Getting the Junk Out of Our Trunk After 50

Ok, I really have to get this diet and exercise thing on a roll. I missed posting last week as I was away helping out a family member. It seemed like I was always on the go, never getting more than two quick meals per day, and I did get a case of water into me. But still I managed to gain two pounds. It was over 90 degrees everyday, I had to keep the dog on the leash and walk her several times a day. I mean where did two pounds come from?

Stress. As I understand it, one of the hormones that is produced when you are stressed out causes you to retain weight.My husband is handicapped, so when we go off on an excursion I have to do it all. All the packing, loading luggage, driving, unpacking, walking the dog, make his meals, plus the work I did for the family while I was there. I missed a class while away, the hotel promised internet and then I could not connect all week. Cant check the bank account, talk with other family, or write my post. Still it’s that two pounds that really bugs me.

My post was supposed to be about what my plan was to get going on my diet/exercise program. I was going to post my stats and lay out my plan to loose 20 lousy pounds…now its 22! This is where the challenge part comes in. Since I have been doing a lot of extra walking I am going to keep it up, hope the dog enjoys it!  Here are my numbers weight 148, height 5ft2in, bust 38.5, waist 36, hips 44, thighs 24.5. I am putting this ‘out there’ to help me be accountable, but I also see it a a motivating opportunity.  I will work on a before picture to post next week. That ought to scare you, the very thought scares me!

My diet plan is not extreme at all, increase lean protein while cutting or eliminating salt, sugar, and fat. Decreasing all portions by 25%, increasing activity by 25%  to start. I has been awhile since I really worked out with weights so I want to be careful not to get hurt. I have an eliptical/ bike, weight bench, hand weights, and a weighted bar. I love to rollerblade, so once I get stretched out, I hope to get back to that also. That is where the walking will really come in handy, it helps you with your breathing, which for me is so important, as I have exercise induced asthma.

Going back to the stress thing, I didnt know I was stressed, because I help my husband everyday, I just feel busy all the time. But the body registers it differently I guess, and at this age it is showing up on my body. I feel that this is an important thing I am doing for myself in so many ways. We all know that exercise is a great way to reduce stress, but putting that plan into action is difficult when life moves so fast sometimes. I would love to hear how you cope with stress, and any diet or exercise tips that have worked for you. Maybe a couple of recipes too!

Yes, all overweight people have heard that one.  Eating healthy has come a long way. No longer restricted to carrot sticks and celery, dieters have a many more choices from online menu’s to packaged meals that are delivered to you by mail. Heck, you can even have real Chef prepare meals and deliver them in some places. But, most of us are fighting the battle of the budget, as well as the bulge.

In Florida, something is always ‘in season’. Road side stands with fresh strawberry’s, peaches,tomatoes, corn and beans are not hard to find, and with the competition among local farmers, nicely priced. Every place has its ‘season’, and if you have a local farmers market it is the best way to begin your quest for fresh produce. Generally the markets run from late spring into fall, that covers 4-6 months of fresh food. Check your Sunday paper in the local section for days, location, and times for your market.

Out of season requires a little more planning, and for me, coupons. Yes I use them, and yes, sometimes its  a pain, making sure you get what the coupon specifies, etc. Extra time at the register, the glaring looks of the customer behind you.  But when I sit down with the family at mealtime and I average out the cost per portion, that’s where I can see the real advantage of coupons. If we eat it or use it, I try to find a coupon for it. Especially soap, toothpaste, and other items that we don’t eat, but do use everyday. Saving on these items means more money for real food, and better food.( When I went to purchase a car, I had a $500 coupon, and they honored it!)

Eating healthy is not the chore it used to be. The variety of fresh food available at the local level, frozen section in the stores, and other delivery methods make it a lot easier to eat right.  Shopping sales and using coupons will help keep you on budget. It does take an effort in planning , but well worth it to keep you on track to ‘not another diet, but a lifestyle’ of healthy eating.

When I was in my late thirties I really got into the working out, watching what I ate lifestyle and managed to drop almost 40 pounds. Going from a size 12 to a 4. Things were working out for me really well and then I got married, began really cooking again, and was not taking my own best advice, and found myself at size 10 in about 2 years. Probably the only reason I did not get back to that size 14 is because we had a drywall business and that is real labor intensive.

So back to my ‘own best advice’, which is “Everything after 6 sticks to your hips”. At that time I was working from 4pm until midnight, and I made sure that I ate right around 6pm. After that, maybe a hard candy mint, but plenty of water to stay full really did the trick. I ate a great breakfast when I got up around 9am, either went to the gym to work with weights, or rollerblading on top of a dam that had no traffic  (in those days).

I recently read an article in Health magazine (by Paige Greenfield, July/August issue, pages 39-40) that really made sense and echoed a lot of what I was doing in those days. Ms Greenfield  cites a study by Satchin Panda, PhD that says ” New studies reveal that to burn the most fat, you need to go 12 hours without eating-say from 8pm to 8am.” Make sense?

The article goes on talking about learning to break the midnight snack routine, and lets face it, its a habit that needs to be broken.

Think about it, staying up late is a recent thing. I know many young people don’t know this, but there was a time when the TV went off the air. Around midnight, after they played the National Anthem and showed the flag waving in the wind, suddenly a test pattern and strange ooooooo sound would be on all 3 channels. Yes, only 3 channels.  So here is some of the ‘science’ behind this.

