Wednesday, July 4, 2007

July's topic: Losing Weight After the Age of 40

In January I'll be hitting fifty and I vowed to get to the 140 pounds I used to be, the level I feel comfortable at. Right now I'm 40 pounds over that limit and I feel the weight. Although I'm tall and carry the weight spread out equally, the notion that 'it's there' bothers me.

I remember when I was in my early twenties, a friend of the family told me that once you hit thirty you feel a change in your body. As soon as you hit forty you'll see your metabolism slow down; foods that you ate at a younger age will now begin storing in your fat compartment. Boy was she right.

Personally, I don't like diets. Just the thought that I'll go on a diet causes me to be hungry. I have, however, learned over the years to be careful what I eat and not to eat past 8 o'clock.

I'll still have my spagetti with sauce but might have only a half slice of bread. For snacks, I'll eat carrots, celery, broccoli, or cauliflower dipped in tzatziki. Don't misunderstand, I still have my vinegar chips or chocolate ice cream, but sparingly, maybe once a week instead of the daily habit I found myself in.

I also have found that eating breakfast has helped me lose weight because I don't get these hunger pangs like before and chewed on about everything in my cupboards or fridge.

I used to go to the gym and did love it but I tried something at home which I found has helped me. I use things around the house, for example, various sizes of cans used as weights, using the back of my chair for side leg raises, using the wall to do stand up push-ups, popping in exercise videos and following that gorgeous bodied gal and wishing it was me in that video.

Although the gym is an important connection to a healthier you, if you don't have the time then taking 15 minute spread into 4 parts throughout the day, will give you some benefit instead of nothing.

As I wrote, I am now 180 pounds and will report at the end of the month to tell you how much I've lost using the methods I mention above.

I'd love to hear back on what everyone is doing to lose weight and what the outcome has been.

Lea Schizas


Annie said...

I empathise here. I did really well losing weight over the past year then came Christmas, birthdays, wet winter and wetter summer.

Too much time at the computer and too little time walking the dog combined to make me lazier and lazier until I realised how fat the dog was and took a look at myself.

Like you, I am now back to eating a healthy breakfast, eating something every four hours,trying so hard not to eat after 7pm and to get enough sleep.

(Lea have you considered writing less and actually sleeping in a bed instead of falling asleep on a sofa or over a computer? tee hee.)

I have set up my goals on Spark People . It's free and I did really well following a mix of their and my goals there last year. I reckon I need the support and help and you always find someone there to inspire you to carry on.

With two weddings coming up in August and September, I am aiming for a two pound weight loss per week. Gone are the days when I could lose a stone and drop two dress sizes in a month.

Drinking lots of water helps. When I write I am apt to forget to drink...just grab for the cookies.

I'll join you on the weight loss journey if you want to set a target?

Travel Europe

Gloria said...

Lea, here's my short version of a long challenge to lose weight. In 1990 when I suffered with Hodgkin's Disease I lost lots of weight and was at a low of 118 lbs (I'm 5' 1" and was about 136 lbs before getting sick). The doctor told me I had to get back to 136 lbs and keep it there so if I had a recurrence of the illness I would have where to lose it from. I was fed tons of milk shakes and smoothees, so many that they were coming out of my nose, all while I had no appetite at all. But I gained the weight back, but it didn't stop there, it kept going up, up, and up. Eventually I hit 154 lbs and was determined to lose the extra 18 lbs. but how was the question. Every attempt in the past resulted in regaining what was lost. I knew there must be a better way. It wasn't until I was diagnosed with T-2 Diabetes in Dec 2005 that I found the solution. My nutritionist played a big part in it. What I've learned though is that if you control portions in the right way it is doable and will stay that way. Imagine your plate is divided in three. One half is filled with a cup of vegetables. The other half is divided in two: one quarter filled with grains/pasta/potatoes and the other quarter with meat/poultry/fish (a piece the size of YOUR palm). I am now at 130 lbs. average weight and have been there for the last few months. Also note that I eat everything that falls into the allowed category meaning nothing that has more than 3 g sugar and 2 g sat. fat.

Vicki M. Taylor said...

Lea. I had a major life change a few years ago and started walking and changing the way I ate. I lost approximately 60 pounds. Now, I'm working on losing more. It's so slow going for us over 40. And, that weight in the middle refuses to budge.

I've sworn off chocolate now for over a month. It was hard the first 4 days or so, but after I stopped having the craving, I don't "need" it anymore. I've also cut out as many sugary sweets as possible. I substitute fresh fruit. And, if I want my strawberries sweeter, I use Splenda.

I have two goals to lose more weight. I'm going to my grandson's first birthday in October and we'll be flying to Arizona. And in January we're going to Hawaii. Big moments where I want to look as good as possible. Which is why I need to lose weight.

The weight seems more stubborn the older I get. Tricks don't work anymore. The only thing that does is exercise and controlling portions. Calories in must be less than calories going out (exercise). It's as simple as that. I just wish it were simpler to lose.

Good luck with your goals. I'll be rooting for you.

Jacqueline Jung said...

Lea, congratulations on your weight loss. My weight loss journey was in the reverse of most women, as most things I do in life. I was an overweight teenager and lost the weight when I was 22. Except for during pregnancy, I've kept it off. Now, I'm almost 52. I must admit that 118 lbs doesn't look the same at age 51 as it did at 23. Weight does shift, but there isn't much you can do about that.

However Lea, I must persuade you to join a gym (and not a girlie one)! Though I do an hour of cardio every
day to clear my head and offset my love of chocolate, nothing, but nothing tones the body like serious weight training, especially at our age. But once you build that base, you can do it less often (or less seriously). Leg lifts, and other non-weight bearing exercises just don't cut it. You know those chicken arms that even skinny women get? Weights will eliminate all of that.

I've met so many people at the gym; it's a wonderful social network, as well as a positive support system. Also, as you exercise, your body gets use to the routine and you have to change it up. A gym offers more variety of weights, machines and cardio equipment than you could have at home. On the days that I don't run, I do spinning at the gym. Also at a gym you can switch from stationary bike to treadmill to elliptical trainer.

Unfortunately, keeping weight off takes commitment. You have to schedule it and let nothing (or almost nothing) get in the way. It has to be automatic like taking a shower. I find it easier to exercise first thing in the morning, so nothing gets in the way.

Join a gym that offers variety. Mine does and is quite inexpensive.

Good luck!

Jackie Jung