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Age makes no difference--it's always hard!

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Old 02-04-2005, 08:04 AM   #1
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Default Age makes no difference--it's always hard!

I'd like to share a little pet peeve that's been bugging me lately. I am 22 and need to loose well over 100 pounds. When I talk to others about my dieting (or attempts at dieting), I often get the response, "Oh, you're so young. It'll be easier for you." However, I would finally like to openly disagree!
It is true that your metabolism decreases with age (something to look forward to--not!), but even at 22, I can't seem to get the pounds off! In college, I had a roommate who would do Tae Bo with me almost every day--I'd say we did at least 30 minutes, 5 times a week--for MONTHS. She lost 10 pounds, and I lost NOTHING! Talk about discouraging. It's not like I was building too much muscle in those cardio workouts to make up for the loss of fat.
Also, no, I don't have kids or a family to feed to use an excuse for not eating healthily myself. However, I finally have my very own apartment, and I am finding that the prices of "diet" foods compared to normal foods are putting a major crunch on my diet. I do not feel satisfied after eating a Lean Cuisine or Healthy Choice meal, and for less than the price of those meals, I could go to McDonald's and get a cheeseburger and fries! Sad that that's how the world is today. I also try to keep fresh fruit in the house so I don't snack on unhealthier treats, but it seems to go bad so quickly, and I don't have the time to go to the store every other day. In addition to working (usually more than 40 hours a week), I am a member of a choir and a bible study, and I am working on joining Habitat for Humanity and helping out with a theater group at a local community arts center.
So, being only 22 and starting out on my own life for once, I find that the combination of having no time and no money unfortunately have equated to no weight loss! If anyone has ideas for inexpensive meals and snacks that don't require much preparation, are actually filling, and won't go bad in just a couple of days, I would LOVE to hear them!
Also, if anyone has ideas for a workout that does not require expensive equipment, a gym membership, or too much jumping around (I am on the second floor, and if I can hear the toddler playing upstairs, I would hate to rattle my neighbors' walls and chandeliers with my aerobics!), I would also LOVE to hear your suggestions.

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Old 02-04-2005, 09:10 AM   #2
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I know it's frustrating. I lost weight in my teens, 100 lbs (gained it back, doh!), and I'm losing it now again (with lots more knowledge than I had then, and there's lots more that's known about weight loss now too, than 20 years ago). I think my metabolism is more screwed up by all the diets I've been on rather than age.

How great you have all those activities going on. It does mean it will be tougher to prioritize and organize.

The plus side of buying the preprepared meals is that you know the calories and it's fast. The down side is that they're more expensive.

I've resigned myself to the fact that I have to spend a certain amount more for fresh and healthy foods and that I have to spend more time to prepare them.

One thing you could think about is have a set block of time each week where you make a pot of something (beans, soup, etc.), and chop veggies and but them in tupperware or bags to have to eat in preprepared amounts. Another time saver is to have a smaller, set number of meals that you eat repeatedly so that you're not always searching for recipes or ideas, or scrounging in the fridge.

Walking is a great exercise. Going up stairs. Free weights (have a couple of 3 to 5 lb weights), they're cheap, you probably could even find a pair at a garage sale. Stuff like crunches and side bends you can do at home.

I know it can be easy to resent the time needed to go into a diet/exercise program. I love to read and never resent a minute I spend reading. But it takes hours a week to do the exercise and that's less fun. But it's my dream and goal to get this weight off, so I know the cause is worth the effort.

My big regrets at not keeping that weight off when I lost it at 18 are: 1) all the extra strain I've put my body through (I worry about the damage I've done with all this extra weight I've carried so long), and 2) all the time I've lost being too heavy to do all the physical activities I wanted to do. All the fun I've lost out on. Not that I haven't had fun in my life, but I could have been riding a bike, hiking, swimming, roller blading, snorkling, you name it. Instead of puffing up one flight of stairs.
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Old 02-04-2005, 09:13 AM   #3
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Yes it is hard no matter what age you are, but speaking from my own experience, I wish I had taken care of this when I was younger. Health problems I didn't have when I was younger have caught up with me ~ many of them made worse by my weight. I have arthritis now, and it seems every time I turn around here lately, something else goes wrong physically, making it so that I can not exercise. For me, trying to diet without being able to exercise is frustrating ~ I don't make much progress. I had always been in pretty good health, and just thought I had all the time in the world ~ I would start tomorrow, or Monday ~ what ever. I just kept putting it off. Now I wish I had done differently. Anyway, don't give up ~ you can find a way to do this.

