On Christmas 2013, I weighed 231 pounds. Two-and-a-half months later, I weigh 209 pounds. I’ve wanting to lose weight since my 30s and now at age 53, I’m finally on my way to my ultimate goal. I couldn’t do it before because I had too many demanding commitments. Kids were growing up, business was starting. My work-life consisted of sitting by my office and car journeys. There was no time to be proactive.
But that changed upon visiting my aunt at Christmas. She’s suffered from weight problems in the past and due to recent surgical requirements, she’s undergone a crash diet to lose 140 pounds in years years. However, her joints are still beyond repair .I don’t want to have to go through the pain of hip or knee replacement. That idea was motivation enough, I decided to act now. Here is a list of changes I made in my diet:
- Lots of fruit. My favorite food for lunch is fresh fruit salad and a low fat yogurt with a teaspoon of honey and a sprinkling of granola.
- Hard-boiled eggs.
- Low-calorie cereal bars.
- Fish, especially salmon.
- Vegetable chilli with rice. I cook a lot then freeze individual portions. Saves a lot of time each night.
- Lots of water. Sometimes carbonated water with flavoring.
- Eat five times a day instead of three. Snack on the above regularly. Don’t take opportunity to always have a feast. Eating in smaller portions helps.
- No bread, potatoes or pasta. They’re unnecessary filled carbohydrates.
- No unnecessary treats. I don’t have a sweet tooth but I do miss chips. They’re laten with fat though. Guilt keeps me from temptation.
- No processed foods. If it’s made in a factory, it’s bad for you.
- No sodas.
- No takeouts. Making your own food at home is healthier and cheaper.
- Eat meat every other day. Replace mince meats with vegetables where possible.
- Don’t feel obliged to eat when others are eating. If invited out, I’ll mention that I’ll join but not eat with them. People are supportive if I’m open about being on a diet.
- Don’t drink alcohol frequently. I used to always have a beer everyday. I didn’t realize how much better I could sleep without it.
Exercise can be one of the most difficult things to manage for time. To solve this, I bought a static bike, a stand for an ordinary bike that you can put anywhere in the house. Now I cycle up to 10 miles a day. It’s so simple. Don’t overdo it though, I’ve hurt my knees from trying to do 60 miles in a weekend.
My advice to prospective weight losers is to not count the calories. It’s tedious and irritating. Trust your good state of mind and your sense of moderation. However, admittedly, I still have bad habits that aren’t to do with exercise or diet. I weigh myself all the time. People say you shouldn’t, but it drives me. It’s an instant gratification because I don’t want to be disappointed. If it works, do it. I only record it once a week though.
The fact is, the reward is on the scales and how loose my pants are. I can even fit in my old wedding suit. I want to be able to run around with my future grandchildren on my real knees. Sometimes I’m underwhelmed with much I’ve lost when I’ve worked so hard. But I have to keep going. The instant gratification of losing weight is much more satisfying than the gratification of food.
Right now I have a BMI of 32.8 but I started with 36.3. My realistic goal is to have a BMI of 27.5 which is Overweight + 10% but that’s better than I’ve ever been before. The message is being in your early 50s is never too late to start losing weight, even if you’re overweight now in your 30s. However, if you can get on with it now, do it. You’ll have to put the effort in one day. That’s the secret to will power.