When I met my husband I was 53 years old, 5'4",122 pounds. I exercised 3 times a week religiously, and it was very easy to control what I ate as I was single. I have never been on a real diet in my life-- I'd just cut out sweets for a while and be back to my normal weight in no time. Post-menopausal life is very different, and those days are gone. Dating brought a whole new diet into my life: fried foods, starches, lots of red meat, etc., and before I knew it I had put on 5 pounds. I told myself that I was "fat and happy."
We were married when I was 54, and I continued to gain weight up to 135 pounds. I finally began to think such things as," Well, I'm old now and tired of working so hard to stay thin. I deserve to just relax and will just accept my new shape." Until the day that I stepped on the scale and saw the number 139--I was about to venture into the 140's--this was completely unacceptable to me! HOW did I gain 17 pounds?! The fat on my abdomen was also completely unacceptable. It was ugly!
That did it! I decided then and there that I had to take action. What immediately came to mind was your voice, Dr. Laura: "Eat less, move more."
I began the following steps:
1) Put smaller portions on my plate.
2) STOPPED eating when I felt full. I realized at this time that I really never noticed when I was FULL. Rather, I noticed when I was STUFFED. My mother always insisted that I clean my plate when I was growing up, and I was still doing that. And going back for more if it was really good!
3) Attended Jazzercise classes at least 3 times a week again (I had dropped my attendance to 1-2 times a week due to back pain from arthritis--hey, it was a good excuse). And I began walking a mile on my lunch break at work. So now, I was exercising 6 times a week.
4) I also began weighing myself EVERY DAY. I used to do this before I got married, but once I moved in with my husband the scales were in the hall bath, and I didn't weigh for weeks on end. This has made a huge difference as when I was not weighing myself regularly, I would gain 5 pounds without realizing it, then another 5 pounds. It added up so quickly. When I weigh every day I can catch weight gain before it gets out of control and do something constructive about it, THAT VERY DAY.
I have to say that this has been hard. The weight is coming off very slowly. I have lost about 2 pounds per month. BUT every 1/2 pound is a victory, and I celebrate with myself in the mirror. I have now lost 12 pounds and am back in my pre-marital pants! My husband is so proud of me and compliments my figure. I feel like myself again and have more energy. I am continuing my plan and want to lose a few more pounds still. I keep a short-term goal in my head, usually just about 1-2 pounds at a time, and make a new goal when I reach my current one. This makes it all very manageable and gives me lots more occasions to celebrate.
Thanks for the simple message: "Eat less, move more"