I am your future

6 years ago

From what I can determine, more than half the BlogHer audience is between 25 and 40. Is that you? If so, and if you're interested in the perspective of someone old enough to be your mother who is not your mother, then read on.

If, like me, you have struggled to reach some idealized, magic number on the scale, I hope you won't mind a bit of advice. Just three words. Simple, but not easy.

DO. IT. NOW.

And then, after you get to that magic number, two more words:

STAY. THERE.

I reached my "goal" weight when I was your age. I could easily buy clothes off the rack. I didn't agonize over what to wear. I never refused an invitation because I didn't want to be seen in public. I loved buying new outfits that fit and flattered.

We were told, back then, that eating fat made you fat, so I quit eating fat. We'd been indoctrinated with the "no pain, no gain" philosophy, so I took up running, lifted weights, rowed and climbed and treadmilled to nowhere. Daily.

I was kinda crazy.

Here's the thing: That kind of lifestyle is unsustainable. I can't, especially at the ripe old age of 60, continue to manage that kind of workout routine. Before my scale hit the magic number I was flaking skin and shedding hair, both the result of an X-treme Low Fat Diet. I was cold all the time. I was miserable.

But I was thin.

In fact, I was thin for about seven minutes. The number has crept up and up and up over the past 20 years, and I'm right back where I started. I'm still working on getting back down to some kind of reasonable weight. In the meantime, I have to be satisfied with being fit and fat.

You see, my blood levels – sugar, cholesterol, hemoglobin, all the big markers – are perfect. I can and do walk four or five miles daily. I'm flexible, strong, motivated.

But I'm still fat.

You, on the other hand, have the one thing I do not. You have time.

If you're trying to lose weight, do it before you're 40. Do it sensibly, using some method that will work for you the remainder of your days. And then keep doing it.

Sixty will be here before you know it.

You can follow my progress at Knit. Run. Reap. Eat.

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