I’m getting older, and like many Americans, I weigh more than I should. My hubby is in this boat with me. We didn’t get this way all at once, but if you gain even one or two pounds each year for thirty or forty years, well, the results aren’t pretty! Adding insult to injury, as we age our metabolisms slow down. I myself seem to hit a new wall every decade or so.
Back in May, my beloved and I undertook the 24 Day Challenge to reset our dietary habits and jump-start some serious weight loss. We did very well on two fronts. We each lost about 12% of our total body weight during that month or so, and we established some new permanent habits that have kept us there.
We’ve seen quite a few benefits. We feel better and sleep better. Ailments like gout, arthritis, and asthma have abated. Our skin is clearer. We have learned that dairy products, wheat products, and numerous inflammatory foods really do affect us. (Re-adding the culprits to our diets has an almost immediate impact.) We also need to buy some new clothes!
However, we have “plateaued” and are no longer losing additional weight. Since we still have some distance to go, we are working on that two ways – the first is we are developing a more conscientious exercise plan to go with the diet. The second is rebooting the challenge itself (which coincidentally should include exercise.)
On the exercise front, although we walk and have a treadmill and exercise bike, we are now ramping up resistance and weight training. The reasons for this center around the need to do some serious toning. At our ages, we end up with loose skin and muscles where we’ve lost pounds (can you say bat wings?), and at any age, toning tummy muscles requires some specific concentrated effort!
For me, this means lifting hand weights in various directions (to the front, side, up, down, in circular motions, etc.) in increasing numbers of repetitions – and using resistance bands to pull up, down, forward or backward.
The resistance bands are a nice variation. I have three different band thicknesses for different levels of resistance, and my beloved has made me a station to use them. He added a 1×4″strip of wood to a corner of our basement wall, which we painted to match the wall color, and then added large screw eyes at various heights. We move the bands to those heights using D-rings. Any Target or Wal-Mart store has all the pieces except the wood strip. (click the photo to enlarge it.)
So, we have restarted the challenge, which includes a 10-day cleanse followed by a 14-day food burning regimen, all supported by supplements and a balanced diet of multiple small meals. I am determined to do the toning as well as regular exercise, so that my new clothes will look right on my new frame.
Look out, Gotham City, we’re gonna be stunning!
For more info on toning exercises and the 24 Day Challenge, see:
Picture credit: Bat © António Duarte – Fotolia.com