Welcome to my journey
I am a 70+-year-old woman who has struggled with fitness as long as I can remember. My Teutonic genes are great for storing up fat for a time of famine but not so good for fashion. That said, I look back at pictures of myself as a young woman and think, “Wow. Why didn’t I realize how good I looked?”
Something went wrong
A few years ago I set myself a fitness challenge that included strengthening and weight loss. I observed that in spite of trying to exercise, I was losing strength in my legs, suffering restless legs after walking, experiencing a change of gait as well as decreased range of motion. The more I tried to get fit, the more miserable I became. I was shocked to learn that I had arthritis in my hip leading to a hip replacement and a longer period of recovery than I anticipated.
I reached 90% recovery. I was able to walk, practice yoga (big plus!!!), and exercise. Okay, the walk was slow, my balance was poor, and I bounced more than jumped in aerobics. When I hiked, I relied on my husband to help me up and down steep rocks. I always used handrails when using stairs and was disappointed that I was unable to get on and off my bicycle. Then a lunge tore a meniscus. Combined with a diagnosis of arthritis, I underwent a partial knee replacement in the midst of the COVID pandemic. I continue to mend.
Diets don’t work
Avoiding fad diets, the few times I lost significant weight came about when my life was full and balanced and I didn’t really think much about eating. Menopause pounced and deposited a belly that continues to surprise me.
Making another effort to control weight, I decided to count the carbs. The ultimate research tool, Google, revealed that I should be able to lose weight on 100 grams or less of carbs each day. I decided to go for 50. All the carbs came from fruits and vegetables and rarely exceeded 30 grams per day. The first week I gained 4.6 pounds. After three weeks I had lost a total of two pounds and felt hungry and tired. My endocrinologist told me not to do it.
Technological tools making counting calories easy, I gave the calorie-restriction route one more try, starting gently at 1200 calories a day. Most days I was less than 1000 but not losing any weight so I decided to do shock therapy: one day a week I would limit my intake to 500 calories. After three weeks of mostly 700-800 calories per day, I had lost 2.5 pounds, and all I wanted to do was sleep. This was not for me.
I also tried on-line Weight Watchers, probably the best. Unfortunately, the pandemic hit. What can I say?
My PCP’s response to my concerns was that weight loss is very complex and unless my weight was the result of some disease process, he wouldn’t tackle it. Hmmm. I went back to normal eating and was feeling better without gaining weight. I haven’t weighed myself during the pandemic.
Here is what I offer
Discussing weight and diet is a downer for me. I refuse to do it. On this weekly blog, I will share my triumphs/challenges of physical fitness and look forward for you to do the same.
I invite you to subscribe and participate in the fun!