Age is just a number. You can get healthy and fit. But first you must BELIEVE!

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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Prep, Set, Go!

If you've made some strides in 2012....Congrats! Well done! Keep up the good work.....If you've slid back a few steps....don't beat yourself up....we are ready to continue our journey....
So are you back on the wagon with me?  It's the Saturday before New Years and I am rip raring ready to get back at it with gusto and determination.  Sometimes you have to take a deep breath, take two steps back, pick yourself up, brush yourself off and make yourself a promise....

 So I thought I'd share a few things that I do to get myself geared up. 
image photo : Get All Your Rubber Ducks In A RowYou have to get all your ducks in a row.  
You have to line all your tools up.  You have to clean out what doesn't work and what is not "safe" around you.  .
Don't start out sabataging yourself! You know what I'm talking about here.....don't play dumb.  Don't kid yourself that you're baking cookies for your husband or family and that you won't take one (just one won't hurt)....BS...I'm sorry.....but you know what I'm saying here.  If you can't have cheese in the house without having a little bit, if you can't put the ice cream in the freezer and not have some because everyone else is having some....set the rules....either they keep it in a tupperware container in their room (well not the ice cream) or just don't keep it in the house......or be prepared to tie your heart and stomach and be determined that your family can eat it (if they don't have a weight problem), but it is off limits to you....completely off lmits.  Do not fool yourself.  Let's start 2013 off by being honest and prepared. Use the last few days of 2012 to clean out your cabinets, your refrigerator,  your freezer....and yes those secret stash places!!!
Get things ready for the first week of 2013 to be's some tricks I use every week.  Every Sunday (and other days if I run out) I cut up a big bowl of veggies.  I like zuccini, yellow squash, broccoli, brussel sprouts, spinach, and carrots.  I cut them into think pieces. I put the carrots in first in just enough water to cover them at the bottom of the bowl.  I cover the bowl with paper towel and heat the carrots in that water in the microwave for 10 minutes.  Then I add the rest of the veggies on top of the water and carrots....I try to put the broccoli and spinach on top (since they cook the quickest).  Sometimes I add a bit more water if some of the water has evaporated and I microwave all the vegetables another 10 minutes.  Now you have a bowl of veggies ready to add to any meal or eat cold (or warmed up) for a snack all week long.keep all veggies in a bags cut up already, that way at dinner you already have a bag for your meal to do whatever you want with it- stir frie, bake, w/e. Can do with fruit as well to make sure your getting enough fruit/veggies in your day.- goal eat 1 or 2 of these a day!Camping Recipes , cut veggies up before hand. nice.  If you want you can divide it into sandwich bags....I just leave mine in a sealed tupperware container and scoop out what I need.    Don't throw out the has lots of nutrients in it and can be drunk just like it is, added to a smoothy or added as broth to cook brown rice in. (Don't throw that good stuff out!)
cut up fruits :DLike wise I cut up fruit into a bowl (and then transfer it to a closed tupperware container to keep it fresh).  I cut up apples, pears, oranges, strawberries, blue berries, peaches, mangos, cherries, apricots, plums, pineapple....anything that is in season.  I make a big tub full.  I add fruit fresh to it to help keep it fresh all week.  It's ready to have for breakfast...about 3/4 cup with about 1/3 of a banana chopped, almond slices, walnuts, ground flax seed, 3 dates chopped up and a dollop of plain  greek yogurt to give it some moisture.  It makes a great breakfast and keep you full all morning long.
When you prepare you veggies and fruits for the coming week, when you make up some exta lean turkey and veggie burgers that are cooked and ready to heat up, when you have carrot sticks and celery slices all ready to go and have the road blocks in place to avoid those foods that sabatage you.
Make sure your workout clothes are all cleaned and ready to you don't have that excuse when it's time to hit the gym.
Be your own best friend.  Be the hope you've been waiting for. Be the best boy scout or girl scout you can be and "Be Prepared"
This is a new year....a new you.....Prep, Set, Go!  Oh and remember in 2013 and all the years to follow.....
"If you don't take care of your body, where are you going to live?"
Go strong in when the Saturday before 2014 comes around, you can look at yourself in the mirror and see the person you always knew you could become and celebrate what you have accomplished!
To each of you .....cheers Toast the New Year
Make this the best year ever!!!New Year's #weight-loss tips!

Friday, December 28, 2012

It's a climb that will last a lifetime......

 There's a song that was written by Jessie Alexander and Jon Mabe and produced by John Shanks in 2009.....and sung superbly by Miley Cyrus....the song is called "The Climb".  Have you ever listened to the words?  I'm not sure what Jessie and Jon were referring to when they wrote it, I'm sure a whole other agenda than what I hear when I listen to the words..... I love to listen to the words when I am exercising and when I am wavering at my weight loss my working out at the gym to get fit and healthy.........and I love to listen to the words when I want to be inspired to keep on keeping remind myself that it is a climb...a climb that will last a lifetime.
I can almost see it That dream I am dreaming But there's a voice inside my head saying "You'll never reach it"
Every step I'm taking Every move I make feels Lost with no direction My faith is shaking
But I gotta keep trying Gotta keep my head held high
There's always gonna be another mountain I'm always gonna wanna make it move Always gonna be a uphill battle Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose
Ain't about how fast I get there Ain't about what's waiting on the other side It's the climb
The struggles I'm facing The chances I'm taking Sometimes might knock me down But no, I'm not breaking
I may not know it But these are the moments that I'm gonna remember most, yeah Just gotta keep going
And I, I got to be strong Just keep pushing on
'Cause there's always gonna be another mountain I'm always gonna wanna make it move Always gonna be a uphill battle Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose
Ain't about how fast I get there Ain't about what's waiting on the other side It's the climb, yeah!
There's always gonna be another mountain I'm always gonna wanna make it move Always gonna be an uphill battle Somebody's gonna have to lose
Ain't about how fast I get there Ain't about what's waiting on the other side It's the climb, yeah!
Keep on moving, keep climbing Keep the faith, baby It's all about, it's all about the climb Keep the faith, keep your faith, whoa

