Staying healthy and staying in shape does get harder as we age.

There are so many things going against us. We are bombarded with skinny young women on the front of magazines that sit right at the supermarket counters so there is no escaping the media glare.

Being skinny is not what you should be aiming for if you are overweight, but you most certainly should be aiming at staying healthy and keeping your body in reasonable shape. Basically, if you look after your body, it will look after you well into your 50s, 60s, 70s and beyond.

By following a few simple rules, you will be in the best shape for you! Not what society dictates, but what you want for yourself.

Don’t Diet

I see the word diet as when we intentionally restrict our food intake simply for the sake of weight loss. This is a wrong mentality because it does not work for a long-term solution for weight loss. We are incapable of forcing ourselves to suffer indefinitely (and hence, generally go off the bandwagon about Day 4 of a diet). When the “diet” inevitably fails it usually leads to more weight gain.

You can turn this around with a much better approach of finding healthy habits you enjoy and turning them into regular habits. This allows them to be more sustainable and you more successful in maintaining them.

Yes, you need to eat less and change your diet to lose weight! You did not get overweight for other reasons. If you find yourself considering your change to eating habits as a sacrifice or deprivation then you are on the road to disaster.

One simple tip would be to enjoy mindful eating. When you eat mindfully this helps food to be more satisfying so you tend to eat less with deliberate intention or sacrifice.

One of the reasons I created the Weight Loss Summit is because I had finally solved my own weight gain misery and struggles. The approach I used was different from everything that the dieting industry had made me believe to be true. I knew it was my duty to gather like-minded women and make the right information available.

Changing Habits

Most of our eating habits stem from our unconscious mind. A huge step in changing your habits requires knowledge about what they are, what triggers them and what our brain’s goal is when we do them.

The first step in creating healthy habits it to keep a food or habit journal. Knowing you will need to write something down is a great way to trick yourself into paying attention to what you do throughout the day.

Don’t Worry About Exercise – Just Enjoy It!

I was the best couch potato you could imagine. I watched my husband come in from a run and laugh, telling him it was time to admit defeat and that he was getting old. In truth, I was looking for all the excuses as to why I was not out there with him and doing some form of exercise.

One day I decided to take up running and joined a running club for women 35+. I came home that evening unable to walk or talk. During that first run I did not know what was going to kill me first, my heart or my lungs giving out. But I stayed with it. And I am so glad I did.

Now you might be reading this and don’t do any exercise and do worry about it. First of all ,you need to forget the notion that there is a prescribed amount of exercise that you should be doing; otherwise it is futile.

If you are doing nothing, doing one small change is an improvement.

Exercise is additive, so adding small steps every now and again will be significant and will lead to better things for you. One tip is to be more active in the things you are already doing. I like to walk my dog every morning and when I found myself unable to run for a couple of weeks, I walked him twice a day instead.

Truth is, the more physically active you are, the easier it becomes to enjoy it more and seek it out. This is where I love the session from Dr. Krista Scott-Dixon. Here is a quote from her from the Weight Loss Summit:

“Women in particular are taking care of other people. Especially women 55+ – the sandwich generation concept. They may be combining work with children as well as ageing parents. There is so much pressure on you and to say you need to take care of your health and fitness can be seen as one more chore on your huge To Do List!”

Be Kind to Yourself

This is my final point I want to make. We sometimes are so busy comparing ourselves to others we forget to take care of ourselves. I saw this quote on Facebook from a friend how recently turned 50:

“TBT… was depressed when I reached the big “40”… lol… wish I were 40 now.”

Finally, I will leave you with this quote.

“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

What is your best quote that gets you through the tough days? Would you say that you are physically active, or do you need to get moving a little more? What little steps can you take today? Please share in the comments.