De-Friend your Scale and Boost your Metabolism

My scale and I go way back.  You might say we have a love-hate relationship.  In fact, my scale is a bit of a narcissist – demanding center stage in my mind where it wields more power than it should.

It’s fond of reminiscing about the previous day’s consumption.

Nuts, yeah they’re healthy, but probably not when you eat 5000 calories of cashews.  And speaking of calories, wine has more than you think. 

It’s time to de-friend this time guzzling device.  But first –  a word about our changing metabolism.

Yesterday a woman at my hair salon  lamented, “Once I turned 50, it seems I gain weight after just two bites of cake.” She’s right.  According to Women’s Health“Our metabolism takes a nosedive over the years.”

In our 20s, our metabolism peaks.  We burn the maximum amount of calories just by being alive.  In our 30s, muscle mass reduces and our metabolic rate drops. By the time we’re in our 50s and 60s, our hormones are depleted and we need to reduce our caloric intake substantially just to maintain our weight.

That scale gleefully reminds us Boomers that we are not in our 20s anymore. Or 30s. Or 40s. Or 50s.  Thank you so much.

But there’s a silver lining.

We don’t have to run a marathon or swim a mile, or even jump rope.  We can give our metabolism a kickstart by building muscle through strength training.

Women’s Health says, “Building Muscle is Non-Negotiable!   People who lift weights put on less belly fat as they age than cardio bunnies. Strength training gives your metabolism the biggest boost after your workout ends.  A woman who was sedentary in her twenties and thirties can actually have a higher metabolic rate in her forties if she exercises.”

OK, a personal trainer is expensive.  And so is a membership to a gym where we may not darken the door.

How about trying this 15-min workout?  All you need is a couple of 3-10 pound weights.

In addition to trying this workout,  I’m going to give my scale a talking-to.

Hey Scale,

You are not even in the Friend Zone.

You are free to date other people.


Today’s Takeaway –

-Let’s skip the scale and be nicer to ourselves.

-Let’s dust off the dumbbells and try for 15 min a day while watching Good Morning, America.  Our bodies will thank us. Plus, we get to drink more wine!

Enjoy the ride!

xox Barclay and Joy

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Stepping Off the Treadmill

“Back on the treadmill!” my colleague would announce every Monday morning,

A classroom teacher’s treadmill is set to sprint-mode. No warm-up.  There are staff development sessions that threaten to never end, lesson plans that look great on paper, new initiatives that appear suspiciously recycled, parent-teacher conferences, and 25-plus kids to manage every minute of every day.

Have you seen those Said-No-Teacher-Ever quotes?

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Even the most dedicated, passionate, beloved classroom teacher looks forward to life beyond the treadmill.  Ah, to read a novel, take a walk, have an adult beverage on a Sunday night. Monday night.  Tuesday night.

But stepping off that treadmill is not as easy as it sounds.

Joy and I are in our first post-work year.  And we’re trying to find life-balance beyond the treadmill.  Retirement, we’re thinking is a misnomer.

Whether you’re in the work force or not, there is a human need for productivity.  We are wired to work (just not to be consumed by it.  “If only I had put in more hours at the job” said no person ever at the end of his/her days.)

But working encompasses more than a paycheck. You’ve no doubt heard of the 5 basic human needs in the workplace.

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These human needs are still present in retirement.

In one  fascinating study.  participants sat in an empty room for 15 minutes, alone with their thoughts.  The majority actually chose to give themselves an electrical shock to avoid boredom.  Boredom is unhealthy for the human spirit.

The BBC recently reported that being bored can “push people to harm themselves; a proneness to boredom was linked to a tendency to smoke, drink too much, and take drugs.”

And who has not lingered at the refrigerator door looking for something, anything, to consume – out of sheer boredom?

So, may we ignore that beckoning couch where season 3 of The Crown awaits alongside a Costco size bag of Skinnypop.  (Well, just not that often!)

Retirement means finding the interval setting on our treadmill  — taking naps but also embracing productivity (sports, volunteer opportunities, teaching or taking a class) — activities that would put our couch and refrigerator to shame.

And then and only then do we get to open that Skinnypop bag!

And maybe eat the whole thing.

Today’s Takeaway:

  • Find activities where you matter. There’s a people group somewhere waiting for YOU.  They may be yearning to be read to or waiting for their house to be built.
  • Seek life-balance.  There’s nothing wrong with binging on The Crown, the Bachelorette, or The Voice — which I am recording even now!

Enjoy the ride!

xox, Barclay and Joy

P.S  Check out this video of people falling off treadmills! This will be me someday!