The online world abounds with smug young people proudly showing off their body transformations and stating the looming big three-oh, or fortieth birthday as their incentive to finally get fit, but what happens at 50?
You can find plenty of “experts”, often young and sometimes male, telling us how to keep the weight off after menopause. Clearly they are not talking from experience. There is the occasional post menopausal woman telling us she successfully lost weight by doing A,B and C, but no hard proof, no photos, whereas the 30 something brigade will happily wave their muscly backsides at a camera and upload the image to instagram for all to see.
So why is it that 50 somethings aren’t looking in the mirror and thinking “Time to change!”. My theory is that societal convention tells us there is no point; you reach a certain age and you can’t build muscle or lose fat. Or it maybe that, no matter how hard we work, a post menopausal woman will never be a viable reproductive partner. Or maybe we just don’t fancy men anymore, so what’s the point?
Nonetheless, a little googling reveals a couple of exceptions to the rule. Meet Patricia, finally fit at 55. Patricia reached her goals with the help of online coaching and mentoring, which doesn’t come cheap. $USD97/month!
Now meet a CrossFit facility owner who has never been more than 19% body fat! She, like so many of us, let her weight creep up and up post menopause. She faced facts, admitted that the extra pounds were due to what she ate and not her age, and reorganised her diet on “primal” principles.
That amazing transformation took place over 11 weeks. Clearly she knows what she’s doing. Interestingly, it looks like you can get your waist back if you can get your body fat low enough.
And finally, Barb May, who, while not over 50, is post menopausal due to surgery after being diagnosed with the BRCA2 gene mutation.
So that’s it! With determination, you can get lean after 50, and after menopause, but it seems to be a little known fact!
Now back to my little experiment! This week, despite a silly amount of stress eating, I lost an entire pound. That’s right! 500g in one week! Woo-hoo! So after 10 weeks, I’ve lost 2.1kg. Perhaps dropping the 25g of carbs in my peanut butter bar made the difference, or perhaps it’s coincidence. We will have to wait until next week to see.
50 image by Nick Bradsworth