Read more:
I can almost see it That dream I am dreaming But there's a voice inside my head saying "You'll never reach it"
Every step I'm taking Every move I make feels Lost with no direction My faith is shaking
But I gotta keep trying Gotta keep my head held high
There's always gonna be another mountain I'm always gonna wanna make it move Always gonna be a uphill battle Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose
Ain't about how fast I get there Ain't about what's waiting on the other side It's the climb
The struggles I'm facing The chances I'm taking Sometimes might knock me down But no, I'm not breaking
I may not know it But these are the moments that I'm gonna remember most, yeah Just gotta keep going
And I, I got to be strong Just keep pushing on
'Cause there's always gonna be another mountain I'm always gonna wanna make it move Always gonna be a uphill battle Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose
Ain't about how fast I get there Ain't about what's waiting on the other side It's the climb, yeah!
There's always gonna be another mountain I'm always gonna wanna make it move Always gonna be an uphill battle Somebody's gonna have to lose
Ain't about how fast I get there Ain't about what's waiting on the other side It's the climb, yeah!
Keep on moving, keep climbing Keep the faith, baby It's all about, it's all about the climb Keep the faith, keep your faith, whoa

Read more:
"I can almost see it, that dream I am dreaming"......I know that the body achieves what the mind believes, that I won't believe it when I see it, but (like a true athlete) I have to see it to believe it.  I have to envision myself finishing that marathon.  I have to see myself slipping effortlessly into that smaller size.  I have to believe without a doubt in my mind that I can be fit and healthy at 99 and beyond.

But sometimes that's easier said than done...."there's a voice inside my head saying 'you'll never reach it'. Every step I'm taking, every move I make feels lost with no direction.  My faith is shaking. "  I've been down a scary spiral the last couple of months....eight weeks.....ten weeks of trying to heal an inflamed Achilles Tendon and losing ground in my healthy eating....and then the holidays came and a wonderful "food filled" cruise and my life seemed out of control....not only did I fall off the wagon, the wagon went over the hill, the wheels came off, the bolts went flying and I tumbled down the ravine hitting bolder after bolder, pastries and cakes, gravies and fried food, frozen yogurt.  I didn't know the person who was shoveling the food into my was an ogre from my past and as hard as I tried to fight her off, I seemed helpless....but deep in my my fit and healthy soul, I knew I had to climb out of that hole.....

"But I gotta keep trying, gotta keep my head held high. There's always gonna be another mountain. I'm always gonna wanna make it move. Always gonna be a uphill battle.... Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose"

And then like a demon that my healthy body created as a defense to bring me back to my ugly gastrointestinal bug attacked me and I ended up in a hospital emergency room after a night of gut and stomach wrenching elimination.  They told me it was from a nasty little bug I came in contact with on an excursion into Roatan, Honduras.  I choose to believe it was my body rebelling against all the nasty unhealthy food I had put into my formerly healthy body over the prior 8-10 weeks.  My body had enough, it was demanding that I claw my way back up.  My body was screaming....get this crap out of here!  Wake up Peggy!   And so slowly but surely I am getting back on track...... "Ain't about how fast I get there.  Ain't about what's waiting on the other side." 

This is a lifetime work in progress.....I struggle just like you do,  but I will not let myself go back to where I was.....  "It's the climb... The struggles I'm facing.... The chances I'm taking. Sometimes might knock me down... But no, I'm not breaking.  I may not know it but these are the moments that I'm gonna remember most, yeah, Just gotta keep going ....I got to be strong....Just keep pushing on"

 This week I made myself get back to eating fruit, vegetables, grains and nuts, lean meat and gave my body the water it's  been craving.  This week I went back to the gym and this morning I went to a spin class....I'm not waiting for the New Year to start all over again......I'm going into the New Year picking up where I left off....

Don't wait to get started or to pick up from where you left off.  Yesterday you said tomorrow......well that's TODAY!  Take a tiny step forward....even if it's just leaving a couple of bites on your plate tonight, even if it's choosing frozen yogurt over full fledged ice cream, even if it's just a walk around the block....take that step....don't put it off one more day.  Remember these words....

".....there's always gonna be another mountain..
 I'm always gonna wanna make it move...
Always gonna be a uphill battle....
Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose...
Ain't about how fast I get there....

Ain't about what's waiting on the other side... It's the climb..."!

indeed! and yours! Here take my hand, let me pull you back up, let's fight this battle together, let's push those unhealthy demons away......if I can do it, I know you can... Let me help you lace your boots up and let's take this journey together.....It's all about the climb!  Let's make 2013 the year we get fit and healthy....and then stay that way for the next 30+ years!

