The Fit Life – Gerda is Fit Over 40

“I started my fitness journey and one of the glaring reasons I did was the feeling of ‘un-sureness’ I had doing ordinary things. Feeling unsteady, vulnerable and timid about stairs, long walks, hikes. At age 50 I wasn’t ready to stop doing the things I liked. I made a change, took charge and never looked back.” Meet Gerda!

I’m Gerda Collins

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“At 53 years of age, I’ve come to the place in my life that intend to do things that really move and inspire me. Confidence has come to reside in my being.  I’ve been married 34 years and have 2 children, and 2 grandchildren. I feel very privileged to be called wife, mother, and grandmother.”

My Fitness Journey

“Proper health and fitness have ‘eluded’ me most of my life. Recently several family crises and my own declining health left me in a sorry state of stress and fatigue. On October 22, 2014, unwilling to resign to this as my life now, I embarked on a new lifestyle; not a fad program or diet, but I made a real and sustainable change by overhauling my brain and body.

I began by enlisting professional help. I hired a personal trainer who understand clients Over 40, and began a weight lifting program, cardio and “clean eating”.

The accountability of meeting with someone regularly has helped me greatly. I started out with a simple 15 minute walk twice daily and 2 sessions per week in the gym. Over time, I learned to work all the muscle groups, learned to ‘listen’ to my body and become aware of what my muscles were doing (and not doing)!

Each week my walk increased by 10 minutes and soon I was doing 1 hour a day and 3 gym sessions a week.  Now I work out on my own, 4 times a week in the gym: 1 hour lifting weights and 30 minutes of cardio (usually elliptical). I also do 45 minutes of cardio on my home treadmill twice a week. Currently I meet with my trainer 3 times a month because I need a push to stay motivated, make sure I’m on track and my form is correct to avoid injury.”

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Clean Eating

“Early on in my journey I began eating clean (very limited processed foods); protein, veggies and slow carbs (mainly sweet potato or brown rice).  By following a strict food plan I started to realize that even though I wasn’t a ‘binge’ eater, I had formed some very emotional attachments to food. When I didn’t have to think about what to eat  (I do meal preparations for one week at a time) I became free of those emotions… wow.. that was an eye opener!

“Food is fuel.. and I’m fueling a Maserati not a moped!”

I now plan my ‘cheat meals’ or ‘re-feeds’ very carefully. I don’t eat junk because I truly don’t want to.  I choose real and well-prepared foods. If I have a special event coming up I plan for it and allow myself that occasion to enjoy (within reason) what I want. 

One thing that was VERY hard to get through my head initially was not eating enough calories! I slowly began to understand that depriving myself was not helping my cause in any way.  “Fuel for the gains” is what I hear from fellow lifters. Now I know that when you exercise 6 days a week, you need plenty of fuel to feed growing muscles and muscles burn a lot of fat!”

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Fitness Friends

“I found great encouragement and ‘kinship’ online, the lifting-community is FULL of people eager to help. Both online and in person, #grandmaswholift are not as rare as one might think.

It’s been 11 months and I’m 45 pounds lighter and a lot stronger! I still have to lose 40 pounds, but I know I can do that. I just know it now! I’ve increased my energy and have confidence in my ability to accomplish any goal I set!

I really feel that if I can do this anyone can. (I mean 99.9%) In the past I’ve been the worst disciplined person and it’s true what they say, ‘You have to come to that place where you say enough! I REALLY want this.’ And then you find your inner strength…..

Just typing this makes me cry; I think ‘Why did it take me so long!?’ And yes, I’m doing this now and you can too. Stay the course!”

Get Fit Over 40

Thank you for sharing your story Gerda! (Instagram @gerdasgarden)

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I’m inspired every single day by women around the world, friends of GFO40. I have “down-days” when I think “I’m not making a difference” and then I recall the women I’ve witnessed experience this emotion… this elation… this aha moment….and it’s then I wish every single woman on earth knew how good they could feel if they just let themselves. Thank you so much again Gerda and my many supportive friends. We are Fit Over 40. Please join us, there are so many wonderful life experiences yet to be enjoyed- get strong for your future.

~karen

Health Issues? Get Fit Anyway!

I will decide how I age.

I have control. 

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But, There Will Be Snags

Exercising while dealing with chronic or acute health conditions is tough. Often, the issue keeps you from doing the very thing that will have a positive effect on the condition. At the outset of a therapeutic training program you’ll feel an exaggeration of symptoms or new ones…..exercise is unpleasant (for beginners) under the best circumstances. When you feel lousy, it’s worse. Sometimes bad enough to pull the covers up over your head and ignore the problem, right?

