Fit by 40 – A Healthier Lifestyle
“I’ll start exercising soon.” “This (name your season) I will lose 10 pounds.” Have you ever said these statements or something similar? I have been saying things like this for about 3 years. My 40th birthday is less than six months away and I have realized that now is the perfect time to become healthier. It is time to stop talking about doing it ‘soon’ or ‘someday’ and jump in.
Instead of dieting, I am modifying my lifestyle. It seems that many people go on diets, lose weight and maintain it for a while. Then the pounds start creeping back on as they transition back to their old lifestyle. Because making healthier modifications to an existing lifestyle is typically more successful, that is the route I am choosing. It may take a little longer and will hopefully last a lifetime.
Over the course of 16 weeks I will be exploring dietary changes, introducing regular exercise into my life after a long hiatus and learning to have a healthier mindset.
While me may have different backstories and different goals, I invite you to join me in this journey. I will be sharing strategies that work for me and invite you to share what works for you. This is your time too!
I used to be someone who was naturally thin, one of those people who could pretty much eat anything they want and still be healthy. This included plenty of fresh fruits and veggies as well as plenty of ice cream and french fries. That being said, I ate what I wanted in moderation and I exercised several times a week. If my pants started feeling tight, I would make healthier choices for a couple of days and they would fit well again. The combination of genetics and a naturally healthy lifestyle allowed me to focus very little on staying fit.
When I was pregnant with my first child I tried to do everything right. I made it a point to exercise at least 3 or 4 times a week and changed my diet. While I still had some treats, I would often forgo things like french fries in favor of something more nutritious, like broccoli, because it was better for the baby. I still ended up gaining about 40 pounds. Yikes!
Though I had little time to exercise with a new baby and a full time job, I did quickly go back to my regular dieting habits. With very little effort I lost all of the pregnancy weight by the time my baby was 9 months old.
Baby number two brought a similar story; I gained between 40 – 45 pounds and lost it all by the baby’s first birthday. I figured that was just the way my body was.
Well, baby number 3 kind of threw me for a loop. She was born very small (you can read more about that here) and had difficulty gaining weight. This meant I was feeding her every two hours around the clock. Most feedings took an hour and I also had a toddler and a preschooler to care for.
Self care went out the window. I was so focused on her gaining weight that I paid little attention to my own habits. While I focused on eating a healthy diet for her sake, I ate at irregular times and was too tired to do any kind of exercise.
Gradually things got easier. I was eating with the rest of my family again and was more active. Playing with the kids and taking walks were a part of our normal routine. By the time she was 11 months old I had only ten pounds to go.
Up until that point, I had made little effort to lose the pregnancy weight. With her first birthday quickly approaching, I decided to make an effort to lose those last few pounds. I began exercising a few times a week.
Things were going great. I lost four pounds in two weeks, though my pants were getting noticeably tighter. It was then that I realized I was pregnant with baby number four. As with all of the other children, I gained 40 – 45 pounds with this pregnancy.
My Current Situation
Maybe getting older played a factor or maybe it was having four kids in just under six years. Maybe it was a combination. This time, the baby weight stuck.
Here I find myself, overweight for the first time in my life. My youngest child is now three and a half years old. I will be turning 40 in less than six months and now is the perfect time to focus on becoming fit, for myself as well as my children.
I am doing this so I remain healthy for a long time. Yes, I would like to lose a few pounds, though the numbers on the scale mean a lot less to me than they did when I was younger. I am focusing more on how I feel and gaining more energy. Fitting into some of my favorite pre-pregnancy clothes will be a bonus!
Related Post: Fit by 40, Week 1
Join Me in My Journey to Become Fit by 40
I invite you to join me on this journey as I become fit by 40. My goal is to lose 20 pounds and be exercising regularly by my 40th birthday. This is where I will share how I am changing my lifestyle on my path to fitness. I am planning on making realistic and sustainable changes that fit in with my family’s schedule. I will share what works and what fails.
Join me each week as I remember and explore some of the choices that were once so natural to me. Over the course of the next 16 weeks I will let you know about my progress and what I’m working on. Will the strategies of my youth work as well now that I am nearing 40 with four children under 10? Will they work for you? Will I find something that works even better to share with you? I would love to have you by my side!
Where are you on your fitness journey?