During the day, your brain and muscles use some of your calories for fuel and the rest gets stored in the liver in the form of glycogen. At night, your body converts the glycogen into glucose and releases it into the bloodstream to keep your blood sugar levels steady while you sleep. Once the stored glycogen is gone, your liver begins burning fat cells for energy.  Here’s the catch: It takes a few hours to use up the days glycogen stores, so if you snack til midnight and then have a breakfast at 7 am, your body never gets to burn fat before you start reloading your glycogen again.

I know that this can be a very touchy subject for a lot of folks, so I am going to start by telling you about a friend of mine. I won’t be using any names because it is not polite,so here goes.

My friend/co-worker and I are at the mall charging thru a heavenly sale. You know the kind, unheard of markdowns, on the good stuff. We have arms loaded headed for the dressing rooms.  I mean we are giggling all the way, so excited with our finds. We get finished and I come out with at least 6 garments that are going home with me, she put everyone of her choices on the return rack.

“Wait”, I said “whats up? You loved this one and that one,” pointing out a couple of very cute dresses, “and what about this?”, pulling another out. She said “They don’t fit.” I am looking at her like a crazy person…”what do you mean?” “Don’t fit your style, or what exactly?” “The size”, she says. I suggest that she go get them in the correct size and she very sheepishly says “No, forget about it.”

Listen I know by looking at her that she is no size 2. But this lady is one of the sweetest, most dedicated workers, great mom, wife,daughter.  Finally we are in the car, I needed to get an answer, so I got around to the subject. “What happened in there?” She very calmly said,”I cant buy anything above a certain size.” I got to thinking about all the times I would cut the size 14 labels out of my clothes, so I could relate, but I thought it was ridiculous that she would not buy something if it was one size above where she could tolerate.

Fast forward 20 years later and now the fashion industry is bending over backwards to stop the bad publicity about ‘anorexic models’.  Finally there are real plus sized models and whole catalogs dedicated to women over size 10. So now, are we swinging the other way? Why can’t they just advertise the clothes with a variety of sizes available, and send models down the runway reflecting many shapes and sizes?  We ladies of all sizes need to realize that its not the number on our clothes or the scale that dictates who we are. Certainly go for a healthy lifestyle. Exercise within your abilities, learn a new way of cooking, but most importantly love who you are.

When your man is looking at you thru the eyes of love he sees a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Model. You children see you as the greatest woman on earth, your parents remember their little girl, and God sees your wonderful heart. Give yourself a break and don’t obsess about the numbers, remember to cut the tag out. Keep looking forward, doing your best to knock off the weight so you will be a healthy role model for your family and around for a long time.

Healthy Eating

You don’t have to look far to find a diet these days.  They are everywhere in magazines, online, and entire books are written for the diet industry. Yes, there I said it, Diet Industry.  Remember that old saying ‘ You are what you eat’ ? Well if all you consume is fast food or highly processed stuff, then most likely you are fat. There I said it, Fat. Another ugly word that no one wants to be, yet one third of Americans are overweight.

Ok, I am not using these words to condem, or hurt anyone’s feelings. I have seen 205 lbs at 5 feet 2 inches…that makes me a 5×5. I have also seen 102 lbs, thin, gaunt and ribs showing like a refugee. Hey, I was finally skinny, but I hated the way clothes looked on me. Never happy right? When your Doctor tells you that you are too small for your frame, it has to make you think.

I started looking at food much differently. I like to cook (and eat!). I am a pretty good cook and can follow a recipe. At 54 years old I am active enough and enjoy working out. So where is the balance? I just want to hit a medium weight that I can maintain without too much effort. That’s when I started looking at the glycemic index. Its the ranking of foods based on their immediate effect on blood glucose (blood sugar) levels. Here are some of the things I learned

  • Low GI means a smaller rise in blood sugar and can help control diabetes.
  • Low GI diets can help people lose weight and lower blood lipids.
  • Low GI diets can improve the body’s sensitivity to insulin.

How to switch to a Low GI diet?

  • Breakfast…have some. Don’t skip this important fuel. Cereal based on wheat bran, barley or oats.
  • Grainy breads made with whole seeds.
  • Pasta and rice instead of potatoes
  • Vinegar or lemon juice dressings.

Build a good plan including Low Glycemic foods. Hunger is minimized and there is less reason to over eat and these types of foods help you stay full longer. You can continue to lose weight and maintain your weight more easily. It also helps with mood swings and regulate energy levels.

I am not an expert or a Dietician, just a girl that has been too fat or too skinny and never happy with my ‘size’. The best advice is the advice that you use. Its all in our hands and we can start right now….just google  glycemic index and you can get loads of information.  Next we can talk about that little tag on our clothes, you know the one you cut out because you don’t want anyone to know your dress size? Been there, done that too.

Do Something

Anything, even if its wrong. That is an old mantra to ward off procrastination. So here we are jumping right into the blog pool. No big words of wisdom to impart….just getting ‘out there’. I want to start by thanking the One that counts….Jehovah God. That’s Jesus’ father, yeah we are not ashamed to say that He is number one. We use His name specifically (some call Him Yahweh) because there are so many gods out there. In today’s world the god of money, fame, and material stuff claim first place. In this first post, we want to Honor God and publicly acknowledge Him, reminding anyone who is wandering that you can always go home to your Heavenly Father.