Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA
Alexandra: If you’re working full-time AND caring for your parents, it’s easy to see why you are exhausted. If I understand correctly, you are more frustrated by motivation and time issues; not a lack of information, right? So let’s look at some ways to reframe your motivation.
From the way you word your question, I gather you don’t like exercise too much (join 75-80% of the population). So forget about exercise – focus instead on what kind of MOVEMENT you enjoy. Do you like to walk, swim, dance, mow the lawn, bike ride, bowl; what? Anything that you do that is MORE than what you’re currently doing will help you be successful.
You also talk about feeling paralyzed, which triggers all kinds of things in my counseling brain, both literally and figuratively. It tells me you know what will happen to you if you DON’T change your habits, and that it’s overwhelming. I believe you are thinking in a 1-10 way. In other words, you are at 1 (I am not exercising, I have to lose 50 pounds & I have no time), and you can only think of 10 (I will be 50 pounds lighter). But you need to map out what 2, 3, 4 …. look like. If you have stairs at home or work, can you add 2 extra trips up and down each day? That could be step 2. Can you then make your food portions smaller and do 2 trips daily? Step 3. You don’t have to even contemplate intense, sweaty movement or weight lifting (this helps you burn extra calories even when you are NOT moving) until step 8 or 9. Write down your first few steps at least!
If your parents are ambulatory, can you walk around the block with them? Not only will it help slow their rate of mental decline, it will help keep YOUR brain healthier. (Read our post on the subject by clicking on the link). So when you are thinking, “I could get in a few minutes of exercise now, but…” remind yourself that those few minutes will not only help with your weight loss goal, but keep you alert as well.
You obviously don’t have any extra time in your day, so you might want to think of ways to change up some of your current routine. For example, how much of the day are you sitting, and when can you switch some of that out for standing or even pacing? If you spend a lot of time at work on the phone, you could be pacing while on calls. People who stay at a healthy weight tend to be fidgeters – can you add in some fidgeting? Another trick – every time you go to stand up or sit down, add in one extra sit-stand. You can add an extra 10,000 squats per year using this trick. Move stuff from convenient places to inconvenient spots. An example – I keep most of my food in a back pantry, which means I have to leave the kitchen quite a few times in order to get the ingredients I need to bake or cook. Put your phone across the room instead of near you so that you have to get up every time you need it. Anyway, you get the idea.
Even if you and your husband cannot get away from the house at the same time to be active together, he can still be a source of encouragement and support (nagging doesn’t count as support – I know; I’ve tried it). In our post about losing weight when you’re a caregiver, we talk about the importance of having a pal who is on your side.
Kymberly: Susan – With everything you have going on, no wonder taking on another “should duty” is exhausting. I agree with my sister about reframing. If you could shift from thinking of adding a fitness routine (yikes – another task in an overloaded life!) to seeing movement as a positive time for YOU and a break from responsibilities, you will have an easier, more successful time meeting your goals. For instance, if you or your parents watch tv evenings or weekends, would you find it helpful to perform stretches, yoga, or light jogging in place during ads? Near work, is there a park, interesting street, or a mall you can go to for your lunch break – even once or twice a week – where you can walk as you eat? As few as 5 minutes in nature has a calming effect; 10 minutes of cardio activity decreases stress levels, enhances energy, and assists brain activity so you will actually feel more awake; less fatigued.
Perhaps even more impactful and surprising is that you may need to sleep more to lose weight and minimize exhaustion. Caregivers are usually sleep deprived, which leads to higher stress levels and stimulated appetite. Our post on the role sleep, stress, and sugar play in weight management offers more insight.
Again, is your lunch time and place flexible enough that you could slide in a guilt-free 20 minute nap? Can you get to bed 20 minutes earlier? While sleeping may seem counter intuitive to getting more fit, it is possibly one of your key solutions.
Here’s to slotting in a bit more movement and ZZzzzzssssss for yourself! Let us know whether any of our suggestions get you moving in the direction you want.
Readers: Hire us to speak at your next meeting or conference, or to write your blog posts. Call us at (805) 403-4338 or email email@example.com.
Be a winner while losing, and subscribe to our YouTube channel to access short videos that will improve your fitness level and destress you. Have you subscribed yet to our blog? Please follow us on google+Alexandra and +Kymberly, on Twitter: AlexandraFunFit and KymberlyFunFit and Instagram: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit.
