The Fit Student—Fitness Over 40

Fashion your figure after Farrah Fawcett beyond your fortieth birthday.  Yes, strut like a six-million-dollar woman.  Doesn’t matter if you’ve beefed up 200 pounds.  Just glance at me.  I once plunked my 180-pound beefcake on a dead-tired weigh-scale.  Now I tuck my tees into size two pants, fleshed out with leaner muscles by the minute.

I feel like I’ve circled back to my girlhood.  Just with grey roots.  And my shape outshines most 20-year-olds—a gift from gym-time.

A short while ago, I spotted a feminist book weighing on fitness over fifty.  One of the authors looked obese.  I chided, Ethos, ladies.  Ethos!  Don’t itch to look like Meryl Streep.  Stack up to Demi Moore!  And as you drop weight, tweak your plate sizes, whether din-din or barbells.

Since last year, I shed a baby elephant—until I looked bone-thin.  So, I started chowing a bellyful.  Some days I downed two-thousand extra calories, gnarling heaps of protein to beef up muscles.  Delish! Plus, I shrunk my gym-time two hours to one.  In a few months I swelled from 113 pounds to a well-rounded 125.

But now I can’t stop binging.

So, my pharmacist made clear why I gorge: a medicine spurs carb craving.  He then counseled on how to cut carb cravings: chew low glycemic foods.  All-Bran, apples, sweet potatoes.  Low glycemic carbs take longer to shift into sugars.  So, you feel fuller, longer, and your midriff shrinks.

I then chowed on low glycemic carbs plus upped my gym-time.  Without delay, I snuffed out the gorges.

The Editors of Prevention Health Books for Women lay bare the skinny on fitness in the book Fit Not Fat at 40 Plus: The Shape Up Plan That Balance Your Hormones, Boosts Your Metabolism, and Fights Female Fat in Your Forties—and Beyond:

  • Resemble Demi Moore in your forties: “With the right food, exercise, and stress management plan, your forties can find you healthier and more attractive than ever” location 158, 2%).
  • Keep faith even if Demi’s hit the gym since her teens and you’ve just started: “Even if you’ve smoked, drunk, eaten chips with abandon, and shirked exercise for the past 3 decades, you can still whip yourself into nearly as good shape as the woman who has practiced a healthy lifestyle for her entire life” (location 158 or 8443, 2%).
  • I said Demi, not Susan Sarandon! “If one of your goals is to get a body like Britney Spears, try shifting it toward someone in the ballpark but still motivational—like, say, Susan Sarandon” (location 1441, 17%).
  • Exercise to tug on Demi sized jeans: “The factor most consistently connected to weight gain in midlife women is a dearth of exercise” (location 328, 4%).
  • To shrink your tummy, exercise and skinny back chow: “One way to lose weight is to cut your calories by 250 each day, then ‘spend’ another 250 calories in exercise” (location 443, 5%).
  • To tone up and tighten, bustle 45 minutes a day: “You should aim to burn 2,000 calories a week via some combination of activities. That works out to the equivalent of an hour of brisk walking a day—or 45 minutes, if you work at a higher intensity” (location 2239, 26%).
  • Plunge in with walking stints: “For starters, add a 10- or 15-minute walk to your day after work or during your lunch hour” (location 486, 6%).
  • Squeeze in 2 hours aerobics each week: “2 hours a week of high-impact activities, such as step aerobics, jogging, and tennis, did reduce estimated hip facture risk by 33 percent in men and 12 percent in women” (location 363, 4%).
  • Don’t like Demi Moore? She’s too skinny?  Then do cardio and weights for a Kate Upton bod: “When you stick solely with aerobics, you’re spending more time trying to achieve less impressive results than you could get with a combination of aerobics and weight training” (location 475, 6%).

When you plunk into your fifties, don’t dawn a dad or gran bod.  Get built and shapely instead.  Role model fitness for your pals and kids, and seldom sing lullabies in sickrooms.