You Can’t Get There from Here

Bad knees? Bum shoulder? Weak back?

It’s nearly impossible to help someone if they won’t help themselves. If you want to lose weight but you’re in pain, you’re inflexible, you can’t squat, or you can’t lift your arm, you need a physiotherapist before an exercise program. Harsh? Maybe…but in the long run you’ll thank me.

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You see, if you try to jump over a vast expanse chances are you won’t make it. So too, you can’t go from overweight and wracked with pain to lean, strong, and pain-free –you have to take steps in between.

Build A Bridge

Begin by shifting your focus (for the time being) into a mindset of health, ease of movement and vitality. (I know that sucks when you’re thinking lean and sexy but….) by correcting the acute condition, you’ll begin to feel better, more hopeful and confident. AND THEN YOU WILL LOSE THE WEIGHT. You’ll have the solid foundation necessary to undertake a realistic weight loss plan.  Really, it’s the only way to progress.

Start Where You Are

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“Pain management, physiotherapy, and a good flexibility program are a must in order to rehabilitate and move beyond painful physical conditions and achieve sustainable weight loss and good health.”

You want to lose weight yet an old and painful injury is stopping you in your tracks. You believe that if only you could dump the weight that injury would be tolerable, right? You think, “If I lost 20 (30, 50, 100) pounds; then I’ll feel good about myself, and then I’ll take better care of myself, and then my condition (painful shoulder, stiff hips, bad back) will heal. I’ll be happy and healthy if I lose the weight…..”

#1 It’s possible (sustainable weight loss) but not probable. In most cases the pain associated with a chronic condition saps your resolve to stick to a plan and limits your ability to perform proper exercise.

#2 Often it’s not even the original problem you’re dealing with now. (that’s why you need to see a professional) When you’re hurt and recovering from injury or surgery, your brain sends messages to protect the area (you use it less, and baby it more) and it grows weak with disuse. Ligaments and tendons shorten as movement is limited. The healing process itself causes scar tissue and that adds to the whole mess. You live in pain and pain holds you back.

It’s a vicious circle; you can’t move because you’re in pain and your pain continues because you can’t move. And it goes without saying; you’ll probably not reach your weight loss goals with so much physical chaos….ugh!

You Can’t Get There From Here

Action Eight participant Julie V. has been dealing with this nightmare existence for years. She’s not overweight but wants a healthy, active retirement and a strong body. She wants to ease her painful joints. She wants to minimize the symptoms of menopause, and she wants to keep her metabolism stoked to avoid inevitable age-related weight gain.

She wants to manage her aging but she has to begin where she is now, and that’s in constant pain.

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“Julie knew that she had to keep moving but tightness in her joints, chronic pain and resulting muscle imbalances kept her from full range exercise form. After physio she’s limber enough to squat deeper and do more in the gym than ever before.”

Julie began experiencing excruciating pain in her hips more than 6 years ago. She couldn’t do her job and went on modified duties. She was diagnosed with torn tissues and bone spurs (most likely caused from years of wear and tear from sports combined with heredity). After surgery to scrape the spurs and repair the tears, she was left with limited range of motion, still in chronic pain, experiencing sleepless nights and had little hope of breaking the cycle.

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“Today. Finishing a workout with a stretch in a lengthened supine pose. This position used to cause so much discomfort that she couldn’t sleep well at all. With therapeutic manipulation, daily stretching and a good weight-bearing exercise program things are beginning to change for the better!”

As the joints heal, new issues arise. Scar tissue that forms to protect the healing body parts cause painful inflexibility. Unfortunately her decision to stop physiotherapy limited her ability to maintain a reasonable level of flexibility. She continued to exercise with the intention of living the best quality of life possible, but felt her efforts produced less advancement than she hoped.

When we began working together several months ago I explained that she’d have to address inflexibility before she could even hope to further strengthen her body. Her mindset and determination was perfectly poised for very healthy aging yet the her body’s tightness made it impossible to perform exercise optimally.

