Menopause and weight gain – they go together like ham and eggs, like biscuits and gravy, like pecan and pie, like…well you get the drift. As mentioned in a previous blog entry, the Venuses collectively have tried almost every diet publicized, seen on TV, created and passed on through word of mouth. They all worked – for a little while. And then our midlife bodies, in their infinite wisdom, figure out how to conserve calories in ingenious new ways.

I think I mentioned that most of us menopausal goddesses have at least two wardrobes, separated not into winter and summer, but into thin and fat. And we’d alternate between them as needed. Just lately though, Theresa-Venus and I noticed a disturbing new trend – our "fat" clothing was tightening. Alarmed at this development, we had a confab (over pie or some such dessert, of course) and settled on a new diet/workout plan.

We would follow that most useful weight loss advice of less calories in – more calories out. We would report to each other via email at the end of each day on three parameters that created and supported our net caloric decrease: food intake, daily exercise, and water intake.

We settled on a minimum of exercise – a two mile walk each day. If we did more than that, great. But two miles was the absolute least we had to log. Sixty four ounces of water was the minimum we could consume – coffee, tea, or sodas didn’t count, although we could add a little juice or lemonade for flavor. Lastly food. No food item was verboten, although we were primed to avoid desserts and sweets. Our goal was to eat HALF. Whatever we would normally eat – we would eat exactly half. If we went out to a restaurant, no problem. Eat half and take the rest home. This sounded like a pretty good plan. How did it work? Like gangbusters!

As it turns out, we didn’t realize the "Girlfriend Guilt" factor would be so strong. As the end of each day neared, we would find ourselves gulping water to make up any deficit. And exercise? We couldn’t bear emailing one another that we didn’t make our minimum, so we’d drag our weary, middle-aged carcasses out for our walk. The food turned out to be the easiest part of the plan. Not having to stress about carbs vs fat vs food-combining made mealtime easy. At no time did we feel deprived, since no foods were actually off our list.

Are we thin yet? Well, no. Still in our fat clothes, but they are fitting more loosely. The weight is coming off SLOWLY, just the way it so insidiously appeared. We are more toned and fit – and that’s a very good thing.

So join us, goddesses! Try the Girlfriend Guilt Diet and Exercise Program! It’s free! All you need is a willing friend with whom make the mutual commitment – the guilt part just comes naturally.

And for more great menopause and midlife tips, info, and commiseration from the Venuses, buy our book "The Big M". Right now, we have a girlfriend’s special going on – buy one at regular price, get the second one for half price to give to a girlfriend! Just click on the book cover on the right of the page or click on the link below: