diaryofthemenopause

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Exercise and Diet

on July 7, 2015

Following on from my last post, it was suggested that I elaborate on my comment about increasing exercise instead of going for the traditional diet approach to weight maintenance.  This is a good idea as I have a good family, including identical twins, that explain my reason for this perfectly.

Like probably the majority of people in the world, I gain weight, I diet, I fail.  Anything that restricts what you eat is pretty much setting you up for failure.  There are a handful of strong and determined people that have made this work and kept it up and sadly, I’m not one of them.  I have lost a lot of weight in the past and I have never been able to maintain that new low weight. Over time the urge for chocolate, crisps, cheese, wine, vodka etc has come back into my life and I’ve been unable to eat or drink small amounts and maintain for whatever reason.  Mainly I’m greedy!

Right – my family.  There are a lot of Aunts, Uncles and Cousins and we have all followed the same pattern.  I spent my teens and 20s being very underweight.  I could eat and drink anything I wanted and I would never gain a single ounce in weight.  All of my cousins were exactly the same.  My father had also been the same but when I was a teenager, my father was an overweight middle aged man.  Similar story with my Aunty, very skinny youngster, overweight middle aged Aunty.  It seems that all the children had incredibly high metabolic rates through childhood and the teenage years, sadly for me this lead to a massive appetite because I had nothing to worry about, I was never going to gain weight.  Around the mid 20s this starts to slow down, and we all had a weight gain somewhere around 25 years of age. By 30 every single one of us started with weight issues. In my case I still had that massive appetite to go with it.  By our 40s it’s a very serious problem.

It is at this stage that you can now split my cousins into two.  I’ll use my cousins as my example in this as they now range between 30s and 50s.  Half of us are positively round, battling weight on a daily basis, dieting, falling off the diet, going back on the diet, falling off again.  The other half don’t have to worry about what they eat and are slim and fit.  The difference with this is that the other half all exercise.  They run or swim, or bike ride at least 3 times a week.  If they stop this, then they have the same problem as the rest of us.

My perfect example of my family are identical twins. If you follow them through their teens and twenties then you can hardly spot any difference with them in photos.  They then hit their 30s and one now works in the restaurant business and gets sent around the world trying out cheese and wines.  The other works in a hospital on shifts and when not on shift cycles for fun, walks hills, climbs and goes on climbing and adventure holidays.  They are the perfect example of the split in my cousins.  One is overweight and the other is slim and fit and eats what she wants.

The same applies for my friends, both male and female. The slim ones aren’t slim because they diet, they are slim because they exercise.  I went shopping with a friend on Sunday and she said that she is gaining weight and needs to get back out on her bike.  That is the attitude I need to develop.  I need to stop starving my body and taking away the things it likes and I need to exercise.  I have another friend, a male friend who I work with.  On a night shift he will eat enough food to create a decent sized menu for a restaurant. He cycles every day so he burns everything he eats off.

I am on a diet by the way.  I started with 49lb to lose to get me to what I consider an OK weight (around 14lb higher than I would normally aim to get to).  I now have 35lb still to lose.  I’m seeing a physiotherapist for problems with my feet that are more than likely due to excessive weight gain in a short period of time.  Because of this I cannot do weight bearing exercises, so walking and jogging are out.  Swimming and cycling however are fine.  My bike is broken so I’ve started swimming.  I’m up to 50 lengths of a 25m pool and some days it’s an effort to drag myself down there, but during the hour I’m in there I’m finding my brain just relaxes, my mind isn’t going over everything and I find some form of calm.  Afterwards I feel great for the rest of the day.

I have had 20 years of failed diets.  I like cheese and bread, but I am a greedy and a lazy person, which means I eat more than I should and I don’t wear off what I eat as I have an inactive lifestyle.  I like my food too much, so if I am to grow old enjoying my food still and being healthy, then I need to get myself to a decent weight where my body can happily carry the weight I am and get off my big fat backside and do some exercise. My plan is to diet and exercise until I get to a decent weight where exercise alone will maintain me. I hope that the half of my cousins that are slim and fit are enough to encourage me to do this, because I would like to grow old being active and being able to go off and see the world and having the energy to do it all.

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2 responses to “Exercise and Diet

  1. germanginge says:

    Well done. Really informative article. You sound really focussed now. Long may it last! Shed those pounds. Hypnosis works for me.

  2. Keep us posted on the weight loss and exercise excursions! 🙂 Nice post … again as usual!

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