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“Very subtle differences make the world of difference in someone healing from trauma and is experiencing painful movement. A taller posture and a hopeful outlook is just as thrilling as dramatic weight loss. Julie feels the difference and very encouraged by what can be seen in her comparisons and more by what can’t be seen. Her pain is not getting the best of her!”

Now on The Action Plan and back to therapy, Julie is seeing and feeling a big difference. It’s still uncomfortable for sure, but now she has the confidence and guidance that will help her achieve her goals, maintain a good level of physical strength and has hope for a pain-free future.

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“By working on flexibility first, her workouts serve to strengthen lengthened muscles, tendons and ligaments instead of reinforcing tight, restricted areas. She stands taller and her postural improvements are the first sign that muscles are responding and working as they should. Exercise form and function continues to improve and Julie’s growing confidence keeps her active and engaged in her training.” 

Begin with Where You Are

If you want to lose weight but you’re in pain, get therapy! Even if you’re not overweight, treat the pain for a better quality of life and health. Commit to it for a lifetime if you must!

Exercise will not “cure” genetic conditions nor heal injury but weight-bearing exercises are important for pain sufferers. Resistance training can strengthen muscles around the joint that hurts. The stronger the muscle is, the less pain you are likely to feel in that joint, but you have to get help to get to the point where weight lifting is possible. You have to get beyond the pain.

Get Fit Over 40

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When I was starting out as a trainer I thought I could help everyone. I thought that if only people would start exercising they could achieve their goals through sheer willpower. I know better now. The Action Plan is not for everyone. If you’re experiencing pain or dealing with acute or chronic conditions please start by seeing a medical professional. Work with a reputable personal trainer as you begin your exercise journey back to good health.

The plan will work optimally when your body works optimally. Do it for yourself and do it today. A world of possibilities will open to you when you take the first steps!

Wishing you the best health!

~Karen

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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

Grow Some Goals

We now know, after 40+ years of trial and failure, that it’s tough to make one humongous lifestyle change. The hard work and discipline necessary to switch years of nasty habits to angelic ones is near impossible to sustain.

I’ve found that the easiest way to stay on track and measure progress is to set clear, non-negotiable goals.  In fact, I set goals on a regular basis because it’s the only way to stay on top of my health and motivated to grow as a person.

You’ve got to state your goals in order to get what want and by having focus on positive outcomes you’ll barely have time to ruminate over challenges. Having a goal keeps the big picture in sight but allows you track your progress on a regular basis. If you need to deviate, modify or adjust course you’re going to know how and when to do just that.

Grow Some Goals

#1 Dream Big but Play it Small:

It’s important to have big goals and believe that you can achieve them. If you can see yourself 50 pounds lighter, or running a marathon or even just walking a mile for some, you will do it!

YOU WILL DO IT! But its hard to sustain the excitement for a long-term – heck, sometimes its hard for me to sustain that feeling for 5 minutes! In order to sustain motivation easier I always break my ultimate goal into smaller ones.

If you want to lose 50 pounds, set a goal for 2 pounds per week. You can do that! Some months you might lose more and others weeks you might lose less, but you’ll be losing!

Bottom Line: When your goals are broken down to smaller ones then you can celebrate your successes along the way which will keep you motivated towards the bigger goal.

#2 Find Support:

It’s important to have a positive group of people who are supportive and caring. It might be hard at first but if you are open about your hopes to gain better health and to get stronger and fitter, the people who matter will help!  Tell those closest to you what your goals are and why you want to achieve them, then ask for their support. But you have to ask!  No one has ever achieved greatness by doing it alone, and you shouldn’t try to either.  You’ll be amazed at what you can do with a team of great people behind you.

Bottom Line: Those closest to you may not understand your journey or be willing to change along with you, and that’s ok. You’re strong enough and sure enough to do what it takes, but ask for the support anyway. You might be surprised at who wants to help.

#3 Recognize Your Potential

It’s just too easy to sit with who you are right now and be unhappy. It takes courage and wisdom to realize that your potential to achieve great things is undeniable.

