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Staying Slim Over 60

One of the questions I’m often asked by my readers is how I stay fit and trim. Let me dispel the “fit” myth immediately. I’m not fit and shame on me. My husband dragged me to join his gym last year and you can count on one hand the number of times I’ve been there.

You’d think that cracking a hip and being diagnosed with Osteopenia would motivate me to do weight-bearing exercises to improve it. Nope, not happened yet and it’s really dumb of me. I have upped my calcium/magnesium consumption but that alone is not enough to ensure my bones are healthy, and I know it.

I have a treadmill in the garage that used to get a lot of use but surrounded by boxes and junk, it doesn’t seem appealing so it hardly ever never gets used.

Exercise doesn’t keep me slim so it must be what I eat or rather… don’t eat. About 10 years ago I stopped eating all forms of meat. No pork, steak or chicken of any kind. After reading about meat industry practices I could no longer support it and decided I didn’t want that violence in my body. Have I missed it? You bet! There’s nothing quite as fabulous as the taste of bacon. I do eat fish.

veggie fritatta
Veggie Fritatta

I also try to eat my meals on a sandwich plate which limits how much I can serve myself.

I discovered that I was gluten intolerant a few years ago. That cuts out a lot of empty calories. There are many replacements for products made with gluten but I haven’t found a substitute for croissants or french bread worth eating yet! Do I miss them, yes! But I’d rather feel good than eating something tasty that makes me feel terrible later.

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I’m heading out to drag my lazy bones around the block today. I’m also planning to cancel my gym membership because if I hate the place, and I do, I’ll never go there so I’m wasting my money. I either need to find a place I do enjoy or build exercise into my daily activities.

As a side note, my ability to chew has been seriously curtailed during the last month because of this dumb flipper in my mouth. I’ve lost a few pounds and my pants fit me better but I would never recommend knocking your front tooth out as a weight loss strategy 🙂

How do you get exercise and how do you motivate yourself? Any suggestions welcome!

Thanks for reading and have a great day!

 

 

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114 Comments

  1. I have two dogs that insist on a walk each morning, that’s my exercise. I also struggled with bread but found I had no troubles when visiting relatives in europe so each trip I come home with flour and bread mixes.

    1. My little dog is a lazy old girl who sniffs and dawdles which is no exercise for me at all. Perhaps I need to get a Great Dane!

  2. Being only 4’11” every ounce shows! Recently I’ve gained a few pounds and don’t feel.good.about how I look and how my clothes fit. I love the book “French Women Don’t Get Fat”so will probably read it again and try to get my game on. Patience is not one of my virtues, making weight loss frustrating. For exercise I do a combination of cardio and weights (which would have more effect if I did it daily!). Thanks so much for this post – it’s just what I needed to motivate me!

    1. I haven’t read that book but think I will get it. At 4’11” you have no room for any additional pounds so I bet you really struggle. That really stinks. This post and my readers comments has really, really motivated me so thanks for sharing:)

  3. Hi Jennifer, I love your honesty about exercise. You feel exactly asI do! I know I should do more but I just don’t like it! What I do right though is eat well. I was getting sloppy this fall and gained some pounds…I reeled it in and lost 10 lbs by portion control and better choices. I am 55 (56 soon), and 115 lbs. I do fir in a 30 min walk on most days and a new puppy keeps me motivated as he loves to walk. I also have osteoporosis so I know I should do weight bearing workouts but I don’t. Alas, I just have to accept that I am happy and doing the best for me. I truly don’t want to keep having this mental battle of what I SHOULD be doing. I am being the best ME. Some people workout to indulge…not sure that is wise, really my best health choice is to control my weight and I feel good about that. I enjoy your posts, the fitting room fashion tips are great!! Thank you.

    1. I love your attitude, Pamela. I’m doing the best I can too, but should be at least walking a bit. I will never run a marathon because of my hip, but I do want to have stronger core muscles and better posture. At 60 I want to enjoy my life but I also want to be strong enough to continue picking up my grandson:)

  4. I’m with you on the gym and now don’t feel so guilty. Weight is a struggle. I limit bread and cake as they don’t suit my digestion. I do eat meat 2 times a week or so. I still have to make an effort to watch calories though.

