What’s been around for over 40 years, has a height of 5 feet, 4 1/2 inches, and weighs 180 pounds?
The answer is me!
I’m not too happy about those numbers but I can only do something about 1 of them.
No, I can’t grow taller (there’s not a stretching machine that I know of).
Nope, can’t reverse my age (Not until someone develops a time machine anyway…)
I’m talking about my weight.
It’s funny but I remember when I was a kid, I was able to eat whatever I wanted and never gain a pound or inches. But as an adult, I take a bite of cheesecake and I gain 5 lbs overnight. Well, not really but it sure seems that way. But as I get older, I realize how much harder it is to shed those pesky pounds.
It’s a fact of life: As you get older, losing weight becomes more difficult. This can happen for a variety of reasons. Stress, loss of muscle, slower metabolism. In fact, it’s estimated that a person’s metabolism slows down 5% every 10 years after teaching the age of 40!
Great, another highlight of turning 40…
It’s frustrating to say the least. I mean everyone knows there is way too much focus on body image, especially in women. After all, if you look at any magazine or t.v. show, you see examples of the “perfect” female body: tall, slim, big boobs, tiny waist, a thigh gap, a tight booty.
But honestly, how many of us fit into this category? I know I don’t.
Now I know this is an unrealistic image of the female form but that doesn’t stop me from wanting to achieve it. I know that I’ll never be a super model but there’s no reason I can’t strive to lose weight and become healthier right?
So in my quest for a healthier, leaner me, I’ve been doing a lot of research. I’ve tried to find the best diet, the best exercisece equipment, the best tricks/tips for losing weight. It is overwhelming! There are so many different things to do, to try, to eat. How do I know where to go, what to do, what not to do? Other than go to a doctor or nutritionist, all I can do is try different things until I find something that works.
During my research I have found certain things that seem to be consistent with weight loss.
- Eat healthier.
This doesn’t mean you can’t have delicious foods, tasty treats, and the occasional sinful food. But that’s the key: occasional, not 24/7/365. Try to limit your carbs, fat, calories. Here’s a list of just a few foods that are delicious and help burn fat. For more delicious foods and recipes, I use Pinterest. It’s amazing how many sites there are dedicated to preparing healthier foods for your family. (It’s kinda hard when they all groan as soon as you mention “health food”… 😐)
- Too hard to keep track of calories and fat intake? Try an app for your phone.
Most doctors recommend a diet of no more than 1200 calories a day. That can be hard to keep on top of but there are apps tp help you out. You can search them to find out which one is best for you. For example, I found an app that does everything for you! It’s called MyFitnessPal. It’s a pretty cool app. You set up a profile-height, weight, desired weight, etc. Then simply add your meals that you eat from literally thousands of foods. The app will figure the calories and fat amounts for you. It even sets a goal for calorie intake to help you make sure you stay on track.
- Drink more water.
The recommended amount of water intake per day is eight 8 oz glasses. That’s a lot and you may get tired of plain ol’ water. So pimp it up a bit with flavor add ins. But be sure to check the nutritional label. Some of them are full of sugar which really defeats the purpose of drinking so much water.
- Limit your caffeine.
I personally must have coffee, tea, and pop. But often caffeinated drinks have a lot of sugar which, when regularly consumed, lead to weight gain.
Before you say anything, trust me, I know. Who has time? I know I rarely do. I have a full time job working nights, I have 3 kids, a husband, I’m trying to write and promote my books, pay bills, housework, and a variety of other things going on. There is only so much time in the day. But if you can carve out even 5-10 mins a day, that will dramatically increase your chances for successful weight loss. For example, right now I don’t have time to exercise at home, sleep, and still get everything else done. But at my place of employment, they have a gym. I use it during my breaks. It’s not much but it has helped considerably. The top exercise machines are an eplitical, a stairmaster, and a treadmill. But you don’t have to have all of that fancy equipment to exercise. See what I mean?
- Have a workout buddy.
Okay I don’t have someone to workout with me but I do have a friend at work that is trying to lose weight as well. And even though we don’t work out together, we talk and motivate one another to eat healthier and exercise more.
- Don’t be too hard on yourself.
I wish I could just snap my fingers and the weight would be gone. Or do a few crunches and I woild have a flat, chisled tummy. But losing weight takes time and patience. You can’t just exercise or eat healthy once it twice and expect results. It has to be a constant thing, a habit you become used to.
- Allow yourself a cheat day every now and then.
If you are too strict on yourself and with hold everything you enjoy eating, chances are you are not going to stick with the healthy lifestyle changes you are trying to make. So, once a week, allow yourself to indulge in something. A small ice cream cone, a cheeseburger and fries, a piece of cheesecake. Just don’t over do it.
So far, I have tried each of these options. And where has it gotten me? I am down to 176.6. It’s not a great change but at least I know I’m on the right track to a healthier, happier, leaner me!