The Fit Life – Barbara is Fit Over 40

“You have one body. Care for it and feed it well, it’s the only place you have to live.” I truly believe the fountain of youth is found in the gym, in the classroom (yoga, spin, boxing…. whatever!), in the pool…….. and a nice glass of red wine doesn’t hurt.” Meet Barb!

I’m Barbara Joan Warwick

barb10599248_10204157238028409_7532160826461057141_n“I’m about to turn 48, married and my two kids are in college, age 20 and 21. I am the Chief Compliance Officer for an elder healthcare agency. My career in illness and death has influenced my outlook: I’m really grateful to live every single day of this life.”

A Fit Life

“I work out at the gym 5 days a week doing interval weight training with relatively heavy weight and run. On the weekends I’ll pop into a yoga class, ride my bike, run with my dogs, hike or paddle board; it just depends where I am and what’s around.

I love to cook and I love to eat! And most importantly for me is that fitness has become a family thing. My husband and kids also work out.”

 I Have No Choice

“I got serious about fitness at 40 because I had to…..

It was Mothers Day and I was feeling dizzy, sweating profusely and hearing a ring in my ears. I was diagnosed with hypertension. My blood pressure read 240/130 and that put me in the stroke zone. My cholesterol was nearing 500, and my LDL was 180. A whole series of tests came back negative and doctors concluded that my medical condition was genetic.

I couldn’t believe it! I was kind of angry at the situation, to put it nicely. At the time I was 40 years old and maintained a healthy body-weight. I was fairly active (coached girls soccer for 8 years), never smoked, and followed a decent diet.  The cardiologist put me on a gigantic list of meds.”

I Knew I Could Do Better

11903290_10205980460047820_1690861364_n“I overhauled my habits. I started running everyday and lifting weights with a trainer a few times a week. I cut out most red meats and fat. (I’m not a sweets eater so I didn’t have to overcome that) My body started to change and the muscle tone was pretty noticeable.

Surprisingly, I lost about 20 lbs over a year and my size shrank: I was a solid size 10 then, and now I’m a 6-8 depending. More than that though, I was determined to get off all the meds. I signed up for every 5k or obstacle run I could find, you know, to always have a goal to reach. That commitment kept me honest, no skipping the gym. It also made a HUGE difference in my level of stress.”

A Fit Future

“Fast forward to now and I take only a single small dose of blood pressure medication, a small dose of cholesterol medication and an aspirin a day. My resting heart rate lies around 70. My BP is 120/75, and my total cholesterol is down to 180 and the LDL is 60!

I truly believe my commitment has battled my genetics and I’m winning! I tore my left meniscus early last year. I kept working out, kept walking with a brace and postponed surgery until this spring.

barb10896909_10204352551151115_4168079449351867643_nThe recovery was surprisingly not too bad. I can’t run uphill, nor do I try walking lunges but for the most part I can do what I want. It’s taking time and does still hurt. The repair, which is common, has a 50/50 chance of improvement. It has improved, despite some pain, but the clicking and popping has stopped. It’s been five months and I am really back to normal.”

“I’d like women Over 40 to know: A fit lifestyle isn’t about vanity.  We’ve likely had a couple of kids and earned a few wrinkles and dimples. It’s about QUALITY. It’s about DOING! Exercise is not a punishment. It’s a privilege and it’s an investment in yourself mentally, physically and spiritually.”

Thank-you for sharing your story Barb!

Get Fit Over 40

karenuntitled-74HEADERI’ve been fortunate to meet and become friends with many woman over the years at Get Fit Over 40. I’ve come to realize that pictures tell nothing of the challenges and triumphs they each face in becoming and maintaining a Fit Lifestyle Over 40. These woman inspire me to stay in the game of social media as they share their wisdom, inspiration and motivation. Real Woman who are Fit Over 40: I invite you to share your story too! Message me here or on the Facebook page Get Fit Over 40. When we lift one another we are all lifted! Thank you for being part of the GFO40 family. xo ~karen

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Slaying Midnight Munchies

TRUTH

This is really hard to tell you; your dream diet illusions will be crushed, but I believe that you guys are ready to face some hard truths. Truth: to achieve long term weight loss success, expect to feel hungry at times. To manage the hunger and midnight munchies, plan ahead for the assault and devise your success strategy during the daylight hours.  Don’t wait for a surprise attack, use these 4 tips to minimize collateral damage!

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Four “Munchie Management” Tips:

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1)  “Midnight Munchy Management Meal” On Shop and Chop Sunday, plan, prepare and package meals for the week and include a munchie meal that fits into your overall nutrition program.

