There’s some irony here as I type out this post and enjoy a bowl of chocolate ice cream at the same time. Believe me, it’s not lost on me. But hear me out. Metabolism changes after 40 are REAL. I mean, do you even have a metabolism once you hit this point?
My metabolism has been pretty steady since I was 16 years old. I was fortunate in college to not deal with the “Freshmen 15”, but I did gain several pounds over those four years. After graduating and starting a job at a PR firm, I realized that if I didn’t start a regular exercise regimen, I would quickly develop “office ass”, you know the weight that comes from sitting on your tookus all day. So I joined a gym.
Any weight I gained in my 20s and 30s was a direct result of eating garbage and/or not exercising. I did Weight Watchers before wedding and another (now-defunct) weight loss program a few years after, when I got…ahem…comfortable in my marriage.
I have ebbed and flowed within the same 10 lb for years. I was actually at my lowest weight since college in the two years after I had my daughter. (Thank you breastfeeding.)
Then I hit 40.
Cue record scratch.
What the hell? I don’t know what kind of cruel joke this is but I am NOT having it. Nothing has changed. I’m eating the exact same way. I’m exercising on a somewhat regular basis. Yet, I’ve gained almost 10 lbs since my birthday.
I AM NOT OKAY WITH THIS.
I was ready for 40. I mean, as much as I could be. I was ready to embrace aging gracefully and to not care as much what people thing, but this metabolism shutdown is KILLING me. I’ve literally been at a loss, paralyzed by frustration.
But it’s time to get my butt in gear.
So what am I going to do?
Let’s be real for a sec. I am not one of those people who love exercising. I exercise because it’s a necessary evil.
About a year ago, I joined Burn Bootcamp and I like it better than 99% of any workouts I’ve ever done before. Every day is different.
I “aim” to go three times a week but I’m not sure I’ve ever done that two weeks in a row. My goal now is to HIT that every week – no excuses. They have a 6:30 a.m. class and as much as I love my sleep – if it’s that the only way I can go, I’m going to do it.
I’ll do a mix of cardio and strength training. We lose muscle mass as we age, and I want to make sure I keep on top of that.
– Evaluate what I’m eating
Most people eat the same or similar items every day/week.Whatever I’ve been doing is clearly not working for me anymore. I am quite aware that I need to up my veggie intake. My current jam is bagged salad. It’s super easy and it means I’m actually eating my vegetables.
I also need to try and limit my carbs. They are my downfall. I could get away with it in my twenties and thirties, but now I think they need to be more of a “treat” vs a daily occurrence. SOB.
I’m going to do an overhaul of my weekly meals and track them in My Fitness Pal for a month. The head trainer at Burn recommends we never go lower than 1500 calories, so I’m going to aim for 1600 calories a day, with a goal of 90g of protein on days I work out. I’m also going to try and stop snacking after 8pm.
– Drink more water
I am terrible at this. I can drink coffee all day long, but water is hard for me. I downloaded an app to my phone that reminds me very two hours to drink. Seems dumb, but it helps!
– Say good-bye to the scale
I am literally going to put away the scale. It’s not helping me. My body is changing and I need to start looking at it in a different way. It’s about how I feel and how my clothes fit…not about the number.
It’s going to be a HUGE mind shift for me, but I think it’s the right choice, the healthy choice.
I will mentally feel better if I just go based on what I see in the mirror and what I feel in my clothes. All that number does is mess with my mind.
– Make a doctor appointment and possible meet with a nutritionist
I am no expert, and sometimes we have to call in the big dogs. I want to get some blood work done to make sure everything is running as it’s supposed to. Being deficient in certain vitamins and nutrients can make a huge difference in how we look and feel.
I know I’m not alone. I’ve talked with many, many friends who are in this exact same boat. It’s a daily struggle. I want to enjoy my life. I want to eat cake and drink wine. But I don’t love where I am.
Metabolism changes after 40 just plain suck. But instead of being resigned to this fate of my body after 40, I’m going to take action. It’s not going to be perfect, but nothing ever is.
Here we go…
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