Thanks Jessie Alexander, Jon Mabe, John Shanks and Miley Cyrus for inspiring me with your words.  I hope you don't mind that I used them (in part) to help me and others in our climb to fitness and good health....please let me know if there's a problem with me using the words ( and I'd love to hear from anyone else reading my blog....I'm here if you need to talk or need some encouragement

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Pulled into the black hole by a rip tide

Do you ever feel like on this journey of weight loss and this effort to get and stay fit/healthy that you fall  off the wagon and then get sucked into a black hole by a rip tide.  You don't intend to eat that second piece of bread pudding or grab that handful of chips.  Do you sometimes feel like you've reverted back to the old you who was out of control....the you before you started this journey in earnest?

Well my friend I hear you loud and clear for I am there right now at this moment.  If you've been following my blog you know that I've been fighting an inflamed Achilles Tendon which has limited my exercise and pretty much made nil most of my cardio workouts.  Has this left me depressed?  Has it knocked me off the wagon? Has it made me gain weight? Have I allowed this rip tide to suck me down and deter my progress?

Well this is a motivational blog and right here I'm suppose to say....NO WAY.  I'm not going to let some inflamed Achilles Tendon deter me from my goal, not going to let my limited exercise lead to weight gain....after all I know how to do this...I know when you are temporarily sidelined, that you really watch your calories and cut back to compensate for the 'less exercise'......come on you know that too! 

So what the hell happened (oops! excuse my outburst)....but really what the hell have I gone and done? Why did this have to happen right at the holidays (at the dessert and yummy food frenzy time of year)?  Why have I let the numbers on the scale creep up from 2 pounds gained to 5 pounds gained to 7 pounds gained? I'm suppose to say NO WAY....I've stuck to my guns, I've fought the urges, I'm winning this battle!!! That's what I'm suppose to say.  That's what sisters Olivia Ward & Hannah Curlee Olivia Ward and Hannah Curlee of Biggest Loser fame would say!  That's what Ernestine Shepherd Ernestine Shepherd - 75 years old.(the oldest woman body builder) would say! 

I am suppose to be inspiring you, motivating you, helping you get over these hurtles....when the  truth is I can't get over them myself.  It's true, I'm just as human as you are and I am depressed at my current status in my weight loss battle.

So gather round....those of you who understand what I'm going through.....and yes even those who know how to not fall into this hole (in fact those of you who know how to help me crawl back up to the top, please write to me at and give me some inspiration).........gather around and let's talk about where my wagon went off the track, why I seem to be barreling down the hill with the wheels flying off and why I am screaming madly.....Shepherd Green, Belinda Fernandes, Olivia Ward, Hannah Curlee, Bob Harper, Jillian Michaels, Whitney Alexander......anyone HELP HELP HELP! Have our views on obesity changed?

Let's see, I've been nursing this Achilles Tendon since early September and I remember my mind being 'still in tact' then...."I can do this, go to physical therapy, do all the exercises I can do that don't put stress on the tendon, count and decrease my calories and just know that I might possibly gain a couple of pounds....not to worry".  But the pain was not subsiding, so more exercise was limited or eliminated all together....just keep doing what you can do and watch your calories........I'm on into October and I see someone sitting on my shoulder with this smurk on her face and rubbing her hands the wicked little witch of the west....uuugh here's an opportunity to sneak an extra cookie or have more than one chip....after all Peggy people will understand how hard it is when you can't exercise like you use's hard, they understand....

And then my birthday came along in November (and of course you have to make yourself a 'from scratch' carrot cake and of course you are allowed to have a piece.....)Oh OK  so I had more than one was my birthday! And then I got the dang not out of my house or out of the gym....but this dang big cumbersome boot on my foot....which slowed me down even more.... and the thought of a cruise coming up in December.........and the 'me' on my shoulder started jumping up and down with great exuberance!  Yeh!  More excuse material....come on Peggy you'll get back to the gym the first of the year, you'll count your calories tomorrow, think of how good that double chocolate brownie tastes with ice cream on can still zip up your size 6 what if they seem a little don't have to be the queen of fitness all the time!  It will be'll get back on track when that Achilles Tendon heals and you can get back to your full exercise January or February!  Yeh! Yeh! Yeh!  (the old me was back and determined to take over and send me spiraling back to the old days when I'd lose weight, keep it off a few months and then slowly put it back on....all of it and more).....and then heaven comes Thanksgiving with all its wonderful food to be thankful for and the vulnerable me not wanting to hurt anybody's feelings by not trying just one more spoonful of  to die for broccoli salad (with bacon bits and sunflower seeds) or to sample a piece of pumpkin, chocolate and pecan pie with whip cream!  Oh my gosh!  I've fallen into a vat of the old unhealthy me!!!!...........and I don't seem to know how to swim.....
I'm drowning....

Heavy you hear me out there........I who am suppose to be your motivation, your inspiration.....I who at 64 have aspirations to follow in the footsteps of Ernie Shepherd and have a sleek, toned, fit and healthy body at the age of you hear me out there?  I'm not perfect....I'm not strong....this is a battle I've faced all my life!
And the old ugly me is looming on my shoulder threatening to take me back into the abyss of unhealthiness!

Deep breath in....Deep breath out.....blow it out....really blow it out!  Dang it!  I am not going to let this rip tide pull me any further under.  I was suppose to go for a weigh in yesterday and I didn't go......after all I'm going on a cruise soon and I'll get back on track after I get back.....well that my friends is just "STINKIN' THINKIN'!"  That is destructive thinking.  I am not going to give into it and I don't want you to give into it either. Remember:  THEY NEVER PROMISED THIS WOULD BE EASY!
                              THEY ONLY PROMISED IT WOULD BE WORTH IT!