What about maybe walking for exercise? It is free ~ just need a pair of comfortable shoes. Even if you can't do much at first, start out with how ever much you can do and increase it a little every day.

Hang in there and don't give up!! You can do it!!
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Old 02-04-2005, 09:44 AM   #4
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oh my.. you've opened up a HUGE area... and described so many of the issues we all face. but ya managed to impress me!!!! you're determined to live your own life, doing what you want, as a valued member of society with somehting to contribute. and that's something that many of us, as overweight people, struggle with. we often think we're 'less than' because of our weight - and you're just charging in!!!!

good for you!!!!!

now, about the food costs - cooking your own is DEFINITELY the way to go. keep a cooler in your car - use an insulated bag or lunch box so that you can make sure you have what you need with you AT ALL TIMES so that you're not tempted to grab something unwise.

shop the weekly sales at the store... stock up when frozen veggies are cheap. and as a single person, buying the bagged frozen veggies rather than the boxed ones is the way to go. you get to use EXACTLY what you need at the time, rather than having to open the entire box..

plan plan plan so that you can make one cooking event last for several interesting and healthy meals. a roasted chicken is probably the single most important thing you can have around the house. whether you do it yourself or buy a cooked one, it forms the basis of sandwiches, salads, fajitas, stir fries, etc.

individual servings of tuna are also great - and oh so portable...

just a few thoughts.. i'm sure other wise people will show up soon..
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Old 02-04-2005, 09:52 AM   #5
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Jillybean,
I completely agree with your disagreement! I'm 22 also, and it is extremely hard to lose weight at any age! I also have to be very careful with my budget. Here are some of the things I do: Shop by sales, buy in season, buy in bulk, and divide into smaller amounts. If there's something you know you'll eat on sale one week (boneless, skinless chicken breasts, fat free yogurt, or sugar free jello for me), then stock up and freeze as necessary. I try to cook on the weekend, when I have more time, and make leftovers for several nights, or freeze half of what I make in single portions for whenever I need a quick meal. Gladware containers are your friend, trust me. For produce, you can buy bags of frozen vegetables very inexpensively and just use single servings whenever you want. Frozen often has less sodium than canned, too. You can even buy frozen, unsweetened fruit like peaches and berries. Just check to make sure there is no sugar added. Taking just 2 minutes to plan and write out a grocery list for the week will save you time and trouble in the long run.

For my workouts, I own a few dumbbells, a pair of running shoes, and a discman. Running and walking outside is a great, inexpensive way to get exercise. Look at thrift stores for used bikes or other exercise equipment. You can find some used pieces in great shape. Or get creative and make your own. Gallon jugs filled with water weigh 8 lbs. Also, do you get along with your neighbors? Could you knock on their door, explain you're starting a new exercise program, and if you're making noise that bothers them ask them to please let you know.

I hope these suggestions help. Good luck, and keep going!

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Old 02-04-2005, 10:02 AM   #6
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I do LOVE walking and feel like I could do it forever (for some reason, I could walk miles and be fine, but the second I try to run, I am ready to pass out in 30 seconds!). I'll need to find someplace that's always cleared (we got dumped on with a little more snow and ice yesterday) and SAFE. Maybe once the ice is gone I can do some laps around my apartment complex (but try to avoid the hills--walking the inclines can be a goal when I feel I can actually climb one without being so drained I don't want to walk back home!). Walking is definitely a great idea, though, and I spent so much time trying to find workout tapes and such that I didn't even think of it!

On weekends, I do actually cook breakfasts and dinners for my boyfriend and me. We used to go out all the time, but for New Year's, I decided it would be better for my waistline (and our wallets) if we stayed in. Since then, we have vowed (and actually stuck to it) to eat out only once a weekend, which is usually Friday nights. i guess when I'm in the kitchen making dinner on Sunday, I should just prepare food for the rest of the week at the same time. Time to check out some of the recipe boards!
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Old 02-04-2005, 10:33 AM   #7
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I so understand how you feel! I don't live alone but even cooking for two can get so expensive. It does seem these days that all packages are made for familys. But I do have so it is so possible. My husband freaks out if I pay more than 160 for groceries to last us two weeks and that includes snacks! I have learned that it is actually cheaper to make your own than to even buy the meals. I make big batches of green chili at one time (we eat it on everything) and freeze enough in portions to last at least the month and buy everything I use on a regular basis on sale. I also spend Sunday morning clipping coupons and pouring over the grocery adds. But I had to learn to be careful with that too and make sure that I only buy the things I will use, sales can get you in trouble. I also have to say that to save time Wal-mart is my lifesaver, I can bring my adds from all the other stores with me and if the other stores are cheaper they will match the price and still take the coupon if I have one that way I only have to make one stop for food. I have to say I don't buy my fresh fruits and veggies there though I splurge on those and go the the Whole Food Market. Someday I will save up enough money to buy all my groceries there just once, it's awesome!

