If you read ‘Grandma’s Guide to Fitness’ on January 4th, you know that upon turning 58 on New Year’s Day I was determined to be in my best shape ever…..not so easy when you work long hours and travel regularly for work…..but it all begins in the brain – making up your mind and then taking action….you might say I didn’t need to lose weight or get in better shape, but five pounds had crept on during the holiday season, and if you let that go, that five becomes ten, and pretty soon half of your wardrobe no longer fits…..Proud to report that three months later the stubborn five pounds are gone and I feel as fit as ever. No secrets, no magic – it took four very deliberate steps:
- Exercise more intensely – With a limited number of Zumba classes being offered at my gym, I decided it made sense to try some other classes….Spin class for one, as many others have said they like it, why not give it a try…. I am now a regular….do I like it??? HA. Do I like being tortured for an hour?? I like what it does. It is hard work….Body Attack is another class where I am now a regular…it’s a sports inspired cardio workout with lots of jogging, burpees, jumping…..fifteen minutes into the class and I WANT TO DIE….how can this be good for me????? Well, it is……
- Exercise more frequently – You work late….you’re tired…you’re meeting friends for drinks….plenty of excuses not to hit the gym….I was averaging 3 times a week and knew that was not enough to change my body and fitness level…..Oh – there’s a spin class at 5:30AM?? No way! How can people do that??? I need to wake up slowly, enjoy my coffee – can’t do anything without my coffee first. (That was me three months ago) Not true. You get your ass out of bed and go. It’s actually feels great to have your workout out of the way early, frees up your evening…..now averaging 5-6 times/week. (Give it a try!)
- Drink less alcohol – This step is so significant it probably should be a blog post all on its own….as we know, drinking wine and mixed drinks are easy ways to consume hundreds of empty calories….and yes, it’s so nice to have a drink (or two) with dinner – and I often did, more nights than not…and when traveling for business, sitting at a bar for dinner, how the heck could I not order a glass of wine at a bar???? Determined as I was, I had an idea! Instead of sitting at the bar, I will make myself a reservation for a table, then it will feel less awkward not to order a cocktail. Crazy as it sounds, this worked….sparkling water is what I now order when alone on business trips…..that was an easy solution, but it actually gets better….the benefit turned out to be more than reducing calories – I actually feel much better and have more energy……AND now I no longer feel awkward about not drinking at a bar.
- Healthy diet, low carbs, portion control – When you pay closer attention to what you eat, you can always make improvements to reduce calories yet still enjoy great food….no mindless snacking (Stacy’s pita chips, goodbye!), yes to plenty of fish and salads, whole grains and fresh fruit……in my purse I will always carry a ziplock bag of almonds and dried apricots for when I am starving or have a sweet tooth….and a small piece of dark chocolate is a regular after dinner treat…..
That’s all there is – these four steps, followed week after week. It works. Not easy, but nothing good usually is. 🙂