So with each of you as my witness I am today, right now, at 8:56 CDT on Thursday, November 28th jumping off that spiraling broken down wagon and stopping this destructive downfall. I'm letting that wagon crash on down the hill and I'm holding on the the nearest branch on the side of the culvert....holding on for dear life and saying....."listen up Peggy Snyder" picture in your mind and believe the sign you once saw......... 
and i'm going to say to myself Love, love love this!

After all I am the hope I've been waiting for.  No one can do this but me....and yes I am human and yes I did fall off the wagon.......and yes I might be temporarily down and out (or at least it feels that way)....but you cannot keep an old dog down.  I have to always always remember "don't make excuses because that my dear is a recipe for failure and you know you are not a failure.." 

Even Dr. Seuss knows I can do this!

-Dr. SuessThanks Dr. Suess :)
I can't believe I let an inflamed Achilles Tendon beat me down like this....oscar pistorius! There simply is NO EXCUSE!!
Thanks for reading this.  Thanks for listening.  You all have inspired me by being the reasoning voice in my head that helps me climb back up the mountain when I fall off the wagon.  By letting me try to motivate motivate me.  I'm counting on you and I hope you are counting on me to continue this journey to be Fit at 99!
Onward and upward!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Check this blog and video out...We all have bad days!

Do you know Olivia Ward...Biggest Loser Winner of Season 11 and her sister Hannah Curlee who was runner up? These two ladies are such great motivators and phenomenal inspiration....but just like you and just like me they struggle everyday to stay on track...

Their latest blog post and video really touch a special chord itch me....check it out

It happens to all of us...we're all human

We slip up...we slip back to our old ways a friend, ask for help....I'd gladly cheer you back to healthy fit thinking.  

We're all in this to be "Fit At 99"

When life throws you curve balls....

The scoop on handling sports injuries
When life throws you a curve ball....just keep on swinging!
You know this must be plaguing me because I continue to write about it....It's a real thing in my life right now and perhaps you're facing something similar.  If so I hope my thoughts in this post will help you to forge ahead and get past this temporary bump.

Sometimes you’re just sailing along and things in your life seem like they just couldn’t be any the oft time sayings by some people when ask “How are things” and they respond, “If things got any better, I couldn’t stand it” or “If things were any better I’d have to be twins” know those times....sure you do, we’ve all had them. Healthy eating is going great, weight is coming off, we’ve made a commitment and discipline yourself to exercise several times a week. The future looks bright and we wonder why we didn’t start this lifestyle sooner.

And then out of the blue (well sometimes not so much out of the blue), life throws us a curve ball—loved ones out of town (and away from your gym and healthy food refrigerator) need your help, Achilles Tendons get inflamed, or any myriad of things pop up in our life that you weren’t expecting—vvvvoooom...the balls sails right past you in surprise; fitness classes are missed, you don’t make it to the gym as often as you had been......and heaven forbid you find yourself temporarily sliding off the old healthy food wagon!!!

It happens! Remember....I never promised you a rose garden. I never said this was going to be easy. I never said life was fair. I’ve only said it will be worth it and that the body achieves what the mind believes.

So my friends, believe this....sometimes it will seem like life is trying to sabotage you at every corner in your quest to get and stay fit & healthy. So what do you do, which way do you turn......What do you do if the doctor tells you “THE CARDIO EXERCISES YOU’RE DOING....RUNNING, POWER WALKING, CYCLING ARE TEMPORARILY ‘OFF’ YOUR EXERCISE LIST!! WHAT!!! That my friend is a very real possibility if you have an injury.

If you have an injury, do not hesitate to see a doctor....listen to your body....don’t try to exercise through the pain (believe me, this is the voice of experience talking here). You may end up doing your body further damage that will sidetrack you for much longer than if you’d listened to your trainer the first time he said...”you need to rest, you need to ice”. Then don’t go into a funk....this is not the end of the world and most importantly not the end of your new healthy lifestyle. Ask your doctor, physical therapist or trainer exactly what exercises you can and can’t do. Because they can usually tell you exercises that will substitute (on a temporary basis) for running, power walking and cycling....exercises that will get your heart rate up and will get you sweating....(sweating is a good thing!) So find out what you can and can’t do.....and then it’s simple-- regroup and keep moving what you can do and don’t do what you’re not suppose to do. I KNOW!....It’s a’s really stinks....just when you’ve gotten in the groove and are seeing results from your dedication to going to the gym and working out hard....making giant giant steps forward....and then you have to take a giant step backwards.

What do you do if you find yourself away from home temporarily taking care of a loved one...and they are napping....and you can’t believe that the hand that is SNEAKING A BROWNIE” is yours!!! What are you your excuse because you’re bored or anxious about the loved one’s condition? Again I must gently as I can...GET A GRIP....TAKE A STEP BACK AND RE-EVALUATE. REMEMBER YOUR GOAL....GET THROUGH THIS TEMPORARY ‘CURVE BALL’ IN YOUR LIFE!!!

