Today I turn 50

Wow. I never thought I'd say this but, today I'm turning 50.

I'm half of a centenarian. I'm beyond 'middle age' and firmly on the downhill slide to old age.

I don't feel old. Well, not any longer. My forties were tough, in the sense that I became lazy. Lazy in my eating and exercise habits. I'm not on any medications, though I do take a multi-vitamin and calcium tablets. I'm doing a heck of a lot better than the majority of others that are my same age.

This last June, I decided that I didn't like the way my birthday suit fit. It was padded, flabby, and just overall gross, plus white. White fat is much grosser than tan fat. Trust me on this.

So I joined Weight Watchers and started walking six days a week. I'm not at my ideal weight for my height, but I have managed to lose 20 lbs so far. And best of all, I feel better about myself--plus all this walking is giving me some wonderful story ideas, helps me figure out plot problems, and I feel rejuvenated afterwards.

I think I needed the structure of WW to help me jump-start my metabolism. It wasn't a very tough transition, which tells me that I was ready to take this step. If you want to do something about your weight, but aren't able to afford the meeting costs, then here are a few tips.
  • Measure and write down EVERYTHING. Yes, even the stupid scoop of peanut butter, the three M&Ms, the noodles you sampled from a friend's dish-Everything. Those nibbles add up.
  • Get moving. You don't have to join a gym, simply park your car in the North Forty parking lot and walk a little farther every day. If you feel a snack urge taking hold of you, walk around the block or your apartment floor.
  • Drink plenty of water. Water NOT SODA or even Diet Soda. Studies have shown that even diet drinks tend to cause an insulin surge, tricking your body into thinking that you have introduced sugar into your system. Add a squirt of lemon or lime for flavor. In winter, don't drink just coffee or tea, warm up some water and add lemon. Trust me, it's very refreshing.
  • Cut out refined sugar and flour. If my niece, the nutritionist reads this, she'll have my head, but notice I say 'refined'? Eat whole grains and not over-processed bleached flour.  I've learned to say NO to bread at restaurants about 90% of the time. When I do eat bread, I'll only have one serving.
  • Portion control.  The meals that you order in an American restaurant are two to three times the size you should eat. Cut it in half and take the rest home for another meal. And the steak that you ordered? A serving size is 3 ounces, people. The size of a deck of cards, not a dictionary!
  • Eat your veggies first. Why? They will fill you up quicker AND they take longer to chew segueing nicely to the next hint.
  • Eat Slowly. The slower you eat, the quicker you realize that you've eaten to fullness, NOT the bloated, "Oh, I can't believe I ate all that" feeling.
  • Spray oils are your friends. A couple squirts of canned olive oil covers a cooking pan more efficiently than one measly teaspoon of oil.
Those are a few suggestions. I'll probably come up with more later. Or better yet, why don't you add your helpful hints?

And if you really, really want some birthday cake or dessert, split it with your loving family.



Edie Ramer said...

You only eat 3 M&Ms? You have much greater control than I do. And that's far from my favorite candy. lol

Happy Birthday! I hope your fifties are fabulous!

Bonnie said...

I am so proud of you. Congratulations on your weight loss. Hope the 50s treat you better than the 40s. Happy Birthday!

Twisted Sister said...

Happy Birthday, Margaret!!!
You have been an inspiration to me.
PS...I love my 50s a ton more than my 40s.

Marilyn said...

Happy birthday!! And super congrats on the weight loss and the walking. I'm with Meg -- the 50s are definitely better than the 40s.

magolla said...

Actually, Edie, I stay away from M&M's and most candy. I was just using that as an example. :-)

BUT I have to say the tough time of year is coming up--Halloween,Thanksgiving (desserts) making Christmas candy, Christmas parties, Valentine's day and Easter. Yeah, it's going to be a looong six months.

magolla said...

Thank you so much, Bonnie! One of my old high school friends remarked that 50 is the new 30, so I think I'll take that to heart!

magolla said...

Thanks, Meg! I don't know what happened in my 40's--maybe it was some sort of pre-menopausal crap that spiraled into not giving a hoot about anything.

magolla said...

Thank you so much, Marilyn. I just weighed in and I've lost a total of 22.6 lbs! I still have a long way to go, but I'm excited about it!

Last night, I tried on some jeans that I hadn't worn in YEARS--and they fit! True, I couldn't snap them, but I got them over my hips! The last time I tried them on, I couldn't get them past my thighs!

Life is good!

Jody Werner said...

I think moderation is the key to everything. No matter WHAT you eat, if you overindulge in it you won't keep weight under control. Unless you have a medical condition the requires absolute dietary restrictions, you can eat reasonable portions of most of the things you enjoy. From what I have seen, most people simply do not practice portion control.

Re: aging: I'm amazed at the people "my age" that look and act fifteen years older. My barn is full of 50-somethings who routinely ride several horses a day along with other activities, famililes and jobs. They are the healthiest, most youthful "old" people I know. My horse trainer turned 60 this month and can still ride eight horses a day. The man I'm dating is 57 and a 100 mile bike ride through mountain passes is a normal activity for him.

So, take heart, Margie, you're NOT old yet, not by any means! And HAPPY BIRTHDAY to one of my favorite "old" horsey friends!

magolla said...

Jody--Since I started this weight-loss journey, I discovered that if I eat processed bread, I bloat up for some reason. So I decided to cut as much refined flour and sugar from my diet, which is why I'm losing so quickly. Moderation and eating slowly is the key for me, plus lots of fruit and veggies.

Plus I have an ulterior motive--I WANT TO RIDE AGAIN!

I don't know if I'll ever be a horse owner, but I would kill to simply exercise a horse a couple times a week! I was thinking about throwning myself to the mercy of Kevin and see if he can help out . . . as long as it doesn't cost me any money, 'cause I'm flat-busted broke.

BTW: do you keep in contact w/Ellen?

Jody Werner said...

Will email you.....

Cynthia D'Alba said...

Happy Birthday buddy!!

And good for you on the weight loss.

magolla said...

Thanks, Cyndi! I think I might have negated my effort tonight. We ate at Flemings. Yum! Ceaser salad, filet and shrimp, and molten lava cake, topped off with a glass of '07 Frog's Leap merlot.

magolla said...

Thanks, Cyndi! I think I might have negated my effort tonight. We ate at Flemings. Yum! Ceaser salad, filet and shrimp, and molten lava cake, topped off with a glass of '07 Frog's Leap merlot.

Marilyn said...

Aw, but come on, Margaret, how often does a girl turn 50? It would have been criminal not to celebrate!

magolla said...

We ate at Flemings, Marilyn, does that count?? Had a nice glass of wine, Caeser salad, 3 shrimp and filet mignon w/gorgonzola sauce, haricot verts, and topped it off with a molten lava chocolate cake. YUM!