I Expect….

Out of all the expectations in the world, I think the worst are what we expect of ourselves. We expect to be smart and savvy. Do well at school, succeed at work or career. Be beautiful and stylish. Get married and have children. Be the greatest parents in the history of parenting. Just look at social media: pinterest is successful because of our need to have picture perfect lives. Facebook and Instagram allow us to peak at other lives, causing us all to have….expectations of ourselves.

We all do it to a certain degree- we want a nicely appointed room to entertain people in, or serve a gorgeous dinner, throw a themed party. We want things to be just so. No matter unrealistic our expectations get. No matter how secure we are, the Jones family is right over there with there perfect green grass….

I like to think that I am somewhat level headed. I don’t really covet thy neighbors goods (though Diane carved up a chicken on her blog yesterday and I was a little envious of how she took it apart) If I really want to do something, I generally get it done: I have my lists and plans and bucket lists, and I try to keep it real.

Great.

But I’m still having my weight issues.

See, this is where my Facebook envy comes in. I don’t look enviously at the lives of others. Facebook has this annoying habit of showing us “Remember” pictures.

Oh how I hate to see pictures of me from seven years ago.

Up until I was 50 I was a not thin but not heavy person. I was reasonably content with how I looked and how I felt about how I looked.

I don’t look like that anymore.

I am not happy that I don’t look like that anymore.

Menopause didn’t give me hot flashes, or moodiness, or the majority of the symptoms that go along with it. But…it slowed down my reasonably fast metabolism to that of a sloth…

And the weight came on….

I exercise daily. In fact, I am presently in my gym shorts and tank top and will be hitting the gym after I hit publish. (sidenote- I often read blogs on the elliptical, so if a response is ever total gibberish you know it’s because I can’t step and type- Claudette has taken to warning me if any post might make me trip….)

So yes: gym- check.

I walk everywhere and exceed the 10,000 step thing. I take the stairs. Blah blah blah.

I eat just like I did before.

Ha.

That’s the problem: I love food. I love cooking. I love trying new things. I continue to do all these things because I love them. Alas, they don’t love my body. Food mocks me now, like a bad ex boyfriend showing all his pictures on Facebook…

My love of food has collided with my love of weighing less.

I want to lose weight, but I don’t want to break up with food.

I have unreasonable expectations of my post menopause body. I expect it to do all the same things it did before, and because it doesn’t I get mad. I am mad at my metabolism for letting me down. I am mad at food for being so yummy. I am mad at cooking because it’s so much fun.

I need to get my expectations in line with one of these things. I just don’t know which one it will be.

Weight Loss Update

Two months ago, I told you all that I was about to embark on a lifestyle change.  I wasn’t feeling good about the post-Voldemort weight, so I was going to make some changes to try to lose a little weight and feel better about myself.

So- here’s the update- I have lost 7 pounds in two months, which is roughly 1 pound a week.  I am happy with this loss and pace, because I really think I’m changing my habits, which is really the important thing.

Now, I’m never skinny- never in my life have I ever been called that.  But I had a fast metabolism, so I was usually able to stay trimmish, even though I had a HUGE appetite.  But Voldemort killed my metabolism.  Not changing my routine ended with me gaining 20 pounds over the past two years.  Not good.

Here’s the changes I made to my life in the past two months:

  1. green tea.  Supposedly it speeds the metabolism.  I can’t prove it works, but I can’t prove it doesn’t
  2. Making sure I drink water- 8 glasses a day
  3. Reducing portion size.  This is the big one for me.  I now put small spoonfuls of the heavier foods, and larger spoons of salad and plain veggies.  I’ve noticed that just a little taste of something good is enough
  4. Reducing carbs.  Not eliminating them.
  5. If I know I will be eating a meal out, I eat very few calories with my other meals.  I don’t know how healthy this is, but it is working for my lifestyle.

My breakfast and lunch are usually one of the following: eggs/veggies. fruit/yogurt, veggie salad.   I do cardio for 5-7 hours a week (elliptical or spinning) and two weight training classes.  I also walk a lot.

Losing weight after 50 is SO MUCH HARDER!  I remember being able to drop 5 pounds in two weeks just my watching what I ate.  So, if you are my age and are going to try to lose weight, remember this:  it’s a marathon, not a sprint.  You can’t get nuts with yourself if the weight doesn’t drop easily.  Just focus on being as healthy as possible.  The goal is to lose weight and keep it off, not to yoyo back and forth.  I check the scale once a week, Saturday mornings at the gym.  Don’t be a slave to the scale.

 

 

 

Not So Energized Bunny

Fast.  I do everything fast.  People have commented on how fast I read.  They’ve commented on how many things I’m able to accomplish in an hour.  I talk fast.  really fast- just ask my blogger friend who shall remain nameless- even for a New Yorker, I talk fast.  And yes- I live in the city that is in perpetual motion, where everything is go, go, go, but to be honest- I’d probably be this way no matter where I lived. (but to be clear, no one would ever call me fast on the athletic circuit- there I am slow, slow, slow I’ve even been nicknamed the Energizer Bunny- I keep going and going and going.

And even my metabolism was fast……emphasis on was……See, when Voldemort came around (FYI- I know in Potter World the thing that was nameless and the greatest force was Voldemort- but really- the unnamed force in my house is that M word which I won’t give power to, so I call it Voldemort) it screwed up my metabolism…..

I have never been thin- but there are all sorts of reasons for this, but we’re not going to focus on that in this particular blog.  But, as an adult, I’ve usually been able to maintain a reasonable weight.  And I eat.  I mean- I really like food.  I like to go out to eat.  I love to cook.  Food is a big part of my social life, and a big part of my family life.

But…..

I went for my health assessment the other day.  I realized I have gained 20 pounds since Voldemort.  I knew I had gained weight- I feel it in my clothes, I see it in pictures.  I was not happy.

Now I know a number on a scale shouldn’t define anything.  I really know that.  But….I also know that this extra weight is not going to be good for an aging body.  I have joint issues and the podiatrist is on speed dial.  See, my weight gain is entirely in the stomach and chest.  (Before you say lucky- trust me- the last place I needed extra weight is in my chest….) So, I still have thin arms and thin legs.  The thin arms…doesn’t matter- but the thin legs are just not meant to carry around this weight.  I know this extra weight is making it harder for my legs and feet to do what they’re supposed to- and it’s only going to become more painful as I get older.

So…….

I need to change my lifestyle.  I already exercise and walk a lot (I mean a lot- my average step count is 15,000 excluding exercise).  But I do have to reevaluate my relationship with food.  As stated, I love to cook and bake.  I love to eat out.  So how do I reconcile this?

Well- I’m going to start with my food diary.  When I had to lose the post baby weight, I found this to be the most effective tool.  I write down everything I eat, the time, the reason and anything else that pops up.  After a week, I’m going to evaluate the patterns, (because there are patterns) and figure out what can be changed or adapted.  I am only going to work on one thing a week.  One.  You can’t tackle all the food mistakes at the same time- that is how you fail.  You must break it down into manageable steps.  This is a marathon not a sprint- I am trying to change my eating habits so that I can maintain a weight that is healthier for me.  It may take me longer to lost the weight but I don’t care- my goal is a healthier weight, while maintaining a little bit of the lifestyle I love.

So how does this effect you all?  Well, you will probably hear about this every now and then.  I’m not going to share my food diary, or my weight, or my dress size- but I might talk about the struggles of losing weight.  I might share my frustration.  I might share my successes.  I’m sure there will be some posts about this journey.