Over 40- Do You just accept your Body or is AGE a Pass
Getting over 40, things def changed for m. It always seems to happen on the "9's" for me. When I was 29, all of a sudden I was at the doctor for this and that.
Then at 39, my body just didn't respond to my nutrition or workouts as before.
I'm 41 now, but I thought of this as many times women over 40 just accept where their body is and can blame it on being in the 40's.
What do you think?
Can you change and get yourself super fit or do we have a "pass" because of our age?
I am 45 and have been in the best shape I've ever been in these past few years. For me, it has been about evolving myself over the years--changing my nutrition and hitting the weights with some high intensity intervals mixed in (I try my best to eat "clean" most of the time and limit processed foods). Amazing changes happen to your body with the right nutrition, intensity, and weights!
Now for the other side of the coin! As a woman, our bodies do start changing in our 40s because of hormones, and it's not fair because it seems to happen overnight! I train many female clients who have talked to me about their frustrations, and now this is the first year that I am noticing those little changes, too. I used to be able to eat whatever I wanted--now I have to be diligent about my nutrition (and boy do I have a sweet tooth!). My body shape is changing and it is more challenging to keep extra pounds off. I may not be able to control some things, but will I give up? No way!
Age is just a number and it doesn't have to be all downhill after 40. We should embrace our aging, but allow it to empower us to keep going and make us stronger. Believe in yourself--the body listens to the mind.
By the way, this is a topic about which I have thought quite a bit. If you are interested I did a blog on it http://blog.ideafit.com/blogs/ariadne-greenberg/age-exercise-and-yoga
I do have some questions about the way you have framed the question.
Are we talking about functional fitness or aesthetic fitness? I think that is a really important question, and one that Karin's answer goes to. Do we want that fitness so that we can bike across Nantucket, or sail to Barbados, or hike with our grandkids, or dig a vegetable garden. Or do we want it to look a certain way? Also perfectly fine..but the danger is if we want to look a way because we buy into the notion that an older person (and especially an older woman) is inherently of less value. So one might dye one's hair because one loves trying new styles, or one might dye it because there is gray and that is associated with age, and one does not want to look older, because society tells us age is bad, and we buy into it.
In my 20s I was reading ten hours a day, studying philosophy. In my 30s I was physically very fit: miles of walking, 20 plus classes a week, power lifting, seeing training clients. In my 40s I was mostly practicing the bhakti of motherhood. At 54 I believe I am finally finding the balance of the parts. I do not want to be perfectly physically fit if it means not paying attention to the other dimensions of who I am: a being who is social, intellectual, emotional, spiritual.... as well as physical.
The answer is, of course, depending on one's genetics and history of injuries a high degree of physical fitness is available even at much older ages. And the broader answer is that if we strive for that fitness because we embrace life, rather than run away from our own arc of age, and enjoy it in the context of exploring our unique multifaceted existence that is a wonderful thing.
I, like you, started having to go to the doctor more frequently at age 40 and then it seemed like everything in my body was going wrong at age 47. I had tried to lose weight following a low fat diet (40/40/20 carbs, protein, fats) lifting weights 3 days a week and doing cardio 30 mins for 3 days a week in my target heart range and I was only able to lose 9 pounds after 2 years!
I didn't find out until my 49th birthday that I was insulin resistant so my diet had to change and as soon as I changed it, the weight dropped off at a rate of 1-2 pounds per week. I lost 30 pounds in 4 months!
I like you was convinced that there was nothing I could do to lose the weight and it must be because I was over 40 but the truth is you just have to find out what is causing your body to respond differently. Something has changed, it could be carb intolerance, hormonal changes, sleep pattern changes, stress, medication side effects just to name a few. Once you figure it out with professional help you will be on your way to being super fit, if you are willing to make the required changes (warning: they may not be easy).
at 59, I am not in the best shape of my life but I can do whatever I want to do and do not have to think of whether I can or cannot.
My workouts have gotten smarter, and I have been so fortunate as not to come down with some of those things that strike out of nowhere and that cannot prevented or exercised away.
What I do accept is the fact that I am no longer 20, 30 or 40 but, frankly, I don't want to be. I am perfectly happy where I am. If something were to come along, I'll deal with it then and don't worry about it now.
Life is good :-)
For me, it's not about "getting a pass," it's about loving the skin I'm in and the life that I have. I have been anywhere from very lean to 15 pounds overweight. I'm just on the edge of a healthy weight right now, strong but not lean. I am happier now, and have better body confidence, than I did when I was in my 20's and ripped.
I just turned 47. Could I get super-fit? Probably. After two c-sections, there is a flap of skin between the two scars that will always be loose, but everything else would shape up nicely. My last child was born just before I turned 40 so I still have pretty young kids and they take up most of my time by choice.
Health is absolutely a priority. As an "older" mom, I consider it a responsibility to stay healthy for my kids so I can be with them for as many years as possible. Emotional wellness? Priority. Aesthetics? Not a priority.