The Number One Reason Midlife Women Seek My Help And Why It Bums Me Out
This Unraveling Together Blog series is “a must read” if you are a woman in your late 30s or beyond and you’re realizing there are some changes happening in your body, mind, and emotions that have you second guessing whether “everything is okay”. Take the next few minutes for yourself by reading this post and grabbing my Top 10 Tips To Jumpstart Your Sluggish Metabolism.
The number one complaint I hear from women in their 40s and beyond is that they can’t “lose weight” like they used to when they were in their 20s and 30s.
It bums me out really.
But not for the reason you may think.
I’m not bummed that they “can’t lose weight”, mind you. I can help them do that with a few strategic changes…
What bums me out is that these incredible women think their weight is what matters most. And it’s disturbing them so much that it prompts them to seek expert advice.
Now don’t get me wrong…I’m happy they seek me out instead of getting caught up in some supplement slinger’s web. That “miracle” merry-go-round is one expensive ride!
I work with brilliant, compassionate, creative women. Women who are leaders, risk takers and change makers. They are anything but shallow, so no throwing down the “they’re just superficial women” card. I assure you they are not.
It’s no wonder that even the most amazing women amongst us feel this way when you look at the messaging we’ve been exposed to over our lifetimes. Especially now that our eyeballs are glued to a screen the vast majority of our waking moments and everything we read is filled to the gills with ads.
Message Received. Loud And Clear.
Society makes sure that we receive, loud and clear, the message that “you must be such-and-such a size to matter”. And we do. There is no static on that line.
We don’t choose to think these thoughts. We’ve been passively trained to think such things through media messaging, retail store merchandising, social media “influencers”, television, magazines, and the list goes on.
In fact when we give rational thought to the topic, we can interrupt the thinking pattern and replace it with a more body-positive approach. Trouble is, the interruption is but a blip on the screen of the continual brainwashing that our weight (or size) has an inverse relationship to our desirability.
In other words, the more you weigh and the bigger you are, the less you are desired. As much as that is absolute and total BS, we still think it on a deep level at times, no matter who we are. I have my moments as well.
We all desire being desired. It’s an inborn need, much akin to our need for a sense of belonging.
Depending what you read, you’ll see staggering statistics related to how often women have negative thoughts about their bodies. Whether weight in general, or a body part in particular, we lose countless hours of time critiquing our bodies.
Time we will never get back!
And time that could be better spent on things that actually matter.
A Lose-Lose Situation
Women live the vast majority of their lives at war with their bodies in the pursuit of being a certain size. It is a lose-lose situation.
When “weight loss” is the goal, both our body and our mind lose.
Our body loses because the fallout from dieting depletes nutrients and jacks up pretty much every single hormone on the roster. Our mind loses because the dieting mentality sets up a “you versus it” situation.
When your mind is at war with your body, you are on the losing end of that proverbial stick.
All too often our waistlines expand as the birthdays roll by. It’s a common phenomenon. And fully explained through science. The answer as to why lies in our hormone profile, not within our character.
I addressed this in the last blog post aptly titled, “Breaking Out Of Self-Judgment Purgatory When You’re A Midlife Woman In Business”. The messaging we receive from birth is that our “weight” is what matters, not what we’re made of. (And I’m talking literally with that last phrase.)
It’s what our body is made of that truly matters. These are the questions we need to be asking ourselves:
- How dense are our bones?
- How about our skeletal muscles?
- Are we carrying too much fat around our middle?
- How much of that belly fat is packed around our organs? (This is also referred to as abdominal fat, and it is the most dangerous of all locations for us to squirrel away our unused energy.)
Big Belly Fat Is Dangerous. Big Booty Fat, Not Nearly As Much.
This really important conversation needs to be centered around body composition (lean mass to fat mass ratio), not the number on the scale.
Now don’t go thinking I’m saying that weight doesn’t matter. It does.
Your lean mass weighs only so much. Anything above that is excess water and body fat.
The excess water is retained to dilute the toxins our body cannot excrete through its normal channels.
There’s a certain amount of body fat that registers in the healthy category as well. This fat has important jobs. One of which is to keep our hormones humming. Anything above this amount deemed healthy is excess and turns to the dark side (of sorts) where it starts jacking with our hunger and satiety signals as well as releasing inflammatory chemicals which wreak their own type of havoc.
Body fat is hormonally active, and not in a good way. To add gasoline to the dumpster fire, body fat releases inflammatory fallout. Plus it is a toxic waste dump for many women. These toxins accumulate as a result of the toxic environment in which we live and the junk in our food and water. Add to those the toxins found in personal care products, and it is a recipe for disaster.
When we have excess body fat, it indicates that our body is not functioning at optimal levels.
