Right when life is supposed to start getting blissful our bodies start to change and morph into this thing that we do not recognize. I have been focusing on 5 things you need to know about health and weight loss in your forties. Especially as women, we are entering a time of changing hormones and, consequently, changing emotions. Therefore, we need to pay extra attention to our mental and physical well-being during this time.
To start, it ain’t easy! It is hard enough to balance the shifts in lifestyle and family dynamics, let alone a shifting body. As I am going into the second half of my life, I am starting to learn new ways of coping with the changes that come with being in my forties. These are five of my top health priorities for this stage of life.
Give yourself grace in your forties.
You aren’t in your twenties anymore…and it is time to start giving yourself and your body a little bit of grace.
If I could have my way, these are the changes that I would make to my body. I have gained 30-40 extra pounds that are clinging very stubbornly to my backside; and, I already had short, thick legs to begin with! I would shorten my derriere length, bring in my thighs and lengthen my legs.
But, that just isn’t practical or real. This is the body that I was given…and, your body is the body that you were given–whether you are happy about that or not! We strive most of our lives to make our bodies and our appearances “better”. In your forties, it is time to focus on your health first and your appearance second. It is time to give your mind and psyche some love and acceptance. Moving into the second half of life is going to have a lot of emotional and hormonal challenges to it and you need to be on good terms with yourself.
You are NOT your shape and you were designed to be perfect just as you are.
Release any un-forgiveness or bitterness in your forties.
As you pass into your forties, you will realize a new importance on having healthy, stable and enduring relationships. Letting go of past offenses will offer you less anxiety (which can increase with age as our hormone levels change), lower your blood pressure, fight against depression (which can be a symptom of changing hormones, as well), and provide a stronger immune system. All of these benefits can aid in staying healthier and physically stronger as well as promote mental health.
Keep an eye on your thyroid on your forties.
I cannot stress caring for your thyroid enough. So many women that I know of complain about symptoms to their doctor and then get misdiagnosed with depression and placed on anti-depressants or get sent away with the “…you’re just getting older…” speech when, in reality, their thyroid levels are too high or too low. Leaving a thyroid disease untreated can be very dangerous for your health and can lead to very rapid and extreme weight gain and/or loss.
Symptoms of Hypothyroidism are:
- Goiter (enlarged thyroid gland)
- Intolerance to cold.
- Muscle aches and cramps.
- Weight gain or difficulty losing weight.
- Poor appetite.
- Brittle nails and hair
- Heavier than normal menstrual cycles
Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism are:
- Muscle weakness/tremors.
- Infrequent, scant menstrual periods.
- Weight loss.
- Sleep disturbances.
- Enlarged thyroid gland.
- Vision problems or eye irritation.
- Heat sensitivity.
Start exercising and lifting weights in your forties
It is a known fact that a body with more muscle will burn more calories at a resting heart rate. A body with more muscle will burn more fat at a higher heart rate, too. A very efficient way to take care of your bones and, also, burn calories is to start lifting weights. It doesn’t have to be crazy heavy weights; just some weight bearing exercises to promote muscle growth will do the trick.
Also, at this stage in life–despite stories about how life slows down after your kids are out of the toddler stage–your life somehow seems to get busier and busier and your body gets more fatigued quicker. You have to take what you can get when it comes to exercise. Give yourself some grace; get a smart watch to track your steps and heart rate; get up and walk a little bit each hour if that is the best that you can offer–just get moving!
Cut back on carbs and sugar in your forties
As you age, your metabolism slows down and the body does not process or use carbohydrates like it once did. If you are like me, I have to almost eliminate the both entirely. Some people can handle them both in moderation. Find what works for you, but avoid sugars and starchy foods as a good start. If you find that process hard, decide to allow yourself those treats on just one or two days a week. But, your goal should be to start incorporating more green vegetables and good fats to your diet to promote your best health.
What I Am Choosing In My Forties:
- Buying clothes that fit my new body
- Walking around my block, even if for only ten minutes a day
- Hiking on the weekends so that I am outside in the woods and sun to promote body and mind health
- Cutting back on carbs and sugars
- Releasing the need to be “perfect”
- Taking plenty of vitamins and minerals for my needs
- Not hiding and covering up my body in shame with long shirts and sweaters. I am releasing shame and “wearing confidence”
- Maintaining my weight through a healthy diet/lifestyle (You can read about my Keto diet journey and see my progress with before and after images)
If you have any questions or comments, please add them in the comment section. Or, if you have some point to add to my ‘5 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT HEALTH AND WEIGHT LOSS IN YOUR 40’S‘ please include them below.
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