Last Updated on May 11, 2018 by Cathy Jo Johnson
It’s the first day of spring! If I told you there are now 95 days till summer are you excited and jumping for joy or disappointed thinking about how you’ll look in summer clothes?
Sitting at the keyboard writing this post, I am faced with the same question. No, I am not excited. I have 25 pounds to shed and losing weight at 50 hasn’t been easy. How did this happen again?
As far back as memory serves weight management has been a struggle, chubby kid, hefty teen, 20’s binge eater, obese at 30 and a 100-pound loser by 40. Fortunately, I’m blessed to be part of the 5% that have maintained a significant weight loss going on 14 years.
Honestly, I thought by now weight management would be on autopilot but staying fit over 50 has presented a new set of challenges.
At 47, I was in the best shape of my life. Then suddenly the tug of a snugly fitting waistband followed by the uncomfortable rub at the top of my thighs. What was going on? My exercise was on track, eating reasonably well but there was no denying my weight was changing.
By the time my annual Dr’s exam approached the scale was 15 pounds higher. Low thyroid she explained, and Synthroid was the solution. Great, I’ll start taking that little pill, and things will be back to normal in no time. WRONG! Things have been anything but normal since that time. The 15 pounds has stayed, and the other ten fluctuates like an ocean tide.
The ugly truth about losing weight at 50 is your body and mind are no longer an ally!
If you haven’t yet experienced it, you’ve probably heard about it, physically we change once we hit 40. During this period both women and men, lose 1% of our muscle mass yearly, require fewer calories, and have seemingly overnight developed bodies that hold onto weight like a banker holds on to money.
Accompanied by a lifelong, oft time baffling, battle with weight management many of us throw in the towel and accept an aging out of shape body.
Given these cold hard facts, it’s easy to see why losing weight at 50 can seem like such a daunting task.
While this might be the reality, admittedly, I’ve allowed these “cold hard facts” to double as excuses. Is it a little more difficult? Yes. Impossible? NO!
The good news about being over 50 is it has given me a few qualities I didn’t possess in my earlier years, a bit of wisdom and a lot more patience. I also know the definition of insanity “doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.” Perhaps a successful approach to the current weight management dilemma that most of us face at this stage of our lives requires both old and new skills.
Maybe a successful approach to the current weight management dilemma that most of us face at this juncture of our lives requires both old and new skills. Rather than run headlong screaming into a burning building, let’s use some of the skills earned from this slightly graying hair.
4 key behaviors to losing weight at 50
Start the process by deciding that this is what you want and are committed to doing ANYTHING to make it happen. Most of us complain about the things we don’t like in life but are rarely ready to move it from the complaining phase to the action phase. You can complain about your weight, but nothing is going to change by complaining. Decide to change and then get ready to follow it with action.
2. Set Goals
Goals may be cliche for some, but chances are you have learned some project or organizational skills in your life, and deep down you know that without a set of objectives chances are you will flounder. Take action by defining a starting point and ending point.
[Tweet “As a society, we are singularly focused on the scale when in reality healthy weight management is multi-focused.”]
It could be the number on the scale, your measurements or a clothing size. Write down at least two different goals.
My goals are to reduce my body fat to 20% and comfortably fit in my summer clothes
3. Make a plan
It has taken me a total of 6 years to put this additional 25 pounds on and much to my disappointment it’s not going away by next week.
Average weight loss is 1-2 pounds per week. Weight loss without an exercise program to reshape my body won’t’ get me to both goals.
Therefore, if I lose 2 pounds per week, commit to a regular exercise program beyond skiing, meaning regular cardio and strength exercises, then my goal weight is attainable by the start of summer.
Looking back on past success having someone on the journey with me has helped me achieve my goals. Having someone to share the ups and downs and just knowing that I am not crazy has helped.
Accountability partners can come in a variety of shapes or species, a spouse, a trainer or a friend or even an FB group. A few years ago Darren Hardy of Success Magazine publicly stated his goal to see more sunsets and started posting sunset pics on FB. The real goal was to spend more time with his wife. He simply used the pictures and FB posts as an accountability tool.
While the ugly truth might be that my body and mind don’t want to let me win the weight loss battle, they will not overcome my tenacity, perseverance, and willingness to be the best version of myself no matter what the calendar says. Join me next week, as I continue to discover and share the secrets of being fit over 50!
Would you like to have free insider tips? Need an accountability partner? Or perhaps and occasional motivational reminder? Visit me on FB at AgeWellwithCJ. It FREE and you just might find that edge you need to start losing weight at 50!
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