Why is losing weight after 50 so tough? It’s a question we all end up asking ourselves at some point. A few years ago, I decided that, when it came to my weight, enough was enough. So, like many boomers, I systematically went through all of my cupboards, removing all of the white bread, biscuits and chocolate. Trust me when I say it was a traumatic experience. I even started drinking green shakes and made my own protein bars, which were surprisingly delicious, after the 137th attempt.
There was just one problem. After months on my new diet, I hadn’t lost any weight.
Do you love yourself? It’s a simple question, but, for most of us, I suspect the answer is complex. On one level, I assume that most of us have the instinct to say “Of course!” But, I’m less sure whether we really mean it. Or, do we perhaps just believe that this is the right thing to say.
Many years ago, I had a good friend who had just gone through a very difficult loss and was overwhelmed with sadness. All I could do for the first few weeks was sit with her while she cried. Over time, she revealed the depth of her guilt and sadness and I realized that it was going to take her a long time to heal.
Ok, I hate to admit it, but, I have a soft spot for shows like The X-Factor and Britain’s Got Talent. There’s something so uplifting about watching people pursue their passions. I’m always especially pleased when someone joins the show who shatters aging stereotypes. If there’s one thing that baby boomers, and our parents, need – it’s positive role models that show us that age is just a number.
As we reach 60s, baby boomers are starting to reevaluate our place in the world. This is only natural. After decades of looking after other people, many of us finally have an opportunity to take a step back and ask the “big questions.” It’s not that we are less busy. If anything, baby boomers are ramping up, not winding down. At the same time, as we get a little older, our focus is shifting.
Surviving is not enough. We want our lives to matter. Just like we did as teenagers, we are once again asking, “What’s my purpose in life?”
Like many people over 60, I feel like I am in a constant battle with my weight. It’s not that I have low self-esteem. I don’t particularly care what other people think about my body. After six decades on this planet, I’m definitely past all of that.
At the same time, there are so many reasons that I want to be in better shape.
A lot has been written about how baby boomers are poised to live longer and healthier than any previous generation. In reality, while we are benefiting from higher incomes and better healthcare than our parents and grandparents, our expanding waistlines are erasing many of these gains.
There’s a perception that life after 60 involves a slow, yet unavoidable, slide towards disease, dementia and, finally, death. And, being healthy at 100? Forget it! We may not say it out loud, but, this is what many of us fear in our hearts. It is certainly the way that aging is portrayed in the movies and on TV.
Many of us take fitness after 60 seriously because we want to look and feel our best. Well, now, according to a recent study, there is another reason to encourage the men in our lives to get in shape – fitness after 60 may reduce cancer risk among older men.
Local health food stores have always been magical places for me. This may seem funny, because when I discovered them almost 40 years ago, they were often in dingy basements, staffed by earnest macro-biotic types, and stocked with unappealing tofu, brown rice and medicinal herbs.