It was a dark and gluten-free night… and sis and I were deciding whether to attend all four days of the annual IDEA World Fitness Convention. Then (thunder sound inserted here), what should happen but a knock at the email!!! Our buddies from Attune Foods invited us to help out at their booth, sharing the goodness that is their cereal.
Saying yes to being at the booth meant we got to talk about (and eat) their Uncle Sam Original and their newest cereal, Uncle Sam Rye & Hemp, which meant we know for a fact that these two have only four ingredients, and sugar isn’t one of them, which plays nicely to my love of healthy foods that make my body healthy, leading to increased brain power that allows me to channel my inner Faulkner and have fun writing one very long sentence!
In other words, it was the start of a weekend with a focus on the relationship between our minds, bodies, and good nutrition. As anyone who has tried to lose weight can tell you, the mind controls the body. When it comes to food, our bodies are a result of what our mind thinks, believes, assumes and creates. Luckily, our minds are malleable! Ponder and assimilate, grasshoppers, ponder and assimilate. In shorthand – P&A.
* If we want to attract healthy relationships, we must be healthy
* Our relationship to food and how we eat reflects how we live, so eat mindfully
* Every thought we have becomes our physical self
* Our thoughts release chemicals into our bodies. When we change our thoughts, we change our physiology
* When you are stressed, put away the utensils and eat with your hands; preferably outdoors
* If you are feeling depressed, eat raw cashews first thing in the morning
* Chronic disease isn’t because we are old; it’s simply the late onset of all the stuff we’ve done to our bodies up to that point
* How old would you be if you didn’t know your chronological age? That is how old your body thinks you are
* The people who live longest are those who are most flexible and adaptable. This includes eating for health, not chemical pleasure. Adapt your diet to increase your longevity
* Organic food is better for your health than cleanses, as your digestive system already renews itself every 3-4 days
* Physically you have a new body every 7-10 years, so it’s not too late to change your eating habits
* Your chronological age does two things – gets you beer and discounts. It’s your biological and psychological age you should focus on
* To improve your digestive system, eat 2 tablespoons of raw, unfermented sauerkraut every day
* Gluten and casein are the two most common causes of inflammation
* You will be healthier eating junk food with someone you like than eating healthy food with someone you don’t
* Medications can help, yet be aware that they silence the symptoms. Meditation can help silence the thoughts that led to the symptoms
* Use food to harmonize, not demonize, your mind, body, and soul
All the above tips come from Teri Mosey, who has the most unique combination of degrees – a
Bachelor’s in Biochemistry, Master’s in Exercise Physiology, and PhD in Holistic Nutrition.
* Keep a food diary
* Be aware of hunger
* Step self-sabotaging thoughts
* Build resilience
* Be aware of how you eat when alone vs with others
* Read the label before eating
* Take time to enjoy your food
* Turn off distractions
* Consciously tense up your muscles, then relax them when you’re about to make a poor food choice
* Look at pictures of happy events when tempted to stress eat
* Don’t make it personal. You are not good or bad according to what you eat; you are undergoing a process of change
Did you know that the ONLY food directly related to pediatric obesity is sweetened beverages! Back away from the soda (and check those energy and replenish drinks too).
These tips are from Michelle Murphy Zive, MS, RD, and Principal Investigator: Network for a Healthy California.
I came away from the convention with a renewed respect for my body, especially after tear duct surgery on both eyes. I’d say I had a determined look in my eye, but that was actually the swelling. My eyes might not have been working, but my taste buds were, and I came away from the convention with a few boxes of Attune cereal. Scooooore!
Back-To-School Rebook Sale
Until this Sunday August 18, Reebok.com is kicking off the Reebok Friends & Family Sale! The Friends & Family Sale is one of Reebok’s biggest sales of the year, so make sure to take advantage of this great offer and get 30% off your entire order by using the code FF30 through Sunday if you’re in the market for fitness apparel or shoes.
Reebok has also marked down some of the hottest apparel and footwear in their Sale Section including Classic leather and Zigs in a variety of colors, styles, and sizes! Men’s, women’s and kid’s hoodies, jackets, shorts, sports bras, and t-shirts are on sale too! We thought the sale was a good deal so we’re sharing it!
Your event needs education, motivation, and fit-ucation? Call us at (805) 403-4338 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Grab a fruit smoothie and head on over to our YouTube channel to view short videos that will improve your fitness! Have you subscribed yet to our blog? Please follow us on Google+Alexandra and +Kymberly, on Twitter: AlexandraFunFit and KymberlyFunFit and Instagram: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit.
