If you are like me at the age of 63, I struggle to lose and maintain my weight once I began aging over 40. I am the mother of 4 children and at the birth of each child I weighed more and took off less. Over the years that added up to where I got one year ago. My highest weight ever and the medical label “morbidly obese”. That term makes me sick!! As an R.N., I knew better. I knew the consequences I may face if I didn’t lose weight. That knowledge didn’t make it any easier, it just added to my feelings of guilt. I was frustrated and completely unhappy with myself and my appearance. I hated the way I looked. I did not want to have my picture taken, EVER!
Over the years I tried every diet possible out there. I joined multiple weight loss programs, gyms, women’s fitness programs, and the list goes on and on and on! I would lose weight and gain it right back, sometimes over time and other times very quickly. Before I knew it, I was a “pre-diabetic”. Often times I said to myself, screw it; I am never going to lose weight so why should I bother trying! I was taking quality supplements and I thought that was all I had to do to stay healthy. Who was I fooling? Myself, big time.
The solution that I finally came to was this. I didn’t need a diet. I needed to change my bad eating habits and begin a lifestyle of eating healthier. I needed to make a decision and draw a line in the sand and say enough is enough! I needed to be ready to make some changes that in the past I wasn’t willing to make the decision to change. I felt alone and would easily give in to temptations.
When I was ready to make the decision, I aligned myself with a team of people who would support me. I no longer was alone and the goal was to change my eating habits, develop a healthier lifestyle and lose weight. I looked at the problems instead of looking at getting to the end result. If I developed healthier habits the weight loss would take care of itself and the blood sugars would come down, etc. and I would see the results.
I am 30 lbs. lighter today and no where near my goal, yet. What I do have is a plan, programs to support me, a team of health professionals including providers in functional medicine (look at the root cause vs. treating the disease), nurses, and certified weight loss coaches to help me reach my goals. Each week things get better and I lose weight and keep it off. If I fall off sometimes due to vacations or a special event it is easy now to just go back the good eating habits the next day and if I gained a pound or two, we take it right back off and I have not had any weight creep back up. Weight loss is slow but steady. I see progress, feel better, and gained the confidence that I am in control of my weight and health, finally!
This was so much better than trying to “stick to a diet”. Going out in public or to a party, cookout or other event with my friends I didn’t have to worry about “Oh, sorry, I can’t eat that.” I know people that bring their own food places. This is for sure ok if you have specific allergies and eating the wrong foods could cause a serious health concern. I am talking about all the special weight loss diets that are so specific on what you can eat and not eat that it leaves you wondering what can I eat so you bring your own food. I learn to make healthy choices avoiding high fat and high sugar foods. We avoid highly preserved foods and eat organic when we can.
The hardest part was breaking the “sugar cravings” in the beginning. I am so happy with our “Sugar Buster” program that we run monthly. This was the catalyst that helped me get through the first week of eating better. I lost those cravings and it made it a lot easier to make better choices. This was just the beginning. I now want to help other women over 50 to finally have the success and feeling that you are in control of your health and become the best woman they want to be! Sixty can still be sexy!! Gals, we are just getting started!!!
As a R.N. of 40 years, I have helped so many people over the years to handle health challenges. I am an author, a Board Certified Patient Advocate and I have been able to partner with a great team of health professionals to bring you the best that we have in the arena of promoting great health for women over 50.
Let’s look at some reasons why it is hard for us to lose weight after the age of 50. Menopause begins around age 50 in most women. This final shift in estrogen can happen fast or gradually over time, so be on the lookout for some of the symptoms. Estrogen is the hormone that controls a woman’s menstrual cycles. Estradiol is a form of Estrogen that decreases as we age and go through menopause. This hormone helps to regulate metabolism and your body weight. As this diminishes, we begin to have the struggle with adding on a few extra pounds.
Our fat cells signal our body to make more estrogen and when we can’t we build up those extra fat around our belly.
Menopause is a topic for another day but we will address that in another blog post I promise!
What else can you do to fight back?
Stay Active. Walk, take a yoga or exercise class that may not be as strenuous as your kids or grandkids take!! Many yoga instructors offer a “chair” class where you don’t have to get down on the floor.
We get sedentary often at work or at home as we age. Find ways to move. Sitting is now the “new” Smoking. My husband bought me a stationary “pedal” machine that sits under my desk and I can pedal while working on the computer!! It really helps.
With our diet we want to lean towards the lean meat, pun intended, like turkey, chicken or venison. Now is not the time to eliminate food groups but just make healthier choices. We need to build lean muscle. Doing an exercise program with weights is very helpful for that and is good for keeping your bone mass.
Soy products are awesome because they serve a dual purpose.
1. They help to ease symptoms of menopause.
2. It is a plant based and lean form of protein. A soy protein shake for breakfast is a great daily choice.
Picture in your mind what it would mean to you to finally reach your health goals and age gracefully kicking a little butt along the way! We have a lot of life left and let’s do it healthy and in control. What would you do differently if you could reach your health goals? Think about that for a minute. How would you feel looking in the mirror as your best self? We might not be talking bikini here, but we can still get to a healthy better looking us!!
Join our Sugar Buster Program and take the first step to a better and healthier you!
Our last sugar buster program is November 7, 2021 and then we will start again in January. If you have missed, get on the email list by filling out the form for the Sugar Buster Class. We will keep you informed of the next class and What’s Happening in Health and Wellness around the Cabin!
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