It’s About Time You Be You

You probably hate being called “fat”. Or even a little overweight. Well, you know what I hate? I hate being called “skinny”. I hated it back in school and I hated it when I first started working out and was losing too much weight. Yea. There is such a thing. Don’t let anyone tell you differently. No one body type is superior to the other.

Then there is the body sculpted with muscle, and women get criticized, “it looks too manly”, “gross” and “unnatural”.  I remember I encountered a man who told me not to “lift too much more weight, you don’t want to look like a man” or the man who told me to “not lift heavy, I’m a girl…” Ok. Well, I was hurt. What did they know? That’s when I realized no one is ever going to be happy with how I look, so why should I care? I need to do it for me. Do what makes me feel great.  

There are so many diets, exercise techniques, training methods and theories out there; you just have to find what works for your body type, and not what someone else thinks your body type should be.

Find someone you could trust to help you.

I’ve spent my time at both ends of the scale; I never really focused on a “body type” until I got to the gym, and then I kind of let others decide that for me; with their unwanted criticism of course. 

When I first started working out, and hearing people tell me I was “too skinny,” I’d get anxious,  and I’d go on a binge; eating anything and everything. Then I would feel guilty, which made me restrict my calories even more for the next week or so, and workout even more. It took me awhile to discover what I truly wanted to look like and what I needed to do to achieve it. It took me awhile to come into my own skin, and I’m not going to lie and say that I have it all figured out yet. There are some days where I look in the mirror and like what is happening with my body, and then there are times where I want to gain more muscle, or get leaner.

It’s a swinging pendulum and it never stops.

And that’s why I feel it inside and out of me to help other people overcome their “body issues”; their insecurities that make them afraid to walk into a weight room or even a gym because they are afraid people are judging them…

Or that the mirrors that line the walls of every gym make them feel mocked and ridiculed…

Or that “someone” who’s already made you self-conscious of yourself; defined who you ought to be, and now you can no longer see through all that smoke to see just how capable you really are.  

We’ve all been there.

I want everyone to know that you’re in their somewhere; the real you, and everyone else is waiting for you to reveal yourself, and they’re just as scared as you are. It’s your best kept secret and by holding it in, you’re holding yourself back, and allowing everyone else to keep marching on. Without you of course.

There are so many people around you that see your true potential and they may just be threatened. So they make you feel sad. They define you, condemn you, and make you lie awake at night searching for the answers so that you can finally win the battle that is going on inside your head. It’s you versus them. But it’s affecting YOU not THEM. No one else. And it’s time that you made it about you.

It’s time for, YOU versus YOU.  Don’t allow yourself to be someone else; don’t allow yourself to be their reflection in the mirror. It’s all you baby. Let’s do this together.

Diet Wars: 26 Reasons Why We Shouldn’t “Diet”

How we Rationalize our Eating Habits…

We’ve all been there at some point in our life. We start a diet, we’re in the middle of a diet, we‘re in search of a new diet, and we somehow find a way to rationalize our eating habits.

1. I’ll start tomorrow.

2. I just bought all this food, I can’t just let it go to waste; I’ll start tomorrow.

3. I didn’t gain weight from eating that ENTIRE bag of chips last night, and they were really good, so I can probably just eat this bag of chips too…yea, I’ll just start tomorrow.

4.  Beyonce’ was on this all liquid diet and lost like 20 pounds, I’m going to look into starting that sometime in the next few days.

5. It’s freezing outside, I don’t really shave my legs that much in the winter so there’s no real point to staying in shape, besides I can always just start tomorrow. Or next week…

6. That was my cheat meal. I’m entitled to at least one cheat meal per week. I’m on the right track. Tomorrow I’ll get real though.

7. Yesterday was my cheat meal, but that was what I wanted yesterday, not today. So, I can just eat this now and start tomorrow.

8. I’m not going to lose any weight overnight; I might as well wait until next week. Yea, I’ll start at the beginning of next week.

