Slight pause = big weight gain!

Hi All!

Like Jeff, I'm also a 68 years old retiree. I have always tended to be that little bit overweight and decided to do something about it when I retired. I left F/T work - as a lecturer - when I was 63 and have suffered from raised BP for about 20 years but otherwise I'm reasonably healthy.

I have been vegetarian for some 30 years, gave up smoking 36 years ago and have been teetotal for the last 5 years, all in the quest for better general health and fitness. I am still teaching P/T and studying another language for interest only to keep my mind busy. I also walk (briskly) up to 25 miles per week. A few months back I had a really busy period with marking papers for the course I was teaching and preparation for an exam in my language study which lead to me not getting in my usual walking sessions; in 4 weeks I put on about 13/14lbs!!!

Now I'm back at my usual routine and thankfully the weight is starting to come off again. I'm also down to less than 1/4 of the BP medication I was on when working full-time and generally feeling much better!

The key I think is the old adage of, 'mind over matter', the matter in this case being FOOD! So to Jeff and anyone else in the same situation I would say, try to get active bit-by-bit, taking it one step at a time; it's amazing how a little bit of walking really hits those extra pounds hard! Another final, personal, piece of advice, is to avoid BREAD and POTATOES like the plague - these turn to sugar in your system very quickly and give you a sudden blood-sugar boost with accompanying 'comedown' making the hunger come back very quickly. When I gave up white bread I lost an amazing amount of weight in next to no time!

I allow myself some air-fried oven chips on Saturdays and steamed potatoes on Sundays then it's back to salads for the rest of the week!

This seems to work for me keeping my weight down and my fitness levels good - BP in the morning is averaging 110/65 and my regular resting pulse is 58.

Let me know any thoughts you may have on my experiences!


5 Replies

  • I think you have made some sensible decisions in your quest to find good health; I agree that bread and potatoes can make you feel bloated, and will also cause the sugar levels to see-saw which can make you feel more hungry.

    I have been trying to keep to a calorie level of 1400-1500 a day, low fat, low sugar/carb and during the last 6 months, my 67 yr old partner has lost nearly a stone and he wasn't particularly overweight to start with!

    He says he feels much better for it though and can walk 6 or 7 miles comfortably. He likes to do solitary walks into the wilds of Dartmoor so we have attached a "Spot" GPS tracker to him so if one day he doesn't make it home, I know where to go look for him! I personally prefer to stick to the way-marked footpaths...

  • Hi DartmoorDumpling!

    I was a professional pop musician in a previous life and all my walks are timed to playlists of albums by Pink Floyd, Procul Harum, Beatles etc.; that way I have several 'musical routes' worked out and pick the one I feel must suitable for the day! I also use MapMyWalk to outline my routes and give me feedback on my splits, calories burned and so on. This gives me a little bit of an incentive on the days when I don't feel very much like exercising.

    By the way, I also meditate every evening (mindfulness) and definitely know this has reduced both my BP and pulse rate. Only today I was reading that it also helps to lose belly-fat because it lowers the cortisol in the blood - win-win!

    Seems like you're both doing really well with the weight-loss, congratulations and keep it up!

    All the best,


  • Well done for all the exercise you are doing. I've now lost just over three stones since April and because it's school holidays I walk over 4 miles a day with the old dog. But my resting heart rate is still 65 bpm at best each day! Hoping it will get better as I lose more weight?

  • Hi Jweanie,

    I'm using a Sanitas BP monitor with pulse indicator but I now only check the reading about twice each week; the 58 figure is an average of the previous 30 readings and it tallies with my Fitbit so it is accurate. (Doc agrees!) When I first retired my resting pulse was 72-75 but it has gradually come down over the past couple of years - it's long-term thing! You're definitely right about the weight affecting it; the more fat stored, the more blood vessels required for your heart to pump blood to - as the weight comes down the heart is both stronger and has less work to do hence the lower resting rate. (I'm no doctor but I believe this is fairly accurate!) The very best of luck with your fitness work and keep it up!

    All the best,


  • Thank you....... 😊

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