Weight loss in midlife and beyond requires a new approach to see the results you are hoping for. Whether those results are less weight, fewer inches around your middle, more energy, or increased health and wellness, you must strap on some extra patience and set up your expectations more carefully than when you were younger.
There is a good possibility that you have hurdles and life situations making it hard to take care of yourself. You might feel confused and discouraged about why your body gains weight over 40 even though you are actively trying to lose.
Getting your expectations to align with your new reality is key to maintaining a positive commitment and engagement to meet your weight loss goals once you hit your 40s.
I spent years reading and referring back to my "manual of expectations." I had a marriage, homeschooling, health, exercise, parenting, and even friendships manual. And even though I'm aware that that "manual of expectations" was unhelpful in my life, I still find that I keep trying to refer back to it.
Do you have a "manual of expectations" for how your midlife should be going? Have you noticed life is not cooperating very well with that manual? Yeah, me too.
We don't need to ditch expectations altogether, but to set yourself up for success, setting realistic expectations is very important.
One way to create a new "manual of expectations" is to ask yourself a few questions and give honest feedback.
As a woman over 40, what am I expecting regarding weight loss?
I want to start with what I call FOUNDATIONAL BELIEFS.
Again, we start by asking questions to flesh out some core beliefs.
If you answered "no" to any of those questions, then you might be the roadblock to seeing success. Each thought you believe leads to a specific set of actions and results.
When you believe in limiting fear-based thoughts, you restrict your brain from finding the solutions to move you toward the desired results.
Your brain cannot solve problems when you believe thoughts like "I can't" or "this won't work for me." When you get stuck in a limiting thought or belief, your brain will work against you.
But if you believe in the possibility, if you let go of limiting thoughts and choose to believe in the potential, this allows you to stay in the game and show up for yourself. Your brain opens up to more creativity and works to help you be successful.
Shift away from "I can't" into "I can" and allow your brain to go to work to figure out how to make the thought turn into reality.
Believe you will show up; let's leave the results to God; expect to show up for yourself with commitment. Make "showing up" your first decision.
When creating a "manual of expectations," let's do so in reality. Expect to show up for yourself in the areas you need to work on - eating, exercise, habits, or whatever. Don't expect outside factors to meet your expectations. The number you see on the scale doesn't get to dictate how you show up; you control your actions regardless of what the number on the scale or tape measure reads.
In midlife, gaining weight is much easier than losing weight, so expect to be tenacious and trust that results will follow. Cheat weekends or multiple cheat meals will play out of your favor in midlife. It would be best if you were committed to your health and your goals no matter what.
Be the girl that says, "Yes, I'm in this," and "Yes, I trust this process."
Take time to journal your thoughts, hopes, dreams, and expectations. Become curious and aware of hidden thoughts and motives. This awareness and curiosity are ways to be proactive, to shift away from false expectations, and to live in reality with hope.
Midlife is a time to resolve things you haven't been able to resolve before. Allow yourself the space to mourn, process, and pray through previous experiences and expectations. Let your old "manual of expectations" go and create a new one wrapped in reality and peace while you work towards better health and healing.