I have noticed that whenever my husband decides to cut back on calories the teensiest bit the pounds start dropping off him. While, since I’ve gotten older, I could eat only 1 pretzel a day and the numbers on the scale do not vary by one ounce. I have done a “scientific survey” of a couple of my women friends and they have had similar experiences.
I have read many articles on weight loss that list reasons why older women have trouble losing weight. It can be hormonal. The thyroid gland may be wearing out or it can be an increase of the stress hormone cortisol. Or I could be eating too much gluten or high fructose corn syrup. I have read even the fat cells themselves resist being eliminated when they notice you are not eating as much and that epigenetics may be a factor.
The way I understand how epigenetics works is that something that happened to my ancestors may influence what my body is doing today. Like, if your ancestors experienced famine it can affect how your body reacts to what it perceives as starvation. I have been thinking that, because I am half Irish, some of my ancestors may have gone through the Potato Famine and, therefore , whenever I try to reduce my caloric intake my fat cells start screaming “FAMINE!, FAMINE!” and my metabolism shuts down.
Speaking of metabolism, according to Web MD our metabolism decreases by 5 percent a decade after the age of 40. So by the time I am 70 my metabolism will be down by 15 per cent. Then I will probably have to live on half a pretzel a day.
Another discouraging thing is where my body has decided to deposit the fat as I have gotten older. My body seems to prefer storing a lot of the fat in my upper arms. That is why I always wear things that have ¾ sleeves or longer. Except for occasional lapses like my son’s wedding when I wore a sleeveless gown. Well, it was July in Southern California. But when I saw the wedding pictures I thought “Why did the photographer take that picture that showed my arms like that? And I should have worn one of those dresses with the filmy ¾ sleeves or a wrap even if it was 80 degrees in the shade.” My mother had big arms when she got older so it is probably hereditary.
You would think that when I diet that I would lose some of that weight off my arms. What happens is, I lose weight off my face and it is replaced by wrinkles so that I look like a prune. My doctor said the face is where people lose weight first. I told him I do not like the look.
Well maybe it’s time to run up the white flag and accept the fact that I am not going to win this fight and learn to accept the heavier version of my former self. Don’t get me wrong, I am still planning to eat healthy. But I have to eat more than 1 pretzel a day.