Good news Amy – you and Patti are already doing a number of things that will help you reach your goal. Take a look at these 5 action items:
You don’t say how the 50 pounds are split, so let’s assume 25 each. You have seven months to lose 25 pounds, which means you have to drop just under 4 pounds a month. People who have been successful at losing and keeping weight off lose no more than 1.5 – 2 pounds per week. You only need to shed 1 pound a week. Make that your mini-goal; it’s less daunting than focusing on 25 pounds.
Because you have until March, you can choose low, moderate or high intensity cardio. If you are caregivers for your parents, we think you are probably past 40, which means you may have knee or hip joint issues. High intensity is the most time-saving method for burning calories, yet you may not wish to do high impact. The link to our post on losing weight via high intensity, lower impact activity includes a video. You two will also need to add some strength training (hand weights, tubes or your own body weight work great). The combination of cardio movement and resistance training will have you burning calories at a higher rate even when you’re finally sleeping at the end of your very long days! You might like to take a look at this post from a woman who wanted to lose 100 pounds. The focus is on choosing movement you enjoy.
Successful “losers” write things down, especially their goals and food intake. You’ve already publicly stated your goal, so you’re halfway through this one. A fun fit fact: just the act of writing down your food intake can cause you to lose weight! How? The mind (whooooo eeeee oooo)! If you tell yourself that you’re just taking stock, not judging or eliminating, it’s easier to make an honest, complete record. And you don’t get stuck in that mental loop of wanting what you think you “can’t” have. Yet once it’s written down, you unconsciously will find yourself dropping some of the unhelpful foods out of your daily intake.
Again, the mind is the leader in weight loss, as well as the saboteur. You cannot go from 1 – 10 without going through 2, 3, 4… Drastic changes or denials don’t lead to success. Figure out what the increments look like. Do you switch out one soda a day for water? Do you cut one high-calorie, low nutrient food in half before eating it? Change the mental, “I can’t have this,” to “I choose to not eat this because it gets in my way.” Another fun fit fact: when you find yourself about to eat something that will not help you reach your goal, give yourself permission to eat it…in 5 minutes. In five minutes you’ll either eat it or you will have moved on to something else. But telling yourself “Yes” instead of “No” tricks your brain into losing interest. We have some other incremental tips in this post about overeating at the holidays.
As women who work and provide care, your time is probably precious and quite limited. Maybe you can’t go to an hour-long group fitness class (our favorite), but can you go for a 3 minute walk several times a day? It doesn’t have to be outside – pacing your kitchen for 3 minutes works just as well. Do you have stairs? That is the #1 weight loss tool in your home. Add in an extra set up and down a few times daily. Pace when you’re on the phone. Fidget when you are seated. When you go to sit down, pause just before your seat hits the seat, stand back up, then sit down. That one extra squat each time you go to sit adds up to thousands of squats, which adds up to calories burned. Circle your car 3 times before you get in to drive to work. You get the idea. I, Alexandra, like to crank up the Led Zeppelin songs and dance while I sweep and iron. What works for you?
Boom. You have this one down, done and did!! Whether you team up in person or via text messages, having a support system is key. Schedule regular accountability check-ins with each other to stay on track.
Math Problem: Working + Caregiving = Stress. Stress can actually make you gain weight. Within the demands of your life, choose some actions that help you relax. This can be as quick and simple as clenching your fists as tightly as possible for 5 seconds, then completely relaxing your hands. You cannot physiologically be stressed and relaxed simultaneously.
Let us know what works for you and Patti as you lose, then maintain your weight. We love to share good tips and successes.
Once you reach your goal, read this post about maintaining weight loss. The steps are different, yet the mind is still in charge.
Hire us for your next meeting or conference, or to write your clever blog posts. Call us at (805) 403-4338 or email email@example.com.
Be a winner while losing, and subscribe to our YouTube channel to access short videos that will improve your fitness level and make you happy! Have you subscribed yet to our blog? Please follow us on google+Alexandra and +Kymberly, on Twitter: AlexandraFunFit and KymberlyFunFit and Instagram: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit.
The answer is quite simple at first glance, yet in practice deceptively difficult. For years I’ve told my students “the closer to the ground the better,” yet many of them found this answer confusing, and over the years it’s required more explanation (yes, kind of sad).
First off, I’m not a nutritionist or dietitian (although I can spell “dietitian” without looking it up). What I am is a good researcher and writer, including this list of articles about food and health that I’ve written. I’m also a good eater and all-around healthy person.
