How to Lose Weight, Get out of Debt and Slow Aging After 40
This post was most recently updated on May 22nd, 2019
When I got in my 40s I started to fight back on 3 things that were affecting my quality of life:
These are challenges that I’ve either finally overcome or I’m still working on. To be honest, I still struggle with weight the most (but it used to be debt was the hardest challenge). At 47 years old and I think I look younger than my actual age. How old I look seems to depend on the day. What I ate, my stress levels and how much sleep I got affect me more.
Each of these challenges can seem big and overwhelming. They were to me.
Hopefully my experience can help you and I’d love to get your feedback about how you fight these challenges in your life (and what’s worked).
Even though we made decent money I still had credit card debt, which was frustrating, especially because I’m married to a financial planner! I know better and I shouldn’t be in debt. I wanted to be the person who paid off the credit card faithfully every month and planned ahead for emergencies or future expenses.
I’m at that point and have been for long enough that I feel I’ve created new habits. First, I increased my income. Second, I started to track expenses and mileage better. The app Everlance helps me track spending and miles for my business. I paid off my car and plan to drive it for several more years. Today, I’m investing the amount I was paying for my car in a car payment into retirement every month.
All of this has helped my peace of mind. I no longer dread tax day or even tax payments, because I’m more organized and prepared.
I’ve been debt free for almost a year now and I feel confident I can continue to pay off credit card purchases in full each month, save for retirement, have savings and continue to be debt free. Huge victory! Hooray!
There are certain things that made you look and feel older. Your teeth give it away because they don’t stay white. You get wrinkles. Your hair gets dry and frizzy. Skin starts to sag and you get bags under your eyes.
I was already exercising but I stepped it up on the other areas. Exercise is my #1 tip for staying younger because it takes off stress and keeps you healthier overall.
Other than that, I got braces to straighten my teeth. My teeth were getting more crowded and crooked as I got older. To combat my teeth looking older, I started using a whitening toothpaste that really works (it’s been a few years now and the one time I stopped using it I noticed after a few months and started buying it again).
For my skin, I make sure to use anti aging cleanser, moisturizer and always apply sunscreen with SPF. I’m still working on my hair (see this post: The Hair Care and Hair Spray Dominique Sachse Uses) and feel like it’s my biggest weakness here. Some days it looks great, other days it’s more brittle and difficult.
Update: my best dry hair tip is to go longer between washes and use very little shampoo when you do wash. Mostly use conditioner. This has made a huge difference. My hair looks thicker and fuller no matter what product I use.
Despite everything, it’s still hard for me to find a picture of myself I like, but in an effort to be real, I’m sharing some. The light in the photo below shows more wrinkles than I wish. Although you can’t really see it and I don’t have a lot yet, the gray hair too. It seems like not getting enough sleep shows way more than it used to.
Weight loss is the final big challenge that I haven’t been able to conquer yet. Over the years I’ve put on almost 20 lbs so my new normal weight is higher than I want. Despite regular and heavy exercise I wasn’t dropping the weight. The reason? My diet. We go to Vegas a lot and when we’re there part of the fun is not cooking and eating out. However, it also means a lot of calories that aren’t offset even with all of the walking.
With a higher income that helped me get out of debt, we eat out more. I crave chocolate and sugar most days (but that is getting better as you’ll see at the end). While I love healthy food I also love dessert and treats.
Like a lot of women I tried so many things to help. They all worked to some degree. The problem is I couldn’t maintain them longer than about 3 months. That’s the point I get stuck or bored and stop.
My efforts hit a new low when I our health care provider gave us online access to our medical records for the past 4 years. When looking mine over I saw a disturbing trend. It showed that every single time I was weighed at the doctor’s office, my weight was the exact same!!!
That means my weight hadn’t budged at all long term despite all of my efforts to lose weight. Despite the hours of exercise and the cost (up to $500 a month with Isagenix for example). I did spin an hour a day for at least 4 days a week for a year. I did intermittent fasting for a year, got a trainer and so much more. Stephen laughed at the diet of the month that I was trying and all the stuff I bought to follow it. To me it wasn’t so funny.
So why was I doing all of this when it didn’t matter because eventually I’d go back to where I started?? At this point I gave up and thought this is just the weight I’m going to be. I’m going to stop killing myself over this when every pound is a struggle and it always comes back anyway.
Fast forward to a phone call I got from a company to try their weight loss products. Honestly I wasn’t terribly interested but open to giving it a try. After paying so much for other products, I didn’t think it would help.
For the next few months I tried to follow the advice and information they gave me and it was really up and down. Several times I wanted to say let’s stop but I didn’t because I felt bad about abandoning this far in. I didn’t follow the program very well and saw little results. Lots of trial and a lot of error. However, there’s progress!
The single biggest asset was to take a genetics weight loss test because it made me stop exercising too often or hard. I know how to eat (my macros) and what supplements can help me. This saves me a lot of grief trying to guess, plus I spend less at OrangeTheory Fitness because I’m on the 2 x a week plan. After all, the test told me I only need 4 hours of more intense workouts a week. So I saved money and time.
How to Lose Weight After 40
My struggle to lose weight all changed with one thing: hope. I haven’t reached my goals yet and it’s slower than I want but I believe I can because I’m finally starting to lose weight after years of trying. I’m not here to tell you that it worked like a miracle or that I’m a coveted sizes 6 or 8 (although I can fit in some size 8s). My scale hasn’t changed a lot but my clothes are fitting better or even lose! Mentally that’s doing a lot for me and I want to keep going.
Hopefully this has been helpful for you. We’re all different and our bodies respond differently. I’m curious, how have you overcome these common challenges or what ones are you still working on? Or maybe you have other challenges. Either way, I’d love to hear about it in the comments.