    1. If the gym isn’t my thing, which it doesn’t seem to be, I am determined to find an alternative!!

  5. I cut out flour products (breads/sweets), lost weight and hardly ever miss them. That’s not to say, I don’t have the occasional sweet but it has to be worth it. Also, I try to have some protein with each meal.
    I walk every morning for 5 km, making it a priority. I find Zumba to be fun and a great way to exercise. Have you tried it?

    1. Isn’t it funny how we can cut large portions out of our diet and never look back? Until someone puts warm French bread in front of me. Your walking sounds like what I will try to incorporate into my day. Simple and no easy excuses. I have not tried Zumba but they do have local classes. Hmmm

  6. Good morning, I love your blog and read every one of them the minute you post. I don’t know how old you are, but when you turn 65, you are entitled to Medicare benefits look into a plan with SilverSnickers. I did a post on my new best friend. 40 minutes three days a week. I am in and out of there in a heartbeat. Thank goodness you are going to have an implant.Love your blog. Link to http://bettycozycorner.blogspot.com/2017/04/shout-out-to-silversneakers.html this was my solution.
    Joyously,
    Betty

    1. Thanks Betty! My husband is also a member of silver sneakers at a gym. He gets his membership for free! I did take a class with him once. It was pretty good but extremely crowded! I have to stop being such a baby about it

  7. I could write volumes about this, but needless to say, it is obvious looking at me that I still struggle with emotional eating. However, I am on a healthier path than ever before. My strength training has made such a difference in my life.
    Now, if I could only get the word SUGAR out of my vocabulary, then I think I could register some big losses…which I really need to do.

    1. You’re so good about getter my up early to go to your gym. I’m proud of you Pam! I’m lucky to have slayed my sweet tooth. I just don’t but it so it’s not available.

  8. Jennifer, my husband dragged me to the gym too and I just do NOT like it. It is everything I avoid…smelly, sweaty, energetic, loud peppy people, etc.. Recently I found Tai Chi and so far it is the best thing for me…and it’s not in a gym! I do it in our “Enrichment Center” which is beautiful one time a week. Then I practice at home, in my garden, or porch each day. It is civilized, calming, and helps my balance, flexibility, and breathing. Just what I have needed. Note: I do sweat and don’t like it, but I’m hoping it gets less as my fitness improves. Love your blog! Thanks…and blessings my friend…

    1. I know nothing about Tai Chi but I love its description! I’m with you on the sweaty smell loud gym! I hate it. I bet my local
      Neighborhood center offers things too. I’ll see what I can find. Like you, I want to enjoy something enough to do it at home. Thanks for being here and sharing my friend xx

  9. Right there with you Jennifer. Exercise. I get all motivated and then need to have a skin cancer removed. I’ve got three on my face right now and I’m in the middle of having three surgeries. Then I REALLY need to lose weight. I guess I’ll try Weight Watchers. How do you know if you have a Guten intolerance?
    PS. I do have osteoporosis and now take Proia shots. Son of a gun they work. You might look into those.If you find a weight loss miracle let me know.

    1. I’m so sorry about the skin cancer Sandra. That’s scary but I’m glad you’re in too if it. I do know WW works so you might really like it. Give it a shot!! Xx

  10. How on earth did the FRONT tooth ESCAPE????
    I had noticed as well you look thinner in the photos…….ALL THAT TRAVELING will do it TOO!
    Let’s hope I can shed a few pounds as well……………
    I think WALKING is the BEST EXERCISE for the overall BODY!YOU do that WELL, with that little MUNCHKIN!

  11. Last October my toes began to hurt, thereby stopping my walking habit. I went to the gym, found a personal trainer in my age group to give me an introduction and began a split routine (upper body one day, lower the next). I spend 75 minutes a day, six days a week in the gym. At first I thought I was having injuries, but it was just dormant muscles now firing. Three months later people began commenting on my improved posture. My shoulders are now back and down. My forward head posture is gone. I no longer see the chiropractor for my back and hips. My body moves so much more easily. I keep records on my times, weights, reps, etc. I also do cardio on the elliptical and stretching. I get huge intrinsic rewards in addition to physical rewards. There are many older people in my gym in the morning. They, too, motivate me.

    1. That sounds terrific, Linlee. You mentioned forward head posture which I am getting and it drives me crazy!! I am so impressed with my readers exercise routines. It makes me realize even more that I have got to get moving…no excuse cuts it!! Thanks for sharing.

