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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Health Issues? Get Fit Anyway!

I will decide how I age.

I have control. 

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But, There Will Be Snags

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

Wrong.

Remember, you want better.

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Exercise and Health Conditions

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

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

But you already know that…..

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

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

Meet Debbie:
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“Hi, my name is Debbie,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks a million for helping me make it happen!

Debbie L.”

Debbie’s Action Plan

This is a workout routine from the Action Plan.

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

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

You’ve got to fail.

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

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My Two Cents

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

Fast Forward to Now 

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

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

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

One Month Progress – Un-retouched Photos

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

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

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

Get Fit Over 40 With Us!

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

Subscribe to the GFO40 Newsletter to get the workouts!

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

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

Have the absolute best day you can!

~karen

You Look Just Fine…

….but you want more. You want strong. You want to be fit. You want awesome aging.

Many, many, many women want to lose weight – some, lots of weight. “Bigger” women can’t figure out for the life of them what those “skinny” women are complaining about….they look just fine!

I get it. When you have 50, 80, 100 pounds to lose it can be pretty frustrating hearing about women who want to get healthier and fitter but don’t actually have a lot of weight to lose….bear with me ok, because it’s important to validate all women in their personal quest for health.

The women I’m featuring here, the Action Eight, all look just fine. Actually, in my opinion, they look great. They are all relatively healthy, reasonably fit, and (surprise) they all want to lose weight. Well, they think they do….what I find is that “losing weight” is a catch-all phrase that women use when they actually just need to firm up, reshape, get stronger and manage health conditions.

You Look Just Fine: Karen W.

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Karen’s health data calculates out as “excellent” for body weight/height, body composition, and all her health markers. She has very few physical aches; an uncomfortable hip condition is one that she accepts as normal for her. She is able to maintain her physique and health with very little effort yet she notices an “uncomfortable for her” belly bulge and she would like to age gracefully and healthily with a little less softness in her mid-section and thighs.

Karen “looks just fine” but she wants better for herself, and that’s just great! By cleaning up her eating a bit and consuming a nutritionally balanced meal plan, Karen can expect significant changes to her physique and health. She’ll begin training with weights 3 times per week.

Karen’s Focus Forward:

Number 1 – Begin to incorporate regular exercise.

Seemingly lucky, (and I have to agree), Karen has never been one to engage in a regular fitness program and yet is fairly fit and she looks just fine. We’ve talked about her goals and she agrees that, although she is managing well now, she wants to get ahead of the inevitable age related health declines.

The difficulty that naturally lean women experience as they age is that it’s necessary to participate in a regular and focused training plan but they’ve never formed that habit. That’s kinda tough and one of the reasons it’s a little “unlucky” to be naturally lean. Forming new habits over 40 takes resolve and learning to lift weights is confusing at first.

Strong Over 40

Number 2 – Lift Weights!

Building lean muscle mass will strengthen the body, support the joints and build fat burning tissue. Karen will begin with Get Fit Over 40’s weight training program, Strong Over 40.

STRONG OVER 40

You’ve got to start with a good, basic weight training program. Lifting weights will elicit immediate feelings of strength, fitness and well-being.

Karen will feel good immediately and she’ll be motivated and inspired by those feelings to continue. By addressing strength first, and building lean muscle, she can expect to maintain her current weight or even gain a few pounds.

The increased weight gain will come from lean muscle tissue, not fat! And: that lean muscle will serve as an incinerator to keep extra belly bulge and soft thighs in check. Bones, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, cardiovascular system….every body system will be positively affected! And she will maintain a good weight while enjoying a fabulous, strong and healthy fit physique.

Nutrition

Number 3 – Clean up your eating!

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Karen eats well and her choices are often exactly what fits into a good healthy lifestyle, but because she wants to be more than “just fine” I suggest a few things.

I’d like her to track her habits and maximize the good ones, alter the not so good ones. It’s not important at this time to “be perfect” and “eat good”. What’s important right now is for Karen to realize that all (real) foods are good and can be included in a healthy lifestyle, but you’ve got to eat! Yes, potatoes are good!

“A healthy lifestyle includes all food in moderation, but if you want a dramatic difference you’ll have to make some changes for the time being.” Nourish Nutrition Plan

Also, I’d like for her to make sure she’s eating regularly. When you’re aiming to build up a good strong body you need to provide the materials. Whether you want to lose weight or add strength and tone, you have to eat.

11028131_1610358779185730_1264080325_oAre you lean but soft? Do you suffer from health conditions that could be managed with exercise and better eating?

Do you believe that you have to eat less, lose more and suffer through a rigorous exercise routine to have “that” physique? Do you look just fine but want more?

Follow the training of the Action Eight and discover an easier way to attain your goals!

~karen

Follow me on YouTube! Channel Karen Pilote

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.

Karen Pilote

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

My Mom Made Me Do It

 

Mom was our first real Personal Trainer.

