Female, Fat and 40


Weight Management After 40

approaching-forty-years-old-posterIs there some sort of internal switch that is flipped once we approach 40 that makes weight management more of an issue?  I recall women pointing this out to me when I was younger:

“Wait until you hit 40, you won’t be able to eat the same way you do now.”


“Everything starts to fall apart after 40; you’ll see.”

I must admit I didn’t take it to heart, but now that I’m four months away from my 40th birthday, I’m beginning to think they were on to something.

How Much of an Impact Does Age Have on Weight?

Over the last few years, a host of factors including stress, sleep deprivation and illness/injuries seem to have encouraged an upward shift in my weight. However, I’ve run into such issues in my younger years without them having a noticeable effect on my body.

Mind you, I’m not someone who spends time worrying about my eating and weight. It’s just that my clothes don’t fit that well anymore. That grabbed my attention and got me thinking.

Now, is my reaction to these issues different just because I’m getting older? It does seem that my ability to rebound from life’s challenges is very different from when I was in my 20s. Rather than reverting to old ways of thinking, though, this is how I explored my issue and how you could explore weight changes life might send your way.

Look at ALL the Factors

Step 1: Review Your Eating Patterns. Have they changed? Or has your reaction to them changed? For example, undiagnosed gluten intolerance may have initiated an autoimmune reaction that had an impact on my weight. Ironically my “healthy vegetarian diet” was not healthy for me since it included too much gluten.

Step 2: Look Beyond How and What You Eat. Consider ALL the factors affecting your health and weight, it’s not just about how you eat.  Although it’s common to focus on food as the culprit, stress, sleep deprivation and a shift in physical activity needed my attention just as much as how I was eating.

Step 3: Get Input from Qualified Health Care Providers. No one knows your body better than you do. But sometimes we all can use some educated input re: what may be going on. When you are not getting the answers you need from your health care providers, however, keep searching.  While my endocrinologist and GP are both lovely people, neither had any insight regarding the CAUSE of my health problems. I was offered medications and surgery, but getting to the route of the problem became my responsibility.

Notice If Anything Else Accompanies the Weight Gain

The other factor that is worth noting is that a small weight gain often accompanies age and it can be healthy. Expecting to weigh at 40 what we did at 20 is likely setting us up for failure. The key is to stay in touch with your body, and notice if anything undesirable accompanies the weight gain, such as fatigue, GI upset, etc. This will help you keep your focus on discovering root causes of problems rather than trying to fix the symptoms, which rarely truly resolves the problem.

Have you found that approaching 40 has made a difference in how you manage your weight?


Read How Self-Acceptance Helps Weight Management >>
Have you noticed that approaching 40 made a major difference in your health and/or weight management efforts?

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