How to Age the Right Way

I’m 37 years old. My joints ache more than they should. The anxiety is still present, but somewhat controlled (still, some days are better than others), asthma is under control, and I still push myself further and further at the gym. I aim for high standards, and there are times I get discouraged because I can’t ignore the fact that if I were in my twenties, I wouldn’t experience half the pain as I do now.

Admittedly, I imagine what it would have been like if I had started earlier, like in my twenties. But you know what? The gym just wasn’t where I was supposed to be at that time in my life…

And so I quickly jump back into reality; to the present, and stay informed through research as well as personal experience (what’s worked for me and what hasn’t),  so that I can continue to drive my passion of fitness and health to the max. After all, I want to look good, but I also don’t want to deprive myself of the opportunity to maintain my independence as well as the ability to demonstrate an insane amount of strength and endurance as I get older.

Medicine and science has come so far that the average life expectancy has increased dramatically from what it used to be. But even though medicine and science are much more advanced, more and more people become too reliant on it and therefore, leave it to such advancements in medicine and science to treat them for high blood pressure, diabetes type II, etc, rather than becoming proactive in their own healthcare.

I want to be as full of life and energy as I am now, if not better as I age, rather than have my age be a deterrent for what I hope to achieve. And it won’t.

I mean check out 62 year old Andreas Cahling out on his Facebook page.

This is a quote from two of his recent Facebook posts:

“At 62 – as a master’s bodybuilder it is about getting the job done with a minimum of wear and tear while paying attention to restorative possibilities. Avoid toxic commercial hormone disrupting, estrogenizing skin products. Stay strong. Many things raise or decrease your testosterone levels and receptor capacity.”-Andreas Cahling

“At 62 – Exercising and eating natural foods while maintaining adequate testosterone levels are among the keys to staying in shape for life. So is the avoidance of hormone disrupting commercial skin products.”- Andreas Cahling

And here’s an inspiring photo of him found doing a quick Google search:

6kn8JWH

 

His philosophy on aging and maintaining performance and the ability to continue his passion (at his age..because age is nothing but a number), touches on nutrition as one way to achieve/maintain results and longevity….

And while many (I’m pretty much open) have different approaches and/or viewpoints as regards to nutrition, (I mean it’s a huge debate) it does really come down to:

1) Finding what meets your needs/goals. In other words, what is sustainable to keep YOU on track to meet those goals? And…

2) Finding a manageable balance between aesthetics and overall health as we get older… “you’re not as young as you once were”.

Because, let’s face it, What good is a nutritional approach, if you’re just going to hem and haw and feel absolutely miserable? What will happen?

Simple. You will fail. You will feel discouraged and disgusted. And then it begins….

What’s going to make you look better? What’s going to make you feel better? What’s going to make you perform better? However and unfortunately, I think it’s safe to make the claim that aesthetics blows any and all rationale out of the water.

Aesthetics allow one to look visually appealing, but has no bearing on an individual’s health status.

Do you agree?

It’s not always the “quality” of food that you are eating that determines health, but simply making adjustments that will make sure that you are getting the proper nutrients/ breakdown of protein, carbohydrates and fats rather than ultimately discovering that you are deficient in any of those components to the degree in which it could potentially stifle your overall  performance, energy, independence, among others.

For example, if you choose to follow the infamous “flexible dieting” approach, (however, this can apply to any nutritional approach), it would be wise that you don’t solely rely on one or two food sources ( I am not going to identify those food choices because it just causes stress as well as alter your relationship with food in general). In other words, it is important for whatever approach you choose to help assist you in your goals to choose from a vast selection of foods that will provide adequate nutrition (vitamins, protein, fat, and carbs).

While I will be pursuing a nutrition certification beginning in March, I am not a registered dietician or a nutritionist, therefore these are not meant to be recommendations or to diagnose/cure anything. This is just an observation touching on the various, ongoing debates about the “diets” (I even hate the use of that word) circulating the Internet (among other places).

