Lifestyle choices can adds pounds and inches.

Remember when we could exercise a little more than normal, or go on a diet for a few days and lose a couple or more pounds? I always seemed to fluctuate around my maximum allowed weight limit for flying when I was in the military. I might be a few pounds heavier or lighter.

When it came time for my annual flight physical, I could wait until the last week before the physical date and cut back on food or exercise a little more to pass my exam. I stopped flying around age 40. I still had an annual physical, and I passed each one of them, but I did not have to worry about being grounded and not able to fly.

Around age 50, I went on an Atkins diet and dropped nearly twenty pounds less than my maximum flight standard and had no problem maintaining it for years. I retired from the military after 31+ years weighing not much more than when I joined the military back in 1968.

Since my retirement, I have fluctuated more above my old flight maximum than under it. Today I am at my old flying maximum weight and have been working hard during this pandemic not to gain anymore.

Weight Management A study was done in recent years shows that losing weight over the age of 60 is the same as losing weight much younger in life. The Human Metabolism Research Unit at the Warwick Medical School in the United Kingdom noted that there are over 50 comorbidities associated with being over the age of 60.

Diabetes, osteoarthritis, cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, depression, and more are common in the elder community. Obesity is not reserved for the older generation. It is being seen even in children today. Obesity complicates many health issues. It is certainly prevalent in complications related to COVID-19.

Weight Loss Study The study (2005-2016) worked with 242 morbidly obese people – 167 people under the age of 60 and 75 over that age. The youngest was 18 and the oldest was 78 years of age.

The BMI (body mass index) of the younger group averaged 49.7. Morbidly obese is defined as over 40 on the BMI scale. The older group’s average BMI was 46.9. The younger group lost weight with an average of 6.9% while the older group lost 7.3%.

The University regularly measured the participants and discussed diet and lifestyle options. Each person had a unique weight management program to follow. Psychological support was provided as needed. The results showed statistically no difference. Being older or younger yielded about the same weight loss.

Weight and Health I believe we would all prefer to be at a healthy weight. For some of us, it may be just a few pounds under an ideal weight for our height. Or it might be a few more pounds. Looking good with a perfect figure and no excess fat does not guarantee the body is healthy.

Being continuously overweight is a problem for health and increases the risk of all causes of death, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, sleep apnea, and many more issues that deprive people of a good quality of life.

Weight is gained gradually and many of us want the weight to come off quickly. It does not work that way. One of the measurements done for my flight physical was the measurement of my neck. A half-inch difference in neck measurement made a big difference in evaluating being considered fat. When I lost ten pounds my neck size was the first to show the weight loss.

What worked way back then does not work as we age when many functions in our bodies begin to lose full effectiveness. That is part of aging. However, weight management can be controlled with lifestyle factors. When that extra ten, twenty, thirty, or more pounds are seen on the bathroom scale, the lifestyle changes seem to take an eternity to come to fruition.

Those on medicines (antipsychotics, beta-blockers, antidepressants, more) find it impossible to lose weight because the drugs prevent weight loss, or make it seem impossible to lose weight.


The study showed that weight loss is independent of age. Yes, if you are taking over a dozen drugs at the age of 75 and you are fifty pounds overweight with no exercise program, the challenge is solidly impossible.

Our comfort zones that are developed in our lives with our lifestyle choices lead us down a primrose path. We begin to believe that weight loss is impossible and after a while, we give up.

Doing it on your own probably is impossible; however, this study had people reporting regularly to be monitored and encouraged. Accountability is key to accomplishing many tasks in life, especially those we do not like to do. This is one reason why many weight management programs hold people accountable regularly with weigh-ins and measurements.

Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin –


3 Responses

  1. Great Article!! I have always been over weight…sometimes more than others. I have always liked to snack…That is a bad habit. I am 65yo. I have finally found a product to control the snacking! I started selling some health products. I was trying to earn a little second income. I am single and support myself. My friend that got me started in these products, said, you should try some of them so you know what you are talking about when trying to sell….I started using it, I did not change the way that I ate nor did I incorporate any exercise. I went and bought a new scale and to my amazement after two weeks, I had lost about 10LBs. You could have waved cookies in front of me and it did not interest me in the least !! That blew me away. I was like….This really does WORK !!! Just this past week, my company came out with a new product called Keto. I have not tried this one yet but will. I would be happy to share any information with you if you are interested. I Love your articles !! I am an old Medical Secretary and find your writings and research to be very informative and right down my alley. Thank you.

    1. Barbara, I do a 72-hour-fast every month. At the end of 72 hours, I decide whether I want to continue or not. During the past seven months, I have extended my fasting well over 100 hours. I drink water and unsweetened iced tea only. I find that when I am fasting, no food interests me. I cook stuff and the smells and aromas are great, but I have no inclination to eat. When I am not fasting, the opposite is true. It takes me about two to three days to set my mind properly to fast. I have been doing these extended monthly fasts for over two years. It is amazing how the brain works.

  2. I appreciate the time you’ve taken out to show me the ropes and ensure that I have the required knowledge to do a great job. Thank you.

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