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    Lack of motivation and worried!
    Anon_138320 posted:
    Female 50, extremely sedentary lifestyle due to work and basic lack of motivation. Wt. 157 (have lost from 175) ht. 5'7" No muscle tone or energy for several years, seems to be worsening I think because I do not excercise. The most I do is walk daily and get up and down to do minimal tasks around the house.

    I am a little worried at my lack of motivation or 'laziness' to be truthful. I don't care for an involved regime but how do I get myself back to where I have energy to do the things I once did with ease? I take no medications except BCP and a multivitamin daily. I sleep far more than I think is normal and often still find myself feeling tired.

    What worries me is that I don't have a lot of strength, upper body mostly. I don't smoke. I recently lost weight (again after doing so several times in past years). I get upwards of 175 - 180 and usually work to drop to 140, this time likely 145-150. I am currently 158. My height 5'7.

    There were periods when I lost weight I would make using our treadmil a daily routine for half hour at a brisk walk and incline. So easy to get attached and equally as easy to quit. I haven't really exercised much in my life and I would really like to know if I will ever get back the energy I once had, at least I could keep a nice house, today I do the minimal.

    Any helpful suggestions to help me get motivated? I don't do gyms, I am a private person. I just need motivation, my energy is lacking and I know I need to move! Is walking enough? How about my upper body strength? Please advise! Nothing too rigorous or I'll burn out to be honest.

    brunosbud responded:
    First, ask yourself, how many women do you know over 50 who exercise, consistently? I don't know about you, but my guess is 2 in 10? So, don't beat yourself up.

    Second, how many women do you know understand the importance of sound nutrition and have a solid understanding of how foods can not only cure disease but cause disease (heart disease, Type 2 Diabetes, hypertension, etc), as well? I'd say, maybe same, 2 in 10.

    Third, how many women do you know, at any age, understand the relationship between weight gain and insulin resistance (type 2 diabetes) or conditions like osteoporosis or depression? My guess? Probably very few.

    Point is this, if you don't eat right and exercise, regularly, you create a vicious cycle that feeds, itself...a self-fulfilling prophesy. In other words, your energy level and motivation is entirely reflective of your lifestyle and understanding of how the human body works. And, sorry, no "tip" can change this. You can't give something, you don't have; You can't gain something, you don't invest. This is not easy and it certainly isn't common sense. I'm 56, my wife is 58 and we hear ya...
    Anon_138320 replied to brunosbud's response:
    Thanks Bruno,

    I guess ignorance is no real excuse, it's my lack of willingness to do something to change things. I know it is totally up to me and no one can do it for me. Your words ring very true unfortunately and it's so easy just to not worry about it yet I've come to a point in my life I'm either going to learn what's most important or risk the consequences which I am beginning to see and feel.

    Recently my better half was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes so we have begun to make a real effort to change our diet according to doctor's orders and the fact that it will affect his longevity either way by what we choose.

    I feel I eat better and less (meaning we were both very bad about carbs and knew it) yet he walks daily and I don't. I am wondering if walking is enough? I am wondering how to get my energy levels back, what is it I truly need to change or 'invest' as you call it to get on track, I mean what amount of exercise do I need to be doing? Can someone help with that?
    I truly and sincerely appreciate your direct and honest post. I do know you are right in saying I won't get out what I don't put in. I just don't see myself becoming overly crazy about exercise and would really like to know what would be most helpful in my case. I will make changes, I just need direction as to which changes will help me most.

    hrsaemp replied to Anon_138320's response:

    Instead of thinking of healthy eating and exercise in terms of what you should be doing and then not doing it and making yourself feel guilty, why don't you think of it in terms of encouraging your husband by eating the same healthy food he does and keep him company when he walks. You can reap the benefits and not worry about some "optimum" level of exercise. Every little bit helps and anything is really better than nothing.

    There is a lot of good, free material published by the Federal government about nutrition and exercise if you decide that you are interested. One helpful booklet, if you is called My Bright Future: Physical Activity and Healthy Eating Tool for Adult Women (February 2013). Here is information about it
    This booklet contains questionnaires and may be helpful to you in terms of goal setting.
    brunosbud replied to Anon_138320's response:
    I have type 2 diabetes, myself. This disease has taken the lives of half my family. I control this disease (A1C : 5.4), solely, through diet an exercise; no drugs. I'm a recovering alcoholic, smoked for over 25 years before quitting and was 40 pounds heavier than I weigh, now. Last July, I hiked Mt Whitney Trail (22 miles) with my son and daughter, sunup to sundown.

    The human body can not only repair, it will forgive all the insult, neglect and every excuse heaped upon it. In fact, if properly cared for, it can reverse aging!
    I urge, all, to read Yuichiro Miura's incredible story: The first 80 year old to scale Everest.

    What was his "motivation", you wonder? He just wanted to lose a little weight...
    RobertJason responded:
    The thing about being a woman, or even human, is that life brings both good and bad, and with the bad—the things however little or small that create pain—comes the desire for change. One of our patients' stories speaks to this point, and how to deal with these goals effectively in order to build the life she wanted to live.
    At the age of 30, this woman had encountered a difficult point in her life, and felt trapped, as though she would be stuck this way perpetually. She was in an unhappy marriage, and had personal concerns as well. While emotional topics to tackle, she made a list of everything in her life that she didn't like or did not fit into the well-rounded life she envisioned for herself, remembering the nondenominational Serenity Prayer for inspiration:
    God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
    courage to change the things I can;
    and wisdom to know the difference.
    With those wise words in mind, her list of dislikes began: 1. The man she was married to, 2. Her hair cut and color, 3. The size of her breasts, 4. The time she didn't take to take care of herself (spiritually, physically, mentally, emotionally), etc. etc.
    After creating her list, which was sizable, she truly believed that if she did all these things, to help her create a life emphasizing things she truly cared about (e.g., meaningful relationships, self-respect) that she would be happy. While her list was too overwhelming to address all at once, she took on each item on her list in a methodical manner—small things one at a time, and bigger things (e.g., surgical procedures) one per year. Despite the adversity and pain she faced when she began her journey, after she had slowly and thoroughly completed her list, she had built the life she had envisioned, bringing her amazing happiness and peace. Of course, she still had life's obstacles to address—rough days, difficult life events, and the pain that comes with that—but overall, she was very happy.
    Now, how do you have the life you envision become your reality? Follow this intelligent woman's steps:
    1. Recognize you're stuck: Observe and describe your current situation to increase your awareness of your present state. This will help you formulate your list later.
    2. Visualization: Picture your life the way you want it to be. Notice what is really important to you, or what you value (e.g., family, health, beauty, relationships, etc.), and what that those look like for you.
    3. Plan of action: Based on steps 1 and 2, make a list of all your goals and things you want to change, and committing to working toward acceptance of those things you can't. Prioritize based on your values, be specific and clarify the specific small steps you need to take to reach each goal.
    4. Systematically follow-through to build the best life you can for you: Slowly, methodically go through your list. Take goals in stride, keeping in mind what is reasonable for you to take on at any given time. Note the level of resources (e.g., energy, time, money, etc.) required for each, take on what you can for your current resources available, and follow-through with each small piece you take on. You can do it!

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