Wrong.

Remember, you want better.

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Exercise and Health Conditions

If you’re experiencing fatigue, lethargy or pain due to a health issue, the last thing you want to do is bounce, lift, jiggle or add to the discomfort in any way. The last thing you want to do is, quite frankly, the thing that you must do! You have to move arthritic joints. You have to circulate oxygen through the veins. You have to build stronger circulatory, respiratory and cardiovascular systems that will cause healthy adaptations in all areas of the body.

Good nutrition and relevant exercise will promote healthy body weight and ease the burden on body systems so that you can heal, and there are very few medical conditions that are not positively affected by a healthy, active lifestyle.

But you already know that…..

Now, if you’re looking for an excuse NOT to exercise, NOT to improve or NOT to succeed, you can stop right here. No one will blame you for that. It’s hard! But if you accept that it’s you alone who decides your future (and you DO want a future of optimum health), then you’ll want to continue reading and meet Debbie.

Debbie’s conditions are not imminently life-threatening yet they could spiral into a serious situation. Her unique health challenges (circulatory), together with the universal “womanly” related (menopausal) challenges AND genetics have fueled her current quest for better health, improved body composition and yes, weight loss. She’s ready to fight and I’m all on board to help steer!

Meet Debbie:
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“Hi, my name is Debbie,

I’m a married mother of two, grandmother of five and I work full-time.

I’ve battled my weight for most of my adult life and tried many fad diets with little success.

In my early 40’s I hit a record high of 172 lbs. I thought to myself,  it’s time to do something before major health issues develop. I started walking and trying to cut back and then I tried a popular weight loss program (WW) and made some progress.

Over next few years I added a variety of activities such as circuit training, Zumba, yoga, Pilates, and exercise videos. I lost 30 lbs. and I’m proud to say I have kept it off for over 10 years (still a struggle at times). In the last 3 years I started cardio classes and began to do some light weight workouts (3-5 lbs).

As a menopausal woman, I was concerned with bone loss, toning, and wanted to rid myself of those last 10 lbs. that I couldn’t shake off no matter how much I mixed things up. So, in February, I joined a local gym and had the pleasure of trying a variety of classes (Piyo, yoga, and, Bodybomb). All of the classes were great, each targeting specific needs.

I’m now under the guidance of Karen, with her expertise and Action Plan. In only 4 weeks I’m already seeing results in weight loss and body transformation!  I am lifting heavier weights (10,15, and 20 lbs. depending on the exercise) and using machines with weights up to 45 lbs.

I do have a few health concerns; pernicious anemia, varicose veins, restless leg, CVI, and Spina Bifida occult. It hasn’t been easy!  Karen and I have made modifications such as reduced reps & weight, and longer rest periods…(to catch my breath and check for a pulse ha ha!).

I’m eager to see where my transformation journey will take me. I know I wouldn’t have had such success without the encouragement and support of Karen and my workout girls. I feel stronger, healthier, and more energized than ever.

Thanks a million for helping me make it happen!

Debbie L.”

Debbie’s Action Plan

This is a workout routine from the Action Plan.

Four months ago Deb would have taken one look at it (in total confusion) and walked away. While she didn’t walk away, she didn’t get through it either!

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You see, it takes time, effort, tenacity and determination to do a board; you have to learn the routine, the terms, the exercises, and the sets and reps. You have to suffer the uncertainty. You have to show up and give it what you’ve got that day.

You’ve got to fail.

Debbie did all those things and she did them consistently. Even now, four months later, the boards are tough to get through most days. Debbie has learned and now understands: it’s the tough days when she plugs through (at whatever intensity she can muster), that she’s making gains. She’s growing stronger in mind and body, and that’s what it’s all about!

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My Two Cents

Deb was successful at losing 30 pounds ten years ago because she altered her habits. She maintained her loss because she stayed active and ate (relatively) well; the changes became a lifestyle that continue to support her new life and physique.

Fast Forward to Now 

Debbie wants more improvement and to move forward. To make further physical and health progress from this new position she has to implement further lifestyle adjustments. I want her to lift weights and tighten up her diet;  she’s agreed that these are reasonable and understandable “next steps”.

Although Debbie lives and enjoys a good lifestyle, I intuit that it’s still a struggle. From our conversations, I gather that nutrition isn’t always easy and there’s an underlying fear of losing control and gaining weight back if she’s not diligent and “on top of her game” at all times. I explain that, although her bodyweight is down, body composition is still an issue. By increasing lean body tissue, (muscle) with weight training, she can change the shape of her body and easily maintain a strong healthy physique for many years to come. She’d then be able to better manage her health conditions as well.

