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Weight loss changes as we age

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Well, d'oh, you're probably saying to yourself if you're over 40. Yeah, it gets harder. But that wasn't what I was thinking about today.

When I was younger and heavy, it was all about how I looked. I'd venture to say it's the same for most 20 & 30-somethings, unless they have health problems.

But now it's truly different. My top two reasons for wanting to lose weight is to be healthy and to have more energy. I won't kid you, of course I want to look good too. But it is no longer at the top of my list.

I was musing about this today because today is agility day. It's almost non-stop from the moment I get up at 5:30 am until we get back home from classes at 10:30 am. And it's hot. Yesterday it was 105! Just 10 pounds ago, even when it wasn't hot, I'd come home from agility and just veg out pretty much the rest of the day. I was wiped out after two classes.

While I'm still tired after two classes, especially in the heat, I usually do get a second wind. I get something accomplished with the rest of the my day. I'll be doing a Turbo Jam DVD after I digest my lunch.

Maybe this is actually why I couldn't lose weight for the last decade. Because it was mostly about how I looked. Now it's more about how I feel. Or maybe it's just the fact that I swallowed my shame and reached out for support, both here and at Weight Watchers.

I wish I could convince the younguns' that it isn't all about how we look, because eventually, no matter how hard we try, those looks will fade. But it's probably a journey everyone has to make in their own way and their own time.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JANDELL 7/15/2008 6:58PM

    Oh, yeah, you're so right about reasons for weight loss changing as we age. As a Mamaw, I just want to be healthy enough and physically able to keep up with my almost-four-year-old grandson. Plus, I get the ADDED bonus of looking better too. It's a win-win situation.

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MTER67 7/15/2008 6:47PM

    I read somewhere around the age of 35, many women have an epiphany and start living healthier because they want to extend their lives, not just b/c they want to look better. Some stick with it; others fall off the wagon. I exercise to feel better AND look good, but like your other commenters here say, the one often begets the other. When you feel good, you have more confidence; and confidence, regardless of your age, is a sexy thing.

Thank you for my goodie today. I got a good night's sleep last night, but my cold has settled in my throat and I have a terrible cough! As for Macaroni Grill, it IS on a base here, but all the servers are English speaking Okinawans. It is supposedly the (or one of the) largest MG's in the world, serving breakfast, rooms for meetings, etc. It is my kids' favorite restaurant--but more for the paper tablecloths they get to draw on than for the food!

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LILLIAN364 7/15/2008 5:35PM

    I'm healthier in so many ways since I started this journey. It makes a difference. My skin is so much healthier.

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STARTSPARKING 7/15/2008 5:21PM

    I agree with you wholeheartedly that our health and how we feel matter so much more than superficial looks. On this journey, I am discovering that as I eat more sensibly, drink plenty of water, and exercise consistently, I am feeling so much stronger physically and have so much more energy. I am feeling more confident. My skin is softer, and I can't remember an acne break-out in months. My muscles are more toned. I am happier. Guess what? When all those elements are added together, people are telling me that I LOOK better!

To me, true beauty is not about designer clothes, heavy make-up, or a contradicting figure with an emaciated body and big "girls" from a plastic surgeon's office. I feel better about myself now that I am healthier, stronger and more confident. I wouldn't trade that for anything!

Thank you for such a wonderful blog post!

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NOMI_822 7/15/2008 2:19PM

    You will be surprised at how what you eat and how you approach the healthier lifestyle will influence your kids and family. My hubby and 2 adult sons would eat junk food non stop before I started this journey, and now they watch what they eat and how much junk they eat. I believe all kids go through that age where it is all about how they look but I try and stress to my 13 yr. old stepdaughter that no one is perfect and it is not best to try and stay as thin as models. Most of what they perceive as normal comes from Celebrities and Runway models. This is something I didn't have to deal with where my sons were concerned. They had a very good outlook about themselves and didn't try and keep up with other children. My stepdaughter's mom is all about the Name Brands and fixing every flaw that Kaelin thinks she has. From my photo gallery you can see how beautiful she is and I tell her she only has to be herself. Personality and attitude definitely outweighs looks. Looks do fade and if you don't accept it you will be one of those people always going to plastic surgeons for tucks and lifts. Why does older mean run down and ugly. I have never been one who looked at the outer person, the inner person was always more important to me. Share your journey with your children and you can be the inspiration for future generations of healthy eaters. emoticon

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Are you happy?

