40-Somethings - Please, I would like YOUR opinion...




Hermit Girl
08-12-2007, 10:11 AM
I realize most of you out there are pretty experienced with the weight gain/loss issues. I am putting this thread out in hope that I can gather something I may have missed. I am usually such an advocate of ignoring media, that I have maybe cut off some good information. I know people themselves, real people, are usually very helpful and problem solvers. This is my story :

Most of my teens and twenties, I always felt overweight, but really wasn't... I just was a stockier athletic build when I wanted to be one of those frail beauties. (I blame media and watching tv , reading fashion mags) . Okay , so in my thirties I went on a huge diet, right, and lost 10 pounds, to my happy weight. Great. So then about 5 years later I gained 20, and eventually lost it. Turning 40, I was back to being 20 over, no sweat, I was beginning to accept myself. At 44 I found myself 50 pounds overweight, lost ten. Now at 45 , I'm 40 pounds overweight. Still, like, not a huge deal, but I don't feel good. My feet hurt and I sometimes feel like I'm in a straight jacket. The major concern now, is that aging with this weight can be hazardous. Menopause, cancer, weight related injuries, etc, etc. I am scared, uncomfortable, and want it OFF!!!

I call that more a gradual weight gain, but since turning 40, I've gained a lot of weight. I like to post in this "40's something" category because I narrow down the field of responses to people who I can more relate to.

I eat very healthfully, in my opinion 'beans and whole grain rice' is healthist food. I have always seemed to run most efficiently on carb , but also my biggest weaknesses are carb/fat combos --generously buttered toast, pasta lunches, and icecream are my weak binge foods. I am a real WholeGrains kind of person, but not entirely. I eat mostly veg food, and would be a vegetarian, but not entirely (my husband is a real meat eater). Funny how I think vegetarian means 'no meat' rather than 'more actual vegetables'.

I exercise more regularly , in theory 'daily' , in the last year and a half -- hiking in the ridges and canyons with our dog, on the mountain which I live. At first it was over an hour, but now it's becoming just shy of one, closer to 50 minutes some days. Everything is down, down, down, then up, up, up... as nothing around here is level. I have been in the last 10 years way less athletic (because of the weight gain), however between 10 -15 years ago was my most athletic 'race' shape cycling years. I know what it feels like to be really fit, as well as really fat. I just can't seem to keep the weight off with exercise regimen... I'm going to have to use drastic measures to lose at this point.

I don't really want to 'buy into ' any program which costs money... that is my only rule, because as soon as somebody out there is profitting from my weakness, I feel it's in bad principle.

I welcome your thoughts about how I might tackle this. Come on... what do *you* think I should do???? :?:


Slashnl
08-12-2007, 10:56 AM
I am not an expert. I don't feel that I can help you much with this. I know that some of the big time weight losers in the 100 lb club have done it by counting calories. That seems to be the theme by all of them. They write it all down and keep careful track of it. One lady over there lost 155 pounds and she is 43.

Again, I feel silly trying to give advice while I'm at the weight I am... But, that's what I have heard.

walking2lose
08-12-2007, 12:31 PM
Hi Hermit,

I'm 39, so I'm guessing I'm allowed to post here


walking2lose
08-12-2007, 12:45 PM
Oops, didn't mean to JUST post that!! Ha.

Anyway, my story is fairly similar... the slow creeping weight that has crept on as I've gotten older. My eating is and has been quite similar to yours. I've always eaten *relatively* healthy and also I don't eat much meat. My mom raised us with snacks of yogurt or fruit or peanut butter on whole grain toast -- no poptarts, chips, candy, Little Debbies, etc. in our pantry! We did have treats and desserts, but they were not for daily consumption and they were generally homebaked -- pies and cakes for holidays and birthdays, ice cream with fresh berries in the summer, that sort of thing.

So, I still eat pretty much the same way - I don't indulge in much fast food or typical junk food, but still found myself putting on close to 30 lbs, which sure feels like a lot on my frame (I was higher than my ticker originally).

For a while I had a stubborn/denial mind set - why am I 'growing' when I'm eating beans and whole grain tortillas for dinner, snacking on almonds, eating fresh berry/yogurt smoothies for breakfast, etc. etc. I finally realized that even though I was eating fairly healthy foods, I was eating TOO MUCH of them, and hence, I was GAINING weight s-l-o-w-l-y but ever so steadily. I hadn't stopped exercising but the intensity and amount of exercise really dipped in my mid thirties. I simply had no time, desire, or quite frankly ENERGY to go for a 2 1/2 grueling mountain bike ride, which used to be a very regular activity for me.