  12. I struggle with motivation, too, and have also cancelled gym memberships for non-use. So you’re not alone there. If I enjoy something, I’m more likely to do it, and I do like biking and walking. My best bet lately is walking for an hour and listening to podcasts. If I have something interesting to listen to, I’m not as conscious of the time passing and tend to actually get my steps in.

    AND, I know I should be doing strength training, but that’s fallen off with various injuries in the past couple of years followed by PT, which I’m slacker at once the appointments end. It’s harder the older I get, so like you I find I have to eat less just to maintain. Grrr.

    1. Thanks for mentioning the podcasts, Laurel! I have a very lazy dog who wanders and sniffs so I get no exercise with her. I think I will take her for a stroll, then drop her home and start going for long, brisk walks and make it about and or me! Aging has its challenges, that’s for sure.

  13. If only our good intentions could keep us fit and slender! I also joined a gym, a great one for people serious about working out, thought that would be more motivation for me, but I still didn’t go. My best exercise is my garden, I do not have a gardening service so I mow the lawn, trim bushes, weed and tidying whatever I can. There are times though I need help from my husband with the big stuff. Afterwards, I can look around the yard see what I accomplished. As we age, health issues seem to increase, causing us to change/modify how we do things. Regardless how we exercise, staying in motion is the key.

    1. Staying in motion is the key, Roxanne. I think I hate the gym so much because it feels forced. Gardening would have those tangible results you get to appreciate every time you look at it. I may give gardening a try, but my plants will hate it:)

  14. Both concern for my health and vanity are my motivation for working out. I go to the gym with my husband – not very often but I really enjoy it when I do! I also have a treadmill that I use about 2-3 times per week and we have free weights at home that I use. Now that it is finally Spring I am doing major gardening outside that replaces my work out time.

    I am 56 and in relatively good shape.

    1. Good for you Karen! I need to take a page out of your book and get on with!! I actually have free weights under my bed…I’ve got to drag them out!

  15. We burn fewer calories as we get older. So we have to eat smaller portions. I looked at what I eat, and it’s very healthy, with sweets only once or twice a month. But I need to reduce portion size. When we eat with friends, I realize they never take seconds, or if we’re at a restaurant, they order less and don’t finish, whereas I eat every last delicious bite.
    That said, I have always exercised, since college. I don’t enjoy running or riding the stationary bike, but an hour a day is so worth feeling good and energetic. I also do Pilates twice a week (and don’t run those days), which is great for getting rid of back pain. When I run/walk/bike (indoors!) I listen to podcasts, which make the time go by fast.

    1. Podcasts are a great idea!! Portions in the US are insane. There’s no reason for me to eat the same amount as my husband who is 12″ taller than me. That’s why I try to eat on a sandwich plate. It looks like more good than it actually is:)

  16. You might like Pilates for exercise. I’m 79 and have done it for about 13 years. You don’t have to be co-ordinated or good in any sport. It builds up your core, improves your posture. My instructor also has me do things to improve balance.

    It’s a winner!

    1. Do you do group classes or individual ones on the reformer? I’ve heard great things about it and am intrigued. It’s not inexpensive but it sounds like a winner!

      1. I have also done Pilates for a long time .I’m 69 and have taken a few classes. I bought a reformer about 13 years ago from QVC and DVD’s come with it ( they caal there reformer Areopilates). I love it and think everyone over 40 should be doing it.I also hate to go to the gym and get ready drive there ect.With pilates I do this anytime I want during the day and even some here and some there during my day.I’m so much more limber when I use it and when I get lazy and don’t for a while you really can tell the difference.I think you’ll find the best deals on QVC but it’s made by Stamina and you could also check there website.

      2. Thank you, Sandi!! I would love to check it out. Things at home are much more likely to be used by me:)

      3. I work with one partner so is a little less expensive than a private lesson. Would suggest you take a couple of private lessons to see if you like it. After that group classes should be fine.

      4. Thanks so much! There are 3 places in the next town over so I think I will take some tours and check them out.

  17. Jennifer, my functional medicine doctor suggested I try French flour. France does not allow GMOs and the flour does contain gluten but it isn’t harmful to the gut. A gluten-intolerant relative ate his weight in bread in France recently. It is available on Amazon – Francine Farine de Ble Tous Usages. I use that flour for general uses like cookies. Also, for bread-baking, lepicerie.com the T55 flour.

