1. Do I get regular exercise?
2. Do I make healthy choices when I eat?
3. Do I take the time to relax or do something to relieve stress?
First off, let me just say that I am not a certified personal trainer, nutritionist, or therapist/psychologist. But, for the last 8+ years I have worked with personal trainers on how to both exercise and eat. There is so much information out there that it really gets confusing! While I have tried lots of different diets over the years and done various exercise programs, I have finally learned what works and what doesn’t work for me.
Exercise is not always fun, but making it a regular part of my life has made all the difference. We’ve all heard that we need aerobic type exercise, but we need resistance exercise too. Walking is good, especially walking briskly and getting the old ticker going fast….and yes, sweating! But we also need some weights or resistance exercise; this is what builds muscle and bones. As we age, the stronger our bones and muscles are, the less likely we are to have serious injuries and broken bones. Personally, I need help with motivation and with someone keeping a close eye to make sure I do things correctly. I always recommend before you start some sort of exercise, you work with a professional to get the best information and to help develop the best program for you. The goal here should be to build muscle and reduce body fat. When I go to the doctor for checkups, I love the look on the nurse’s face when they check my blood pressure….it’s always great and they are surprised!?! Remember it’s not as much about what you weigh but what your muscle to fat ratio is….I wear a smaller size now, but at the same weight I was 10-15 years ago…..it’s the workouts that make a difference.
Eating…..well I’m addicted to food. I love everything and I love eating out! Nashville has so many great places to eat too! Here’s what works for me:
I keep a food diary and turn it in to my trainer every week. Find someone that will help encourage you and hold you accountable!
When I eat clean, I cut out most carbs (none after 3:00) and eat lean protein/fish/beans/eggs, and lots of veggies and fruits. My favorite healthy carbs are baked sweet potato, oatmeal, whole wheat pita and corn tortillas. I am crazy about cheese….so I really have to watch my serving sizes!
I eat every 2-3 hours….nuts, nut butter, dark chocolate, fruit for snacks. If I don’t do this I get really hungry and eat more when I finally sit down to eat.
I try to eat supper early (usually by 6:00) and don’t eat before bedtime
Plan ahead….if I know I’m going to a special even or restaurant, I look at the menu in advance and make a plan….i might not eat the bread but order a filet with a sweet potato and some broccoli.
Relax and pamper yourself when you can! Sometimes this is just a little catnap or maybe a nice walk or a fun piece of jewelry! I love a foot massage or a manicure too! But I try not to reward myself with food.
A few years ago my dad was very sick with congestive heart failure and I was going back and forth to Texas to be with him and help move him into a nursing facility. I would try to either walk or workout most days; this was just a great stress reliever and helped me handle things. We all have to figure out how to deal with stress because it’s everywhere!
Every day I fight those battles of what I’m going to eat and how much I’m going to move! I try to plan out ahead of time what the day will hold and when I can get in my snacks and exercise….but some days just don’t work out the way I planned. There are days when I just want to give up…but then I see my good friend who was born with spina bifida (who has difficulty walking along with many other things) I am inspired to take care of myself and do it for her!
If you ever need someone to talk to and give you some encouragement, please give me a call….I love helping others feel better!
(former) MNPS Librarian