I’m tempted to say that the answer to the healthy food question is, “It depends,” but that’s probably due to my counseling studies, when I learned that it’s the answer to most questions! My new response is to answer with my own question: “Does it (the food) help or harm your body?” For example, I have a friend right now who’s pregnant and dealing with gastroparesis. She cannot eat veggies without getting quite ill. She can, however, keep down sno-cones and pierogies. For her, leafy veggies are unhealthy.
For my sister, it’s possible that she is now allergic to some foods that were perfectly fine for her for decades. As identical twins, we are usually quite similar in our medical issues, so I’m curious to see what she discovers as she eliminates, then reintroduces, certain foods. Kind of a canary in the coal mine thing. She is the canary in this scenario. At present, she is testing out a wheat-free diet. We wrote about some of the research for and against in our post “Is Wheat-Free Better for You.” Bottom line: Eat whole grains. Stay away from genetically modified organisms.
For many of my women friends, a glass of red wine in the evening is possibly a heart-healthy dose of resveratrol. But for me, it’s just a drink that makes me turn red and get a headache. Other friends need to live by a gluten-free diet, while some thrive on organic whole grains.
Vegan, vegetarian, paleo, GF, clean eating, pescatarian, omnivore, high-carb, low-carb, restricted-calorie, intuitive, timed – the list of eating categories goes on and on. And every single one of these eating styles is healthy – for someone.
So I think my new answer is a good one. If it helps your body (chemical cravings for Ben & Jerry’s “Americone Dream” don’t count), then it’s probably healthy for you. If it harms, then why would you eat it? Rather than give advice, I’ll share what works for me.
* Whole grains
* Organic or at least pesticide-free
* Cooking & baking from scratch
* Few processed, packaged foods
* No soda, energy drinks, or high-sugar drinks
* No meat
* All ingredients are recognizable and pronounceable
* If it shouldn’t go in my (or my kids’) mouth, it doesn’t come into the house
* Reading research and books. At present I am reading “Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition” by T. Colin Campbell, PhD, and I love anything by Michael Pollan (did you know he’s Michael J. Fox’s bro-in-law?)
In a further spirit of sharing, I’m also going to give away a $100 gift card from Bob’s Red Mill. I wholeheartedly endorse their tagline “Whole Grain Foods for Every Meal of the Day.”
Reasons you should love this company:
* Their mission is to bring good, healthy foods to as many people as possible
* They have given millions of dollars to support healthy nutrition and wellness, and address the issue of pediatric obesity
* Owners Bob and Charlee Moore gave the company to the employees in 2010
* They sell a complete range of whole-grain food products (not foodlike substances), including organic, gluten free, non-GMO, and kosher
* Their prices are extremely fair (example: $5.79 for 5 pounds of organic white whole wheat flour, compared to $8.95 from their closest competitor)
* The food is delicious
So what will you choose if you win the $100 gift card?
* Flours & Meals
* Grains, Beans & Seeds
* Gluten Free
* Baking Aids
The SuperFine print: This giveaway is open to U.S. and Canadian residents. Yes, my Canadian friends, you are included!!!! That is just how generous Bob’s Red Mill is. The winner will be chosen on Monday, August 5th at midnight PST. We will notify the winner via email and other social media forums. If that person doesn’t respond within 48 hours, we will choose another winner.
This is a truly amazing gift, so you will want to do all the amazing entry options.
Got an event needing edu-taining speakers? Call us at (805) 403-4338 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Get whole-body goodness, including great exercise and active aging advice by subscribing to our YouTube channel to access short videos that will improve your fitness level! Have you subscribed yet to our blog? Please follow us on google+Alexandra and +Kymberly, on Twitter: AlexandraFunFit and KymberlyFunFit and Instagram: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit.
For a hint of the fun flavor, we present this flash mob video of “Fame.” Alexandra is easy to spot.
Last week we headed up to Portland, Oregon to speak at the annual Fitbloggin’ convention, which in their words is “for bloggers interested in fitness, wellness, good food and a healthy lifestyle. Two days of education, networking, friendship and fun.” But you don’t have to be a blogger; you can be a future blogger too.
Mornings were dedicated to small group discussions that ranged from the challenges and emotions during and after significant weight loss, to goal-setting (for diet and activity), to injuries. Afternoons were for the business side of things, with speakers talking about writing, working with brands, making money from your social media accounts, improving video & photo skills, technical blog skills, and nutrition. A lot was packed into the two-day schedule, that’s for sure! If you go to the Fitbloggin’ Facebook page, you can access the notes to many of the sessions.
