Lifestyle change

Sometimes it’s harder to implement than to delve up a solution.  Struggling with my weight has always been a constant factor.  Unfortunately I am not blessed with genes which enabled me (in the past and now in the present) to eat whatever I want whenever I want.

Living in a society which markets to the American consumer in such an overindulgent (and unhealthy way) can prove to be quite challenging.

I do admire my husband for his will-power and fortitude to do what’s right and maintain his health.  I, on the other hand, can sometimes talk a lot of hot air. Receiving a recent health scare has made me pause to reconsider what truly is important at this junction of my life.

Do I wish to continue this self-destructive path of glutton want or do I wish to live a healthier and more fruitful life?

It’s quite easy to give in to your desires.  Stress can make you reach for the most unhealthy choices. Every day life happenstance gives us all that comfortable excuse to indulge just a little bit more, that it won’t hurt…for now.

The problem why most diets fail is that again, our American need to “have it right now” fails us.  We expect miraculous results the instant we start changing.

But our bodies, and life…really do not run like that.

We have to be patient, kind with ourselves.  Learn to pace, to give up the sinfully good snacking, incorporate some form of exercise.

But……..WHY does living a healthier lifestyle mean bland choices?????

Also, it’s far cheaper to grab that burger when organics always come with a steep price. Who hasn’t visited a wholefood’s store and seen those jaw-dropping prices?

If I could grow my own produce I would. But since I can’t I have to really work harder to ensure I don’t end up like my parents with their milieu of health problems.

And overcome any mental obstacles along the way.

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Getting older + Losing Weight = one frustrated lady

Going through “the change” is no picnic. There’s the hot-flashes, weight gain…oh yes the weight gain, mood swings, and overall “blahness” when you’re experiencing the middle-age rite of passage into the next stage of your life.

No matter how I’ve previously tried slewing off the pounds, it does NOT work. Not the way it used to at least.  Before I could cut down on my calories, go to the gym, and watch the weight just slide off.

Not this time.

This time it’s much more difficult.  I find myself wishing for some magic pill to simply give me the energy (which the change does robs) to get through the day, to not crave sugary sweets and carbs so much…to find the motivation to work out.

Having a partner whose 100% on board helps.

Having a gym partner helps.

But we don’t always get the latter and we must find the fortitude to push forward and do it ourselves and at this rate if I continue on this path I’ll weigh 200 pounds in no time.

Not good.

The Mayo Clinic has a good article for women like me who are going through this different lifestyle change (or for you curious men who want to find out why your wife all of a sudden is not your sweet love any longer):

What causes menopause weight gain?

The hormonal changes of menopause might make you more likely to gain weight around your abdomen than around your hips and thighs. Hormonal changes alone don’t necessarily trigger menopause weight gain, however. Instead, the weight gain is usually related to aging, as well as lifestyle and genetic factors.

For example, muscle mass typically diminishes with age, while fat increases. Loss of muscle mass decreases the rate at which your body uses calories, which can make it more challenging to maintain a healthy weight. If you continue to eat as you always have and don’t increase your physical activity, you’re likely to gain weight.

Genetic factors also might play a role in menopause weight gain. If your parents or other close relatives carry extra weight around the abdomen, you’re likely to do the same.

Sometimes factors such as the stress of children leaving — or returning — home, divorce, the death of a spouse, or other life changes might change your diet or exercise habits and contribute to menopause weight gain.

 

(source)

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In summary, it’s simple as the article states, move more, eat less and find support. Simple.

Sometimes but it takes the right frame of mind to change.

Good Intentions

Ever wonder why we make New Year’s resolutions and most of us never follow through? More than likely (at least for this blogger,) I see the upcoming new year as being a fresh start, a rebirth, so do a lot of others.

Depending if you view the glass half empty or half full will greatly influence your follow through.  At the same time, don’t let a new year become your wake up call in living a better/healthier life.  Sure, don’t set yourself up for failure but if you strongly feel the need for change. D.O. I.T.!!!

Simply break down your goals into manageable bites. I believe people fail in completing their goals because they become overwhelmed with the overall picture. Instead, set up short term goals that will get you to where you need to go.

Take a step back and see if this goal is something you want.  Don’t give in to peer/family pressure.