Monday, July 14, 2008

Sometimes I just seem to get on a roll with a theme. Are you happy? That is probably the most important thing when it comes to losing weight. If you hate yourself, if you hate what you're doing for exercise, if you hate what you're eating, then this will never be a lifestyle change for you.

I'm not saying you'll never be frustrated or discouraged; we all are sometimes. If we are never frustrated, how would we know when we're happy? But you've got to be happy with what you're doing most of the time.

As I said in a recent blog, the realization came to me that I am happy with what I'm eating 95% of the time. Really happy. Part of that comes from just being very mindful: thinking about whether I'm truly hungry (and eating if I am, whether I'm out of points or over calories); thinking about what I truly want to eat; and eating mindfully when I do (no reading, no tv).

I enjoy exercising, most of the time, too. Sure, I'd much rather have my butt stuck in a chair reading, listening to music, or knitting -- or maybe even painting. But I don't have the energy to do the things I love if I don't exercise. I like the way I feel when I exercise. And I most definitely like what exercise does for my body.

I don't worry about the numbers too much. That includes calories, exercise minutes, whether or not I'm in my target heart range, the number on the scale, or the number on my jeans. I don't have to be in any particular range to know I'm burning calories. I don't worry about if I exercise x minutes I can x amount of food. I just know that if I'm active for about an hour a day, and mindful of what I eat, the weight will come off. Probably the only numbers I really pay attention to are the numer of glasses of water I'm drinking and how many fruits & veggies I'm eating.

If you're not happy, choose another journey. I don't mean give up on weight loss, but change your strategy. Find the journey makes you happy, and the weight will come off.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WOODLANDMYST 7/15/2008 12:08PM

  For the first time in a long time, I can say, yes, I am happy. emoticon

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LJACKMAN 7/15/2008 9:51AM

    If your happy and you know it..........clap your hands! That is in between steps!

Great blog! It took me a while after doing routine exercises (yuck), to find what I enjoy.

I am happy! I was happy before, now I am ecstatic. Life just gets better and better.

I love your page. Unfortunately I am allergic to animals, so I need to take a claritin now! LOL Keep up the great work, and the great blogs!!

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JANDELL 7/14/2008 10:44PM

    Love cats. Love your blog! SO true!!

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STARTSPARKING 7/14/2008 8:53PM

    "It takes some silence to make sound
And it takes a loss before you found it
And it takes a road to go nowhere
It takes a toll to make you care..."
- "Life is Wonderful" by Jason Mraz

I know Mter would appreciate that one! Anyway, I agree that if we are never frustrated, we would never appreciate it when we are happy." For most of my life, I've hated and dreaded exercising. P.E. was actually my least favorite class when I was a kid. It has only been a few years ago when I discovered my niche in group exercise classes. Now I LOVE exercising in my turbo kickboxing, step aerobics, Zumba, and weight training classes!

Thanks for the important reminder to be mindful of the tastes of food, how we feel, and the euphoria we experience when we exercise. Wonderful blog post!

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MTER67 7/14/2008 8:51AM

    I haven't been able to exercise for 3 days now b/c of a hectic schedule and b/c of a cough and cold that would make it hard to run right now. I can't say that I am dying to get back out there and run tomorrow, but exercise is an ingrained part of my life and I know that I WILL get back out there eventually, as soon as I am feeling 100% again. If I am a happy person, then I owe a lot of it to my running.

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Many journeys

Sunday, July 13, 2008

I do believe that there isn't one way to lose weight. What works for one person may not work for another. There are many different journeys available to us.

