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

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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

Build a Brick House

Are you considering a strict diet and bootcamp exercise to make up for summer weight gain? Think again because you’re running out of time, and those quick weight loss schemes never work out in the long run!

As we age it becomes more and more difficult for our bodies to rebound from trauma; crash dieting and “blitz” exercising is traumatic to the human body. It’s an assault that weakens your body, and a weak, sickly body cannot magically morph into a strong and lean physique…it just can’t.

That’s why it’s important to start with “reasonable” and gradually progress to “moderate” so that you can naturally adjust to “vigorous”….

You need to build yourself up!

What most people think of as “conventional dieting,” (slashing calories and eliminating whole food groups) actually tears down the body structure, weakens the foundation of health and creates an unstable environment that will actually diminish your ability to lose weight and remain healthy and strong in the years to come.

BUILD A STRONG, SOLID HOUSE

You need good quality building materials to build a strong and solid house and you need a specific amount of building material to complete the house of your dreams.

BUILD A STRONG, SOLID BODY

So too with your body. If you’re to achieve a strong and healthy physique you need good quality food and you need a specific amount of food to build and maintain that physique.

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Lasting Quality

A well-built home is easier to maintain and requires less maintenance than a poorly built home. A fit and healthy physique is easier to maintain than one that is starved, weak and sickly.

A well-built home takes longer to build but is worth the investment; same too for a body that will perform and thrive for many years to come.

Do it right the first time!

The Planning Stage

There are standard calculations required to build a house.

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When you’re investing time and hard-earned money, you do the groundwork, right? You calculate costs, research materials, establish a time line and figure out the game plan…….

Plan for a strong body too; formulate and follow a game plan for your health and weight loss.

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Calculate your calorie needs, choose wholesome foods, plan your grocery list and prepare your food. It takes time to succeed; preparation, contemplation and organization are part of “the life”.

 How?

Start with the very basics: nutrition and exercise.

Energy balance is the relationship between “energy in” (food calories taken into the body through food and drink) and “energy out” (calories being used in the body for our daily energy requirements).

HOW MANY CALORIES SHOULD I EAT?

Figure out your Basal Metabolic Rate (Basal Metabolic Rate is the amount of energy expressed in calories that a person needs to keep the body functioning at rest. Some of those processes are breathing, blood circulation, controlling body temperature, cell growth, brain and nerve function, and contraction of muscles.) The body’s energy needs include the amount of energy required for maintenance at rest, physical activity and movement, and for food digestion, absorption, and transport.

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You can determine your probable optimal calorie need using a simple formula that calculates BMR. You can find BMR calculators all over the internet, here’s a good one: BMR Calculator. Once you’ve nailed down the number you can retrain the body to consume and utilize the nutrients, overcome poor eating habits and gain the energy you need to train intelligently. You’ll adapt!

The Action Plan

The Action Plan energy balance section sets general guidelines for the calories you should be taking in. You need these (quality) calories to build that brick house, so don’t scrimp! Start your program with maintenance level calories to restore nutrients and provide the fuel you need to exercise. Once you are recharged with good food it’s easy to manipulate the calories in order to prompt fat loss.

Kerri’s Calculations

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Kerri S. is an  Action Eight participant; one of 8 women I worked with personally and started The Action Plan earlier this summer (2015).

Kerri was shocked to learn her body requires 1800 calories to function optimally. She’s getting her head around it but it’s difficult to fathom successful weight loss when eating that much.

I point out to her that 1800 calories of wholesome food may seem like “too much” to lose weight, BUT the “sneaky snacking” and nibbling has been the too much!“. 

When Kerri divides those 1800 calories by 5  (3 “meals” and 2 “snacks”), consuming the appropriate amount of food becomes easier to manage. 360 calories per meal is an average clean eating meal and 1800 calories of clean food IS GOING TO BUILD LEAN MUSCLE, which will burn fat.

And that’s the whole point: scale weight is secondary to how you feel, how you look and how you function.

Fat Loss Success

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Kerri is a ways from “getting it all right”.  She’s learning and she’s striving to make better choices. With only the few strategies that she has grasped and applied so far, her efforts are already paying off. Initial comparison photos show changes in her physique and she reports feeling energetic, confident and excited to continue. She has a plan and she’s following the blueprint to building a healthy fit body!

