Hello everyone!!! This is the last week of my 14 week writing spree on leaning out for summer. I am very excited to say that I have learned a lot about myself over these last few months and have gained strength and confidence in my ability to maintain, and in many ways, improve my overall way of life.
Another big feat this week is that I will be turning 44 on Saturday. I am not afraid nor ashamed to call out my age. I am proud of my age and the way I feel. Age is just a biological thing…not a big deal. The big deal is how I choose to lead my life and how I work to make myself stronger and healthier as I age.
I just read an article this morning about aging and the problem in our society with the increasing levels of obesity in our country. Here is the article. I do recommend that everyone read it since it makes so much sense and has a lot of value as we all work to improve our bodies as we age. This is no easy task!!!! http://health.usnews.com/health-news/articles/2012/05/22/you-really-are-what-you-eat .
In June 2009 (then age 41), I did a physical fitness analysis called “Fit Point” at Life Time Fitness in Woodbury . The fit point test analyzed overall fitness levels such as cardiovascular ability, bicep strength, flexibility, body composition/body fat and overall fitness. Based on the results of my analysis, my physical age was 29. I was thrilled with that number. Today, 3 years later, I feel better than ever and have made so many positive changes in my life (both in diet, exercise, reduced stress etc.), that I feel I have not aged a bit–I actually feel younger.
I have been thinking about the changes I have made since 2009 and I wanted to highlight them below. I also wanted to point out that we all can make positive changes at any age. It makes good sense to do so, especially since the statistics of the middle age and the aging population do not look promising. Here is my 2009 vs 2012 list of changes, improvements, and accomplishments. I have to remember that behind every strong women is a functional network of support. I have many people to thank for being a part of my life and working with me to accomplish so much. For example:
-My husband, Tom (of 17 years on Sunday) encouraged me to eat healthier and increase my exercise many years ago. We joined Life Time Fitness in 2003. In addition, it was Tom who stopped eating red meat first over 14 years ago. I agreed that cutting out red meat would be good for us since both of us had border line cholesterol levels. He is also the one that supports me when I am wanting to run one more lap, get to the gym, or complete one more set of squats.
-My daughter, Autumn (now 16) became a Vegetarian in 5th grade. I always cooked for her, and our family ate 60% or so vegetarian. She encouraged me to go outside of my comfort zone and implement a vegetarian lifestyle as well. It is one of the best things I have done and I have been doing so for 1 full year.
-My son, Forrest (age 14), has become my strength training partner. This is so exciting to see him develop into such a strong and fit young man. The only scary part is that he is developing new muscle so fast….I think he is now stronger than his mother.
My extended family, friends and gym colleagues have also supported and encouraged me as I work to have a healthy lifestyle rather than sabotaging my efforts. This is a really big deal because when people close to you don’t support your lifestyle, it becomes very difficult to continue this more structured (but better) way of life.
Please share your accomplishments too if you would like. I’d love to hear them.
|LIFESTYLE IN 2009
||LIFESTYLE IN 2012
|Worked out 4 days a week mostly cardio and almost always stairmaster
||Workout 6 days a week, cardio and strength training most days
|Did not eat as clean as I should, quite a bit of meat and processed foods including beer
||I have been a vegetarian since May 2012-challenging but better. Very clean diet and a glass or two of red wine once a week
|Just starting to jog and doing light weights
||Run or walk most days of the week, much heavier weight lifting and strength training for overall body
|Weighed in at approximately 128
||Weight today varies from 115-120
|Body fat: 13.4%
||Body Fat: Ranges from 8-12% depending on time of year, competitions, off-season etc.
|Skipped gym days, claimed I was too busy or tired
||Very rarely skip workouts—too valuable to miss
|Completed workouts, without a real plan
||Since the Fall of 2010 competed in 4 fitness competitions: 2 in figure and 2 in Bodybuilding
||Received my Pro Card in Female Bodybuilding: Oct. 2012.