We all have our struggles. Losing weight isn’t easy for anyone, except maybe your teenage son or your annoying friend who says things like “I forgot to eat today!” (She giggles and flips her hair, while, by your side, your hand curls into a fist.)
Every year after the age of 30, it seems to get harder to lose weight. After 40? The race is on. Can you lose those last few pounds before your metabolism jumps off a cliff and dies a screaming death? (“Aaiiiiiieeee. I’ll never let you lose another pouuuuuuuuund.” Thunk.)
It sounds dire, but the situation is really not all bad. Your metabolism might slow, yet there are things you can do to make it hum. But, if you’re going to survive and get the body you want, you might need to adjust your attitude. Listen up. Here’s what you need to remember:
1.) Stop thinking “The Old Gray Mare, She Ain’t What She Used to Be.”
You’re not who you were at 20 (or 30 or 40) or even last year or last month: this is GREAT news! Why? Because you’re changing, evolving, and improving! The Old Gray Mare just ain’t what she used to be—she’s better in MANY ways. Maybe you’re a bit more banged up in the physical sense (the more mileage on the car, the more maintenance it needs) but you’re probably a stronger, kinder, gentler, more wonderful and interesting person! Look at it this way: You’ve improved and you’re STILL HERE. Celebrate what you can do, and get to learning new skills. Wisdom is a kick-ass companion: spread it, increase it, make it yours.
2.) Stop giving up because of your age.
Society will feed you all sorts of old age garbage before you’re old, some of it designed as well-intentioned sympathy. Just say no to that bullshit. After all, you’re not dead, so don’t act like you are.
I was out on my road bike last week, leading my two younger riding partners. We entered the home stretch. One partner finally passed me, and I gave up and said, “See you at the car.” I watched her back start to get smaller as the distance increased between us, and then I suddenly heard myself say, “See you at the car? No!” and I literally put the pedal down and redoubled my efforts, determined to catch her before she reached the car. It took a lot of effort and some smart gear selection, but I did it, and it felt so damn sweet. Part of me had been willing to give up, but the badass who still lives in me growled, “No f***ing way, Princess. Get your ass moving.”
Don’t see anybody at the car. Be the first to the car. Keep going, keep striving, keep trying to win, no matter how old you are. The fight will make you feel younger than your years.
3.) Stop acting your age.
Hang out with younger people (at least part of the time) because hanging out with younger people will force you into a vitality that you don’t expect—and this is more important than we realize. Energy and enthusiasm are contagious. My riding partners are at least ten years younger than me. My lifting partner? Almost 20 years younger. Each of them goes harder and faster than me, and that’s exactly what I want. Because if they’re going harder, then I want to go harder too. I want to catch them and pass them. It’s not always possible, but when it does happen? Nirvana. And, like perfectly hitting a golf ball, the memory of that event will carry me for another year or ten.
4.) Stop thinking this is not your prime. Every day you wake up is your prime.
I seriously dislike this idea that our youth is the best time and everything afterward is a suckfest. What nonsense! I am not past my prime. Today IS my prime! I’m too young for life on the couch. Age isn’t just a number, it’s a bullshit necklace of shame in our society—and you don’t have to wear it.
I’ll be 50 soon and I don’t mind saying so. I’m proud of these 50 years. I’ve learned a hell of a lot and I’m not afraid to share those lessons! My prime is today simply because I choose it to be. Toni Morrison is writing outstanding novels in her 80’s—who the hell are we to give up?
5.) Stop thinking of your goal as “losing weight.” Start thinking of it as gaining capability and life.
So you have a few extra pounds (or quite a few extra pounds) to lose. Okay. But you don’t have to focus on that as your goal. Maybe your goal should be:
- gaining life
- gaining longevity
- gaining strength
- gaining capability
- gaining more fun more sex more love more light more joy.
Make becoming more capable as a person your goal instead of merely becoming less. As your strength and happiness and love grow, your waistline will shrink. (If you’re squatting, your butt and your quads might grow, but don’t panic! A big booty is a good thing!) You will gain a better you and a better health. The joy of your accomplishments will far overshadow the pain of your effort, and that’s awesome, right? So go do it! I’m with you, darling! Save me a place at the squat rack!
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