#93 Birthday Reflections
Well, another year has passed and I find myself at 62 WTF!
How did that happen?
Time just seems to speed up with every decade that passes!
I had a wonderful birthday with family and friends. Yes, there was lots of food, alcohol and meals out involved! But that is ok - it is what we do most of the time that matters. It is ok to celebrate life with food- just not every day!
I am back today making great choices for my future self, my goal is to feel as good at 72 and beyond as I do at 62!
The choices that we make every day really do matter and my future body and mind are made from today's decisions.
As women, we often focus more on our weight than on our overall health.
Our focus needs to be on creating a healthy body inside and out.
We must eat well for heart health, diabetes and cancer prevention and brain health, and strive to stay at a healthy weight as we age. I actually like to focus on body fat % rather than weight.
Every cell of who you are and how you think (your brain cells) comes from what you eat and drink.
If you eat an apple every cell of your body is bathed in nutrients from that apple, if you eat junk your cells get bathed in junk!
Your cells cannot repair and replenish themselves properly without nourishment from great whole food choices that are full of nutrients.
So your future self really is made from what you eat today!
Hormones do have an impact on fat loss and fat storage as we age. Up until menopause, women are most likely to store fat around their hips and thighs, whereas men store their fat around the middle.
From puberty to menopause women have more fat than men.
EVEN IF THEY TAKE IN FEWER CALORIES by eating less.
Our bodies are programmed to store fat for pregnancy and breastfeeding. Our oestrogen reduces our ability to burn fat. This used to be a great advantage. when food was scarce we could save energy for pregnancy and lactation in our fat tissue.
As I often say "if you are of childbearing age your body doesn’t care how you look in a bikini, it just wants to make sure that you have fat stores in reserve for more babies". So, women of childbearing age are generally really good at storing fat and burning carbs for energy.
UNTIL we hit 40! When hormone levels start to change.
Then two things happen: our metabolisms slow down and our insulin levels start to go awry, this messes with our ability to burn carbs and results in that thickening around our waist (and weight gain) that we call middle-aged spread.
This increase goes hand in hand with a greater risk of heart disease, diabetes and obesity. Great, thank you hormones!
The challenge is to keep your metabolic rate up (through strength training, hydration and regular meals containing protein and fibre) and keep insulin-related fat storage under control (by eating low glycemic carbs, lean protein, and good fats).
We tend to swing from one extreme diet to another, partly because nothing seems to work anymore.
Celebrities and the media advocate the latest diet craze from fasting to keto.
Hardly any of these diets adequately consider female physiology. One thing that we know is that extreme diets do not work in the end.
Especially for women and especially for women over 40 because they go against every deep-seated survival mechanism of female biology that is programmed into us.
These diets can actually damage us.
We have to find a lifestyle that keeps us lean and healthy and that is sustainable for the long term.
This is my niche if I can help you in any way please reach out to me.