Successfully Losing Weight in Your Forties

January 24, 2009 · 20 comments

One of the things that concerns me about my weight loss journey is my age and the impact it has on my being successful. When I was young it seemed so easy to lose weight when I needed to. As I have hit my forties it seems to be so much more difficult. Not that I have my age to blame right now, right now it’s all about eating too much and exercising too little, which is the opposite approach I took when I started writing this weight loss blog a year and a half ago or so.

With the proliferation of fake weight loss stories I take any claim of success with a grain of salt until I see some real evidence – evidence such as this video from The Today Show featuring Grandma Brenda Willis who lost 140 pounds in her forties. What I liked most about her story, other than her age, was that she dropped all of that weight (248 to 108!) by starting with a slow and steady approach of “starting to eliminate things from her diet one at a time” and adding exercise “one step at a time.”

Great weight loss success story!

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{ 20 comments }

Cookie January 24, 2009 at 10:29 am

Thanks so much for sharing this video. It is always so motivating to see success stories like these. Especially when they have kept up the lifestyle and kept off their weight for so many years. It really puts things in perspective.

Ron January 24, 2009 at 10:33 am

Yea, I used to want to blame my age…. but now I know that if you eat healthy foods and exercise you can lose that weight and keep it off!

Merry Mary January 24, 2009 at 10:40 am

That is a great success story. I know its easier for us younger people to lose weight, but it can be done at any age.

cammy January 24, 2009 at 12:20 pm

I can attest to the success of her plan. I did the same thing and lost 100 pounds in my 49th year. In some ways I think it was actually *easier* than in previous attempts. With age comes the wisdom to know a crackpot idea from a good, solid plan. 🙂

I have faith in you, John. You will find your way!

Thanks Cammy!

Flo January 24, 2009 at 12:29 pm

This is a great story. Yeah, there are times when I just want to blame it on my age and that just doesn’t cut it. I really know better but there are times I just want to play the victim 🙂

Scale Junkie January 24, 2009 at 3:20 pm

This 42 year old needed that story today John, thank you.

Glad to help – I’m right there with ya at 42…

Andrew is getting fit January 24, 2009 at 5:53 pm

Not quite in my 40s yet but I think the change one thing at a time approach really works. I’ve got the one day at a time thing going still and it has been working for me more often than not.

Yep, seems like it has been working great for you!

JC January 24, 2009 at 9:23 pm

I like how you pointed out that she took the slow approach. I don’t think its too big of a deal whether or not one takes a fast or slow approach to losing weight. When I say fast or slow I am only speaking of the deficit created. While the deficit is important, I feel that the habitual changes are most important. I believe the main reason the slow and steady approach works so well is because people tend to really suck at changing habits. Changing habits for the good takes time. If they take it slow, those old habits will usually fade in time. If they take the quicker route, it is easier(sometimes) to fail and fall off of the bandwagon over and over again. Can we say Yo-Yo dieting?

I would say you have hit the nail on the head!

Greg Hayes January 24, 2009 at 10:00 pm

A few years ago, I went to a calorie estimator, and I figured that to maintain my current weight at my existing activity level, I would have to consume about 100-calories per day less with every 10 years of age. Not exactly encouraging, I know…

That’s a good point, I knew about that but forgot it. Also that you lose muscle mass as you grow older, another reason why so important to add strength training.

Joe S. January 25, 2009 at 10:00 pm

I’m 31 and I can say that it was a heck of a lot easier to shed pounds when I was 18 as opposed to today. It still can be done, it just takes more discipline in my expierence.

Just wait until 42 buddy! 😉

Tom Rooney January 26, 2009 at 11:06 am

I too thought that 40s were a time that everything turned harder to accomplish, especially weight loss. When I hit 50, I felt like that attempt was 10 times as hard as 40. Today, I’m dropping the pounds with a slow but steady diet and a moderate exercise plan.

I sure hope I am maintaining by the time I hit 50, but I think your point is a good one in that no matter your age slow and steady wins the race.

Shrinkingdad January 26, 2009 at 12:24 pm

Life begins at 40 John, stick with it. There are changes in body and lifestyle that happen as we head for middle age and can make weight loss harder, but they can all be reversed. Just because an average fourty-something has a slower metabolism, it doesn’t have to be so for everyone.

The thing we have to focus on is that if we acheive a healthy balance – that is to say food consumption which is consistent with maintaining our goal (rather than current) weight, then we must eventually achieve our goal weight. It might take longer, but here’s the thing – whether it takes 6 months or 18, 18 months of success takes a lot less time than 10 or 20 years of failure. And as we are/should be trying to effect permenant lifestyle changes rather than temporary restraint, it doesn’t really matter if the weight takes a little longer to come off.

Very good point, thank you for the reminder!

Jason January 26, 2009 at 7:01 pm

Slow and steady. That is the best way to lose the weight I think. I like that the lady just took something out of her diet here and there until she became healthy.

Doesn’t seem so hard, does it? 😉

Andrew Scott January 26, 2009 at 8:08 pm

Yeah my goal before was to be fit before I’m 30, but I was still trying crappy fad diets in my twenties, it took me until I was 29 to finally get it that there are no shortcuts to permanent fat loss.

But age should not be an excuse to not try “I’m too old!”, etc. It can be done!

Take care,
Andrew

Absolutely – there are inspiring weight loss stories from people in their 60s (and probably older) – never too old that’s for sure.

Lyn January 26, 2009 at 8:26 pm

This is great motivation. I am turning 40 this year and feeling rather… old about it. I hope I will be much fitter for this birthday than I was last year. Thanks for sharing this.

Good luck Lyn!

p. potter January 27, 2009 at 2:14 pm

I hope that as I get older I only have to worry about maintaining my weight, rather than losing it. Many factors are at play as you get older, not just age, and it ranges from family, to work, to commitments, etc…

That’s why it’s important to cut out as many extraneous blips on your way to ultimate success.

Well that’s certainly true – sure hope I don’t have to wait until I retire to start losing weight!

Lauren Ashley January 29, 2009 at 8:31 pm

I hope this can be a source of inspiration and encouragment for you in your effort to lose weight and get healthy. Mike Weaver, frontman of the band Big Daddy Weave, took on the challenge of losing 90 pounds this year. He’s doing this with the help of two health & fitness experts to guide him along the way. Mike has been tracking his progress online with the hope that his successes and struggles will encourage others to live a healthier lifestyle. You can go to http://www.90in09.com to check out Mike’s daily updates, find healthy living tips and idea, take on your own fitness challenge, and join the online community!

Looks interesting, thanks for sharing!

pays to live green February 1, 2009 at 12:55 pm

Great story to watch. It is never too late to start wanting to lose weight and live a healthy lifestyle. Just because you get older does not mean that you can’t lose weight, it’s just harder. As long as you eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly, the amount you weigh is not always significant.

Metroknow February 1, 2009 at 6:26 pm

I definitely hear what you’re saying on the fear of age having a bearing on weight loss. I know first hand that it is much harder these days to lose weight in my late 30’s than it was in my early twenties. I think beyond the physiological element, the fact is I really, really like food these days. Not that I didn’t like to eat when I was younger, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve definitely broadened my food horizons. So much to eat, so little time. 🙂

For me it definitely comes down to lack of regular exercise. But with any luck, I’m getting back on the sweat wagon.

Thanks for post John!

pchieng February 2, 2009 at 12:52 pm

I think any age is a good time to be exercising and even losing weight if that’s what you really want to do. As long as you work hard and never give up, (I know..cliche) anyone can do it.

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