The important thing to remember is THIS IS TEMPORARY...just a bump in your road to a healthy and fit body. Don’t you dare stop (unless your doctor tells you...”Off your exercise”....then do it. Do what it takes to get healthy again so you can get back to your routine. Take it slow when they tell you it’s OK to start exercising again. Remember this is a lifestyle, not a short time run. If you’re concerned about the numbers on the scale...which by the way you should not be, you know what to do. Go back to your basic training about losing have to burn off more than you take if you’re sidelined eat smaller portions and by all means eat healthy. If you normally allow yourself a “treat” once a week, try moving that to once every two weeks. Eat more fruits and vegetables. Cut out the foods that are not so healthy that may be creeping back into your diet. Staying healthy and keeping the weight off is a fine balance of healthy eating and exercise...
Keep on keeping on.....but along with these two things you have to have what I call a “Healthy Mind Set”. You have to remember that life doesn’t always go the way we plan it....that things can change even when we don’t want them to. So if you're facing a similar injury or some other things have taken place in your life that are throwing you for a loop....try to think of them as part of our life lesson....we must do what we have to do...we must rest an injury....we take care of loved ones ....we keep on keeping on.....we might have to go to plan B but above all else, we keep on swinging when those curve balls come our way.

  keep on keeping on....and my closing thought....hang in there!

Monday, October 8, 2012

This is a test....this is only a test!....REST

true  and that includes resting when the need arises...and it will arise!

I think I've mentioned this before....if not...I'm suffering from Achilles Tendinosis.  That's a step above Achilles Tendinitis caused from my not taking care of my aching heel....not listening to my body when it very plainly told me "with the pain" that it needed some rest....not listening to my trainer and family who asked more than once, if I understood what it meant to rest my ankle...  Being the overachiever that I am, I just kept on exercising and power walking.....thinking literally No Pain No Gain.

Well let me tell you first hand No Pain No Gain may work for some people and it's a good incentive to push yourself beyond what you think you can do....but when you're 63 years old...the saying should probably be "No Pain No Gain...means you're Insane"! 

I'm a firm believer that we should push ourselves, challenge ourselves, and try to do just a little more than we think we can do.  That's how we grow our health and fitness level.  But now I am a firm believer that no matter how old you are, you have to listen to your body and when it says "Hey, my friend, I need to rest" you best listen up.

Now I am on the verge of being down and out for a while.  I've ended up having to go to a podiotrist who sent me to physical therapy.  Physical Therapy have me doing lots of stretching and ankle exercises, message and ultra sounds and have "suggested" I limit my exercise to upper body and only lower body exercises that can be done on a mat where there is NO (I REPEAT NO) pressure on my heel.  Because even when it gets to feeling better....right now if I put any pressure on the heel, I start the inflammation up all over again and I am back to square one.  The even told me if I am still hurting by the end of the month, they will recommend I give up all exercise for at least 2 weeks and just do the ankle exercises and keep my foot elevated...........HEAVEN HELP ME!

So normally I am going to be your biggest cheerleader for healthy eating and getting to the gym or outdoors or in your living room doing some sort of cardio and toning exercises.  Those are the two main keys to losing and keeping weight off and to staying fit and healthy.  But today, I am a cheerleader for listening to your body....Don't quit, but sometimes you do need to rest...and if you don't do it on your own...your body will stop you in your tracks!

I hate not being able to power walk or do my cardio fit classes....but it's not forever....So remember eat healthy, exercise, beleive you can achieve your goals....but when you have real pain.....listen to what your body is telling you and take the time to rest... and listen to your doctor and trainers......
.From The Four Agreements,  Trust yourself and your body to know when to rest.

The alternative can shut you down for an even longer period!

This is a test...this is only a test.....and I will get through this and be back in the game soon!

Ok...I'm off to do my ankle exercise

Lessons from my Father

A while back my 89 year old dad was admitted to the hospital for irregular heart beat and difficulty breathing and pneumonia. The hospitalization and recovery period afterward was quite an eye opener for me on many levels. The main observance being that, like many daughters, I believed my dad was invincible and would be strong and healthy forever......and unfortunately that just is never the case. Sooner or later at some point, aging will wear out your body and the signs of aging presented themselves very clearly to me. Comments from the doctors have made me committed more than ever to getting and staying fit and healthy, keeping up with my cardio, aerobic and weight bearing exercise. To our surprise, we were told he has some chronic obstructive pulmonary disease *(COPD)....which can be caused from smoking (which my dad hasn’t done in over 50 years) or from scar tissue forming for various reason—one of which is from lack of exercise...lack of exercise that can also cause heart problems.
My dad was a runner most of his life....not professionally....not competitively....and certainly not on a regular basis that I can remember, but he did jog a lot in his 50s and 60s....several miles. But at some point he let that slide, he started getting aches and pains and the jogging became walking around a track and the walking became less and less. It’s hard to convince someone with arthritic pain in their knees and ankles that it’s the continued walking that will get rid of the pain.

We told the doctors that even though he stopped jogging, he lived out in the country and got on and off a tractor and did lots of digging and hard work around the property and house he and my mom lived in. The heart and pulmonary doctor both said.....that’s physical’s not cardio or aerobic exercise; not exercise that gets your heart rate up for a substantial period of time several times a week. I’ve heard my trainer explain similar thoughts....that free weights and weight machines alone won’t get it. You have to do cardio exercises, brisk walking, jogging, cycling at least 3-4 times a week.

I guess none of us can say what tomorrow or even an hour from now holds for us. We could be fit as a fiddle and be hit by a car. But more likely than that happening is that our aging bodies will slow down on us....if we allow them to.

Many things bring people to the hospital......and many of those things are the end results of lack of exercise.

