Another Year Older, Again ?!

So it’s arrived. It showed up without a lot of fanfare or big announcements.  My alarm glared me into foggy reality, a new day to open my eyes, and a calendar that tells me I’m now , officially, another year older.

Go me!

I don’t have any weird hang ups about getting older. The cool thing is… I don’t feel older…

I will admit sometimes, having to stop and think about my exact age. I just don’t give it much thought anymore.

live your life

I’ve  not dreaded another year as if that’s going to change something in me. For the love of chocolate, I’ve been allowed to LIVE another year, who cares what number is attached to it?

I’m loving where I am in life and most of all  love what I’ve been able to accomplish to this point.

I’ve found age to be irrelevant in regards to taking on new adventures and challenges.  On an athletic level and what I’ve accomplished, age has nothing to do with levels of fitness. I can out run and out do people half my age. My kids freely admit they wouldn’t even want to go up against me 😛

I had to laugh at my doctor recently as he suggested that I  “have fun but take it easy as I’m older” I told him I’ve done more physically in the last 3 years than I’ve ever done and I really don’t have any intention of slowing down. Not to mention I’m in the best physical condition I’ve ever been in to take on new adventures.

 

new goal

Ok.. hear me.. I’m not implying acting foolishly. I listen to my body and I know the difference between training hard and if there’s something I need to let heal and get better. That’s a most important aspect of getting older… having a little wisdom 😛

It should be noted about the good doctor here… he… was the one who encouraged me to get back to some exercise 8 years ago.  How could he have imagined the wild adventures his counsel would lead me to ??

So yes, I’ve embraced new challenges. I know that there’s nothing I can’t do if I set my mind to it. Age is not a factor in being a good athlete.

But there’s more too. More to this getting another year older thing.

It’s being comfortable in and with who I am. Finding my voice and using it. Daring to be different.

I realized one morning, flying down the road on my bike at a crazy speed, I will not be sitting back quietly, getting older, watching life go by. I will not be a woman society will box up and set aside…. as if…. my age somehow will dictate my worthiness or abilities in some way.

Nah… I don’t see that happening. I won’t be quiet. I won’t sit back and follow some random rules that  society says I have to play along with. I will think for myself, make my own rules.

Well, oops, I already have.

I will be the older, talkative, energetic and out going free spirit wife, mom, sister, aunt, friend in the tank top and short shorts at the family picnics 😛

I will continue to find humor in random things and laugh freely because laughter is always good for the soul. I will have fun taking crazy selfies at the spur of the moment just for the pure sport and fun of it and chronicle my adventures because it pleases… me.

I for sure, won’t be boring.

Age has taught me a few, I believe, important things….

To appreciate more and grumble less.

To value all I have, it’s not something I’m “entitled” to.

To appreciate all kinds of people and not make split decisions based on the outer appearance.

To truly be comfortable in my own skin.

I’ve learned there are times in life when silence can be as powerful as a spoken word.

But then I’ve also learned to speak up and speak out if I believe in something , see something as wrong, or if it’s something I’m passionate about.

I’ve learned to challenge myself more and not doubt my abilities to do something ( I will admit this one has been hard as I hate the idea of failing at something)

I’ve learned to accept from others the wisdom they can offer me.

I freely and openly engage with new people, believing and understanding, I can always learn something new from others who have different experiences and knowledge.

To love every moment of a “normal” day because when life throws things at you, you long for “normal” days.

Friendships come on all age levels. I love my mature friends who have walked roads before me and can offer sage advice and wisdom, but I also draw so much energy from my young friends who have this passionate nature for life. We encourage each other.

Diversity makes life way more interesting than surrounding yourself with only people “like you.”

I’ve learned to be less concerned over a perceived need for approval.  Mainly because I don’t live my life with a focus on how someone else might do things, or if they approve how I do them.

I don’t take myself to seriously but I’ve also learned how to think deeply.

Being older isn’t a hindrance to pursuing new adventures and challenges.

Ah…. there are so many other things… I could go on….

Let’s just say, as I am waking up to a another year being older, I don’t dread it.

I am a woman who is grateful to have been given life. Who views the years she has lived as opportunities to have gained wisdom, maturity, confidence and an awareness of exactly who she is, what she wants, and where she’s going.

I want to continue to live in a fierce, bold way.

So here’s to life and another year of living out loud.  Cheers to 50ish!

 

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Body powered by black coffee and exercise 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

That Whole Age Thing Again

live your life

If you’ve followed me awhile you know I’m big on wanting people to be empowered. I also believe when you start challenging yourself and pushing into new things it empowers and strengthens you, builds a new confidence in you.

