Losing weight. It’s not a pleasant topic, but a necessary one. For me, when my weight goes up it symbolizes an imbalance in my body and my life. As I age, I can also feel the fluctuations are more severe, even with the same diet and exercise regiment. I thought I’d share some new strategies I have found to get the weight to start dropping and keep the scale headed in the right direction. After trying several other things, this seems to be the right approach for me.
I don’t count calories or macros. With my fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants lifestyle, I just don’t keep up with that. More power to you if that is your style, but I might start off strong and record a few days of data and then it just seems to take too much time. I do try to write down my food on my tracker, and sometimes plan what I will eat ahead of schedule. But the actual apps where I have to search for the food and keep track of calories or points, isn’t for me.
Instead I intermittently fast. No calories to count if you are fasting! So, I just slowly phase into a fasting period by lengthening the time between going to bed and eating the next day. Right now I’m eating after 12pm and stop eating after 9pm most nights. Not a really severe fast, but for me it is working well and I am continuing to drop weight. This is considered a 15:9 fast. A typical fasting period is 16:8 and I’m working up to that again. Some days I easily can go until 1pm or later before eating and on other days I eat a little before noon if I need to. It’s pretty low-key. The idea is really to give your body a break from having to process food. There are so many benefits to fasting for both the body and brain, so this not only helps my waistline, but also my overall wellness.
As far as food itself, I don’t restrict myself too much. I do stick with Sprouted Wheat bread and try not to eat a bunch of sugar or processed food, but I still eat most of the things. If I feel like something sweet, I’ve taken to enjoying a half spoonful of delicious farmer’s market honey or some sweet berries. If I feel like something savory, I make a nice bowl of lentil soup or a fresh salad with a hardboiled egg on top. If I want a fun snack, I make a plate of nachos. I do always portion out the chips ahead of time, because it’s easier for me to see how much I’m eating if it’s in a bowl or on a plate vs. dipping into the bag over and over. All in all, I hardly think about food and that is liberating!
I also add supplemental nutrition to my diet, which has been key for me to clear my brain from fogginess (ADHD anyone else?) and really helps me stay focused and motivated. These things also help with chronic anxiety I have battled all my life. I take minerals, good vitamins, probiotics, nutritional enzymes and use essential oils often. These all contribute to my ability to get up and go, stay on top of things, stay energetic and keep up with my very full life. These have been the key for me getting myself out of a long funk of apathy and low energy. If I didn’t heal myself first with proper nutrition and extra support, the weight would probably keep accumulating.
With the additional energy, I have a commitment to myself to exercise each day for at least 30 minutes. It’s an easy goal for me now. At first my goal was only 15 minutes. I just needed to start and found it easy to keep going. Sometimes that is the hardest part, the starting. Let me tell you, if you aren’t feeling good, exercise seems impossible. So a goal to just put on your walking shoes each day and walk for 5 minutes might be all you can do. That’s fine! Stick with that until you find that one day you can go for 8 minutes! It will build from there. I have been enjoying my half hour on my treadmill and then do some stretching and I feel so much better. Think of exercise as something to keep you feeling agile and flexible and younger. It helps to keep your mind and body tuned up. Do what you love. If you enjoy weights, lift weights. If you enjoy swimming, go swim. I enjoy listening to a podcast or show while I walk on my treadmill. It fits into my schedule well and I find that I can be consistent about making time for it each day. Lack of time used to be another excuse for me, but I realized that no one else is going to prioritize my own health for me. And that little bit of time on the treadmill each day is somehow creating MORE productivity and time during my days now! More energy begets more time.
I am by no means a fitness guru or anything like that, although I did enjoy taking and teaching dance lessons a lifetime ago. I think all my dance experience has helped me see that movement and enjoying what the body can do, is an important part of life. It was something I was missing and craving. If your movement is restricted, do what you can to get a sense of gradually pushing yourself a little each day. Losing weight is only one benefit to a healthier lifestyle. And sometimes it is the last piece of the puzzle to start to fall into place.