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Stop Worrying About Weight Loss After 60! It’s Time to Lighten Up in Other Ways!

If you are 60+ and still saying to yourself, “I should go on a diet” – guess what that means? It says that even though you know diets don’t work, you are still, at 60, trying to lose weight. At 60, haven’t we had enough of diets?

How DO we get our bodies back and feel better about ourselves?

I’m not a fitness or diet expert. I am just a 60 something who’s annoyed and dismayed at how easily the pounds add on. (“But I’m not eating anything!”) Reality check. It’s called aging. Nothing new here. Our metabolism slows, whilst our appetites remain the same.

I’ve just come back from a vacation. I ate many things I can’t get at home. True, I did a lot of walking, but still, I ate whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. Needless to say, I’m not feeling too good. It’s like I lost myself.

Feeling flexible, energetic and fluid is key for my mental and emotional happiness. If I don’t feel good in my body, I don’t feel good about much else. Here are some of my tips to rediscover your sense of well-being. I hope they inspire you!

Hey! Lighten Up!

When I’m feeling out of sorts, I need to get back into a routine, make things basic again. Instead of feeling overwhelmed or depressed by the weight loss and fitness task ahead, I say, “Hey Liza, lighten up!” I mean that literally and figuratively. I always feel so much better when I’m lighter, both in weight and in spirit. Don’t go drastic. Do what all the self-help gurus say and start with small steps.

Don’t “Go On a diet” Just “Dial it Down”

I don’t “go on a diet.” Those words are the ultimate buzzkill! In two days, I’m gnawing with frustration, nibbling anything in site. The minute someone tells me I can’t do or eat something, that’s all I want to do.

What to do? I taper things down, so that I don’t go crazy. Try this. Eat three meals a day. You can do that, can’t you? Just try eating three meals a day. Shocking how much snacking goes on! So first thing is to eat three meals a day.

After a few days, dial it down again: eat three meals a day with no desserts. Now, I’m not a sweets eater, so that’s not an issue with me. I included it as a next step in case you do like sweets.

Next dial down even further. Eat three meals a day, no sweets and no alcohol. Lots of calories in booze. So imagine that you’re on a glamorous, expensive cleanse. You have created a spa in your own home!

Put on your kimono and enjoy a smudge of cranberry juice and seltzer with an orange slice on the rocks. How glam is that?

Next dial down some more. Three meals a day with no dessert, no alcohol and bread only once a day.

Final dial down. Three meals a day, no dessert, no alcohol and nothing white. This means no bread, no rice, no pasta, no potatoes.

When you take things away one by one, it’s much easier. You don’t feel the shock or the deprivation. And, it makes you realize how much you had been consuming.

The Great News!

It’s a question of semantics. Say this to yourself: You can eat whatever you want as long as it’s meat, fish, vegies and fruits! WOW! How’s that for a generous statement?

Instead of negativity and deprivation, you’ve turned it around to generosity and abundance. Instead of “you can’t eat this, this and this,” I’m saying, you can eat whatever you want! As long as it’s meat, fish, vegies and fruits!

And finally, a gift from my nutritionist: Saturday night and all day Sunday are free! Whee! You can eat the lobster mac and cheese; it just has to be on your free day. When you know that you can eat something but just not today, it takes the craving away.

Move Your Body

Invite yourself to go for a walk once a day. Again, it’s a matter of word choice. Don’t say go for a walk! Rather, “May I invite you to go for a lovely walk?” How can you refuse such an invitation? Start for a short period of time, even if it’s for five minutes.

Don’t walk in your sweats. Get yourself some gorgeous exercise clothes so you feel hot — and I’m not talking degrees Celsius or Fahrenheit. Exercise because it makes you feel good, not because it’s good for you. (Which it is!) Once I start feeling my body again, I love feeling my body again.  Exercise. Feels. Good.

Love Your Body

Most important – love your body. It’s brought you all this way. It deserves your love and respect.

Do you have any lifestyle tips (we won’t call them diet tips) to share with us? Do you have any success stories to inspire us? Food is a big deal: it’s a pleasure and it can be a pain. Let’s be conscious and deliciously ourselves.

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The Author

Elizabeth Dunkel is a writer and novelist who recently moved back to the U.S. after living in Merida, Mexico for 25 years. Elizabeth is the proud founder of the Merida English Library. As a Cambridge CELTA certified teacher of ESL, she considers herself not just a teacher but a dream maker. “Teaching English empowers people to reach their dreams.”

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