I also don’t find age to be an excuse to not tackle new things, to try new adventures, or to improve and strengthen  your body.

I will admit… I have a hard time controlling my face when I hear things that make me twitch.

For instance… when people start talking about how getting old means things fall apart and you have aches and pains and health issues….ok.. but this…dang it… that PRINT does seem to be getting smaller haha…

Anyway, I really try not to let my face get… that look…. on it. The “Oh, pleassssseee” look.

In a world that is more and more sedentary and people view purposeful movement as some kind of fresh hell and don’t want to be made uncomfortable, we are seeing a bigger more wide spread issue of obesity and health issues, you can add those aging aches and pains to that too.

Exercise, done right, can be uncomfortable. It’s easy to come up with excuses or reasons not to… we don’t want to get out of our comfort zone.

Listen up… I’ve preached on this before…our bodies need movement for health and wellness.

Even if you don’t care if you ever see a defined muscle on your body or you want to look like you came off a fitness magazine… your body needs exercise for good health.

People as they age get aches, pains and can’t do things because their bodies haven’t had to do a lot of intentional physical activity…..basically … you use it or lose it. If you don’t do things to build and strengthen muscles, how will you be able to do harder tasks as you age ? Not even the hard ones, but those that should be easy be feel hard.

Yeah, I get it. When you start off you DO feel old and tired haha. Seriously, though, what really happens is you realize you’re out of shape and it’s frustrating. You don’t like the winded, feeling tired, achy, feeling that goes along with it. You wonder if it’s worth it.

But if you’re smart… you keep at it… small little steps at a time…day by day… until those activities don’t leave you feeling like the old lady on the life alert commercials who needs assistance getting up.

Is it really easier? or has your body beautifully adapted to the demands being put on it and….gasp… gotten a little stronger ?

Empowered with your growing strength and abilities, you push on for a little more.

Purposefully working and strengthening your body is, and should be, a life long process.

I’ll share with you a story I saw on the news today. Stories on running, fitness etc (obviously) always catch my attention.

So when the story was announced about a weight lifting grandma, well yeah I wanted to see it. I honestly thought it was going to be about a woman that I follow who is 73 and in better physical shape than woman half or less of her age. She looks incredible. She credits her looks to… surprise…good nutrition, a positive attitude, and staying physically active(she is a body builder)

However, today wasn’t about her. It was about a 78 year old woman who, well, honestly did look like the picture perfect “grandmother”.

Silver hair, glasses, average build, she was in basic knit capris and a t shirt…. deadlifting 225 lbs.! I don’t even deadlift that much yet! Yet there she was slinging it up and down like nothing. The cool thing? Her husband said it was just something “she picked up and started doing recently, and it really surprised him” haha I bet it did!

That means, no matter where you are in life, you can get out there and get started and begin to improve and help yourself right where you are.

Listen I know and understand lots of people have  (health issues or problems) to deal with.  Learn to modify activities to meet your needs and work within that area. My husband had major back surgery years ago and deals with pain that can come and go. My dad had knee replacement and has aches that come with that. Just learn to work where you are and do what you can do.

Don’t let “age” be a crutch to keep you from having and building a stronger body. A strong body lets you be active and energetic for living your life fully =)

new goal

Fit, Fluffy, And Frail

The alarm brought me to life and I did what I do every morning. I began to slowly stretch out my muscles from the nights sleep… it’s a nice way to wake up… stretching things out while I’m still laying down 😛

I’m kinda used to waking up with some kind of tight muscle somewhere on my body.

No, I don’t mean that comment I hear from people about having random and various aches and pains, the “it’s what happens when you get old” aches and pains complaint ( I have my thoughts on that too).

I wiggled my shoulders feeling the tightness in my chest and across my back.

Ahhhh, yes. Yesterday I had finally gotten back to do some boxing. I had taken weeks away from it while my new tattoo healed ( more on that later;) I launched into it with gusto and spent some time as well lifting heavy things.

Hello deadlift, weighted shoulder squats and chest presses.

legs on fire

My body was reminding me that’s what we did yesterday.

Some mornings… it’s the legs… or the glutes.. or…. yeah… you get it….

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Fun you’re thinking.

No, seriously, I don’t mind.

You see when you exercise your body adapts to the demands put on it. In the beginning you do feel that tightness or ache or whatever (that, unfortunately, is when many people give up and quit) but as you keep at it your body wonderfully adapts to those demands.