It’s so important to recognize your potential and what you are capable of.  Way too many women yearn for something in life but stop there thinking, “I can never achieve that.” I want you to know this: you have the potential to achieve great things! Find an activity that you enjoy and do it! Find success in small things and let that success fuel bigger things. Start with healing pain and injury, then walk. Walk until you can run and then sprint – do what needs to be done to achieve your ultimate dream.

Bottom Line: Once you’ve decided on what you really want, you need to be willing to do whatever it takes to get it. It’s most important to believe in yourself and then take action.

Have Courage:

You need to have the courage to take it slow.
You need to be disciplined and not over do it.
You need to be motivated to build a foundation.
You need to be smart and do the minimum.
(Doing any more will really set you back.)
You need to be really focused on mastering the basics steps.

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Don’t expect your world to turn around overnight, you’re too wise for that!  Set great goals and small goals. Master the very basics and never give up on yourself.

I admire you for having the tenacity to take the road less travelled….you’re a winner already!

~karen

When the Excitement Fades

Sustaining motivation throughout a difficult transition is the #1 BIGGEST effort you will have to put forth in your weight loss/health gain transformation.

We’ve all experienced that moment when we’ve had enough of our current condition and state of health. I can pinpoint with amazing accuracy the moment it hit me. I was at my girlfriends’ home, completely despondent in my own life. I was house-sitting while her husband and she traveled to some exciting place for some exciting reason and I felt completely overwhelmed with the condition of ME.

 

Physically, I was an overweight mess and I blamed every misfortune on that fact alone. Of course, it wasn’t that way at all but that’s what I felt at the time. I was pretty fed up with my own “woe is me” story. Sitting on that couch, at that very moment, I was done with it. Done with feeling sorry for myself, done with feeling poorly about myself and done with not being the person I was capable of being.

I made a quick internet search of trainers in my area, connected with the person who would help motivate me and I took action. I called and made an appointment. I committed! Making the decision and taking action gave me a huge lift and I felt as if the job was already done by taking that step.

Of course, I had to follow through, I had to take action. There was NEVER going to be a better place to begin than in that dark moment. I started training the very minute I got back home. There was no doubt in my mind that I would succeed and follow through but I would be challenged many, many times throughout with setbacks, doubts, and delays.

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I’m sharing this so that you can understand, this is not going to be easy. Especially right now, a few weeks into your journey with The Action Plan.

You’re discovering what challenges you, and that’s not always fun. You’re tired and you’re sore. You might have a new injury or exacerbated an old one. Understanding the nutrition is overwhelming and doing it is just damn hard. Life events conspire to hold you back. You’re losing motivation because it’s harder than you imagined.

This is the time to dig in.

This is the time to say ABSOLUTELY NO (I actually say “f**it) to that life and that state of mind. This is the time to remind yourself, “I have the power to do this, I have control and I will not let anything stand in my way.”

This is the time to get tough with yourself, maybe even angry and use that fuel to push forward.

 

You are strong, capable, smart and successful. You have raised children, you have built a business, you have volunteered, you have supported your friends in difficult times.

YOU HAVE DONE SO MUCH GOOD FOR OTHERS, DO SOME GOOD FOR YOU.

It’s time. You started and you can damn well finish.

You CAN learn, you CAN continue, you CAN figure it out, you CAN take the time, you CAN do the one thing that is important to you!

AND. You can do it when things go wrong....

Like when a challenging life situation erupts. When pressure is on and you have no choice but to respond, help and see it through to the end, you can. Because it’s necessary, you do what it takes.

-your child is going through difficult times and you can move mountains to help and support
-a loved one gets sick and needs help to care for themselves and you are there, across the town or across the state, you show up
-a work crisis demands that you spend extra hours and extra attention and you take the time from your emotional bank account and hand it over to the company.

So do it DESPITE things that go wrong.

There are times that I question myself: I am avoiding my own health and fitness needs because I HAVE TO HELP __________.  Or am I using this situation as an excuse because it’s too hard to change me?

