Regardless of your age right now, the fact that you ARE getting older is undeniable. The fact that time does not stop for any of us is another equalizer. As I grew older and distraction, depression and chronic survival mode took over my life, I started to realize just how much weight I was putting on and how it would NOT come off so easily anymore.
11 years ago I was in a routine of going to the gym and training about 5 days out of the week. I enjoyed it after a while and I also had child care - a "win/win" situation if you know what I mean. 2 hours of solace from young children and a place for me to just put my music on and focus on ME for a bit.
My routine was solid and I also added in swimming laps, walking after my training sessions and using the sauna. I was feeling really good, lost about 40lbs and was on my way below the 200lb mark on the scale. I'll also add that I was eating pretty decent and that I hadn't excluded ANY foods from my diet except for sodas & any other sugary drink. I did hit up Starbucks once in a while for a Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate, but other than that it was water with this green powder in it (I called it "swamp" water") and other times it was just plain water. Basic, but it worked for me.
Over the next 10 years my life became wound right back in to a "survival mode" existence. I made some pretty big life choices and changes that truly did "change" my trajectory and I've paid dearly for them. I've come to think of them now as a learning "opportunity" instead of staying bitter, resentful and in a victim mentality - If I stayed in that mindset I would not have grown into the space I am now and for as hard as its been and all the dreams that were burnt down because of it... I'm ok and I'll continue to BE ok. However... I'm back at a point physically where I am really feeling the results of chronic stress, survival mode, depression, anxiety and an extreme turbulent season of peri menopause. I know that my whole "lifestyle" was setting me up for the worst experience ever with peri-menopause, but wow, my body just completely started becoming something that I didn't even know anymore.
I started gaining all that weight back - right in the belly of all places! And then, after that happened slowly, but methodically, it started in areas like my hips, my legs, my arms and then a SECOND roll of fat on my belly. THEN, it started to pull downward. All that belly fat started to drop and soon I was walking around with "stress belly" and let me tell you that is the most uncomfortable and awkward body shape I've ever experienced. Your clothes don't fit correctly, you have to wear your underwear UNDER your belly for them to fit, you can't bend over and certainly can't cross your legs. It sucks and it is the hardest form of fat to get rid of.
Currently, this is my personal work on myself at this time. I'm focusing on getting healthier and I'm focusing on all the things that contribute to this kind of reality. The stress, the poor sleep, the fluctuating hormones and sedentary lifestyle. Can you believe that all of these factors contribute MORE to your weight than food itself?? Hard to believe sometimes, but it's a huge factor in losing and sustaining a healthy/well-being weight point.
I'm a big fan of Dr. Christiane Northrup. She has written several books that have served me well through the last 20+ years of my life. She wrote this article a few years ago (linked HERE) and I've come back to it to remind myself that this season I am in right now doesn't have to be so HARD. That all the noise and overthinking doesn't have to be my daily grind and that I don't have to hate or punish myself for where I have ended up regarding my weight. It isn't useful and it doesn't support me in loving, healing or being kind to myself (something every female needs to learn EARLY in life and PRACTICE). I hope you find it helpful too - no matter where you are on the weight or age spectrum.
What about you lovely? Does any of this sound familiar to you? Anything resonate? I would love to know what your thoughts are on this subject. It's a lonely road, but it doesn't have to be. We just have to show up and be honest with ourselves and learn to respect our bodies for working so hard to keep us alive. Our bodies DO work FOR us... which I believe is a very important fact to remember even when we feel like just the opposite is happening. Trust that inner voice of wisdom and take the step towards yourself, FOR yourself.