The Fit and Fabulous 50s

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I am not old, but sometimes I feel like I picked a hell of a time to bring fitness and healthy eating into my life; I feel this might have been much easier when I was 20 or even 30.  When I was an adolescent I was of average build, I was pretty active but not athletic, and I had a lot of bad for me eating habits like lots of teen girls, the same could be said of my young adulthood.  After I had children I put on a good bit of weight and spent a lot of years trying to lose it in a lot of unhealthy ways, everything from fad diets to diet pills.  I also smoked from the age of 17 until the age of 48, this certainly did not help.

Over the years I just felt gradually worse blaming it on aging, on illness, on everything except my unhealthy choices.  That changed for me about a year ago.  In that year I have done good things, but have also failed at being consistent; falling back on old habits and old states of mind.  It really wasn’t until about a month ago that I decide to take this thing as a serious long-term commitment.

With all of that serious stuff said and out-of-the-way, let me share with you a little Plus/Delta study of making the decision to Get Fit at 50.  **I will not be 50 until March, I figure my journey will still be going at that time and I like round numbers.

PLUS

DELTA

I have been around a while so I know a lot of stuff I have been around a while so a lot of stuff hurts
I have more discipline than I did in my younger years It takes more discipline to get anything accomplished
My children are grown, I have more freedom My children are grown, I cannot call it baby weight
My finances are in better shape than 30 years ago Good thing because fitness is expensive
I am more enthusiastic about fitness I am less enthusiastic about recovery time
There are more gadgets available to help than when I was younger I do not understand how to work half of these gadgets
I FEEL BETTER!

Getting fit and healthy wins!

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Until Next Time…

Why am I whining?

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Monday and Wednesday of this week we did ab work at boot camp, considering I am a couple of cases away from a six-pack, this has been a particularly interesting experience for my body.  Today I went on a short run, about 30-minutes, my normal morning run.  After eating breakfast I got up to get a shower and get ready for my day.  My abs screamed, my legs ached and all I could do was laugh on my way to the shower.  A small giggle to myself thinking “Why the hell am I doing this again?”

Then I remembered it is so I can be healthy and pester my children into having children so I can play with my grandchildren and great-grandchildren :).

Also, today, day-4 of the healthy eating challenge, mostly so far so good.  Yesterday I had a small bout of PMS related chocolate breakdown, then I read this…

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And had a couple of Hershey Kisses and called it a successful day.

Until next time…

Day-1 – I really want a cookie

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So today started my 21-day eating challenge.  It was going to be a 21-day Clean eating challenge, I have found that there are at least 2-million definitions for “clean eating”, so I am going with my version of eating healthy.

It is easy to do and easy to understand.  I do not have to find exotic ingredients or spend $4000 a week on food.  I love fruits and love to cook with vegetables, so yesterday I went grocery shopping for lots of fresh ingredients, and some natural sweeteners like honey for when I have a really sweet tooth.

Exercise has become a regular part of my life, I mostly enjoy it, I definitely feel better for doing it, and it has made such a difference in me I could not imagine living without it.  Eating healthy on the other hand I have found more of a challenge.

I LOVE food, good food, I do not eat unhealthy fast food, but I do eat processed foods.  Things that are easy to make and quick to fill (although that filled is short-lived), these are the foods I gravitate to throughout the day.  I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in January 2012, directly after this diagnosis I lost quite a bit of weight and felt better than I had felt in decades, so my big initial weight loss was pretty easy.  Keeping it off is harder.  In March 2012 I quit smoking after three decades of smoking, I have no problem not smoking but I know at times I am eating when somewhere deep inside I want a cigarette.

Telling all of my background and food issues will take at least 21-days so I will get back to the point of my 21-day challenge; to create lasting habits so that I eat well and remain healthy.

Here is my 10- point plan – 1.  Cook and prep ahead of time as much as possible  2.  Use fresh ingredients  3.  Avoid sugar substitutes and sugar as much as possible without wanting to knife someone.  4.  Avoid processed gluten-free food, stick to eating from the outside aisles of the grocery store to naturally avoid gluten.  5.  Limit dairy, dairy bothers me and if I eat a little cheese or ice cream I want it all :).  6.  Eat at home 7.  Keep a food diary  8.  Drink more water, I drink mostly water anyway, but need to drink more and no diet sodas.  9.  Eat breakfast daily, I cannot give up coffee and chocolate or I will decimate anyone I come in contact with, so I am keeping coffee.  10.  Stop letting my brain tell me when I am hungry and find a distraction to pass the time (I actually accomplished a couple of times today).

That is it, that is my healthy eating plan for the next 21-days and hopefully beyond.  I have no excuses only great things to accomplish.