As for excersize, we lived in an upstairs apartment for a long time before we moved to the house we are in now and I did the Walk Away The Pounds tapes there too. I figured I have to walk around the apartment anyway it didn't hurt to walk in place for half an hour and theres no jumping around really. If you're not familiar with them you can rent it at the video store and see what you think. I know you can find them used on EBAY and I'm sure some other places. And if there is a lot of snow where you are you might look at a second hand store or the newspaper for a used excersize bike. That won't make much noise either and you can ride in front of the TV till your hearts content.

I hope this helps... and let me tell you that I know how hard it is but I know you can do it.. Look at all you do you seem to be determined and I am so awed by all you do! You are my hero! Keep up the good work.
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Old 02-04-2005, 12:04 PM   #8
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You are so right about it being hard at any age. I commend you for wanting to get this weight off at your age. When I was 22, all I cared about was partying and occassionally showing up to classes. I worked full-time to put myself through my last year of college.

I also used to think that eating healthier is way more expensive until recently even. It was the bread that got me. I spend $2.50 on one loaf of Sara Lee 100% whole wheat bread. Well shoot I can sometimes get 3 loaves of white bread for $1. But then the calories in the white bread are like 150 for two slices or 90 calories for two slices of the Sara Lee. Then I bought turkey bologna (it has 30 calories per slice) for $2.50. So for $5 I now have about 10 meals or .25 a meal. Had I not bought the sara lee bread because it cost way more than the white bread, I would've spent $50 on big macs at mcdonald's. Of course I can't eat just one sandwich with lunch so I usually will buy canned soups to go with it (around 200 calories) or such and my entire meal usually costs from $1-$3.

As for something to do in exercise, I check out exercise tapes from the library (they are free and we get them for 3 days at a time) to find ones that I like. I do the Walk Away the Pounds tapes and you don't have to do any jumping, just walking.
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Old 02-04-2005, 12:29 PM   #9
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Hmmm....I had all sorts of ideas, but once I read the responses, they'd all pretty much been covered! I especially agree with buying in bulk and making healthy stews, casseroles and chunky pasta sauces that you can freeze into individual portions, and buying a whole chicken instead of pieces (like Jiff said) so you can have it as a main course one (or two) nights with the leftovers to be used for stuffing into whole-wheat pitas or added to mixed greens with a little fat-free dressing for a protein rich salad or thrown into a casserole or soup (and don't forget to use the bones as a tasty soup base!)

As for exercise, I'm a hiker - have been from the start and wholly recommend it if you want a good workout that'll make you sweat buckets. I can't wait for the better weather to arrive because I don't even attempt the trails during the winter (they're mostly closed in any event) and go a bit stir-crazy trying to substitute other things over the winter (although the addition of my adorable new pup forces me out for long walks). Oh, and how about swimming? Talk about a great "all around" exercise. Do your local schools have pools that the public can use in the evenings and on weekends at a nominal rate on a pay as you go basis?

I've been both single and in a family environment during this weight-loss journey (yes, I'm into my third year now ) and have found both situations equally challenging in respect of adopting a healthier lifestyle - but we all thrive on challenges, don't we?

As for the age thing, one can only speak from their own experience and for me it was always easier (not EASY, but easier) to drop pounds before the agony of menopause. Mind you, its gloriously evident from this site that its possible to lose weight at any stage of life. We have members here in their teens, 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s who've all had wonderful attitudes and successes that provide us all with motivation and inspiration.

From one Jilly to another though, I will make a mental note not to ever insinuate that you youngin's have it so easy.

Welcome and good luck!
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Old 02-04-2005, 02:54 PM   #10
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Jillybean,

I feel bad now for my post above and it has been on my mind all day. I know it is not easy at any age ~ I was just sharing my experience. Maybe it is more a health thing ~ do it while you can before your weight affects your health making it more difficult.

Please forgive.....
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Old 02-04-2005, 04:06 PM   #11
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I'm tired just reading about all that you do. Keep up the good work.

