It's time! I'm 51

I have been losing and gaining weight since I was 22. I don't want to live my later years in pain and discomfort like I see some of my family doing. I want to be active and healthy. I have been eating better for 2 weeks now. I need to add exercise in!

Replies

  • callsitlikeiseeit
    callsitlikeiseeit Posts: 8,633 Member
    when i first started working out, i didnt even consider it that. i just wanted to try and be a bit healthier. losing weight wasn't even my goal. I mean, i needed to, and knew i needed to, but i just wanted to try and be healthier. I started by just going on a walk 2-3 times a week. and.... it wasn't much of a walk. at almost 400 pounds i could not go very far at all. 10 minutes was about all i had in me. but i kept doing it. and it didnt take long, really, before i could go a little bit longer. and then, i started to go more often. always when it was dark, i didnt want people to SEE me - but id go after dark, or early in the morning. often, both. more days added. my neighbor was a member at planet fitness and asked me if i wanted to go with her (she only went occasionally). I said sure. So I'd go with her. i thought i was going to die on the elliptical. lasted about 7 minutes. But kept going. maybe once a week with her? not very often. kept walking. By that point had started watching what I was eating (i think). Then i wanted to go to the gym more than she did, so got my own membership. That was back in 2014. as of nov 1, I have lost 230 pounds. ( for 2 years I was in maintenance, working on losing the last 30 or so now). So... all of it was a process. a long one. But I didnt give up. You dont have to work out to lose weight. That happens in the kitchen. But it does have many other benefits that your body does need. Find something you enjoy. Most Y's are affordable and have a wide variety of classes for all fitness levels. Make small changes. dont try to change everything overnight. little changes can lead to giant ones, if you give it enough time.
  • VelvetHeart67
    VelvetHeart67 Posts: 6 Member
    I’m beginning back with MFP - at 54 yrs. it’s time for health and happiness! Callitlikeiseeit and gotodoitnow, your posts are so inspiring!
  • mjglantz
    mjglantz Posts: 449 Member
    I started 10 years ago at age 61 and just finally had had enough of the ups and downs and waned to get healthier. Made small sustainable changes over time and have lost AND kept off over 80 lbs. You can do it. It really is never too late.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 24,836 Member
    Hi, and welcome, both @Gotodoitnow and @VelvetHeart67!

    I agree with the points above that exercise and weight loss are potentially somewhat related, but that either one can be a starting point. Doing them both together can have greater rewards, of course, but for some of us starting with one, getting new habits grooved in, then working on the other, can give a little more manageable on-ramp to total major life changes.

    I went the opposite direction of most people here, I think: I went from very sedentary (and very physically depleted right after full bore cancer treatment) to quite active in my mid-40s, even - to my own and friends' surprise - competing as an athlete for the first times ever (and not always unsuccessfully - bigger surprise!). But I stayed overweight to obese for another dozen years while training regularly, until joining MFP at age 59, losing from class 1 obese to a healthy weight in 2015-16. I've remained active, stayed at a healthy weight since, and will turn 66 this coming week.

    Becoming fit and active was a huge quality of life improvement, for me. I started gradually, with very manageable things like some gentle yoga classes, and increased the challenge gradually over many months, eventually adding more frequent activities, more intense activities, longer duration activities, as fitness allowed. However, great and useful as that was, it wasn't enough. I still had high cholesterol, high blood pressure, frequent joint discomfort/pain from torn meniscus and OA among other things.

    With my doctor threatening statins, I finally committed to weight loss, didn't particularly change my exercise routine at all, and lost 50+ pounds in a bit less than a year. (That also put my blood pressure and blood lipids solidly in the normal range, and dramatically reduced joint pain/discomfort.)

    If you're planning to start exercising more, I do recommend a gradual, manageable approach. Start with something that's doable, and preferably enjoyable, or at least easily tolerable. Fun exercise we'll actually do is 100% more beneficial than something theoretically "better" that we dislike, will procrastinate and avoid at the slightest excuse.

