Grow Older Without Aging

11537702_790227324430188_8077424899283917740_nI was talking to my dad on the phone, and he asked me, “baby, you’re turning 42, are you feeling your age?”  I’m not sure he was expecting this loaded response…

“You know dad I feel more happy than I’ve ever been.  I’m still that playful, goofy young kid at heart, but I’m wiser, more confident, assertive and I feel like I’ve grown more into myself.”

This is a long way from the woman I was in my 20s who struggled with insecurities.  It was such a painful issue for me that a close friend suggested that I dress professionally, go to the mall and purposefully interact with others to build confidence.

Years later I took that to a whole next level when I began competing in bikini and figure bodybuilding shows. Talk about challenging my comfort zones!  I was the preacher’s daughter that was made to where dresses to school everyday and culottes with leotards to PE;) LOL

FullSizeRender (30) I still believe in Santa;) 

Getting up on stage in a bikini and flexing was a far cry from sharing a sermon in a dress suit two sizes too big for me.  This was the time in my life when I began to feel more comfortable in my skin and with my sensuality.

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I’m now learning to become more authentic in expressing myself without worry of displeasing others. This has given me a freedom of spirit to be okay with the woman I am instead of feeling like I should be different.

Aging gracefully is an idea that’s promoted in our culture, but I prefer aging gratefully.  I’m grateful for another year of life, but what surprises me is that I’m even grateful for my regrets.  Without feeling regret I wouldn’t have learned authentic compassion and maturity.

The key is to learn to love all of you, flaws and all.  Our deepest healing is when we learn to be our own best friend, companion, and cheerleader.

-Warrior Goddess

This has been my transformation journey as I’ve become older.  I understand that change is inevitable, but we can choose to grow through life.  I have no interest in aging gracefully, but I am interested in living my days with a sense of adventure that flirts with life;)
web_DSCF0626I did this photoshoot last month even though I felt self conscious because of my age.  I decided to go for it and have fun! What the heck?!

webDSCF0740What rule is there that only twenty somethings get to model anyway?  What are your thoughts about aging?  What do you think of aging gracefully?

 

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Fitness Plan For 2016

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If you have a New Year’s resolution to get back into shape or to become even more fit it’s important to have a plan.  I see so many people in the gym not working out effectively and then they give up because they don’t see results.  A plan would make all the difference because it brings focus and maximizes your time.  

I want you to stick with your resolutions and see positive results so I’ve put together a basic guideline for your workouts.  It’s simple and that is why it can be effective.

I’ve experienced best results with myself and clients who exercise 3-5 days a week with weights and cardio.  It really isn’t necessary for these sessions to go beyond an hour.

Once you master the routine for a solid 6-8 weeks, then add in some small changes.  

Step 1:  Create a weekly schedule  

  1. Decide what 3-5 days you will train on during the week.  

For example, Mon-Wed-Fri or Tue-Wed-Th.

     2.  Decide from the list below, which body parts you will focus on for each day.

  • Back
  • Chest
  • Legs
  • Shoulder
  • Biceps
  • Triceps
  • Abdominals

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Beginners:  Work all of the the body parts 2-3 days a week

Fill in the blank with the days you will schedule your total body workouts:

I will perform my total body workouts on _______________________.

Intermediate/Advanced: From the list, pick 2 body parts to focus on during each workout.

Fill in the blank:

Day 1: (Monday) of weight training I will work ___________and _____________.

Day 2: (Wednesday) of weight training I will work ____________ and __________.

Day 3: (Friday) of weight training I will work _____________ and ____________.

  3) Arrange your cardio to be shorter on the days that you are performing weights.  You can schedule your longer cardio sessions for the days that you are not weight training.

Fill in the blank:

I will perform 2-3 days of 20-30 min of cardio on these days: __________________.

Step 2: Pick your exercises for each body part

Here is a link that provides a library of exercises: http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/

Beginners:  pick 1-2 exercises for each body part from the above link. 

Intermediate/Advanced:  Pick 2-3 exercises for each muscle group.

Step 3:  Putting It All Together

  1. Sample Beginner routine:

Weekly Schedule:  

Mon and Wed:  total body workout with 20 minutes of treadmill or walking outside and 10-15 min of abdominal exercises.

Friday:  30 min of cardio and 15 min of abs

Keep it all on machines.  This will ensure proper form and technique.

