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Motivation and Aging

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

I've been at or below my current goal weight 64 months now. I'm maintaining around BMI 21 with a daily commitment, but without a lot of struggle. I have not even tracked my food for over 7 months now. My current central weight of 132 is about 6 pounds over what I think is my best-looking weight. I'm well within what my doctor considers a healthy weight now. Per a running web site (was it Matt Ferguson?) I'm maintaining about 10 pounds above what he thinks is my optimal running weight. To go down 6 or 10 pounds might be possible for me, but I would have to give up the comfortable maintaining I now enjoy and work really hard at it. I would have to tolerate considerably more hunger and, until my weight loss was accomplished, my running performance would suffer. If the attempts to maintain at a lower weight triggered binge eating, it would affect my running and my health. Just not sure it is worth it.

As I age, my primary motivators to maintain my weight will need to be more health-related. Not that health hasn't always (okay - since adulthood; not so much as a teen) been a consideration. I feel a little shallow to admit it, but vanity was a very strong motivator for me to lose weight. Vanity has been a major reason I have wanted to maintain. Now that I'm looking older, I can't let age spots and wrinkles take away my desire to maintain.

Weight loss made me look younger. I went from looking 5-10 years older than I was to about 5 years younger than I was. I suspect I am about even now. And I'm struggling a bit to accept that. I'm not one to resort to face or body lifts. So (for those who have done the Beck Diet Solution, I need to update my Advantages Response card) I need to make sure that I am consciously aware of all the important non-vanity reasons for maintaining my 80 pound weight loss.

After living more than 50 years overweight or obese, it was an extreme thrill to finally achieve a healthy weight and begin to know that I could sustain it. I walked around unable to quit smiling. It's sinking in. I'm a person of normal weight now. But as I get older, I may have to work harder to keep the motivation up.
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  • GABY1948
    I agree with the others and their comments. Especially about being comfortable with where you are. I am SO glad to see you talk about this because I am about 15 pounds over what the charts say I should be but I am comfortable and for the first time ever maintaining this weight. So I am afraid to rock the boat.

    Thanks so much for opening up about how you feel too...I thought I was the only one! And you look emoticon Marsha!
    1283 days ago
    You look great. I find I am about 10 pounds over "my" optimum weight but so far, the doctor isn't pushing any changes-just me LOL!
    1283 days ago
    You look fantastic! As a relatively new runner I hadn't given much thought to an "ideal weight for running." Regardless of this idea, I think the best plan is to be healthy and be satisfied. Being hungry or obsessed with food doesn't seem like a good idea.
    1283 days ago
    So many great comments! I agree with those who say to stick with what is comfortable. If you are miserable trying to maintain a lower number on the scale, it just isn't worth it. If you are happy with your current lifestyle, including that pesky scale number, then enjoy life to the fullest!
    1283 days ago
    Vanity is a strange word with negative implications ....however caring about your appearance is not a bad thing at all
    1284 days ago
    First of all, not only do you look incredible (and so much younger than your years, 15-20 years younger in my opinion) but also you can run the pants off of most people my age or younger! So there!

    And I know you didn't ask, but I firmly believe, and have blogged about this, that it's much more important to be at an easily maintainable weight, particularly when there is a risk of feeling deprivation which can lead to self sabotage later. So forgive me for offering my opinion, but I think you are in amazing shape, look great, run really well, and are living quite well!!!!
    1284 days ago
    It's an adjustment, this "I'm a person of normal weight now"! I've noticed that slow transition in the mind... it takes time... well done!
    1284 days ago
    Matt Fitzgerald is the name you were trying to remember. When it comes to his recommendations for ideal running weight, you need to keep in mind that his calculations are designed to get you to what he considers an ideal body composition, not a static weight on the scale. I.e. it's about being lean more than it is about it is about being light. To illustrate this, consider that you and I are the same age, the same height and the same weight. Yet, according to Fitzgerald, my ideal running weight is about 8 pounds heavier than yours, pretty close to our current weight, yours and mine. The reason for this is that more of my current scale weight comes from muscle. It is better to keep that than to lose it (and strength) in the name of weight loss. So my ideal running weight is heavier.