So, I was getting older, becoming less active (while still exercising), and eating the same amount as before... once I figured that out, I realized I really had to pay attention to what was going in and much as I did not like it, I had to TRACK it. I toyed with weight watchers for a while because I had several friends doing it. It didn't last. Now I count calories every day. I have found that to actually lose, I am in the low calorie range -- I need to consistently eat 1200-1400 calories of HEALTHY high fiber, low fat, nutritious foods and exercise to lose.

This summer I have been so busy, had lots of company, lots of eating out, etc. I have been focusing on maintaining, though I would like to buckle down and lose 5 or so more lbs. It's interesting because I have to be actively diligent to even MAINTAIN the weight where I am now.

Anyway, I have rambled on and on, but I would advise to track the calories you are eating and try to ascertain how many calories you can eat to lose a reasonable amount - say a lb or two a week. Once you figure that out, try to stick with your program and watch the lbs. drop. Keep eating the wholesome foods you like and keep up those awesome hikes! You'll get there!

Come here for support and advice -- you will find LOTS of both here. Best of luck to you and take care!

kaplods
08-12-2007, 05:41 PM
I think counting calories (or some other food quantity counts, like WW points, or diabetic food exchanges) work best for the widest range of people trying to lose weight. If you hate counting, and can lose the weight you want without doing so, that's great, but "counting" can work for anyone (who is willing to do it). You will have to tweak until you find out which numbers (calories, points, exchanges) allow you to lose weight, and if or when you stop losing, then you reduce the count some more.

In terms of "programs," I suppose directly or indirectly they all profit from the problem, but I like information from Duke University (The Duke Diet book just came out, I borrowed it from the library), The American Dietetic Association, and The American Diabetic Association (the info is good whether you're diabetic or not) and TOPS.

My husband and I are joining TOPS tomorrow night. I was a member in the past. I lose better when I have to weigh-in somewhere. Maybe it's the peer pressure used for good instead of evil. TOPS is a non-profit group and the annual fee is $24 per individual ($12 more if a spouse or teen in the household joins with you). The $24 includes the newsletter subscription, and goes toward operating costs. Each chapter also usually charges monthly dues for the clubs expenses (if they have to rent the room, that they meet in for example) and is usually under $5 per month. The one we will be joining charges $3 per month. For my husband and I, a year at TOPS is less than the first month at Weight Watchers. Some clubs do fund raising activities, either to pay for the club's expenses or to give to charitable organizations that the club votes to sponsor.

If you find a social support network valuable, I would definitely recommend TOPS over any commercial program, because while you do pay a little for the support of the orgainzition, financial gain is not the main focus (or shouldn't be). If the chapter you visit seems to be, try to find another in your area. You can visit any chapter at least once without having to pay anything.

Steelslady
08-13-2007, 12:52 AM
I count calories and do calorie shifting. I don't eat the same amount of calories everyday so my body doesn't go into starvation mode or get used to eating the same amount everyday, which can cause plateaus. I have a list of calorie counts using the Wendie Plan from Weight Watchers on my blog, to which several people have told me this has been helping them lose weight very well.

According to your current weight, shifting calories would go like this:

Day 1- 22 points, 1100 calories
Day 2- 23 points, 1350 calories
Day 3- 23 points, 1150 calories
Day 4- 37 points, 1850 calories (Super High Day)
Day 5- 22 points, 1100 calories
Day 6- 26 points, 1300 calories
Day 7- 24 points, 1200 calories

Average calories per day: 1300

Also, buy a scale and count by grams. You wouldn't believe how inaccurate the measuring cups are- sometimes they are off by 25-50 calories! Count EVERY bite. Use Fit Day or something similiar to log your daily calories.

Change your exercise up a bit. Walking is great, but find some other fun stuff to do so that your body doesn't get used to the same routine everyday.

Good luck, and I wish you the best on your journey! :carrot:

jaxjob
08-13-2007, 08:16 AM
I'm in a similar situation - although I only turned 40 last year. I'm active, eat "healthy" foods but have been slowly gaining weight since age 30 when I started having children. This year I got close to 200 which was a wake up call to do something about it.

Since the end of April I've begun making some serious changes which have resulted in losing 20lbs, although the last two weeks haven't been great (new puppy - resulting in lack of sleep) and I gained two back - but I'm regarding that as another hiccup on the road, not a failure and reason to stop this journey.

I began using SlimFast, although that's not necessary (just another tool that I found helpful). From the 3FC site I found fitday.com and have been tracking what I eat there (although there are also other sites with similar functions). The big "changes" for me have been portion control and eating sufficient protein. I find when I eat lots of grain products (healthy or otherwise) I tend to overeat, when I add more vegetable carbs and protein, I do better. I started lifting weights again - something I haven't done for a number of years. I know from past experience that I can't lose or maintain without exercise either.

