Lose those kilos of the pandemic

This is really embarrassing. But I’m sure I’m not alone.

Somehow I got the guts to step on the scale last month and find out that I had gained 23lbs during the pandemic.

Is this what they mean by middle age spread? I felt like a slug. Deep sigh. It was like that humorous poem, “When what should appear before my astonished eyes, but 20 extra pounds on hips, thighs, and buttocks.”

This fact is especially hard to share since I wrote a book called “Ten Secrets to Losing Weight After 50.”

How did this happen to me?

Several years ago, after caring for my mom who had Lewy body dementia, I gained many pounds. She horrified me weighing 172 after her death. The most I had weighed in my life so far. So, I did a lot of research and experimentation, I lost 15 pounds, although admittedly it sucks to lose weight as you get older, then I shared how I did it in this book. I even managed to keep the weight off…until the pandemic.

I broke my 5 pound rule shared in my book: if I gain 5 pounds, it’s time to lose 5 pounds. Everyone else was stress eating, indulging and drinking wine. Why not me? We all had to console ourselves somehow, right? After the pandemic was over, I would lose weight again, I reasoned. After all, he knew how to do it.

Well, the problem with that kind of thinking is that COVID stuck around for much longer than I planned. Originally, I told myself that on January 1st he would start to lose weight. Surely, 2021 will be a better year with less stress. Then one day, I was sitting in front of a full-length closet door mirror, and my reflection startled me. I took a photo, gritted my teeth, and decided to face the music on the scales.

I tipped the scale at 180 lbs. Unfortunately, I had broken my previous record. My BMI is 29 and 30 is considered obese. He was at the top. At the rate he was going, he would easily accomplish that feat by the first of the year.

The severity of obesity during a pandemic

I couldn’t let that happen. After all, this is not the time to become obese. Southern California, where I live, is the current epicenter of COVID as we head into 2021. According to the CDC, obesity increases the risk of severe illness from the coronavirus and can triple the risk of hospitalization. Simply put, as BMI increases, the risk of death from COVID-19 increases.

Yes, a vaccine is just around the corner, but here’s more bad news: Studies have shown that obesity may be linked to a lower vaccine response. Oh!

So yes, I hated my appearance, but that’s not my main motivation for losing weight. I want to reduce my risks of getting seriously ill or dying from COVID. Also, I turned 60 a few months ago. I want to stay healthy and strong so I can travel again when this is all over, play with my grandkids, and live longer.

There is no time like the present

No more procrastination. Last month, I began my journey to a healthier me. I wanted to be held accountable, so I bravely posted my weight on my author’s Facebook page and declared that I was going to start following my own advice in my book. It was very scary to make this announcement in case it failed, but it was time to be honest with myself and others.

A few weeks later, my husband posted a photo of me on a hike. He had lost some weight by then, but he still saw me as a bit heavy. Normally, he would have scolded him for posting this photo. Since I have gained weight, out of shame, I only allow headshots. But you know what? I have it! I released the Facebook approvals.

I reread the chapter in my book on changing my attitude (such as thinking losing weight is impossible when you’re older and lamenting that the methods that worked when I was younger no longer worked). I reviewed my tips on how to overcome slower metabolism and muscle loss, managing stress eating, avoiding starvation, and ways to overcome stubborn plateaus.

Pretty good stuff – now I just had to follow my own suggestions.

Choosing the right diet

So, I started my journey and the weight started coming off. I didn’t eliminate all carbs, I didn’t eat grapefruit, I didn’t eat at certain times of the day, I didn’t use specific supplements, or I didn’t eat raw foods. There were no dangerous surgeries, diet pills, expensive weight loss programs, expensive supplements, expensive gym membership fees or personal trainers involved. And I don’t starve myself or go on crazy fad diets that are not only unhealthy but don’t work in the long run.

You don’t have to do any of that to lose weight. Stay away from all those fad diets that your friends are raving about that work temporarily but are unsustainable. As we get older, it’s important to make health, not quick weight loss, a priority. Experts warn that rapid weight loss can cause malnutrition and loss of lean muscle mass. Fad diets can also cause digestive difficulties; For example, many of the fad high-protein diets can cause severe constipation. On top of that, you’re more likely to gain the weight back. Who needs all that?

