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

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Everything in moderation. Even moderation.

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Saturday, July 28, 2012

Staying Alive, What to do when you can't exercise and Where's the motivation???!!

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A sweet beautiful new friend of mine (Deborah) reminded me today that I'm suppose to be writing in this blog.....I mean I did say I'd write some motivational thoughts and info on losing weight (and the battle that entails), keeping the weight off (and the battle that entails) and how you can stay sane with all the advertisements for food and skinny models! And it only stands to reason that in order to get the words on this blog for you to read and contemplate (and yes sometimes roll your eyes at) I have to write!  I'm smiling....I love to write and I want to motivate, so Deborah or anyone else reading this...when you don't see something on here for a while, get out the old cattle prod and give me a poke!

So first off, let me say to forget the skinny models...some of them are way way too skinny and some of what you see is air brushing.  What I'm talking about here is the real world.  I'm talking about you and me on past 50 and doing our best to stay alive in the best fit body we can get.  Below is a video from YouTube featuring Gene Kelly and Rita Hayworth dancing to the Bee Gees famous song "Staying Alive".  Now I have to tell you that someone spent a lot of time and had some real talent to put that video together.  In case it hasn't dawned on you, Gene Kelly and Rita Hayworth and the films in this video were long gone or way past their time when the Bee Gees recorded "Staying Alive".  To produce that video the person who put it together had to be dedicated, committed, and had a goal in mind that he/she saw through to fruition.  And so it is with losing weight.  It doesn't just happen.  You have to have a goal, be dedicated and committed.  You have to envision the final product (the new you).  You have to want to change and believe you can make something (a new you) out of the old you....and yes sometimes you have to be creative.

Sometimes (oh who am I kidding) lots of times, life just is not a bed of roses and doesn't go just like we planned it, hoped it would go, dreamed it would go....oh no, you can almost surely count on a stumbling block or two or three along the way to the new you.
Reality check!
Let's say for instance, you have bum know the kind where the tendon aches when you power walk, do killer wall squats, lunges or just exercise too strenuously.  And you let it go and you let it go and you let it go......(getting my drift here) until finally that old ankle says "Look fool, either you give me some rest or I'm going to do some real serious damage and I'll shut you down for a long time!"  Oh listen, don't mess with your body.  If somethings wrong and you don't take care of it or give it the rest it needs, it will stop you in your tracks.  And then what do you do.  You've been eating healthy, counting calories taken in, burning calories by exercising, making progress, getting in your 10,000 steps a day and then BOOM, dead in your tracks.  What the heck do I do now

OK Peggy,....don't make this a riddle....tell me, tell me, tell me now  what do you do when you can't exercise for a while!!!!! INQUIRING MINDS WANT TO KNOW!

?.........well other than go into panic condition and fear you will gain all your weight and lost inches back (which believe me you'll do if you've had a lifelong battle with weight), you just have to take a few steps backward, take a deep breath and use your head and all you've learned about how to lose and keep the weight off.  First LISTEN TO YOUR BODY.  When it truly tells you it needs to rest; when you're truly in pain....REST YOUR INJURY!  I'm not talking about you just "wanting to rest" and not go exercise, I'm talking about your body saying "sister or brother, this is not a joke, we may have a real problem here, let's rest for a while or go see a doctor".  And I don't mean rest for one afternoon...I mean rest for a few days or a week. 
BUT PEGGY.....I'LL BE TAKING FIVE STEPS BACKWARDS AND I'VE WORKED SO HARD!!!  OK  calm down you know what you have to do.  You lose weight by burning more calories than you take if you can't burn calories because you are taking a required break from exercising, you have to take in less calories.  Plan your meals carefully, if you have a sweet treat once a week or a hamburger, on the weeks you can't exercise, skip those little extras.  Eat more fruits and veggies.  And do the exercises you can do that don't further injure the area you're needing to rest.  If you have an ankle problem, you can still lift weights and work on your arms and upper body.  If you have a shoulder problem, you can still do leg presses and work on your lower body. 

Remember this is a life-long deal.  We are going to have road blocks along the way and we need to have a plan for dealing with those road they don't become setbacks.  We need to be able to substitute things and compensate where we might fall short.  Conversely if you have a big meal (which you're going to do now and again) are going to have a piece of coconut cream pie or brownie alamode every once in a while.............oh don't play's me you're talking to here.....I've walked in your shoes.....hell I'm the cobbler who made the shoes!!  And you will (you should)  do that, When you do...enjoy every morsel and then compensate with some extra exercises.   And when you can't exercise, because of an injury, compensate by backing off with equivalent calories.

This is not rocket sceince my friend.  This is using the basics of losing weight and keeping it off...for the rest of your life. We are in this fight together and we're trying to get fit and by doing so.....


If you have an injury....listen to your body....but don't lose your commitment!

.don't stop

Thanks again for the reminder Deborah.....keep them coming and I'll do my best to keep my promise to write in this blog and hopefully motivate someone.

