Even When It’s Cold

Winter Wonderland~

You might think I’m about to tell you I was out exercising in the fresh fallen snow early last Sunday morning with a group of enthusiastic gals, but I’m not going to tell you that. The truth is….

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….I was thoroughly enjoying a typical Sunday morning, lounging in mushy jammies with a steaming mug of strong, black java, updating client profiles, planning posts and skimming Facebook. My heaven~

This particular Sunday I gazed out the windows and was mesmerized by a wild wind that was whipping up frosty snow swirls over the ominously ice-grey lake. My thoughts? “There’s no place like home.”

As I scrolled through Facebook, a friend’s post caught my eye. This idyllic scene; a beautiful photo of a motivated bunch of girls strolling through a refreshing winter morning. Wow.

I pointedly looked to see when it was posted and was surprised to find it had been added only minutes prior. In that swirling snow. This group of gals were taking a Winter Walk!

How incredibly awesome was that? (It was practically a blizzard outdoors.) Kudo’s girls!

While I’m not likely to give up my Sacred Sunday ritual, I was curious to review the benefits of exercising outside, even in the cold.

Icy Inspiration

We all know it’s tough to find motivation to exercise (ANY day) let alone outside on a frigid day. During the work week most of us begin and end our days in utter darkness tinged with a frosty chill. The winter sunshine is appreciated but it’s not all that enticing when it barely warms up the day. We’re compelled to stay indoors, find warmth and forget about fitness until the spring thaw.

But for some, like the girls who were out walking on that frosty morning, outdoor activity is preferable to a crowded, stuffy gym and I was pretty impressed and inspired by their tenacity and spirit! Ballsy babes!

A Doctor of Natural Medicine and a Personal Fitness Strategist agree.

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Winter Warrior Rosemarie

My sister-in-law, Rosemarie, was one of those Winter Warriors. Later that same evening we had the opportunity to talk about exercising outdoors, even when it’s cold.  Rosemarie is Doctor of Natural Medicine, owner of Infinite Healing and an incredibly intuitive healer.

We agreed that cold weather training can be a perfect opportunity to increase the benefits of exercise, health and longevity. Here are the reasons we felt were most important:

You can burn more calories.

The body works hard to regulate core temperature in the cold, you’ll burn more calories during a wintry outdoor workout compared to one indoors.

Overall calorie burn will vary with each person’s body mass and the extremity of the temperature, but it’s a great perk to burn a few more without the extra sweat and effort.

You can strengthen your heart.

Cold weather makes your heart work harder to distribute blood throughout the body. A regular exerciser with good cardiovascular endurance can strengthen their heart with cold-weather sessions. You’ll be ready for more strenuous workouts in the future. (Non-exercise stresses too!).

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Skater? Not sure but I’m in the game!

You can build a tolerance for the frigid season.

It’s damn hard to force yourself outside for the first walk/workout of the winter season but over time it gets easier. Adjust your expectations as you acclimate rather than push for your typical “good-weather” training levels. Pay attention to your effort as opposed to hitting certain time, distance or other performance goal. Learn to enjoy the process.

You can get a good dose of vitamin D.

Even when it’s cold, the extra sun exposure will supply you with the same important nutrients as it does during warmer seasons. The benefit feels like “more” in the winter because natural light is already so restricted.

You can feel energized and happier.

Cold-weather exercise will boost your mood. There’s no humidity to drag you down and the chill is stimulating. As the body works hard to stay warm, more endorphins are produced which leaves you feeling a strong sense of happiness – you’ll feel younger!

You should embrace the winter months.

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Me on a Tube!

  • Find a group of friends to kick your butt into gear.
  • Take the kids tubing and strive to keep up.
  • Get out your ancient ice skates and give them a twirl.
  • Rent some snowshoes, go for a walk with them on.
  • Organize a Pond hockey league!
  • Learn to Curl
  • Just get out and walk!
  • Ski!

Make fitness a bigger part of your life by extending your workouts to outside the gym while doing something fun. Exercising in the cold weather is going to make you hot!  (yep I just said that, cheesy I know!)

 

Get inspired. Get geared up. Get prepared. Plan your next adventure.

