I am halfway through this journey - at least if I think about it in terms of setting a goal for a one-year period and being half-way through the year - and I've gotta say, I've really learned ALOT!
I came into this with the mindset of a late twenty- to thirty-year-old woman, all the while knowing that I am in my mid to late 40's. I felt as though by REALLY putting an effort behind this ( instead of the casual, "I can do this, I can lose this weight, all I need to do is some exercise") I'd be able to relatively quickly get my weight down and get into the shape I desired - just like when I was in my 20's and 30's.
But boy was I wrong!
I think I have finally come to realize that a middle-aged woman's body, metabolism, etc. is not the same and does not function the same as a 20 year old or 30 year old woman. As much as I'd like to believe I still look young and act sort-of young, it's time to admit that my body does not function the same way it used to.
I remember my college days, in this same city, living within a few miles of where I live now. I remember on those days that I felt not quite myself, a little out of shape or a bit overweight, that all I really needed to do was to get out there and run around the block a few days. And sure enough after hitting the pavement, walkman in hand (remember those??!) runing a couple of miles for a day or so, I'd be back to new.
And in my thirties, after birthing my children I know I paid more attention to what I ate in combination with trying to get exercise (at that time, exercise meant taking looooooong bike rides with the kids in the attached kid seats-but nonetheless, it worked.)
So either my memory is failing as I enter middle-age, and I really had to work harder than I remember, or it definitely takes A LOT more of a conscientious effort to get in shape and stay in shape once you hit middle age. Now, it seems, I REALLY have to think about EVERY morsel of food I eat, in addition to planning to get out to exercise in some way EVERYDAY.
After several feeble attempts (those that I thought worked when I was younger), I was able to finally get motivated and into a groove where I really was/am exercising almost everyday --- and I am not talking about a taking walk in the park; I'm talking about doing 30 to 45 to 60 minutes of aerobic exercise, in heat, in rain, in coolness, it doesn't matter so long as it gets done.
I have come to the realization now that this is truly the ONLY way I am going to be able to lose weight and keep it off --- it has to be a CONSTANT effort. I really watch what and how much, and when I eat. AND I have to exercise as well. There is no skipping a day. It REALLY is a LIFESTYLE change. Each and every day is part of the equation. Everyday gets added, subtracted, and in some cases multiplied --- depending on the amount of food consumed and exercise endured. I am the sum of my total effort. And right now I've been able to maintain a 7-pound weight loss. It takes more of an effort to get there than when I was younger, but it feels just as good, maybe even better, knowing I can still do it - even as an middle-aged woman.
Published On: August 27, 2010