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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
Get An Email Alert Each Time NANCYANNE55 Posts