Winter activities can be as simple as organizing a walk with the girls or gathering the family for a skate. With bit of travel you could find Winter Snow Tubing in the country. It may take some research but you could perhaps find Snowshoeing at local golf course, winery  or through a pretty wooded estate. Ski weekends, sledding afternoons, snow angels moments…..even shoveling can be a fun and beneficial. Really!

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My Mack

Here, (in the Niagara Region of Ontario and Western New York) there are tons of opportunities to get out and you just need to do that – get outside!

Do something you’ve never done before and you’ll get a life you’ve never had before.

My personal favorite-Winter runs with Mack: This guy is the best workout partner I’ve ever had! Can you imagine keeping up with that!

<————– Happy, happy happy Bulldog~

Anyway….you get the idea.

 

Get out of that lazy-boy recliner before you begin to look like one! Fresh air and exercise will take care of many health concerns and you’re just going to be happier. That, and you’ll be away from the fridge!

Have a fantastic winter and promise me you’ll get out and play! ~karen

About the Author

nourish1Hi! I’m Karen Pilote – My job title (I suppose) is “Personal Trainer” but lately I’m liking the term “Personal Fitness Strategist.” I help people find unique and individual strategies for implementing fitness into their lives. I’m skilled at making plans for achieving a goal, and I’m good at forming strategies (which is OH SO (so!) important when we’re talking about fitness.

One size programs do not fit all and one (rigid) plan will not suffice for the long term. Your weight-loss journey’s going to follow a winding road; face it. It will be a mountainous climb at times; prepare for it.  It will bumpy ride for most of the trip; buckle up. But you can do it; believe it!

 

Honestly, it’s going to be confusing and you’ll need the support of an intuitive guide to help trouble shoot the challenges along the way. That’s me!

Sure, I can send you a program, tell you what to eat, explain and teach you the exercises but lot’s of people can do that for you – actually, you can find it all on the internet.

But I excel at tuning into what you’re feeling. My strength lies in understanding your confusion and fetching you back when you’re lost. I’m supportive when you’re disillusioned and I’m sure of your success even when you’re not.

Failure is not an option and I’ll never let you quit on yourself! I believe in you and I see what you can be- I will teach you to find that person and bear the challenges with some cursing and chuckling along way.

My program is called The Action Plan– it’s an general guide and plan to follow as you learn what works for you and what doesn’t. Read more about it here: The Action Plan

My workouts are found on Get Fit Over 40 – Pinterest. Free. I’m sure you’ll find them challenging and unique. For the most valuable use of the boards and cardio routines it’s best to set goals and follow the general plan outlined in The Action Plan.

I’m on Facebook Page Karen Pilote – Get Fit Over 40 for daily motivation and light-hearted humor and inspiration. (At least I like to think so, lol) See you there!

 

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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

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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What is Wrong with Me?

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We were able to lose weight in our late 30’s. Now we’re Over 40 and the weight is creeping back on despite exercise and diet. We start to notice more bloating in the stomach area. What is wrong with us??
Ughhh!

First, and foremost, there is NOTHING wrong with you! Either you want to get fit and are willing to do what it takes OR you want to keep talking about it. It makes no difference to anyone but you. You are the same amazing person to your friends, family, and co-workers no matter what you weigh.

But do you like yourself? Do you like how you feel? Are you content with your life? Do you feel fulfilled?

If you do, great!

If you want better for yourself it’s time to face some realities. Ready?

Numero Uno: Demand honest answers from yourself to these tough questions before you drown your sorrows in a box of wine:

1) What is your food intake? Not enough? Too much? Calculate the correct amount of calories to reach your goals.
2) What foods do you eat most often? Healthy fats, lean proteins, whole grains, fruit, and vegetables? Or processed junk?
3) Is your water intake sufficient? You need water. Period. You can find out why in a million places online…..google water. 🙂
4) Is your exercise program geared towards your intended goals? Or do you choose activities that you like most? Spend your training sessions doing the work that gets results. Save the fun stuff for in between.
5) Is your stress level through the roof? If you’re anxious, worried, and stressed your body is going to respond with its own mechanisms, sending out armies of hormones to help you cope but that will also promote fat storage…I know, not fair!

