How to Lose Weight After 30
Believe it or not, there is something worse than not being able to lose weight… (I know crazy, right!)
It is your husband (who knows very little about nutrition) telling you how to lose weight… (I mean …please…)
Dude thinks that Nutty Bars are healthy because they have peanut butter….
Ok, maybe I am exaggerating (but probably only a little).
It ticks me off how men can sneeze and lose 10 pounds. Literally, the wind blows and 2 pounds just drop off… (It’s not fair…)
This year, I have been on a mission to shed a few pounds. I am a tall lady so I can hold an extra 10-15 pounds and my clothes still fit … albeit they are a bit tight.
I wanted to write a post about losing weight over after 30 because I have actually heard a lot of people say that losing weight is a challenge after you reach this age and I actually found this to be true over the last year for me. I posted a pic on Instagram about my health recently and more specifically what I have been doing to lose some weight.
But first, let me take it back to last summer. Last summer involved ice cream….. lots and lots of ice cream. Like 3-4 times per week, we ate ice cream. While I don’t regret it (do you ever regret eating ice cream?) it did hit my waist line and all the places where I hold weight pretty hard. I gained about 10 pounds and the holidays didn’t help me lose the weight either. So I found myself weighing about 14 pounds more than I wanted to weigh and I started to feel sluggish. I felt tired and just not healthy.
In the fall, I started to experience migraines almost every single day. I would take ibuprofen and Tylenol to make it through and I started to notice a trend of having to take something for headaches at least 4-5 times per week.
At our dinner table, we go around and say something that we are thankful for before we eat and I remember specifically having one day without a headache and feeling grateful for that. One day without a headache caused me to feel grateful not to have a headache and that’s when I knew something was up. One day without a migraine should not be a milestone.
Then out of the blue, I listened to this podcast and the guest was Kelly Leveque. She is a well known nutritionist and she wrote the book called Body Love. After listening to her, I bought the book. One section in that book changed my life. She wrote that often frequent headaches and migraines are triggered by wheat or dairy.
This blew me a away because I had never heard that and I work in the medical field! She explained a bit more about it and enough so that I was ready to take the plunge and eliminate wheat and dairy from my diet to see what happened.
I eliminated wheat first and to my surprise my headaches went away after just a few days. I haven’t had a migraine since I eliminated it from my diet. Now, I am going to be totally transparent here and tell you that I still have some wheat in my diet, but not much. I maybe have a piece of toast once a week but really, other than that, it is out of my diet. I realize this may not be for everyone, but I knew I needed to do something to get the headaches to go away. I could not continue taking the amount of ibuprofen that I was taking because my kidneys would not be able to tolerate that kind of abuse.
She also said that wheat and dairy can cause body aches. You know… like the kind that when you get up out of bed for the first time and think “OK grandma, get your ass moving” (says the lady who is 35). I noticed that those went away too with significantly limiting wheat.
I also got rid of most dairy also. Now, I love me some cheese so that is a bit harder for me to get rid of, but I have reduced it to about every other day.
I don’t drink milk and instead have opted for coconut milk if I use it in smoothies.
The other thing I really enjoyed about the book was the Fab 4 Smoothie combo. It is such a life saver for me for breakfast. I just love how simple it is to make and I feel full for about 5 hours. I honestly don’t even think about food again until lunch because I feel so full.
Now, having said that, I did not lose weight and keep it off by just following her diet and that was the thing that frustrated me the most. I was so ticked that I could not lose weight even though I was eating probably better than I ever had. And…. my husband had lost 10 pounds already. I was so ticked!!!
I had already been exercising at least 4 days a week but still the weight stayed there.
I was weight lifting for exercise and not really doing too much cardio. There were some HIIT moves with lifting but I still stayed stuck.
After about a month of following the diet, I had lost 4 pounds. 4 stinking pounds. 4. Just 4.
And you guessed it, my hubby lost another 5 pounds while he was still eating some sweets.
I was so frustrated.
Maybe you have been there too. If you have, I want you to read the next part very carefully.
I was frustrated, but I was more concerned about figuring out a way to get to my goal. I was tracking what I was doing and then sharing that with Greg. By the way, at this time, he was also exercising about 3 times per week with weight lifting and doing a little cardio. In full disclosure, his goal was to lose 30 pounds and I think this is why it was easier for him too. He had more weight to lose than I did.
And then, the day came when my amygdala (anger center of brain) took over and I wanted to strangle Greg.
Something fell out of his mouth that no wife ever wants to hear.
He said, “Becky, if you want to lose the weight, you are gonna have to exercise more.”
My response: “Excuse me?”
Greg: “Yes, you are probably going to have to run.”
Me: “How dare you?”
Y’all, I hate running. I hate it as much as I hate laundry (do you know how much I hate laundry?) I feel like I look like a weird giraffe when I run. Maybe I don’t, (I don’t know because I cannot really see myself run), but I just feel awkward running.
