dietingDoes the title of this article sound familiar?  Nearly every magazine you pick up or newspaper you read these days has a newer, faster, easier way to lose weight.  And we all know someone that is always on a diet, but never seems to lose any weight.

When I turned 50, it was like 30 only with an extra 20 years and an extra 20 pounds – that sucks.  Your friends don’t tell you you’ve gained weight because what’s twenty pounds when your 50…its natural, that’s just the way it is, you’ve earned it – you’re 50.  And this justification process even seems logical,

our metabolism slows, we can’t exercise like we used to, we’re not a kid anymore…things change as you age, the list goes on.  This was my list too.

At first I thought my closet was shrinking my clothes when the seasons changed. Those shorts I wore last summer, didn’t fit – must be this side of the closet.  I took my bicycle in for it’s spring tune up and what do you know, I bring it home, jump on to go for a ride and my butt is hanging over the side of the seat. Did the bike shop get my seat mixed up with someone else, because it doesn’t fit the same as it did last year…hmm.

Well I woke up one morning and decided that I was starting the first year of the second half of my life with the wrong attitude. The wrong perspective. The wrong nutrition. The wrong exercise program.  It was time for an adjustment to my life program.

I looked in the mirror (for those who know me – I love the mirror, it’s honest and unforgiving) and told myself, a year from now we will see a new me…or maybe just the old me. The me that was twenty pounds lighter and looked and felt a lot younger back then.

Okay – first question, how do we get there?  Dieting is not my thing, so that was absolutely out of the question.  Plus diets tend to imply that there is a start and stop point. What happens when you stop, most of the time you get fatter!  I certainly wasn’t up for that one!

So I opted for an eating program – one that would suit my daily needs and help me meet my overall objective – lose that 20 lbs in a year.  So I started my eating program transformation slowly, remember the older you get the more set in your ways, so I wasn’t up for overnight change, just little steps would suffice for now.

First I eliminated fast foods from my routine – no milkshakes, no fries, no burgers.  It took about three weeks or so to get over this hurdle and learn that all I had to do was take a healthy snack in the car with me and as I started to think about fast food, I would eat the snack – no more hunger.

Grocery shopping was the next step – I started eating a small meal right before I went shopping. Made it a lot easier to choose healthy foods on a full stomach.

Then I started a slow but steady cardio program at the gym.  Five times a week I would spend 15 minutes doing cardio working my way up to 30 minutes.  As the weight began dropping I started feeling stronger and added outdoor cycling several times a week to my  cardio routine too.

With the healthy foods and the added activity I started eating much more frequently – everything you read tells us to do this, but it’s a hard concept to embrace when the goal is to lose weight.  The biggest change for me was breakfast, it became one of my favorite meals of the day.

It wasn’t long before I had dropped ten pounds, and the best part it was a gradual change, about a pound a week, sometimes less.  When I reached the 14lb mark, others started to comment that I was noticeably more fit and that mirror in the gym was once again becoming my best friend 🙂

It’s been about a year and a half since I embarked on this mission. This was not a diet, it was a change in lifestyle – and it worked!

Life is way too short to spend it dieting. Eat to live.

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