9. Carbohydrates give me lots of energy, I want to lift really heavy in the gym…I’m bulking. I’ll just start next week.

10. I haven’t had any carbs all week, I think I’m fine to eat whatever I want now.

11.The scale tells me I lost a couple of pounds in the past couple of days, I can splurge now. Besides, I’ll just start tomorrow.

12.  I have to go out to eat with my friend, it’s her birthday, I’ll probably have a couple of drinks too…I can just start next week because tomorrow I’ll just have a hangover…

13.  It’s the holidays. I’ll start when they’re over.

14.  I’ve been drinking lots of water and taking a fat loss supplement, I can eat whatever the hell I want. See. I don’t need to actually “diet”.

15.  I’ve been restricting sugar by not eating lots of fruit…I can have these cookies, and a few drinks. Besides, what the hell am I dieting for anyway?

16. I’ve been eating weight watcher frozen meals, and doing lots of cardio, but I still can’t seem to lose this extra fat on my stomach. I give up.

17.  I can eat whatever I want as long as I go to the gym for at least 2-3 hours to do lots of cardio. Screw the diet. What diet?

18.  I’ve been dieting for weeks now and don’t see the results that I’m looking for…I give up. Screw the diet.

19.  The people on the Biggest Loser lose like 20 pounds per week, why can’t I? I give up. Screw the diet. Screw the gym.

20.  The people around me aren’t very supportive of my “diet” they said I’m losing too much weight. They don’t approve. I give up. No diet for me.

21.  Yeah, I’m down to like 900 calories per day, and I can’t seem to lose any more weight. And I have no energy. I give up. No more dieting. Maybe I’ll only eat 1000 calories instead. I’ll let you know how I feel in about a week. Or maybe never…

22.  I’m too busy, I don’t have time to diet. Besides, I only eat once or twice a day anyway. That pizza really isn’t going to kill me.

23.  I can eat this cake, I just won’t eat for the next few days. Ha Ha.

24.  Ihop is running their “all you can eat pancakes” special, I can’t pass that up. “Stack after Stack…”

25.  I also have a coupon for Mcdonald’s…

26.  I can just start tomorrow. No. Really.

This is why I believe it shouldn’t be a “Diet”; it should simply be a “Lifestyle”

Not Just Another Resolution

Approaching New Year’s, many are starting to think about their New Year’s resolutions. Each year it is often the same, or maybe it’s just a slight twist on a previous New Year’s resolution.

Whatever may be the case, instead of anxiously awaiting to adhere to a specific resolution right after the ball drops; the clock strikes midnight, or your hangover kicks in the next day, make one commitment with yourself; something that isn’t as abstract as just saying, “I’m going to lose weight” or “I’m going to stop smoking.” Instead, set up small challenges for yourself to create the right set of footprints to allow you to track where you’ve been and how far you’ve come.

Ask yourself, “What can you do to get to where you want to be” For example, make a commitment to take a walk for 30 minutes for at least 3 times per week, and then add on to that.

You could even make a commitment to cut out soda everyday, or limit yourself to one soda per day or per week.

Taking small steps will keep you on the right track and not overwhelm you to the point where you just forget or renege on your resolution.

Quick Holiday Workout

It’s hard to stay on course with good eating habits and exercise when you’re inundated with the stress and excitement from the holidays. It doesn’t help that temptation from cookies and other sweets smother you with their sweet aroma, some beautifully decorated with bows and gift wrap, presented as a thoughtful gift or at a simple get together.

It’s hard not to get wrapped up in holiday traditions; to revel in the small moments that capture us for a lifetime and lure us in for everlasting memories. It’s easy to eat cookies and enjoy great food with great people, knowing that you can always start tomorrow or the next day with those resolutions that will probably make or break you.
And let’s not forget the frustration that you feel if you’re wallet is a lot lighter, but you may not be. And let’s be real, stress certainly doesn’t make getting those few extra pounds you may have gained over the holidays any easier.

So let’s start simple.

Instead of plunging right in, ready to start counting calories, restricting what you eat, and killing yourself on the treadmill or outside in an attempt to beat the bulge, start simple. Begin with drinking more water as a way to “jumpstart” your system; to get it to start functioning at its highest level again.