    1. That’s fascinating Terry! I’m not the least surprised to hear this! The American food industry has destroyed many great products. I used butter from Ireland because it’s superior so now I’ll check into French flour!

  18. I’ve exercised consistently since my 20’s (I’m 63) and it’s a major part of my daily life. I keep motivated by changing the routines – I’ve done everything from high impact aerobics, spinning, weights, pilates, yoga, running, cycling, had gym memberships and also have a home workout area in the basement. When my motivation is waning I change my workout or buy a new workout DVD or new workout gear. Now that the warm weather has arrived I do more outdoors – cycling, golf and hiking (for cardio) and I continue with core training and upper body weights. The key is to find something you enjoy and it will soon become a habit. And the bonus – you can indulge in that slice of caramel pecan cheesecake guilt free 🙂

    1. That’s awesome Yvonne!! I want to be like you. It sounds like you’re doing it right. You’ve made it priority and it’s paying off. Thanks for the motivation. It can be done. I just need to make it a priority

  19. You are not alone in your distaste for exercising. ha! My husband uses the treadmill in the winter when it is too cold to walk and nags me to use it. ugh! We are busy right now with major garden cleanup, planting, and general maintenance. That should count for exercise, right? We eat beef and chicken in moderation, only grass fed and organic. The way wheat is raised and harvested in this country renders it basically useless as a food stuff. Back to the inquiries from your readers regarding your slim and trim self, you definitely look just that…slim and trim.

    1. Gardening definitely counts as exercise! My black thumb means I don’t do too much of it. I agree about wheat today. It in no way resembles “the staff of life” our society started eating. I try to only eat organic products. It’s expensive but I feel it’s worth it.

  20. We raise beef for a living so I’m not giving it up! LOL! I am a Weight Watcher member and have been for 20 some years. This program works for me as long as I “work” it. Food is my “drug” of choice so I need a program to keep me accountable. I have two friends that I walk with most week days and we log 2 miles on a outdoor track in the summer and when the weather turns nasty our local school opens the gymnasium for people to use. I spend most of my winter in Tucson AZ so I walk there. I know I need to add some weights to my walking program also. Living on a ranch I get quite a lot of outside time so that helps me too. Your blog and Insta are some of my favorites. You connect with your readers. Have a great summer.

    1. Thank you so much Bonna!Having friends to motivate and urge you on is a great idea!! You sounds really motivated. Bravo. I adore WW. The program really works.

  21. I love your blog. It gives me a boost of fun and positive attitude. Staying “fit” and within my target weight is an ongoing goal. I like to get right out of the house very early in the morning to walk 20-30 minutes in my neighborhood. I feel better and watching what I eat helps too. Grass fed beef, chicken, fish, lots of salads, less bread. But when I lapse because I am too busy, tired, or stressed, I try to get back on target remembering that’s when good habits help me the most. Keep on blogging! Thank you!

    1. I love the idea of getting out first thing in the morning. No shower or makeup, just sunscreen and sneakers! WW is an awesom program. I lost 20 pounds on it after my daughter was born:) it works! I agree, Betsy, good habits keep us going.

  22. Jennifer, I would say your beautiful skin and “glow”make it obvious that you eat well. Two things I’ve really enjoyed and benefited from are my yoga classes – and I’m not “stretchy” in the least. In fact, that flexibility and mindfulness with breath are two of the reasons I keep going and enjoying, as well as my Pilates studio membership have both been boons to my “fitness.” And I walk morning and evening with bike rides thrown in a couple times a week. Last year for my birthday I got an Apple watch which tracks my steps every day, along with other movement and it’s actually been kind of fun and motivating to reach my (or try to reach my) 10 thousand steps a day. Like some days I’m close but not there and I’ll step it up, literally, to get there.

    1. I have a girlfriend who swears by pilates. She goes 3 times a week and cycles in between. I must say she looks amazing. Ten thousand steps is amazing, Barbara! Thanks for the motivation!!

