Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Is it impossible to lose weight after age 40?

It can be difficult but it's not impossible to lose weight after age 40.I know how it feels

  • to avoid mirrors.

  • to cut tags out of clothes so you don’t see the size.

  • to wake up every morning and tell yourself, “This day is going to be different: I’m only going to eat good food.” But then by 3:00 you’ve already lost control and eaten those cookies or the candy bar, or maybe you overindulged at lunch with co-workers and need yet one more coffee or “diet” soda to perk you up for the rest of the day.

I was on that downward spiral of self-loathing.



The day I hit rock bottom was like any other day

At my lowest point, I was drinking far too much coffee and had uncontrollable, unhealthy food cravings. My stress was off the charts: on a scale of 1 to 10, it was 11! I wanted to take a nap every afternoon, but instead, drank more coffee and ate sugary or white foods (and felt guilty).

Losing weight after age 40: you might have to give up the sugar!
My rock bottom was when I found myself standing in front of our pantry eating stale Lucky Charms out of the box.
I was increasingly concerned about developing diabetes due to my dysfunctional relationship with sugar and my waistline being well into the danger zone. I did not look or feel good, and had crossed the line of justifying it with “everyone gains a little weight in their 40s” – because it was more than a little. At night I’d vow to do better the next day. But the next day, the cycle repeated.

I had a life-and-death ah ha moment while on vacation

Delicious smoothie bowl for two, enjoyed in ArubaMy husband and I went to Aruba at the end of June 2015 for a short vacation. We couldn’t figure out how to take a whole week away (or many vacation pictures, since I was hiding from the camera) but we spent four great days on the beach. Every morning, we drank a smoothie and stared at the ocean.

When we returned home, I traded my coffee pot for a blender (replacing coffee with smoothies) and implemented some other lifestyle changes, such as exercise, mindfulness, and positive self-talk.I decided that life is too short not to enjoy it. I couldn’t keep taking my health for granted or put off self-care. I have a few friends who have diseases like cancer or ALS, over which they have no control; however, if I ended up with high blood pressure or diabetes, or needing a knee replacement it would be nobody’s fault but mine.

It's more difficult to lose weight after age 40 than when you're younger, but not impossible

I began to lose weight.

Losing weight after age 40 is hard but not impossible
This is my progress after three-and-a-half months
After approximately three months I lost 30 pounds, by 6 months it was 40 pounds, and I’m still going (though the rate of weight loss has slowed). I am never hungry, I do not count calories or points. I didn’t put on all that weight overnight and do not expect to take it off in three days, a week, or 21 days no matter what popular diet fads might indicate.

It is a wonderful feeling to put on clothes that are no longer binding or restrictive. I do not need to buy any more garments in the size I said I would never buy again, nor do I have to tug at my clothes constantly to cover a body I am ashamed of. I have far more wardrobe choices (I am not afraid to show my arms anymore). My socks don’t leave marks on my ankles and I do not feel like I’m going to overheat at any moment. I can walk, hike, and even run with my dogs.

Here's what I learned 

[bctt tweet="You can't exercise away bad eating habits -- diet makes a difference when you're trying to lose weight after age 40." username="carolineposer"]

  • To lose weight after age 40 is not as simple as “eat less and exercise more” — it matters what you eat. You really can't exercise off a regular diet of fast food

  • Things that used to work for us no longer do (e.g., black coffee and cigarettes or other forms of food restriction and stimulants do not enable permanent weight loss)

  • Our metabolisms change as we get older, especially if we have become more sedentary with desk jobs and are not carrying our kids around

  • This is and likely will be a constant battle for me, because sometimes I regress when I put everyone else first and don’t get enough sleep

  • I am a sugar addict and I really want to drink coffee again. Eating healthy is a lifestyle change that requires constant vigilance to maintain

  • What has worked for you to lose weight after age 40?How do you keep from backsliding into bad habits?

    xoxox, Carlie

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