Tired of feeling my stomach hang over the top of my pants, I decided to take drastic action. While I’m fit, at 44 I’ve struggled to get that last 15 pounds of “baby weight” off for years- can I still technically call it that even though my youngest is eight?
Exercising two to three times per week and eating a “healthy” diet, it seemed no matter what I did, I never lost a pound. Fed up, I decided to try the infamous MediZone diet. Nervous, I checked in at the front desk. After an hour of discussing my weight, eating habits, measurements and goals- I left with my bag of miracle tools (minus the diet pills as I can’t take them).
I was excited at the thought of weekly accountability, taking the calcium tablet to speed up my metabolism (or whatever it’s called), the vitamin B, multi-vitamin and B12 shot. Yet in my gut I had this uncomfortable feeling.
I knew I was taking the short cut and it bothered me- yet I pressed on. The first week of my diet my family went on a five day boat trip where food was abundantly available, yet I stuck to my high protein first week plan. By the end of week two I had lost three pounds- wow, it was working! Yet in my gut I felt off.
Week three came along and $300 later I realized what that gut feeling was- I was taking the short cut. Instinctually I knew that the solution to my muffin top was not a diet but a lifestyle change. I decided to re-evaluate. Although not easy to admit, I never went back to the MediZone clinic and instead started tracking my food habits. Using My Net Diary, a great app that tracks your food and educates you on what is good or bad for you and what nutrients to add based on height, weight, age and more, I felt empowered.
The truth is I wasn’t eating so great. Breakfast typically went well and dinner great- yet in between…that’s where the problems were. I would skip lunch or drink lattes from Starbucks. By 3:00 I would be starving and down Wheat Thins and other items I had categorized as “healthy” but simply was not. My eating habits were inconsistent, full of carbs and my metabolism was in slow burn mode.
Looking at my exercise habits, I learned that women over 40 need to do weight resistant training in order to lose weight; cardio was not enough. Wow, I didn’t know that! So I got to work and began to apply what I was learning about food, cut out carb-heavy snacks and replaced them with raw foods and nutrient rich items. I began weight training and increased my weekly exercise from two to three times per week to four or five days per week.
Surprisingly my muffin top began to melt away. While I didn’t lose 15 pounds, I fit into my favorite jeans again and felt increasingly fit. More importantly, I’ve come to understand that as we age, women must modify our lifestyles or else face the hard truth that the weight is going to pile on. While a diet seemed like a quick, easy fix- it was nothing but an expensive experiment in instant self-gratification.
Women are obsessed with their weight. Just pick up any magazine and you’ll see one promise after another on how to increase your metabolism, tone up or down, an elixir “as seen on Dr. Oz” that promises to shed pounds in days! Typically these “get fit quick” articles are nothing more than a passing fad, sort of like the MediZone Diet was for me.
Lesson learned? Don’t look for the easy fix! If something looks too good to be true, it probably is. While I know this program can be successful, good old fashioned hard work is much more gratifying and results better maintained over time. Educate yourself on the food you eat, create a fitness routine that is fun (I love kick boxing) and that combines weight resistant and cardio training no matter what your age. At the end of the day, you will gain more benefit from the way you feel- empowered, confident and accomplished- than the way you look! After all, beauty seeps from the inside out and no beauty product will ever compare to the “inner glow” a woman radiates from within.
To download the first chapter of Traci’s book, visit http://gygb.com/the-book/.
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