First steps

Here’s a little background.

About ten years ago, I started working to lose weight. Losing weight in my mid-40s turned out to be different from losing weight in my mid-20s or mid-30s, but I succeeded in losing almost 50 pounds. And I succeeded in keeping that weight off for about five years.

Then I started allowing myself a few too many treats and breaks from a fairly healthy diet. Then we moved quite a ways out of town, which meant a lot longer commute to work – and less sleep to make up for the lost time. Then I changed jobs and found myself in a much more stressful situation. And menopause … well maybe that’s a post for another day.

Now here I am in my mid-50s. And nothing that worked in my 20s, or 30s, or 40s has worked in my 50s.

Usually when I set out on a project like this, I want to jump in with a long list of changes to obtain the maximum result in the shortest time. Usually when I approach a project like that, I just burn out. So, for this project, I’m trying a few changes at a time. Here are my first goals.

Where I am

Where I want to be

Size 14

Size 8

Touch toes on sixth sun salutation

Touch toes on first sun salutation

Winded after one flight of stairs

Fine after three flights of stairs

Six or fewer hours of sleep/night

Seven hours of sleep/night

30 pounds heavier than I want to be

30 pounds less than I am

BMI 29.1

BMI 23.3

I tried for several years to lose weight, but succeeded only in losing weight. I blamed menopause (what’s with that weight around my midriff anyway – it wasn’t there when I was younger, even when I was overweight), and I got really frustrated at all the articles I read that said middle-aged women really only gain weight because we eat too much and exercise too little – I was eating a really restrictive diet, but admittedly engaging in only sporadic forays into physical activity.

My doctor finally persuaded me to consult a nutritionist. The nutritionist gave me a short list of tasks.

1.      Aim for 1300 calories on days when I have a moderate workout.

2.      Aim for 1500 calories on days when I have a tough workout.

3.      Commit to working out at least 3 times a week at first.

4.      Commit to working out at least 5 times a week after a few months.

5.      Aim for at least six hours of sleep a night, but seven hours is better.

That last one, she said, was the kicker. Like many middle-aged women with more commitments than time, insufficient sleep has been a problem for some while. The nutritionist said that all my other efforts would be lost if I didn’t manage the sleep issue because of the health and weight consequences of sleep deprivation.

So, here are my first steps.

1.      Record what I eat every day. Every day. Be honest.

2.      Start with yoga at least three times a week.

3.      Walk up the 3 flights of stairs to my office every day.

4.      Add cardio and strength training after a month.

5.      Go to bed 30 minutes earlier. After a month, think about going to bed 30 minutes earlier than that.

 

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One response to “First steps

  1. I am beyond proud of you! I cannot wait to see what happens when you Try It Healthy for the year. Love you more than words and admire your bravery!

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