Teressa Carter: Women 46+
In 2002, when I was 42, my friends were all complaining about gaining weight and how it was almost impossible to lose it after the age of 40. So I joined the Body-for
-LIFE Challenge, and I lost 17 pounds and 15 inches, and I was a “Top 2000” finisher. I don’t like to be told something can’t be done. Now that I am 54, I keep hearing even more of the same about “life after 50” and the inevitable weight gain, so I thought I would prove them wrong again.
After I completed the 2002 Body-for-LIFE Challenge, I continued with good eating habits, my morning EAS protein shakes and working out regularly, and I kept the weight off for the next seven years. During that time, I was wearing mainly size 4s and 6s.
Then, in 2009 when I was going through some major personal and financial struggles, I started to get “sloppy” both with my eating habits and my workout habits. I didn’t start eating more because I was depressed or stressed out. I just started going to drive-thrus for sandwiches at fast food restaurants because I could eat them on the road instead of eating salads or anything that required slowing down to eat. I also was working so hard to dig out of my situation that I didn’t take time to go to the gym or work out on my own. Being “sloppy” with my eating and workout habits led me to gain about 20 pounds over a six-year period. Reluctantly, I started buying size-8 pants. Then, when I needed to buy even larger pants, I bought just a couple of size-10 pants, since I thought I was going to get back into my size 8s soon. Then, when I needed more pants, and I could not find any 10s that fit, that was enough!
My social life became another factor. I am single, and I had been so self-absorbed with digging out financially and resolving some personal issues, that I really had not thought much about dating. I was too worn out and brain dead to deal with men. I figured out later that another huge part of that equation was that I didn’t feel good about myself physically. I know that all the books say you need to accept yourself and others should accept you exactly as you are, but as I looked at the “back rolls” of fat I had NEVER had before, and I realized that I did not want to accept that, and I didn’t want anyone else who may come into my life to even be exposed to that! I wanted to do something about it, and I wanted to do it NOW, not over the next few years.
So I pulled out my Body-for-LIFE “box” of info from 2002, including the “Eating-for-LIFE” sheets to track what I ate, and I set some goals. My main goal was to get back into my size-4 and size-6 pants, but to do that I figured out I would need to lose 12 or 15 pounds of fat and work out to become leaner.
I went through the Body-for-LIFE website to see samples of the diets of some of the past champions, and because I always still seem to be short on time, I studied the “best” options at fast food restaurants for times when I get “stuck”. I also needed to stock up on “legal” foods to have around for a quick fix, and I found that there are some really neat options available. One of the best “quick” fixes for me is the pre-mixed EAS and AdvantEdge shakes. Now that they have re-sealable lids, I found if I got hungry, I could just take a quick “swig” to tide me over until I could eat the healthy meal I had planned out next or have the whole thing for a meal. I shared this trick with several friends and co-workers who were complaining about always being hungry.
I started doing the Body-for-LIFE weight-training program, which I had used for many years before getting off track, and it felt great to be working out regularly again.
From a physical standpoint, the end result is that I lost 22.4 pounds (instead of the 12 or 15 pounds I thought I needed to lose). I also lost 5 inches in my waist and reduced my body fat percentage from 26.5% to 17.7%. And the most important thing is that I can wear my size-4 pants again!
In addition, the discipline and focus I gained in order to achieve this has led to a substantial increase in my productivity and income at work (real estate sales).
In the future, I would like to actively share the things I learned during this journey with others who are eager to learn, but I haven’t figured out the best way to do that yet. So for now, I will just spread the word whenever I have an opportunity.
As for the relationship-side of the equation, I still don’t have that solved, but I do feel like I am much better equipped from a confidence standpoint to meet someone and be a true contribution to their life than before, and I plan to stay open and expose myself to more opportunities. And even though I attempt to stay focused and on track while I am in the gym, I do notice some nice, interesting-looking men when I am there… Hmmmmmmmm.
* Body-for-LIFE fitness goals vary by person, but through proper diet and resistance training, the Body-for-LIFE program can help you achieve yours.