In between, there was the Expo hall, where sponsoring brand representatives showcased their latest products and services. When we say “showcase,” we mean “they were very generous with their time and products.” For example, Reebok gave everyone a fitness top and workout shoes.
Alexandra wore the top in the JumpSport trampoline class and her boobsicles stayed in place. Ergo (yes, a place to stick that fancy-shmancy word). we signed up to be affiliates with Reebok via Share-A-Sale because we think you will like their workout apparel. Maybe we should get an ad tagline: Better Boobsicles for Boomers! hahahaha. And someone (not Kymberly, sadly) won a complete kitchen from Amana. Alexandra won a personal trampoline, so look for some upcoming videos that show knee- and pee-friendly moves!!! If you don’t know what that means, just move along. Nothing to see here.
We have attended and spoken at many, many (repeat that word several times) conventions, and found this one to have the most “hugs,” by which we mean friendliness and genuine caring between the bloggers, Fitbloggin’ staff, sponsors and even the hotel staff (it was held at The Nines in Portland).
An enthusiastic thank you goes out to NOWFoods, the company that helped pay for our travel to Oregon. They offer products that range from aromatherapy to supplements to snacks and teas. And they happen to be giving away free samples of their Slender Sticks on their Facebook page. Just click on the square marked Sample. One lucky attendee at our “Craft the Perfect Pitch” workshop won a backpack full of their products. It was probably worth more than what she paid for the convention!
Next year it will be in either Austin or Nashville. We’re voting for Austin!
Need professional, edu-taining, motivating speakers or writers ? Call us at (805) 403-4338 or email email@example.com.
While bouncing around, subscribe to our YouTube channel to see short videos that will improve your fitness and health. Have you subscribed yet to our blog? Please also follow us on Google+: Alexandra and Kymberly, on Twitter: AlexandraFunFit and KymberlyFunFit and Instagram: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit. Or click now on the icons above.
The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of VitaFusionAlexandra Williams, MA
The last time I had my blood drawn I was doing better in my iron than my usual anemic stats, yet was in need of more Vitamin D, which seems to be standard for boomer
hotties women such as myself.
If I give you the stats about the various vitamins and minerals in the chewable MultiVites gummies for adults that VitaFusion sent me, you will skim it, even if I say they come in peach, berry and orange natural flavors, or that they contain as much Vitamin A, C and D3 as 1 cup of broccoli, 1 tangerine, and 3 ounces of salmon. What I’ll do instead is tell you a story about my son and my evil genetics.
I never realized how much I choke on food and drink until I had kids and they talked about how often I seemed to have trouble swallowing. To me, it was normal. I thought that everyone struggled to swallow pills. And being ribbed about putting water in my mouth before the pill didn’t faze me. How was I to know that the rest of the world puts the pill in first?
Then it turned out my younger son was born different from the rest of us. Among his issues was an inability to fully move his tongue or swallow properly. I learned that this included choking when he was in 2nd or 3rd grade and I had to give him the Heimlich while his brother called 911. He went onto a choking protocol at school after we got him tested the very next day.
So he and I share a dislike of swallowing pills, but for him it was more of a life-threatening kind of deal that freaks out the mom! So he always had chewable vitamins. I just continued with my “water first, pill second, then swallow and gag” routine. So I raised my hand really high when the invitations went out to try these chewable gummy vitamins for adults.
For me, it’s truly a relief to find a daily vitamin that I can easily ingest. No more talking myself into a daily vitamin. And even though my son no longer has a choking protocol in place, he still can’t do pills. But he’s old enough for the MultiVites, so I went right over to our local CVS and bought him some. When I finish the bottle that I was sent, I’m going to get the Platinum kind that’s for the over-50 crowd. Yeah, I need to get over the fact that I’m in that age group. sigh….
It’s hard to convey in words how much difference something seemingly small can make. For most of us, having a chewable vitamin is a mere convenience; for my son it’s a safety issue. And he likes the texture and taste. Typical teen. Atypical swallow reflex.
If you have a young kid, especially one who has trouble swallowing, VitaFusion has a version for the youngsters. I didn’t try it, but still think you might like to know about it.
Need professional, edu-taining, motivating speakers or writers ? Call us at (805) 403-4338 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
While biting the gummy bear’s head off, subscribe to our YouTube channel to see short videos that will improve your fitness and health. Have you subscribed yet to our blog? Please also follow us on Google+: Alexandra and Kymberly, on Twitter: AlexandraFunFit and KymberlyFunFit and Instagram: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit. Or click now on the icons above.