By drinking more water, it will help restore balance of body fluids, restore your skin’s appearance as well as your hair, better nutrient and mineral absorption, which means that your organs don’t have to work as hard if they’re getting an adequate water supply, and helps get your metabolism working properly again. It’s like giving your insides a bath.

It can be difficult to jump into a fat loss program with the holidays still buzzing in the air, and I don’t think the stress or excitement is going to die down anytime soon, but this quick workout should be just enough to keep your internal fire burning those extra calories. And all that is required is your body weight (and maybe your purse) No gym required. So grab your water bottle and Let’s Do It!!

Complete 3-4 rounds of 20 reps.

Jumping Jack Squats
To do: 1 full jumping jack, at the bottom of second jumping jack (when feet are spread wide apart) jump into a squat. Return to starting position (feet together) pause then repeat. 20 reps

Switch lunges into a pushup
To do: Alternating jump lunges (you could also lunge forward, return to starting position, lunge forward with alternating leg) After lunge on each side, back to start position (feet together) and then jump down complete one pushup. Return to start. 10 reps each side

Squats with lateral walk and overhead press
To do: Grab your purse Ladies!!! Place feet shoulder width apart, toes out slightly, hold purse in front of you. Squat down and as you come up reach purse overhead. Step to the side and repeat. 10 reps to the right and 10 reps to the left.

Ab crunch
To do: Lie down on your back, bend knees, feet flat on the floor, cross hands behind head or in front of chest. Lift head and shoulders off the floor, hold for one or two seconds. Back to start and repeat for 20 reps. Challenge: Lie down on back, legs in air, lift head and shoulders off of floor, and with arms extended, reach up towards feet.

If you do it, feel free to post the time it took or let me know your thoughts in the comments section below!!

I Am an Addict

I’m an addict. I sweat. I suffer from withdrawals. I feel pain. And I feel weak without it.

I’m an addict.

It feeds me adrenaline. It wakes me up inside. It makes me feel strong… And powerful.

I can do anything, I am unstoppable. I am an addict.

I become miserable without it. I have mood swings. I need it; it’s my only drug.

Weight lifting.

Feeling the weight of another rep; overcoming it… defeating it. Pushing hard. Through the sweat. The pain.  I do it over and over. Again and again.  I love it; the noise; the sound of the weight against the machine, the grunts of power and pride of lifting another rep; doing another set. Control. Failure is not an option. Progressing is; seeing change. I need it. Feel it. Breathe it. I am an addict.

We are all addicts. Addicts of something.

Or maybe you’re not.

 But, we all want something to make us happy; something to make us forget our pain, hurt, and anger. Just for a little while. Rather than succumb to feelings of helplessness, we may want to become numb, and just keep moving instead of dwelling on it.

But sometimes, the fear is so deep within us, that we ultimately lose consciousness of our surroundings. We may take steps and use words, when, in reality, we’re not really concentrating on what we’re actually saying or doing. But no one can tell. No one can tell, because we hide it so well. We’re used to it. At least that’s what we tell ourselves.

We all need an outlet to be ourselves; to let loose all of things that are casting shadows around us. Without judgment. Without fear.

I go to the gym. That’s my place. My time to feel peaceful and hopeful.  Feel powerful rather than helpless. I feel that if I can just overcome one more rep, force it up, defeat what is trying so hard to bring me down; to fall or stumble; to know that if I let it go, drop it, it could leave me severely injured, but if I could lift it against the force of gravity, then I could fight back and overcome a lot more. Sometimes it’s difficult when it hits so close to home. It becomes more than just a metaphorical dumbbell or barbell that you’re trying to overcome and resist against. And sometimes, you don’t have a single clue as to what to do to fix things and make it better, and all you have are these videos flashing through your mind on fast forward; giving you tiny glimpses of what you’re so damned afraid of. No stopping, no pausing, just heart beating, skin crawling, loud clamoring adrenaline pumping, hard-core-drop-and-give-me-100 frightening situations that’s either going to control you or be controlled.

