Thursday, July 22, 2010
Do It While You're Young!
Cub Lake Trail - Rocky Mountain National Park
I have struggled with weight issues most of my adult life and can remember being told countless times by wise mentors, to get the weight off and keep it off while I was young because as I grew older, it would become increasingly difficult to both lose weight and maintain it. Like many other things I was told I'd understand as I got older, I didn't pay much attention. Intellectually, I reasoned that it was always going to be calories in vs. calories burned, so what difference did it make if you were 32 or 62? I now know that it makes a huge difference and that difference just catches up with you all of a sudden. So today's post is written primarily to warn and encourage those readers in their 20's, 30's and 40's. I suspect (and hope) that many others my age and older will weigh in with their wisdom and personal experience.
Let me emphatically state that the closer I get to that 55th birthday, the more unreal it seems. Not in a bad sense of the word - I truly don't dread the birthday. It's just so hard for me to believe that I am 55 and I pray I'm having these same thoughts as I approach 60, 65, etc. My mother, who celebrated her 82nd birthday in June, still plays golf twice a week and does a water aerobics class the other three. I can only hope I'm as healthy as she is when I'm 82.
No, this really doesn't have anything to do with numerical age. For me, it was all about "the CHANGE." When I lost 60+ pounds in the period between October, 2006 and January, 2008, I had not yet experienced any signs or symptoms of menopause. Losing weight is NEVER effortless, but for me, once I make up my mind and carve out a healthy eating plan, I've never had trouble losing weight. If I stick with the plan, the weight comes off quickly. This pattern held true in 2006. I had just turned 51 and using a 1,200 calorie eating plan, the weight came off consistently at a rate of 5-7 pounds per month. I plateaued a couple of times, but neither lasted more than a few weeks.
Fast forward to May, 2010. Although I'm still experiencing some menopausal "symptoms" (I had to pause a long time here, because there were several words I wanted to insert instead of "symptoms" and some were not nice!!), for the most part, it is over for me. Only when I began working on this 30 pounds I've gained, did I realize one of the tolls it has taken on my body.
I am following the exact same eating plan to the letter and have increased my exercise, but the scale will hardly budge. I'm being very lucky to lose 3 pounds a month. The only difference between this time around and last is the menopause thing plus I am now taking a very low dose of thyroid medication daily. A discussion with my gynecologist confirms what I suspected AND what I refused to believe prior to actually experiencing it. The hormonal changes brought on by menopause truly do make a difference in the way your body responds to losing weight.
So to all my young friends out there, I haven't said a thing you've not already heard dozens of times, but if I said it any way that might have grabbed your attention, please understand that your body DOES change and it DOES become harder. For those of us who know exactly what I'm saying, let's keep on encouraging each other to get these pounds off FOR THE LAST TIME no matter how long it takes.
On to another subject. Today, I made a mistake that was costly. You can tell that my slow rate of weight loss has really been bothering me. I've hung in there in spite of the discouragement, but my gosh, I can't get the scale to BUDGE. I don't believe it would be healthy to eat any less than what I am eating, so all I know to do is keep on. Thankfully, there hasn't been a week with a gain, but the losses are just plain piddly.
I needed to have my tires rotated at Sam's. This is long overdue and I'd been gently reminded by Mr. B that I needed to take care of it ASAP. Our Sam's is not located near anything else, so unless you can bribe a friend to come get you, you are stuck in Sam's while they work on your car. I carefully calculated what I thought would be the time of day when no food samples were available. I arrived at 10:30 this morning and knew I was in trouble almost immediately. I could SMELL trouble!! Thank goodness, the tire department wasn't busy and I was told it would be about 45 minutes. No need for details - you've all been either to Sam's or Costco. You've done the same thing. Let's just say there was no need for lunch. It could've been a whole lot worse, so I'm not really angry with myself. Just disappointed that at a time I'm struggling anyway, I certainly didn't do anything to help myself! And I tried so hard to avoid being tempted. Just one of those days when nothing worked out the way I planned.
Dinner is almost ready and Mr. B has created a masterpiece in the form of yummy pork steaks along with fresh squash and zucchini all cooked on the grill. Much better than anything Sam offered this morning!!