So like others, I'd recommend counting calories, keeping a food diary (which will help you understand what, why and when you're eating) and measuring everything strictly, at least for a while until you feel confident without it. Add weight training to your workouts - if you can't get to a gym there are some great exercises listed in the "ladies and gents who lift" threads, including some with resistance bands which are relatively cheap and easy to store. Personally I have found exercise DVDs good for motivation, but again that's just me. I also walk and run.

Your ticker shows you have lost weight so far - what have you been doing for that? 11lbs is a great beginning!

Thirdly - keep posting at 3FC for support! It's helped me immensely. Good luck,

Jax

Hermit Girl
08-13-2007, 09:10 AM
I am not an expert. I don't feel that I can help you much with this. I know that some of the big time weight losers in the 100 lb club have done it by counting calories. That seems to be the theme by all of them. They write it all down and keep careful track of it. One lady over there lost 155 pounds and she is 43. Again, I feel silly trying to give advice while I'm at the weight I am... But, that's what I have heard.

THanks Dianne! Also thank you for posting in my blog, it really helps. Of course your advice is well taken, that's what I posted for! My girlfriend also counts calories, but when she did, she was never really successful, so I didn't ever consider it . I think it might complicated things for me, and my gut feeling is to SIMPLIFY... but, if that's a tool the losers use, I might find a good calorie book. ~Jen

Hermit Girl
08-13-2007, 09:25 AM
For a while I had a stubborn/denial mind set - why am I 'growing' when I'm eating beans and whole grain tortillas for dinner, snacking on almonds, eating fresh berry/yogurt smoothies for breakfast, etc. etc. I finally realized that even though I was eating fairly healthy foods, I was eating TOO MUCH of them, and hence, I was GAINING weight s-l-o-w-l-y but ever so steadily. I hadn't stopped exercising but the intensity and amount of exercise really dipped in my mid thirties. I simply had no time, desire, or quite frankly ENERGY to go for a 2 1/2 grueling mountain bike ride, which used to be a very regular activity for me.

Your story *does* sound so much like mine. My DH and I built our own house in the mtn woods, and ironically, during that 5 - 6 years of hard work is when I gained all the excess weight, mostly because I was giving up the bicycle club rides on weekends and in general my personal riding was slowly eeking it's way out of the picture entirely (summer of '06 I found myself 50 pounds overweight and not doing *any* excercise, not even hiking. ) Again, really ironic, is that I was such a mountain biker, and now we live in mountain bike heaven, but I'm way too heavy to ride. (my slim race-fit old buddies are embarrassed for me, I can tell). Good news, is once I get even 20 pounds off in the right direction, I'll be able to ride again, by myself. I am so looking forward to wearing the pretty jerseys I bought when I was getting fat so fast , I only got to wear them about once.

Anyway, I have rambled on and on, but I would advise to track the calories you are eating and try to ascertain how many calories you can eat to lose a reasonable amount - say a lb or two a week. Once you figure that out, try to stick with your program and watch the lbs. drop. Keep eating the wholesome foods you like and keep up those awesome hikes! You'll get there!

Come here for support and advice -- you will find LOTS of both here. Best of luck to you and take care!
Great. Thanks so much! First, I need to get a realistic LeanBodyMass to work from, before I calculate how many calories I need to lose, then to maintain, and what my limit is at each new intermediate goal weight in order not to regain. The way I understand it, it's relative to the weight you've taken off, as well as the LBS. Oy, it's all so complex. I was thinking a roll of duct tape would be more simple, as in 'over my mouth'... heh, heh.

ps. Welcome to the Forties, early. I was 39 when I started gaining past my heaviest point actually, the 40's just were like the gate busting open and the pounds just jumping on.

Hermit Girl
08-13-2007, 09:35 AM
I think counting calories (or some other food quantity counts, like WW points, or diabetic food exchanges) work best for the widest range of people trying to lose weight. That seems to be the popular vote at this time... :)

Coleen, I will look into the TOPS thing.. thanks!!

Hermit Girl
08-13-2007, 09:40 AM
I count calories and do calorie shifting. According to your current weight, shifting calories would go like this:

Day 1- 22 points, 1100 calories
Day 2- 23 points, 1350 calories
Day 3- 23 points, 1150 calories
Day 4- 37 points, 1850 calories (Super High Day)
Day 5- 22 points, 1100 calories
Day 6- 26 points, 1300 calories
Day 7- 24 points, 1200 calories

Average calories per day: 1300

This is new to me... just what I wanted to learn. Calorie shifting... is this a WW thing, or a technique used by modern dieters in general?

