I read a book a few years ago by a woman who was over 50 and lost a lot of weight. It was both her personal story and some advice on how to lose weight and develop some fitness. I didn’t remember a lot of the details but when I went back to the book recently, I realized that she said she lost 60 pounds in four months. Who knows if she actually did or not, though that seems extreme but I know it took me a long time to lose 60 pounds.
I had thought of her because I thought perhaps she’d be a good guest on the Fit Strong Women over 50 podcast. (You do listen to that, don’t you?!) We like to talk with women who have made a change in their lives and then manage to keep the weight off or to remain fit and strong. I can’t find her. The author of the book does not seem to be around. I Googled her, searched on Amazon, looked on Facebook, and just can’t find her. No big deal as far as the podcast goes but I don’t know if she is still at her ideal weight and is still working out or not. I’m now sort of curious.
Quick Fix Fitness
This got me to thinking. It’s hard to stick to a way of eating or of working out when your initial goal was to look good for a wedding or a reunion or any other one time event. Yes, you might reach your goal but after that event, what happens? Most of us slide right back into our old ways and we gain that weight back and lose that muscle we’d built.
I knew a man who lost over 100 pounds so that he could go on a rugged camping trip with his son. You had to be under a certain weight based on height to be allowed to participate in the event. He did it and he went on the trip. Immediately upon his return began to eat ice cream and candy again. You know what happened. He soon weighed more than when he started on that weight loss journey.
I think it’s more important to focus on long-term fitness or what I’ve seen called sustainable fitness.
What is sustainable fitness?
I’ve now read several articles about sustainable fitness. Basically, sustainable fitness is a long-term plan. It’s doing things that you can continue to do regularly and frequently.
It’s setting goals that get you through the long term.
For example, when Chris and I ran our second relay race in the Akron Marathon, we had a couple of team members drop out at the last minute. We scrambled around and found a couple of women who were willing to be on our team and were able to run the five or six miles.
I said to Chris, “that’s what I want to be able to do. I want to be the kind of runner that can run five or six miles without notice.”
So the goal of running the relay race was a short term goal and there’s nothing wrong with those. Unless, of course, you just stop once you reach that goal. Many of us do that. We run a marathon or half marathon or whatever distance we’ve selected and then once we accomplish it, we stop running.
The goal of being able to run five or six miles at any time is part of sustainable fitness.
My ability to run five or six miles has fluctuated since then but I’ve managed to be able to run something. Right now, I could certainly fill in on a relay team as long as nobody wanted me to be fast.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re talking about fitness or food. The best way to approach either or both is to focus on what is sustainable. What can you do on a regular basis?
Let me know how you maintain your fitness or weight or general health.