Don’t let these unfulfilled New Years resolutions become a pattern of good intentions.  For example, I go to the gym and during the early days of January and into February it’s packed but by March these “good intenders” have tapered off.”  Better for individuals like myself because the gym is less crowded but I think these gyms rely on such gullibility for a few extra dollars and then you’re trapped into a contract.  Better to thoroughly review if such a goal is what you want BEFORE you sign on the dotted line.

Yet, even as I write this there will still be people who continue make resolutions every year even though so few of us follow through.

 

With all this said, make reasonable demands on yourself that you know you’ll follow through.  And if you have good intentions then make the upcoming new year a fresh start, and….

 

new year images

 

Chariots of Fire

Am trying to find a runner’s group to help acclimate me to the task. 

Running was never a strong point with me and since I choose to remain in the military I need to find a way to decrease my time so that I won’t feel this pressure every time there’s a fitness test…like this week.

Running is one of my Damocles’ swords…this hung over my head since my initial enlistment. The only time I maxed the run was in basic at 17 minutes. Standards have changed so for someone in my age group I have to run in less time than say back when I was a private.

One important element in physical endurance is faith in onself…faith in something, no matter what you believe in when you have to tackle a difficult task it’s good to have a fire, a passion to keep you going when you know you have to cross that finish line:

Eric Liddell: You came to see a race today. To see someone win. It happened to be me. But I want you to do more than just watch a race. I want you to take part in it. I want to compare faith to running in a race. It’s hard. It requires concentration of will, energy of soul. You experience elation when the winner breaks the tape – especially if you’ve got a bet on it. But how long does that last? You go home. Maybe you’re dinner’s burnt. Maybe you haven’t got a job. So who am I to say, “Believe, have faith,” in the face of life’s realities? I would like to give you something more permanent, but I can only point the way. I have no formula for winning the race. Everyone runs in her own way, or his own way. And where does the power come from, to see the race to its end? From within. Jesus said, “Behold, the Kingdom of God is within you. If with all your hearts, you truly seek me, you shall ever surely find me.” If you commit yourself to the love of Christ, then that is how you run a straight race.

Motivation to exercise

When I was a kid it was easy to exercise because play was well…play and I would be outside swimming, biking, or traversing through the woods…it kept me naturally in shape when I left for the Army.

And while serving exercise was mandatory–physical training or better known as PT.

When I was discharged from active duty my weight climbed while in the reserves. Exercise then became a personal choice because in the reserves you meet one weekend a month and it’s up to you to stay in shape.

Needless to say my weight climbed and was placed in the weight control program which meant I was flagged for promotion, schooling, and re-enlistment.

That motivated me to lose.

Then a few years ago I shed 50 pounds. My weight had climbed to 190 on this 5’7″ small frame.  It was noticeable and I felt horrible.

There’s no excuse to not stay in shape, to not care about your self-image. To stay healthy.  That alone should be motivation enough to go to the gym on a regular basis. I try to figure out WHY it’s hard to do this. After I work out I feel great. It’s getting there some times that’s the issue.

According to Ask.com:

What Is Motivation?

Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionarydefines motivation as “that which gives purpose and direction to behavior.” By that definition, we’re looking for something to drive us to exercise, something to get us moving. So where does that ‘something’ come from? For some people, like athletes, it may come from the desire to compete and to win. For others, it may come from a desire to be healthy or live longer for their kids. For most, losing weight is often the goal. But is that enough to motivate us? Judging from our obesity problems, that would be a no.

The problem with motivation is that many of us believe it’s something that will come to us if we wait long enough…that someday we’ll wake up and finally want to exercise. Rather than believe in that fantasy, maybe we’d all be better off by realizing that motivation is something we create, not something we wait for.

And that’s the key…WE have to create the motivation. It won’t “magically appear.” Like the article states, we can get excited about the “idea” to exercise but actually doing it?

We make up excuses…our days are busy, tired from work…don’t want to get up early to get a good workout in.  We make more excuses about going to the gym or taking a walk than anything else I believe. If not why are so many Americans overweight?

So, if I want to look good, feel good, and have a long productive life I need to continuously keep this in mind so I find myself making exercise a routine, an integral part of my life…..

A new look

I had an in-depth post regarding my return to the gym and for some reason the entire post is gone except for the title….Sigh…Dios dame la paciencia!

I returned to 24hour Fitness a few weeks ago because I have a set goal in mind as to where I want to be. With my surgery over I am slowly returning to my “routine”.

