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Post-Menopausal Success!

ZDandy
ZDandy Posts: 16 Member
I will be 60 in March. The last time I weighed under 200 lbs, I wasn't yet 40. But I am now! I am a post-menopausal woman who has spent the past two years doing everything I can to get into the kind of condition that will carry me through the next 20 or 30 years of an active, healthy life.
My personal trainer told me last week that I am going to have to get used to telling my story...that I will eventually get tired of telling it but that people need to hear it. So, I am starting now, before I finish the journey...settle in for a long read...this is going to take a minute or two...
A bit of history: in my teens, I believed I was fat...I wasn't. I weighed about 145 and I was 5'6". In college, with added exercise and better eating, I got down to about 130/135 and looked great. After college, I stayed in good shape for a couple of years but a rough patch gave me an excuse to pack on pounds. By time I was 27, I weighed 225. Oprah had just done Optifast and so I did, too. Sixteen weeks, under 500 calories per day. I got down to 145. And then, because I had to add food back in and couldn't get much more exercise in, I gained it all back. And then the merry-go-round went into full swing...Weight Watchers...NutriSystem...Weight Watchers...etc. I went through cycles working out, as well. In 2010, My weight peaked somewhere north of 278 (I stopped stepping on the scale when it got so close to 300). I started again, trying to find fitness and good health. Got down, briefly, to 230...
And then, in 2016 the other shoe dropped on the life I had expected to have...I went through a painful and ugly separation and divorce. I got back up to 260. And I had enough of that. So, when I was looking for a place to live, I purposely selected a third floor walk up apartment. And then I marched into the gym and renewed my membership. And I took the proceeds from the sale of my engagement ring and invested them in me. I signed up for a personal trainer. At first, it was just once a week to get me out of the apartment. I would do some classes to supplement and go for easy hikes in the woods. I started being much more careful about my diet, or so I thought.
Six months in, I hadn’t lost much weight but I was feeling some better. I went for my physical and found out that my A1C reading was right on the borderline where they were going to call it diabetes if they did a second test and it came back the same. My doctor told me to cut back on carbs. I thought I knew what that meant. Turns out, I didn’t. I did a web search but there were so many different opinions. After two months with no movement on the scale, I sent a message to my doctor – could she please give me a referral to a dietician? As it turns out, my insurance would pay for the dietician completely, no co-pay needed, because of that A1C reading. And that, my friends, is when my life changed forever.
I met with the dietician for the first time in mid-June of 2017. She put me on a three week carb detox plan – good, healthy food with very limited carbs. I lost my first 8 pounds! And through the summer and into the fall, I continued with a steady weight loss. At the same time, I kicked up my workouts…twice a week with my trainer and once a week aqua class and maybe some running or hiking thrown in a day or two.
It worked…until January. There were a couple of weeks when I didn’t lose any weight. No worries. I knew I was keeping with the program. It was a plateau. I could handle it…a couple of weeks and I would be back on track. Ummm, nope. FIVE MONTHS! It took five months and a lot of tweaking to bust through that plateau. During that five months, my bi-weekly weigh-ins never fluctuated…not a pound up and not a pound down. I’ve been on plateaus before. Usually, I see them as my opportunity to give up. This time, I stuck with it. I decided that I was actually fine doing what I was doing…eating right and working out. I knew that if I stopped, the weight would pile right back on along with the bad feelings and the sloppy clothes and the photo-phobia. So I stayed the course. Worked with my dietician to tweak my eating…reduced my carbs but not all the way to keto. It worked. The weight started coming off again in May…about 24 lbs since then.
I’m on a plateau again. I am not worried. I have kept my weight steady for the past month even though I have had a very active social life. I continue to prioritize my gym time because I know that I wouldn’t be here without so much time in the gym. And the payoffs are tremendous. I can walk into any store now and buy the clothes I had feigned disdain for in years past. And I don’t even have to buy extra large. I can buy a regular large. I am off my blood pressure medicine, my blood sugar is normal. My percentage of body fat is just a few points from normal (it was, at one point, 50%!)
My main goal at this point is to never give up. I don’t have a specific weight in mind. I will know it when I get there. I have a specific fitness goal: I want to do one unassisted pullup before I turn 60 in March. I want to share my story with women who believe that they will never get there. I did this. And, trust me, I am not a disciplined woman…well, I never was and in many ways I still am not. But I did this! You can too!
My profile photo shows my progression into early August.