I believe, as my trainer says “Old is a box we put ourselves into”. “Old”doesn’t necessarily have to mean that we are not fit. “Old”doesn’t have to mean we will get sick and have aches and pains. “Old” doesn’t have to mean we become stagnate. “Old”doesn’t have to mean we have heart and lung problems. Our bodies are the homes we live in and we have to take care of them. We have to exercise them regularly. We have to feed them healthy foods. We have to work at being mentally alert. Our bodies do age, but if we stay fit, we don’t have to put ourselves in the “Old” box.

My dad’s health conditions give me reason to let out a heavy sad sigh. But his condition also makes me want to go to the gym and work out, makes me want to take an 8-mile power walk, makes me want to go to an hour long spin class or walk on the treadmill.

never too old.

His condition makes me want to do that today, tomorrow and everyday up into my 90’s. That’s my plan. That’s my goal. All I can do for him now is be there for him, pray for him and encourage him to listen to the physical therapists and try with all his might to continue moving (which right now is so difficult for him).

If your dad and mom are still alive, count your blessings and take every lesson you can from them..........

Another lesson I have learned from this is something I should have learned (and listened to) many many many years ago....something that kept me overweight.....A connection that a lot of us don’t make to our weight gain.....that being “when do you eat” and “what do you eat”. While my dad was in the hospital and as I am taking care of him...the answers to these questions are before my face in BIG BOLD RED LETTERS. I eat when I get nervous, I eat when I’m sad and as strange as it may sound in this situation, I eat when I get bored (if you’re not the one in the hospital, there’s not much to do except sit around and wait). And you tend to eat what’s available at the time even if it’s not healthy.....sometimes ‘especially if it’s not healthy’...........that old ‘stinking thinking’ convinces you it’s OK. Come on let me see a show of many of you have grabbed a package of M&Ms from a vending machine at a hospital, because after all you’re scared, worried, anxious, tired and M&Ms are our friends....little round sweet chocolate pills to help us feel better.....oh good I see one brave honest hand besides mine going up out there in cyberspace.....oh two....three...come on don’t be shy. How about a soda or chips or a crappy cheese burger down in the hospital cafeteria just to get something in your stomach. OK enough of that. You get my drift. I became very mindful of my old bad eating habits that reared their ugly heads while Dad was in the hospital. But hopefully in time, I turned my hand toward my face and pointed my pointer finger at myself and said, “Peggy, what are you doing? You’ve worked your butt off to get the weight off and exercised like crazy to get fit.....are you going to throw it all away just because Dad is not well.......and wasn’t that your goal to begin with to keep yourself fit so you can try to avoid having the problems so many elderly people have as they age....problems that can in many cases be averted with healthy eating and exercise. COME ON PEGGY! THAT OLD PEGGY IS GONE! YOU ARE COMMITTED AND DETERMINED! WHEN YOU GET STRESSED, ANXIOUS, SAD, OR JUST PLAIN AREN’T FEELING WELL...DON’T GRAB THOSE M&MS....EAT SOME FRUIT AND VEGETABLES....GRAB SOME TUBING OR YOUR TENNIS SHOES AND EXERCISE!

Please join me today no matter what your age or fitness level is. Don’t put yourself in the “old” box. Commit to keeping your body fit just as long as you can.

Oh and one more thing I learned. It truly is lesson in the making....a thing of beauty and pure sweetness..... to see an 87 year old woman, married to an 89 year old man for 65 years take care of him when he is sick....and to see the love and appreciation in his eyes at her effort. It makes me cry tears of see such pure love and to know that they are my parents.

I have someone like that in my life. I hope you all have someone to love and who will love you like that.....if you don’t....I hope some day you do.....but remember first you must love yourself. I love you! And I want you to walk away from your overweight unhealthy self. Start eating healthy. Start exercising. Start training to be fit at 99.

One other lesson that just came to that my dad is doing better and I am back home, I realize that even though I’ve not exercised much in about 3 weeks and even though my scale says I’ve gained 3 pounds in the last two weeks, I can pick up right where I left off and start fresh again.....

Life will throw things in your path that last moments, days, even sometimes weeks and months; situations that you are not expecting. Deal with what life presents, but DO NOT QUIT. Just be determined to get right back on track as soon as you can.

Remember this is a lifestyle not a quick fix


Do you have questions? Would you like someone to help you get started or just keep you motivated to continue your effort to get fit? I’m here. I’m not a professional, but I know first hand the struggle and the hard work it takes to get and stay fit. I know the pitfalls and the“falling off the wagon”. Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Why not make it a long healthy life. Write to me...I’ll be glad to write back. If I don’t know the answer to your question, I’ll find someone that does know the answer. PEGGYLEE57@AOL.COM Just put FITAT99 in your subject line so I’ll be sure to read it.

I'm happy to say Dad got out of the hospital and is getting stronger each day.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Goals and New Habits

I just started a new session of a group I belong to  called Lighten Up For Life.  Part of our "attack" on getting fit and healthy is to set goals. Goals are important because they give you a 'marker' to keep track of your progress.

Some of the goals they suggest are 1) Keep a food journal, 2) Increase your activity, 3) Boost your water intake, 4) Build a support squad, 5) Eat more vegetables, 6) Make moderation your method, Choosing smart snacks, Stop with the sugar, etc.

I like to say, as others have, that unless you are a professional athlete, you are not in competition with anyone except yourself. So set those goals and make the goals things you really have to work on to achieve. At the beginning goals could be made to be achieved easily so you gain some confidence. But as you go along make them harder to achieve. Challenge yourself. 

trueRemember you are the only one that can get you healthy and fit. You are the only one that can make you walk away from that cookie. You are the only one that can make you get off the couch and put those tennis shoes on and go outside for a walk, or to the gym or do some aerobic dancing in your living room.

