Genetics Or Lifestyle

I think folks’ perception of what post 40 should look and feel like is wrong.

If I earned a dollar for every time someone asserts my physique to genetics (and they don’t even know my parents), I might not have to get my tail up at 4:15 every morning.

While I cannot deny that me and my brother’s bodies are carbon copies of our father’s 5′ 10″ thinly framed body (veiny arms, legs and feet included), but daddy’s DNA is only going to take us but so far. At some point the age factor kicks in.

Many times I have shared that since the age of 14, I’ve worked out in some way, shape, or fashion. I have kept it movin all my life.

Ahem… (Clearing my throat)  Likewise, even when I did not know better and ate two big macs, two large fries, and sucked down a large orange soda, I still worked out and ate my share of fruits, veggies, and drank water.

Though I ate this ish, I was running like 35-50+ miles per week.

Back then (I sound old right!?), you couldn’t pay me to move the scale past 128 pounds. I gained a measly 20 somthin pounds with my daughter’s pregnancy.  Weight gain just wasn’t on the radar for me.

Fast forward some 30+ years, and that just ain’t the case anymore.  As some point, estrogen levels decrease,  the metabolism slows, and menopause kicks in.  Add an unhealthy diet and no exercise, medication and other health factors, and bam!  That’s a recipe for disaster.

Speaking of recipes, this is a typical lunch for me. The chicken, kale and brown rice is satisfiying and nourishing.  Best of all, I don’t feel sluggish and tired after eating processed foods like hoagies, french fries, and cheese steaks.

lunch

As we age, our bodies change and function differently. It’s no different from a car, a house, or a kitchen appliance.  We have to care for it well or it’s going to fail us terribly.  Heck sometimes, even when we do all the right things, the body still fails us.  So what am I saying? What’s the point? The point is to increase the chance of a long and healthier life by taking better care of yourself.

By the way, I can gain weight.  I repeat… I am very capable of weight gain. However, knowledge, discipline, and lifestyle changes keep me tight, trim, and slim.  Lol!!

About five years ago, I had surgery. Recovery time was eight weeks.  During the eight weeks, I was sedative (Doctor’s orders) but ate very well. Guess what?  Sista still gained weight!  I was devastated that I ballooned to a size 12.  Now hold on!  12 is not large by any means, but for me, that’s huge. I was literally busting out of my pants and skirts!

The facts are that you can eat well but don’t exercise and you are not going to get the results you want.  Finding a realistic balance between the two is key.

Age ain’t nothing but a number.  When I was a kid, I thought 50 was old as dirt!  But when I turned 40, I realized that my age didn’t mean squat!  Age is a mindset.

If you want to be old… Go ahead and be old.  Where old ass clothes, fill your head with outdated and unfounded old behind myths about how you’re supposed to act, eat any darn thing you want, sit instead of dancing, stay home, and live your life based on BS philosophies about how others say you “should” live after your 40th birthday.

My point here, is that I look and feel fantastic for a number of reasons:

  1. God has blessed me. Every day I thank him.
  2. As I learn better, I do better (in all that I do).
  3. I eat well (avoiding processed, unhealthy, and sugar laced food & beverages)
  4. I drink alcohol in moderation. Yes, I drink.
  5. I minimize stress by eliminating whatever or whomever causes me stress (people, environments, etc…)
  6. I help others (try to improve their life) and I don’t look for or want anything in return.
  7. I purposefully compliment and encourage other women (no reason to hate on one another, especially sistas).
  8. I say what I mean and mean what I say.
  9. I live within my means.
  10. I live a simple life, by  avoiding keeping up with the Jones’s & don’t indulge in trying to impress people.
  11. I do more of what makes me happy (work out, read, dance, travel, cook, spend time with the best of my friends and family).
  12. I don’t worry, care, or give two sense about those who don’t “get me” or like my style. I LOVE being different. J
  13. I laugh AND smile…. A LOT! Lol!!!  I really do. J

The bottom line is that we are adults and have choices. I choose to stay on my grind of cherishing my mind, body, and spirit.

By continuing to educate myself, I improve my diet and overall lifestyle.  Whatever I learn, I apply to my life, and whenever possible, my family’s life.   If I learn that a certain food is bad, I give it up and find an alternative.  Likewise, when I discover new food, I try it.  Sometimes I like it, sometimes I don’t.

Genetics may contribute to my physique, however at 49 years old, a lot more has to do with my habits and lifestyle.

Keep it movin!!

50fit

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How To Stay Fit And Motivated

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Posing in the backyard after the run.

