Adopting A Healthy Lifestyle 40 and Over

In 2 months and 15 days, I will be 40 years young. Even though I feel like I am in my twenties and in the prime of my life, ready, willing and able to take on the world, my health is at the forefront. Not just for cosmetic reasons but for longevity and quality of life. Many of us in the 40 and over club share this concern. So as an ex- personal fitness trainer of 8 years, allow me to shed some light on the subject for all of us.

The Battle of “Fort Bulge.”

Okay, so most of my life I always had a flat tummy. Once I began weight training and studying for my ACE fitness trainer certification, I earned rock hard abs that many women would kill to have. It takes hard work and dedication to get them toned and defined. Your diet must be ‘clean’ as we say in the fitness world and you must put in the time and effort. I will go in depth about that shortly.img_00075

Currently, I am at war with my body and have been fighting against its pursuit to build “Fort Bulge” right around my waistline. This new unwanted construction has been in effect for a year now but mostly due to my sedentary lifestyle. I do not know if any of you remember from prior posts, but I spent a year on the road with Jimmy( my love), who drives an 18 wheeler. I embarked on the adventure looking good and feeling great; it ended with me 20 pounds heavier and feeling achy and fatigued. Now that I have been home for three months it is time to answer the war cry. Whoever would like to join me in battle, I humbly invite you. We can take up arms together!!!

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Where do I start?

If I had a dime for every time a new client asked me that question; I would not be rich, but I would have a nice nest egg for retirement. Detox!!! If you are putting junk in your body, it’s imperative to flush it out. Most people are not aware that we should clean our bodies periodically, it does not matter if you are a carnivore, herbivore, or vegan. Think of your body like your car; you tune it up regularly to keep your engine in good condition. Well, we must do the same for our body. There are many ways to flush your body, colonics, herbs and fasting. What’s most important is you choose what is best for you and consult your physician. Personally, I prefer natural herbs due to my fear of synthetic medicine.

You have had a tune up now it’s time to put the good stuff. Vegetables, protein, carbs, water, water and more water. When you are changing your eating habits, there is a method to the madness. Fifty percent of your meals should be vegetables, 20% protein, 10% carbohydrates and the remaining 20% water. The secret that completes the formula is meal configuration. What to eat and when! Always and I do mean always plan for your heaviest meal around your most active time of the day. Consume your carbs at that time as well; they contain sugar and convert to fat. The body will use the sugar in carbohydrates for energy.

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For those who love a thick juicy steak or burger, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it’s time to cut back or stay away from fried foods. Remember we are at war not only against ‘Fort Bulge’ but also high cholesterol is lobbying for a seat. My plans are to go back to a vegetarian lifestyle. After over ten years of vegetarianism two years ago I started with chicken and graduated to occasionally eating red meat. Needless to say at first, I was very ill, but I was a glutton for punishment. Jimmy loves his pork chops and ribs; he will not be giving them up! Over time I developed acne, fatigue, headaches and gradual weight gain. Well, my friends, I am tired of being sick and tired. Pun intended!!!

What is this thing called exercise?

LOL!!! Let’s not make getting in shape more than what it has to be. No, you don’t have to give your right arm, leg, blood and your first born child to the exercise gods. That statement used to be an excellent icebreaker with new clients. I required newbies to do 45 minutes of cardiovascular training four days a week. Week two we incorporated exercises using their body weight. The third week, I put on my drill sergeant hat, handed them some weights and start teaching form. Suddenly in week four, drill Sargent Lydia is wielding a double barrel shotgun and barking orders. No Pain No Gain was the flag I erected in their minds, and they marched to my beat, happy about the what they hoped to accomplish. Not to pat myself on the back or anything but all my clients received results. Well, maybe a slight pat.military-662872_640

Choose an exercise regimen that will be comfortable for you. A trainer and the gym is not for everyone. At this point, my workout consists of Zumba and Yoga classes with an occasional workout with light weights at an all women’s gym. Just get active. Physical activity will guarantee great results but also increase your energy.

It is Now or Never.

I’m afraid if I don’t start now while it is bugging the hell out of me, I will get complacent. Putting off until tomorrow what I should start today. So as I embark on my journey, I invite others to join me. I am here for advice or encouragement, just comment on this post or email me personally at lydiaoyetunji77@gmail.com.

 

 

 

 

 

Celebrate Life…. National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

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October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month. It’s important for me as a woman and a blogger to join in on the fight and build awareness. This subject is not only important to me but to other women and men who are affected by breast cancer.

I heard that forty was the recommended age for mammograms. Although, this morning while watching the Today Show, the American Cancer Society says 45 is the age to start getting mammograms. The constant change in recommended starting age for mammograms can be confusing. As my 39th birthday approaches I tend to be more health conscious than usual and breast cancer is not something I or any woman would want to take lightly. Practicing monthly self-exams are important, mammograms have the ability to detect what we cannot see or feel. The best method of early detection!

Yesterday, I visited http://www.nationalbreastcancer.org to do research and to further educate myself as well as my readers. The National Breast Cancer Foundation website is very informative. You have the ability to gain knowledge on the stages and types of breast cancer, read survivor stories, donate and create an “Early Detection Plan”. I created mine and advise other women to do the same! It’s a great way to be proactive when it comes to our health. You will get reminder emails to do monthly breast self- exams as well as the proper way to do them. It truly taught me a few techniques I did not know. Schedule your clinical exams and your mammogram ahead of time. I scheduled my mammogram for February 14, 2016, I plan to stick with my original schedule for forty as my first mammogram. It’s a month after my birthday, I just felt that is the best Valentines gift of love to myself.