Anyways to make this long story a bit shorter, I listened to him and at least increased my cardio. I started wearing my Fitbit that I got a couple birthdays ago and I started actually paying attention to it. I know a novel idea right.
Well, I noticed that I usually burn about 2200 calories per day so that means I need to keep my calorie intake at about 1700 per day so that’s exactly what I did. I started eating roughly 1600-1700 calories and I lost 7 pounds and I was able to keep it off because I know how to use food and exercise to my benefit. This is not rocket science and you may be reading this and thinking “wow, she is so dumb” but I am just being honest with what I am doing.
I realized that my desk job inhibited weight loss because I wasn’t moving my big butt enough. Now that I know this, I can eat well, still splurge a little and I know what exercise I need to do to consistently lose weight. I am happy with my current weight, but I am still working on losing about 5 more pounds.
Here is something else I noticed and this has to do more with the emotional side of weight loss. I am an emotional eater to an extent and I noticed that there were several weekends that I would splurge because I didn’t have meals planned out and there would be celebrations going on. There would be plenty of sweets around and I would pig out on those. Then, on Monday morning, I would weigh myself and be back up 3-4 pounds! This would infuriate me that I let myself get so out of control on the weekends.
After putting a lot of thought into this, I realized that I had a scarcity mindset regarding food. If something was in front of me that I don’t have a lot, I would pig out. I would think that I couldn’t have it again for a while and I would go totally nuts. Once I realized this though, I changed my mindset to one of “Becky, you can have this whenever you want. You can make it again next weekend or throughout the week. You can indulge on something sweet 3 times per week in smaller portions.” It gave me the freedom not to eat as much. Again, maybe this sounds totally dumb (and I’m ok with that as this mindset thing might help others) but this barrier was keeping me from successful weight loss long term.
All these aspects of your thinking are important if you want to lose weight and keep it off. I know it is frustrating to have to keep thinking about it, but instead of getting frustrated, think of new ways of attacking the problem and you will get there. Be persistent because it will pay off. I am going on 6 months of trying to lose 14 pounds. For some people they would think that isn’t worth it, but to me, it is.
I am paying attention to how I feel after eating. I know which foods make me feel good and full and I know which ones make me tired and sluggish. I choose to eat more of the foods that energize me and stay away from the foods that make me tired.
I choose to love my body right now and not wait to love it until all the weight is gone. I choose to celebrate every single small milestone instead of loathing myself for small mistakes or missteps. I choose to do exercise that I like (and I am even getting used to running) and that has helped me not hate getting up at 5 AM to exercise.
If you have been struggling to lose the weight here are a few tips I want to share that may help you:
-If you crave sweets- try upping the healthy fat in your diet. Specifically, eat half of an avocado or 12 almonds. I eat this type of snack in the afternoon and it helps me not eat as much at dinner and crave sweets at night.
-If you are struggling to lose weight, up your cardio game. This has made the biggest difference for me. I used to lose weight much easier when I worked in cardiology. My patient rooms were a little ways from my desk so I was easily walking my 10,000 steps without trying. Add exercise and boom…I could lose weight quick. Now that I don’t walk as far, I have to push myself at home.
-Do exercise that you feel like doing. I don’t kill it every single day. Some days my runs look more like walks and I am ok with that because I am still getting exercise. I love weight lifting so I still do that 3 times per week. I use Beachbody on Demand for that. I also love yoga so when I feel like I want a light workout in the morning, I do that. It is ok to choose different exercises and switch it up but keep in mind you need cardio to lose the pounds, k?
–Check out Kelly Leveque’s book, Body Love. Some of it may be a little strict but I will say that the Fab 4 Smoothie is a life saver for me in the morning and the structure of eating makes sense. I still watch my calories though (even though she says not to if you eat a certain way)
I hope that this helps you look at your health in a different way. I talk about weight loss in this post to help you get to your goal if you want to lose weight, but keep in mind that you should not hate your body right now. Be thankful in the present to get to your future self. Be thankful for a body that can move. I started being thankful that I have the ability to exercise and that changed my mindset about exercising. Be thankful you have healthy and delicious food to eat because dang it, you get to choose what you eat. Stop feeling sorry for yourself because you have control.
If you are working on the emotional part of eating… do the work and trace it back to when you were a kid and what you were taught about food and eating. I’m telling you, it will help. What did your parents teach you about food? What were their habits? Were you taught to clean your plate? Were you taught that food was used as a reward? What were you taught that maybe shaped the way you think about food? This will help you get a grasp of the emotional eating habits you have.
Yes, maybe weight loss is needed for you to be healthy and if that is the case, make that a priority and do not feel bad about that. You need to be the best, healthiest version of yourself to show up for all the people who rely on you. But health is more than just weight loss or the number on the scale. It is being able to do the things you want to do without running out of breath. It is being able to have the energy to make it through the day. For me, it was about not having to take medication for headache on a daily basis.
What does health look like to you? What do you think you need to change to show up as the best version of yourself? Go get it, sister/brother!
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