  23. I used to be so good about working out, but I’ve definitely gotten out of the habit. We will go for walks occasionally–but not today because it snowed—eeek!!
    I do find that the food we eat makes such a huge difference. We try to eat clean most of the time and since I retired I’ve dropped almost 10 pounds!
    Jodie

    1. Congrats, Jody! 10 pounds is substantial. Eating healthy food just feels so good, doesn’t it?

  24. I really appreciate your honesty about not being fit! I struggle with what I know I should do and what I DO do to be fit. Walking seems to do the trick for me but it’s hard to stick to a regular schedule, especially when the weather is not good. I think it’s like that for a lot of women. Over the past year or so I’ve gained 10 pounds … I will turn 60 next year and I’d like to keep my weight under control. Thanks for these helpful tips!

    1. Walking does seem the simplest, Beth! I have the shoes and the lazy dog to drag with me so there really is no excuse for me.

  25. Thanks for your honesty! I think it is important to find exetcise that you really like. I like dancing ( check out NIA), rowing, swimming in the ocean, Pilates and yoga. I miss it if I don’t do it. However, I think diet is more important for weight maintenance. I am at least vegetarian, preferably vegan at home, but struggle with most menopausal weight gain and my sweet tooth. Kind of wish I were gluten intolerant!

    1. I used to adore doing ballet but there are no classes for women my age and I don’t want to stand at a bar full of 25 year olds. Bad excuse, I know. I also enjoyed yoga but haven’t made the effort to find a nice one. Bad of me and I need to knock this off!! Gluten intolerance is the pits but you could try cutting it out and seeing if you feel better:)

  26. Hi Jennifer,
    I also have been very inconsistent about exercise but now in my 60’s, I’m more concerned about my long term health. I began going to a personal trainer 2x a week in February & oh my! What a great motivator she has been! She also has given me eating advice so I’ve lost inches & 9 lbs so far. What I love about her is that she gives me all types of exercises I can squeeze in at home. Plus I dug out our treadmill. I’m feeling great! Love your blog!

    1. That’s a success story, Judy!! I did try a personal trainer twice. They were both men and I couldn’t feel connected or interested. Perhaps I’m sexist and need to find a woman! Congrats on your 9-pound loss. That’s awesome!

  27. I appreciate your blog and also the effort/struggle to stay slim and fit. I like to have a project every year. They have included 2 daughters’ weddings, kids moving into new homes and the birth of our first grand baby over the past few years. This year my project was…. ME! I decided it was time to focus on healthy eating, moving and sleeping. In January I stopped purchasing processed foods and brought only whole foods – fruits/veggies/nuts/eggs/meats/fish/quality cheese and 85% dark chocolate – into our home. (It’s just hubby and me at home.) We started eating most meals at home. I also signed both of us up for twice weekly sessions with a personal trainer for weight training. (Notice how Project ME morphed into Project WE?!!) Our weight training sessions are only 30 minutes long, twice a week. They are intense but of short duration. And they’re appointments which makes them hard/impossible to skip. Finally I made it a goal to get at least 7 hours of sleep/night. I don’t always achieve that, but at least I try. Since January I have lost 22 pounds and have gained muscle definition in my arms and legs. I feel ever so much better – and so does hubby. I really think that appointments for resistance training is key. Find a trainer that you can connect with, someone who is fun and motivating, but also challenging. Then make those appointments so that you show up.

    1. Congratulations Barb! I love how it became we:) Appointments are very hard to resist, I agree. I think a gym with less testosterone and odor of sweat in the air might appeal to me more. They’re more costly but worth it if I am motivated to go! I gave up processed food years ago and have never looked back. Talk about empty calories!

  28. I have made exercise a part of my life for years now. In fact, running my first half-marathon next weekend. It is the hardest thing I do. I work it into my day, hence up at 5:30 am to be in the gym by 6 am to get that part of my day done before work. I often tell people that I have the exercise thing down pat….it is the eating and drinking wine thing that I need help with. It is a mental thing…Nike had it right in the logo years ago…Just Do It. It has to become part of your day, a routine. Good luck with finding something you will love to do that will keep you coming back.

    1. Wow Wendy! That’s awesome. I can’t imagine running a marathon. Good for you! I know I just need to parent myself and Just Do It so I am enjoying this encouragement. Thanks!!

  29. I appreciate your candor and am enjoying your blog. Since you have removed most meats from your diet. what are you eating to get enough protein in your diet? I am interested. Thank you.

    1. I eat plenty of fish and high protein dairy products. I also have a protein shake each morning made with nonfat yogurt, berries and protein powder. Beans have protien as do many veggies in small amounts, so I think I am getting pots of protien, Linda.

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