Starting out on a weight loss journey in January is so fucking cliche I know, but I really felt the pull to create some changes in my life.
I am turning 40 this year and I’m actually excited to hit that number even if it does mean officially moving into the ‘middle age’ age group.
I refuse to believe life is downhill from here on in, and the aging process does, and will not define me.
If anything I think that with age comes more knowledge, more wisdom and as my kids are now getting that little bit older, I’m also regaining some freedoms too.
You may have heard all of the terrible news related to your health as you hit middle age:
- After the age of forty your metabolism starts to slow (it does, but not in the way you think I’ll talk more on this soon)
- Your hormones get out of balance as you stop producing as much estrogen and hormone balance changes.
- Fat distribution changes, meaning you may well start to gain more fat around your midsection
- You can become more insulin resistant. This means you are more sensitive to high-carb and sugary foods.
- You become more reactive to stress, as well as having to deal with more life stress.
- Sleep patterns change and suffer
- You start to lose muscle mass
Sounds like a lot right?
No wonder it’s harder for women to lose weight, or simply to stop gaining it as we start to get a little bit older.
All is not lost and it’s NOT just bad news. Because there is a lot you CAN do to support yourself and your body.
I realised that I am stepping into a new decade in my life, and with that I’m deciding it’s going to be a transformative decade. I set a mantra for myself that is the grounding vision of everything I’m working towards right now.
It’s a big statement I know, but one that I visualising daily. That is what drives my motivation but also allows me to be more present in realising that I already have so many great things in my life.
A big focus at the moment is the health component and more specifically my body.
Because when I feel good in my body, when I feel healthy, strong and full of energy it has this trickling knock-on effect on every other area that I want to work towards.
The body and the self are really the foundations of what drives balance in all areas of life.
On Monday the 9th January, I started my weight loss journey to my fabulous at 40 mission. A journey to use the best ways to promote happy healthy body changes through feel good exercise habits, nutritious foods and a healthy lifestyle.
I’m now one week into this journey which I decided I was going to document daily over on TikTok and Instagram (I’m also sharing more behind the scenes on Instagram stories too). Though I’ll also share a weekly check in here on the blog as well.
Though it is a bit of extra work, I am loving sharing the process.
The real truths of what I will take for a 40+ woman to lose weight in a way that isn’t restrictive.
As a health coach, I have literally done every single diet going. There are a lot of things I have done in the past that I’m not all that proud of and that I don’t ever want to go bacvk to. But I realise that with age comes experience and also a level of wisdom. That’s what I’m bringing to this transformation.
Documenting the process is helping me to be more accountable, heck I have put it out there to the world now, I better damn well follow through with it. But more than that, it’s the comments and messages from women saying that it’s helping them along on their own journeys too.
I want to prove that middle-aged women can navigate a weight loss, or more accurately, a fat loss journey in a way that does NOT restrict any foods, no crazy over-exercising, no crazy rules or cutting out major food groups.
Really approaching weight loss in a way that is mindful, deep rooted in self care above everything and knowing that that the real goal is not the weight loss. But to feel happy healthy and free so I can continue to really embrace what it means to be living as my best self.
I was really in two minds about sharing body transformation pictures. I love my body, it’s already pretty awesome, it’s hella strong, it carried me through many epic adventures over the years.
My weight loss journey is not because I hate it, it’s because I want to love on it even more.
I want to help all the niggles, achy joints and pains that creep into the body.
I want to feel comfortable in my clothes.
When you know you are looking good, your feel good about yourself, it exudes confidence and those are the feelings that I want to embrace even more of.
I know for many women, years of toxic dieting practices has lead to a pretty messed up relationship with food, exercise and their bodies. I’m very mindful of this when sharing my own journey.
But it’s really my mission to show that women over 40 can choose to work on health and their bodies as an act of self love. And sharing my own body transformation comes from a place of love.
We can choose to feel fabulous in our bodies and can achieve it without ridiculous restricting and steering away from toxic diet culture.
I set out on my goal of releasing 15-20lb of body weight in time for my 40th birthday which is in approximately 9 weeks from my start date.
I started this journey at 11.6 stone, and that target would take me to around 10 stone. To be completely honest even at the lower end of this target of 14lb would have me fitting in my clothes better and just feeling better all over. I’m setting it as a guide, but it’s just that a guide and something to aim for.