PS.....I've been promising a before and after of me.... so here you go....

Before                Now....but still a work in progress...

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Even at 63 you can dream.....and if you're going to dream you might as well dream big (er....I mean small)!

The best fat loss system any pair of jeans has every known...... Well I figure at the rate I'm going my chances of looking like this will come when I turn that's what I'm shooting for.  Let's see that gives me 1 year and 4 months to drop 15-17 more pounds and 10 more inches in my core area.  It will not be easy, but then as the old saying goes " Nothing comes easy that's worth anything".  Today I went to my Tuesday Strength class and we did steps with weights and then just weights to strengthen our arms and legs.  This Strength class is actually called "Strength Training" it's not really a full workout.  It's an hour long and the fitness trainer shows us different exercises we can do with steps, weights, bands, balance balls, stability sticks etc.   But much like a cooking class or a sewing class, or a woodworking class, you can be shown the things to do and the form in which they should be done, but if you do not take the knowledge home or to the gym or to the woodworking shop, and practice them you really don't benefit from the training.

LISTEN UP!....oops sorry, I didn't mean to yell....I just really need to get your attention here.  This fitness game is serious.  You have to work at it.  It's just like anything else--- you can't just wish it would happen, you have to put in the time and effort and make things happen.  You can't just look at a picture on Pinterest and copy/post it (see above picture) and hope that someday you'll look like that.  I'm being perfectly honest here (been there, done that, voice of experience here).  It just flat will not happen.  When you see the skinny, curvy, muscular, toned gal or guy in the gym and think to yourself....."yeh she really needs to be here!!!  Take a step back and think about's very very possible that that gal or that guy was once overweight and afraid to step foot in a gym to face yet another skinny, curvy, muscular gal or guy.  It's very very possible that at one point they said to themselves, I just need to lose a few pounds so I don't look like some blob walking into the gym that people are going to stare at and silently ridicule.

I was that gal.  I weighed 200 (plus) pounds and I've always been a worrier (about what people think) from the word go.  But then one day something clicked in my head.  I know some of you will hate reading this.....but the first little click came when I started watching "Biggest Loser" on TV.....I know it's a reality show, I know they get paid to show their overweight bodies and let people watch them get weighed every week....but it made me think.  I didn't need to lose as much weight as some of those people and by golly if they can do can I.  Losing weight and getting your body fit, toned, healthy and strong DOES NOT COME FROM SITTING ON THE COUCH WATCHING BIGGEST LOSER OR WISHING YOU LOOKED LIKE THE WINNER AT THE END OF EACH SEASON. It comes from getting off that couch, analyzing/changing the food and the amount of food you eat, going outside to walk, and getting to the gym to work out.  If you're serious you'll want to get a trainer.  Believe me it is worth every single dime you have to pay.

A gal that is in my Cardio Fit class (which consists of 30 minutes of spin and 30 minutes of cardio dance) said to me the other day that getting started and sticking to it was pretty easy for was was a matter of life and death (thank you for that inspiration Ellie!)  It is indeed as simple as that.  Think of it that way.  You are fighting for your life.  Don't get me wrong....I know death is a part of life.....not one of us will escape that part of the end of our lives.  But I for one think it's great to know that everyday I watch what I eat and everyday I go to the gym or a fitness class and everyday I put my health and fitness as the number one (top of the list) priority in my life---I'm giving myself the chance to extend my life and the chance that my extended life will be less likely pulled down with arthritis, diabetes, heart problems, cancer and a myriad of other things that being overweight and unfit can bring to you in your elder years.  If I was in my 30's and had young children, I'd think about wanting to be able to run and play with them and be around to see my kids graduate.  If I was in my 40's, I'd think about wanting to be around to see them graduate from college or get a good job, find the love of their lives and be the mother of the bride or groom when they get married.  If I was 50, 60, 70 I'd want to be around to enjoy my grandchildren and maybe even my great grandchildren. 

If you're reading this blog and you're any of those ages, stop for a minute and think about where you are in your life and where you want to be in 10, 20, 30, 40 years.  If you're not healthy and fit, if you're so tired of having to go in the store and buying something in the big girl or the tall and big guy's department, if you feel uncomfortable in your body, if you feel like your eating is out of control.....Help is on the way!!!!! 

Now listen carefully.  Read these words and reread them as many times as it takes to get them to sink in.  "YOU ARE THE HELP YOU'VE BEEN WAITING FOR"   You are the one who has to get up off the couch and take those first few baby steps.  You are the one who has to make the commitment.  You are the one who has to put in the time and matter how slow it goes.  You have to start somewhere.  You have to start today....and if this week doesn't go well, you have to pick yourself up, brush yourself off and start over next week.....and keep doing not quit....and as my friend Ellie said.....once you get it, once it's pretty simple....You're doing it to improve your life and yes maybe even save it.  Get rid of your unhealthy habits and learn some new healthy ones.

