How I Lost 37 Pounds and Transformed My Body in My 40s

Losing weight is difficult in your 40s.

How I lost 37 pounds and transformed by body in my 40s. At 45 I had to discover drastic changes that would help me lose weight. I had to put the old saying-“If nothing changes, nothing changes,” to the test. After a few years of trial and error, I am going to tell you what worked. These are the 5 things that I did to completely transform my body and lose 37 pounds in my 40s.

Time changes everything. Your body processes included. In my 30s I could lose weight by working out 3 days a week and paying moderate attention to what I was eating. That all changed in my early 40s. What worked for me in the past was no longer getting me results. The hardest lesson for me to learn is that I wasn’t working as hard as I thought I was to lose weight. I was not consistent or patient. Here is the list of the 5 things that I did to transform my body and lose 37 pounds.

1. I cut sugar out of my diet

The words sugar and moderation don’t belong in the same sentence. Sugar is so addictive because your brain releases dopamine and opioids when you eat it. This creates a high and leaves our body craving more. Eating more leads to a large amount of empty calories that cause weight gain. Sugar is a hidden ingredient in a lot of the foods we eat. This means we are consuming way more sugar than we realize. Sugar has many negative effects on the rest of the body including mental health and heart disease. It is all around one of the worst things you can put in your body.

I tried lowering my sugar intake with no luck. The only thing that worked for me was to quit eating sugar altogether. Let me tell you, it was one of the hardest things that I ever did. But it is totally worth it. When you stop eating sugar, you will have so much more energy, sleep better, and your mind will be clearer. The cravings last a couple of weeks. But they don’t last forever. I haven’t eaten sugar in over a year and I have zero cravings. If I can do it, so can you!

2. I drink way less alcohol

As you get older, your body’s ability to metabolize alcohol slows down. This means the effects of alcohol are greater the following day. This makes it harder to recover from a night of drinking. We all remember a time when we were our younger selves. It only took us a few hours to recover. We were good to go by lunchtime. Not anymore!

Effects of Alcohol on the Body

I got tired of feeling like crap the next day and the increased recovery time it took to feel better. Alcohol causes your metabolism to slow down, which slows you down, making you tired and lethargic. Alcohol has an adverse effect on the hormones in the body that are already changing in women who are going through menopause. This may lead to you feeling more down or even depressed the day after drinking.

Alcohol causes your brain to release dopamine which gives you a euphoric feeling. That is how people become addicted. Alcohol leaves your brain in a fog the next day making it harder to concentrate and focus. A long-term effect of drinking is loss of memory.

Alcohol has a huge effect on weight gain and the ability to lose weight. Alcoholic drinks are high in calories and low in nutritional value which leads to weight gain. Drinking alcohol also leads to indulging in the wrong foods during and after drinks. Alcohol increases the level of cortisol in women. Cortisol is the fat hormone. Drinking slows down your metabolism which makes it harder to burn calories and lose weight.

How my body transformed when I drank way less.

The reason I say way less is because I still drink a couple of times a month, moderately at most. I have seen the extreme benefits of cutting back on alcohol.

– My metabolism has increased, making it easier to lose weight.

– I feel better overall. I have more energy.

– I am happier

– I am more focused.

When I stopped drinking as much, that left hundreds of fewer calories that my body had to burn. Not to mention when I drank less, it sped up my metabolism to burn fat. This made it a double win. Drinking less has eliminated food cravings including Sugar. You don’t realize how unproductive you are when you drink. The best part is being motivated in the morning to do my workout. I have the energy to meet all the obligations my day brings.

3. I eat the right amount of protein

I did go through a period like I think most of us do, I was tired of being hungry. Once I discovered how much protein I was supposed to be eating, the hunger went away. As a woman a good rule of thumb when calculating your optimal protein intake, is to consume .6 to 1 gram of protein per body weight pound. If you weigh 150 pounds you should be consuming anywhere from 90 to 150 grams of protein.

Protein helps you lose weight by

– Reducing hunger hormones

– Makes you feel fuller longer

– Burns more calories

– Decreases cravings

– Preserves lean body mass

I had tried losing weight by eating low-fat and low-carb. But it wasn’t until I increased my protein intake that I started seeing results. I eat at least 25 grams of protein at every meal. That makes me feel full and reduces my urge to snack.

4. I do Pilates 2 times a week

Before doing Pilates, I was into strength training. I did strength workouts 4 to 5 times a week. I kept doing them even after I had reached a huge plateau and wasn’t seeing results. I gained muscle mass, but I hadn’t lost the amount of weight I was hoping for. My muscle definition wasn’t as good as I thought it would be.

I stumbled upon Pilates- by accident. I knew immediately during my first Pilates workout that this was something I needed to be doing. It was a completely different kind of hard compared to lifting weights.

Benefits of Pilates

During the first couple of minutes of my first Pilates workout, I found out that I had very poor balance. I couldn’t stand on one leg for 10 seconds without falling over. I quickly came to the conclusion that as a woman in her 40s, it was more important for me to work on my balance, stability, posture, and core strength. Adding 5 more pounds to my dumbbell wasn’t going to get me those benefits.

