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

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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

99 Problems & Belly Fat is One

Stress Fat

jaclynword2The boss is on vacation, your partner is down with a cold, your workload is doubled, the car is in for repairs, the kids are home from school, the fridge is empty, and the house is a FREAKING mess. You are exhausted, frustrated, at the end of your rope, and feeling fat and lousy.

You are stressed all the time and too tired to exercise. Heck, too tired to tie up your running shoes. Dinner is something you grab and gobble on your way out the door. Again.

Middle age weight gain may be inevitable due to crazy life circumstances, but now there is an extra layer of uncomfortable fat around your middle. What’s with that? Lack of exercise?  Poor eating habits? Or is stress to blame? Is it the hormone called Cortisol that causes belly fat?

We know that there is a link between cortisol and abdominal body fat, but is this singular hormone the sole culprit? So many seemingly reliable sources say it’s so, but what are we to believe?

Who’s the Bad Guy?

If you depend on the information in advertising claims, you would be convinced that stress and cortisol are to blame for obesity, belly fat and the failing world economy. It always makes me wary when one factor is made tidily responsible for a multitude of problems. It’s important to realize that by simplifying scientific facts, advertisers sway millions of intelligent people into believing the unbelievable.

So, is cortisol the “bad guy'”?  Does stress make you fat?  I did some research in order to make an informed opinion. Take a look at some facts:

Just the Facts

Fact: Cortisol is an important hormone; balanced levels of this hormone are essential for numerous body functions. (Me: Cortisol is good.) Fact: Cortisol works to break down stored fat, but chronically elevated levels can lead to muscle loss. (Me: Muscle loss is bad.)
Fact: High cortisol levels can contribute to storage of body fat. (Me: eat too much + move too little =  body fat storage.)
Fact: Stress alone does not increase body fat. Stress may stimulate appetite which can lead to overeating, which will lead to overweight issues. (Me: Stress eating, eating poorly, under-eating are facts of life for the middle ager.)
Fact: Balanced cortisol levels can improve strength and recovery, but reducing those levels below normal has not been proven to have a positive effect on strength and recovery. Less is not necessarily better. (Me: Taking cortisol suppressing drugs are not a weight loss answer.)

morttumblr_mmoomcnBi21rlzvmho1_400It is really hard to lose the extra midsection weight without disconnecting the stress-cortisol connection. You have to ease the impact of unavoidable stress:

•Schedule downtime.
•Get sleep.
•Eat healthy balanced meals.
•Spend time in caring environments with caring people.
•Get out of relationships that cause you stress.
•Limit alcohol and other (non-prescribed) drugs.

Stress is Important!

Cortisol is a Good Guy. Positive growth is achieved by adapting to imposed demands. Go ahead, embrace stress, but learn to manage it.

Work hard to steer your life away from chronic and continuous stress, not only in everyday life but at the gym too:

•Stop low-calorie dieting for long periods. Calorie deficiency stresses the body and is counterproductive.
•Train with an intensity that is relative to your ability to recover. Training a tired body is stressful and harmful.
•Keep most workouts short and intense. Cortisol response will kick in after 45 minutes of training.
•Get lots of sleep! Good quality sleep!
•Limit stimulants that may give false energy and mask important body signals to slow down.
•Limit alcohol. Yes, large amounts will raise cortisol levels!

jaclynword3Look, we have stress. That’s what life is all about, right? I like to give problems a reasonable amount of time (based on the seriousness of the situation) and a time limit. Some things demand I worry for one hour, other things one day, and if it’s a pretty complicated issue, I give it a week. Very rarely do I tolerate anything for more than a month without taking some drastic action to ease the situation. It’s just not worth it! Life is short! I’ve got stuff to do, and so do you. I’m tough love all the way, on myself and my clients. If you want to lose weight, you can if you do it the right way; with consistency, tenacity and a solid plan you can change your physique and win the battle on belly fat.

Face the truth about what is holding you back rather than accepting (even legitimate) excuses. Have you given it everything you’ve got? Have you worked diligently towards your goals with proper exercise, eating, sleeping and minimizing stressful situations? Do you believe it’s possible to get a flatter tummy? You’ve got to believe!

heartI look forward to hearing from you, leave a comment and let’s talk!

xokp~

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