The Menopause Diet

by Pamela Goode

The Menopause Diet

My name is Pam, and I am in a Bad Mood.

If you’ve read Sex in the Fifties, you’re probably aware that I’ve been in a Bad Mood since that first hot flash in June 2006. I’ve heard that hot flashes can continue for 10 years. A very bad mood indeed.

Maybe I could deal with the hot flashes if that were the end of it. I could learn to work naked, my feet thrust into slushies, my lips dribbling any liquid served in a frosty can, a sponge poised high issuing rivulets of chilly springwater over my glowing back. This might even get a rise from my amorous husband, if he hadn’t learned by now that sex and menopause are about as likely to be linked as the geek and the prom queen locked in a bum-fondling slow dance. Understand, mind you, that HE is the prom queen these days, while I have been banished to the computer room, deemed unfit to mingle with humans.

And it’s not just the hot flashes, the mood swings, or the lack of sex. It’s the damn diet. The damn “why is all this weight ballooning from my belly” diet. I weighed 119 until I was 30. I weighed 128 until I was 45. Now at 53, dammit, 54, I weigh 128 with a 15 pound yoga ball shoved in my gut. Life sucks. And not in a good way.

Dearie says it’s because I eat too much and don’t exercise enough. I was forced to smite him, and he has Gone to Bed. Without Me.

But since I’m not being sweet to him and not having sex with him, I’ve decided to dump the damage, and toward this end I’ve come up with a fairly successful Menopause Diet.

Each day: one cup of tea, two lean cuisines (not at once), one apple, one low-fat graham cracker, and 4 bottles of water consumed while performing 200 daily crunches.

Due to the nature of this diet, you will require additional supplements for optimal health. The most effective supplement is Zoloft, the non-addictive (hahahahahaha) alternative to Xanax, both available without prescription from any school-age child. For pricier upscale drugs, target those who attend private schools.

Lest you think the Menopause Diet is little more than idle days of exotic new frozen cuisine choices, activities are also included. The following regimen is suggested.

Barking. Quite easy, perhaps even second nature. Not only does barking energize facial and chest muscles and increase lung capacity, it’s extremely effective against telemarketers, delivery personnel, and chatty cashiers.

Sullenness. While several hours spent in sullenness burns few calories, it’s a valuable tool for warding off unsightly wrinkles caused by laugh lines. Sullenness can also gift you with several hours of quality time away from family members and co-workers.

Swatting. Swatting is superb for increasing upper body strength and combatting feelings of helplessness. Even better results may be achieved if a suitable target is used.

Growling. Growling rates near the top of my exercise list. It can be performed in any location or position and requires no particular equipment beyond sagging breasts and an internal combustion engine. Growling is also a superior method of communication, making your point of view instantly clear with a minimum of effort.

If only I could reward my diligent efforts with a Caribou Lite Coffee Cooler with Whip (220 calories for a small — the Whip alone is 100 of those (all fat, 14.9 grams), but soooo well worth it in the mood lightening department).

As dietary sins go, the Bou Frap is pretty mild. Dairy Queen’s large Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Blizzard stuffs a whopping 1,320 calories with 52 grams of fat.

Pair that up with a Double-Quarter-Pounder with Cheese Super Combo from McDonald’s (1,620 calories and 72 grams of fat), and I’m suddenly feeling pretty damn skinny. Hungry, but skinny.

Word is, I can lose 1 pound each week if I lower my calorie intake by 1000 calories per day. That seems pretty extreme, especially when I need extra energy for the barking and swatting. If I don’t see some progress soon, I’ll have to beef up my routine with scale hurling. I’m pretty sure that’s a Scottish sport.