What It’s Really Like to Lose Weight As You Get Older

Happy mature woman in old jeans pant after losing weight

When I first became a personal trainer back in college in the early 2000s, I remember one of my first clients was this amazing woman in her late 30s who was going back to school after a rather glamorous life in Hollywood. She seriously had the best stories about all kinds of famous people and what they were really like. After every session, I’d leave with a fasinating nugget of truth from behind-the-scenes and she’d leave with a healthy glow. I loved training her. She was just cool. And she seemed to like me and the workouts, so, she made me feel cool, too.

Even when I look back now — more than a decade later — I remember one thing she said to me vividly. And it doesn’t have anything to do with celebrities.

She was warming up on an recumbent bike and we were rehashing how her last few days had been: her stress, her food, her workouts outside of our time together. It was late afternoon in winter, so the room was already darkening with highlights of the blue glow from the TV on our faces. And then she dropped this — now bombshell, then “huh” — piece of knowledge on me. This obviously isn’t verbatim, but this is how my unsuspecting 20-something self heard it:

“It used to be pretty easy in my 20s and early 30s. If my pants got a little snug, I’d pay a little more attention to eating healthier and cut out the crap, drink less and/or work out a little harder. Within a day or two, I’d be back to normal. Now that I’m older though, it’s like everything is just harder. And slower. It takes more effort for longer to see a change.”

At the time I thought: Self, you should remember this. At one point you will notice this, too.

And here I am!

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I’ll be 36 this January. And while I don’t really feel that much different on the inside than I did 10 years ago (in fact, I might actually be fitter, which is pretty cool, and I certainly have more confidence, which is always a good thing), I certainly have noticed that her above statement is true. My body responds to changes much, much more slowly than it used to. And, even though I love myself at any size, it’s just kind of weird when all of a sudden your body stops doing what it used to do.

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I’m sure that stress and sleepless nights (hello, mom life) have caused some of this, but I think getting older has, too. All the research is there on aging and metabolism and it’s not like I have a time machine, so.

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But instead of getting frustrated or buying a whole new wardrobe (because jeans shopping is THE WORST), I found something else. I took our own 10 in 4 Weight-Loss Challenge with Dave Smith and it kind of changed everything. I found ways that my “clean eating” hadn’t been so, um, clean and places where moderation had gone a little too far on the “fun” spectrum (do I really need a glass or two of wine and a piece of chocolate every night?). I became better at planning my meals and snacks, I scheduled my workouts and off days (you need those, too!), and I began meditating six days a week for 12 minutes.

And, what do you know, results happened. Everything started fitting well again, and I had more energy. It took almost a full month to see the full effects, but it happened. And it feels great.

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Even better, almost two months out from the end of 10 in 4, I’ve maintained a lot of those healthier habits and haven’t felt old time creeping up on me again. With just a little more awareness, a system to be accountable to and some planning, I’ve broken through and found what really works for me.

Now, if only I could go back in time and share it with my Hollywood client!

Interested in learning about the 10 in 4 Challenge with FBG and Dave Smith? Get on the waiting list here. It’s weight-loss and results with LOVE! Because fit bottoms come in all shapes and sizes. —Jenn

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  1. It’s no easier for a guy. Since I had 2 hip surgeries a couple years ago my weight hovered around 200 – which is a lot for me. And every pound puts 3 pounds of force on my hips, so i really wanted to lose at least 10 pounds. I can’t work out like I used to, and the weight stuck around. To battle my hip arthritis I cut down on grains, dairy, and sugar – and within a few months I dropped 15 pounds, my college rugby weight! No diet in the traditional sense, I still eat a lot. But now that I eat different foods it finally worked!