Pilates is a workout that focuses on total body. In my first Pilates workout, I used muscles that I had never used before. Pilates gives you long lean muscles and helps you develop a rock-hard core. This is what helps you transform your body definition. After 3 months of doing Pilates, I got the muscle definition that I hoped for. Pilates uses slower controlled movements that lengthen and strengthen multiple muscle groups at the same time.

Pilates is also great for your mental health. Due to the focus on breathing- Pilates reduces stress and anxiety and improves focus and concentration. This workout is the exact opposite of strength training which makes the transition difficult. You are basically starting over on your fitness journey. But it is so worth it! I have defined abs for the first time in my life because of Pilates! I still do strength training 2 days a week as well as Pilates two days a week.

5. I get at least 7 hours of sleep

The health benefits of getting enough sleep are completely underrated. If you get less than 7 hours of sleep a night you are hindering your body’s ability to lose weight. Short sleep causes your body to increase cortisol and food cravings along with decreasing your metabolism and motivation.

An easy way to put it- it is hard to do what you are supposed to do when you are tired. This is especially true regarding your health. If you are tired, you aren’t going to feel like working out or going through the trouble of cooking a healthy meal.

As we get a little older, we have a little bit more time to ourselves. Use it wisely and get to bed at a decent time. My grandmother used to tell me- “nothing good happens after 10 o’clock.” She is right. When I look at how I spend my time, the only thing I do after 10 is scroll through social media or watch a television show that I am only half interested in. So put down your phone, get off Netflix, and go to bed. You will be happy you did.

Conclusion

This is a cumulative list of things that I discovered over a year’s time to lose 37 pounds. All these things weren’t achieved on the first try or done all at once. If something didn’t work, I would try something else. My advice for you is to not try to do all 5 of these things at once. Pick 1 or 2 things that resonate with you that you may need to work on and try them. Come up with your own way of doing things that will work for you and your daily routine.

Don’t spend time and energy on fixing something that isn’t broken. If you are seeing great results with your current workout, don’t change it. Try something new when what you are doing is no longer working. Choose one, no more than two things to work on, give it time, and be consistent. No matter what- KEEP TRYING!!

What I Learned About Myself After Completing 75 Hard

75 Hard is a mental challenge that was developed by Andy Frisella. It is a program that is simple, but not easy. The rules are simple, but to do it for 75 days and keep a promise you made to yourself, is not easy. This program changed my life. I am going to tell you what I learned about myself after completing 75 Hard. Hopefully, you can relate and find inspiration to start your own 75 Hard journey.

I started 75 Hard at the end of January this year. Having heard about the program for a couple of years and I was interested in it. I am going to be honest, the extremity of the program scared me off for a few years. I wasn’t sure that I could do something that hard. Forming the excuse, that I don’t have a 9-5 job and my schedule is always changing. My work hours are long…blah…blah…blah.

I am not one for resolutions. But I knew at the beginning of 2023, I had to do something extreme to change my life. I was feeling stuck. I have wanted a new career for a couple of years. But I had no idea what I wanted to do. I FELT like in several areas of my life I put in a lot of work, but I didn’t see many results. When I heard about 75 Hard again on a podcast in January, I jumped all in. I wasn’t sure it would work. But I had to start somewhere.

The rules of 75 Hard

Follow any diet of your choice for 75 Days- no cheat meals and no alcohol

Drink a gallon of water every day

Read 10 pages of a book every

Workout twice a day for 45 minutes/one of them has to be outside

Take a progress picture every day

If you miss one task- you fail and have to start over.

The most important lessons I learned about myself-

1. Before 75 Hard I was not disciplined.

A week into 75 Hard I discovered that I had no discipline. Before the program, I would do what I needed to do when I felt like it. I had developed discipline when it came to my workouts, but I had no discipline when it came to my diet. During the program, I struggled the most with how hard it was to maintain a healthy diet for 75 days. I discovered that I rewarded myself with food and alcohol. Big mistake! During 75 Hard I found other things that were more rewarding.

The best definition of discipline that I have heard is from David Goggins. Discipline is doing what you have to do even when you don’t feel like it, every day, no matter what. After 3 weeks, I really started to embrace the structure the program gave me. I even looked forward to the challenge of fitting all the tasks into my life no matter what. Some days were easier than others. I was the most proud of myself on the days that I didn’t feel like it and I did it anyway!

2. My mindset changed completely

My biggest issue was that I had a victim mentality and didn’t know it. I was not the kind of victim that sat around and felt sorry for myself. I didn’t discredit people who had achieved great things. Being envious and thinking- why not me, wasn’t what I did. Instead, I was the victim that made excuses. I realized I made excuses in every aspect of my life.

For example, I hadn’t looked for a new career because I need to make the salary I am making now. I can’t afford to start over with a new career, that was my excuse. Another excuse, it is hard for me to stick to a diet and workout plan because my work schedule is so unpredictable, that was my excuse. There was a list of excuses for every shortcoming I had in my life.