Remember when she made you eat all your vegetables and scooted you outside to play? Don’t you wish that someone (anyone!) had that authority over you now? Someone, to make sure you’re in bed early and insist you eat a hearty breakfast. Someone, to tell you to get out of the house and run? Someone, to keep you on track?

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My mom did all that, she made me do things!

I was 10 years old and there was a local swim meet organized at the pool where my brothers and I took swimming lessons. The boys excitedly participated while I sat on the bleachers, terrified. I was a good swimmer but competing was absolutely out of the question for me.  I have no idea where that fear came from but I refused to enter.

Fear?

Fear of failure, fear of hard work, fear of exposing yourself to new activities…..who knows the exact reason we refuse to do new things? We do get stubborn, don’t we?!

As children, it may have been a fear of the unknown. We just didn’t know what we liked and disliked. We didn’t know what we wanted or didn’t want. Mom made sure we tried new things – “hard-for-us” things. But it’s different now that we’re adults, we have choices. And that’s not always so good.

  • We like to feel good physically but dislike what it takes to get it, so we choose not to.
  • We want to have a great physique and robust health but the work is hard, so we choose not to.

Do we still need our mother to coax and order us to do what’s best?

Back then, sitting on the bleacher, my mom insisted that I get involved in the swim meet; she made me do it. I won my first race and never looked back. That sport became my whole world for many years. Even though I would never be an Olympian I learned so much about myself, my preferences, my abilities and my limitations.

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If mom could tell us what to do now, instead of “Go clean your room!” she’d say, “Go do your exercise!” But, that’s not going to happen. You’re the boss of you now. You’ve got to do the work you don’t like to get the life you do like.

My mom was great; she exposed us kids to lots of things that worked out, like swimming competitively. There were many lessons that didn’t work out so well- like, I was never going to be a ballerina, nor pianist nor baseball player. (however, I did play a mean tuba is high school!)

The point is, my mom made me do it then but today I have to want it for myself.

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And now I have the honor of making my mom do it!

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The bottom line is, no one’s going to do it for you. You’ve got push yourself…

No matter how old you are, a mom’s wish is to see her child succeed and live a strong, healthy and fun life. Get on the plan, get out and run, join the aqua group, climb the rock wall, learn to surf, skydive, hula hoop……

Do your exercise!

xxkaren

Come visit at my Facebook Hangouts:

Get Fit Over 40 and The Action Plan and The MAC Group

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

Confession: I Don’t Always Practice What I Preach

This is the lesson: Patience.

This is the take home message: Set modest goals that you can meet incrementally so that you don’t get discouraged and quit. Expecting too much too soon is one of the biggest mistakes a person can make when it comes to lifestyle change.

This is the confession: Do I follow that advice myself? Not always, but we’re works in progress, right?

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This is the story: My “Bucket List” for 2014 included learning to target shoot. I did it! I had a great time out there in the fresh air with good friends. I was a good shot too, for a beginner! I began to imagine myself as Annie Oakley in no time flat. Learning something new is exhilarating and it had been a long time since I coaxed myself out of my comfort zone. I loved it!

Fast forward to now:

IMG_4453This year I decided to take my interest a step further and enrolled in a firearms safety course. The duration of the program was 2 days and then an exam. No problem right? I’d be an ace in no time flat!

Wrong.

Holy shit balls! I was in way over my head! There was so much more to learn than I thought and I was completely overwhelmed. 

I felt frustrated and defeated during the sessions; I doodled stick figures lifting weights and listed all the terrible feelings that were swirling inside my head. I was definitely going to quit!

You might see where I’m going with this.

How many of us want to lose weight NOW? How many of us want to be in shape NOW? How many of us want to eat right NOW? How many of us quit when NOW doesn’t happen?

I consult with so many women who dive head first into diets and gym memberships, fully expecting to know what to do and get results immediately. Bottom line, it just won’t work that way. I had to accept this: my Annie Oakley vision and you have to accept it: your weight loss initiative.

Take the time to gradually learn, cope, change, fail, fail better, succeed, slip up, and then try again. No “all or nothing” thinking. No quantum leaps. You’ve got to learn the ropes and embrace the journey.

With me and the guns?  I’ll take the next 6 months to achieve my target shooting goals, and you should take the next 6 months to achieve your weight loss goals. It’s as simple as that, an obvious suggestion but we have to hear it again and again.

Setting modest goals that you can meet incrementally will help you to not get discouraged. Period.

karen2DSC_0629It takes time, patience and dedication to achieve the goals that mean the most to you. Take the time, learn the lessons and reap the rewards!

Throughout my fitness life, I have learned valuable lessons that serve me to this day (albeit, delayed at times) and the greatest of them was to have faith in myself,  love myself for who I am now and enjoy the journey. The lessons have to be repeated time and again, and that’s ok!

Wishing you patience, perseverance, and joy! ~karen

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