My point is only this, we have the energy, determination, and means to step up for others. As women, we have no choice but to put out the fires in life, deal with emotional crises and plow through inevitable “bad” times as well as the good ones. A family vacation, holidays and celebrations are “non-negotiables” and your job right now is to SUSTAIN THE MOTIVATION that you felt on that dark day and keep it alive.

No one can do it for you. No one can teach you how. No one will insist that you continue. No one’s going to force you.

It’s up to you. You can give up and no one will blame you either because you ARE up against a lot.

You ARE in pain, you ARE sad over the loss of a loved one, you DO have a ridiculous load to carry at work, you ARE financially strapped. Yes, you have every reason to put yourself aside and quit.

I’m challenging myself today and I invite you to challenge yourself. Find the ONE reason to put yourself first. Find the reason to continue and to succeed. It will be a heavy load to hold, but you have to. YOU HAVE TO HOLD ON TO THAT REASON.

I’ve been through “dark times” before my “couch moment” and I’ll have more, no doubt. Every time it happens I have to work hard to find the spark again, find the inspiration to move forward.

It takes courage to move forward and you’ve got that!
Renew your motivators often and work to sustain that motivation after the excitement fades.
You deserve this.

Need more inspiration? Read: Believe & Be strong, smart, beautiful

xokaren

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Protein: Chug It or Chew It?

Your body needs protein, an essential nutrient, to build, repair and maintain its organs, cells and tissues.

Specific to fat loss, your body needs protein to build muscle. Muscle will burn fat. Capeesh?

Let’s keep it really simple now and think this through so that you can decide what makes sense and what works for you. That will be the ultimate deciding factor; what makes sense to you and what works for your lifestyle.

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Eating Whole Foods:

1) You can get the necessary daily protein requirements from both shakes and whole foods, but you will not get optimum nutrition from protein shakes exclusively.

2) Consuming whole food has a “thermic effect” meaning that eating & digesting food burns calories. That’s a good thing!

3) Consuming whole food is a natural function. We were meant to chew, swallow, digest and eliminate nutrient dense, natural, fibrous whole foods.

4) Consuming whole food is satisfying and enjoyable. By focusing on good eating habits at the outset of a fat loss program you learn to enjoy social situations, family and business functions, celebrations and holidays.

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Drinking Protein Shakes:

1) Protein shakes are a convenient replacement for whole foods if you are short on time.

2) Protein shakes contain nutrients that are quick digesting, which is great for post-workout recovery.

3) Shakes are a great way to bolster calories when it’s difficult to consume enough whole food to support body functions and energy expenditure.

4) Drinking protein shakes can reduce your daily calorie intake and they are often successful in weight loss plans.

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The Bottom Line

When you undertake a fitness program to reduce fat and gain leanness, it’s vital to make healthier eating choices and exercise regularly. A “habits based” mentality is necessary in order to create and sustain a fit lifestyle. Choose foods and supplements that make sense for your weight loss plan and that will also carry forward into your new fit lifestyle.

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Nom Nom! ~karen

Get Rid of Flabby Thighs Over 40

My Flabby Thighs

I hated my thighs all my life and because I am over 40 (way over) that’s a stinkin’ long time. Too long for someone with a reasonable level of self esteem, or so I would imagine from a psychological perspective.

599019_228521523943423_2082401895_nIt’s so hard to post this comparison but it illustrates my point. Today at 54 y/o I am neither that chunky (2007) nor that lean (2011). I can maintain a good, strong and healthy balance.

Genetics will forever factor in but after making the initial transformation it’s easier to maintain “normal” body fat levels and leaner legs with regular weight lifting sessions, moderate cardio and a balanced diet.

 

 

A WAR

I’ve waged war on my thighs for more years than I care to admit, slamming the poor things with so much negative attention that Abraham Hicks would shake his head. I know I’m not alone, right?  Help me out here.  If it’s not your thighs then it might be flabby arms or a bulging belly but most everyone has their own personal vendetta against some part of their body.

Not you? Wow, that’s so great! But I think a majority of us are looking to improve physically even though we know full hips and shapely thighs are a beautiful thing.