I also believe that we can take wrong turns on our journeys, sometimes, and it may feel right . . . but ultimately be wrong. As I've mentioned, cutting out whole food groups is rarely a good idea, unless, of course, you have a medical problem.

Becoming obssessed with calories, or exercise minutes, is just not a way to live your life to the fullest.

But it's okay to try different paths. Just ask yourself a few questions:

1. Is this something I can do for the rest of my life?

2. Do I feel satisfied with my plan?

3. Do I still have time for the things that bring me pleasure?

4. Does my plan make me feel good & energized?

5. Is my plan working for me?

Of course the journey won't always be easy. There will be hills to climb, there will be straighaways that seem to go on forever, there will be things blocking your way.

But if you're on the right path, you'll know it. And if you're not, there are other paths available to you. Learn to be flexible.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JANDELL 7/14/2008 10:46PM

    I like how you think! I'm gonna subscribe to your blogs.

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STARTSPARKING 7/14/2008 12:15AM

    It has to be a plan that can be maintained in the long run. Diets and deprivations may yield only short-term results. Thank you for a wonderful blog post!

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MAXIJOHN 7/13/2008 2:51PM

    Funny you should mention this. Mu DH thinks I am getting a little obsessed with exercising. And I think he might be right!

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VISITORX 7/13/2008 2:09PM

    I couldn't agree more!

Great post.

Thanks for posting to my blog. I appreciate the support!

Here, I'm sending you some emoticon

Audrey

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KSTYLEFITNESS 7/13/2008 10:50AM

    Great advice, and so true!

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PEACEOFOM 7/13/2008 7:59AM

    Amazing words and good thoughts! Bravo! I completely agree with you, and actually just came to the same eureka myself. emoticon

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CHLOROFORM 7/13/2008 7:48AM

    Good advice.

emoticon

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It's official: 10 pounds gone

Saturday, July 12, 2008

And just where do you get those icons? I tried copying & pasting it from someone's page, but then it wasn't transparent.

Not quite 10 from when I started going back to WW -- although I'm only half a pound away -- but from when I had to get weighed at the doctor's at the end of March. So it took 3 months, which isn't terrible.

I would love, love, love to be in the 140s by the cruise. But that would mean I'd have to lose 8 pounds in 6 weeks. While not unreasonable, it may be unreasonable for me, especially since your weight loss slows the smaller you get (not that I could be considered small yet).

I would also love to hit 150 before the cruise. That would be 10% gone -- and I originally had that as a goal for March 2009!

WW is definitely helping, considering that I lost 1 lb between the end of March and starting back at WW in the middle of May; and have lost almost 10 in the 2 months I've been going to meetings. Big difference!

Of course, I've also added in some challenging exercise DVDs, and have the carrot of a cruise dangling in front of me.

Yesterday our leader asked someone who's lost 10 lbs what they're proudest of. I'm not sure I would have been able to answer on the spot, but with time to reflect, I'd say I'm proudest of the fact that 95% of the time, I'm extremely satisfied with what I'm eating. I still eat desserts. I still eat out. I still eat pizza -- just not as often on any of the above, and sometimes in smaller portions.

I had a really good day this week: I worked chocolate into every main meal of the day. For breakfast I had a chocolate banana "pizza" (half a whole wheat pita, spread with 1 tbsp peanut butter, 1 tbsp chocolate chips, and 1 banana, heated). At lunch I took my calcium supplement, Adora, which is a small chocolate. And with dinner I had chocolate covered strawberries. So maybe an ounce and a half of chocolate spread over the whole day.

We went out for breakfast, out for sushi, and I made those whoopie pies. And I still lost 2 pounds, which for me is great. And if I stay true to pattern, I'll probably gain a tiny bit next week. But that's okay, because I know as long as I keep eating healthy, I will continue downwards.

Alaska ho! Indeed.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JANDELL 7/14/2008 10:51PM

    I think I'm gonna try your chocolate/banana pizza!

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STARTSPARKING 7/12/2008 10:28PM

    Congratulations on your 10-pound loss! Deprivation only makes me crave something more. Calculated small indulgences occasionally works better for me. Keep up your great work, and I wish you continued success!