After awhile you might not really “feel” that activity anymore. It seemingly becomes easier but the reality is, you, are getting stronger =)

Therefore, I like pushing myself a bit more to where I “feel” it. I don’t want to become complacent in doing the same old thing over and over.

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I want to challenge myself, to do a little more, to continue to build my strength and endurance.

I shared with hubby recently that I had been thinking of some things ( he gets a troubled look on his face when I say that haha;)

But I was thinking how there are things in life we cannot control. Things we have no control over…. no matter how we try….

And then…. there are some things we have a level of control over…. for instance….

I can control whether or not I’m fluffy or frail…. neither of which I have any desire to be… and I do have control over that.

I want to move ahead in my life being strong, fit, and healthy.

I can control what I eat, how I eat, and maintain a lean, strong fighting weight.

I can engage in activities that make me stronger for daily living and the tasks I take on. That time spent working out is the “pre-game” for real life that goes down way beyond my scheduled workout time.

I was chatting with a doctor the other day and we were discussing the benefits of being active and staying fit.  As we age we don’t have to become weak, many do because they don’t actively use their bodies. I love reading stories about people who are definitely in their “senior” years…. 70,80’s….. and they are strong and fit.

Why? They have stayed active. They run, power walk, cycle, do yoga, weight lift etc. they do things that they enjoy and have stuck with it. They know the benefits of eating well combined with purposeful exercise.

The results? they are strong… not frail or weak. They are at a healthy body weight.

Lifting heavy things keeps our muscles strong… that old saying … use it or lose it.. is pretty true.

Cardio work keeps our insides strong and healthy.

We become weak when we don’t work our bodies. But… that is something we have control over.

I don’t care how young you are… or how old… you have the power to make changes in yourself that are positive and that can impact your life in great ways.

We are always capable of making changes in ourselves.

How do you do that ?

Make a commitment to yourself that you really are worth it. This isn’t the time to be a martyr and say other things need you more, you don’t have the time to do it, you can’t take the time away etc.

Start small.

Add or increase your activities slowly to avoid injury.

Know some discomfort comes with the process!

Be realistic with your goals. Expect progress, not perfection.

Finally, don’t quit or give up! Even with a bad day, pressing on will get you steadily to your goals.

Is Good Nutrition The Fountain Of Youth?

vitamins and minerals

You don’t have to look far and wide today to know there is a big push on looking younger and all kinds of ways people are trying to accomplish that.

Botox and plastic surgery, magic creams and treatments the list is long…..

Aging is just a fact of natural life. I get that. At classic “middle aged” status I do get it.  Wear and tear on your body is pretty normal and to be expected. All I want to do is age gracefully and take the best care of myself that I can.

I do not want to do things that make me start to not look like myself, or plastic and stretched or whatever you want to call it.

I will say this though. I don’t know why people overlook what I think is, the most important thing to looking healthy and keeping a younger appearance.

Are you ready?

Food. You know that old adage “you are what you eat”? holds a lot of truth.

A diet that is high in sugars, processed, refined or fast foods and alcohol will take a toll on you leaving you not only puffy and sluggish but it can overall affect your appearance.

A diet that is high in fruits, veggies, and lean protein will not only keep you lean but change your outer appearance too. Loaded with vitamins, minerals, and tons of good nutrients our bodies need these foods. It makes logical and natural sense to eat them…. they were created for us to eat!

I guess the most relevant illustration I can share with you is a couple months ago I was in a department store at the make up counter talking to a young girl about doing my makeup for my sons wedding.  When I shared my age with her she said ” I don’t believe you” I laughed and told her I wasn’t lying.

Her next words? ” Can I please ask what you use on your skin?”

My response? I eat lots of healthy foods and drink a lot of water.

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Some of my fav snacks….

She went on to tell me she didn’t eat that great and maybe she needed to try that… I encouraged her to give it a try. It’s certainly not an overnight treatment program, but more like a lifelong treatment program that with consistency and time, you will get results.

Not only that with improved healthy eating it will change your body composition ( lose fat), give you energy, and internally you’ll get better lab results.

Gosh this sounds like an ad for one of those “health” products 😉

Ok so here’s my pick for top 5 foods for looking fresh….

Blueberries…. antioxidants banish free radicals keeping skin cells healthier

Salmon…. a 4 oz filet has a few days worth of omega-3’s. They’re found only in the oily part of the fish but actually help clear pores

Avocados … my fav….. are a good source of Vitamin E so they help block UV rays and prevent dry skin. Halve an avocado and it mash on toast or fill with fresh salsa. I’ll pretty much eat it any way possible 😉

Carrots… your mom was on to something. Say yes to them for smoother skin. This veggies Vitamin A helps fight off wrinkles.

