The new me: ideally smaller than the old me

The newly old me, about to become old again. Yes, I'll explain.

The newly old me, about to become old again. Yes, I'll explain.

Hey there. Welcome to my accountability program, flab loss edition. My name is Brigitte, I'm 46-almost-and-a-half years old, I have three kids aged 10 and younger, and I have a goal.

Or maybe I should say: I have a new goal. Because the goal I'd set myself three years ago, to return to my pre-first-pregnancy weight of 130 lbs, has been achieved.


It did take me some time, a whole lot of sweating and cussing, and plenty of hard work. But the scale is back to where it was in 2005 and what's more, it's been there since last summer.

Yep, you bet it feels good. But now I've given myself a new goal. I want to get leaner.

Here's the thing: for some reason Mother Nature decided that aging would make it harder for your metabolism to do its thing. And then it threw in hormones just for fun. Wanna know why so many middle-aged folks struggle with their weight? Because it's ^$^&# hard not to gain any.

I train like a beast. I run 4-5 KM most mornings (not super fast; it's a semi-casual run because I enjoy being out there listening to great podcasts and filling up my happiness tank with glorious sunrises). I do karate, kickboxing, weights, and tournament team training - I spend about 20-25 hours a week training, on top of the jogging, the biking, the swimming and whatever other active stuff I do, like pretending to renovate my house.

I don't think I could train much more than this. Possibly I could train smarter (nobody's so clever that they can't improve), but I do think that what with great teachers and my own understanding of my body, my training is pretty good that way.

That leaves diet. And sleep. I'm guilty of not getting a full eight hours a night, but I try to nap most days and that more or less works out to a decent amount of ZZZ. And I sleep well - like the dead. I can fall asleep pretty much on command and I'm usually gone within five minutes. I also usually feel refreshed when I wake up. Don't tell the Goddess of Hormones yet, but so far (knock wood), perimenopause hasn't given me sleep-quality issues, thank you very much.

So now we're down to food. I eat freakishly clean already, drink lots of water and not too much booze. And that is to be credited for having reached my weight goal and remained there for months. But my new goal involves losing a few bits of extraordinarily stubborn flab (in the usual spots; probably 5-7 pounds worth of the stuff although at this point the scale isn't what worries me) and for that, drastic measures are called for. A few weeks ago I decided to take the plunge and virtually eliminate sugar and grains from my life. I keep a little bit for my tea, but otherwise carbs are the enemy, except on Saturdays when I allow myself to eat a half-baguette with loads of butter for dinner (that's all I eat for dinner, though). Otherwise it's eggs, veggies, cheese, some fish, a few bits of meat, and plenty of my nearly-legendary homemade kombucha.

I was listening recently to a great podcast with Tim Ferriss and this Olympic weightlifter fellow and they were talking about food and how little this amazing athlete eats and holy cow, I hit me square in the head. I eat too much!

This may scare some of you, but here's the skinny (as it were): I don't count calories because it sucks all the joy out of life, but I'd estimate I was eating between 2,000 and 2,500 of them every day. Since listening to that podcast I dropped that to 1,200 to 1,500 and wow.

I mean, wow. Know what's happening to me?

Yes, I'm hungry. That's the hard part. But I feel so awesome it's worth it. I trained especially hard this week and had one late night and despite all this I am NOT (repeat: NOT!!!) in pain like I normally am. My joints don't hurt. My muscles are a little sore, but hey. If they weren't after all I've done since Sunday, I'd have to question my training intensity.

Also? My brain is on fire. I'm getting so many great ideas I have trouble keeping up. But not in a jittery, had-too-much-coffee way. In a crickey-I-feel-like-I'm-20-again kind of way. I highly recommend it.

So that's my new goal. To keep this diet going for as long as it takes until I'm as lean as I want to be, then level off. Will that mean 125 lbs or closer to 120? I have no idea, and don't really care. I want enough energy to train and compete and feel like I'm at my peak, and I want to lose the bits I'm sick of carrying around pointlessly. I'll let you know how it goes.

Love, unfolding as it should

The magical tea bag