People that are in great shape set goals. One of my favorites was/is setting a goal for myself doing a plank. When I first started out I could barely do 30 seconds. But I kept at it everyday and each day or two or three....I added another 30 seconds. I'll be the first to admit, I've been a little lax on doing that everyday. But at one point I was up to 7 minutes and I was stoked! So I'm back at it and building my time up again. The tool that helped me was to download some songs onto my iTunes and set up a playlist called planks. I made sure I had songs of varying times from 30 seconds to 9 minutes. I then put them on my iPod and I listen to it when I am doing my plank. Every few days listening to the next song on the list which is a little longer than the previous. It works great. My goal right now is to work up to 10 full minutes in a static plank.

I've set myself a calorie goal and I work on that on a daily basis. I set myself an exercise goal and I've made a plan on what days I exercise upper body, lower body, do cardio, etc. and I remember to occasionally change that routine up to keep my muscles and mind on their toes.

Now I can hear some of you saying......"you are way to serious about this....all of those goals counting calories and plans seem like such a chore". My thought on that is that with anything, when you are trying to form a habit, the beginning may seem like a boring task. But that's really what we're trying to do here. We're trying to form a life long habit. A habit that will become second nature to us. A habit that will keep us healthy and fit for the rest of our lives.

So if you're just starting out or if you've been at this for a while and you seem to be hitting a brick wall on your weight loss or in getting your body toned and fit....try making some new goals. Keep your eye on what you want to accomplish in your 'healthy' journey. And remember that it takes a while to form a habit so don't give up after the first few days or the first few weeks. This is not a quick fix. This is your life and if you want to join me in being healthy and fit at 99, you have to make up your mind that you're working on a habit you can live with the rest of your life.
yes yes yes!

Monday, September 17, 2012

I am my own worst enemy....Keep your mind on the goal!

Part of losing weight and keeping it off is exercise—that’s really a key factor—let’s call it 1/3 of the equation. Another 3rd is diet. You CAN NOT “out exercise” a bad diet. I can take 6 fitness classes a week, workout at the gym and power walk 8 miles, but if my diet is full of fatty and unhealthy foods, I might as well be walking around with one foot nailed to the floor...just moving in a circle going nowhere.

Which brings me to the last part of the 3-way equation—that being ‘mental’. In my opinion, this is the 3rd that can do the most damage. Your mental awareness and attitude can produce either the most success or the most failure in getting fit. The body achieves what the mind believes. Even if you eat healthy and exercise, you have to get yourself into the proper mindset because it’s so easy to sabotage yourself if you’re not into the fitness equation mentally.

I recently watched a cooking video done Olivia Ward (you might recognize Olivia as the winner on season before last – Biggest Loser show). She has a blog along with her sister (2nd runner up) Hannah Curlee. Their blog is might want to check it out

In the video she demonstrates cooking her recipe for an omelet made with egg whites, spinach and mushroom. In the video she says that you can add other things—other veggies—fat free ham—low fat cheese, etc. But she follows that up saying, “I don’t put cheese in mine because “I can’t be trusted”. When I first heard her say that I about fell over....those words could have come right out of my mouth....with certain foods “I can’t be trusted”. One of the main rules about getting fit and eating healthy is to remove from your home those food items that you can not “control”. That’s the reason I don’t keep candy in my home, the reason I limit the amount of chips in my home, the reason I limit my treat to ½ cup of frozen yogurt to only Sunday night.

I’m going to be perfectly honest with you here—my “former fat girl mentality” has a mean dangerous way of sneaking up on me and whispering in my ear.......“oh just one more bite won’t hurt you”..... “2 nights of frozen yogurt won’t hurt, after all you exercised really hard today”. It’s like the old cartoon picture of the angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other battling to win over your mind. It’s those little baby steps backwards that lead to slow ‘backsliding’.... that gets you in so much trouble.....and can take you down the old yoyo path of lose weight—gain it back....lose weight—gain it back.

My sweet 89 year old daddy and 87 year old mom love my chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin I have a habit of making a batch of each for them when I travel down to see them every 2-3 weeks. So here I’ll let you guess....Do you think I can just bake them a batch, wrap them up, deliver them, and not have one single cookie myself? OK stop with the laughing and rolling of your eyes.....yes 99% of you guessed right....NO I CAN’T. I’m my own worst enemy. One of my recent goals I’ve set for myself is to do just that. Bake those delights, not take one hot out of the oven, not take one as I box them up, not take two while I’m visiting (because after all everyone else is eating them). The answer is simple, easy and age old....PEGGY—JUST SAY NO!

I’ve worked really hard at eating healthy and exercising faithfully to lose the 55 pounds I’ve lost. Now I just need to bring my mind around full turn to get on board with the program. I am not who I used to be. I don’t want to be who I used to be. I want to be fit now, stay fit and be fit at 99.

FAT GIRL “get thee behind me”. The FIT GIRL that’s hidden so long inside me is out and she’s in charge.


Make sure you have all 3 pieces of the equation fully engaged in your quest to be healthy and fit.