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I did not have knowledge of this statistic before signing up on the National Breast Cancer Foundation website. I learned that benign tumors start as damaged cells that can become malignant tumors that are cancerous.  My mother detected her tumor when it was the size of a dime she stated within a week it was the size of a golf ball. Thank God when she went to the doctor it was benign that was eight years ago. Early detection works miracles!!!

Uninsured? The National Mammography Program partners with medical facilities across the country to provide “FREE” mammograms and treatment. That is true blessing to those who cannot afford health insurance or treatment. Our donations are truly saving lives in many ways! There are so many ways we can help, donate $100 to provide a mammogram for a woman in need or conduct a fundraiser. Visit the website to see all the options available.

Janelle Hail is the founder and CEO of National Breast Cancer Foundation. On the NBCF website there is a link to her blog Live Life with Janelle Hail who is also a survivor. Her story is absolutely wonderful, I’m personally grateful for her foundation. I love the transparency of her blog, Janelle Hail encourages other women who are fighting breast cancer to share their story. As a woman who does not have breast cancer I find her story and the stories of other survivors very inspiring.

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Take time today to visit the NBCF website, celebrate the life of others by giving or your life by signing up for the early detection plan.

Links to websites:

http://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/

http://janellehail.wpengine.com/janelle-story/

http://www.cancer.org/cancer/news/news/american-cancer-society-releases-new-breast-cancer-guidelines

Images courtesy of:

Pinterest

http://freeallpicture.com/we-support-breast-cancer-awareness-month.html

The Small Symptoms that Changed My Life

Do you live a fairly active or very active lifestyle? Is it safe to say that it is a part of your regimen to work out 3 times per week at the least? I’m not talking about going and sitting on the bicycle, casually walking on the treadmill or sitting in the sauna to get a good sweat. A workout regimen that consists of raising your heart- rate during your workout, be it strength training, cardio, or an aerobics class.

Weight is not an issue for you and never has been. You have maintained a healthy weight most of your life. Eating habits are not the best but they are balanced, nutritional and mostly healthy. Of course we all have those occasional cheats or maybe even a binge but nothing to feel depressed about. If this is a good depiction of your habits towards exercise and nutrition then I can definitely relate.

I was a certified personal trainer for 8 years, I served 4 years in the U.S. Navy. No stranger to discipline and fitness. Yes, Navy personnel are known for being heavy drinkers who party quite frequently. Some of us shipmates are not very disciplined in our eating and exercise habits. Although, there are those who may have partied or who currently party but continue to maintain fitness as a priority. Fitness was and is the core of who I truly am.

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Five years ago I occasionally found myself experiencing weird symptoms. I never paid attention to these weird occurrences. As a personal trainer and even a healthcare worker, we hold ourselves to a certain standard that we think illness will not affect us. Sometimes, I would get this frequent urge to urinate this is no matter how much I had to drink. It was most times accompanied by a sweet jolly rancher aroma. This baffled me because I could not blame it on fresh fruit smoothies. Have you ever drank so much water or juice that you could not quench your thirst? You could not eat because you’re full of liquid? Ever since high school I can remember going to sleep with something to drink. Waking in the middle of the night almost dying of thirst. I constantly have something near to drink throughout the day. Back then I thought of it as being a side effect of consistently working out.

Unfortunately, the last straw for me was fainting in the gym while training a client. This is even after eating meal 4 of a 6 meal a day diet. No, I don’t mean just a protein bar as a meal. None the less, I woke up in the hospital and informed that I had diabetes. WOW!!! Are you kidding me? That was my first reaction. I worked out 6 days a week with a 30 minute strength training and a 20 minute cardio regimen. I consumed chicken and fish, lots of greens and low carbs. No fast food, 2 or more liters of water daily. 5 feet -2 inches tall, my weight ranged from 110 to 130 pounds, body- fat as low as 10% and never over 22%. I….with a body most women envied… Diabetic?!?!?!

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How did I get this? What did I do wrong? What is going to happen to me? For me it’s in the genes. My father, his mother and her father were all diabetic. My great uncle and a child of his has been diagnosed then myself, no one after me. I must admit I was disappointed when I first found out. As I look back I realize the disappointment was due to lack of knowledge. Let’s also add a bit of vanity. There is no true hindrance just what we put upon ourselves.

Yes, it has caused my lifestyle to somewhat change. Nothing too drastic. I eat differently than I used too. I’m never deprived or hungry or bored with my meals. My indulgence in Red Velvet cake which is my absolute favorite  desert is rare. Workout routines and frequency is different. I’m no longer a beast in the gym. Hour long strength training, yoga, Zumba and an occasional spin cycle class has reduced. I maintain an active lifestyle by working out 5 days a week doing yoga, calisthenics, jogging and walking. I still maintain a weight of 125 pounds, I’m not as lean and cut as before but I feel and look good. There are days when the illness makes me drag through my day but they are very few. I’m not on insulin or any other medications. My diet and exercise keep me in great health and shape even with diabetes. Diabetes does not end your life nor does it cripple you. Pay attention to your health and the symptoms that may seem weird. For even the weirdest feeling may be the one that saves your life.

 

American Diabetes Association

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