The Middle Age Weight Creep and Why A Healthy Body Equals A Healthy Retirement

Time for an Escapadian confession. We are now victims of the middle age weight creep! There. We said it. Now that we have shared this new reality with all of you, please allow me to explain how we arrived at this unfortunate conclusion.

A few days ago I was trying on last year’s summer clothing. Not a single piece of clothing fit. Not one, I tell you! I kept asking with each thing I tried on, “did I put this in the dryer?”. The stark reality is that with the exception of our undergarments, I never use the dryer. I’m too frugal to pull off a ridiculous stunt like that.

I knew I needed to get to the bottom of my newfound conundrum, so with much trepidation, I climbed onto our bathroom scale. It was a groundbreaking event because this was something I do maybe once every five years or so. It was such a rare occasion that I even considered having an unofficial ribbon cutting ceremony. But after a few seconds, there it was. It’s now official.

I had fallen victim to the middle age weight creep! 

And creep upward it did! Way up. I now weigh the most I have ever weighed in my entire life. This explains why I couldn’t get my pant legs pushed past my knees. Or why every time I buttoned something, it would magically unbutton itself. It was a closet rebellion of epic proportions, I tell you!

Then as mature adults do, I whined, moaned, and reprimanded myself. 

How did I let this happen? Where did I go wrong? Was it my cooking? Why did I have to eat the entire bag of cheese doodles? Was it the holidays? One too many Christmas cookies, perhaps? Oh I know! Maybe the scale wasn’t properly calibrated!

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Yummy Macarons we need to eat less of. Moderation, maybe?
A few minutes later I rounded up Mr. FE and made him get on the scale. Much to our dismay, he had gained some weight as well. Not as much as me, but he definitely gained some weight. We both decided on the spot that we needed to work on getting healthier, pronto.

The fact is there is no point in moving forward with our dream of achieving FIRE, if we don’t put ourselves first and make our health a priority.

If we don’t take our health seriously, then we run the risk of not being able to enjoy the benefits financial freedom has to offer us. For example, instead of spending our savings on world travel, pursuing random dreams, and a stress free life – it could all very well go up in smoke. Puff. Just like that. After all, who wants to spend their retirement not feeling well and being inundated with medical bills. Not us!

Therefore, we decided to do what we always do. Create a master plan. Details come later in the Escapadian household. So for now, here are a few small goals that will get us started on our journey to get our health back.

Our health goals – 

  1. We need to move more – We get plenty of exercise on the weekends, but sadly, Monday through Friday we don’t get any. We will use our Fitbit’s to keep track of our daily activity and make sure that we are staying active throughout the week.
  2. We need to eat healthier – We are not the worst eaters when it comes to breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but we do indulge in too many snacks. No more chips, pretzels, and cheese doodles (my weakness) for the foreseeable future.
  3. We need to focus on reducing our stress – We need to stop watching the news, yelling about the news, and stop worrying about the world as we know it. Stuff happens. Most of it will be out of our control. We must learn to take everything with a grain of salt.

Bottom line: We need to start taking our health seriously so we can fully enjoy the benefits of FIRE someday. We must move more, eat less, and reduce the stress in our lives. Just like FIRE, this journey to get and stay healthy will take motivation, determination, committment, and focus.

Have you experienced the middle age weight creep? 

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21 thoughts on “The Middle Age Weight Creep and Why A Healthy Body Equals A Healthy Retirement

  1. Oh, yes indeed! I am tall and slender, but mid 40s brought a surprise for sure. And it’s hard to take off. My goal is to lose 2 lbs this month. I am increasing my expectations for movement with my Fitbit, trying to pack salads for lunch to increase raw vegetables. I agree wellness is an important part of enjoying FI.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kudos for making the necessary adjustments to stay on top of your health! Increasing your vegetable intake is a great way to do it and we are using the exact same strategy. Hopefully in time, we will both reap the benefits of these small changes. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice post! I agree wholeheartedly. I am a cardiac nurse, so I see so many people (young people), who end up in the hospital with pneumonia, COPD, heart attacks, strokes, high blood pressure, and kidney failure. It’s mainly because the American diet is full of fake, processed food. And, then there is the cigarettes as well. People will do what they want, eat what they want, but the bottom line is most can’t afford to be hospitalized. Some don’t have any insurance, some have super high deductibles, some don’t get PTO from work. So, “getting sick” is a financial disaster to them. Some can’t even return to work after having a stroke or heart attack. They become disabled…in their 40’s and 50s.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for devoting your life to being a wonderful nurse! We appreciate what you do! πŸ™‚

