I need encouragement


I just feel like I am a mess right now! I have been doing Cathe workouts for about 17 years now and I am really slowing down. I am 56. I had an eating disorder (anorexia) in my 40's in which I restricted calories and exercised a lot, getting down to a low of 98 lbs on my 5"6 frame before I started to regain. Well, now I am up to around 145 -148 and I just can't seem to get back to a weight I feel like I look and feel good at. I was doing pretty well, maintaining around 138-140. I wasn't happy with my weight, but I had clothes that fit and I was "OK" with it. But then I was down with COVID for a couple of weeks, then, just as I was getting my energy back, I fell off my step while doing a fast feet shuffle and broke my wrist. That involved surgery and a few more weeks of low intensity or no working out and the weight gain.
My question is : did I screw up my metabolism so bad in my 40's that in order to lose weight, I will have to return to a starvation diet in order to drop some pounds? - Which I think I would be crazy to do...
Or is it that I am getting older?
I used to do almost everything on the 8" step, but after my fall during the fast feet shuffle, I am a little gun shy and besides, it is a lot easier on the 6 " step. The amount of weights I can handle has also dropped after the wrist fracture.
Plus, I can't sleep well at night, so I have to take OTC sleeping pills every night. In the morning when I start my workout, I am so sluggish.... Do the sleeping pills slow my metabolism too?

I know you all aren't physicians, but you are an "educated crowd", so do you have any advice or encouragement for me?

Thank you,
Janey BZ


Hi Janey BZ, first of all of us Cathletes have experienced an injury or illness that would make us either reduce our workouts or not workout at all for a long time until our body is healed. Give your wrist time to heal so that you do not reinjure it again. Also getting Covid is no joke and I am so happy that you are doing well, I would rather gain weight than having the possibility of losing my life with Covid. Anyone that has had Covid will tell you that it takes time to get your energy back, your body has been through a lot. You did not screw up your metabolism because you were able to be at a weight that you felt good and was happy, so no starvation diet because you will lose a lot of weight but gain back twice as much. I am 62 years old and, unfortunately, yes, it does get a little harder to lose weight as we get older - it just is - but it doesn't mean you should give up or stop eating healthy or exercising. As I got older I modified many of the moves in the Cathe workouts, for example I do not do the fast feet shuffle, I just tap on the floor and do not use the step at all. I also avoid all high impact moves and use a mini-trampoline to protect my joints. At times I use a weighted vest to increase the intensity (I use a 4 pound vest for step workouts, etc.) With your wrist still in recovery, which sometimes it can take up to 1 year to be able to lift the weight you use to lift but in the meantime, lift what you can, that is still a workout. Sleeping pills will definitely make you feel sluggish if you workout in the morning, it's still not out of your system - is it possible to workout in the afternoon?

So be patient with your body, be kind to yourself. Keep doing what you can and when you and your body are ready to "bring it up a notch" you will feel good but it takes time. The workouts will always be there waiting for you and you will be surprised how well our bodies respond when we give it the time to heal. So don't give up, continue to modify, eat healthy foods and give it time, ok? Hugs!!

Lady Vol Fan

Totally agree with workout. You had a weight recently that was normal so just from that viewpoint that's good. But I'm not a doctor so only you can make the call about whether you need to seek a medical provider's intervention.

Here's the thing, your health needs to be your focus in all the many markers that indicate health. So do your best to find goals that are life sustaining and not aesthetic so that you can celebrate those!

It takes time to ask yourself some good questions but so much more helpful than getting on the dang scale imho.

Here are some I ask myself: What are some things that you and your body enjoy now that you are grateful for? What are some short term goals you can give yourself that are mobility, balance or strength oriented? What are some nutritional intake goals you can make that are healthy lifestyle habits that you can celebrate in 21 days, 3 months or a year from now? What are some visual things to remind you of your goals that you can strategically place to view during your day? I "pay" myself for meeting those goals.

I have dry erase boards, index cards with encouraging quotes, my word for the year. And yes, several on my.mirror, lol! I also have a running list of my workouts I have done during the month.

I belong to checkin.groups with encouraging folks. I listen to podcasts on healthy lifestyles and fitness. I read lots of books for ideas on nutrition and fitness.

All of those are things that help keep me going when I hit a rut and might help you. Because unfortunately, no way to completely avoid injuries or setbacks. And I don't know anyone who hasn't been in fitness for any length of time who doesn't get down.

