NANCYANNE55   91,647
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In Spite Of, not Because Of

Thursday, April 08, 2010

If you are waiting for life's circumstances to be "just right" before you start eating right and exercising, you are in for a long wait. They never will be.

Why is it that we view taking care of ourselves as an added burden?

Why do we look at ordering a Big Mac and large fries with a McFlurry as easier than ordering a Grilled chicken sandwich, hold the mayo, with a side salad and unsweetened tea?

Why do we look at exercise as something that takes "too much time", but we have time to sit down and spend 2 hours watching The Biggest Loser?

Why do we look at over eating, or eating crap, as an acceptable way of burning off some stress? Has over eating ever really HELPED your stress?

Look, folks, it's a change of mindset.

Since last Ocbober, when I made the decision to make the changes to my lifestyle that would enable me to have a body I am proud of, a lot of stressful things have happened. Here are a few: I got braces on my teeth, a family member died, I had seven immediate family birthdays and four major holidays take place (one of which family members came in and stayed with us for- which was a pure pleasure!), my daughter had an emergency with and then surgery on her feet to include recovery from it, another daughter is being sued in a big way, my son wound up in the ER with a dislocated knee, the step-kids and my husband came back over Christmas vacation....... Oh, and not to mention my husband lives and works 1200 miles away and I am acting essentially as a single Mom to my kids, one of whom is a mentally handicapped adult and living with me.

There's more, but you get the idea.

The point is, taking care of yourself has to be a PART of life, not an optional and disposable add-on.

Yeah, I know you're tired. I'm tired. And I know you have a lot going on. I have a lot going on. But when I decided I was going to make changes despite my circumstances and that taking care of myself needed to be a part of my life just like showering or brushing my teeth, THAT's when the changes came. And now I have more energy to do all of life's stressful stuff because I have less body weight to haul around. I am handling life's stresses BETTER with a more fit body.

It's a change of mindset. Not a change of circumstances.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LUVYA04 8/9/2011 11:38PM

Wow Nancy thanks for writing that. emoticon

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TANYAP71 8/9/2011 1:26PM

    Thank you for sharing your 'stuff'. I have my own set of 'stuff' and sometimes I need the wake-up call of having someone else lay all theirs out so I can see that it *IS* possible to handle all that AND take care of myself. I spent 10 years thinking I couldn't and I need all the encouragement I can to remember I CAN.

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SCHNAUZERGIRL 4/20/2010 8:53AM

    You really have a great way of putting things in perspective!!! Thank you for sharing :)

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KLC1017 4/17/2010 12:40PM

    I love the part where you mention like showering and brushing your teeth -- I would NEVER skip these EVER so why do we put of healthful eating and working out?

For me I get nervous energy sometimes and instead of running on a treadmill or track outside, I literally sprint to the kitchen and eat a lot .. and then the next day I stay within my caloric range until I get the anxiety feeling .. Even after I exercise I'm super hungry but it's not about NOT eating at all, it's about making the RIGHT choice!! Very moving article keep writing, but most of all keep DOING and TAKING STEPS toward your life and body goals!

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    Thank you for the inspiration - I've got WAY less going on in my life right now. Time to let go of all of the excuses!

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NEWNARAYAN 4/9/2010 1:41PM

    thanks for sharing all of this. really! u continue to inspire me!

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IM_GETTIN_THIN 4/9/2010 10:37AM

    this is SO true! I chose to finally get with it and change my eating habits for the better when I was at my most ill(est)[is that a word??] time in my life six months ago; I have made so much progress since then there is no going back for me to all that junky food. thanks for posting that sister! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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RAEVENSWING 4/8/2010 5:19PM

    With that outlook, you can do anything. emoticon

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ADRIENNE29 4/8/2010 2:12PM

    I love the last paragraph. We all have a story to tell. Its how we choose to handle it that makes a difference. You have over come a lot. Good job Nancy!

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It's Never Too Late!

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

The title of this blog has become a bit of a mantra for me.

If you think you are too old to change your physique, think again. It's never too late to make a drastic change for the better.

One of the things I love about the human body is that there are many things we can change about our appearances, and I'm not talking hair color. I'm fascinated with the fact that we can drastically alter our bodies to be more of what we'd like them to be: A too-big body can be made smaller, a too-small body can be made bigger, and muscle can be added to change overall body contours.

The wonderful news is that body you have is not the body you are stuck with. You can change it.

Weight lifting has added size to my shoulders and fat loss has deducted size from my hips. Both exercise and fat reduction have given me a small waistline. This combination has converted my bowling-pin shaped body to an hourglass. This is all by choice and design, friends. I have a very slight build through the upper body without muscle, but with it I look much more proportionate and feminine.

