Remember the good old days back in college when you could just work out one extra time to lose five pounds and fit into your Rocky Mountain jeans by the weekend? All the while going to Whataburger at midnight and sharing whole boxes of Little Debbies with your roommate?
Yeah. Big sigh. I miss those days.
But let’s not dwell on how hot we used to be, gosh. Everybody knows that 40-something minivan driving mamas can be just as hot as college girls.
Well, that’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it. Seriously, I think that whole ‘your metabolism slows down as you get older’ line is a total myth. And I KNOW this because I’ve seen many, many women older than I get into the best shape of their lives LONG after their 20s have passed, and I’m on a mission to be one of them.
However, as we get older, life, stress, and schedules
and NOT our metabolism because I’m in denial seem to make weight loss darn near impossible. Not to mention that we’ve done real damage to our fat burning process by the time we’re a few years out of college by BEING ON A DIET SINCE COLLEGE. Raise your hand if that’s you… I see that hand… I see that hand…
The good news is there are a few gentle, healing things you can do to help your body shed weight…
1. DRINK WATER. AND ONLY WATER. Weight loss is a chemical reaction, and ALL chemical reactions must take place in water. The conventional wisdom says to drink half your body weight in ounces of water. Say you weigh 150 pounds, you need 75 ounces of water a day. If you weigh 200, you need 100 ounces. I just tell everyone to shoot for 80 ounces of water a day because that’s a good round, average number, and most of us don’t come anywhere close to drinking that much water every day as it is. So that’s the first thing I recommend looking at… are you drinking your 80 ounces of water a day? What ELSE are you drinking? Coffee is either really good for you or really bad, depending on which blog you read, but in my personal opinion, if you have tired adrenal glands, you need to lay off the caffeine altogether. I’m sorry. And some of you drink so much Diet Coke that it’s woven into the fabric of your DNA (you know who you are), and your body does not know what to do with all that aspartame. It’s bad, y’all. And lastly, alcohol. It’s a system depressant and depressants slow down EVERYTHING about your bodily processes, including weight loss. So just stick with 80 ounces of water minimum, and no other beverages JUST UNTIL you feel yourself get into ‘the weight loss zone,’ you know what I’m talking about, where you FEEL YOURSELF SHRINKING, and see what happens.
2. NO EATING AFTER 7PM. I heard a story once, and since I’m a good journalist, I’m going to pass it along to you without even researching to see if it’s true for the simple fact that I heard it in church, therefore it MUST be true. And the story is that sumo wrestlers eat AND THEN GO RIGHT TO BED. And they get up and eat again, and then go right BACK to bed. Because sumo wrestlers WANT to pack on the pounds, and eating-then-sleeping is the surest way to do that. That’s all I’m saying. Give your body a chance to digest your dinner ALL the way out of your digestive tract before bed UNLESS you want to be a sumo wrestler. This is where I get tripped up because I developed a wicked ‘bowl of cereal’ habit during my last pregnancy because I was ravenously hungry all the live-long day. And when you’re pregnant and ravenous, IT’S OK. EAT THE CEREAL. But it is NOT OK when you’re no longer pregnant. Unless you want to be a sumo wrestler, that is.
3. KEEP A FOOD JOURNAL. I rebelled against this idea for the longest time because it felt almost like food worship since it forced me to focus on food so often, and healthy people don’t obsess over food. Besides, my grandmother who was still buff and quite a looker and doing aerobics up until she died at NINETY FIVE didn’t keep a food journal (that’s one of my favorite arguments against doing anything. If my grandmother didn’t do it, then modern society is doing it wrong). But I’ll tell ya, it REALLY helps you notice where the calories come from. When I have the mindset that “I have to write this ONE BITE down,” it makes me think twice about whether it’s really worth it. I don’t know how many times I get to the end of the day and think, “Well, dagnabbit! I never ate lunch! I better eat a bowl of cereal NOW so I don’t waste away…” and then I remember, ummm… yes I DID eat lunch, because polishing off the chicken strips the toddler didn’t finish IS IN FACT LUNCH, but we all FORGET what we ate (and thus, how many calories we’ve consumed) and are awfully generous to ourselves unless we have the cold, hard facts written down on paper. It just keeps you honest and accountable to YOU, and that’s a good thing.
4. KNOW THAT STRESS HALTS WEIGHT LOSS. I don’t have one single close friend who isn’t being pounded hard by something REALLY stressful right now… health issues, moving to another town, a really stressful job… we are ALL bombarded by a life that’s just too freaking hard at any given moment. Sometimes we can lessen it, sometimes we can’t, and we just have to endure until it’s over. But just know that whole leptin/cortisol thing you see on TV commercials is VERY real. It’s just very, very hard to lose weight when cortisol is calling all the shots in your body. Very. Hard. And this explains my own weight situation because since 2006 I’ve had almost 100% of all the things on the Holmes Stress Scale (ALMOST all them, but not jail, just to clarify).
5. STEP AWAY FROM THE SUGAR. It’s in everything, even a can of green beans. Not that eating too many cans of green beans is really what made any of us too fat, but seriously, it’s in everything. Since you’re keeping a food journal now, keep track of sugar grams for a day and just see. Then aim for 25 grams per day or less (preferably less). I recommend the Trim Healthy Mama plan with NO added sugar at all, personally. Sugar is the enemy, and not only will it make you fat, it’s cancer’s favorite food. Xylitol and Stevia are my favorite sweeteners (they’re plant-based). Aspartame, Splenda (sucralose), Agave Nectar, and all those artificial things are NOT natural, and please don’t take away sugar only to replace it with any of that nonsense.
I’m going to be your new best friend when I tell you this… I’m not even going to mention exercise in this list. We all know we need it, we all know we should do it, so you do not need me to beat that dead horse. Besides, if you’ve been stressed for so long that your adrenal glands are tired, exercise can sometimes make things WORSE for your body. When my adrenals were at their worst, it would take me days to recover from going for a walk. So, let’s just focus on these five things for now, and we’ll talk exercise in the next post.
And for info on balancing out your blood sugar to manage cravings, give you energy and help your body shed pounds, see my Plexus info here.
Now go drink your water. 😉
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