Because you just have to keep going and try to keep up. There is no other choice; it’s not going to stop just because you do.

You’re just going to have to overcome defeat, get back up and get ready to tackle the world from every angle.

Why You Shouldn’t Give Up

On my way out the door, this message caught my eye

My son's message to me this morning

My son’s message to me this morning

It was from my ten-year old son. It made me cry a little. I’m often hard on myself for not being the “perfect-cookie-cutter” mom or wife. I don’t even need a mirror to summons the not so wonderful mommy moments I have had. I often feel guilty for not actually doing more for my kids, not giving them everything that they want, and maybe once in awhile skipping a hug every now and then, maybe because I was raised in a family where expressing a lot of heartfelt emotion wasn’t always prevalent. Hugs were sparse and when often uttering the words, “thank you” it was rare to ever tell if the words of gratitude were ever registered or even necessary. Without a doubt, however, I knew I was loved, and I only mention this to give a brief insight into my childhood and realize how I am really not one who practices a great deal of affection. Don’t get me wrong, I tell my kids that I love them; I interact with them, and acknowledge their importance in my life. But I always feel like there’s more that I could do or say. Especially when you have more than one child, it becomes more of a challenge because they all seem to want your undivided attention in equal amounts, at the same exact time! But I know that regardless of the attention they receive, there will always be one of them who is going to feel slighted in some way.

But today was different. It stripped away everything that I thought I was hiding and protecting; it took away everything I thought I knew and understood. Up until this morning…

It didn’t take a long time to read the message of course, but in that very small, brief moment, after reading the words, I paused, allowing them to resonate inside of my very being. The meaning behind those words surged through me granting me the right to forget about everything and just pause. Pause to recognize the time that my son took to write that before he even had a chance to see me this morning; to recognize the impact I have had on him without even truly realizing it. And without ever really wondering if he even understands. And today I was just reminded that he does. He sees beyond the superficial and believes in me…sometimes even more than I do sometimes.

With all the social media that intrudes our daily lives; it can be hard to remember that even though you have an audience connected via the Internet, the most important audience will always be your child/ren. And they are always paying attention, looking up to you, and eventually following your lead. Yes. Someone who is resilient, yet fragile and innocent will always be your largest cheering section; your biggest crowd, and you will always be their first act; an everlasting impression on who they turn out to be.

You are their only spotlight and they learn from you; it’s okay to show them struggles, it’s okay to reveal your weaknesses and show how truly vulnerable you are. The important thing is how you pick yourself up and carry on regardless of how big or small, or how insignificant you may think something is, they are always watching, following, and learning from your mistakes.

Materialistic things such as, toys, video games, and technology, can never truly compare to their little eyes carefully watching you manage decisions, burdens and sometimes, or a lot of times, your own self doubt. They will always look at you, and do so without judgment; only admiration and unconditional love.
So the next time you say that you cannot do something, even if you utter the words to yourself; it doesn’t matter, they sense it. They feel it. And they are always watching you.

I really, truly know and understand that now.

Being the Match That Lights the Fire.

As I sit here, five days away from a figure competition (I have honestly given up at least a thousand times, however, today I’ve only managed to quit two or three times) I feel that the best way to channel the anxiety that I feel is to redirect it to something more relaxing and doesn’t require sweating. A rapid heart beat still? Yes, but no sweating. First, though, let’s get one thing straight, every one of those times, I am not quitting, my mind keeps trying to, but so far I’m winning. So far.

It isn’t me, it’s the anxiety and I recognize that…

 Ever stop and wonder what is the one thing that you avoid to prevent going into panic mode? Oh come on, just about anything that makes you even place a big toe outside of the circle you’ve entrapped yourself with will send you into fight or flight mode. You want to run, but you also want to stay and fight. Survival mode. Fight or flight. Avoidance.

Do you know what that one thing that would make you just go after what you fear instead of always running from it? Think about it. What would be that one thing that would allow you to forget about the circle that you keep making smaller and smaller every single day and move freely? I can’t think of anything, can you?

