But deep down, I'm still obsessed with my weight and that damn scale. I've had body image problems since junior high (because, man, junior high kids can be mean). I also work in the fitness industry, so I do feel there is pressure to look the part (and I'm a 40-something fitness instructor, not a 20-something one). If people are paying me money to get them fit--I need to look the part.
I've been a personal trainer since my late 20's. Back then I worked with many women in their 40's, and they would tell me how hard it is to keep the weight off now that they are in their 40's. I'd keep telling them it's just a matter of calories in versus calories out! Just keep at it! I'd now kind of like to punch that trainer in the face.
The fact is, it does get much harder in your 40's (even in your mid 30's). Your hormones are doing wacky things now. Your testosterone and estrogen levels are going down--along with your metabolism. The effort to keep the weight off is much greater. The fact is you really have to change the way you eat and exercise. I eat better and exercise more than I ever did in my 20's, and keeping weight off is a constant struggle. I've pretty much had to break-up with bread and pasta unless I'm doing endurance training (i.e. long distance running). Keeping carbs low is what works for me. It may be something different for you. We're all different, and our bodies all respond to different things.
When it comes to checking weight, men and women could not be more different. My husband (Mark) and I belong to a health incentive program through his company. You get prizes for tracking your exercise, weight, measurements, etc.
One night after dinner, my husband gets on the scale.
"What are you doing?" I ask.
“ I just want to get my weight so I can get my points for this month.”
“But, it’s evening and we just had dinner!”
There are strict requirements when I weigh-in:
- Yesterday had to be a good day food and exercise-wise.
- It must be first thing in the morning before I've eaten any food, and after I have…errr….taken care of business. My body needs to be as empty as possible.
- I must be as close to naked as possible. This includes hair ties, headbands, and my FitBit.
- If at all possible, I weigh on a morning where all of the above are true, plus I’ve done some fasting cardio.
The only exception to this rule is if I’m weighing in at the very start of a weight-loss challenge or something. Then I need to see some results to stay motivated. So, my initial weigh-in can be at night after a big meal (but it’s still going to depress me).
Recently, after Mark and I spent a week and a half eating and drinking our way through San Francisco and wine country, we both got on the scale. We realized we had put on a decent amount of weight. I talked him into going low carb with me for a month or so until we were back to where we wanted to be. He reluctantly agreed--the man lives on bread and pasta.
We did our weigh-in at night--after eating (that's how it's done)! After three days of both of us behaving very well, we got back on the scale. He was down eight pounds. I was down one. It's been about a month now. I'm still down just the one--he's back at his goal weight.
Sometimes men really tick me off.