What It’s Really Like to Lose Weight As You Get Older

When I first became a personal trainer back in college in the early 2000s, I remember one of my first clients was this amazing woman in her late 30s who was going back to school after a rather glamorous life in Hollywood. She seriously had the best stories about all kinds of famous people and what they were really like. After every session, I’d leave with a fasinating nugget of truth from behind-the-scenes and she’d leave with a healthy glow. I loved training her. She was just cool. And she seemed to like me and the workouts, so, she made me feel cool, too.

What It’s Really Like to Lose Weight As You Get OlderEven when I look back now — more than a decade later — I remember one thing she said to me vividly. And it doesn’t have anything to do with celebrities.

She was warming up on an recumbent bike and we were rehashing how her last few days had been: her stress, her food, her workouts outside of our time together. It was late afternoon in winter, so the room was already darkening with highlights of the blue glow from the TV on our faces. And then she dropped this — now bombshell, then “huh” — piece of knowledge on me. This obviously isn’t verbatim, but this is how my unsuspecting 20-something self heard it:

“It used to be pretty easy in my 20s and early 30s. If my pants got a little snug, I’d pay a little more attention to eating healthier and cut out the crap, drink less and/or work out a little harder. Within a day or two, I’d be back to normal. Now that I’m older though, it’s like everything is just harder. And slower. It takes more effort for longer to see a change.”

At the time I thought: Self, you should remember this. At one point you will notice this, too.