I too think eating healthier is more expensive. But like the hair dye commercial says, "We're worth it!" Besides, I figure once we lose our excess weight, our clothes will be cheaper and things will balance out . For me personally, I've had to look at it this way: the extra money it takes now to live a healthier lifestyle will save me money in the future because, hopefully, I will be able to eliminate most if not all of the six medications I currently take. And believe me, they are expensive.

Another way to save time and money may be a crock pot. It's good for the tougher cuts of meat which tend to cost a little less and meals can be simmering while you're at work. I'm putting my meal plan together and intend to use my three crock pots to make my life easier.

I subscribe to a cooking magaziine called Taste of Home that includes a low cost meal section. Some to the recipes would need to be adjusted to make them healthier but I can send you copies of some of them if you like.

I like Jiffypop's suggestion about the roasted chicken. I love romaine lettuce salads and some chicken on top would be great.
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Old 02-04-2005, 06:12 PM   #12
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Jilly, I completely agree with you. When I was young I always thought to myself, oh I'm young I've got years to lose weight and it won't be hard. Talk about denial!! I was trying then to lose weight and getting nowhere and it hasn't gotten any easier the older I've gotten except now I have more motivation. As I've gotten older the extra weight is taking its toll on my health and now I know without a doubt that I need to lose the weight or my health is only going to get worse.

I don't think you should buy 'diet' food per se. I think that we should try and cope eating regular food. It is probably the quality and quantity of the food you are eating, not really the food itself. I agree that buying fresh fruits and veggies is horribly expensive. Oddly I find frozen veggies cheaper and they don't lose as much nutrients as canned foods. I once had a bag of green grapes at the cash register and they were $8. Unbelievable! Think how much McD's that would buy! Still I try to buy regular food for the family and I just eat smaller portions and also I am serving more veggies and less fattening desserts.
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Old 02-04-2005, 08:29 PM   #13
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I know pound for pound junk food is cheaper just like you said about McDonalds. But I used to spend way more buying cheesburgers than I do buying healthy food at home. Or even when I eat out. Now I buy a chicken breast sandwich and chili that cost about $3.70 where before I bought 2 or 3 cheeseburgers plus fries and cola that would cost $6 to $8. And I would do that a lot more than I do now. So I find it all evens out.

Fresh fruit and vegetables do go bad qucik but you can get some pretty good caned or frozen fruits and vegetables.

It's a big comitment and it will take a lot of your time. And it's not easy at any age. You just have to do it. Maybe you should look at it this way. Give yourself some time now instead of Habitat for Humanity and some of your other endevors. That way you will have a longer life and can more than make it up to Habitat for Humanity and the others later.

Sometimes we have to take care of ourselves so we will be around to take care of others later.
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Old 02-04-2005, 08:46 PM   #14
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Hey Jillybean!
You have had a multitude of excellent responses! Great ideas!! Do you mind if I add one more? As a certified financial planner, lemme give you some $$$ ideas. 22 is a great age to start saving, so here is my thought... you probably already have your budget all set up. Now lets tweak it. Use your grocery money to buy the above mentioned foods to prepare at home. Any left-over money that would have been used for fast food can go into an emergency fund. After your emergency fund is in place, start investing in mutual funds--set up and IRA if you don't already have one. Saving money and watching it grow can be just as empowering as losing weight! Kill two birds with one stone!
I know all of these suggestions sound much easier than actual execution, but it can be done--and you have the power!!!! Don't give up!
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Old 02-05-2005, 12:02 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jillybean720
We used to go out all the time, but for New Year's, I decided it would be better for my waistline (and our wallets) if we stayed in. Since then, we have vowed (and actually stuck to it) to eat out only once a weekend, which is usually Friday nights. i guess when I'm in the kitchen making dinner on Sunday, I should just prepare food for the rest of the week at the same time. Time to check out some of the recipe boards!
The same thing happened with Rob and me. We go out once a week (or order in) and cook the rest the week. It's helped me so much with the diet.

Buying fruits and veggies while they're in season makes a huge difference price wise. Strawberries go from 88 cents to $1 a pint to a whopping $3 at some places when they're out of season. (Now, after Nafta, we get lots of produce from Mexico, Central and South America that are much cheaper when the same produce is out of season here.)

Glynne, though you didn't write it for me, I appreciated your post. I know at 40 that if I don't get this weight off I really risk dealing with even more serious problems down the line. I'm glad you shared your experience.
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