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I gave Debbie (and the Action Eight) a very general resistance training routine to follow for one month. She struggled with exercise form, but even at that she’s experienced dramatic change. We’ll work closely together as she implements a more specific weight training plan to target her unique needs. We’ll monitor her progress, make adjustments and continue to refine her nutritional habits. I want to keep it as flexible as possible for her busy life as a wife, mom, grandma and full-time employee.

One Month Progress – Un-retouched Photos

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It’s possible to Get Fit Over 40 and it needn’t take years. With health conditions, it possible to Get Fit Over 40 anyway!

It does takes appropriate action, knowing when to switch it up and focus on new goals (having achieved previous ones). Ask Debbie!

The Action Plan and Get Fit Over 40 will get you there!

Get Fit Over 40 With Us!

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Follow this blog for updates on all of the ACTION EIGHT girls.

Subscribe to the GFO40 Newsletter to get the workouts!

Tune in to my YouTube channel – Karen Pilote, for video support too!

Comment here to share your own stories. We love to hear about other “Over 40’s” who are doing it!

Have the absolute best day you can!

~karen

Eight Women Share Their Fat Loss Journey

I’d like to share with you the process I’m using to help several women achieve their physical fitness goals.

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This series will feature real – awesome – and dedicated women who have graciously agreed to share their journey. These narratives will hopefully inspire you and demystify the process of physical transformation. You can follow and learn what it takes as they experience the process.

The most important thing necessary for fat loss success is that you be open to learn what works and what doesn’t – FOR YOU. Be open to the process, focus on your current level of fitness and understanding….you’ll  be surprised at the need to adjust different aspects of training and eating while following a realistic fat loss program.

Be aware that the “order of steps” taken will differ for each participant based on individual circumstances, and they will vary slightly for you too! Each individual “plan of action” will be formulated according to generally accepted and logical “key components” of healthy lifestyle transformation but they will differ somewhat in the delivery.

Ready to witness change in action?

Get Ready to Watch These Girls Transform!

Melody: She wants to lose weight. I suggest she focus on body composition changes and strength. Fat loss will follow.

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Kerri: She wants to lose weight. I suggest she focus on strength and stamina. Fat loss will follow.

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Debbie: She wants to lose weight. I suggest she focus on body composition change and strength. Fat loss will follow.

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Julie: She, too, wants to lose weight. I suggest she focus on muscle maintenance, flexibility and joint stability. Fat loss and optimum weight management will follow.

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Tamara: (data to be completed) She wants to lose weight. I suggest she continue with fat loss training and focus on body composition. Fat loss is assured.

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Kerri: She wants to get stronger and toned. I suggest weight training to reshape her physique and shoot for optimum strength and muscular balance.

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Zowie: She wants a fit, athletic physique with lean muscle definition. I suggest she focus on a muscle building training program that will give her functional strength for sports. (Zowie is very young but will be a good example for those underweight or tall woman who find building muscle difficult.)

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Jaci: Wants to shed fat within a 12 week time-frame for the purpose of competing.

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Note: Jaci is a Personal Training client and friend who’s goal is to compete in a Figure Competition. Her training will be targeted, intense and strict. I wanted to include her journey as a means to illustrate the use the same key fitness components used in general fitness and weight loss except, in this case, to achieve a very specific and time sensitive goal.

How We All Met:

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In 2015 I began offering a total body conditioning program based on The Action Plan to a group of women at a local fitness facility. The improvements that they experienced over the course of this 18 week program (I called it Bodybomb) were extremely encouraging. Success led these women to seek further physique transformation, nutritional excellence, fat loss and strength gains.

I feel privileged to share their journey via this blog!

Please note that each participant first completed The Action Plan as best they could and at the level of fitness they were at. Next, they each completed a one month general strength program that allowed them to learn and apply general resistance training principles. They developed and incorporated a structured plan for strength training into their schedules. Each girl was challenged to apply the strategies and adapt them to their individual circumstances and you will have to do the same if you are to attain your goals.

I’ll begin by thanking the girls for allowing us to follow their journeys. This is so great because we all know how difficult it is to “put yourself out there” with before pictures. Aghhhh! In sharing the discovery process for each woman I hope it helps you too!