Total Body Workout Plan:

Perform one set of  12-15 reps of each exercise.  Rest 30 seconds to a minute after each exercise before moving to the next.  

(A rep is the number of times you perform a specific exercise, and a set is the number of cycles of reps that you complete.)

Leg Press Machine, Hamstring Curl, Chest press machine, Back row machine, Shoulder press machine, Rear Flye machine, Tricep machine, Bicep machine.

Here is a video I did that might help: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2kDklUA-js

  2.  Sample Intermediate/Advanced  routine:

Weekly Schedule:

Monday:  Legs and Shoulders

Tuesday: Rest day or light cardio

Wednesday:  Back and Biceps with 20 min of cardio

Thursday:  Rest day or light cardio with abs

Friday:  Chest and Triceps with 20 min of cardio

Workout Plan:

Perform 2-3 sets of  8-12 reps of each exercise.  Rest 30 seconds to a minute after each exercise before moving to the next set.  

Legs:  Smith machine deep squats, Leg extension and Leg press

Shoulders:  Dumbbell overhead press, Lateral raise, rear flye (machine)

Back:  Lat pulldown wide grip, Seated cable row, One arm row

Bicep:  Cable bicep curl, Dumbbell hammer curls, Machine bicep curls

Chest:  Bench Press, Dumbell Flye and Incline Press

Tricep:  Overhead extension, Tricep pushdown, Dips

Abs:  see these articles for workouts: https://healthyjustice.wordpress.com/tag/lower-abs/

https://healthyjustice.wordpress.com/2014/02/24/unleash-strong-sculpted-abs/

Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway. Earl Nightingale

Nourishing Our Bodies Through Mindfulness and Gratitude

We are on to Thanksgiving, and if you sneeze or blink you could miss this special holiday. Christmas can overshadow the stillness that Thanksgiving calls us to, so let’s allow ourselves to slow down and appreciate this month.

I thought a great way for me to enter into this season of thankfulness would be to attend a series wellness classes offered at the Women’s Center For Healing & Transformation in Abita, Louisiana.  These classes were taught by some of the community’s most gifted healers and teachers.

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One of the classes I attended was on the topic of mindfulness and how it profoundly effects our health.  Mitzie R. Meyers, RN, MSN, CNE, AHN-BC, presented in one of their cozy rooms in the Women’s Center.  The small group of like-minded women combined with a rainy Fall day made the class that much more wonderful.😊

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As a health coach I have experienced through heart felt conversations how many struggle with not having a good relationship with food.  The fundamental reason is that we’ve forgotten how to be present as we eat.

Have you ever looked down at a plate of food and it has vanished?!  You feel a sense of disappointment that you didn’t even taste your food, and then the internal critic shows up and ruins the pleasure of eating.

It’s time for us to show up for ourselves and put an end to this cycle.

The recipe for mindful eating calls for the warming effect of kindness and the spice of curiosity.  Jan Chozen Bays M.D.

What is mindful eating?

It is much more than eating slowly & without distraction, although that is a big part, it involves so much more.  Meyers shared these definitions:

  • Giving focused attention to your meals (put away electronics)
  • Using all your senses with the process of eating
  • Being aware of your hunger and satiety (see hunger scale http://www.whereineedtobe.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Hunger-Scale.jpg)
  • Making choices that support health and well-being
  • Awareness without criticism or judgement.
  • Having intention and attention both internally and externally.  For example, at your Thanksgiving meal think about where the food came from, the process it took to get to your table & allowing that to expand your appreciation😇

Here is a visual to help you practice these ideas:

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Why is mindful eating important?

In her presentation Meyers said,

research shows a slower, more thoughtful way of eating could help with weight problems and reduce the risk for Type II diabetes.  Some other benefits she shared is that it improves digestion, increases the enjoyment of food & reduces over-eating.

After the class I had an opportunity to ask Meyers about how mindfulness can help us enjoy the holidays without gaining 15lbs. in the process-;)  She said, “have an intention for what you want the holiday to mean and make that happen.”

We talked a little bit about how the holidays can lead to depression for some people, but she says, “you can feel empowered to make the holiday what you want it to mean to you.  This openness in the heart will allow gratitude to come in.”  When we are grateful it removes us from walking under a dark cloud, and we realize the abundance that is present in our lives.  “It all starts with intention.”

What will your intention be for Thanksgiving and this time of the year?  What is the reality you want to create?  How will you show up for yourself and your family?