The most interesting panel (besides my own, of course. Of course!!) was “Food Blogging for the Next Generation – Finding Solutions at the Intersection of Childhood Obesity and Food Insecurity in the USA” Big Ass title to match the heavy hitters on the panel: Anna Lappé of the Small Planet Institute, Elly Spinweber of Partnership for a Healthier America, Lea Webb – one of the nation’s leading community organizers, and Michelle Berger Marshall of Feeding America.
It was extremely interesting to hear about the obesity epidemic from the food point of view, as I’ve spent so many years studying it from the fitness perspective. Some of the salient points might interest you:
* Vinegar can be made using fruit peels (the description sounds a bit like my sourdough starter)
* Eggshells will keep slugs away from your plants, especially if the shells are sharp. Toast your eggshells and feed them to your chickens (Okay, maybe YOU don’t have chickens, but we do).
* Peach pits combined with vodka make a delightful extract. Just watch out for the cyanide!
* Carrot tops can be added to kosher salt to make bouillon flavoring
I shall end with a smoothie recipe I created based on ingredients from a few of the BlogHer Food sponsors.
1 Ataulfo mango (I prefer organic) Whole Foods has a video showing how to cut one. I wish I’d known these cutting tricks when I made sticky rice with mango a few weeks ago
Vanilla bean or plain yogurt from Organic Valley (if you follow me on Twitter, FB or Instagram, you know my obsession with this company)
2/3 cup almond milk
1 tsp Bob’s Red Mill flaxseed meal (Bob is a real guy. We’ve met him. He gave his company to the employees. And he’s from Oregon. What’s not to love?)
1 banana (if you want an eensy bit of chocolate, throw in a frozen chocolate-banana dipper from Dole . You’ll have 3 dippers left over. Eat them for snack… right after breakfast)
Blend all these in a Ninja Pro Blender. I tested the blades on my hair and they were effective!!!
Top it all off with a Snicker Doodle cookie from Udi’s Gluten Free. I’m not a gluten free eater, but these are actually tastier than the ones I bake myself…according to my kids.
I searched for the links in this post using Bing. The Bing reps at the conference were funny, approachable and had great customer service. Three qualities you probably like in a brand.
Are you a food lover? What’s your favorite mango recipe?
Disclosure: I was not paid one single penny to mention any of the brands above. I just like to support brands that support bloggers AND provide quality products. So click away!
While drinking your smoothie, subscribe to our YouTube channel to see short videos that will improve your fitness and health. Have you subscribed yet to our blog? Please also follow us on google+: Alexandra and Kymberly, on Twitter: AlexandraFunFit and KymberlyFunFit and Instagram: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit. Or click now on the icons above.
At 55 years old, I have had 7 plus years of experience with the “change.” Women can begin having hormone changes from the early 40’s into the 50’s with numerous symptoms from irritability to night sweats to hot flashes to depression to anger to hair growth – just to name a few! I KNOW – aren’t you all looking forward to this if you are not there yet?
As much as all of the above symptoms are a pain in the arse, I think the one part of changing hormones that drives women crazy the most is the dreaded weight gain! We are minding our own business and living a healthy life when all of a sudden our bodies decide to fight us!
I started perimenopause in my late 40’s. It was not too bad then. Once I hit 50, well, all hell broke loose! I could do a whole other post on symptoms beyond weight gain, which come and go and come and go and come and go for years. For this guest post, I am going to focus on weight gain and what we can do to manage and reverse it.
For me, I was already doing all of the above. I was weight training with intensity. I was doing cardio sessions with intensity. I was already eating very cleanly – lean protein, healthy fats, the carbs that the experts were saying to eat to manage the weight. It was frustrating to know I was already doing everything I was supposed to do and still gaining weight, so I had to find a way to make it work for me.
I was already a person in tune with my body. I like to say I “listen” to what my body tells me in terms of how exercise and food affect it. I make sure to notice how my body changes when I eat certain foods. Learn to get more in tune with your body rather than going through the motions.
I started to SLOWLY change some of the foods as well as the ratio of protein to carbs to fats. I reduced the calorie intake – SLOWLY – I would say every 6 months or so starting at age 50. Sometimes the changes were less than every 6 months and there were times it was more than every 6 months. This is where that “LISTEN TO YOUR BODY” comes into play – so important!