The Group Fitness Phase:

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I love group fitness and I feel strongly that exercise in an organized format positively impacts each participant and encourages adherence, learning, camaraderie and accountability. BUT I’d also like to point out that group fitness training can only take you so far. This won’t make perfect sense to you right now but you will begin to understand and discover the benefits of individual training as you follow these eight women!

In my opinion, general exercise plans work extremely well when you’re savvy enough to alter them to fit your unique circumstances, but that’s difficult for the general population. That’s where this series should help demonstrate the need for individual attention and modifications even though the goal of fitness, weight loss and strength gain is a common one.

The “Next Level” of Training:

Follow the blog as we employ different strategies for each woman, and a variety of approaches to bring knowledge, understanding, and shed light on what many woman find a confusing journey.

We’ll begin with Melody! 

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Over the last few months Melody completed The Action Plan. She became stronger, leaner and increasingly more aware of the effects of HIIT exercise on her physique. She also learned about her limitations, habits, strengths and weaknesses. It was a process of discovery; very important step in the direction of her goals.

When we began our training together Mel found The Action Plan workouts challenging and needed to modify the exercises, take more breaks between sets and do less repetitions than listed on the workout boards. Given that she was fairly active and involved in other fitness classes prior to our “Bodybomb” group fitness classes, the HIIT workouts presented new challenges and she was more than ready to tackle them.

Over the next few months she participated in 2-3 sessions per week while continuing with her “other” workouts. Melody began to feel the adaptations and her confidence increased. The training was always challenging but she realized that, even though the workouts never got easier (insert evil snicker) she was capable of doing more at each session. Winning! Melody felt great, fit, tighter, stronger and ready to “take it to the next level”.

Fast Forward to Now:

It’s time for an in-depth discovery process and we’ll ask specific questions that bring into focus targeted concerns.

What are your current goals? (Melody: weight loss)(Karen: tighten nutrition, water consumption, fat loss training, strength building, balance physique, alleviate negative impact of hip/leg imbalance

-What do you believe to be your downfall to achieving those goals? (Melody: #1-diet #2-understanding macronutrient logic and #3- understanding the importance/difficulty of eating sufficient calories) (Karen: I see no insurmountable roadblocks to achieving your goals so continue to focus on learning balanced eating by trial and error. Read, research and implement food and lifting strategies. Begin weight lifting protocol for muscle maintenance and to improve/correct postural imbalances. Set a timer to alert for meal times, prepare said meals in advance)

-What are your physical limitations? (Melody: born with dislocated hip joints causing a marked difference in length of legs) (Karen: objectively observe the effect of the program on your unique limitations – is that limitation the downfall to achieving the goal of fat loss? or is nutrition? or is water consumption?)

Having completed The Action Plan and then one month of the general physical conditioning, Melody is ready to begin an individualized program that will address her particular level of fitness, weak links and physical expectations. We’ll work together closely to monitor progress, trouble shoot plateaus and problems. At the same time we’ll learning more about calories, macronutrients and using internet-available calculators to determine the optimum individual figures.

Food First

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But How Many Calories Do I Need?

As Melody continues to train using the general weight lifting program and waits for her individualized plan, she is focusing on food! We’ve determined how many calories she needs and a good starting point for macronutrient ratio. Here’s how we figured all that out:

BMR: Basal Metabolic Rate Calculator

It’s important to learn just how many calories are necessary to support your living and breathing and other body functions. Use the calculator highlighted above and figure out how much fuel you need to survive. Remember that this number will change as you lose weight so make sure to recalculate using new data as you begin to lose fat and change body composition. (Knowing this will save you the heartache of agonizing over weight loss plateaus!)

Note: on the BMR calculations for each participant: we multiplied the BMR calorie count by 1.3 to factor in moderate daily activity. Therefore, in Melody’s case, she should consume 1632 calories just to maintain her current weight and body mass. “Oh dear!”, she says. “That is so much more than I’m eating right now!!” That is one very simple reason she’ll experience stalls: if you don’t eat to support your body, your body will refuse to budge! So Eat!

Meal Composition: Macro Nutrient Calculator

Once you’ve determined how many calories to consume in order to support your exercise plan, it’s important to compose meals according to an optimum balance of protein, carbohydrates and fat. I prefer to have clients start a muscle supportive nutrition plan composed of 40% protein, 40% carbohydrates and 20% fats. This ratio breakdown is a good one to begin with and then easily adjust the ratios to find your own sweet spot for muscle maintenance and fat loss.

