I am a huge fan of scary movies — not gratuitously violent films like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre – but more of the Jurassic Park, Cloverfield and, more recently, the Lights Out, variety (if you haven’t seen it, and can afford to skip a night of sleep, it’s a “must see”).
It makes no sense, really, since I can’t get myself to watch half of the scenes.
I hide behind pillows, distract myself with my cat coloring book or post on Facebook about how scared I am to take my mind off of wondering how I’ll ever be able to go into my closet again without holding a cross and holy water in front of me.
I am also fascinated with the behind-the-scenes making of these movies.
Part of me believes that once I know what’s “really” going on, I will no longer be scared.
I saw the making of Jurassic Park and how the mechanical dinosaurs kept breaking down during the rainy scenes. It did nothing to make me stop covering my eyes when the velociraptors invaded the kitchen, or when T-Rex flipped over the jeep and was only a windshield away from eating two kids.
“Don’t look, kids! And where are your parents??” I scream at the screen every time.
The same doesn’t hold true for magic tricks, though. Once I know how it’s done I don’t want to see it ever again. Totally ruins it for me.
Maybe it’s because I want to believe in magic.
That brings me to today’s topic: the sleight of hand, behind the scenes, the “real” (wink wink) ways to lose weight after 50.
Because there must be one, right? Why else would some women be able to lose while others struggle every single day.
I SO want to do a big “reveal,” dramatically pull back the curtain from a big box, about what it really, seriously, “come on, stop messing with us,” takes to lose weight after 50.
You know, the stuff I’m not telling you because then, heck, why would you need me, right?
Okay, well, pull out your lawn chairs and grab a bucket of air-popped popcorn, because here it is…
YA! Did you see that?
Here’s the thing: There’s nothing secret about losing weight after 50.
As a writer for tons of publications, I am in a unique position to dig into subjects like this with the top weight loss specialists in the country.
And trust me, I do dig.
It always comes up the same: Barring any sort of health problem (e.g. thyroid) or medication that tends to put on weight (e.g. Prednisone), it’s a matter of eating less and moving more.
It’s not fun, it’s not sexy and it’s probably not what you want to hear. But the good news is:
YOU CAN DO IT WHEN YOU TAKE THE RIGHT STEPS.
I’m living proof, and I’ve met and talked to many other women who’ve done it and are doing it.
So the secret: You must be willing to work at it.
It won’t happen by accident. You need to take steps and work at it every day.
Think of it as a relationship.
If you give your friend a gift and a hug one day and then egg her new car the next, you can’t expect that friendship to last very long.
Ditto for your body.
If you eat clean for a few days and then overindulge the next few, those bad days will make it really tough for the results to emerge.
Make that impossible.
Aside from waiting for the key to the Magic Weight Loss Kingdom, I offer up these five, little-known, “secret” tips guaranteed to help get you on the right track if you do them consistently…
If you think the world is conspiring against you, you’re not far from the truth. You can’t drive 500 yards before you run into a fast-food restaurant, donut shop or bakery. You can’t control all of it, but you can control what you keep in your house. If cookies and cake are your weaknesses, keep them out of the house. Period.
Sure, you can still hop in the car and drive to the supermarket to buy them, but those actions will make you extremely aware of what you’re doing and you’re more likely to not put out the energy. Other ideas that may help push you in the right direction:
Don’t spend a lot of time thinking about how you’re going to get started, just do something. Walk for 10 — even 5 –minutes. Bam! You’ve started. Take one, simple step. Then add another step the next day or week. Before you know it, those small changes build momentum and add up to big results. It WILL work once you start taking consistent action.
If you fall off the wagon it’s on you to get back on it. Do not waste time dwelling on why it happened (unless analyzing it will stop it from happening again), looking for someone to blame, or checking to see if Venus was in retrograde. It was all you. Dust off the cupcake crumbs, focus on the NOW and keep moving forward.
It’s super easy to find people who tell you you can’t do something. Stay away from those people with the fury of a thousand suns. Or at least as much as you can. You need people who not only believe in you but hold you accountable when you say you’re going to yoga class and then bail for no reason. Find a motivated friend, coach, personal trainer or anyone who can fill the role without making you feel bad about yourself. The key word here is “supportive.”
Change can be tough, whether you’re starting healthier habits, moving into a new house or getting into a new relationship. You need to be willing to adapt, reassess and make adjustments wherever necessary, knowing the end result is one you desire. And after a while your “new” situation will become second nature.
Every day, jot down one to three actions you take that day that moves you closer to your goal.
Keep this list in front of you, on the refrigerator door or bathroom mirror. When you complete each action, cross it off. That, alone, feel rewarding. Or give yourself a star on your calendar. Whatever works. Repeat every day without fail and watch the wins add up.
Visible changes won’t happen overnight, even when you do everything right. It takes time, even more so after 50. I’ve talked in the past how it took me a year to lose 15 lbs. If I stressed about those numbers on the scale, I’d never have made the progress I did. Know that a lot of good things are happening on a small, cellular level. Think of it as your body getting ready for a Big Reveal. Don’t spoil the excitement by giving up too soon! Do all the right things, and keep doing them consistently, and it WILL happen.
Do you do something that helps YOU succeed? Let’s chat here… post your comments below!
Other posts you may enjoy:
Remember: YOU CAN DO THIS!
Your Ageless Body Coach,
Linda Melone is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, certified trainer and award-winning health and fitness writer. She specializes in helping women over 50 get in shape and lose weight.