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  • Women over 35 who've had success losing weight?

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    Old 03-19-2004, 03:39 PM   #1
    WishUwerehere
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    Women over 35 who've had success losing weight?

    Hello,
    I turned 35 last year and my body just went to hell. I've been watching my diet and exercising more than I ever have in my life, but I continue to gain. I always had a bit of a struggle staying slim, but when I was younger, I knew that if I just buckled down and worked hard, the weight would come off. That is no longer the case. I am working out 5-6 days a week (total of 4-6 hours cardio per week in the form of treadmill, elliptical trainer, stair climber and/or stationary bike and 2-3 45 min. weight lifting sessions -- hi weight, low reps). I generally consume about 1400 calories a day (occasionally more). I've been doing this for over a year. Lost 5 lbs initially, then gained 15 back. Currently holding at 156 lbs and 37% body fat (I'm 5'8").

    I've been to the doctor to rule out any medical problems. I just feel like everything is going down hill now that I am past 35. Anyone else have a drastic change in their metabolism at this age, and what do I do to overcome it? I try so hard, but I am the mother of 2 small children and work full-time, so it's hard to find time. I'm already putting in 6-8 hours at the gym a week and I just don't see how I can do more. I am so frustrated....I know those machines at the gym aren't entirely accurate, but it says that I'm burning about 600 calories each time with my cardio (x 4 times a week = at least 2400 calories burned). Between that and my calorie restriction I can't believe it's not enough to lose weight. Please help me, I am so depressed. I only want to lose about 15 lbs, but it seems like 100 since I'm working so hard and feel like I'm starving and I still can't even put a dent in it. My husband is starting to get disgusted about having to watch the kids so much while I go to the gym when it's not even doing me any good. I feel so hopeless.

     
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    Old 03-19-2004, 08:24 PM   #2
    rita
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    Re: Women over 35 who've had success losing weight?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by WishUwerehere
    Hello,
    I turned 35 last year and my body just went to hell. I've been watching my diet and exercising more than I ever have in my life, but I continue to gain. I always had a bit of a struggle staying slim, but when I was younger, I knew that if I just buckled down and worked hard, the weight would come off. That is no longer the case. I am working out 5-6 days a week (total of 4-6 hours cardio per week in the form of treadmill, elliptical trainer, stair climber and/or stationary bike and 2-3 45 min. weight lifting sessions -- hi weight, low reps). I generally consume about 1400 calories a day (occasionally more). I've been doing this for over a year. Lost 5 lbs initially, then gained 15 back. Currently holding at 156 lbs and 37% body fat (I'm 5'8").

    I've been to the doctor to rule out any medical problems. I just feel like everything is going down hill now that I am past 35. Anyone else have a drastic change in their metabolism at this age, and what do I do to overcome it? I try so hard, but I am the mother of 2 small children and work full-time, so it's hard to find time. I'm already putting in 6-8 hours at the gym a week and I just don't see how I can do more. I am so frustrated....I know those machines at the gym aren't entirely accurate, but it says that I'm burning about 600 calories each time with my cardio (x 4 times a week = at least 2400 calories burned). Between that and my calorie restriction I can't believe it's not enough to lose weight. Please help me, I am so depressed. I only want to lose about 15 lbs, but it seems like 100 since I'm working so hard and feel like I'm starving and I still can't even put a dent in it. My husband is starting to get disgusted about having to watch the kids so much while I go to the gym when it's not even doing me any good. I feel so hopeless.
    First of all, congratulations on your great workout effort. It appears to me that you are doing it right. Whatever you do, do not stop your exercise. You WILL succeed, it's almost impossible not to if you put in the work. Now, there could be a number of issues at play here as far as your inability to lose weight.
    Part of the problem could be hormonal. Has your doctor checked your hormonal function with a blood test? If yes, and it was negative (no abnormal findings) then it's obviously something else.
    Are you currently under more stress than usual or not getting much sleep? When we get stessed our bodies secrete more of cortisol which is known to cause weight gain.
    Also, are you sure that you are consuming only 1400 calories? Do you keep a detailed journal of your daily food intake? If not, then try writing down EVERY bit of food that you put into your mouth ona daily basis and do that for a week. Many people,especially busy women with family to feed often "graze" on tiny portions of "this or that" and do not count these calories but these tiny "bites" do add up to potential weight gain.
    Another question is whether you actually gained fat or perhaps gained some muscle (very likely when lifting heavy weights). Muscle weighs more that fat (but occupies much less space) so what you see may be actually an increase in lean muscle tissue. Do not use the scale as your only criterium for weight gain. Scales are very inaccurate gauges of fitness. Trust your eyes and the fit of your clothes. They will tell you how you are doing.
    If none of these ideas seem correct, then perhaps you have hit a plateau. It happens to almost everyone so do not despair and do not give up. You may need to tweak your diet or your workout (do something differently) so that your body gets a bit of a "surprise". You might want to do your cardio on different machines for a longer time or maybe do H.I.I.T a couple times a week instead of your regular cardio. As far as your diet, you may want to actually have a "cheat" day once a week and eat more than the usual amount of calories. It's funny, but eating more occasionally will actually speed up your metabolism and cause you to lose weight more easily. Believe me, at this age you are far too young to experince going "downhill" in your looks or your health.