Calories and Macros:

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At this early stage of learning, I’m asking the girls (and you) to NOT STRESS out over meal composition. Take the time to gradually learn by doing- make sure you have protein at each meal (here- steak), a complex carb (here- broad noodle), fibrous carb (here- zucchini and peppers) and fat (here- fat present in protein choice and perhaps olive oil on the pasta or grilled into the peppers). Plate your meals to resemble the one pictured. You can swap out eggs, chicken, turkey, tuna for the steak- likewise, rice or sweet potato for the pasta- get creative and stay satisfied!

We’ll be talking lots more about food balance and in a very short time you’ll all realize just how simple and common sense the whole topic is. Until then relax, eat whole foods and learn to enjoy fresh tastes!

Hi there! I’m Karen Pilote from Get Fit Over 40

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Stay Connected and Follow the “Action Eight” Transformations!

I’ll share Melody’s weight training program for her next 12 week cycle and introduce you to Debbie! So get on those calculations for your own meal plan and let me know if I can help…leave your questions in the comments and Bon Apetit!

~karen

Eat a Sandwich

The Sandwich Evolution = Your Fitness Revolution

Working at making a lifestyle change is hard work if you make it hard, so why not stop working at it? Don’t make it into work, don’t call it work and don’t think of it as work. All that work is just too hard!

Eat a sandwich……

Yes, I mean it! Make a sandwich and relax. Sandwiches are easy and relaxing is easy. So make your diet transformation easy too.

Watch how simple it can be for a sandwich to transform in just a month. (You can try this with any food that you’re eating right now.) The process is Guaranteed!
WEEK ONE: Two slices of bread, 1 oz. turkey, leaf of lettuce, slice of tomato, tbsp of mayo.

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WEEK TWO: Two slices of bread, 2 oz. of turkey, 2 leaves of lettuce, 2 slices of tomato, 1/2 tbsp of mayo.

 

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WEEK THREE: One slice of bread, 3 oz. turkey, a pile of lettuce, 1 small tomato, 1 tbsp. “spiced up” greek yogurt.

 

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WEEK FOUR: 4 oz. of turkey, a pile of lettuce, 1 small tomato, 1/4 avocado, a whole lot of additional crunchy vegetables, 1/2 a palm-full slivered almonds, cashews, or walnuts 1 tbsp. “spiced up” greek yogurt.

 

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The biggest deal is going to be week 3. Piling all that turkey and lettuce on a single slice of bread is going to be tricky! Go ahead and eliminate the slice if you want to in week 3, add some croutons if you’re having separation anxiety.

 

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You can see how, over time, a sandwich can transform with only a few small changes each week. So can your body. Day by day, week by week make the small extra efforts, focus on simple habits to change and give yourself time to adjust to the new way of doing things.

Bon Appetit!

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

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

Thai Spring Rolls

“Professional” Spring Rolls

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My Spring Rolls!

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So, you can’t/won’t cook?

Me either! I am the quintessential non-chef.  Thankfully I passed the “gourmet gene” on to my two boys but I happily open a can of tuna, steam some vegetables and rice, shake up some protein and hit the gym with my Corelle containers.

This one is worth the effort.

I did it, I made them! And if I do say so myself, mine are awesome.

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Thai Spring Rolls

20 circle rice paper wrappers
20 cooked shrimp
40 basil leaves
40 mint leaves
1 carrot sliced into shreds with vegetable peeler
2 cups torn butter lettuce (or romaine without spines of leaves)
1 skein vermicelli rice noodles cooked
1 cup bean sprouts
4 stalks green onion finely chopped
pie pan of very warm water

Spread all ingredients out on a work surface. Remove tails from shrimp and cut shrimp in half lengthwise.

Dip a rice wrapper into the warm water until soft and pliable. On a clean dry cutting board, fold it in half so you have the straight line of the half circle at the top. Place your filling a little off the center in a vertical line. Start with two shrimp halves end to end, cut side up (so the pink shows through when it’s wrapped). Top with two basil leaves, two mint leaves, and a small portion of each remaining ingredient. Arrange so ingredients will be peeking out of one or both ends.
Starting at the corner your filling is closest to, wrap that corner over filling, (If you only want ingredients showing from one end, fold an inch of the bottom up right now) then begin rolling tightly. Place seam side down on a large platter and cover with plastic wrap.
Makes 20 Rolls.
*If this is your photo “Ms. Pro Chef” let me thank you personally.
Ok gang, go make them! Eat them, enjoy every nutritious calorie!
Thai Spring Rolls: A guilt free, out of the ordinary, ”take a break from boring” recipe from a Non-Chef!
xokp
If you have a wonderful “Non Chef” story or recipe to share, please do. We culinary-challenged friends have to stick together!