You see, nothing can make me do it. No one or nothing can make me want to put myself into an uncomfortable situation that would have me screaming and begging for mercy. No one, nothing, but ME.  It’s because I only have myself to look back in the mirror at; to scowl or smirk at, to sense the violation that I’ve done to myself by not letting others in, or by choosing to punish myself; give up on myself.  It is me who has to look in the mirror and choose to see the pain deep within my eyes. It is only me who could choose to take that pain away and force myself to acknowledge that I’m the only one that’s going to make me move. If I don’t do it, who will? Who’s going to care enough to cross that circle to get me to move?  Only you can choose the amount of light that you want to reveal.

Ask yourself, “what makes me happy”? 

Take that answer and never second guess it. Don’t doubt it. Make it part of your day. Every single day because do you ever notice when you neglect a part of you, even if it’s only one small part of you and you continue to ignore it, reject it, hide it, that you find yourself over time not even able to recognize your own shadow even when the smallest flicker of light appears?

Don’t let the flame burn out before you do.

No.

Be the one to light the freaking match.

No. Scratch that.

BE THE MATCH THAT LIGHTS THE FIRE.

 

 

Mind Over Muscle

She is a woman. She has muscles. Well. She does. And she loves the way they feel; the independence, the control, and  the way her clothes fit in just about anything. But she compares herself to others because she just can’t help it. She tries to learn to appreciate and admire what another woman’s mind and body has enabled them to achieve. But she is a woman. Just like you.

 Sadly, and much too often, women get criticized for their muscular, athletic form just as much as they get criticized for being too skinny or overweight. And by other women.

 We want to be strong, we want to be equals, and achieve greater things; we want to empower and inspire, not feel overpowered and controlled, yet we fear the lines that appear in just the right light; the lines that trace the outside of a muscle. We scowl at the hardness that wraps itself around the female form, and we critique the roundness of a woman’s shoulders or the thickness of her back. And by doing so, we unknowingly are the first to give up on ourselves. Don’t you think? 

UA_WB3_PostCard-500x333

 

Ever heard of mind- muscle connection? Well, behind those striations, lines, and muscle fullness, is a mind that has so powerfully exhibited such control and strength over many hours, days, months and even years, were spent connecting to and overpowering a resisting muscle; a force.

 And yet you still truly have no idea what’s behind that body; those muscles.

 That skin she’s in.

 You don’t know what’s behind the fullness of the light if it shines too brightly. You don’t know if at one time it was dimmed, or if it just blew out completely. And just like the pain you feel behind your skin, she may be feeling the same. She may have muscles and you may not like them, but guess what?

 You both have a blanket of skin wrapped around that body to allow you to endure challenges and obstacles that have, unwillingly, got in your way now or at one time.

 The broad, round shoulders, the muscular back with lines that run smoothly down to meet the small of her back, legs that may not be quite like yours; may not be what you want to achieve, but that body; that body and those muscles that are covered in a sheath of beautiful skin allows her to be actively independent for at least one more day. Maybe for a lifetime.

 With her children…

Her grandchildren

Her mind, and

Her family…

She really is just like you, her muscles, her body, her skin; they have all been stretched and pulled; hurt and scathed, but never gave up on her either. Instead, it has allowed her to evolve; to feel empowered, courageous, confident, more and more, every single day. But she still struggles with her reflection. She still struggles with that shadow cast on the wall in a dim lit room. She still picks and tears herself apart, looking and searching for approval; validation. Someone to tell her she’s beautiful.

 But what does she do?

 She opens herself up for the world to pry their hungry eyes in her direction. And she waits. She waits for her mind to completely evolve; to be able to completely align itself with the strength of her body. But until then? She keeps on lifting. She keeps on running. She just keeps going.

 Because she just does.

What Will Happen if you Didn’t Live Life In the Moment?

Can you think of anything? I can…

You can make healthier choices so that you can continue to enjoy all the things that you love, and all of the moments that lie ahead of you..

