Remember when you were a kid and learning how to ride a bike? Close your eyes and think about it for a second. Do you also remember that first fall? I do, I remember many falls! But, that didn't stop us from getting back up and trying again, and again and again! Until, FINALLY, we were RIDING! Wasn't that the most AMAZING and EMPOWERING moment of your life?!?!
Most of us as kids, weren't afraid of anything! We had NO idea that swinging from that rope could ACTUALLY hurt us. We played in the rain, got muddy, swam when it was cold out, and danced in PUBLIC! And...we had a damn good time doing it!
So, why, as we get older and become "responsible" grown-ups, do we stop "playing"? Oh, I'm no saying that you should wildly abandon reality and run around like a heathen. Remember the movie "BIG"? Tom Hanks had such a good time being a kid in a grown up body, because he had no idea how he was "supposed" to act. He was HAPPY and his happiness was CONTAGIOUS!
Let me tell you a little bit more about me and why I do what I do.
I am a Kick-Ass Grandma (I will get back to that in a few). I am 52 years young. I am a personal trainer and nutrition coach. I have been in the fitness industry for 28-ish years. Not unlike most of you, I am a busy wife, mom of 4, and grandma of 3 and I now have my own training studio and online training website. My focus is mainly on women who are 30 and up, who are moms and/or grandmas. I truly believe in living our BEST lives through intentional movement, healthy eating, mindfulness and a positive, confident self-image.
Before I became a personal trainer and nutrition coach, I was an aerobic instructor at an all ladies facility. In the 80's. Yes, I wore color-coordinated thongs, tights, and tops (I even wore leg warmers)! Those classes were high energy and lots of fun. I could do some serious "Jane Fonda" back then....knee ups all day long. I had 2 kids and was going to college. I graduated as a single mom. Moved to Muskogee, Oklahoma for my career as a teacher/counselor. I also found a gym. Began teaching aerobic classes and acting as the aerobic coordinator. Since this was a co-ed gym, I definitely had to change my wardrobe, no more thongs!
What I learned in all my years of teaching those classes, is this: no matter what was going on in each participants lives, (kids, jobs, spouses, meal planning or whatever), when we started moving our bodies to up-beat music, chatting with one another, or telling jokes, we were all HAPPY! We let go of what our day had been and focused on having a good time, and one that was actually good for us. It lifted our moods and gave us a reason to come back to class.
Fast forward, to my current life....I moved to Rogers in 2011, married my husband, Burke. Gained two new amazing daughters. And opened previously mentioned studio.
In the book, "The Joy Of Movement", by Kelly McGonigal, PhD, she writes about how movement can shift one's mood, empower one's sense of strength or give them permission to let loose. She also states that at various times in her own life, exercise helped rescue her from isolation, and despair, gave her hope and courage and how to experience joy.
I had a client that could barely walk when I met her. Our first meeting was very tearful and heart-breaking. She cried because she felt she was an embarrassment to her young daughter. She felt like she was being stared at and talked about, among friends, family, coworkers and strangers. Her goal was to lose weight so she could walk, play with her daughter and travel. When our time came to and end (she moved away), we both cried again. Only this time, it was tears of joy! She was able to walk down my street and back and do a full-body workout! Her weight-loss goal hadn't been met yet and she still had work to do! But, the more important goal that she DID meet, was MOBILITY!
My message to you today isn't anything earth shattering! I'm not trying to re-invent the wheel! The wheel isn't broken! It just needs to be tweaked, simplified, brought back to basics. That person didn't come to me because she wanted to get a "bikini body". She came because she HAD to change her life so she could actually LIVE HER LIFE!
So, what does all of this mean to you? So many times I hear people say, "I don't have time to exercise or cook healthy." "I really hate to exercise!" "I just can't move like that anymore!"
One of my favorites quotes: If you don't make time for your wellness, you will be forced to make time for your illness!
Now I know that fearing illness or disease or being overweight doesn't move the needle for most people. That is a scare tactic that a lot of fitness and wellness coaches use. I've tried it. Doesn't work!
But, let's go back to my client. She couldn't walk because she was carrying too much weight, that was causing her hips , back and knees pain. She was obese. She DID have health risks. She WAS more prone to heart disease, diabetes, stroke. But, what moved her needle....her "WHY"....wanting to play with her daughter...LIVE!
