Getting Fit before Forty


After reaching a new high score on the scale following the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, I made a New Year’s resolution to lose weight so I wouldn’t turn 40 in the worst shape of my life. I had roughly eight weeks to achieve my goal. My life was busy — as a business owner, volunteer board member, and mother of two active pre-teen children — so time was a precious resource. I felt I didn’t have space in my days to increase my gym time, so I decided to focus on my diet.

I successfully lost 15 pounds in six weeks, and turned 40 looking and feeling great. Here’s what worked for me:

  • Being Conscious — The first step towards changing a situation is awareness. I don’t generally give much thought to my weight, so when I learned my 5′ 3″ body was now 150 pounds, I became conscious that my choices were not serving me.
  • Being Positive — Instead of berating myself, I reminded myself how much I love and appreciate my body, my health and my vitality when I’m at my ideal weight, and I used these positive feelings to motivate myself every day.
  • Being Open — I’ve heard that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results, so I went online to research various approaches to diet, nutrition and losing weight healthfully.
  • Being Objective — Understanding that my body is an accumulation of my choices, I reviewed my diet over the previous few weeks through the lens of an observer — no judgment, just the facts — and concluded I was taking in: Too many calories from beverages; alas, I love red wine and lattes; too many processed carbohydrates; I have a weakness for bread and pasta; too many dairy products; I don’t drink milk, but cheese is my favorite snack; too many servings of red meat; I live with three men…enough said; too many convenience meals. This was a biggie. As a busy family, we were eating at restaurants or getting takeout several nights a week.
  • Being Creative — I needed to generate new alternatives, so when I encountered choices throughout my busy day, I already knew how to choose differently. For instance, I decided to choose soups and salads instead of sandwiches for lunch (even fast food joints have salads now), more seafood and chicken instead of beef and pork for dinner, and I cut dairy out of my diet completely by giving up cheese and substituting coconut milk for cream and sugar in my coffee.
  • Being Prepared — I planned every meal for the coming week before I went grocery shopping to make sure I had appropriate foods that could be prepared quickly to avoid the lure of convenience meals. I set aside an hour on Sundays to make homemade soups for lunch and hardboiled eggs for breakfast that were easy to grab and go on busy weekday mornings, and I kept travel-friendly fruit and nuts in my purse in case I needed a snack.
  • Being Committed — I weighed myself every morning and used an app to record what I ate throughout the day to remain conscious of my progress and support positive choices. And when I made the inevitable slip, I didn’t use it as an excuse to throw away the day. I gave myself a pep talk to get my head back in the game.
  • Being Supported — Before I began, I took the time to explain to my family, friends and co-workers what my goal was, why it was important to me, and how they could support me. As I progressed toward my goal, I started receiving positive feedback, which further fueled my desire to continue making the choices I had committed to.

By investing less than 15 minutes per day on average, I was able to lose 10 percent of my body weight in just a few weeks. It wasn’t always convenient, but the Big 4-0 was a great source of inspiration. I’m still as busy as ever, but now I’m a healthier weight, too!

The Edge Partner Directory is your resource for festivals, classes, products and services


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.