If you’re reading this you’ve probably got a “flabby” reason but I hope you’re not expecting a miracle solution (because there’s not one).

Unfortunately I can’t tell you it’s as simple as applying a lotion, taking a pill or drinking a tea. No, there’s not one exercise, food or product that will spot reduce fat, smooth out cellulite or flatten a flabby tummy. I wish there was……but more, what I do hope for you is that you accept your perfect self for who you are and recognize all the things that make you so. You’re beautiful!

But there’s still some flabbiness and we want to get that under control. It’s just who we are……right?

Here’s the thing, you will have to be even more diligent with these steps because you are Over 40, and you  certainly can! Here we go:

To Get Rid of Flabby Thighs:

1) STRENGTH TRAIN 2-3 times per week and engage your leg muscles with exercises that will make the whole body strong. When you eat properly and begin to lose the fat that covers your body you want to see strong, toned muscles underneath. Work to sculpt your inner and outer thighs, hamstrings, and butt and your legs will look leaner and slimmer. Target the lower body with workouts that are included in The Action Plan.

Squat, lunge and deadlift for strong, shapely legs.

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2) BURNING CALORIES is key to reducing your overall body fat. Moderate intensity, heart pumping cardio is necessary. Choose activities that burn the most calories like biking, running, rowing, swimming and jumping rope. These exercises will also tone the legs while you’re doing them. Work up to 40-minutes of moderate intensity cardio sessions (two times a week) and 20-minute High Intensity Interval Training (three times a week) to really notice a difference. The Action Plan includes exercises and schedules for you!

Burn calories to reduce overall body fat. Bike, run, row, swim.

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3) DON’T SKIP MEALS and definitely don’t miss breakfast because it’ll rev up your metabolism helping to reduce your overall body fat and reveal your lean legs. Follow The Action Plan nutrition guide and learn to include a balanced combination of protein, fat and fiber-filled complex carbs. The protein will give you energy for your daily training sessions, and it also helps build muscle. The fats will keep you satiated and the carbs will sustain that energy from meal to meal, day to day.

Lean proteins, natural fats, fruits and vegetables for overall fat loss.

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4) CHOOSE WATER most often and with few exceptions. You’ll save mega calories avoiding sweetened beverages. Staying hydrated helps with weight loss and the intricate physiological functions that support good health. Drink often throughout the day and especially before meals as a means to control your appetite and for a natural detox effect. Water is just good all the way around!

Infuse water with flavorful fruit & veggies and drink up!

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Your Flabby Thighs

No need to get overwhelmed. I’ll leave you with these 4 important steps to getting rid of flabby thighs. There are more strategies including: a variety of activity, macronutrient balance, sleep and recovery, managing acute or chronic conditions and stress, etc. But if you get serious, become consistent and remain persistent with just these 4 biggies you will see an incredible change in your body composition and the appearance of your legs. You will get stronger and slimmer!

ua302995_275735735782009_176229755732608_971238_1752614442_n Work hard, stay consistent, believe in yourself and anything is possible. Just remember you are perfect just as you are and when you strive to become stronger and healthier you’ll only get “perfecter”!

xo

~karen

 

No Guilt In Between

Between Thanksgiving and the New Year

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Happy Thanksgiving GFO40 Family!

In the time between Thanksgiving and New Years it’s tough! It’s tough to get it all done, and so it’s probably not the ideal time to begin a whole new lifestyle, diet, exercise program. Accept this, do the best you can and allow NO GUILT!

What You Should Do

December however, IS a great time get into a better place mentally and minimize the resistance to take inspired action. Get into a place of feeling good and then follow whatever action is inspired from that good feeling place. This is a great time of year to feel good!

Spend time with family and friends, cook and eat passionately, get out into the fresh air and find the rhythm of your body. Make the decision that you want to feel great and you want to be sensitive to what is feels good and what doesn’t. Decide you want to feel energized and not lethargic, sloppy and sad. Be guided by your feelings and find harmony with what it takes to live a healthy life. Learn to recognize when a choice you make does not support your intentions to feel good.