Oh, and I am open to tips and advice from anyone who wants to offer.

Until next time…

H is for Horses

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H is for Horses and hills, cannot forget the hills.  Yesterday I did the Biggest Loser 15K with my daughter in Lexington, KY.  It was a fun and well-organized race and the scenery was beautiful.  We got to run through Kentucky Horse Park which is beautiful and hilly.  For those who do not know, KHP is about 1200 acres of rolling Kentucky Bluegrass horse country; it hosts world-renowned horse events every year.

Part of the course was trail, but the bulk of it was on the private roads that run through the Horse Park.  One thing about horse country is that there are lots of hills most small and rolling, only a few that were daunting and those were pretty spread apart; so it was not as scary as I first thought it might be.

The energy of the race was fantastic, lots of runners cheering one another on to the finish.  Because the BL 15k is a run/walk every level of participant was there; I love races like these they make you appreciate the human spirit and also what the human body can overcome.

Why is that every time I race I come home and sign up for more races?  A couple of weeks ago I signed up for the BL 15k and two other races, as of yesterday I am now committed to no less than three half marathons next year.

Today is boot camp and also shopping day for my 21-days of eating healthy, this starts tomorrow.  I took a week between challenges and now ready to go on to the next one.  Have to think of another one to do after this.

Until next time…

10 things I learned over the past 21-days

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Well, today is my 21st day.  I ended it at boot camp, which is appropriate since it is this boot camp that inspired me to try this in the first place.  Also, today’s class instructor was The Vince, see my post from my second day to learn about The Vince.

It was an exciting challenge; some days were harder than others, but every day was worth it.  Here are some things I learned over the past 21-days –

1.  Your body is an amazing machine; it will keep going if your brain tells it to keep going.  I am now a firm believer that the brain is the most important muscle in your body.  Never say never!

2.  There are an infinite number of ways to do a push up.

3.  There are an equally infinite number of types of squats.  And according to Vince he has several creative ways to do Burpees, I do not ever want to learn all of these.

4.  What you are putting into your body is important,  if you are going to work hard to get fit, you also need to change your diet.

5.  Support from family and friends is important, and any time you can get them involved it is also fun.

6.  Age is just a number.  Our classes at the gym range from folks in their 20s to folks my age and older; and certainly at races I am smoked by several folks in more advanced age groups than mine.

7.  Every time I had a new pain in my body, I found a new way to overcome it.

8.  Stretching is important.

9.  Physical exercise leads to better mental health, or at least takes so much effort that the small stuff seems less important.  In other words “Don’t sweat the small stuff”, sweat OUT the small stuff.

10.  I am important, you are important, we all matter, whether you know it or not someone is looking up to you.  You are inspiring someone and may not even know it.  I have met people over the past three weeks that inspired me to keep going, I will remember and be thankful to those people for the rest of my life.

Thank you for joining me on this journey!  My journey “from here to me” is not over, it is just beginning, this bridge to better habits has been fun and full of learning and today I am going to start to plan my next challenge, 21-days of eating better.

As for tomorrow, I am taking a vacation day!  I am going on my morning run and then I am going to come home, shower, and take a nap.

So today I will not say until tomorrow, I will say Until Next Time…

 

A few of my favorite things

Today I want to share a few of my favorite thing, things that make me feel good because of their humanity, because of their humor, or simply because they make me smile.

First, I live in an animal rescue home, meaning I have a daughter who works in animal rescue so we have a mishmash of animals.  Some rescued from the brink of death, some just so darn cute they were hard to resist.  Because we live the animal rescue life, I have a particular passion for rescue charities. One that is truly grassroots and does work that most will not is Stray Rescue of St. Louis; Randy Grim the founder of this rescue is one of my heroes.  Today I want to share the link for one of his success stories – http://www.strayrescue.org/DaddyLabToday – warning some of these pictures are hard to look at, but are the reality of rescue.

The second thing I want to share, my favorite funny Facebook page.  I am a nerd at heart, like sci-fi, tech stuff, and I am socially awkward.  So my favorite laughs on FB come from this page –Nerdgasm.  Things like this –

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I also like The Onion – but it is a bit more controversial in its humor and everyone may not appreciate it as much as me.

Lastly, things that make me smile.  This is my new addiction, if I am not at work, not working out, not blogging, or doing other fun or necessary things in my life, I am here – http://www.humansofnewyork.com/.  It is absolutely fascinating and I have ordered the book so I can have my obsession with me everywhere.  Below is just one of the pictures from this fantastic site.

Tomorrow will be my 21st day!  I am ending with a 5:30 am boot camp, figured I might as well end on a high note. I hope I have not bored you all too much with my daily blogs, but it has been fun, challenging, but fun to share each day.

Until Tomorrow…