I'm not saying it's easy or quick, but YOU have the power to change yourself, too. You just have to claim it.

Yu know the old saying "You can't teach an old dog new tricks"? Not true! Us old dogs CAN learn new tricks. I'm 43, and I'm still learning new things...... and unlearning old, bad things.

I think it's more that old dogs choose to be set in their ways than that they are not able to learn new tricks. If you want to be set in your ways, that's your business and choice. But don't blame the way you look on an inability to change.

Areas of our bodies that are less than perfect are largely the result of our own choices.

The sooner you own the roll of your choices in your appearance, the sooner you'll be ready to start making changes to help yourself out. That's what I'm hoping to accomplish with this blog post: Moving people towards the right place mentally to start becoming healthier.

Not only can you change the shape of your body, but exercise helps to reverse the aging process. Weight bearing exercise makes bone more dense, dramatically reducing the risk of broken bones as we age. It helps to keep one's height from shrinking so much with time. Exercise, to include gentle stretching, keeps our muscles and ligaments supple and therefore less prone to injury. And it actually helps us LOOK younger. People see a fit body and they automatically associate it with youth.

And, as I've found out over the past year, it helps you to recover from surgeries and other traumatic things that happen to your body more quickly. (As any woman who's nursed babies knows, there are some things exercise CAN'T fix- for those you need a good surgeon! ) Ask any doctor- the better shape you are in and the better your diet, the faster you heal.

Look, I don't necessarily want to look younger than 43- I just want to look like a really GOOD 43. And the best way to do that is to take care of myself from the inside out.

I don't care if you are 20 or 70, weigh 700 pounds or 115- YOU have the power to change your own body. Your physique is not destiny: It is a choice.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JENNIFERP23 4/19/2010 6:36PM

    Very good thoughts!

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PAULAMARIEF 4/8/2010 8:32AM

    I hear ya, I'm going to be 46 this year!

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MICHARM 4/7/2010 9:08PM

    Fabulous blog...I am in the process of transforming my 40 year old body right now and I believe everything you have written about!!! Thanks for writing it! I love it!

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RACHEL_MAC 4/7/2010 8:54PM

    Love it! I'm gradually getting MUCH less pear-shaped and much more proportionate. Now if only I could magically grow some boobies, we'd be talking!

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RAEVENSWING 4/7/2010 6:18PM

    It is NEVER to late. The benefits of weight lifting are endless.
You have the ability to shape your body the way YOU want it.
Genetics do play a part, but are not an insurmountable obsticle.
Another great blog Nancy!

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IXCHEL23 4/7/2010 5:19PM

    Great blog! So there is hope for another 43 yr old like me! I have a pear-shaped body too which I've always couldn't stand, I know I have to build up my upper body to look balanced. My thighs are like turkey legs, super chunky on top and thinner on the bottom.

I've added you as a friend if you don't mind. You look great!!


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Weight Lifting Hunger

Monday, April 05, 2010

Do you have an issue with hunger, now that you've started lifting weights? This has been an issue with me in the past, too. Here are a few things I've done to combat this:

- I drink massive amounts of water. I mean, on average a gallon a day. Often more.

- I eat 6-7 times a day, which breaks down to every 2-3 hours. Yes, I know this is something you hear frequently, and I used to roll my eyes every time I heard it because I was so sick of the same advice all the time. But it really does help me to not be so ravenous after I lift. Plus, it's not as hard to wait when I'm hungry knowing another feeding is just around the corner.

- I often have somethine easy to tote, like an apple or a protein bar, in my purse to eat on the way out of the gym. This snack ALWAYS has carbs in it to help replenish depleted glycogen in my cells from the lifting.

- I have protein with virtually every one of my 6-7 feedings a day.

- I avoid sugar, white flour, and most processed foods. I don't know why, but I get a lot hungrier and have more cravings when that junk is coursing through my body.

- I try to do some cardio right after lifting whenever possible. For some reason cardio seems to counteract the hunger that the weight lifting causes to a large degree. Don't know why this is, but the fact is that doing this has helped.

I've also found that after several weeks of lifting the tendency to be so blessed hungry decreases greatly. Now, I really only battle it when my hormones are messing with me.

Admittedly, being hungry because of lifting can seem counter-productive and be a real mental mind-game when you are trying to be fit. But if you can work your way through it, the benefits of lifting heavy make the journey well worth it. And you'll feel better about yourself for having persevered.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KJS_MOM 3/18/2011 11:53AM

    well reading this confirmed that I am on the right track! Awesome blog!