I was a victim of the boundaries and limitations that I put on myself. I did not realize that I lacked confidence in myself. That is why I hadn’t started a new career. I wasn’t confident that I would succeed. I disguised by lack of confidence by blaming the fact that I had to make a certain amount of money. The fact is that I didn’t try to start a new career because I was afraid I was going to fail. I realized I was standing in my own way.

One of the best ways to gain confidence is by doing something really hard. When you have accomplished that. You gain confidence. I was gaining confidence that I didn’t know I lacked. 60 days into the program, I knew I had to do something else for a living. I was going to take the same work ethic and determination it took to complete 75 hard, and apply it to starting a new career. If I can complete this challenge, I can change anything about my life that I really put my mind to.

3. Before 75 Hard- I had terrible time management skills

Before 75 Hard. I thought of myself as a productive person. This is why it took me 2 years to start 75 Hard. My perception was my life was busier, more demanding, and rigid than most other peoples. That is not the case at all. Everyone has obstacles. It is our responsibility to overcome those obstacles and figure out how we are going to do the things we need to do to make ourselves better.

There is only 24 hours in a day for everyone. The most successful people spend their time wisely. They choose to invest their time in making their lives and their businesses better. Successful people have learned to put off what they want now for what they want most.

I looked at how I spent my time and I had plenty of it. I scheduled all of my 75 Hard tasks daily to make sure I didn’t fail. Instead of spending time scrolling on social media and binge-watching TV, I did my tasks. It didn’t take me long to realize those indulgent habits were doing absolutely nothing for me. They robbed me of my time and focus. Sound familiar? Make time for what is important.

4. I learned to be proud of myself

When I first started 75 Hard, I hated the progress pictures. I thought it was unnecessary. I have never taken so many pictures of myself in my life. For the most part, I don’t do selfies. I have never done anything to measure my progress DAILY. But as a requirement of the program, I complied and took them right after my morning workout.

I was over halfway into the program before I scrolled back and looked at any of the previous pictures. When I did, I was shocked at the emotion I felt. Change happens gradually. We don’t notice on a daily basis. All the little changes we are making lead to improvement. Not only was there a significant difference in my weight, but also in my body language. Everyday I stood a little taller with my head higher. I was even smiling toward the end.

In those pictures, I have just completed a hard workout. I was sweaty and red faced. In some pictures, I can even remember what workout I did and how hard it was. I was proud of myself for completing those workouts and it showed in the picture. I was the proudest I have ever been of myself after I competed the program.

5. It never gets easy

Sure, there are some days that are better than others. But when you are doing hard things to improve your circumstances, it never gets easy. There will always be bumps in the road that we have to get around.

I think there is a misconception in our society. We are taught that towards the end of something, it gets easier. For instance, on Fridays in some workplaces they have casual dress day. Maybe you can leave early on Friday if you get your work done. Remember when you were in school, the last week of the year, you didn’t do anything. You had done everything that was expected of you and you were waiting to start your summer break.

The last 3 days of my 75 Hard program it poured down rain when I was doing my outside workouts for 45 minutes. It didn’t matter that I was so close to achieving a goal. Life wasn’t going to make it easy on me. When you are working hard to make changes in yourself. There really isn’t an end. On the journey, there will be obstacles. Work around them and keep going. If it has gotten easy. You aren’t working hard enough.

Conclusion

After completing 75 Hard, I look at challenges as opportunities to get better instead of dreading possible failure. I learned to embrace the daily grind, doing the little things everyday that you have to do to make yourself better. I have the confidence to change what needs to be changed and make myself happy. 5 months after completing the program, I am a completely different person.

About Adrienne

I am a wife and a mother of two older children. I live in Kentucky and grew up in Ohio. My son is in the Army and my daughter is starting high school. I have been happily married to my husband for 18 years. Those are my two favorite roles in life. We have a dog named Dakota, he is a German Shepard mix. Our family rescued him when he was a puppy.  Dakota is the fifth member of our family!

Education and Occupation

I earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Phoenix. I have been a restaurant manager for 24 years for three very different concepts. The two things I love the most about my profession is talking to guests and developing employees. The fact that no two days are ever the same in a restaurant keeps me motivated.The hours are long, but the work is rewarding.

My Journey

My fitness journey started about 15 years ago. I have tried many diets and fitness programs. Some worked better than others, but none created the lasting results I was searching for. My schedule as a restaurant manager is unpredictable and the hours are long. I struggled with making health and fitness a habit in my busy life. About 5 years ago, I got serious about working hard and educating myself. Losing over 25 pounds in 6 months is the result of developing discipline and putting into action what I learned.



My Goal

I want to help as many women as possible reach their goals by sharing knowledge.  The one thing I learned over the years about health is- what works for one person may not work for another. Or if you have found something that works, it won’t work forever. You will have to develop new skills and habits so that you can keep seeing results. That is why I named my business- Keep Trying. Your health and wellness is a journey not a destination. Enjoying the process is the key to success. I am going to provide articles and research about current topics that will get you passionate about reaching your goals. No two paths to health and wellness are the same- keep trying!