As you try to stick to your New Year's resolution to lose weight or get in shape, while trying to excel at work and have a fulfilling personal life, think about this little truth: You hit 40 and weight gain just sneaks up on you.
I laughed so much when I read an article in the New York Times by Michelle Slatalla. I think most of us can relate to her conclusion: "The older I become, the more I exercise and the less I eat. And yet, the fatter I am."
"I thought I had it under control," Michelle writes. "For years I didn’t even bother to weigh myself because I thought all I needed was Spanx, the same Lycra and spandex flab-management system that helped Gwyneth Paltrow hide her haunting post-pregnancy paunch. I still remember how ecstatic I felt the first time I slipped on a pair of Seamless Mid-Thigh Shapers and managed to zip my tightest jeans. A sense of relief and well-being flooded me.
"Unfortunately the good feeling didn’t last. Soon I had to start wearing two pairs at once. If only, like Gwyneth, I could have stopped there," Michelle writes and adds, ""before I knew it, I was wrapped so tightly that one night at dinner I warned my husband, “If I pass out, call the ambulance and make sure they bring the Jaws of Life.”
Michelle goes on to tell readers how she super-charged her exercise routine and discovered after she only lost ... one pound? Like Michelle, I'm fighting weight gain in my 40s. I've always been thin, but I have to work much harder to fight belly fat and have vowed to find the time in 2009 to make that treadmill in my bedroom more than a piece of furniture.
Michelle was able to get Dr. Maria Collazo-Clavell, a Mayo Clinic endocrinologist who specializes in talking weight-gaining women of a certain age off the ledge, to give her advice. “Mix it up,” she suggested. “You can’t keep increasing the aerobic forever, running more and more, however many times around the world. Add weight training or resistance exercises to work out specific muscle groups and you’ll see your body change shape.”
So, I'm heeding that advice and mixing it up. But I take comfort in knowing if I get "too busy" to fight belly fat, there's always Spanx.
Have you vowed to exercise more in 2009? How are you fitting it into your schedule?