You can find a balance so that you can wake up and not feel that any time has been wasted; like you’re spending everyday recovering from the night before with a really BAD hangover. You know when you wish that you can forget what happened, or just wish that you already did…You know kinda like that bruise on your leg that you don’t remember how it got there because you had one too many drinks, or the soreness that you feel in your legs from dancing all night long? And then, suddenly, you slowly put the pieces together, and it finally all makes sense. Temporarily. And then just like that, you get zapped back into reality. It hurts. You hurt. You know you had a damn good time, but you are feeling like shit now. You probably should just lie down. Oh wait, here comes your responsibilities. Oh and….LIFE. 

Life is one big hangover. Metaphorically speaking, of course. (Hey, I’ve been there, done that. This one time, I was at a pig roast…oh wait that’s not for this blog..sorry hehe)

Seriously though, that’s how you’re going to feel as you get older.  You’ll be at the bar with a tear in your beer because you’re lonely for your dear (Hank Williams-just changed it up a bit). You’ll have one drink and have to call it a night. And not just because you’ve aged; no it’ll be because you won’t have the mobility, balance, or strength to get down low, or hop up there and shake ‘it’ one more time. Metaphorically. The Point? If you learn how to balance, you could still have a damn good time.

And no. Dancing and drinking isn’t considered cardio. Trust me on this one.

But seriously, you know all of those moments where you sit and reflect on the times that you were able to pull an all-nighter? I’ve had those conversations before. Oh God, I used to be able to stay up all night long, and still go to work the next day. And function too. Remember that? (Or are you there now?)

Whether it was partying, studying, or just talking, whatever it was, you were still able to manage work, school and anything else without batting an eyelid. Today, you feel so tired, so plugged in and overcharged; overused, that the energy just seems to keep going in and out of you, and if you lose even just an hour of sleep, you can’t seem to keep your eyelids open with even the good ole’ clothespin.  Oh… getting older sucks. But staking claim in my pride by striving to continue to learn how to balance family, educate myself, study to become a personal trainer, teach my kids about respect in this crazy technologically advanced, hypersensitive world that we live in, improve or maintain my strength and all means to maintain functionality as I get older, makes me feel ageless. Sure, I’ve pulled the “I feel old” card, but that’s because I’m a parent (and that’s also another story).  Ain’t nobody got time for that!

So….I’m often asked, why do I eat like this all of the time. Why do I carry a cooler to a place where there is food readily available?  What the hell am I doing??? People want to know why I’m doing this. Seriously!! People are concerned that may not be living my life to its fullest. (Okay, I admit, I might also be projecting here.)  No. no, I’m pretty sure I’m not! I have had to overcome that along the way, and I still get stares and sneers, but it’s been a journey that has not let me down. At least not yet anyway.

I really, honestly, truly, sincerely think that exercising and selecting healthy choices is underestimated. Sure you got that run on the treadmill where you’re clinging to the rails for dear life, heaving and pouring sweat..you’re bod’s just crying and you hover down lower and lower until you don’t feel anything, and that’s only because the machine has taken over now, but then you go in your fancy little workout wear and go to get some Mickey D’s. Oh yea. I saw you there. I know it. You went there.  Or maybe it’s not Mickey D’s, it’s those leftovers from that tasty little diner down the street from you. Hell, it could even be from that extremely expensive, four-star restaurant. I don’t care. It’s got sodium, calories, all sort of sneak shit up in there. Trying to say, oh it’s only less than 500 calories…oh please..don’t even get me started with that.

I know people who think, “you only live once” I mean come on, they even coined a catchy abbreviation (yolo anyone?) that’s been tossed into song lyrics, tshirts, and out of the mouths of many. (Oh Yea. I did that. I just threw a little modern day slang in there for ya.) Anyhoo, I often hear people say things like, “I could never eat like that”,  “I could never look like that” or “I could never do what you do” Oh stop it. (Blushing) Seriously though, you’d be so damned surprised at what the body is capable of doing once the mind catches up. And that’s the part that’s all up to you. Sure, you don’t have to have a flat stomach, and you can have some jiggle when you wiggle, but making healthier choices isn’t all about aesthetics. Diet and exercise, is the key to give you strength for the moments when you need to get things done, in a shorter period of time, but can’t pull off an all-nighter. It is the answer that will allow you to continue being able to do what you’re doing at this very moment.

