CASE STUDY:  How Laura is growing younger each year at the age of 62!

Tell Us a little about you in 5 sentences or less. (Where are you from?  What do you do?  Are you a parent or wife? Anything unique that you want to share?)

I’m a wife, mother of two, grandmother of one and work full-time.  We moved here from Canada in 1996 and absolutely love that you don’t have to shovel sunshine!  NC is definitely our home now.

ABS at 62!

What led you to join THINK?

In January 2018 I made my first resolution in years.  I decided I was going to be kinder to myself.  I wasn’t sure what it was going to look like, but I knew it included doing things that I enjoy – pedicures and massages, etc.  And getting back to a gym because I was very unhappy with the way I felt and looked.  With a husband who has travelled our entire marriage, and two active boys, I hadn’t taken any time to take care of myself.  That, coupled with my age (61) and several autoimmune diseases, left me feeling very disgruntled about myself.  I hated looking in a mirror and just didn’t feel “well”.  A friend’s “like” on a comment on THINK’s Facebook page (thanks Barb Petty!), led me to email Jennifer to talk about what she could offer.  The fact that the studio is 5 minutes from home was a huge bonus!  I had no excuses!

What was your past dieting experience?  What did you need to change about your dieting perspective? 

I’ve never really been one to truly diet, and we’ve always eaten well – no fast foods, no greasy, fried foods.  I thought I was more knowledgeable about food than I actually was.  I thought I was getting good nutrition into my body.  I assumed you lost weigh by reducing your intake. 

Can you give some insight on your eating habits prior to joining THINK?

From Jennifer, I discovered that I have been a restrictive eater for the past 20 years.  I thought I was eating enough!  But my body would never let me lose weight, especially fat, because it thought I was never going to nourish it properly.  I thought I was eating enough because I was eating the right foods (lean meats, veggies, fruits) and I never felt hungry.  I just couldn’t lose weight, especially that dreaded belly fat!  But I was only eating around 1100 calories a day.  And, no water.  I hate water!  So cutting back on my portions to try to lose that belly fat, was futile, but I didn’t realize it.  You lose weight by cutting calories, right?  Hmm.  Not so much!

How have your eating habits and mindset changed?

When Jennifer asked me to bump up my caloric intake by 500 calories a day, I thought I was going to gain a ton of weight.  And I did gain – a whole two pounds!  It was hard, because it seemed like so much food.  I’m a slow eater, so dinner was suddenly taking an hour.  And my portions had to look different – getting that 120 grams of protein seemed impossible at first.  I mean, how much chicken can one person eat?  And, having Ulcerative Colitis and Hashimoto’s, I had to get rid of the foods that were causing a lot of inflammation and bloating.  Cutting out gluten and processed tomatoes, specifically, have reduced my belly bloat, and just improved my overall health.  I’ve also dropped starchy foods – rice, pasta, potatoes – and substantially increased the amount of vegetables I eat with my meals now.  Now, 1600 calories doesn’t seem like so much.   In fact, I wouldn’t have trouble eating a lot more!  And I weigh everything now. I work hard to hit 120-130 grams of protein every day.  I’m not great with meal prep and planning (My hubby is our cook when he’s home) so that’s something that I need to work on.  And getting more variety in my diet is a challenge.  I still hate water and it’s a struggle to keep my intake up, but I average 48-64 ounces a day now.  Just need to hit that 64 ounces more consistently.  And, I recognize that BLTs (bites, licks and tastes) add up to way more calories than I would have ever thought!

I also needed to get my body balanced again.  After seeing Jessica, she switched my meds for thyroid issues.  She helped my balance my hormones, which finally allowed me to start losing belly fat. (See below.)

Now, I’m not focused on the scale.  After I started lifting, everything changed.  It was more about feeling good about myself.  More about empowering myself.  I like feeling strong.  I like that I can keep up in the gym with women 20 years younger than me.  I like that we all celebrate each other’s successes, whether it’s nailing a perfect back squat or something personal.  And I don’t allow myself to make excuses now, because I am the only one who can change me.  So, when I got a massive respiratory virus that made it difficult to breath for more than six months, I kept coming to the gym.  When I hurt my back, I kept coming.  When I’m tired and cranky, I keep coming.  Cause I know I’ll feel better when I’m done.

What have you come to realize or accept about the ways your lifestyle had to change?

First of all, no one can do it for me.  We always look for the quick fix, the latest and greatest fad.  But, it’s a lot of hard work, and I have to put the work in if I expect to see changes.  And I have to be patient and give it time. 

Second, gluten is not my friend.  If I want to splurge and have bread or pasta (still haven’t found any gluten-free stuff that I like), I have to understand that I’m going to get bloated and uncomfortable again for an extended period of time.  It’s not worth it, cause I’ve started the whole cycle of inflammatory response again, and it takes a long time for it to calm down.  So, it’s better just to avoid it. 

Third, I had to stop focusing on the scale and focus on how I felt.  Mentally and physically.  I had to shift my focus from losing weight to being a better version of myself.  And that has nothing to do with how much I weigh.  Fourth, I had to stop beating myself up if I slipped up.  It was just one day, start over again tomorrow.  Nobody is perfect.

 

What are 3 major Non-Scale Victories?

This is where the excitement comes in.

  1. I am no longer taking medication for blood pressure!
  2. I’ve gone from 36.5% body fat to 22.5%!  Woot! Woot! 
  3. I just had my dexa scan done and my result shocked me:
  • 2009 - 1.059
  • 2011 – 1.034
  • 2014 – 1.020
  • 2016 - .985
  • 2018 - 1.060!!!

Not only did I stop my bone loss, but I reversed it!  By 7.6%!  I’m still osteopenic, but I don’t have osteoporosis yet, and I’m headed in the opposite direction! That’s huge!

What is the change in your weight, clothes size and body composition?

So, it took me 7-8 months before I saw the scales move.  I’ve lost the 10 pounds that I wanted to, but I held onto my lean weight while doing it.  I shaved off 21.3 pounds of fat weight!

I’m down two clothes sizes.  I’ll happily see the scales move up, if I’m building more lean mass!

Jennifer, Cassie and Pamela have helped me get to where I want to be.  And I’m excited to see where I can go from here.  I’ll be 62 in April and I’m proud of what my body can do!  I’m proud to be taking care of myself and putting myself first without feeling guilty about it.  I’m a better version of me now. Because I’m feeling better about myself, I have more to offer others.  All the guidance, prodding and CARING have pushed me to this place.  Thanks so much ladies!



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