It seems that life is all about trade-offs. You just can’t have things both ways. For most matters, we’re pretty used to these trade-offs. We know we can either spend our money or save our money. We trade freedom for companionship when we enter into a romantic partnership. We accept that we have to forfeit sweet treats if we want to maintain our girly figures. These trade-offs make sense to us even though we don’t necessarily like them.
Menopause entails trade-offs, too. There are all sorts of options for which there are advantages and disadvantages. And, typically, the advantages of one are the disadvantages of another.
But one of the most frustrating trade-offs during menopause is fat. Well, not just the presence of fat, but rather it’s location. And, for most women, it boils down to a trade-off between face fat and belly fat.
Menopause is all about shifting fat.
In some ways, it’s no different than any other hormonal phase of your life. Puberty involves changes in your fat, most notably, gaining it anew. Pregnancy, too. All sorts of things get fatter when you’re pregnant. And menopause creates another instance in which shocking fat shifts occur.
But there’s one that just doesn’t make sense. It’s the shifting of fat from your face to your belly.
Before menopause, your face is full, round, and plump in all the right places to give you a smooth, expressive, soft appearance. And your belly is flat, firm, and naturally hourglass shaped.
But, at menopause they both change. And it’s as if they can no longer co-exist. You can have one or the other, but not both.
With the shifts of fat at menopause, most women notice a loss of face fat. The nice, smooth contours give way to a loss of collagen … which makes your face hollow. And since your skin now has less volume beneath it, it starts to sag. The sagging skin makes you look old. And this is without even acknowledging the wrinkling that accompanies this undesirable look.
But at the same time you’re losing that plump, fullness in your face, … you gain it in your belly!
Your hourglass waistline turns into a box. With time, it begins to look like an apple: Pudgy, bulgy, with rolls of fat that cause your skin to stretch.
So you end up with less face fat and more belly fat. It’s a trade-off.
We all hate both of these changes, so we seek to fix them and restore them to their pre-menopausal state. But what we discover is that doing so is a trade-off too. It becomes an issue of face fat or belly fat.
If you lose enough fat to be satisfied with your belly, your face looks absolutely skeletal. And the more skeletal it looks, the more your skin sags and the older you look.
And if you gain enough fat to fill out your face to its former contour, your belly is absolutely huge!
It’s as if Mother Nature has issued you an ultimatum. Face fat or belly fat; that is the question. You have to pick one or the other, and you can’t have both!
You can immediately spot the women who have chosen face fat. They waddle around with beautiful smiles on their perfectly-contoured faces … but they have long ago forfeited any hope of maintaining their figures.
Those who have chosen belly fat are scrawny, wiry, frail, creatures with boney faces covered with sagging skin.
Looking in the mirror is painful for either.
While most trade-offs make sense, this one does not. It’s a cruel trick of nature. No woman should have to choose between face fat and belly fat.
I mean, the two areas encompass completely different parts of our bodies. They aren’t even nearby one another. And, faces are a lot smaller that bellies. How did they become linked in this fat trade-off?
It would have made sense to trade off face fat for neck fat. Or belly fat for butt fat. But face fat versus belly fat? That’s just … well, unjust!
Maybe it is intended to be some sort of consolation. If your face looks freakishly thin, at least you can have a nice belly. And if your belly is fat, at least your face is pretty.
The problem is that we all want both. Face fat versus belly fat isn’t a question. It’s a curse.