Today’s list: Jimmy has soccer practice, Meredith has band practice, the twins need cupcakes for school tomorrow. Dry cleaning needs picking up, schedule dentist appointment regarding Meredith’s braces. The boss wants that report on her desk by the end of the week! You say to yourself, “Oh, I’ll just stop at the local fast food place and pick up dinner. The kids like that anyway!” The next day, you berate yourself for the fast food dinner you devoured. “looks like my new year’s resolution to drop those 15-20 holiday pounds has once again gone to the wayside!”
Sound familiar? If so, you’re not alone. It’s the cry of many women across the U.S. They are over 40, over-weight, and overwhelmed! The demands of living in the 21st Century had made it seem that losing weight after 40 is impossible. But, take heart – it is possible. Sure, there are changes going on in our bodies, but those changes don’t have to affect our weight loss. Our metabolism may slow, our muscles may not be as strong as they used to, come to think of it, our bones might not be as strong as they used to be! Those creaks and cracks may scare you!
There are a few simple things you can do to succeed in weight loss even after age 40:
- First, slow down and take a deep breath. This isn’t rocket science. If you are overwhelmed in your life, take a look at your schedule. Can the kids carpool with their friends to soccer practice or band practice? If there isn’t a carpool in your neighbourhood, start one! I’m sure there are other mom’s who could use this too. If you work outside the home, is there a way to decrease your work schedule? Maybe get an assistant? Drop down to part-time? Regarding errands, make a schedule of what needs to be done each week. What places are close to each other? Is Jimmy’s soccer field near to the dry-cleaner? Why not pick up the dry-cleaning before or after practice. Is the dentist near the car repair shop? Can you schedule Meredith’s braces tightening whilst you get the oil changed? There are simple solutions to organising your time and errands better.
Go through the cupboards, fridge and freezer. Get rid of all those high calorie, sugary, salty and extremely fattening snacks. Make a list when shopping and purchase fresh fruits, veggies and nuts for healthier snacks. Purchase fresh produce and fruits that are in season and locally sourced whenever possible. The same goes for fish. Try and shop the perimeter of the grocery store – stay away from the pre-packaged meals and foods. Watch for low-fat and no-fat foods as they have been known to cause more harm than good. Eating healthier is the first step in being better able to lose weight. Don’t think of this as a diet, think of it as a lifestyle change – to a healthier lifestyle.
- Exercise – I know, I know, when do you have time! Easy -exercise doesn’t necessarily mean jumping up and down in front of the TV with an aerobics DVD! Take the stairs instead of the elevator, don’t pick up the mail when pulling into your driveway – walk down to the mailbox after you park the car. You can join a gym or your township’s community center (don’t worry, you’ve saved enough by not purchasing those processed foods!) My township charges resident’s $550 a family annually to use the facilities which include a gym and pool. There are also individual and senior packages. That comes to $46 a month and that’s for the entire family! As I said, you probably are now saving that much at the grocery store now that you’re eating healthier.
- Actually cooking meals – Now that you’ve got some free time because you’ve organised your schedule, and have some extra energy because you’re exercising, you can now break out that cookbook that Aunt Mary gave you a few years ago for Christmas. You probably looked at it, perusing the recipes and pictures and then put it on the bookshelf and forgot about it. Take it down and seriously read it! Plan your meals for the week using recipes you find in the book, in magazines, the Sunday paper, etc. Make your shopping list with ingredients you need for each recipe, remembering to go fresh whenever possible.
Now that you’ve organised your schedule, re-hauled your kitchen, and are exercising, don’t forget the most important part of this new, healthy lifestyle – Sleep! Get enough sleep each night – 7-8 hours a night is recommended. Try some per-bedtime routines like no TV one hour before bed, make sure your room is completely dark, clear your mind with mediation and relaxation exercises. If you are a reader, don’t read anything too suspenseful or exciting. I also try to not eat anything after 7pm.
You get the idea, now. Making simple choices each and everyday will help you succeed in losing that unwanted weight even if you are over the age of 40. You may also want to consider teaming up with a friend – you can hold each other accountable, exercise together and encourage one another.
Whilst I’m not a mom, I do know a thing or two about weight-loss I’m almost 48 and struggle with my weight. However, I’ve switched to a healthier lifestyle, like what I’ve described above. I watch what I eat, how I shop, and I exercise. (It’s kind of hard to have an excuse not to exercise when you have a sister whose a yoga/Pilates teacher! LOL!). I also supplement and use a weight loss shake for in-between meals or even for my breakfast. And, I’m losing the weight!
Cheer up ladies, you can lose that extra weight. You can even make it fun and adventurous!
Diane is a coach who teaches people how to live healthier lives. Using her experiences as a former professional cook and as a gardener, she shows people how easy it is to change their unhealthy living patterns to a healthier lifestyle. You can find more information on Diane at http://brightfuture-helpingothers.blogspot.com