HIT Cardio + Weights + Better Food Choices

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Kerri has a quirky instability in her back that requires modifications during exercise. She is realizing the importance of good nutrition in building strong muscles to support her weak links. Adding a basic weight training routine focuses appropriate loads on her weak areas. With a balanced program of HIT cardio (modified), resistance training and supportive nutritional strategies, she is reaching her goals!

Relevant exercise (that is, exercise that is appropriate for your goals) and proper nutrition will work for you too – even if you’re Over 40. Never doubt it, just get doing it! Build a strong and solid “brick house”.

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Okay? It’s time to get rolling!

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Have a Fit Day!

~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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Child Birth and Weight Loss – What We Know Over 40

“Did you know that they sometimes have to stitch you up because you tear ‘down there” when the baby is born!?” Laura asked with eyes popping in disbelief and horror. Laura is one of the younger girls in our group. This morning during exercise, she shared a story about her friends’ childbirth experience.

“The baby actually tore her and the doctors had to sew her back up!”

The mothers in the room nodded knowingly.

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With care not to further alarm her, each of us shared a memory about birthing our babes. I could actually feel the atmosphere in the room change as we spoke laughingly and fondly of that bittersweet time of pain and joy.

As it slowly dawned on Laura that it was a possibility (the tearing and stitching) she sat stone-still, eyes even wider. You could actually see the “that’s not gonna happen to me” thoughts in her head take on a physical stance. We’ve all been there, right?

Two things occurred to me after this exchange.

1) At “over 40” we are now that wise woman who hands down stories and shares experience. I felt the responsibility to tell it in a way that’s positive, hopeful and would allow Laura to realize that, while the birth experience is universal, our individual experience is unique.

2) So too with weight loss; our stories are similar, but our individual experiences are unique. Most of us will laugh and talk fondly of the journey while respectfully remembering the difficulties and the struggle. (even though it was HELL at times, and it’s probably not over!) LOL.

The value of our story to others is greatest when we support their unique circumstance, and not force ours. It’s valuable to encourage joy in the journey, assure that it’s ok not to not be ok, applaud self-acceptance, and cheer as other’s push through difficult times. It’s valuable to offer a guarantee that it really IS going to be worth it!

The joy that childern bring into our lives far outweighs the challenge of childbirth.
The vitality of a healthy life far outweighs the struggles of weight loss.
The old you might tear, but the new you will heal stronger, fitter and happier.

My boys are grown men now and they are the joys of my life. Balanced lifestyle choices, a healthy weight, strength and flexibility allow me to live a fun life; a life that I can reasonably expect to enjoy for years to come. That’s the plan anyway!

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Stephen, myself & Taylor. Daytona 2014.

 

Are you living the life you want to? Will you enjoy a good quality of life as you age? Do you have a plan that’s helping you to achieve these goals?

What I’d like you to know about Get Fit Over 40 programs is that they are written from my personal point of view, experience and communicated to you in my unique way, from the perspective of a woman over 40. (OK over 50 is now closer to the mark). The bottom line is this- you can draw from my experience, follow my plan but all the while, REALIZE THIS: You are designing your own life, writing your own story and etching out a plan that works for you, every unique step of the way! Make it a Best Seller.

xokaren

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

Self Respect

Have You Wondered?

jaclynDo I respect myself?

When I am tired do I rest? When I am hungry do I feed myself well? When I am lethargic do I get active? When I am injured do I make time to heal, seek professional help, and nurture habits that make me strong? When I fail, do I pick myself up, cheer myself on and resume the challenge?

Or do I walk away from myself, my hopes and dreams? Do I batter myself with thoughts of worthlessness and pity? Do I give a damn about me? Do I do the things that will truly make a difference in my life?

There are so many ways that we can respect ourselves and it’s novel to understand that eating breakfast is respectful. Exercise is empowering. Time is valuable, precious, limited and we are worthy of taking as much as we need.

Self-respect is not only about walking away from negative people and situations, it’s caring enough about yourself to go out for a walk, eat good food, rest when weary, cry when you need to and become selective about your busy-ness. Self-respect is honoring wrinkles, sags, veins and cellulite by doing more, not less. More than accepting who we are now, self-respect is loving who we are now and saying yes to everything that makes us more.

We are meant to shine, to struggle, to feel well, to be strong, have doubts, laugh, fail, and live.  Are you?

Start a Respect Revolution today.

Step One: own your magnificence and acknowledge it. Announce it! Tell me about your best friend and share those things you’ve long admired about her/him (that’s you!).

“And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.” M. Williamson

xokaren