Spring into Action

I have progressively added approximately 30 pounds over the last seven years or so. I weighed 140 when I turned 50. Now that I’m almost 58, I saw the scale tip at about 175+ right before the Holidays.

Every week, I would start my diet over, trying everything from diet apps to counting calories. I reluctantly went to my local gym and would either go on the stationery bike or treadmill for my standard 30 minutes, not even breaking a sweat. But nothing happened. I just kept adding on the pounds and started to feel more and more out of shape.

It was right around the Holidays that I looked at picture of me that was taken at a Happy Hour. Gosh, I was fat. The bulky dress I liked to wear really didn’t hide my rolls. But since the Holidays, I have now officially lost 15 pounds. I started Weight Watchers again, something I’ve done off and on throughout my whole life. I’m not going to meetings, because quite frankly, I don’t think any of those leaders really understand what I’m going through, and they talk about the same thing every time. No offense, but I know that the chocolate cake I had last night is why I’m up on the scale, and I know why I ate the chocolate cake–I was either upset, tired or bored, or maybe all of the above. The only thing to get me to not eat the chocolate cake was the ability to change my thinking.

In addition, I dropped going to my fitness center. I needed a variety in exercise, and I signed up for the Daily Burn and started the exercise plan New Beginner. It mixes stability, mobility, cardio and core exercises, and I never thought I’d feel the effects of a video workout, but I am. Not only am I losing the weight, but I’m actually trimming down the stomach bulge due to the core exercises. And, if I can do it, just about anyone can.

It hasn’t been a fast process, but every day that I’m down even .2 pounds on the scale, I’m doing the happy dance, and it gives me incentive to keep going. Overall, my mood is better–I’m happier, more confident and when I look at myself in the mirror, that double chin and belly roll is getting smaller.

So, tips for losing that weight, which we all know gets harder and harder to do the older you get–

  1. Look at yourself in those pictures and be honest with yourself–how do I really look, and remember that image in your mind and remember how you really feel when you see yourself like that.
  2. Weight Watchers–tried and true, as boring as it may seem sometimes, it most definitely works. The plan has changed so much and when I compared some foods in calories to number of points, it was no wonder I wasn’t losing weight when I was counting calories. Remember the 3-point McDonald’s ice cream cone? It’s 6 points now.
  3. Workout variety–switch it up. The Daily Burn has lots of different exercise videos/programs that last for 6-8 weeks, ranging from beginner to advanced. I’ve never liked to work out, but the fact that I have a different video to watch every 3 days keeps me engaged.
  4. You can’t cheat–no matter what! Every time I think I can just go out and have that special treat or elaborate meal at a restaurant, I work 3-4 days to get back to where I was. I like to cheat on my Weight Watchers points, thinking that the fat-free Ranch dressing I’m using for my carrots is so low in calories, it can’t possibly have points (it has 1/tablespoon). Also, I would never count those beers at bowling–it’s liquid, but my particular beer is 19 points. I’ve started counting them.
  5. Don’t eat out–cook at home. There is no excuse not to cook at home. I’m single and only have myself to cook for. I’ve signed up for Home Chef and have chosen their low-calorie meals. For about $59, I get three meals delivered weekly, two servings each, so I have leftovers for the next day. That price includes all the ingredients except for salt, pepper and olive oil. You can’t buy it cheaper in the grocery store. These meals are fresh and healthy and usually fall within the Weight Watcher 10-15 point range.
  6. Be patient–the weight doesn’t fall off quickly at this age, but know that every tenth of a pound adds up, and that’s why I’m down 15 pounds now.

 

Setting High Standards

This article from 2011 came across my FaceBook news feed this morning. It rang very true for me, especially when I wrote earlier that I believe I suffer from low self-esteem and that is why I settled for the men I did when I got married.

The article is entitled, We Date At the Level Of Our Self-EsteemThe article states, if you don’t love, honor and cherish yourself, you will settle.

As women in our 50s, whether married or not, we need to love ourselves, know who we are, set high standards and not settle. Whether it’s in a romantic relationship, a friend relationship or even relationships at work.

If you are still trying to figure out who you are and what it is that you want for this latter portion of your life, start by making a list of your goals or things that you want in your life. Then break this list down by years–what do you hope to accomplish in 1 year, 3 years, 5 years and 10. Then break that down–in order to accomplish this in 1 year, I will need to do this each month or have this accomplished in 3 months, etc. Here is an example:

One-Year Goal: Lose 35 pounds: 3-5 pounds/month

  • Exercise 6x per week for 30-40 minutes: start with 3x per week for one month, add one day for each month thereafter, building up to 6x per week by six months
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables/day: replace nightly snack of ice cream with an apple for one month, then replace another unhealthy snack with carrots and humus in second month and so on

So, if you break it down, it doesn’t seem to be quite as overwhelming. At the end of every weekend, I say to myself, “I am going to start my diet tomorrow, and I’m going to the gym every day and working out for an hour.” I do it for one or two days, and then I’m back to my old habits. Realistically, who can go from barely working out at all to working out 6 days a week? It’s like giving up every bad habit you have cold turkey! That’s enough to send anyone into a tail spin! Set the goal, break it down and work your way up (or down). Yes, it takes a while longer to get there, but the result will be one that will stick.

Then, once you’ve reached your goal, you will love and cherish yourself, knowing that you’ve accomplished what you’ve set out to do. When you continue to slip back into old habits, you beat up on yourself, which leads to the thought process of “I’m no good. Can’t succeed at anything,” and if you don’t think highly of yourself, who will?

Finally, make sure you revisit your goals–write them down in a notebook that you can carry with you. Read them daily, weekly, monthly. Remind yourself what your intentions are and then seek to obtain them!

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