Let’s not beat around the bush. No one ever said it to my face or ostracized me. But they knew. I knew.
I was fat.
I’m less fat now.
But I am still fat.
I think my biggest problem or hinderance to accepting the fact that I needed to lose weight was that in my mind’s eye, I was skinny. You see, when I was young, I was super thin and I couldn’t gain weight if I tried. I could eat whatever I wanted. I never owned a scale. I never thought about my weight. Ever.
With both my pregnancies, I gained a lot of weight. But miraculously, the weight fell off afterwards. Not completely, but mostly. Your body is never the same after having children. And that ten extra pounds that never left didn’t bother me because I was too thin to begin with.
But menopause. I hate you.
The longer that I ignored the weight gain, it seemed to pick up steam, year after year. I developed coping mechanisms so that I didn’t have to face the truth.
- I didn’t have pictures taken.
- I didn’t go clothes shopping.
- I didn’t do anything physical that would leave me breathless and achey. Or close to naked.
I took eating to a whole new level. And the more I ate, the lazier I got. I never in my wildest dreams thought I would let myself get this unhealthy. I may as well have continued smoking.
I’m not really sure what prompted me to change. It was the same last year when I decided to quit smoking. I just decided I was done. It was the middle of the week, 6 pm. I butt out for good. And let me tell you, I LOVED smoking.
I reasoned that if I could give up my favourite past time and excuse for leaving awkward situations, then changing my eating habits would be a breeze. It hasn’t been but I am in the early stages yet. I’m hoping it gets easier. Winter and cold weather are definitely a bitch and it’s hard not to try to warm up by eating a shit ton of carbs.
Let me tell you. Since I started my weight loss journey, September 12, 2017, I never think about smoking anymore. Now that’s a bonus. Of course I dream of Big Macs and donuts all the time now though. I guess I will have to come up with my next change or passion to get my mind off of eating.
So far. So good.
I am happy to report that I went shopping yesterday for pants and was 2 sizes down. In total, my weight loss to date is 28 pounds. I weigh in every Wednesday on Instagram if you are interested in following me and watching my progress.
How did I do it?
Well, getting healthy and changing your eating habits is a little different than quitting smoking. I mean you still have to eat. It’s not like you can avoid it. And almost every celebration in your life is anchored by a meal. I went through Thanksgiving so far. I stayed on track and I didn’t feel deprived which is awesome.
It’s as simple and as hard as that.
Decide and follow through.
My 5 Point Plan To Losing 25 Pounds Of Midlife Fat In 6 Weeks
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1. Join Weight Watchers
I knew I needed some tools and that I couldn’t do it alone. For me, the big selling point was the online app. It is so easy to use and track everything I eat. A few taps or a scan of a barcode and I am up to date. Any way you look at it, you need to track your calories because let’s face it, our bodies and our brains no longer know how much is enough.
2. Increase water intake
I never drank water. Unless under duress. I drank diet pop. I know. I know. It’s bad. But worse was that I was probably dehydrated and that probably contributed to my lethargy. I found an app that tracks water on my phone and bought a refillable, one litre bottle. I drink almost 3 a day. I have so much energy now it’s ridiculous.
3. Track my activity
I have a Striiv Fusion Bio Activity Smartwatch, it’s like a Fitbit, but I never wore it. I tell you, strap one of those on and see you only walk a couple of hundred steps a day and you will shock yourself into moving more. I almost always make my 10,000 steps now. I probably do about 5,000 a day going to the bathroom because of all the water I am drinking.
4. Be accountable
I guess I could join the in house meetings for Weight Watchers or have a friend as a partner but I chose a different accountability route. I decided to post my weigh ins on Instagram. Some weeks I am almost frightened to get on the scale and report. I know my followers wouldn’t chastise me but I bet if I missed a few weeks, someone would ask me what was going on.
Letting people know that you are trying to lose midlife fat and eat healthy makes you accountable to yourself as well. You don’t want to have to explain to people a few months from now that you gave up on your plan. And if you are sliding, someone asking about your progress can really jolt you back into the fold.
5. Make eating healthy a priority
When you start a new habit, no matter what it is, it needs your full attention. Until healthy food choices are second nature, you need to spend more time planning and preparing your meals. In the first few weeks, all I did was think about when and what I was going to eat. Grocery shopping was thought out like a battle plan. If you want to succeed, you need to give your goal your full attention and focus. That is why I like to tackle only one of my bad habits at a time.
I’m looking forward to Christmas this year. Not only has most of my family not seen me since I started my weight loss journey, but I can’t wait to take pictures with them. I will no longer hide behind the camera.
If you see yourself in my story or you are thinking that you may get healthy in the new year, I want to encourage you to start now.