It pains me to see people who are just determined to lose weight, gain muscle, improve performance, focus on longevity so much so that they will innocently attach themselves to a diet approach that may or may not be aligned with their goals or just simply not right for them ultimately experiencing side effects other than making progress towards their actual goals. Most are steered away from their actual needs, which then can become a limiting factor, preventing them from reaching their maximal potential in becoming the best version of themselves over the long run.

Getting proper nutrition also needs to be a resource for optimizing performance and health in spite of age. When we lack certain components of nutrition, we are allowing ourselves to age faster and it shows. Bottom line: Nutrition=the ability to be more mobile therefore achieve more (or just continue to do what we used to to some degree) as we age.

Always do your homework and consult with a trusted professional to make the most out of your journey, and not just for aesthetics, but also for longevity, health and prosperity.

Nobody is going to give a shit how old you are if you’re showing up with results, a positive attitude, realistic expectations, and your continuous pursuit of a dream. They will see passion and drive, not age.

Top Ten Reasons to Stick to your Exercise/Diet Plan

One of the hardest things to do is stick to a healthy diet especially when temptation is literally everywhere!!! But you have to remind yourself of why you’re doing it. You have to have a reason.

When I don’t have a goal (or sometimes even when I do have a goal) I find thoughts creeping into my mind like, “what am I doing this for?” or I’m never going to look like ____”.  Besides, I don’t have anything to prove to anyone; no one really gives a shit if I’m having dinner out of a Tupperware container or at a fast food joint. When I open the refrigerator and see a roll of cookie dough, I want to just say screw it and eat it. When I feel so tired and don’t feel like going to the gym, I truly just want to have the softest worn in part of my couch latch onto me just so I can just watch my favorite show.  

But I put together a list of my “Top Ten Reasons” to help get me off my ass to the gym or choose a better cookie…oh…oops…uh…I mean….

 Look these are just reasons, I slip and fall every now and then regardless…what can I say, I’m only human.

 A human cookie monster at times even…Anyway, here they are:

 Top ten reasons to stick to your Exercise/Diet plan:

 1. You spend all kinds of money on lotions, nails, makeup, hair etc. Why not treat your insides to a makeover as well? Why treat your insides like shit?

 2. Less medical expenses.

 3. Your body is an investment; it is your house. You fix up your house when something is broken, don’t you? You wouldn’t want someone to draw all over your walls, stain your carpet, spray paint your house etc.

 4. Your mind and body need energy to function. You already have too much stress with work, family, and just life.  Eat sensibly to counteract the stress that you feel.  A proper diet full of nutrients as opposed to a diet void of nutrients acts as your very own ammunition rather than a terrorist.

 5. Every bit of exercise makes you stronger, which will lead to a more independent life for a longer period of time.

 6. Who are you fooling? Put the junk down, you won’t be able to eat “good” for the next 3 days to “make up for what you’re about to eat now.” Life happens. Shit happens. And always unexpectedly.

 7. Yes, I know you worked all day and had a hard day. But skipping that workout is only going to make your next day long and hard also. Exercise releases endorphins and you’ll come out of it feeling like a bad ass.

 8. You will look sexy as all hell.

 9. Because you’re tired of avoiding the mirror.

 10. You’re tired of owning a scale

 Oh and just for good measure:

 11. You’re tired of counting calories.

Seriously, do you ever stop to realize how funny it is that we actually take the time to count calories of everything. Some days, for instance, I’ll start off eating really well, but then that little voice of protest in the back of my mind starts churning, and making all kinds of demands, it usually gets so loud that it starts making my body feel like it’s screaming. It’s equivalent to a two-year-old throwing a temper tantrum in the middle of the candy aisle and then peeing in their pants for further protest. So yea,  I usually just stop counting calories and anything else for that matter because when I go in; I might as well go all in.  

 If you can think of anything else to add to this list, add them in the comments section!