No Guilt

This year, between Thanksgiving and New Years, get rid of guilt. Don’t be guided by it and don’t succumb to it. Find a place of joy and abundance and let those feelings lead you to your better lifestyle and healthy future. You will be amazed at the insights and opportunities that unfold in your experience that will guide you to make better decisions about your health.

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Get out, travel a new route, play in the snow! Open yourself up to new people, places and experiences!

Enjoy your holidays (and dig in!)

xokp

You Are Beautiful

Where did this begin?

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We are living with stereotypes and the labels are seriously damaging.

Not good enough. Lazy. Bitchy. Ugly. Fat. Undisciplined. Mean. Insecure. Superficial. Vain.

Who said that, and why’d we believe it? And why on earth are we still carrying it around?

Sure we can blame the media and the industry and countless other sources that demean women, and we would have every right to do that. I know that I certainly was affected, influenced and totally sucked in by media when I was a young girl, but I chose exercise and a healthier ways to handle body image issues. Unfortunately, it’s not that way for most.

Where Will It End?

At the end of the day, we are the only ones who can end it. End the bias, end the attitude and end the self-deprecating thoughts……you have to just stop.

Hey, You! Just Stop It!

Look in the mirror and say something new, uplifting and inspiring. Talk nicely to yourself. Carry yourself with pride and grace. Value yourself and your health. Be different, act different, speak differently. Practice beautiful words, practice humble appreciation of yourself and lift yourself up. No one can do it for you.

Begin to build trust in yourself so that you can stand proud, healthy and strong. Quit relying on media to define who you are and what you’re capable of. You choose who you want to be, how you will be perceived and what you expect from this life of yours.

Be proud and stand proud; you are beautiful!

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Love yourself healthy and be nice to yourself!

xo karen

Are You Standing In Your Own Way?

jaclynword6 Stuck?

Millions of Over 40 women are successful at positive lifestyle change, weight loss and improving their health. How do they do it? You might say they are “lucky” or they have great genetics, or they have more time and money.

You might reason that they have a fast metabolism, or willpower that you lack.

You and I know that it goes deeper than that. While a lot of women have great weight loss success,  many more fail over and over again at reaching their healthy lifestyle and weight loss goals. You may be among this group.

Is it simply a matter of what the lean, fit women eat or what they do for exercise?

I believe that most failed weight loss attempts share a few common mistakes, ones that can be easily remedied. Left unaddressed, these habits will mean the difference between success and failure.

Are You Standing in Your Own Way?

Here are five habits that might be holding you back from successful weight loss and healthy living. If you’re getting in your own way, move over and let yourself be the best you can be!

1. Do you fail to follow through and complete a training cycle? Do you give up?

Does it seem that you just cannot finish, for whatever reason; loss of faith, confidence, pain/injury, frustration, impatience? No matter how much time you have invested or how many resources are available, do you lose focus and stop before seeing progress?

Achieving weight loss and life altering goals require an extended attention span. You can’t quit just because an injury temporarily holds you back or the mirror shows a slight lag. You have to move forward, hang in there and believe in yourself and the process.

2. Do you obsess over and micro-manage every detail?

Do you begin a weight loss initiative expecting to do everything perfectly?  A lot of people mistakenly believe that to succeed everything must be done at once, with no leeway for error. Inevitably, with the first “slip up”,  they believe their efforts to be useless, their resolve to be weak and their chance for success, hopeless. Is this you?

Perfection is impossible and to think that you can change overnight is foolish. You invite failure with this attitude, it’s an unsustainable philosophy.

If you want to change your life and become active and fit, you’re going to have to learn to take time, nurture self-love, hold a strong vision of your ultimate goal and stay tenacious.

3. Are you always wrong?

Do you find it difficult to focus on what you’re doing right?  Women are prone to berate themselves, quick to admit laziness, boredom, lack of will power. They often speak very poorly of themselves.

If you don’t acknowledge what you are doing right, you miss out on an opportunity to feel good about your efforts. Mistakes are stepping stones to success; so too is positive self-affirmation.