Menopause, arthritis, illness, workload, children, grandchildren, family commitments, holidays, celebrations….Yep! There are lots of excuses that are totally understandable. But, are you going to keep using them?

It’s time to Get Fit Over 40. Lift yourself fit!

http://www.getfitover40.tv

~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

 

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

Renovations!

Fresh, Fun and Functional

karen2155-2Get Fit Over 40 is getting a new look!

I’m so very excited to give the website a really good renovation and with the help of my Action Team, the job will begin this month! In order to give the information that you really need I’d like to ask you to join my circle of experts and share your thoughts.

What do you want and need? What confuses you about weight loss and health maintenance?

What would you like more help with on the site? What would make your lifestyle transformation easier? Do you want videos? Recipes? Fat loss facts? Inspiration?

Do you want me to come over and work out for you?

I’d love to do whatever I can to make the time you spend with us, your fitness experience and your effort just a little easier. And it truly can be! And fun too.

Just let me know here in the comments, or email me: karen@getfitover40.com. You might like to head over to the site now, Get Fit Over 40  (before we say good-bye to her) and decide what helps you, what confuses you and what you want to keep. There’s a lot of valuable information over there but because it was a first time ever undertaking for me,  it could be overwhelming for you. I truly believe in KISS (keep it super simple) and the most sensible thing I can do right now is ask you, “What do you want? What do you need?” That’s just what we’ll do at the new site.

Other New Stuff in 2014

imageIn the months to come Get Fit Over 40 will offer a very detailed, interactive 6 Week Action Lifestyle e-course based on The Action Plan training program. Make sure that you sign up for email newsletter and learn when the course will begin and important details.

I’m targeting a September launch! In the meantime, stay in touch, work hard and live well!

Lots ‘o Love! 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!

Weight Loss Stall – Face the Facts

Face facts now. Before you begin your lifestyle weight loss plan know this-you WILL stall. Even while following all rules and regulations to a tee, your body will have its own way in its own time. When this happens, stay calm and trouble shoot.

Are you eating enough?

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You might need to increase your calorie intake to fire up your fat burning metabolism. If you consume too few calories (the average women needs 1o calories per pound, per day to get the right amount of nutrients and to support the functions of  daily living) your body will hold on to fat in order to survive. If you skip a meal your body will act as if food is scarce. Breakfast is especially important so your body will understand that it is ok to burn fuel the rest of the day.

Have you cut out a whole food group?

Cutting back too much on carbs or fat will leave you lethargic and unable to exercise at an intensity necessary to lose weight. Vary your diet and include healthy fats and good carbs to fuel your workouts. Low carb and low fat diets are not sustainable over a long term and when you fail to stick to this type of plan you will regain the weight lost and more. You will also feel less confident to lose weight in the future.

Do you “treat” yourself after exercise?

It is suggested that you take in food after exercise to replace lost nutrients and give the muscles the building blocks to repair and strengthen. However, a high calorie treat will not help weight loss. We often overestimate calories burned during exercise and underestimate the amount of calories that are consumed. Keep calories in check.

Do you consume diet soda?

Artificial sweetners can increase insulin and lower blood sugar, resulting in hunger and calorie storage in the fat cells. These sweetners may not satisfy your craving like sugar can so you may need even more “sweet” after that pop.

Are your friends inactive or unsupportive?

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Your social circle influences your lifestyle. Your chances for being inactive, and therefore overweight, increase with every friend in your circle who is inactive or overweight. Your perception of fit changes in relationship to your influencing group; overweight becomes acceptable if your friends are. You don’t have to avoid them however. Start an exercise program together and form new rituals for your friendship.

Are you tracking everything you eat?

When you write down what you eat you become aware of “nibble calories”. If you use a computer or phone application, you will increase the chances of weight loss success with positive feedback that an app can provide. Lose more weight and stick with a diet longer by using a digital recording program.

When your diet stops working don’t you! Do not freak out. Weight Loss does make sense, your body is smart. If you are honestly doing what it takes, consistently, weight loss will resume. “Weight” it out! You are stronger than a craving!
imageIt’s important to be brutally honest, denial will only drive you around the bend, straight towards a real bender!
What is stalling your weight loss progress?  What holds you back?

Vent here! It’s good for you!

xokaren