What it in no way indicates, is a flaw in our character.
As time passes and you’ve been intently focused on your career, you may have unintentionally taken your eye off your health and wellbeing. It’s not unheard of when we’re dedicated to our work. What we intend to be a brief diversion can turn into years when we’re in hot pursuit of our goals and dreams.
If you’re starting to retain more fat around your middle, it is your body trying to tell you everything is in fact not okay.
She’s trying to get your attention.
Will you listen to her?
You may be waging an unwinnable war with your body when you could be reinforcing your “ally” status.
The best way I know to do that is through implementing my 12-Step Strategy For A Body & Brain That Just Won’t Quit. In this post, I’ll share with you three of the twelve.
If you’re face-to–face with the reality that you don’t like what you see in the mirror and you’re upset because you can’t get into the clothes you used to wear, I have good news. The 12-Step Strategy I’m sharing with you in this series is a roadmap for correcting the underlying factors. Correct those and watch the “weight” take care of itself.
The 12-Step Strategy addresses not only the physical parameters of fat loss, hormones, nutrients, and fuel, it addresses the mental and emotional aspects of healing our bodies from a history of dieting. It is a holistic approach that meets you where you are and helps you get clear on where you want to go, and why.
Just Another Cost Of Doing Business, But It Doesn’t Have To Be
You’ve got important work to do.
But you realize that unless you change something about the way you’re doing things, your health and wellbeing will be chalked up to another cost of doing business.
You know you need to do better, but what?
The more fit, more energized, and more vibrant version of you awaits. You may have all but given up on that vision because everything you try is another lesson in failure….
The Revolving Door Of Failures Stops Here
I’ve distilled the strategy down to 12 simple steps. Note I said “simple”, not “easy”. They are not synonymous. That noted, these simple steps become easier and easier as you develop the mindset to prioritize them and the habits to support continuing to do so.
These first 3 will get you pointed in the right direction.
Step # 1: Embody TIA…Take Immediate Action
Step # 1 is # 1 because it is by far the one that will make the most impact when the actions are right for the job. T.I.A. (Take Immediate Action).
The default setting for the modern human is to procrastinate. You may not “feel like” doing whatever it is…but, keep this in mind: activity dictates feelings, not the other way around.
Sometimes we spend more time with the mental reschedule game than it would have taken to just do the dang thing in the first place. I know I sure have!
Step # 2: Track Your Actions
Step # 2 is critical to short and long-term success.
You must track your actions. If you don’t, you won’t know what to change to get the desired results.
Hope and pray weight loss (more specifically “fat loss”) is not a real thing.
When it comes to stacking the fat loss deck in your favor, you must track what (and when) you eat so you can find your best formula. While you’re tracking, you’ll get better at eyeballing portion sizes. Usually, we underestimate how much we eat. It’s a human thing. If you don’t keep a record, you’ll be bouncing from shiny object to shiny object, diet to diet, “miracle” supplement to “miracle” supplement.
The wrong approach to fat loss leads to quitting…and quitting on your long-term health is not an option.
Not on my watch. And not on the watch of the women in the Unraveling Together CoWorking Community. We are dedicated to being our best selves and we show up to do the work for ourselves, but we’re never by ourselves while we do it. Working alongside other women is powerful. We truly are stronger together.
Which leads me to the third and final step I’ll share with you today.
As mentioned in Step # 1, the default setting for the human is procrastination. That said, it’s imperative to embody Step # 1 (Take Immediate Action).
Ensuring it is the correct action is critical. Not too little and not too much.
Having a skilled advisor in the mix is a way to compress the learning curve, stave off quitting, and to break through mental barriers you didn’t even know were holding you back.
This is where # 12 shines…
Step # 12: “Don’t Go It Alone!”
I’m as independent as they come. It is a core value. I teach clients how to be independent as well.
I want you to be independent of the hype. From taking conventional wisdom at surface value. Independent from fake food. From drugs. From limiting beliefs. From e’rything that does NOT serve you well.
Everywhere you turn, you will be faced with some sort of marketing trying to influence you to buy into a life of dependence marketed as “convenience”. Every. Where. You. Go.
You have to build up an immunity to the hype. You do this through education and flexing your habit muscle on the regular.
The Unraveling Together CoWorking Community is where rebellious women build up this immunity and opt-out of the future so many Americans are destined to have when following conventional wisdom and the status quo it spews.
Start your rebellion by grabbing my Top 10 Tips To Jumpstart Your Sluggish Metabolism HERE then T.I.A. (Step # 1)!
In the upcoming blog posts I’ll share the remaining 9 steps on my 12 Step Strategy For A Body & Brain That Just Won’t Quit as well as how to exit the revolving door of failures better known as “dieting”!