I’m a girl who love to set big and challenging goals. Shoot for the moon and you may just hit some starts along the way, and all that jazz.
So to accomplish this I have a target loss of 2lb per week.
I am starting out with calorie tracking and have set my target to 1750 calories a day. I was going to set it at 1900 but as someone who knows that I won’t be weighing and measuring everything exactly, there may well be a little more room to play with there.
I of course will always keep the basics from my 5 day kickstart challenge ( CLICK HERE and get free access to the challenge if you haven’t already, you will also get updates on my journey too from here) as the regular habits that I know will support me on this journey.
So my daily habits look something like this:
- Track food with a target of 17550 caloric intake and 150g of protein per day to maintain mindful eating habits. Eating a wide range of foods, lean meats, whole grains, healthy fats and fruits and vegetables whilst also practising portion control. Knowing that this doesn’t have to be about strict clean eating or fad diets.
- Daily steps of 15k (note this is my push target, I usually hit 10-12k per day just with my normal activities a 2 x daily walk with the dogs. So 15k is an intentional push for a little bit more movement based on where I am starting from)
- At least 7 hours of sleep, and ideally 7.5 hours
- Fitness routine = 3 x workouts per week – Using a combination of resistance training, strength training and high-intensity interval training. This is ideal for helping older women to support the body’s metabolism and maintain lean muscle mass and support bone density.
- Plenty of water
- Morning routine – Visualisation, journal, planner (20 mins)
- Document the process daily
Week 1 Results & Lessons
So the scales show me that I have a 2lb loss, which is on target. But really I want to keep this in context. I use weight loss as a measure as I am focused on maintaining muscle mass. I don’t want to grow my muscles. I’m already strong, I have good muscle definition, my training will remain the same as I just want to maintain what I already have.
This means that weight can be more closely linked to fat loss. Which is really my goal. I want to have less fat on my body and to see improvements in my body shape.
I also want people to keep in mind that not all weight loss is fat loss. Sometimes it may be water retention, it could be inflammation, especially if you are weighing the day after an intense workout. Where you are in your cycle can also influence your weight.
So please if you do choose to use weight as a tracker of your progress, look at it with a logical head on.
Your weight does NOT define your worth.
No matter what those scales say, you are an amazing and beautiful person. It also does not represent all of the underlying changes that can be going on underneath the surface.
The number on the scale is simply a data point. It’s information and feedback to help you navigate future choices and decisions. Just remember that is really all it is, and often there will be times when the number on the scale doesn’t change yet you can still be making progress.
Beyond The Scale Lessons
My week one results are way more than just that number though.
I have noticed I am having way more energy. Normally after solo parenting while my husband is away, I am doing 2 dog walks a day, working, and days on the mountain snowboarding, house stuff and often what feels like a lot. I would usually be feeling pretty wiped out in the evening and brain function at an all time low. But this last week I have noticed that I’m not getting these huge dips in energy in the afternoon and evening.
That in itself is enough of a reminder to keep on going.
Sleep is still a work in progress but I am consistently getting 7 hours a night, but I would really like that to be 7.5 to get a better handle on rest and recovery. Stress management is a huge part of the lifestyle changes required. Middle age women are more stress reactive meaning that we are more impacted by stress and not getting enough sleep. So for any woman looking to get into the best shape of their lives, then the good news is that sleeps gets to be a priority.
Overall I am really happy with week 1. There haven’t really been any restrictions, apart from Dry January, which means I am not drinking alcohol. I would normally have a couple of beers on the mountain on a Saturday and Sunday and not having that means I have had much more energy over the weekend too.
When I’m not tired it’s far easier to make supportive food choices.
Food-wise, I haven’t restricted anything, I have just aimed to hit my calorie and protein target each day. I may have had a few extra things here and there that haven’t been tracked and that’s ok and a good way to make sure that the extra pounds I have been carrying come off in a way that is sustainable.
My journey will always follow the mantra of:
progress over perfection.
Moving onto week two I’m keeping it simple and not changing too many things if I don’t have to. What I did on week one worked, so more of the same for the week ahead.
I hope this is useful but also gives you some things to think about for your own health journey.
If you have any questions about anything then drop me a message or email.
Follow along day by day on TikTok and/or Instagram and then be sure to join the mailing list so you don’t miss anything, and you will also get access to my FREE 5 Day Better Body kickstart.