I am trying to find ways of keeping active to get healthier and lose weight. When we turn 50, it does something to our minds and a lot to our bodies, and losing weight gets harder and harder. We come to a crossroads, and we have a choice to make; we can continue to think and act vibrant, or we can start to act and feel old. You would think it would be an easy decision, but so many outside factors influence us, and our choice is harder than it should be.
Society can be very judgemental and not always kind to women after the age of 50. It is amazing to me how critical “they” can be about decisions we make that are personal and shouldn’t even matter to others. How we dress, wear our hair, or whether we choose to wear makeup or cosmetic procedures should be choices that others don’t weigh in on.
As a woman over 50, if you wear the latest trends in fashion, people may say that you are trying too hard. But, if you don’t keep up with fashion trends, then you are considered old and frumpy. There is also a huge debate on YOUR choice of coloring your hair or letting it go gray. There are many beautiful women who color their hair and who let it go gray. The same holds true for wearing makeup, and while I LOVE wearing makeup, if you choose not to, that is YOUR personal decision and shouldn’t affect me.
Cosmetic procedures are something that scares me, so I’ve steered clear of them and chosen to go the route of really good skincare instead. However, that doesn’t mean that I judge those who choose to use Botox, Fillers, or cosmetic procedures. There might come a day when I get brave enough to have a neck lift, and if I do, then it is a personal decision that only applies to me.
Are you wondering why I am on a soapbox today? Part of the reason is that I am tired of women feeling like they aren’t good enough, aren’t relevant, and are over the hill once they turn 50.
The other part is that I am going to talk about losing weight. I want to make it very clear that you are beautiful at any weight, so don’t try losing weight to make yourself more attractive. We look at magazines and online retailers, and for the most part, the models on those pages are 20-30 years old and a size small or extra small. So, when an ordinary woman like me looks at those models, we judge ourselves and think that we should also look like that.
I’m raising my hand here because I am guilty of all of those feelings. I’ve struggled with gaining and losing 20 lbs for most of my adulthood. I have been on every diet there is, and they all work as long as you stick to the diet. The problem is we have old eating habits that we revert back to once we go off the diet, and the weight creeps back on.
It seems like when a new year rolls around; I always make a resolution to make my health a priority. Like most resolutions, I stick with healthy choices for a while, and then the old habits that are unhealthy have a way of sneaking back. By March, I am back to my old ways, and my health resolution has been thrown to the wayside. I have all of the excuses in the world, I’m too busy, it costs too much to buy fruits and vegetables, I don’t have anyone to exercise with me, Joe doesn’t like my healthy foods, and I don’t want to cook two different meals.
What I’m really saying to myself is that I am not a priority; I’m not important. Let that sink in for a minute.
My son in Tennessee is a Nutrition Coach | Pn1 and CrossFit Coach | CF-OL1, so he started helping me with my food choices. When we first spoke, he asked me what diets I had previously used, which ones I liked, and which ones worked the best for me. Then, he asked me about the foods that I ate and wanted me to choose the veggies and fruits that I like the most. I was shocked to see how my vegetables I liked, especially since I always said that I didn’t like them.
For me, I like intermittent fasting, and a low-carb diet is what worked the best for me in the past. So, we started working on small steps like drinking LOTS of water and cutting out everything else but black coffee or tea. That took a long time to adjust to, but I’ve done it so long now that I don’t miss the creamers. Then, he wanted me to work on eating slower since I tend to inhale my food. That one is still a work in progress. Lol!
Then a couple of months ago, I saw a friend of mine post a before and after photo, and she talked about the weight loss journey she was on. Turns out, she had joined a FaceBook group that is an 8-week program. Every 8 weeks, it starts all over again; you pay $40/week for the first 8 weeks, and then the program is free after that, and you never have to pay again.
I called my sister, and we decided to both join the group (membership is free for your spouse) and support each other in the journey. You don’t have to have a supportive partner, but it does help to have someone you can talk to about the meals and exercise.
This program uses Intermittent Fasting, and since I am not a morning eater, intermittent fasting appeals to me. I eat between the hours of 12 noon and 8 pm, so I have an 8-hour window to consume my meals. You can have up to 3 meals a day, but I generally eat 2 meals with snacks in-between if I am hungry. Each week the meals and exercises change, and the new meal plans are announced every Thursday night. I’ve had access to this plan for over a year; the food plan has been the same as the first 8 weeks, with only a few minor tweaks.
Lean proteins, healthy fats, and a couple of cups of vegetables are what most meals consist of each day. You eat meals with no added sugars or processed foods, and you only eat fruit on a week that includes more carbs. In those weeks, I’ll usually eat an apple, berries, or an orange with each meal. For snacks, I usually choose a handful of cashews or almonds. That fills me up and tides me over until it is time for my next meal.
Once a week, you can have a treat meal to keep from feeling deprived. This is one meal, not the entire day. Lol! Joe and I have chosen to have a date night every Saturday, and I look forward to that meal all week long. I have a glass of wine, eat anything on the menu that I want, and I always have dessert. The waitress will come over and ask if we want to see the dessert menu, and Joe always says no. I pipe up and say, “oh, yes we do!” Lol! That dessert keeps me on track the other six days, so it is worth it to me.
Since losing weight wasn’t my primary goal, I hadn’t weighed in about 3 weeks. Right now, I’m down about 20 lbs, and I am thrilled. I lost around 25, but the past few months have brought on 5 lbs, so I’m ready to push those to the curb. My goal was to feel better, have more energy, get active, and be healthier overall. The holidays are hard since there are lots of goodies everywhere you look. I chose Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner as my cheat meal for the week, but I wasn’t staying true to the plan, so I’m re-booting on Monday.
The next 8-week program will start on January 2nd, and here is the website that you need to join first. Open enrollment will be from Thursday, December 29th (You can sign up any time during open enrollment. There isn’t a cutoff for the number that can join.) through Wednesday, January 4th.
I would always recommend that you check with your doctor before starting any kind of exercise or diet program to make sure this is a program suitable for you. After you sign up, you will be put into a FB group where all of the information will be posted. You will stay in this group from that time forward, and you don’t ever have to sign up again. Videos of the exercises will be posted daily, and you can join them live or when it is convenient for you. There is also a mindset coach, two chefs that go live two times a week, extra-credit exercises, and the founder of the program goes live each night at 8 PM ET.
It can be a little overwhelming when you first join, but it doesn’t take long to catch on.
The reason that I joined this program was because of the exercise coaches that post videos. Most of the time, I do the modified moves, but any movement at all is my goal. If I lived near my son, he would be able to help me with my exercises, but since that isn’t the case, this group is the next best thing.
You GURLS have been asking for my secret, so I am sharing what I am doing, and this is it.
Here is what the program offers:
All the workout clothing I’m wearing was from last year, so it is no longer available. Here are some items you might like, and I’m working on an upcoming post about activewear for those who are like me and want to include exercise in the coming year.
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