    Many people seem to believe that exercise needs to be difficult, intense, miserable, extreme, punitive, or it won't be effective. That's a total myth. To improve fitness, exercise only needs to be a bit of a challenge, a manageable challenge. It should leave us feeling energized for the rest of our day, not exhausted (after maybe just a few minutes of "whew" feeling right after the exercise).

    Another myth is that we have to do some Big Deal thing, or it's not really exercise. There are people here who literally started with walking down their driveway to the mailbox, all they could manage, resting a bit, then walking back to the house . . . then gradually added distance over time . . . and were completing 10k (6.2mi) competitive events a couple of years later (not 20-year olds, either - starting in their 50s at least!). Patience and persistence are magical.

    Some good things to start with, if one is really a beginner, are manageable walks, pool exercise, yoga or stretching classes/videos, and that sort of thing. Strength training of some kind is also good; if weights are a bit much to start, some bodyweight exercises (pushups on the edge of kitchen counter, and that sort of thing) or resistance bands are some options.

    Have fun, create a small challenge, then increase duration, frequency, intensity or exercise type as fitness improves. It can work.

    You can do it!
  • Gotodoitnow
    Gotodoitnow Posts: 4 Member
    So I don't follow directions very well. lol My goal is to exercise 3-4 days a week. To keep eating better. I'm eating too much fat. Main goal-Live strong and Stay strong (health, mental etc)
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 24,836 Member
    So I don't follow directions very well. lol My goal is to exercise 3-4 days a week. To keep eating better. I'm eating too much fat. Main goal-Live strong and Stay strong (health, mental etc)

    I like your "live strong, stay strong" goal: Good stuff!

    For me, choosing mostly exercise that I find fun is a help in staying more consistent.

    On the eating front, as long as the fat doesn't put you over calorie goal (i.e., wipe out your deficit), or mean that you're consistently low on protein in order fit the fat within calorie goal, being over fat goal won't have a negative impact on your body weight. Some people find fat filling, eat a bit more of it, less of something else (usually lower carbs).

    From a health standpoint, of course, it's more complicated: Matters if there are pre-existing health conditions that suggest limiting fat intake is good, genetics may matter, it maybe matters what the balance of fat types is (MUFA/PUFA vs. sat fat, O-3/O-6 balance, blah blah blah).

    Nutritionally, it makes sense to me to think of fat and protein goals as minimums. Both of those are "essential macronutrients" in the sense that our bodies can't manufacture them out of anything else. Carbohydrates in various forms are important, but in one sense sooo important that the body will in essence manufacture some out of protein/fats if necessary, so not "essential" in that same sense.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 24,836 Member
    So I don't follow directions very well. lol My goal is to exercise 3-4 days a week. To keep eating better. I'm eating too much fat. Main goal-Live strong and Stay strong (health, mental etc)

    I like your "live strong, stay strong" goal: Good stuff!

    For me, choosing mostly exercise that I find fun is a help in staying more consistent.

    On the eating front, as long as the fat doesn't put you over calorie goal (i.e., wipe out your deficit), or mean that you're consistently low on protein in order fit the fat within calorie goal, being over fat goal won't have a negative impact on your body weight. Some people find fat filling, eat a bit more of it, less of something else (usually lower carbs).

    From a health standpoint, of course, it's more complicated: Matters if there are pre-existing health conditions that suggest limiting fat intake is good, genetics may matter, it maybe matters what the balance of fat types is (MUFA/PUFA vs. sat fat, O-3/O-6 balance, blah blah blah).

    Nutritionally, it makes sense to me to think of fat and protein goals as minimums. Both of those are "essential macronutrients" in the sense that our bodies can't manufacture them out of anything else. Carbohydrates in various forms are important, but in one sense sooo important that the body will in essence manufacture some out of protein/fats if necessary, so not "essential" in that same sense.