“After thirty, a body has a mind of its own.” ~Bette Midler
Spring is here, isn’t it? Looking outside my window I see snow on the ground, a gray sky and the leaves of our rhododendrons are tightly closed. I can definitely say spring has not yet arrived in the Northeast.
I feel relieved. Why? The colder temperature gives me more time. Warmer weather would mean packing up sweaters and heavy coats. It also means uncovering arms and legs without the benefit of long, woolly, layered outfits. No more turtlenecks to hide any turkey twaddle, and no more long sleeves to cover any jiggle.
In other words, the forty-degree temperature allows me more time to get into shape.
With each passing year, losing weight and getting into shape gets harder and harder. I have a chronic illness that makes playing sports impossible, and menopause has reared its ugly head by redesigning my body to look like a cubist painting by Picasso.
I also curse Isaac Newton for introducing the world to the concept of gravity.
Why, oh why couldn’t I have been born with the genes of Christie Brinkley? But, alas, even she works out like a good little soldier. Take a look at her Infomercials with Chuck Norris. Looking at those two boomers dressed in their clingy workout clothes makes you want to jump off the couch to order a Total Gym.
We all need to maintain a good weight and a healthy lifestyle. Some of us need to find an eating program that best suits our needs. What program will help us lose weight and feel better by the summer? My head is spinning with information about new cleanses and detox programs, all claiming to help us regain control over our bodies.
Thirty years ago the decision was simpler. There were only a few popular diet programs to choose from. Weight Watchers, The Scarsdale Diet, The Stillman Diet, The Atkins Diet or The Ayds Diet were the go-to programs.
“After trying Atkins and doing Nutrisystem a few times, now I’m just focused on maintaining a healthy lifestyle rather than dieting.” ~Miranda Lambert
Today consumers have become wiser about diet and exercise. We’ve learned that eating too many carbohydrates and consuming too much fat and sodium may lead to obesity, high blood pressure or heart disease. We need to stay away from hydrogenated and trans fat oils, and too much sugar may lead to a whole host of diseases.
I’ve cut out white flour and sugar from my diet. I don’t eat red meat, and have oily fish at least 3 times a week. My oils of choice are olive and grapeseed, and I use them sparingly. I eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Dairy products are limited to low fat yogurt, soymilk and soy creamer. Sweets are consumed only on special occasions, and I drink water, coffee or tea.
So why are these pounds creeping up on me?
The culprit may be I’m not getting enough exercise. Dieting alone is not enough to lose weight. Exercise helps to control our weight by using excess calories that would be stored as fat, as well as boosting our metabolism and lowering insulin levels. As for menopause, the American Council on Exercise states, “The good news is that a regular program of physical activity can help manage many of the uncomfortable symptoms of menopause.”
Making better food choices and exercising more often is one of the best gifts we can give ourselves in our Second Chapter. This positive step will sustain us for the rest of our lives.
“I want to get old gracefully. I want to have good posture, I want to be healthy and be an example to my children.” ~Sting
I recently had lunch with a new friend who I met through my fabulous blogging group. Her website, The Recipe Renovator, illustrates her love of food, taking every day recipes and turning them into healthy ones. Take a moment to check out Stephanie Weaver’s fascinating website.
She also introduced me to the website “Hungry for Change” which looks at the relationship between food, health and emotional well-being. I watched one of their videos, and signed up for their “free take action videos and detox recipes and live Q&A” offer. The first video included Dr. Christiane Northrup, a proponent of women’s health and wellness (I’ve read several of her books). It opened my eyes to a new way of looking at eating. Take a look:
What did you think of this video? Do you agree or disagree with its content? Do you need the benefit of a structured diet program? Has menopause and/or physical issues affected your ability to lose weight and get into better shape? Please share your stories. I’d love to hear what you have to say.
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DISCLAIMER: Comments from An Empowered Spirit are brought to your attention on topics that could benefit you and should be discussed with your doctor or other medical professional. I am not medically trained and my posts are of a journalistic nature and not in lieu of medical advice. An Empowered Spirit and its author will not be held liable for any damages incurred from the use of this blog or any data or links provided.