      That is so sad! It’s a shame that so many people fail to realize how much their poor daily habits can impact their health and finances. It’s heartbreaking to know that this often leads to disability at such a young age. Not sure what the answer is because it appears on the surface that more education is needed, yet so much of what we learn as individuals can be self taught if the desire is strong enough.

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  3. I know exactly what you mean. As much as I have good intentions to exercise more, and I certainly should have the time to, it just doesn’t seem to happen as frequently as it should. As for snacking, we cut out buying any and all snack foods including ice cream. We now limit ourselves to one, small block of dark choccy per week between us for when that sugar itch needs scratchin’. Hopefully that, and some exercise will help keep us from blowing out too much on the scales.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great idea to replace the snacks with an occasional splurge on dark chocolate! We’ll probably do the same. It is difficult to stick with an exercise regime where it’s so easy for “life” to get in the way. In our case, it’s a simple matter of rearranging our priorities and making sure we stick with it. πŸ™‚

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  4. Hi, I have friends and acquaintances who had to leave work in their 40s and 50s because of poor health, mostly due to lifestyle. They now refer to themselves as retired and living the good life, but they didn’t have enough work years to be financially independent at mid-life. So they are looking at 15 or more years of low income before their old age pensions kick in, and their private pensions are permanently reduced. I realize there is more to the good life than a high income, but I would much rather work longer in good health. Good luck with your new habits!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s heartbreaking to see so many young people suffer financially because they failed to recognize early on what their bodies were trying to tell them. Life is stressful enough as it is! Of course, this only increases our motivation to adopt a healthier lifestyle.

      Thank you for the comment! We appreciate your insight! πŸ™‚

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  5. I have definitely gained a couple of pounds since college. I have been working out a lot more recently but I know that I need to start cleaning up my diet. So that’s been my major focus at this point πŸ™‚ Like you said what’s the point of reaching FIRE if you can’t enjoy it πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sorry to say that it only slows down more as you age. However, a lot of the middle age weight creep can be controlled by upping the ante on diet and exercise. At least you are aware of it before it becomes an issue! πŸ™‚

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      1. I’m actually starting to think that diet is more important than excercise. My personal trainer said the other day “a lot of clients will give me hell because they’re putting on weight. But that’s because they’re eating crap!”
        Foods that are heavy in sodium and carbs will kill you unless you excercise like Michael Phelps.

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  6. I’ve always been able to put weight on easy, so my days of running and rock climbing are currently allowing me some wiggle room with my diet. But, a month or two of being too lax, then I notice things in the mirror and the scale!

    It is always good to catch these things sooner than later!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s great how you are able to stick to a high calorie burning routine of running and rock climbing! I can see how those two activities combined can give you a jump on your metabolism. I’ve always wanted to try rock climbing, but I’m deathly afraid of heights! Maybe one day. Thank you for the comment! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  7. There has been recent studies on “weekend warriors” being able to reap fitness benefits as much as those who are routine weekday committed. For me personally, daily exercise gives me a physical outlet for pent up mental stress – but if time is tough during the week, getting after it on the weekend is better than zero and perhaps equal πŸ˜€. I wholeheartedly agree that trying as hard as one can to maintain good physical health is key, not only for FIRE but also as high of a quality of life as possible.

    On a side note, I have heard some amazing stories of urban community gardens cropping up throughout the United States to provide healthy food to neighborhoods with low access.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Will have to check out the study on the “weekend warriors”! That’s great how exercise is able to help you reduce your stress load. And we agree that some exercise is better than none.

      Love the idea of an urban community garden! We have mostly farmer’s markets around us, so an urban garden would be awesome if one popped up. πŸ™‚

      Please note: We removed the links from your comment for spam/safety reasons, but will still check out the info! We do appreciate your comment!

      Liked by 1 person

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