's a more complicated subject than I wish to take on on Mother's Day. What about the middle-aged men making themselves pudgy? That's another sad topic too, but I believe that it is part of the duty of a wife to keep her man fit for life even if she "lets herself go". An obvious risk in that, though...
Post-menopausal women do have a greater chance of gaining weight even if they have been fit and shapely beforehand. It should not be used as an excuse, but the changes in sex hormones do alter fat storage and, seemingly, metabolic rate. Why nature designed it that way is a mystery, but nature has little need for post-menopausal females. Society needs them, but Mother Nature does not.
Generally speaking, post-menopausal women need far fewer carbs and less food in general than in youth almost entirely regardless of activity level. Another change is that the physical distribution of fat (from excess carb intake) changes in unhealthy and unattractive ways (unattractive in our culture, anyway).
When I was about 17 or so I asked my mother why older women are so fat. Yes it was a rude question but I was 17. She said that women do that so they don't have to have sex so often. I was actually surprised at that answer but more and more I came to believe she was right.
One of those articles quotes women complaining to their gynecologists, "Why didn't anyone warn me I'd put on weight after menopause?" Like they've been living under a rock. "I haven't changed how I eat, it's not fair." It's like saying, I haven't changed how I live, but I'm aging, somebody feel sorry for me, I'm the first person this has ever happened to.
You're gaining maintaining, or losing. Regardless of what you'd come to believe you were "entitled" to eat every day all your life, you actually can't eat more than you need without gaining. If you need less now, then you need less now. How about checking in with reality now and then?
It may not be our "fault" that we get fat, whatever that means, but it's certainly within our control if we care about it more than we care about eating what we like when we like. If we don't, then why complain? Grownups make choices and live with consequences.
Really on mother's day this is the article you choose? How about something a little more uplifting. And as far as the"duty" of a woman to keep her spouse fit for life. Some personal responsibility falls upon each of us. Women struggle with weight all the time on mom's day give them a break.