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

The Fit Life – Barbara is Fit Over 40

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

I’m Barbara Joan Warwick

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

A Fit Life

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

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

 I Have No Choice

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

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

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

I Knew I Could Do Better

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

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

A Fit Future

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

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

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

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

Thank-you for sharing your story Barb!

Get Fit Over 40

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

Grow Some Goals

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

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

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

Grow Some Goals

#1 Dream Big but Play it Small:

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

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

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

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

#2 Find Support:

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

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

#3 Recognize Your Potential

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

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

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

Have Courage:

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

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

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

~karen

When the Excitement Fades

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

This is the time to dig in.

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So do it DESPITE things that go wrong.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

xokaren

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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

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

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