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, 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. 
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I'm betting he'll be fit at 103!