A great way to stay fit, have fun, and to meet new people is to take part in local sporting events.  I find events by talking to other fitness fanatics and from one of my favorite sites, Active.

Yesterday, I participated in Atlantic City’s first ever, Insane Inflatable 5K.

Inflatable what?  I know!  Lol!!   I thought the same.  But once I visited the website, back in March, I knew I had to do this crazy looking event. You can see pics of yesterday’s run here.

start

I took this picture just before the start.  The folks at the top are event organizers getting us all pumped up.

Climbing, crawling, bouncing, running, sliding up, down, under and through ginormous inflatables is something I never imagined myself doing.  But it was worth every aching muscle that I feel this morning! :0)

Crazy-Air

Look at the size of this baby! Lol!!

I do not have my own pics because I ended up running solo because hubby and B’Dazzle were still sleeping when I left the house.  Next year, the entire family is participating!  And yes, I already put them on notice.  Our son will love it; I am not certain about hubby, but it is a perfect family “active” event.  Lol!   Oh… it’s definitely ON for next year.

Though I ran solo, I really did not feel alone.  Along the course, I met an awesome 10-year old asthmatic that kicked butt!  He didn’t allow his asthma to stop him as he led the pack of the 9 o’clock wave half way through the course.   I told him that he rocked.  His reply, “You too!”

One group of women I met drove nearly two-hours for the challenge.  The course was set up at an old airport.  Parts of the course were paved, other sections included two-foot high weeds; we laughed at the “battlefield” and dodged potholes through most of the run.

I have always lacked a sense of direction and was thankful to run through an insane maze following some girl.  We ran through only to find that we were at the start of the maze.  Sigh! Back in again. Of course, I ran right on her heels.  I really thought we were running in circles, but she got us through… I thanked her!  Lol!

I got lost in this for sure!

This is where we got lost!   Image courtesy of Inflatable.com

This morning, I feel like I weight trained yesterday.  My hamstrings, quads, and shoulders are sore.  No longer do I feel guilty about not hitting the gym yesterday.

With your doctor’s blessings, this is an ideal way to get started.  Just do it!  The run is not timed.  There are no losers.  Everyone wins by showing up and having fun.

I am asked all the time about how I stay on course to stay fit.  It’s pretty simple, I do everything on this list:

  1. My number one goal is to have fun. Be silly and laugh at yourself. Don’t take yourself so serious.
  2. Be open-minded to try something new.  There are many ways to      exercise, dabble in something completely different. This inflatable run was different for me.
  3. Seek new challenges and set new goals.  Ex: A mud run is on my to-do list. Confidence grows steadily with accomplishments.
  4. Stay away from the scale; it is not an accurate measurement of your overall fitness level.
  5. Be aware of what you eat and drink. Read labels! Drink water!
  6. Set your mind to try new recipes. I eat foods today that I did not know existed a few years ago. I continue to add new healthier foods to my diet and subtract foods that I discover are unhealthy.
  7. Connect (In person or on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc..) with other fitness fanatics. We will encourage and inspire you and help to keep you motivated.
  8. Educate yourself.  Read about nutrition and fitness every opportunity you get. The social networks are saturated with fitness guru’s who are eager to share what they know.  Of course, everything you read is not true or accurate, so do your research. Right now by favorites are bodybuilding.com and fitnessrx for women.  I follow a few good boards on Pinterest; you can follow me there at Lexa82.
  9. Don’t give up.  If something does not work for you, move on.
  10. Remember, there is no such thing as perfection.  Don’t compare your body to someone else’s. Just work to be YOUR best.
  11. Don’t be afraid to participate in an event by yourself. You will make new self discoveries and gain lots self-confidence.

After the run and later in the afternoon, we (hubby and B’Dazzle) met other family and friends at a free outdoor concert at Gardner’s Basin in Atlantic City. The weather was beautiful! I sat in my beach chair, chilled, ate, drank two well-earned margaritas, danced to a DJ and to the sounds of S.O.S. Band. Remember them?

 post workout meanPost workout meal at 10:30 a.m. — Leftover broiled chicken breast and freshly sautéed broccoli.  Mmm… See all that minced garlic? I Love it!!

Personally for me, eating well and exercising makes me feel amazingly well. Increased energy, better productivity, and an overall happier mental and physical state of being are some of the benefits of living a healthier lifestyle.

49 feels way better than I ever thought possible!

I cannot stress the importance of making fun a part of your fitness regimen. This is how I do it!

Happy Sunday and enjoy the day!  :0)