So high five to you for realizing you need more to keep going. Keep fighting for you!!


Agree with workout and Lady Vol Fan. When you have an injury or illness it takes time to heal and work through. Lack of sleep and sleeping pills will definitely be having an impact. It does get harder to lose weight as you get older and lack of sleep makes this worse. I have had chronic insomnia for more than 20 years but I don't like to take sleeping pills as they make me sluggish and I find it hard to focus on anything the next day. Also, sometimes the effects from the pills last for a couple of days. I have found listening to hypnosis for sleep programs can help without the sluggishness the next day. If you are interested in hypnosis have a look at glennharrold.com or mindmotivations.com.

Having Covid would have knocked you around too, and you may still be experiencing some after effects. I've heard a lot of cases of people suffering from fatigue for quite some time after getting the virus. Then you had surgery on your wrist so the anaesthetic may be having an impact. It can stay in your system for quite some time.

You may already be doing this but try to avoid anything with caffeine after 3pm and try to avoid screen time (computer, mobile phone, etc) at least an hour before bed. Also eat a good diet without sugary and/or highly processed food.

Good luck!


I think what these 2 ladies have said is great advice.
I am a few years older than you and have had so many " minor " injuries in the last decade after being strong all my life. ( I have been lifting weights regularly for over 25 years.)
It is frustrating. I start to feel so OLD !!! But I AM NOT OLD !
( I remember reading " Strong Women Stay Young, " years ago, and there is a chapter where she talks about a bed-ridden 90 year old she was working with - who for the first time was using free weights. She was able to get that woman strong enough to be able to get out of bed again and participate in life again. It is a good book to read for some encouragement ! )
90 is old, we are not old.
BUT we are not young anymore, and every injury we have takes SO LONG to heal ! :)
Be sure to get a good PT.
Try to be patient with your body during the process. ( I know it is SO HARD !)
You may still be icing injuries 2 years after the fact. That is OK, learn what works for you.
Maybe you will get back to using the 8 inch step, but maybe you should use just a 4 inch step for now and progress back over time. Some of my injuries I have COMPLETELY gotten past and am back to where I was before, but others I have not been able to ( YET ? )...
Find some clothes you feel comfortable wearing, eat really healthy meals, and try not to GAIN weight right now. ( Don't think about losing it.)
Focus on what you CAN do and take BABY steps to increase so you don't injure something else. ( like I have done ) Try to workout 5 or 6 days a week even if all you do is a warm-up and stretch. That way Cathe will encourage you every day ! :) As you are able to progress and do more work-outs - harder and longer you will build that muscle and burn that fat more and be motivated to keep going - then you will shed a few pounds.
Please don't beat yourself up - these last 15 months or so have been hard on the whole WORLD - we are all a little depressed. Take it one day at a time. And try to do whatever you can to be with friends and family. Zoom, whatever.

BTW - I have NEVER been able to do Fast Feet - I do "slow feet" - really, the same move just slow it down ! :)

I am so sorry about COVID-19 and your wrist. :(
This, too shall pass. :)
Take good care of yourself.


You received some very good advice here. Here's a possible quote ... I find it a helpful reminder and have it framed in my workout area: "Do what you can, with what you have, where you are" - T. Roosevelt

Sorry to read of your difficulties ... but ... like the GPS says when you're off-course -- " recalibrating" .... Best wishes on your journey.


I don't really have advice...just that I feel like I can relate! I have been doing Cathe videos for almost the same amount of time and am also 56. I also was border line anorexic in my late 20s and early 30s, but here I am feeling sluggish. .... Still doing Cathe workouts and other things because they are great.... but I am slowing down and getting old... I now have sciatica....that I have been dealing with for a few months...thyroid issues....even though I have taken pretty good care of myself...


Thank you all so much for all your great advice! I knew I could get the encouragement I needed here! Thank you Cathletes!
I am trying to stay positive and I will incorporate your great ideas.

I have been taking some melatonin at night which seems to help me sleep, but I don't feel so sluggish in the morning. Although I don't have that "I can't wait to workout" feeling like I used to have, it is not quite so hard to get started. I am also thinking about a way to work out later in the day.
But I am trying to focus on being healthy and not beating myself up because my body just doesn't perform like it did when I was in my 40's.

Thank you all!

Our Newsletter

Get awesome content delivered straight to your inbox.