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2)  Avoid nibbling on arbitrary “healthy” snacks. Any food that is “in addition to” your allotted weight loss calorie requirements will stall your progress. Instead, address the need to change a negative habit. Mindless eating is not going to get you to your goal. If you feel you need nutrients later in the day, plan for it.

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3)  Adjust your eating schedule to accommodate that later meal and then close the kitchen at night. Eat at 3 hour intervals starting at (for example) 7 am, 10 am, 1 pm, 4 pm, and 7 pm. Divide recommended calories by 5 (meals). To include another later meal make the adjustment by dividing daily calorie needs by 6 (meals).

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4)  You will feel hunger, and the best thing to do is deal with it. Eat (hungry or not) every planned meal, drink required water, get necessary exercise and sleep at night! Lifestyle change requires some adjustments and there will be times that you’ve got to have willpower. Find yours and succeed!

heartDo you get the munchies late at night? Come on! I know that I’m not the only one, and I have to admit there are times I am not prepared. For the most part though, I’m pretty good and my best strategy (the one saves me often) is that I never have a tempting treat in the house. If I’m on a bender, (well, a real bender includes m&m’s) (peanut butter m&m’s) I can usually find some greek yogurt with a few almonds to settle things.

True confession time! What are you doing to tame the midnight monster?

karen~the munchie slayer

Stuck?

Get Unstuck

tara1 It would be a small miracle to follow a weight loss program and progress smoothly, consistently and effortlessly. It would be fantastic to drop pound after pound, to see your body change, skin tighten, aches disappear and live happily ever after. It’s going to happen, although not as consistently as you might hope.  The fact of the matter is that weight loss is not predictable. You can always expect good results when you adhere to a realistic program, but your body will respond in its very own way, and in its own time. Expect plateaus going in and you will be less disappointed and frustrated along the way. Plan your training and nutrition properly at the outset and have a “plateau strategy” in place.

Have you hit a plateau? Are you totally frustrated because weight loss has stalled? If you have just begun the program, stay calm and stay the course. You will see the weight loss soon. There is a trick to losing weight with relative consistency.

Adaptation

Your body will adapt to newly imposed demands by getting stronger and smarter. It’s a built-in mechanism that should be viewed as a positive indicator that your training program is effective. Plateaus are a signal from your body indicating that you are on the right path. When you stall you’ve succeeded; you’ve taken your body to the next level and it’s time to implement “the next logical step.” Welcome a plateau, rest a time, revise your program and eating strategy.  It’s time for a change so plan and prepare for your next phase of training.

Time for Change

dostumblr_m1txnim7ta1r2dklqo1_500When your body has become accustomed to your exercise routine and you are not seeing results anymore you have to mix it up. With a good program, your body becomes stronger and it’s necessary to change the exercises, change the order of exercises, lift heavier weights, change the rep scheme, or take shorter rest periods. You have to change some component of the program to challenge the body further and continue the adaptation process.

Dieting is similar in that your body becomes accustomed to a certain amount of calories and adjusts your metabolism accordingly. Your body gets smarter and slows its metabolism in order to protect you from a perceived period of starvation. The rate at which the metabolism slows down will vary, but it is almost a guaranteed situation: when you diet for a long period of time the metabolic rate is going to decline.

By alternating the calories you consume, a technique called calorie cycling, you can keep your body guessing and burning calories. You may also choose to incorporate a CHEAT MEAL in an effort to “trick” your metabolism into speeding up again.

THE ACTION PLAN

rockthCA4JZ4IJTHE ACTION PLAN suggests that you begin your program by calculating the calories necessary maintain your current weight and consume that amount with clean foods. At this stage, you will find that weight loss is attainable simply by eliminating junk food and exercising at a moderate intensity and frequency. It is recommended that you maintain that calorie level for 2 weeks and then lower the food consumed by 200 calories.

At this time you will become familiar with your energy levels, the rate of weight loss and the time it takes for you to recover. If you find that weight loss is sluggish you may choose to reduce portions again by 200 calories for 2 weeks. But, if you have not hit a plateau, simply delay this step until a time that weight loss does slow and then try the calorie reduction.

The point is to simply pay attention to your body signals and feed it as much nutrient dense food as possible while continuing to lose weight. As you progress through The Action Plan training program, the workouts become more challenging and will require an adequate source of fuel. Eat to maintain a good fuel supply and you will feel energized for your workouts and you will lose weight!