Don't say you can't.  Take CAN'T out of your vocabulary.  It's not a question of if you can--it's a question of will you?  I'm hoping you will.  If I could I would scream it from the rooftops....I WANT YOU TO BE HEALTHY AND FIT--PLEASE TAKE THE FIRST STEP!!!  YES I'M TALKING TO YOU!
Remember dreams do come true....this is one of my favorite quotes on taking the steps to make your dreams come true:
Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills, countless ideas and endless plans: That the moment one definitely commits oneself then providence moves, too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and
material assistance which no man could have dreamed would come his way. Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it! Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Remember,achieve what the mind believes

I'm cheering for you to dream.....dream big and get up and make your dreams come true!

Till next's to your health and fitness,

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

It's an agonizing spiral....and I'm not talking cinnamon roll

Where do I begin to make someone who's never had a weight problem understand? 

Being overweight and unfit is more than just overeating and not getting enough exercise. It involves so many other emotions, uncertainties, and struggles. It's like you have all the pieces of the puzzle to put together and create a new picture of yourself....but even when you lose weight and get fit, the mind of a former fat girl keeps her questioning--if she has all those pieces put together correctly--if she'll be able to keep the new picture. It's tough getting over feeling that if you slip off the wagon food-wise or exercise-wise that you'll slip down the black hole and end up the same fat girl you used to be.  In many ways being overweight is not so different than being an alcoholic or a drug addict......when you're overweight, food is your drug of choice, not getting enough exercise is your downfall.  And like a reformed alcoholic or a clean drug addict, keeping the weight off and staying fit is something you have to work on everyday.  For anyone with any kind of addiction, that every day chore can often feel overwhelming and scary. You have to find a way to find balance in your life while still maintaining "sobriety". 

I've been there, I've done that....I continue to fight the fight and cry the tears and struggle..........struggle so hard to find a way to find some balance in my life without feeling like if I splurge one weekend or miss one fitness class that I am not doomed to return to my former self.

I just have to listen with an opened mind and heart to those who love and care about me..........and others who are my wise trainers when they tell me to trust myself and what I've learned; when they tell me that I know what to do to maintain.  When they tell me that if I miss a fitness class in order to allow myself to write - or read- or sew - or keep an appointment - or take a vacation that I can adjust my diet and take in fewer calories.  When they tell me that if I eat a little more than I should or eat things that are not healthy....I can add another fitness class that week.  When they tell me that I can adjust, I can maintain.....and most importantly that I must have balance in my life or I will surely fall off the wagon because I'll will be trying to do something that I cannot do for the rest of my life.  Sounds pretty simple to someone who has never struggled with the "addiction" all their lives.

But for a former fat girl.....and I know my fellow weight watchers will be shaking their heads in agreement here.....maybe even be crying tears with me here when I say (heavy sigh), it's just so scary to lose weight, lose inches, feel fit and then think about maybe not doing 8 fitness classes a week, plus gym work and power walking.  It's scary because we're afraid that if we don't continue to do what has gotten us to our "better selves" we'll lose all joy we've found and gain all the weight back.  I can't explain it's just what makes a former heavy person (woman or man) tick.  We may see a much thinner person in the mirror, we may see ourselves actually easily zip up a pair of 4 jeans....but our minds will not let us accept the fact that we can make this a lifetime achievement.

We have to find balance in our lives.  If you've worked very very hard, counted calories, eaten healthy, exercised like crazy and are near or met your goal........ask yourself this question,  Can I do the things I am doing for the rest of my life?  I think the answer must surely be the old song says "I never promised you a rose garden". 

I am at a crossroads in this journey of mine.  I am within 15 pounds of my goal weight and I can get into a size 4 jean....but I seem to be at the perverbial plateau.....not going down in weight and more scary than that either roller coastering up and down or gaining a few pounds at each weigh in.  And besides the life long roller coaster ride I've been on with my weight, I've been on this really serious (albeit successful)journey for 10 months.  Everything was working fine until I stopped counting calories and changed up my exercise routine of going to the gym every morning --even on days I had fitness classes--but those things were working for me and I let others talk me out of that routine.  Maybe that's a process of formerly or presently overweight people....they are easily swayed. 

Well I'm giving this some deep thought and my thoughts are to go back to what was working for me....what motivated me .....and I have a sneaky suspicion it involves standing up for myself for once.  I know I can't go overboard.....I KNOW!  But this new way is not working and I'm feeling like a failure.....and believe me coming from a formerly fat girl......feeling like a failure is not a good thing.  Can I get an AMEN!

OK.....I hope I haven't lost you along the way or made this sound like doom and gloom....I'll work this out.  It may have happened in the past....but you have my word this time I am not back-sliding and losing all the ground I've covered.  I'm not going back to how I used to be.  So bear with me, breath a heavy sigh of understanding if you've understood every word I've written here and lets move forward and start fresh.  We can do this!