What is your "WHY"? Would you like to be able to move more? Or lose weight? Do you want to change your eating habits? What do you care about? Who do you care about?
My "WHY" is my family: my Mom, my children, my grandchildren, my siblings, my husband, my friends. Here's where KICK-ASS GRANDMA comes from. I don't want to sit on my porch or coach and WATCH my grand-kids play.....I want to PLAY WITH THEM!!! I want to play chase in the back yard, ride bicycles with them, jump on the trampoline with them. I want to do cannonballs into the swimming pool with them. I also want to show them that I am their role model. I want them to see how taking care of myself now, has helped me to be "THAT" grandma that is so cool!!! Plus, I want to enjoy the things that I love doing. Traveling, going on new active adventures. Explore my curiosity!
How do I achieve this?
All of our lives are busy and it's hard to make time for just one more thing.
How do I make time for the many roles that I play?
Find time for myself?
Believe it or not, I still plan and set new goals! In May, my husband and I are going to the Grand Canyon and we are planning to hike rim to rim. Yeah....crazy!!
I'm not going to lie, sometimes, it's hard. Sometimes I get frustrated and want to just take a break. But, I never forget my "WHY"!!! Plus, I love what I do. And I want to help you find your "WHY". I want to help you live your BEST life!
Where to begin?
Figure out your "WHY"! Write it down!
Set goals. Long term and short term. Write them down.
Make them very specific! Here's an example of long term: I want to lose 50 pounds by August 15, 2020 because I'm going on a family vacation where we will be hiking into the mountains and I want to be able to do it with my 2 boys, who are 10 and 12. Short term: I will start moving more, with INTENTION, at least 2 days per week for 15 minutes.
Schedule your "me" time. If you don't schedule your day, it will schedule it for you. Then your day will be gone and you will be no closer to your goals.
Remember the 80/20 Rule!
Total health and wellness is a happy marriage of what you put in your mouth and movement. 80% in the kitchen, 20% in the gym(or living room or wherever you chose)!
Ditch the Diet!!! Diets don't work. The word just brings up negative thoughts and feelings. Diet instantly makes me think of things I have to stop eating.
Eat intuitively! Mindfully! Slow down, taste and enjoy your food. Eat whole foods. Less packaged and processed.
Chop veggies and fruit once, use them multiple times. For recipes, snacking, in salads. Put cut fruits and vegetables in clear, glass containers in you refrigerator so that you can see them and easily get to them when you're wanting a snack.
Keep your freezer stocked with frozen fruits and vegetables so you will always have something when you're in a bind for time.
Don't deprive yourself. If you're hungry, eat something. 80/20 rule...stop eating when you feel 80% full. Put your fork down.
Make small changes. Don't go full out and throw everything out of your fridge and pantry. Start by trying to ADD something into your food....more veggies, different veggies, oatmeal. Small changes over a period of time become BIG habits that stick.
Be kind to yourself! Celebrate the small wins and let go of the guilt because you ate 3 pieces of pizza.
Add more water!
Remember, that you are shooting for BETTER NOT PERFECT!
Can you really go from sitting on your a*# to moving daily? YES!
Set a goal! Maybe you start by just moving for 5 min per day. Enough to make your heart rate go up. Gradually increase your time do things that you enjoy! It has been proven millions of times that 15-20 minutes per day, 4-5 days per week improves our health and reduces the risk of a whole plethora of illness and disease. Keep in mind, that moving can be anything from dancing, walking, riding bikes, whatever makes you feel HAPPY. Just MOVE! Movement that we enjoy helps us feel happy! Happy people are more pleasant to be around!!! Start slowly and gradually pick up the pace. If you don't want to go to a gym, there are all kinds of online programs out there, including mine!!! Choose what works for you! Yoga is a great way to tone your body and increase flexibility. Pick something that you enjoy and most importantly, pick something you will STICK to and actually do!
Proof is in the pudding! Set a goal to change ONE thing in your daily food intake (try eating 3 servings of fresh fruit), do it for a week! Try adding 10 minutes of intentional movement (any of the activities mentioned above), do it for a week! See how you feel!
Here's to you health and living your BEST life!!!