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WHIMSYT 7/12/2008 9:33PM

    Thank you so much for your encouraging comment on my blog. You're doing really well, and your blog and spark page really encourage me to keep on keeping on!!!! You mentioned a WW story about a woman who lost 160 lbs 0.2 and 0.4 at a time....where do I find that story?? Keep up the GREAT work!!! I've added you as a friend so I can keep reading your page. emoticon

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LILLIAN364 7/12/2008 4:33PM

    My first ten pounds is the hardest since it's my only ten pounds. I decided on the goal 127 as a final goal. That's eleven pounds from my starting weight. Congratulations on your ten pound loss. Way to go!

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KIMMERQU 7/12/2008 3:07PM

    emoticonand emoticon I think that first 10 is the hardest. You're doing a great job. And I love the fact you eat chocolate at every meal...LOL.
emoticon Kim

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DONANDMARY77 7/12/2008 11:36AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
HOW Cool is that???
Mary

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HEARTBEAT10 7/12/2008 11:12AM

    Way to go with the 10 pounds. Keep the positive energy going and you'll get to your goal. Just don't give up.

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MAXIJOHN 7/12/2008 9:52AM

    emoticon

I am so proud of you! Doesn't it feel great?

I am going to have to try that Chocolate Banana pizza. Sounds yummy!

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ASTARB1 7/12/2008 9:33AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Congratulations on hitting this milestone. I have no doubt that you'll reach your goal!

To add the icon, go into "edit mode" on your Spark Page, click a photo to change it, where you can upload a photo or choose one from your gallery, then click on "also choose from our 'success' gallery".

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MTER67 7/12/2008 7:53AM

    I can really feel your enthusiasm in this blog, Jlitt! How satisfying to be able to eat what you want (just in sensible amounts) and still lose weight. That's the difference b/t a lifestyle change and a diet. The former you will stick with, the latter is always a temporary thing. I am sending you good karma and positive wishes that you reach your goals before your cruise. I think you can do it!

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Friday Fit Tip: Vary what you eat

Friday, July 11, 2008

I'm not just talking about food, either. Of course you should eat a wide variety of food -- when it comes to the healthy food, that is. But did you know that you might lose more weight if you don't eat the same number of calories every day? It's known as calorie cycling or the zigzag diet. There's a Sparkteam for it, too (look under nutrition, I think).

If you're interested and want to know what you ought to eat from day to day, check out this calculator: www.freedieting.com/tools/calorie_ca
lculator.htm#


I'm not sure if this is a good way to eat all the time (probably is) or if you should only use it when trying to bust through a plateau. I already do this in a non-scientific, haphazard sort of way, by saving points so I can eat more on the weekends. At some point, I'll give this a shot. Although eating 2000 calories of healthy food will probably be a challenge for me -- at least during the summer, when I'm often just not that hungry.

I'm sure you heard the other big news this week, too, because it's all over the blogs -- people who keep a food journal lose twice as much weight, or so they say.

Just as they say that people who actually attend their weekly WW meetings supposedly lose 30% more weight (I believe this).

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NOMI_822 7/11/2008 2:15PM

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I'll have to try this to see if it will help me. I lose a few pounds and then stop and sit there for like a month before I lose any more. I could deal with just that but when I gain one or two back it is very dissapointing. Maybe if I tried your plan and eat different numbers each day the pounds would stay gone. The new pedometer is a Sportline, bought at Wal-mart and I think it was like $5. I know it was less than $10 cause the mat I also bought was 9.97. I know it was less than the mat. They had black, blue, and red. I chose blue. emoticon

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MAXIJOHN 7/11/2008 9:10AM

    For those of us on Weight Watchers, there is a plan similar to this called the Wendie Plan http://www.stormpc.com/ww/wendie_pl
an.htm
Its the same concept, you eat more points on certain days and less on others so your body doesn't know what to expect. And it truly works when you have hit a plateau!

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