Losing it at 50

We’re discussing excess weight, not patience, sanity or finances. These are all practical subjects for the over 50 demo but I don’t have much experience with the latter three.

                                                              – Flashback 20 years –

Losing it at 30 was relatively easy. A new expensive looking upscale digital scale in a friend’s bathroom proved irresistible. The readout was shocking, so much so I loudly announced the results to him without considering the embarrassment factor. I was 30 pounds overweight at age 30 meaning high school weight + 30. Where the hell did that come from? This was in the spring. By that summer I had lost 35 lbs., earned a nearly visible four-pack and spent many hours tanning by the pool.

                                                                           How?

Diet and exercise, surprise! I ate better types of food. By extension provided my young kids with nutritional foods too, a tradition that continues in all our lives. In addition, playing basketball, Frisbee, tossing assorted balls around, etc. and doing push-ups on a semi-regular basis became a part of the routine, again. At age 30 simply deciding to be thin again and taking a few obvious steps to get there was all it took. All was good until my mid-forties when the middle began to bulge but by just 15 or 20 lbs. Medium build guys can and often do hide that much under their shirt without much notice.

                                                                     Then came 50

Half a century old, the benchmark came too soon as it does for us all. One of the birthday presents came from nature; 25 lbs. of belly fat added to the perpetual 15 I was evidently resigned to live with. Ok, no problem, just repeat what worked at age 30 but six months later, nothing, no weight loss at all. Frustration led to complacency. In the blink of an eye 10 more lbs. appeared. Two pair of pants and a couple of shirts still fit, barely. My lap fat balanced a dinner plate perfectly which was handy, gross, but actually useful. My body was rebelling. Walking a mile was an effort. Making the bed left me breathing hard. I felt old.

                                                         Get busy living or get busy dying

It’s simple math. If the calories consumed are greater than the calories lost weight is gained. Research on the subject showed, without exception, that a person of my height can consume about 2000 calories and be weight neutral. More than 2000 add poundage, less decreases it, easy. When making only low-cal choices 2000 translates to a lot of food. Shaving 500 should be easy enough and at that rate all the excess me should be gone in about a year. This is without factoring in exercise. One problem with this glorious plan, the experts were wrong, all of them. For those over 50 subtract 500 calories from the daily intake number, at least that’s my experience. Therefore 1000 was the new target number which was diligently followed and without too much distress. Exercise is great but concentrating on diet is the key. A broken foot throughout most of the 10 month loss-a-thon proved this. I’m back to high school weight. Maintaining during the past year has been easy. 1500 calories plus regular exercise is a simple, effective formula.

Losing weight is like losing years. The fountain of youth is attainable. The motivation to lose weight is best driven by wanting to be and feel healthy. It’s not about vanity. Crunches are about vanity. By that logic I’m not egotistical, right? Never

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