Being in your 40’s doesn’t mean looking frumpy or acting like an old maid.  I don’t mentally feel 42 and though I am combating R.A.,  (and you gotta be a fighter to deal with it) exercise is a wonderful outlet and keeps the disease in check.  Regular workouts helps to maintain muscle strength along with joint flexibility. (Though who doesn’t like the delicious cosmetic benefits of looking good.?)  🙂

Though really, I have to say the mental incentive of fitting into my clothing (which I have a walk-in closet full of…) is an additional motivational tool to getting back out there and becoming the beautifully fit woman who is aching to come out….

The Army taught me not only self-motivation but maintaining the desire to keep in shape.  When your clothes fit you and look good this feeling becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy and you continue to keep up the good habits. (At least that’s what this blogger thinks!)

We all envision what we would LIKE for ourselves to be and trust me I am no different. I do have an athletic build however sadly I, along with many millions of other Americans have succumb to the deliciousness of fast food and at times being a couch potato.

What is spurring me into action besides looking good is simply wanting to have the energy and feel (be) healthy.  I notice many Americans are overweight and this pandemic does cause a strain to our healthcare system.  Many diseases can be attributed to poor lifestyle choices and I am young enough (and stubborn enough) to want change. Trust me I understand there are people out there who are overweight due to some kind of disease but I am not addressing them but to those who can make better lifestyle choices. I for one am guilty of the same.

Who doesn’t want to look good but feeling good….no one can put a price tag on that!

Extended

Extended for one year today with the Army Reserves. I have to pass the physical fitness (PT) test in order to reenlist.  The last test I took in October should have been a diagnostic since it was over 6 years I had taken one (due to being completely out of the service) however the unit counted it as one for record.

Am glad my agency is putting in a gym (WITH showers!!!) so I can work out immediately after my shift. I have been lazy the past few months with slacking on my workouts and it’s time to get back on board.  The hardest thing about exercising is getting back on board…once it becomes a habit it isn’t so hard. But damn, trying to get back on there can be so god damn difficult.

But knowing what’s at stake I simply have to suck it up.

Spring is almost here!

I am not much for winters (except for enjoying the ocassional hot chocolate and cable knit sweaters) but Spring is definately my time of the year because color returns to Nature. I can venture outdoors and enjoy such places as Creve Coeur Lake and Forest Park

The sensation of life renewing itself hangs in the air. Birds singing, flowers blooming…

I bought my dog last year to help me with my shyness in venturing out to the parks on the days my daughter does not want to accompany me.  Having Wendy as my companion is wonderful.  I can go on these walks/runs and actually enjoy them because I have my companion and she don’t ask me to “slow down” or “hurry up!”  Dogs are faithful friends simply content to be by your side, enjoying the outdoors with you.

I guess without Winter one cannot truly appreciate the colors of Spring.

A blessing in disguise

I have to retake the Army fitness test because last month I failed the 2 mile run by 1 minute.  I don’t know whether to laugh or cry over this but know it has to be rectified if I wish to reenlist.  So the last month I have been running thinking we were retaking the test this drill weekend (because it was on the schedule) however due to being out in the field for weapons qual. and today was our Sustained Readiness Program (SRP)…love them military acronyms we didn’t (obviously) have the test.  This program includes medical readiness:  immunizations, height/weight, EKG and cholesterol (for those of us over 40 cough cough), dental (again no cavities, never had them), updating familial medical history, any changes in our medical condition…basically ensuring we are on the high and ready for Uncle Sam and deployment.

LOVE this photo!

But the point of THIS post (because I can ramble) is that am given almost two MORE months to continue get into shape for the fitness test and be able to reenlist up to my retirement.  🙂

But it’s good to be home on my couch after being out and about working for my rich Uncle this past weekend. Makes me appreciate the “creature comforts.”

Therapy=exercise: exercise=therapy

When life hands you lemons…as they say:  “Make lemonade”

I have about three weeks left before the makeup Army fitness test and trust me right now exercising is my savior.  When you feel stressed out and are able…exercise…let all that aggression/adrenaline work its way out.  Sometimes we need that type of outlet to let “it” go.

People have different reasons to stay healthy.  One of course is overall health, to become tone, to pick up someone (it happens) and finally as a type of therapy.

How good does it feel afterwards when you simply lose yourself into the moment, your body is working, your mind is oblivious as you work out the mental kinks from the day or week or year….lol.

We all need an outlet.

Just make it a healthy onel