There were times when absolutely nothing I did mattered & the body just refused to change. PATIENCE is your friend! Don’t give up and work through this!
Also, pay attention to how your body looks and how your clothes fit. The scale, if you do weigh yourself, may not move but your clothes may fit tighter. The weight on your body starts to shift to different places during perimenopause to menopause so be aware of this otherwise the scale and/or your clothes are going to provide a rude awakening one day! 😉
You are going to have to decide what is most important to you in terms of how hard you are willing to work to maintain your pre-perimenopause/menopause body. From experience, I can tell you it is very very hard to keep the weight down and the same body appearance as we age. Only you can decide how hard you are willing to work to keep the weight in a range that is comfortable for you.
I know this all sounds depressing and you want to say, “screw it all”! This is life for women. Some have it worse than others but we all will go through it. All you can do is accept it for what it is and decide what you are willing to do, how hard you are willing to work and honestly, how important it is for you to stay at your pre “change of life” weight. It is hard to stay there so it is not a bad thing if you decide that 5 pounds’ extra is OK. Everything in life is relative to what works for you long term
I have found a couple wonderful sources of information I would like to share with you.
Ellen Dolgen at http://www.shmirshky.com/ is an expert in this field. Her website has resources to help you through this along with a directory of doctors specific to “the change”. She has also written books that will make you laugh out loud while still giving you the information you need to manage this time in your life.
If you are looking for sleepwear to help you through the night sweats & hot flashes, check out Dry Babe at http://www.drybabe.com/.
I am open to questions if any of you want to email directly at email@example.com. I could have written another 5 pages on “my life during perimenopause & menopause” but I am sure this has gone on way too long already!
Bio: For those who don’t know me, my name is Jody Goldenfield & I blog at Truth2BeingFit, http://www.truth2beingfit.com. I am 55 years old and have been working out for over 30 years. I love to weight train but I also do my cardio! I admit to having done many things wrong when I was younger but I learned from those mistakes. My motto is “always learning” and “always a work in progress.” I plan to continue to challenge myself each and every day no matter what age. Age is just a number!
Thank you to Kymberly & Alexandra for allowing me to guest post here today!
We hope and suggest that you check out Jody’s blog. You’ll start each week out positively with her “Gratitude Monday.” You’ll end your week pumped up by a woman whose enthusiasm for resistance training will motivate you. Hop over now!
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The dieting world is a multi-billion dollar industry enticing you at every turn to invest in miracle weight loss program. Unfortunately for about 95% of the population these diets rarely work. This leaves dieters feeling frustrated, perhaps a bit betrayed, and most detrimental, like a failure.
To start on the road to a healthier you, discover the 5 nutrition mistakes you need to avoid in order to reclaim your health and body! No more diets, just a healthier, happier you!
We can all agree that diets for the most part do not work. Typically they are short lived as few people can sustain the type of deprivation that many diets require. Or if results don’t happen as quickly as we’d like the diet ends.
Weight loss is not an enigma if approached correctly. Believe enough in your ability to make the right call when it comes to what you put in your mouth. You know what’s healthy and what isn’t. You know what enhances your health and what detracts from it.
If diets worked, obesity would be eliminated. Today with so many options, food is confusing. But if you think about the way our grandparents ate it was pretty simple. They didn’t have the abundance of junk food, fast food, and processed foods that we have today. So why not eat like your grandparents? Include more fruits and veggies. Get rid of snacks, especially processed ones. Make sure your grains are whole grains and your proteins are lean. Watching portions with all food groups is vital for your success!
I’m still amazed with the number of people I meet who skip breakfast. In all my years of training, the clients who struggled the most with weight loss were the ones who didn’t eat a morning meal. I know you’ve heard this a million times, but it bears repeating: when you skip breakfast it wreaks havoc with your metabolism. When you eat breakfast, it’s like throwing wood in a fireplace; it ignites the fire (metabolism). Eating breakfast also keeps your body working efficiently, i.e. burning calories versus storing them. If you want to drop some weight, eat breakfast and skip the fancy latte.
Sugar-free products continue to grow and share space in Americans’ cupboards. Between soda pop, yogurts, cookies, etc. sugar free does not mean healthy. In fact, very often the calories can be higher in sugar free items because they have to kick up an ingredient like fat to make it taste better. The best thing you can do for your body and weight loss efforts is to review #1. The body doesn’t like processed foods which many of the sugar free products are. If you’re looking for sugar free, you’ll be able to find plenty of whole, fresh foods that are void of chemical flavors with a whole lot more nutrition.