Send Us a Smoke Signal

heartHow long have you been “stuck” at the same weight? What measures have you taken during that time to manage the situation? Did they work? Sometimes it takes a time of reflection and another viewpoint in order to see our own situation more clearly.  Clear your head of useless frustrations and get back to the one clear thought: I will be AM strong and healthy. Share your thoughts here and we can troubleshoot together! karen~

99 Problems & Belly Fat is One

Stress Fat

jaclynword2The boss is on vacation, your partner is down with a cold, your workload is doubled, the car is in for repairs, the kids are home from school, the fridge is empty, and the house is a FREAKING mess. You are exhausted, frustrated, at the end of your rope, and feeling fat and lousy.

You are stressed all the time and too tired to exercise. Heck, too tired to tie up your running shoes. Dinner is something you grab and gobble on your way out the door. Again.

Middle age weight gain may be inevitable due to crazy life circumstances, but now there is an extra layer of uncomfortable fat around your middle. What’s with that? Lack of exercise?  Poor eating habits? Or is stress to blame? Is it the hormone called Cortisol that causes belly fat?

We know that there is a link between cortisol and abdominal body fat, but is this singular hormone the sole culprit? So many seemingly reliable sources say it’s so, but what are we to believe?

Who’s the Bad Guy?

If you depend on the information in advertising claims, you would be convinced that stress and cortisol are to blame for obesity, belly fat and the failing world economy. It always makes me wary when one factor is made tidily responsible for a multitude of problems. It’s important to realize that by simplifying scientific facts, advertisers sway millions of intelligent people into believing the unbelievable.

So, is cortisol the “bad guy'”?  Does stress make you fat?  I did some research in order to make an informed opinion. Take a look at some facts:

Just the Facts

Fact: Cortisol is an important hormone; balanced levels of this hormone are essential for numerous body functions. (Me: Cortisol is good.) Fact: Cortisol works to break down stored fat, but chronically elevated levels can lead to muscle loss. (Me: Muscle loss is bad.)
Fact: High cortisol levels can contribute to storage of body fat. (Me: eat too much + move too little =  body fat storage.)
Fact: Stress alone does not increase body fat. Stress may stimulate appetite which can lead to overeating, which will lead to overweight issues. (Me: Stress eating, eating poorly, under-eating are facts of life for the middle ager.)
Fact: Balanced cortisol levels can improve strength and recovery, but reducing those levels below normal has not been proven to have a positive effect on strength and recovery. Less is not necessarily better. (Me: Taking cortisol suppressing drugs are not a weight loss answer.)

morttumblr_mmoomcnBi21rlzvmho1_400It is really hard to lose the extra midsection weight without disconnecting the stress-cortisol connection. You have to ease the impact of unavoidable stress:

•Schedule downtime.
•Get sleep.
•Eat healthy balanced meals.
•Spend time in caring environments with caring people.
•Get out of relationships that cause you stress.
•Limit alcohol and other (non-prescribed) drugs.

Stress is Important!

Cortisol is a Good Guy. Positive growth is achieved by adapting to imposed demands. Go ahead, embrace stress, but learn to manage it.

Work hard to steer your life away from chronic and continuous stress, not only in everyday life but at the gym too:

•Stop low-calorie dieting for long periods. Calorie deficiency stresses the body and is counterproductive.
•Train with an intensity that is relative to your ability to recover. Training a tired body is stressful and harmful.
•Keep most workouts short and intense. Cortisol response will kick in after 45 minutes of training.
•Get lots of sleep! Good quality sleep!
•Limit stimulants that may give false energy and mask important body signals to slow down.
•Limit alcohol. Yes, large amounts will raise cortisol levels!

jaclynword3Look, we have stress. That’s what life is all about, right? I like to give problems a reasonable amount of time (based on the seriousness of the situation) and a time limit. Some things demand I worry for one hour, other things one day, and if it’s a pretty complicated issue, I give it a week. Very rarely do I tolerate anything for more than a month without taking some drastic action to ease the situation. It’s just not worth it! Life is short! I’ve got stuff to do, and so do you. I’m tough love all the way, on myself and my clients. If you want to lose weight, you can if you do it the right way; with consistency, tenacity and a solid plan you can change your physique and win the battle on belly fat.

Face the truth about what is holding you back rather than accepting (even legitimate) excuses. Have you given it everything you’ve got? Have you worked diligently towards your goals with proper exercise, eating, sleeping and minimizing stressful situations? Do you believe it’s possible to get a flatter tummy? You’ve got to believe!

heartI look forward to hearing from you, leave a comment and let’s talk!

xokp~

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