Admit when you’re right, reward yourself when you’re good and when you’re strong so you can move forward quickly and do better. Be your own best friend. Be your own cheerleader. Be your own coach!

4. Do you ask questions, but don’t really pay attention to the answers?

We all know people who ask for advice and then promptly ignore it.  They begin an exercise initiative with a credible professional and then do things your own way. They slack off when training gets difficult when they tire or become frustrated with slow progress.

Do you ask about perils of sugar and drink wine anyway? Do you ask about the importance of carbohydrates and cut them out anyway? Do you ask about caring for injuries, soreness or pain and delay professional treatment anyway? Do you want to know, REALLY, what it takes to achieve sustainable weight loss and then choose a fad diet way anyway?

You’ll make better progress if you abandon stubbornness, weigh different points of view and try to understand logical perspectives. Make better decisions for your own personal circumstances by asking the right questions (“What results can I expect to see in 4 weeks?” instead of “How fast can I lose 20 lbs?”).

Trust advice that makes common sense, and then work diligently to learn (proving or disproving) what works for you.

5. Do you always find reasons NOT to continue?

I would guess that more than 50% of those who begin an exercise program will find an excuse not to continue within 12 weeks. The time isn’t right. I’m too busy. I’m not seeing results.  It’s too expensive. My knee hurts…..

Whatever the excuse, do you always have one?

Guess what? There will always be reasons not to continue! You have to decide to move forward, decide to continue and decide to succeed. Create options for yourself, but not the option to quit.

Respect Yourself and Your Dreams

imageSuccessful weight loss is a matter of managing your time and resources.

Above all, it’s about staying true to yourself; no lies, no excuses, no whining. You’ve decided that this is important to you. No one said you had to do it, right?

Give yourself the love and respect you deserve, get out of your own way!

Love Yourself Lean!  xokp

Plank Motion and Activation

The Plank Pose is the bomb for strengthening your abdominal muscles and also the muscles of the back, hips, and pelvic floor. You won’t get six-pack abs doing this exercise alone, but you will gain core stability (trunk and spine) and great posture!

How to do it.

Tighten your abdominal muscles to help you hold the position correctly, and hold it as long as you can. When you begin to feel your lower back start to sag from fatigue, take a break, then get back into the proper position and hold the move once again.

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How to do it better!

Exercise progression is key to getting stronger. Make the plank a DYNAMIC move: when you can hold this pose for 30-60 seconds begin to implement movement modifications to target a variety of  strength, balance, stability and coordination initiatives. The Power Plank demo video is a GFO40 classic. Watch it here and incorporate some new moves to your core training. Make it a challenge!

Core Activation

When it comes down to good physical conditioning the bottom line is “how quickly does your body respond”.  Training for muscle activation is a huge component of physical fitness. We want our bodies to react strongly, quickly and efficiently in our daily activities. A conditioning sequence for the plank pose should include “quick activation” drills:

Activation Plank

Perform a series of Activation Plank repetitions by lying flat on the floor in position to engage the posture. Begin by tensing and engaging all muscles of the body and quickly lift into plank position. Hold the posture for a few seconds and then return to relaxed posture, lying flat on the floor. Immediately repeat this process 6-8 times for one set of Activation Planks. Work up to 3 sets.

 

 I Just Wanna Zip my Jeans!

Do you want to get rid of the middle age belly bloat?  Do you want to have flat abs of steel? Do you want to simply zip up your friggin jeans?  You can, but it takes a consistent overall effort; diet and exercise. The whole process has to start with some really “not sexy” core strengthening. Overall, full body, integrated strength will enable you to perform the more vigorous training necessary to burn fat efficiently. You need endurance and stamina to hang in there for the long haul. The plank is one of those basic exercises that you might take for granted, a training staple that will support your long-term goals.

heartDid you do the Power Plank series?

Grab a foam roller and then let me know how many rounds you finished!

xokp

Subscribe to Get Fit Over 40 and get the Nourish Nutrition Plan: Click the Apple!

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