50, Fit and Fabulous: Can We Girl Talk?
In July, a month before I turned 49, I started a journey of weight loss just as my son was diagnosed with cancer. I am determined to face 50 and the empty nest feeling fit and fabulous with my son's health fully restored. I believe the journey is more fun and more doable with good company. If you have goals you need to work on, walk with me on this path each week and let's journey with each other. Together, I know we can.
We’re all women here, right? I mean, we’re amongst girlfriends? Good. Let’s talk.
Here’s the thing with dieting and being a woman: it’s inevitable; it’s biological; it’s almost impossible to avoid getting derailed once a month for a week, sometimes two, and I'm here to defend us all in the name of Womanhood. It’s entirely not our fault and completely an unfair kink in our creative design. That’s right, I’m referring to that time or as a friend when I was growing up used to call it, our visitor.
At 49, I know my days for this little monthly episode are limited. My gyn asks me every time we have our annual tête-à-tête if my situation has changed yet and then she throws around words like peri-menopause. But, right now, I still deal with the little curse.
At my last visit with my family physician, my doctor looked at my weight and reminded me as "we" age, that "we" just don’t burn calories like "we" used to. I looked at her. She's a tiny, barely 100 pound woman. This ain't a "we" problem. I didn’t know how to break it to her that I was in deep trouble if this is true. I have never burned calories well. If my metabolism slows down any more it’s going to come to a complete and skidding halt.
A full 8-10 days before Auntie Flo is going to come to visit, I start the bloat. Suddenly my self-control and determination is completely undermined by a rage of hormones, and I’m in a constant cat fight with every carb and sugar-based food in my house. And as if to demonstrate the perverse humor of the universe, I am drawn to the very foods nutritionists tell me increase the bloating and crankiness. It’s a warped, cosmic joke.
And that, my girlfriends, is where I’m at this week. I suspected it when there wasn’t a chip or cookie I didn’t want to have an intimate chewing relationship with. Suddenly my turkey burgers and veggies just held no appeal. However, I am determined not to let these weeks derail me from my ultimate goal of losing 30 pounds, but it’s not an easy battle this week. Here are a few steps I’m taking, with teeth gritted, to keep one foot in the wagon:
Dip into the dark chocolate stash. Do you have one? (If you say you don’t like chocolate, I’m sorry, but we really can’t be friends.) I have a little baggie in my cupboard with the good stuff, just for this occasion. I try to truly make it a small treat with an afternoon cup of coffee. I get the dark chocolate with salt. It satisfies all kinds of cravings
Hot baths. I try to find other ways to indulge and pamper myself, and for me, that includes a few hot soaks where I lock the door and read until the water gets tepid. The family can wait.
Ignore the scale. Just this one week. There’s no point. I can bounce up 2-4 pounds during the pre-week. If I hold steady, I consider this a success. If I can discipline myself, I don’t even step on it.
Continue to track the calories. I mentioned in the last post I was using SparkPeople online to track my food. I grit my teeth and continue to montor every morsel. It holds me accountable and reminds me I’m doing all right even if I feel all bloaty and pillowy in my abdomen region.
Continue to workout. As much as I may not feel like doing a thing but eating bon bons and listening to sad country music, and weeping about love gone wrong and the dog long gone, I know that even a brisk walk will pick up my mood and help me keep the calorie balance in check. Besides my Dog-Dog will throw me a pitiful look if I don’t get him out for his jog.