It’s no secret that we have no choice but to age. Sure, as it has been proven, we can pay money to achieve a younger, more youthful appearance, but regardless of how much money you throw into looking younger, it’s not going to assist you in getting in and out of car, walking up a flight of stairs, playing with your kids/grandkids, you know, as you get older? It is funny, because as we get older, the rest of the world doesn’t adapt, it becomes newer, more modern and often sleek, and we are pushed into having to adapt to all of it; as quickly as possible too. We allow our food choices to fall by the wayside; to accommodate a much more leisurely and sedentary lifestyle; one that relies on technology, driving our kids to and from sports all while riding in a car, sitting and watching them play. Face it. We are sold on cheap food and it has to be fast.

However, I am a fan of the microwave. Just thought I’d throw that out there.

So….yes. There is so much more to do; to learn, in such a shorter period of time, but it requires very little energy. We don’t need to exercise because we’re not really moving. Face it. We’re not really doing anything that requires good cardiovascular conditioning, you know, things that get our blood pumping, hearts climbing, and we’re more than likely not lifting anything heavy, well beyond a baby. At least not NOW. And yes, I am extremely proud of your attempt and effort to get a little exercise, even if it was just draping over the machine. You still did it. You still had the thought.

Unfortunately, it’s really not the thought that counts. Not this time.

 So as you’re reflecting and realizing that you can’t stay up like you used to, or you feel some aches and pains, or you can’t hold or play with your kids/grandkids like you used to, can’t seem to open that damn jar of pickles without needing someone else to “loosen it up” for you…it’s time to start exercising. Truth is; we overindulge ourselves with food, good times, work, and there is absolutely NO balance. You eat the high calorie, high sodium, high fat diets, and are only compensated with diseases, illness, that eventually make you unhappy and possibly depressed about your appearance. But, still, you go to work, drive your kids to and from their afterschool activities, sometimes even on the weekends, and then,

Have lunch with an old friend,

Have dinner with an old friend

Go out to eat with someone you just met

Eat to support a good cause

Eat to raise money for a good cause

Buy and eat candy for a good cause

And it goes on and on and on….(okay so I just got a little Avett Brothers tune in my head)

The wheels of the car are still moving, but you are at a standstill.

And you may not even realize it.

All that partying and drinking; the cheap; quick and easy food, the social engagements you have to tend to, is not going to help you in the long haul. Your health isn’t going to keep up with you, if you don’t encourage it to. And if you say that you can’t eat like that, look like that, well then just picture what your going to look like in a nursing home when you can’t walk, or even feed yourself. While we all may live once, you also have the option to choose how your going to age; if you don’t start making better choices, you better at least start choosing which nursing home you’re going to.  Make it a good one too. And sure, even if you make better choices as regards to your health, you probably still won’t be able to pull an all-nighter. But you know what? Sleep is part of the equation as well.  That wasn’t always the best plan of action either.

I agree that you work your ass off, and deserve to have a kick ass time; a little “me” time. Hope you have a pension plan in place for when you retire to pay for that  nursing home.  How much are you spending on medications and doctor visits now? A vacation’s worth? Geez. I’m beginning to sound like a health insurance company or something. Or maybe, you’ll have to pay for some staff members to come to your house when you’re unable accomplish even the simplest task? Your kids aren’t going to mow that lawn for you. Doubtful. I mean, I would, but I’m not your kid. Don’t be mad.

I don’t know about you, but I plan to still be able to soak up the sunscreen on a beautiful blue beach with my husband and cooler packed with plenty of healthy food right next to us, and the only thing I’m going to be fighting are the waves rolling in the ocean, but at least I’ll have the leg and calf muscles to walk through all of that sand.

When you lose strength in the body, you also lose strength in the mind. No joke.