Replies

  • LittleLightShine
    LittleLightShine Posts: 124 Member
    You look terrific. Congrats!
  • motivatedmartha
    motivatedmartha Posts: 1,107 Member
    Congratulations! Health improvements are such great achievements and it is so nice to be able to buy clothes you like 😁 x
  • cowleyl
    cowleyl Posts: 169 Member
    I've sent you a friend request. I've lost 34 kg post menopause. I feel better at 65 than I did at 35.
  • workinonit1956
    workinonit1956 Posts: 1,043 Member
    So happy for all of your great progress! Congratulations:)
  • MaggieGirl135
    MaggieGirl135 Posts: 421 Member
    I had read one of your posts earlier and was impressed with your progress seen in your profile pic. What an inspiration!
  • baxter466
    baxter466 Posts: 14 Member
    How awesome for you.....what carb limit were you at and what was calories...thanks
  • snowflake954
    snowflake954 Posts: 6,917 Member
    Congratulations! You deserve to feel proud.
  • solieco1
    solieco1 Posts: 1,561 Member
    Healthy, strong, powerful and positive! What a great story you have to tell and to live.
  • debtay123
    debtay123 Posts: 1,300 Member
    fabulous- and thanks for caring enough to share!!!!
  • Tennisskater
    Tennisskater Posts: 66 Member
    Thankyou for the motivation and inspiration to stay the course!
  • inittothinit42
    inittothinit42 Posts: 63 Member
    Good for you!
  • ZDandy
    ZDandy Posts: 16 Member
    baxter466 wrote: »
    How awesome for you.....what carb limit were you at and what was calories...thanks

    When I started, I was at 75 g carbs a day. I paid attention to the macros but not the calories. When we decided to lower carbs to break the plateau, the dietician took me to 49 g carb a day. Calories were at 1370. Right now, I am between 75-100 g carb a day and between 1400-1500 calories. On Warrior days, I usually go over calories because I burn more than 600 calories in those workouts.
  • baxter466
    baxter466 Posts: 14 Member
    Zdandy .......that makes sense and reasonable I have a hard time reducing to 20 grams as for me I then get frustrated .....so thank you for sharing ...I need to keep it simple enjoy all foods as long as it fits ....but also get myself moving
  • jean133mjg
    jean133mjg Posts: 133 Member
    Congratulations on your continued successes. I, myself, have a problem getting anywhere. For awhile I kept gaining, from a stressful job, up 34lbs from the 80lbs I had previously lost. Now that I've retired at 60, the stress is gone but because the 1200 calories a day that the dietician put me on just seems so hard for me to stick to, that I over eat 200-300 calories above my limit per day. The scale has been going up and down for 6 months now. After reading your story, I've decided that I really need to increase my exercise regime from the zero that it is, to increase my calorie burn while eating 1200 calories. I guess since I was able to lose 80lbs. before, I need to stop being lazy,
    using my age for an excuse and follow your lead and get back to watching my calories and exercising again. Thanks for the motivation I got from your story. All the best to you.
  • Bluejay61
    Bluejay61 Posts: 28 Member
    Speaking as a person who has been there, done that per menopause weight gain, it IS a real thing! (My doctor agrees.) Once you start the menopause journey for real, sans periods, your estrogen levels, progesterone and testosterone levels as well, start dropping off dramatically and what used to work for weight loss or maintenance just doesn't anymore. My gyno mentioned to me that it's mostly the testosterone that keeps people thin more easily as it helps build muscle. (Why men get pudgy too as they age and lose "vitamin T"!)

    I gained 30 pounds in places like my stomach I never had before over the two years once my periods stopped! I had NEVER had a weight problem either. If I gained a few pounds before, I'd just cut back the cals and go hiking more. But that stopped working during my "personal summers" (sweating!). What did I do?

    I made some bold changes for my bones, my cholesterol and my heart. I finally ditched caffeine, cut the sodium way down to about 1,000 mg a day or less (eating whole foods), ditched the dairy (that's my own thing for stuffy sinuses and ears), and REALLY got moving in a big way while tracking all my calories honestly.

    So....you've just got to hang in there, and wait it out as you figure out your own "triggers" and resolve them for yourself. Everyone's journey is different. But there is a light at the end of that tunnel.

    Now, at 58 (started my journey at 54), no HRT of any kind, I am only 5 pounds from my pre-menopause weight and I'm not looking back. :)

    Hope that helps and feel free to contact me for any other info you might want.