    I mention this only to suggest that you have left out an option in the analysis you offer in your blog. And that option is to increase your weight and resistance training designed to increase your lean mass rather than rely exclusively on calorie cutting to reduce total mass (which could be muscle as well as fat). You might not get lighter but you would get leaner and stronger. An added benefit is that women with good underlying muscle mass are rarely accused of looking too skinny. It helps with wrinkles, too.
    1284 days ago
    I think some vanity can be a great motivator if combined with health goals. Your activity level coupled with the way you move makes you appear much younger than your actual age. Keep up the good work!
    1284 days ago
    I don't think this kind of vanity is bad.... maybe I'm incorrect on that but it's good to care how one looks and want to look as young as they can without being ridiculous .

    This shows passion and enthusiasm. If it help you keep the weight off, than it's positive. I just think you appreciate it it more, if one used to have a weight problem. Yes, it's easy to get lax.

    As far as the extra 6 lbs. I think it's ok to weight a bit more when they get a certain age, if they have energy and strength. emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1284 days ago
    What good is being 6-10 pounds less if you are obsessing about food and calories, having to go back to tracking everything, continually hungry, etc? It's about BALANCE, right?

    My 80-year-old mother, 5'4" tall, weighs 103 and is a size 4. She freely admits she is "always hungry" and I will tell you that she constantly obsesses about food, calories, etc. To me, that's not a happy person or a happy life. Just my 2 cents worth!

    You look so fabulous, your body is strong, you have made peace with what you can and eat and what you choose not me, that's a VERY happy person with a happy life!!!
    1284 days ago
    I know that I'm not quite to your age you are, but I understand!! It seems like every five years my metabolism drops and I have to drop my calories to maintain my weight loss.

    I don't always like what I see in the mirror, with minimal clothing. However, I look darn good in jeans and a fitted shirt! (I still have a little vanity!) I'll keep doing what I'm doing and be glad that I'm as healthy as I am.

    You look emoticon ! Keep doing what you're doing. It's worth it!
    1284 days ago
    Very Important Blog: I "liked" it! (And: my vote if anyone is asking -- pretty sure that it's NOT worth it to take off the six pounds and try to maintain at "lowest achievable weight" . . . plus the very real potential for binge eating trigger.

    It's about healthy. And you look so fabulous, WAAAAAY younger than your chronological years. I often think that the key indicator of youth is the way we move, the spring in our steps . . . yeah!!
    1284 days ago
    I think definitely it gets harder as we age. Now that I am out of my flare from the autoimmune, I have a huge appetite and could eat all day if I knew I wouldn't gain. But health for me is the main goal for me eating healthy.

    You are doing a terrific job and nice not tracking now and maintaining.
    Enjoy your evening.
    1284 days ago
    1284 days ago
    emoticon you say a lot of things we all feel and can relate to. Be glad your husband isn't younger than you like mine is. This makes me feel older , now, where it didn't when I was 30.
    1284 days ago
    Completely HEAR YOU!!! Keep living and loving healthy!
    1284 days ago
  • FROSTY99
    Enjoy your success and don't stress out to be so thin you can't enjoy "life". Sometimes trying for more than what is comfortable can backfire so...... emoticon You have done an awesome job losing so now continue to enjoy!
    1284 days ago
  • HOLLYM48
    I agree that vanity is why I started but after I got the hang of it, I loved the way I felt and the muscles on my upper body and legs! Being a runner is truly something I never thought I could do and you are really a motivating runner to me! I think that you look awesome and let's face it, life is too short to have to go around being hungry all the time just to be at our "optimum' running weight. I think you are simply amazing at the miles you put in now! You are perfect and you are awesome. Keep up the great work!
    1284 days ago

    Sharon emoticon
    1284 days ago
  • _LINDA
    A little vanity never hurt anyone, its as motivating as anything else. But body acceptance is key to satisfaction and the desire to keep being as healthy and fit as you can. You have an amazing body! You are able to run, do any physical activity you please. That is Golden! That healthy glow only enhances your appearance! To not have to track really shows you have arrived! Perhaps maybe not rocking the boat and just enjoying the ride would be more fun for you. Relax. Breathe! Know that you look as good as you feel!
    1284 days ago
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