Steelslady
08-13-2007, 09:50 AM
This is new to me... just what I wanted to learn. Calorie shifting... is this a WW thing, or a technique used by modern dieters in general?

It's not a WW thing, but a WW member designed it (Wendie). It does work, but some folks have a hard time eating on the high calorie day then cutting down the next day. I'm use to it, and really love this system, plus it gives me flexibility for days that come up that could be potential diet disasters like cookouts, parties, weddings, etc. Save your high calorie day for those days, and you won't feel guilty for enjoying the goodies. :D

Hermit Girl
08-13-2007, 10:02 AM
From the 3FC site I found fitday.com and have been tracking what I eat there (although there are also other sites with similar functions). The big "changes" for me have been portion control and eating sufficient protein. I find when I eat lots of grain products (healthy or otherwise) I tend to overeat
THis is my hang-up too. Athlete's fuel >> healthy carbs. The Reality Check is, that I'm not really an athlete at this time, so it's just fat fuel.

I'd recommend counting calories, keeping a food diary (which will help you understand what, why and when you're eating).
YEs, I guess I'll have to make a food diary. I'll give in. Though I don't have the resources , nor the inclination to calculate the actual calories >yet< I will at least write everything down to get in the habit.

Your ticker shows you have lost weight so far - what have you been doing for that? 11lbs is a great beginning!.That was from last year, when I lost 23 pounds from eating a lot of watermelon in the day, and salads for dinner, with little or no entree at dinnertime. I was walking longer hikes, I guess, to be honest with myself. It was also my fattest pounds, which came off most easily. I gained half of those back now. I'm still around 10 ahead.

Thanks a lot Everybody ! I think, after I get the calorie/food journal going, to understand why I'm the weight I am now, ultimately starting now, what I really need to do, is to bend my love of grains and carbs to vegies, and make it a lifestyle. Somehow grain carb has always been my comfort fuel, but now I just am older and if I am going to stay slim, intense exercise or just daily low intensity >>> I just need to become best friends with those cute little baby peeled carrots, cherry tomatoes, spinach leaves....

jaxjob
08-13-2007, 12:27 PM
YEs, I guess I'll have to make a food diary. I'll give in. Though I don't have the resources , nor the inclination to calculate the actual calories >yet< I will at least write everything down to get in the habit.

You can find the resources online. Fitday.com is one option, there's also thedailyplate.com and a number of other options. Personally - the jump from a food diary (notebook) to the online calculator made a *huge* difference to me. I could analyse my food choices better and make some changes. There's no calculations, the only pain is where you have to input certain foods because they aren't in the database. If you make a lot of your own food it's somewhat approximate, since raw stuff doesn't come with those "Nutrition Facts" labels, but it really does help and isn't hard at all. No more so than writing stuff down.

Sounds like things will go well for you though. Keep us posted.

Jax

alinnell
08-13-2007, 12:59 PM
Here's another vote for counting calories!

Although currently I can't say I'm the best advocate because I seem to be gaining rather than losing......I'm looking for something this week that I can tweak to get losing again.

Anyway, you're off to a good start! If you're looking for an online food diary, there is Fitday and another that I think is called myfooddiary or something like that. I use Fitday myself.

GirlyGirlSebas
08-13-2007, 01:28 PM
Hi. I follow the Southbeach diet plan which includes lean meats, lots of fresh vegetables, fresh fruits, healthy fats in moderation and no white potatoes, white pasta, white bread,white rice.....everything is whole grain only. I eat some form of protein with every meal and snack...ie, laughing cow cheese on celery or apple, string cheese, 15 almonds, etc. Please note that, contrary to popular belief, Southbeach is not low-carb. I think a lot of people think it is low-carb because the first two weeks are very very strict with no starches or fruits. But, the first phase is just to break sugar addictions, which I desperately needed. I also count calories with my own excel spreadsheet that I just total each day. I added counting calories because I can overeat on healthy foods as well as un-healthy foods....who would have thought that! Personally, I get aggravated with the calorie counting sites because I have to hunt for my food. The spreadsheet is easier for me. From the past, I also know that one full hour of cardio exercise each day does increase my weight loss. The exercise should leave you slightly breathless, but still able to carry on a conversation.
Hang in there. If you get committed to changing your lifestyle, you can do this. You've caught yours relatively early...you can see from my ticker that I wasnt as smart as you!:)

Hermit Girl
08-13-2007, 05:07 PM
Okay, okay, okay.... I just bought a cute little food diary. For now, the focus is to write everything down, whether or not I calculate calories and add them up. One baby step at a time....

Thanks Everyone !!!