Conquering Weight Loss and Starting Strength Training at 50!I was never one of those lucky ones who stayed thin without any effort. I have battled with my weight for as long as I can remember – always either being “on a diet” or totally out of control with my eating, at one point hitting an all-time high of 260 pounds ( a definite low point of my life…)

I have always been very successful at losing the weight, often losing 30, 40 or 50 pounds by eating at 1,200 calories a day or less, only to gain it all back plus more after hitting the inevitable plateau each and every time.

This time it had to be different. I was looking at turning 49, and had to find a way to make the weight loss “stick” this time. In November 2011, a friend introduced me to MFP, and once again, I began the 1,200 calorie a day diet. Over the course of about 5 months I lost 50 pounds, but then, just like every other time before, I hit that plateau. My natural reaction was to eat less and exercise more (which, as we all know, does not work…). The difference this time was my MFP friends. Conquering Weight Loss and Starting Strength Training at 50!In the past, I would have gotten discouraged and quit, but this time I had support of my friends. Some of them saw that I was eating less and less and adding more and more cardio workouts. Several times I posted about getting discouraged and stuck, and several of my friends directed me to the Eat More 2 Weigh Less way of life.

In May of 2012, I joined the original EM2WL group on MFP and read, and read, and read. It all made sense in my brain, but I was terrified to take the plunge and raise my calories. I was only 10 pounds from my goal weight of 150 and could not imagine gaining any weight back yet again. There was a desperate battle going on in my brain. What I really wanted was to get to my goal weight, and then up my calories and work on maintaining – unfortunately, my body would not cooperate. I was stuck.

Conquering Weight Loss and Starting Strength Training at 50!Over the next month or so, I upped my calories from 1,000 to 1,800, and then finally to 2,000 calories a day. I made it through that process without gaining any weight, and in fact over the next few months, I was able to slowly get down to my goal weight of 150. Imagine that! I was actually able to lose weight while eating more and actually feeling full and satisfied every day. Everything that I had read was true – “Trust the process”, “Have patience”, “Give your body time to heal”… It was all true! I could Eat More and Weigh Less!!!

After joining the EM2WL group on MFP, I gathered some like-minded friends and saw that those that were really happy with their progress had implemented weight lifting into their exercise programs. I also noticed that most of them were younger than me – much younger… I was looking at turning 50 in a few months and questioned if I could begin strength training at 50 – especially heavy lifting.  I knew I would not want to go to a gym at 4:00 each morning, so that workout would have to be done from home, and I had no home gym equipment except for my “dreadmill”. DVDs would have to be my answer.

Conquering Weight Loss and Starting Strength Training at 50!Once again, Kiki and my MFP friends steered me in the right direction: Cathe Friedrich. I purchased other types of weight training DVDs, but something about Cathe “clicked” with me. There is nothing rushed about her lifting, and she concentrates on perfect form. Since I had never lifted anything much heavier than a bag of groceries in my life, this was the perfect introduction into the world of weight lifting for me. I took it slow and gradually built up my little home gym, starting with light dumbbells and a step to use as a bench, and adding heavier dumbbells and eventually a barbell as time went on.

I have to say that the weight training has given me the most surprising results and truly changed the shape of my body. Even while maintaining my weight, I have continued to get smaller and “tighter”. I have gone from wearing a size 8 or 10 to a consistent size 6 (and even the occasional 4…) I have a feeling of strength and power that I have never experienced in my life. Even with my 50th birthday staring me right in the face, I feel better than I have ever felt in my life. If you are thinking you are too old, trust me… you are not!!! Pick up something heavy – you will not regret it!

strength training at 50

Thanks to Kiki and all of my EM2WL friends, I have found a way of living that I know I can maintain for the rest of my life because I am not hungry! I have given my metabolism time to heal, trusted the process, and am able to easily maintain my weight for the first time ever — and all while eating more than 2,000 calories a day.

If you are stuck on a plateau, terrified of gaining back everything you have worked so hard to lose, and dreading a lifetime of starvation and deprivation, please learn everything you can about this process. Read the forums, ask questions, gather like-minded friends and jump in! You have to have patience, but it is so worth it! I only wish I had the knowledge I have today about 40 years ago… Trust the process – it works!

Thanks Kiki  – YOU ROCK!  ~Anitra

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