     
    Old 03-20-2004, 09:12 AM   #3
    WishUwerehere
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    Re: Women over 35 who've had success losing weight?

    Rita,
    Thank you so much for your thoughtful and informative reply. I have wondered about the potential impact of stress, and also lack of sleep. I don't think my doctor did any kind of hormonal assessment, but I know that my thyroid levels were normal (actually "high normal," but I told him "You are NOT touching my thyroid! ) and my good and bad cholesterol were both in the excellent range. When I commented to my doctor that maybe my diet and exercise were doing me some good after all, he said "it's probably more due to good genes , making me wonder once again why I bother. My father also has excellent cholesterol levels, even though he is obese, so I guess I got his genes. My mother is fairly slim with cholesterol levels in the dangerous range, so go figure.....

    I might be eating more than I am aware of....the food diary sounds like a good idea. The HIIT also sounds promising....are there any books or other sources that offer examples of HIIT routines for different types of cardio equipment? Last night I went out and tried jogging a block, walking a block, jogging a block, walking a block, etc., but it quickly turned into jogging a block, walking 2 blocks, jogging a block, walking 3 blocks, etc. (LOL), but I kept it up for 45 minutes and there were a lot of hills, so maybe that counts as HIIT(?)

    Anyway, thanks for your input....you mentioned a lot of things that I hadn't thought of (or maybe didn't want to admit on a conscious level ), so I will try some of those things. It is depressing to feel like your body is betraying you and not responding to all of your "tried and true" methods, but it doesn't do any good dwelling on it. Thanks again!

     
    Old 03-20-2004, 11:22 AM   #4
    SOUTHERN DIVA
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    Re: Women over 35 who've had success losing weight?

    Hi,I can totally relate to everything you are saying! I will turn 43 Tuesday,I am 5'7 wiegh 148lbs,the most I have ever weighed in my life.I have gained 15 lbs. in the past year,while dieting and walking 30 mins per day on the treadmill! I have had ever "test" you can possibly have to see why my weight tends to gradually get "higher and higher". My thyroid test came back slightly abnormal,but not enough to treat,as the dr. put it. I know I am at the stage in life where hormones are crazy and I am considered peri-menopausal.Yuk...Anyway,I woke up yesterday when the alarm went off,very depressed about my weight,my birthday and most of all my job! I lay in bed thinking about it and got out of bed and faxed a letter to my boss ( an Asian physician who is very demanding and controlling to me) and said " I will not be returning to work"! I felt like a weight had been lifted off of my shoulders! Now,I need to get the weight from my abdomen and thighs!!! If anyone has any ideas on what will help,please tell me! Oprah said the only thing that will help a woman past 35 is weight resistant training.hmmmm...

     
    Old 03-20-2004, 12:41 PM   #5
    WishUwerehere
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    Re: Women over 35 who've had success losing weight?

    Hey Southern Diva! Thanks for replying....I do think Oprah is right about the weight training (in general), but obviously it's not a "fix-all" solution, as I've been doing it for over a year and it hasn't done very much for me. I am wondering if it helps more in maintaining weight once you've lost it, and if I should focus more on cardio while I am still trying to lose. I think I am going to try the HIIT, but it's really hard for me as I'm used to doing long sessions at moderate intensity. You're supposed to sprint for a minute and then walk for a minute, but sprinting is just not in my repertoire of skills any more, so I'm hoping jogging is sufficient! It's definitely sufficient to get my heart rate up -- I've found that I can barely jog 2 blocks without feeling like I am going to die. It's amazing to me that I can walk for 60 minutes at 4 mph and an 8% incline but I can barely jog for 2 minutes on a flat surface! I still have a headache from when I almost passed out this morning jogging!

    The thing that troubles me the most is I kinda feel like my doctor thought I was exaggerating my exercise and dieting and was just thinking I was the typical "aging female" who's ****** that she can't eat whatever she wants anymore. I'm sure he gets a lot of women over 35 who come in complaining about gaining weight and claiming not to know why, and most of them probably aren't doing everything they could be, so he probably gets tired of hearing it. I have been diagnosed with mild PCOS in the past and I'm wondering if that is getting worse. I've been having major acne flareups lately too, which is another symptom.

