Happy Thursday. Thought it might be a good day to... ummm actually blog... and also bring up a couple topics... one of which is asked to me all the time & the other which, well...I guess is just my own stinkin' problem.
First we'll start with the Newsom nose. Would've loved the smaller Jones nose, but well... the nose knows. And you get what you get & you don't throw a fit.
Wonder if that's why I can smell everything within miles of me? Which is a major curse if you happen to be around people who don't wear deodorant.
Thank you to whatever friend took that lovely photo of me, because all I notice is my nose. LOL
Moving onto the question I get asked all the time. My arms. And every single time it's assumed that I lift weights.
I do not.
Homey ain't got time for Crossfit, nor do I care to hang with the muscle heads in the weight room.
I might teach Zumba Toning once a week.
I might use 5-lb hand weights once or twice a week. Low weights... lots of reps.
For the most part though... yes, I work-out... (love me some cardio!)... but MOSTLY the muscle you can see is due to what I'm eating... or rather NOT eating. I blogged on this similar topic back in 2010, but thought I'd do it again. Some things have changed, but really... it's still the same old same old. "Clean eating" is key.
I'm in a Facebook group with some of the friends I work-out with (in fact I grabbed these visuals from my friend), so I know this is a topic that people ask about & don't fully understand. And really it's hard to go into much detail when I'm asked, so here's how it applies to my life...
Let's start there with that graph above. I love that. It's SO TRUE.
You can work-out every single day. Really, you can. And you will probably see great changes in your body. However... if you work-out every day and eat crap, your body will look different than someone who works out every day and doesn't eat crap.
That is the bottom line.
Your eating habits matter. BIG TIME.
In NO WAY am I doing everything perfect. I could totally stand to change a few things. However, I think that since I do most things right... that my daily work-outs take care of the not-so-perfect stuff.
You know... like the chips, wine & chocolate.
It's dark chocolate... so don't be hatin'.
And wine has antioxidants too, yo.
Here is essentially what I typically do...
- Stop drinking soda. There's ZERO things good about it. I had to give up my BIG GULP's of Diet Coke over 15 yrs ago because I had to stop with the caffeine for my heart. But thank goodness my heart was the reason, because it's AWFUL for you. So, if it's caffeine you crave, try Green Tea or even coffee. And I don't mean the foofoo drinks from Starbucks. That's not coffee... that's dessert.
- Water, water & more water. When you're eating lots of fruits, veggies, whole grains (which I'll get to next)... you need water to push it through your system. Otherwise you'll be constipated. No thanks. Milk, soda, etc... won't do it. Just WATER.
- Eat every 3-4 hours (5 small meals a day). This keeps your blood sugar in check & believe it or not increases your metabolism. NO skipping meals... especially breakfast... that's your most important meal of the day!
- Physical activity every day. For the first year after giving birth, all I did was walk on the treadmill every day. I'd put Bryn in her baby carrier & bring her downstairs with me so I could see her while I was on it. After she was about 18-months old, I added a class at the Y twice a week. It was my 1 hour of "me" time to escape from all my to-do's, listen to music & have fun. These days, the gyms where I teach are my second homes & I've made more good friends there than I can count on all my fingers & toes. Find something you enjoy doing & it will seem like less of a burden. "They say" you should get a cheap little pedometer & walk no less than 10,000 steps per day. I guarantee if that is the only change you make today... you will see results in your body.
- No salt shakers... only booty shakers. (Zumba anyone?) There's more than enough flavor in food that you do NOT need to salt it again... especially in a restaurant because they're already cooking with lots of salt as it is. All you're going to do is add bloat to your body... and who wants that? Yes please can I be bloated more than just once a month? Ummmm... NO.
- No red meat. I gave it up about 25 years ago. I have since heard that it's very difficult for your body to digest red meat. It literally has to rot in your body over the course of 2-3 days to get through your system. Gross. I still eat chicken, turkey & fish. I make sure to have protein at every meal & snack. It's also what helps to build lean muscle in your body. PROTEIN IS KEY!!!!!!!
- I eat TONS of veggies, fruit, whole grains. They say that 80% of your plate should be colorful veggies, the rest protein & whole grains. I've stopped eating all the "white" stuff.... bread, pasta, rice, pizza. The white stuff turns to sugar immediately. If I'm going to eat sugar... it had better be chocolate! I do eat brown rice. Love Triscuits & hummus. I thought I'd miss pizza & pasta because it was once a main staple in my diet. I don't miss it at all.
- No more dairy. Bryn is allergic to cow's milk (among other foods!), so a few years after she was diagnosed Bob & I decided, "Why are we buying 2 kinds of milk when soy is supposed to be good for you anyway?" So, it's soy milk or almond milk on my cereal or in my coffee. I don't eat cheese anymore. I have less headaches than I once had. I swear it's due to the dairy.
- Weights. I didn't really notice a huge change in my body until I started doing classes at the Y that involved cardio + weights (interval training). Typically it's 5 lbs or less, with a lot of reps. Low weights + a lot of repetitions = long, lean muscles. You're NOT going to look like a body builder. You WANT to have muscle though because muscle burns fat. And muscle keeps working for you even when you're at rest. This is a good thing!
- With regard to exercise, I do something different every day of the week. This keeps your body guessing & keeps it from having muscle memory. My weekly routine involves Zumba, running & spin (indoor cycling) class. Before I started running... it was strictly WALKING (fast walking!). Walking is one of the BEST things for you. It's less impact on your knees & every bit as good for you as running, if not better.
- Everything in moderation. I have a little dessert once a day... usually dark chocolate. I like wine. I like tortilla chips. The point is, if you tell yourself you have to give up everything you think you LOVE, you're just going to crave it that much more & then give up and over-eat. Moderation is key. Just because you're having some chips, doesn't mean you have to eat the entire bag.
- When ordering at a restaurant, make changes to the way they prepare your order. They will gladly do it! For example, if a salad has cheese on it... I tell them no cheese. I've also learned to love vinegar & oil on my salad. Give up the creamy stuff. Ranch is the worst! Might as well order a burger & fries! Seriously, you'll end up with less calories than a salad coated with Ranch dressing.
- Daily vitamins. I take a multi-vitamin, vitamin D, vitamin E, potassium & fish oil. A couple of those are for my heart, so don't think that's what everyone needs every day.
The key for me in all of this is to put more emphasis on PROTEIN. That's what builds (and shows) muscle.
Thus the "guns."
You have to think of your health & the way you eat as lifestyle changes & NOT a diet. Diets are temporary. There's a beginning & an end to a "diet." Your eating habits will follow you through your life. And what you eat can either be good medicine or a slow form of poison to your body.
These are all changes I've made over the years & not just overnight. And some changes were made as I was getting older & noticing I couldn't eat the way I did when I was younger.
Put yourself as the first thing on your daily TO-DO list. Think about what you're feeding your body. Get your body moving everyday. No one is too busy that they can't find at least 30 minutes a day to devote to their health, sanity & happiness. If it means you have to wake up 30 minutes earlier every day, then set your alarm. You'll have more energy throughout the day, you'll sleep better & honestly I almost never get sick.
And not being sick is a GOOD thing...