Tuesday, September 11, 2012

You're never too old to get fit

So I walk into my core and cycle class that has become my Monday and Wednesday routine, get my mat, stability ball and weights--the equipment we'll use for class that day.  An elderly gentleman walked into the room and shook hands with the trainer.  I thought--must be just coming by to say hello.  But then the trainer assistant got him a mat and some light weights and a stability this man really going to take the core/cycle class?? Well by golly....sure enough.  Our trainer introduced him (I'll call him Bob) and said "be nice to Bob, he's 93 years young".  I was filled with inspiration, admiration and a spirit of renewed belief that you truly are never too old to decide to get fit.....especially when I was told he had been working with the trainer for a year and when he first started he cold barely walk.  He got down on the mat 'by himself', got up off the mat 'by himself' and did all the core exercises we did......and then cycled on a stationary bike with the rest of us for the second 30 mins. of the class.

Never too late to become a healthier person!  What an inspiration!  I'm 63.  My goal is to get fit, stay fit, and be fit at 99...........this clearly shows you that you can be 23, 63 or 93 and if you make up your mind that you're not ready for your story to be over you can get fit.  Believe in yourself.  Believe you can do it. 
Pinned Image
I'm betting he'll be fit at 103!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

I'm not just stretching the truth......

 Don't know if I've mentioned this before, but I have a chronic problem with a sort of tendinitis in my left heel area (not the bottom like plantar fasciatis--but around the back and sides of my ankle).

My doctor explained that there is a tendon that runs the full length of the back of the leg down to the ankle, then branches out to tiny branches on either side of the ankle.

If you power walk (like I do) or walk a lot (like I do) you can damage that area (which I have).  This has been going on for a few years.

Doc advises that since it is a chronic condition, I need to ice the area each time I walk (which I do) and take Ibuprofen on a regular basis (which I also do....well alternating with Tylenol)....  He also told me to get some heel lifts to put in my tennis shoes and NO flat flip flops....can't do them, can't go barefoot....If I do I pay dearly for it.  So now all my flip flops that I mostly live in except at the gym or in a fitness class have the higher wedged heel (my heels thank me for that)!

But what he didn't tell me (or maybe he did and I wasn't listening) is that I really really really need to stretch the full length of that tendon everyday.

I've started doing that and I am here to tell you (living proof) that it has made all the difference in the world. 

My heel got to hurting me so bad about a month ago that I conceded to my trainer who on more than one occassion said, "What are you doing for it".....I replied 'icing and ibuprofen'...and he said, "Peggy, do you ever give it any rest?"  (I'm a bit of a gym rat....a littel addicted to exercise since I realized how much I love it and how good it is for you!!

!.....anyway back to my thought..(see earlier post) and just did not exercise for a full week (well OK...almost a full week) and then I started these serious daily stretches.

I try to do the forward seated toe touches Pinned Image  but still have difficulty because my hamstrings are so tight. 

I also lay on my back on a mat and use a band to pull my leg up toward the ceiling as high as I can get it.  Sometimes I do that against a wall where you scooch up your butt as close to the baseboard as you can get and put your legs up against the wall. I do standing hip flexars.
 I do inverted A'sStretching for calves, hamstrings and ITband

My goal is to do something like this    Pinned Image 
or thisPinned Image or thisPinned Image  

The goal is really 2 part...well maybe 3 part.... 1)I'd love to be able to do those poses...2) I know if I could stretch like that my tendon would be more flexible and my heel would hurt less (at least I hope that would be how it worked) and 3) if my heel hurt less I could get back to the exercises that bring me the most joy--power walking and jogging.  I mean if I can't power walk or jog or will I ever be the 64 year old winner of the San Antonio Rock and Roll Half Marathon (and someday Marathon)...OK wait...if by some miracle I did it this year, I'd be the 63 year old winner, cause it happens the day before my birthday!  This goal may be "stretching" myself to my current limit, but it's a goal (bucket list) dream of mine and if you know me, you know I'm determined enough to do it!

So don't forget one of the most important before and after parts of exercising......

See you in the gym...

PS.  If you have any real good stretches or tips for helping my hurting heel...write me a comment or e-mail me at and put Hurting Heel in the subject line (ya get a lot of spam these days and I tend to just delete if it shows up there or I don't recognize a me crazy, but that's just me!)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Take a compliment....Give a compliment

Pinned ImageI guess my hard work is finally beginning to pay off.  On more than one occasion at the gym and at other places (i.e. the grocery store!), I've had other women stop me and ask me how I got my legs so toned and muscular.....or just to tell me..."wow you have killer legs". 

I've got to tell you, that is real encouragement to me!  I try to graciously accept the compliment without blushing or gushing.  And I explain what it's taken to get to this point in my quest for a fit body.  It's been lots of hard work and time at the gym or in fitness classes almost every day of the week
The compliments mean so I try to return them as often as I can.  If I see someone in the gym that is doing something I can't even begin to do, I always go up and tell them what a great job they are doing and ask what it takes to be able to get to a point where I can do that stretch or bend or exercise.

Compliments are great encouragement.  You have to be your own cheerleader most of the time in this struggle to get the weight off, keep it off and get your body fit. So when someone else recognizes the change in you and appreciates the hard work it takes to get there, that's a real bonus.

So accept compliments graciously; use them to fuel your routine; use them to set new goals; use them to feel proud of how far you've come.  But be sure to pay it forward and give someone else a compliment too. And it doesn't have to just be about weight loss.  Don't be afraid to tell someone they have beautiful eyes or really cute kids....

Everyone loves a compliment!Pinned Image

There is simply nothing more rewarding when you're on "this journey" then for someone to say "Wow!  You look great.  You've really lost weight."  or "Wow!  You've got killer legs"!  Especially when you're only 14 weeks away from turning 64 :)