Blog post published in the Mighty
How I lost 40 pounds in my 40's and transformed my health
Excuses people make for weight gain over 40...
"My weight gain is hormonal."
"I am too busy to prepare food."
"If someone just brought me prepared weight loss meals."
"I don't have time to exercise."
Weight gain as we get older is the same as weight gain at any age. Weight gain, especially belly fat, is a risk factor and indicator of diseases like metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers.
Successful weight loss over 40 requires a lifestyle transformation focused on habit modifications. Unhealthy habits are comfortable! A glass of wine with cheese after a long day is comfortable. A cafe latte and scone with a friend on Wednesday morning is comfortable. A small bowl of frozen yogurt before bed is comfortable. A piece of pizza at a high way rest stop during a long trip is comfortable. Skipping the gym is comfortable. A snow storm and warm cookies is comfortable. Getting out of your comfort zone is the key to success and creating the right long term habits will help you find your high school weight after the age of 40.
How do you develop long term healthy habits?
Learn about how community can make a difference
Find a community that supports your new lifestyle. A trainer, coach and team who has gone through their own transformation is a game changer. This all begins with the coaching. Does your coach understand your life and goals? Look at your coach; would he look great on the beach, but has never coached a family of five through a 24 hour stomach bug. Look at your coach; is she over 40, but doesn't look like she follows her own advice?
A coach who has been through the process will be able to offer a unique perspective. As a weight loss client for over 30 years and weight loss coach for 20 years I have learned that getting advice from well-meaning coaches who lack the personal experience can lead to frustration and failure.
Look at the community. Have they been doing the same thing for years and keep putting on weight?
"Abs are made in the kitchen"
"Sugar is bad"
"Calories in calories out."--not accurate , we will save that for another blog!
Everyone has heard the same advice and yet executing the plan is the hard part. The problem with the current system.
Food industry + good intentions + convenience = weight gain
Don't fall for the labels on "healthy food". Five years ago when I started this journey I was a chronic dieter and gym rat. I worked out hard and I followed Weight Watchers. I dabbled in Lean Cuisines and Luna bars. Long term success meant shutting out the industry and creating a healthy meal plan. Work with a professional, make your food and stick to the plan.
Find a certified, knowledgeable team who focuses on form. Don't just jump into a large group fitness class and judge the workout on how much sweat is dripping off your body. Just jump on a bike in a heated room if you want a sweaty workout.
Go in with a plan to stay injury free, decrease pain and focus on results. Make sure the workouts are something you can do for the rest of your life.
Succesful weight loss over 40 should include HIIT(training technique which involves intense bursts of high-intensity exercise followed by varied periods of low-intensity active rest, or complete rest) strength training and stretching.
Reward and Restoration
Working hard without regular rewards can be challenging. Food is a common reward and that is why it is a great habit to change. Combine reward and restoration.
Celebrate a healthy lifestyle with healthy rewards. Add a massage or acupuncture treatment to your life. Replace a decadent dinner with your partner with a restorative yoga class with your lovah.
Weight loss over 40 is possible, I promise! Focus on getting healthy and don't compare yourself to others. I promise failures will be in your future on this journey. Remember failures are are just opportunities for growth.