Weight Loss Success after Age 50
Friday, July 31, 2015 - Author: Warren W.
For the last ten years my weight has been just over 300 pounds. At 5' 11" I was obese in medical terms; my wife just called me fat. My doctors have always recommended exercise but my other chronic medical issues make it difficult if not impossible. I am 53 years old and have type 2 Diabetes, Diabetic Neuropathy (loss of feeling in both feet), Osteoarthritis, High cholesterol, an old Back injury and Carpal Tunnel to name a few.
For years I just ignored the problem. Once in my forties I got serious about weight loss and even joined a gym but when I plateaued I lost my motivation. Before long the weight I lost was right back. In December of 2014 I saw one of my doctors and as usual had my weight checked. I was up to 317 pounds and knew I had to do something. That is the first step, or at least it was for me. You have to decide it's time to do something. Other people wanting me to lose weight were not enough, even my wife.
Exercise was out of the question and even walking was difficult. I could do perhaps five to ten minutes but for weight loss you need sustained aerobic activity; get and keep the heart rate up. I did not know what to do, but I did know what I did not want to do. I still wanted to eat and not just healthy foods. I did not want to count calories or have to buy special meals. I just wanted to lose weight.
I decided to try two things at the same time; become more active and eat less. No special diet but just fewer meals and snacks in between. I knew that I had to make a lifestyle change and not just some temporary diet. I enjoy food too much to cut things out completely, but I could have a smaller steak or fewer cookies. I also changed for drinking tea and juice to water with a bit of lemon or lime. It was slow at first but I made myself get up from the computer and walk around the house several times a day. No, it was not sustained activity, but it was a start. I began to stop eating seconds for any meal, something I used to do a lot.
By February I was doing things differently. I would park a bit farther from the store and walk around inside instead of using an electric cart. My meal size began to shrink and soon I was skipping some and not feeling hungry. Sweet snacks became vegetables or fruits I liked so I knew I would keep it up. The activity became doing work in the garden outside and simply being more active with household chores. I discovered that cleaning the kitchen could be aerobic exercise.
Everything was a slow, easy process; I did not want it to feel like work. I knew that for these changes to work that I would have to keep doing them long term. And it worked. I only checked my weight at doctor appointments but soon my pants were too big. March I was 291, April was 280 and by June I was 271 pounds. Today is July 31, 2015 and I am at 261.7 pounds; a loss of 56 pounds in seven months. That is an average of two pounds a week and is actually a recommended amount of weight loss. My pant size has gone down from 52 to 40.
Now both my meals and activity are habits. I am able to finally help with household chores that I could not do before. Instead of driving I can (and do) walk to the store. I have not had seconds on any meal since January and I am often full even before I am finished. My arthritis is a bit less painful and I feel better, not just physically but mentally as well. At first it was hard to motivate myself, but now it's just how I live. I do not have to really think about it, it just happens. My goal weight is 225 pounds.
So if you have tried diets without success, consider making a lifestyle change instead. In summary, my changes included:
- Deciding to do something about my weight for myself
- Eating less food and skipping seconds
- Having fruits or vegetables for snacks
- Becoming more active a bit each day
- Drinking less tea, juice (or soda) and more water
Remember to ask your doctor first to be sure this plan is safe for you.
I wish you success and happy living!