Fitness at 40

Having just completed my thirties with grace, style (ha!), a marriage and two children, I have learned a few things.  One thing being that fitness at 30 is very different than fitness at 40.  It's....slower.

If I had worked this hard when I was 30, I would have dropped 50 lbs by now.  Seriously.  They aren't lying when they say that your metabolism slows down, but it isn't just that.  There are more plateaus.  In this process I have lost in 11-12 lb increments and then nothing for a month or two.  There is a patience and compassion required to lose weight the older you get.  At least the older I get.

About a year after I had my daughter, I lost 20 lbs in two months by walking on the treadmill four days a week for about 45 minutes and watching what I ate.  Five years later I have lost 20 lbs by working out six days a week, incorporating weight training, focusing on a plant based, whole foods diet, and tracking calories.  It just ain't as easy.  

My advice to 30-somethings is to either start or keep up with whatever is working for you.  I can no longer indulge in a pile of cookies or cookie dough and expect it to come off quickly as soon as I do a workout.  My body just doesn't work that way....now.  It did...then.  It has been in the second half of my 30s that things have gotten much harder, so if you are 35 and you aren't exercising regularly and watching what you eat...well, I won't give you advice.  I will just tell you that the more you stick to it and keep it as a habit now, the better off you will be later.

It gets even harder at 50 and 60 and 70.  

In the past few days I have been re-reading many of the books and watching many of the videos that I watched last Fall.  The ones that inspired me to completely change my lifestyle.  Fortunately, they have inspired me again!  After a weekend of indulging a bit more than I have for the past few months, I need to get back to what made me feel good.  Sugar does not make me feel good.  Case in point:

At my birthday party on Friday night, my friends got a Costco cake for me.  I was busying talking so I didn't have any right away.  Finally some friends started placing bets so I took a bite.  What I tasted was chemicals and excessive sugar.  Honestly, I could hardly eat it.  

At dinner on Saturday night, I decided to have dessert.  I had the chocolate lava cake.  I took three bites and gave up and passed it around.  

After dinner on Sunday night I just had dry angel food cake with berries.  Better, but angel food cake without any sort of ice cream or whipped cream isn't all that great. 

Finally, I went to my aunt and uncle's house where my cousin made me vegan chocolate mousse.  It was heavenly.  It was sweetened with agave.  I could taste the ingredients.  It made me happy.

I was in pain for many years - emotional, physical, mental - and now I am letting that go.  I no longer fear that I am going to sabotage myself by eating garbage.  And I don't eat a bunch of junk now and then beat myself up by over-exercising or starving myself later.  My emotional state is not tied to food consumption.  I find joy in oatmeal.