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MESSENE 3/7/2011 9:57AM

    emoticon emoticon

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BRITTNYF 7/26/2010 4:20PM

    This was so helpful! I've lifted for several years now but have recently really revved up my workouts and have noticed I'm so ravenous. It was really getting to me last week, but this post was really helpful and I'll definitely keep these tips in mind.

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NANCYANNE55 4/17/2010 1:06PM

    Harishabad, thank you so much for the reminder! I had forgotten about my tip to bring something to eat on the way out of the gym and changed the blog to reflect it.

I appreciate you saying that!

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HARISHABAD 4/17/2010 12:46PM

    I too walk out of the gym starving. I don't like to eat before I lift because that gives me heartburn. I found a serving of protein powder either by itself or mixed with something helps me avoid this and it gives me time to get home and fix a healthy meal!

Love the Wonder Woman Background!


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CPESCE1 4/12/2010 6:28AM

    I usually drink a protein shake before my workouts but I don't usually notice the hunger after my evening workouts that I do after my early morning ones. I don't know if it has anything to do with going to sleep soon after the evening workouts and maybe I sleep through it, but after my early morning workouts I am usually FAMISHED and craving carbs. I find that mixing yogurt with old fashioned oatmeal is the key. It satisfies my hunger (eventually, not quickly as if i had grabbed a sugary meal) but it satisfies for a much longer period of time. Love your spark page by the way - your photos are awesome! You should be very proud of your accomplishments.

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ADRIENNE29 4/6/2010 5:01PM

    I agree with the cardio seeming to tame hunger a bit...but then I notice I will get hungry ALL of a SUDDEN......which is usually perfectly timed with lunch....Today I had my normal breakfast, got some cardio in (yesterday was strength) and wasn't hungry until I went in to fix lunch for the family, then it hit me hard! I skipped my morning snack, because I was out running and not hungry when I got back.....

you are very wise!


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    Thanks for the tips! I totally agree that after my weight lifting class i feel ravenous while cardio usually turns me off from food. Interesting... lol. I usually break my meals up too! I can tell its working for look amazing!

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MARIONESS 4/5/2010 6:04PM

  Hello NancyAnn,
I really enjoyed your comments. I had been using weights on and off for years. I just love the benefits of reshaping ones body, fast and the mental health that goes with it. But I too remember that after my workouts I would feel like I could eat everything in the fridge! I have just started back at the gym again yesterday, after about a year of being away. Luckily, my body felt happy to be back to it although I am a bit sore this morning. I will definitely give your tips a go!

Thanks, Marion

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RACHEL_MAC 4/5/2010 6:01PM

    Yes yes and yes! The thing that helped me the most was upping my breakfast intake to the point where I was eating till I (literally) felt ill (though that's not saying much, I was still coming in around 300-350 calories). When I eat a big breakfast, it keeps my hunger in check all day--and I don't wait till an arbitrary time to have my morning snack (around 10:30-11ish most days). For a while, I avoided it because "lunch is coming up soooo soon" -- but if I let myself get starving in the morning, it set the stage for all-day-long hunger. Thanks for the great tips! :) You look fabulous!

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Carbs, Fat, Protein, and Gin

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Do you know the caloric content of a gram of each carbs, fat, and protein? If not, gaining this knowledge can help you to understand food labels better.

A gram of carbohydrate and protein each have 4 calories.

A gram of fat has 9 calories.

Yep, fat packs more than twice as many calories in the same weight as carbs or protein.

This is why something can be so small and still contain so many calories- It's a high fat content.

On ounce of oil (2 Tablespoons) is 240 calories, all from fat.

For that same amount of calories you can have just over 2 CUPS of unsweetened applesauce, all of the calories from carbs.

See the difference?

So you can actually consume fat calories faster than carb or protein, because there are more calories in a smaller space.

All have a place in the diet, and you don't want to cut fat out entirely. I like to get between 20 and 30 percent of my calories from fat, but I try to get them healthy fats like olive oil, peanut oil, canola oil, avocado, and in the meats I eat. I'm allergic to tree nuts, but for those who aren't they and their oils are also healthy forms of fat. If I'm going to butter something I'd prefer it be the real thing- Butter made from cream.

As a general rule, if a source of fat can stay solid at room temp, it's not good for you.

Incidentally, a gram of alcohol is 7 calories, which is nearly that of fat and almost twice that of carbs and protein. With no nutritional value, there is little benefit to making alcohol part of ones diet.

All calories come from one of those four sources, by the way- Cabs, Protein, Fat, or Alcohol.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    That's a really interesting way to look at it... volume wise I mean. I did know the calorie count... just never thought about it this way. Thanks for the visual!!!

