These pics were taken last month in Nantucket, 6 months away from my 65th birthday. The bag of potato chips was not a prop – I ate the whole bag. But take note: this was a weekend away, a time when I take a break from healthy habits – within reason! It’s the everyday day habits that you stay committed to – month after month, year after year, that show results…
It was at the age of 52 that menopause weight gain prompted me to take action and I joined a gym for the first time in my life…twice a week I participated in Zumba classes, and twice a week I started weight training…it also began clear that my diet needed to change so I slowly cut back on sweets and high carb foods…after several months I started to see results and at that point there was no turning back…I felt like a whole new person!
Twelve years later, not only have I maintained my weight, but my muscle tone is better than ever…I am always on the hunt for new exercises, new healthy recipes, and new ways to cut calories…
I do not claim to be a nutrition or fitness expert, nor do I think that my routines are the answer for everyone – my hope is that by sharing these details you may gain some personal insight and perhaps start a fitness journey of your own…:-)
What I eat:
Without fail, three meals a day, generally at the same time.
Breakfast for 5 days of the week is sautéed veggies (spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes, etc) with 2 egg whites and a side of berries…for the other two days I treat myself to the egg yolks and one piece of toast, or baked oatmeal with berries. No cheese, no muffins, no bagels.
For lunch: whether I bring my lunch to the office or go to a restaurant, it’s always a salad with protein and a vinaigrette dressing…always avoiding additions such as nuts, cheese, avocado, croutons, etc.
Dinner is fish, chicken, or steak with salad and veggies…avoiding carbs of all types most of the time...
Snacks between meals: nothing in the morning, sometimes a handful of almonds in the afternoon or fresh fruit (watermelon, berries). Avoid cheese, crackers and all sweets.
Alcohol: This I do enjoy on a regular basis, probably 5 nights/week. (Yeah, I should cut back!) Tequila is often my choice because it has no carbs. I also enjoy wine, but keep it to a minimum because of the sugar…except for an occasional espresso martini, never sugary drinks.
Dessert: watermelon and berries most of the time…ice cream is my weakness and I will indulge on occasion with a very small portion.
My exercise routine:
For only 30 minutes in the morning, 5 times/week, I workout in my bedroom doing floor exercises and free weights. The number of reps and weight amounts increased over time – I could barely do a one minute plank in the past, and I started with much lighter weights…I always change up the routine a bit to challenge myself and keep it interesting, but here is a basic example of my daily routine:
- 100 jumping jacks to get the heart pumping (always)
- A 3 minute plank (always)
- 3 sets of 20 bicycles (always)
- 3 sets of 20 Russian twists (always)
- 2 sets of 50 crunches
- 3 sets of 12 squats with overhead weights
- 3 sets of 10 front raises (10 lb weights) balancing on one leg
- 3 sets of 12 bicep curls (12 lb weights) also on one leg
- 3 sets of lateral raises (10 lb weights) one leg
Let me end by saying that every body is different, and we all have circumstances and genetics that affect how we look…I would look very different today if I did not change my habits in my fifties…and while you may think it’s hard to be motivated as you get older, the ongoing effort actually becomes easier over time because you come to enjoy the results…
The Bottom Line:
- Age is not an excuse to give up on fitness.
- Abs are made in the kitchen. Don’t waste your workout by overeating!
- Reasonable portions are way smaller than you think. You can easily overeat with ‘healthy food’.
- Nothing tastes as good as being fit feels.
- It’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle.
Glad to answer any questions! 🙂
Work hard. Play hard. Enjoy every day.