Remember, you are older and wiser. Your goals are different now. You’re not losing weight to look good in a bikini this summer or to throw on a pair of skinny jeans on the weekend. You want to lose weight so you can live longer and stay healthy and strong.

There is a lot of confusion about choosing the right diet. You’ll want to use a plan that is nutritionally balanced, free from off-limits foods, and easy to follow, allows for occasional indulgences, and provides permanent healthy lifestyle changes.

While writing my book, I tried some of the top recommended diets from US News World Report’s “Best Overall Diets” List, including the Mediterranean diet, the DASH diet, and Weight Watchers (by the way, the popular Keto, Paleo, Atkins and Raw Food diets ranked some of the worst on his list). I have shared the pros and cons of the best diets, their requirements, and my personal thoughts based on my own experience.

Weight Watchers, which is ranked number one in the best diets for weight loss, worked best for me during that time, so that’s the plan I’m currently using. However, everyone is different, so you’ll need to find what works best for you. If you want to try any of the other healthy diets listed, you can find inexpensive used copies of books describing the diets along with recipes on Amazon.

So here I am a month later and thank goodness my tips are still working like magic! How much weight have I lost? I weigh 169 pounds, so I lost 11 pounds in four weeks. I’m off to a good start and I’m determined to stay in this for the long haul!

I already feel much better physically, mentally and emotionally. During the pandemic, when so much is out of our control, it’s empowering to take back control of my eating.

Establishment of mini-deadlines

Experts tend to agree, if you need to lose a lot of weight, setting smaller goals works better than aiming for some daunting, seemingly impossible number that seems so far in the future that you can’t imagine it.

Make sense. Setting a goal to lose 10 pounds in six weeks is less daunting than setting a goal to lose 100 pounds in a year. Short-term milestones keep you focused on your success and progress rather than how much weight you still need to lose. Meeting your mini-deadlines is encouraging and energizing.

In my case, I need to lose about 30 pounds to reach a healthy weight. My first goal was to lose 10 pounds in six weeks, which I happily accomplished. However, from past experience, I know that the weight comes off faster when you start dieting. It slows down after that with some plateaus making progress difficult.

So I hope to lose a pound or two a week from now on. Some weeks you may not lose anything, you may even gain a pound or two. Alright. Keep in mind that when you’re over 50, your metabolism slows down and you lose muscle mass. That means losing weight is more challenging and will likely take longer. But it’s certainly not impossible! And well worth the effort.

So, from here on out, I’m going to make it my goal to lose five pounds a month, and focus only on those five pounds instead of all the weight I still need to lose.

Who wants to join me?

So, it’s the start of a new year with all those resolutions. Is weight loss on your list? Are there brave souls out there who want to join me on my journey?

Need help? Want to know what tried and true “tricks” I have up my sleeve for losing weight after 50? Do you need answers to questions like: How can you control stress eating? What can you do to avoid feeling hungry? What kind of exercises produce the best results? How can you overcome those stubborn plateaus?

If so, subscribe to my blog, BabyBoomerBliss.net, and you’ll receive a free copy of my book, 10 Secrets to Losing Weight After 50. Or, if you prefer, you can purchase a Kindle edition of my book on Amazon for just $2.99 ​​(a pocket edition is available for $7.99). By the way, if you read and enjoy the book, reviews are VERY appreciated!

You can also like my author’s FB page to get weight loss tips and track my progress. I post a picture of my scale weekly and have promised to share my successes and yes, my struggles and failures too.

For example, I knew that the last week of the year would be challenging since it was outside of my normal schedule. So, I set out to just maintain my weight that week. I think it’s okay to take periodic short breaks as long as you don’t go TOO crazy and have a set date to start eating healthy again. It will probably help in the long run. I let my followers know that I gained a pound back. I’ll keep it real.

If you decide to join me on my weight loss journey, here’s one more tip from my book. No matter how much weight you regain during this process, keep your long-term goals ahead and eventually get back to eating healthier and exercising. Be kind to yourself and don’t expect perfection. One bad decision doesn’t have to ruin your entire diet unless you allow it to. Keep your vision of success alive and well. Remember all the reasons why you want to lose weight. If you have a bad day, week, month, or even year, start each day fresh and don’t beat yourself up for setbacks. Living a healthier lifestyle is a process.

We can do it together!

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