And I agree... love your new profile pic!!

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THINMOMMAGN 4/16/2010 7:39AM

    Thanks for the info - a much better read than a text book and more uplifting!! emoticon

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NANCYANNE55 3/27/2010 12:37AM

    Olive oil, Lori. Hands down. Canola is a neutral oil, in that it doesn't do anything bad to arteries and such, but olive oil actually IMPROVES the cholesterol and aids the body in many ways.

Of course, it's still packed in calories, so only use small amounts.

Canola is better than vegetable, though.

And you are right- Teenagers know EVERYthing. Been through four of them already. Three more to go. :-)

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IM_GETTIN_THIN 3/26/2010 5:51PM

    thanks for the comments and by the way your profile pic looks fantastic! It is a coincidence that tonight my son and I were having a debate over oils. I told him I like to use olive oil and he claims that canola oil is better I kept telling him no it is not; mind you now the boy is sixteen years old and fancies himself a cook. I still say olive oil is the best and avocados are also a healthy source of "good" fat. what do you think? emoticon

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ADRIENNE29 3/25/2010 5:50PM

    great illustration to bring the point home!

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Surround Yourself With Accountability

Monday, March 22, 2010

The concept of this blog is really pretty simple, but it's the thing that has been key in me finally being able to make a permanent lifestyle change: I boxed myself in with as much accountability as possible.

It started with going to Weight Watchers meetings. Not the At-Home program. Not on-line meetings. The actual in-person meetings. I knew I needed the accountability of weighing in with an actual human being once a week. And I don't just weigh and leave: I make myself stick around for the meetings. I'll be honest with you- Most of the meetings I feel like I could lead myself. I have the most phenomenal WW leader on the planet, but for me they are largely review. They help keep my head in the game, though, so I attend 'em.

Over time I've added other things: Now I also weigh at home on Saturday's, and have a fantastic personal trainer/nutritionist who trains me distance and breathes down my neck about anything I eat that gets in my way of my goals (No more iceberg lettuce, Ruben! I promise!), have started blogging, and have posted pics of my progression on public sites. If you are reading this, you are part of my accountability network.

In short, the more I am forced to own up to what I am doing, the less likely I am to mess up.

And, now I have made up my mind that in the summer of '11, after my braces come off and my daughter is married, I'm going to try my hand at figure and/or bikini competitions. Even if we (trainer/ nutritionist, and myself) get to the point where I should be competition ready and decide my body isn't right for it, I'm gonna at least LOOK like a figure competitor.

What's it gonna hurt? Nothing. What's it going to help? Everything.

I plan to have a new goal in front of me, be it a competition, a race, a new body fat level, or adding more muscle, at all times. And I plan to always attend Weight Watchers meetings and weigh in weekly. Why? Because I know if I don't, eventually I'll gain the weight back and go back to what I was. I must ALWAYS be accountable. That's just the way it is.

How can you make YOURself accountable?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BEKAH_IS_FIT 3/29/2010 1:23AM

    I liked this a lot. Thank you.

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RAEVENSWING 3/22/2010 8:18PM

    I to set goals and once they are in front of me I'm after them
like a pit bull. You are what you dream. Your goals are admirable
and I know you will achieve them. I make myself accountable and
no one is harder on me...Then me.
Great Blog! emoticon

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STELLAR8R 3/22/2010 5:42PM

    Great Blog!I have enjoyed reading your other blogs, too. You are exactly right about accountability. I, too, joined WW - it wasn't long before I was just weighing in and not staying for the meetings-as they seemed to be review for me, too. Next thing, I stopped going to the weigh-ins. It's the deception of the gradual that gets me. Thanks for writing what I'm sure many are thinking.

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    Great blog, I noticed that when I got smaller on my own people would comment on how good I looked, but when I was about 30lbs heavier than I am now and would tell people "Yeah, it feels good that I lost weight, but I'd like to lose more" I'd have people telling me I looked just fine and that life is too short to be really concerned about weight and body image. I still voice my goal to my friends and family, but in a much different way than I used to.

I don't think it's their fault, I think it's just that they don't understand. When I tell my family that when I eventually move I'd like to join a gym and continue weight lifting (which will be more challenging, since I'm a little limited with what I can do at home) they usually tease me a bit and tell me I won't like how I look or that when I visit I won't be able to eat "real food" lol

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FITPRIS 3/22/2010 5:25PM

    I have clients that make me accountable. IF I decide to make bad choices, it reflects on my body. I can't tell others to make good choices, if I make bad ones.

Great Blog!!! Have a great day!!!

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