Spinach…. another daily fav on mine…. it’s packed with Vitamin C which helps produce skin firming collagen. Not only that you can eat vast amounts of this super food for virtually no calories =) It is now what I use for “lettuce” in salads and it’s a regular in my morning sautĂŠed veggie mix =)

of course, there many more great foods to enhance your health…. strawberries, black berries,  sweet potatoes, broccoli, all dark leafy greens, squash…the list goes on… and again… you can eat lots of these things for minimal calories…. win/win 😉

Try incorporating more of these great foods into your daily diet… you’ve got nothing to lose.

What about you ? Have you seen a visible health improvement in how you eat ?

veggies

That Aging Thing

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Yeah…. the benefits of… maturing…  I have fun messing with people….haha 😉

Middle age.

What is that exactly? What does it look like and how is one supposed to behave ? Actually, I’m sure to the disconcertion of a few, I didn’t read the book on what you are supposed to do, look like, be like, dress etc  but tossed it out the window to freely do my own thing 😉

I have no intention of playing by someone else’s rules about life.

You see even though I’m not sure what it’s supposed to look like, I’m totally digging where I am, who I am, and what I’ve learned to this point in my life.

To have knowledge, confidence in who I am, life lessons learned, and a healthy sense of humor intact are things I embrace having. It’s empowering to know yourself and be comfy in your own skin.

Turning into an athlete in my middle aged years and getting strong and chiseled when I could be going to marshmallow fluff is a huge bonus.

Seriously though, as a woman who is (technically) older I do read with some interest articles on health, strength and overall wellness as people age. I really don’t think about age nor do I let it define a single thing I think about taking on. But there is some belief, perhaps misguided, that age is the culprit for loss of strength and physical decline. I don’t want to go there… I want to stay strong.

I mean, is it age that ’causes us to get weak and unable to do things? Or is it the simple truth that we don’t use what we have and lose it ? Do we get frail because of age? or is it that we’ve not intentionally kept working our bodies so they are conditioned for these activities as we get older ?

We become sedentary which leads to feeling tired which leads to not wanting to do things and that in turn slowly erodes our physical strength.

I talk a lot about the importance of having muscle on your body. It’s a good thing. Metabolically it burns 6 calories an hour while resting while the same pound of fat burns a measly 2 calories at rest.

The main reason we lose muscle ? Lack of physical activity….

From the time you are born until you are about in your 30’s your muscles continue to get larger and stronger.  However, at some point in your 30’s you begin to lose muscle mass and function. People who are inactive can lose 3-5% of their muscle mass past the age of 30.

The technical term for it is sarcopenia. Sarcopenia is the age-related loss of muscle mass, strength, and functionality. Like osteoporosis, sarcopenia is a multifactorial disease process that may result from sub-optimal hormone levels, inadequate dietary protein, other nutritional imbalances, lack of exercise, oxidative stress, and inflammation.

Sarcopenia and osteoporosis are related conditions, and one often accompanies or follows the other. Muscles generate the mechanical stress required to keep our bones healthy. When this muscle activity is reduced, it increases our susceptibility to a loss of bone mass, often initiating a vicious circle of declining health and functionality.

Loss of muscle means loss of strength and mobility. This can lead to falls and the physical weakness many associate as “age” related…. loss of muscle leads to a weakening of the body.

Is there a treatment? Yes! it’s called exercise specifically resistance or strength training… exercise that increases strength with resistance bands or weights. Research has shown a progressive resistance training in older adults can have results in as little as two weeks.

Nutrition  also plays a vital and important role in maintaining our muscles.

Eat high quality protein each day, aim for about 30 grams per meal. What does “30 grams” mean in real-life terms? It’s equal to a three-egg omelet with ½ cup hard cheese or 1 cup of Greek yogurt with an ounce of almonds mixed in or a cooked 4-ounce hamburger or 5-ounce salmon fillet. Eat adequate protein, but remember eating excess only leaves your body or stores as fat, it does not build more muscle 😉

Get your heart pumping too… don’t forget it’s also a muscle that needs work. Aim for at least 30 minutes a day a minimum of 3 days a week. Brisk walking, cycling, rowing or running all are good heart pumping exercises.

No matter where you are in life you can start making changes and have improvement  gaining more strength, energy and flexibility for your daily tasks. As with anything new, before you jump into a strength training regime, consult your doctor for the best plan for where you are and get ready to get stronger =)

What’s your favorite strength training activity ?