Watch out for trends. Fat-free, sugar-free, gluten-free, carb-free and on and on. What’s a woman to do? Whenever there is a trend that promises to be the latest answer to weight loss, people jump all over it. Though there are certain people with pre-existing disease who need a special diet, most of us don’t need to go gluten-free or carb-free to get healthy. Again, trendy foods can be processed and full of things your body doesn’t need. So the next time a trend hits a magazine cover, remember it isn’t the answer to your weight loss woes.
This is probably the most important part of the weight loss puzzle. Be realistic about what you want to attain. It’s unfortunate that so many women want desperately to lose weight yet just can’t seem to find what works. Lofty goals are frequently set and rarely met. Start off with eliminating one unhealthy food. Once you’ve mastered that, move on to the next. That’s realistic! The best thing you can do for yourself is to honor your body by giving it whole, fresh foods as often as possible. Giving up certain foods can be very hard, but once you start eating better the craving for less healthy foods dissipates. Trust me. As someone who lived on fast-food, the idea of giving it up was tough.
As women we have everything we need to be a healthy weight and it starts with trust. Trust yourself enough to know that you have the ability to make the right choices for your body. Diets don’t know you or your lifestyle; only you do. Take it slow, make gradual changes and I can guarantee that a year from now you’ll be better off than you’d be if you had been through a series of diets. Take charge of your health and nutrition mistakes will be a thing of the past!
Nicki Anderson entered the fitness industry over 25 years ago after losing close to 50 pounds. Fast forward to 2008/2009 when she was named IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year, after succeeding as a business owner, fitness pro, and club customer service consultant. Learn more from her about reaching your fitness goals via her books, the most recent of which is, Nicki Anderson’s Single Step Weight Loss; 101 No-Nonsense Tips for Healthy Living, Weight Loss and a Diet-Free Life. But why stop there when you can enjoy her blog, Thoughts on Health, Family, and Life After 50. You can also find and friend her on Facebook. We warn you – she’s funny!
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Hard to make that sound sexy and exciting. However, having a strong circulatory system and being flexible should be on the top of your “gotta have” list if you want to live a full, healthy life. If you are a woman over 45 (keep those genetic predispositions in mind too) you will especially need to focus on circulating better than a politician at a fundraiser!
Circulation is the movement of fluid through the vessels of the body in a regular or circuitous course induced by the pumping action of the heart. Say what? When you have good circulation, blood can move to every cell in your body in less than 60 seconds.
Thinking of which, did you know that heart disease is the number one killer of women in the US? Or that the symptoms of a woman’s heart attack can differ drastically from men’s, so those signs often go unrecognized? We need to do better at spotting heart attacks in women AND take action to minimize heart disease in the first place. In other words, having good circulation not only can improve your life, but possibly also save it!
Notice how Bob Hoskins ends up at the ER in the Bonnie Raitt video clip? Did you notice what he was eating? Exactly!
The three main ways you can help your circulatory system are to:
While many types of exercise help your overall awesomesauceness, walking is the single most effective form of exercise to achieve heart health, according to the American Heart Association. For every hour of walking, life expectancy may increase by two hours.
Achieve good flexibility
Researchers have established a correlation between flexible bodies and flexible arteries in people older than 40. Can you touch your toes? If so, you probably have flexible arteries. Arterial stiffness indicates an increased risk for heart disease and stroke. Being fit seems to delay the development of age-associated artery stiffening.
Intake healthy food and drink
One of our favorite ways people can support their circulation is via cocoa flavanols. What can be better than finding out that a regular, small dose of dark chocolate helps your health. We’re all over that good news!
On this last day of Heart Health Month, we are headed to the IDEA Personal Trainer Institute on the east coast to partner up with CocoaVia® to help spread the word about taking care of your circulatory system all year long! They make four flavors of cocoa flavanol supplements (2 chocolate; 2 fruit). We’ve tried them all, and love the fruit flavors in our morning smoothies and water bottles. Check out more recipe ideas on CocoaVia’s site.
Traveling to conventions is also proven (completely non-scientifically) to help us circulate with our knowledgeable fitness colleagues, so we are looking forward to the trip. Please follow our adventure via our pictures and tweets.
While you’re at it, please have a heart and subscribe to our YouTube channel and blog. Please also follow us on Twitter: AlexandraFunFit and KymberlyFunFit and Instagram: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit. Or click now on the icons above.