Wednesday, September 19, 2012

On turning 36.

So I'm 36 tomorrow.  For some reason 36 seems older to me than any other age I've turned so far.  I took 30 in stride.  I was cool with it.  36, however, is "over 35" and firmly places me in the older group on surveys.  You know--the end of the survey where they ask your sex and then they put you in  those age groups?  Sure, some still use the 20-30, 30-40, 40-50 thing, but it seems that most surveys that I am asked to participate in these days use this breakdown:

Age Range
[ ] 21 and Under
[ ] 22 to 34
[ ] 35 to 44
[ ] 45 to 54
[ ] 55 to 64
[ ] 65 and Over
[ ] Decline
Some of my smarter friends might know why these particular age ranges are chosen.  When I turned 35 and moved into this age bracket, I noticed, but I wasn't too bothered.  After all, I was 35 - a nice round number, newly "mid-30's."  Now I'm FIRMLY in that category and 40 is approaching.

I think part of the reason being 36 is bugging me is because its a transition period again in many ways.  I'm not young, I'm not old, I'm somewhere in that middle area.  In my job, I face the same challenge - not in the right job title to be taken 100% seriously but too "senior" to be ignored.  Too old for the younger trends and too young to be a hip gray-haired, stylin' "hot older chick."

So anyway, this is NOT a "oh whoa is unto me, I am old" post.  It's a "look at what I've accomplished lately" post!  And its applicable to the blog topic, I swear.

So - I've lost 18lbs since memorial day by completely changing my outlook on food.  Do you wake up feeling sluggish and lethargic?  Do you need hours to really feel alert in the morning?  Does your weight fluctuate by many pounds daily and weekly?  Have you tried every "diet" or "plan" or "lifestyle" and find that nothing works?  If so, maybe you're like me.  Maybe you spent a lot of time eating foods that were, essentially, toxic to you.  Maybe you need to ignore the trends and fads and eat more protein and fat, less carbs and NO wheat or grain.  Here's what I've been doing and its WORKING:

  • Almost every day, 50% of my caloric intake is in the form of fat.  I don't pay attention to saturated fat vs. unsaturated, but I don't consume trans fat of any kind...EVER.  That stuff is bad.

  • I do not substitute foods.  For example, I don't eat gluten-free bread.  Similarly, I don't eat sugar substitutes.  If I want something sweet, I have it.  But its not every day and its not even every week.  I have no desire for fake-tasting stuff like [Insert major diet brand here that rhymes with schmeight schmatchers] ice creams, [Insert mega health food company which is actually just adding whole grains to their chemicals to make it sound healthy here] bars or any and all sugar subs like splenda, sucralose, aspartame, sugar alcohols, etc.  I'm just going to elaborate on this point a teeny bit because I am sure that if this blog ever gets really popular someone will call me out on the fact that erythritol is a "good" sugar alcohol since it doesn't cause bloating, gas, tooth decay or blood sugar rise and it's a perfectly acceptable substitute for table sugar.  These things are all true.  But for ME PERSONALLY, sugar is about more than blood sugar.  I have not determined if its wheat-derived carbs or just sugar/carbs in general, but consuming high glycemic index foods make me crave more and more and more until I'm so food-focused I'm driving myself nuts.  Clearly, its more about the reward centers in my brain than my blood sugar.  I once told my endocrinologist that I was like a drug addict when it came to sugar and he 1) immediately upped my dose of metformin and 2) looked at me like I was a freak.  But I know some of you get this.  Science is starting to get it too - check this out if you're so inclined:  The obesity epidemic and food addiction: clinical similarities to drug dependence.
  • I LOOSELY follow a calorie guideline provided to me by  This is not a sponsored blog post.  Honestly, all of the calorie-tracking websites will give you a calorie goal based on the same information.  They ask you a few questions and using that information, they calculate your basal metabolic rate.  Then they tell you how much to eat to maintain or lose weight based on that BMR.  My calorie goal is 1670.  This is assuming I am sedentary (which I am not - working in a lab I am up and down from my desk all day 1 million times a day - but neither do I have an 'active' job so I settle for sedentary), exercise 3x a week and want to lose 1 lb per week.  More than that is not sustainable for me - I know this from previous millions of diets and food restriction.  As I lose weight, the program asks me if I want to adjust my calorie goal to compensate.  I DO NOT.  Why would I want to eat less if I'm still losing weight?  I think that will happen naturally as I intuitively adjust how much makes me feel full.

That's what I do.  And I am not hungry, I do not feel deprived and I have sustained this lifestyle for longer than I have sustained any other "diet" or lifestyle in my life.

When I titled this blog fixedby40, I intended be healthy, dependent on no medications OTHER than the thyroid hormone I need to live, happy and not wearing plus-size clothing.  I'm already making progress!  I have:

  • Stopped all medications except for the singulair (still having allergy issues, but not asthma) and my thyroid hormone.
  • Bought non-plus-size jeans in a smaller size that are already getting baggy on me.  (WOOT!) 
  • Generally increased my feeling of well being, happiness and self confidence by about 1,000-fold.
So there ya go.  An update on me and on turning 36.  Hopefully I will do a post like this every 3 months or so and things will continue to improve so drastically.  

Thanks for reading, thanks for your support, and thanks to all of my you-know-who's that have answered millions of questions for me and helped me figure out what was right for me.

1 comment:

  1. Save this post. Print it and look at it every day. You are doing amazing! And 36 is a great age. You know who you are. You have confidence to pursue what you want and strength and resources to go after whatever that is. And you'll get there. I know you will.