    Anyway, I'm glad you got rid of your main source of stress....a lot of people never realize what is causing their stress or can't afford to get rid of it, so you are already ahead of the game! I'm going to try to give the HIIT a try for at least a week, so I'll post back and let you know how it's going....us "older" gals gotta stick together!

     
    Old 03-21-2004, 06:43 AM   #6
    Trip
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    Re: Women over 35 who've had success losing weight?

    I am a 45 yr old woman, Mom of 3, one raised, 2 teens at home and have ALWAYS worked fulltime, this of course meant little sleep over the years trying to keep the home ..well like home and hold the job ect. My Hubby is a wonderful guy, but he is a guy and we women do shoulder making the family a family. I too, worked out all my life trying to keep myself healthy, trying to stay trim. 2 yrs ago I developed a tumor on my spine, did the surgery thing, had 6 mos. off recovering. Last spring, 2 ys later it was back went thru it all again. I FOUND out, that being off, getting SLEEP, and putting the time out, with NO QUILT to do my rehab, then back into my weight machnes (can't do alot of the free weights ever again) devoting that time to my body, got me in the best shape I have EVER been in! The secret for us older gals is ...SLEEP, reduced stress, (I have made a few nites a week teens cook meals), turning over a lot of chores (vacuming I couldn't do) because of my surgeries, hubby had to take on more too. Well, Ladies, I am back to my fulltime demanding job BUT I let everyone continue to divide the load!!! I am back to still missing out on the sleep, but, not as bad, relish MY workout time, demanding for the 1st time, the respect of my husband and kids to let me have my time for my health. My weight routime, cardio, really isn't any different then it was, but, HOW I have changed in my attitude and view my families responcibilties in helping with the load HAS changed for the better! My 14 yr old daughter even joins in 3 x aweek with my cardio. Women with small kids can't do this, but, we have to LEARN when their all older to let everyone start diving in and really dividing the load. Work may still be there, but, outside of the job, with a older family, time should start comming back to you. Sorry this is so long winded, but, even tho it took a possibly crippling condition too change things, it sure did! Sleep more, lighten the load, and workout guiltlessly, we deserve it! If your head is full of all the THINGS you need to get done that nite, and your tired and burned out from lack of sleep , and quilty 'cause your now older family needs your presence so much..well how effective can you be at your own health ?

     
    Old 03-21-2004, 06:43 AM   #7
    Trip
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    Re: Women over 35 who've had success losing weight?

    I am a 45 yr old woman, Mom of 3, one raised, 2 teens at home and have ALWAYS worked fulltime, this of course meant little sleep over the years trying to keep the home ..well like home and hold the job ect. My Hubby is a wonderful guy, but he is a guy and we women do shoulder making the family a family. I too, worked out all my life trying to keep myself healthy, trying to stay trim. 2 yrs ago I developed a tumor on my spine, did the surgery thing, had 6 mos. off recovering. Last spring, 2 ys later it was back went thru it all again. I FOUND out, that being off, getting SLEEP, and putting the time out, with NO QUILT to do my rehab, then back into my weight machnes (can't do alot of the free weights ever again) devoting that time to my body, got me in the best shape I have EVER been in! The secret for us older gals is ...SLEEP, reduced stress, (I have made a few nites a week teens cook meals), turning over a lot of chores (vacuming I couldn't do) because of my surgeries, hubby had to take on more too. Well, Ladies, I am back to my fulltime demanding job BUT I let everyone continue to divide the load!!! I am back to still missing out on the sleep, but, not as bad, relish MY workout time, demanding for the 1st time, the respect of my husband and kids to let me have my time for my health. My weight routime, cardio, really isn't any different then it was, but, HOW I have changed in my attitude and view my families responcibilties in helping with the load HAS changed for the better! My 14 yr old daughter even joins in 3 x aweek with my cardio. Women with small kids can't do this, but, we have to LEARN when their all older to let everyone start diving in and really dividing the load. Work may still be there, but, outside of the job, with a older family, time should start comming back to you. Sorry this is so long winded, but, even tho it took a possibly crippling condition too change things, it sure did! Sleep more, lighten the load, and workout guiltlessly, we deserve it! If your head is full of all the THINGS you need to get done that nite, and your tired and burned out from lack of sleep , and quilty 'cause your now older family needs your presence so much..well how effective can you be at your own health ?

     
    Old 03-21-2004, 04:11 PM   #8
    WishUwerehere
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    Re: Women over 35 who've had success losing weight?

    Wow, Trip, I'm sorry you had to go through all of the surgeries but it's great to hear that you finally found balance in your life. It does help to think that this is just a stage in my life that will pass. I keep trying to tell my husband that when he complains about how busy our lives are and how the house always looks like crap, but he just shakes his head and tells me that's no excuse. Oh well, I know that things will get easier at home as time goes on....hopefully I won't be a whale by the time that time comes!

     
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