I have been thinking about why I was 20 pounds thinner, had more stamina and was stronger 20 years ago. I don't want to give more credit to aging and menopause than is appropriate!
I have been contemplating
how my relationship to food was different when I weighed 20 pounds less.
Yes I was 20 years younger and pre-menopause but I also ate differently
as I recall.
What we ate was very similar but there was very little snacking and definitely not the going out for
coffee drinks and sweet desserts in the afternoon. I ate smaller portions -
for example half a sandwich not a whole one with the same amount of meat,
tomatoes, lettuce but half the bread. Going to think about this some
more and really think about portion sizes and servings per day in
different food categories.
I found this visual on portion sizes very helpful too. A sign of cultural changes perhaps that now protein portion size if represented by a cellphone instead of a deck of cards? Check it out here Visual food portion recommendations
My husband and I talked about this and as we recall there was rarely alcohol in the house. Yes we would have a beer when out for Mexican food but not drink regularly like we do now.
Boredom & Stress:
also realized with further thinking that I rarely ate when I was bored.
I tended to go for a walk instead but then I lived in S. California
which was more conducive to that than Atlanta often is. In fact I walked a lot back then.
I do recall feeling more stressed but boredom when near a refrigerator of coffee house is not being dealt with the same healthier habits.
So what to do?
I am definitely focusing on portion sizes and healthier snacks. I am also trying to ramp up my exercise in the face of walking outdoors being unpleasant. I had been only going to Pilates once a week with minimal exercise except for short dog walks and daily activities otherwise.
I am ramping up my use of my 30 minute gaiam stretching DVD. I tried the Wellness Center's stretch class but found the instruction lacking so back to the DVD.
I am determined to become able to swim laps for exercise. I have only gone once and am going again this afternoon. Hard work and my stamina is low right now so actual swimming time is short. Should get better if I stick with it.
I tried using light weights for upper arm exercises and need to do more of that.
The big decision is coming up as to whether or not to continue my expensive private Pilates sessions. I do think they are beneficial but need to combine them with a lot more exercise if I am to get strong again.