Weight issues seem to haunt us throughout our life. As teenagers we are influenced by magazines and celebrities, eager to ‘fit in’ with the latest trends. Pregnancy and motherhood takes us into a whole new world of excess weight where we find ourselves constantly saying ‘ its just baby weight’. Except in most cases our ‘babies’ are now grown up but we still say it anyway. Finally the menopause hits us in our late 40’s / 50’s and we suddenly find ‘ we don’t lose the weight as easily as we used to ‘ and we start to panic and join a gym ( usually after Xmas ) but then two months into our membership we stop going as it’s too much of an effort.
For me personally I have always had a ‘sensible’ approach to weight, although there are times that any weight increase has seriously bothered me. Like now.
For me, weight is not about a number or a particular ‘look’. It’s about how I FEEL. When I am carrying too much weight I feel sluggish, tired, lethargic and dare I say it ? Old. There, I said it ! I know that I slow down generally and I can’t be bothered exercising or doing fun things. Ironic isn’t it ? I need to exercise but I lose the will to.
I have been ill recently and for an extended time. I started with flu ( proper flu ) in April and from then onwards I also contracted a rather nasty chest infection resulting in a hospital trip, a hacking cough for 3 months, a kidney infection and finally a uterine prolapse ( caused by the hacking cough ) As a result of this extended ill health I stopped all exercise, although this was a natural decision as I was unable to exercise. However this lack of activity has caused a sudden increase in weight, about one stone to be exact. Yes ! I know ! That much in just a few months ! But seriously, as we get older we tend to put on weight at such an accelerated rate and it takes twice as much effort to burn it off. I blame the menopause myself, but that’s my problem. I blame everything else !
Yes, it was unwise to try and exercise during the period of poor health with the flu and the chest infection etc but once that had passed I still made little effort to exercise. Why ? Oh I don’t know. Laziness perhaps ? Yes, definitely laziness ! Lack of time ? I had shut my business down during the ill health period and so, I was seriously behind in my work. Apathy ? Probably. I just couldn’t be bothered. Worry about my ongoing health issues ? Yes, this played a part as my prolapse stopped me from doing any high impact sports so my beloved tennis had to be completely shelved.
HOWEVER I realise now they were all excuses. All of the above obstacles could have been overcome if I had changed my mindset. I could have worked with better time management to give me time to do exercise but still catch up with my busy work schedule. I could have found other exercise regimes to follow that weren’t high impact so still allowing my prolapse to heal. And I could have reset my mind from apathy to enthusiasm in order to achieve better health through regular exercise.
For me sensible weight is not about been a size 10 or looking like a magazine model. It’s about been healthy and feeling good about yourself, whatever your weight or dress size. Exercise is crucial for long term health and is especially important as we get older. It doesn’t have to be running a marathon every year or pumping weights in the gym. It can be as gentle as walks with your dog or a regular morning yoga session. I think the important thing about exercise is to make it regular and sustained and to find something that you love. It’s about recognising that eating healthy food most of the time is also important but also to realise that it’s ok to eat chocolate and cake once in a while as a treat. For me I just want to be healthy, fit and feel comfortable in my own skin. And right now I don’t.
My ideal weight is usually around 9 stone and although numbers are not important I think it is a way of recognising when the weight starts to creep on, and can give us that incentive to do something about it. I never really weigh myself but lately I have found myself feeling sluggish, tired and uncomfortable in my clothes and so I jumped on the scales last night. And what a shock. Yes I saw my weight had crept up to just over 10 stone. I was annoyed at myself for not realising that my sluggish symptoms and generally feeling ‘rubbish’ had been caused by my lack of exercise and consequent weight gain. My weight gain was causing physical and mental issues for me but instead of acknowledging this, I had carried on not exercising and eating lots of cake. ( Not a good combination !)
So where am I now apart from feeling annoyed at myself ? I have booked back into my yoga class. Yoga is SO good for physical and mental well being. I have restarted swimming recently but I aim to make that a regular three times weekly event instead of the usual haphazard schedule of going when I feel like it. I still am unable to play tennis, Zumba or any other high impact sports, therefore I have looked into other forms of exercise. So I am taking up golf which is a great all round sport and means I can go with my husband ( great for the relationship, unless we fall out !) I am also going to start Pilates and maybe look at other forms of low impact exercise such as line dancing.
My ultimate aim to get fit again and to get rid of this sluggish feeling that I have, which comes with lack of exercise and carrying too much weight. Therefore I am also going to address my diet which is generally healthy but definitely contains too many cheeky cakes and chocolate. Ooh and I must cut down on lattes too which have become a regular feature in my day. I won’t be jumping on the scales on a three time daily basis but I will be aiming to get back to my normal weight (for me ) through exercise and healthier eating.
So when am I starting this healthier lifestyle ? Today actually. There is never a good or bad time to start a healthy lifestyle so if you are also feeling as I do, then why not make a start right now ? Just start small. Go for a long walk perhaps after dinner instead of crashing out on the sofa. I guarantee you will feel better both mentally and physically. Then look at other forms of exercise but try and choose something you love otherwise you won’t sustain it. It is no use joining a gym if you know deep down you will stop after a couple of months. Look at Yoga or Pilates classes as these are a gentle form of exercise that most people can pick up easy, regardless of your fitness level. Swimming is also a great all round exercise that most people can do.
Remember being healthy and fit is not a fad or a passing phase, it’s a lifestyle !
Wish me luck as I know it’s not easy to get back onto the exercise wheel and I need all the encouragement I can get ( especially as its now 11am and I am already craving a nice milky latte ! Stay away from the coffee machine Susanna !
Good luck with your new healthy lifestyle and if you have any tips or ideas then please comment below so we can all benefit from others experiences.
Until next time dear friends