My Fitness Journey – What I Learned about Myself
My fitness journey is something that I have wanted to share with others for a while now. A few years ago the man who coached and mentored me (Herb) asked me to share my success story with other clients of his. His hope was that I would inspire some of his clients. The message at his funeral last August was to carry on his purpose which was to help others live their best possible life. So I have decided that if I can encourage or inspire others to lead a fit and healthy life I would be paying it forward in his memory.
Group fitness classes, steady state cardio, and a little yoga was my routine in my 30ss and 40s. My metabolism was starting to slow at age 45 and I had 3 pounds that I just couldn’t get rid of. Sound familiar? I asked a few women at the gym who had transformed their bodies some questions and the same name kept coming up. Herb Cables. Obviously I needed to meet this man.
My Fitness Journey Begins
April 2012 the journey began when I met Herb. Group fitness classes and steady state cardio disappeared. My new routine became weight training and HIIT cardio. Oh, the other thing that changed was how I fueled my body. I started eating 5 times a day. I also started a diary of my weight and measurements. What I regret is not taking pictures when I started.
At the end of 1 month I lost 5 pounds. My measurements were also going down in all body parts. Yes, I still make entries into this same notebook 8 years later.
My Fitness Journey Takes Shape
Lifting weights and doing the right type of cardio for my body really started producing results. Soon I found that I really enjoyed lifting weights and pushing myself like I had never pushed myself before. I had more energy and just felt better in general.
The importance of eating to fuel my body so that I would have a good metabolism really became a reality. My body really started changing too. My legs had shape to them and I had shoulders all of a sudden.
A couple of years into it I decided that I really wanted to prove something to myself so I sat out to do a fitness competition. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Preparing for such an event was not only physical, but very mental. Working out was only 20% of the equation, food was 80%. Trust me it was hard, but I did it not only once but twice. Yes, I donned the 4 triangles of sparkly fabric two times in my life and now it resides in my dresser drawer for posterity’s sake.
Me at age 50
The Journey Continues
After proving to myself what I needed to prove I made the decision that I just wanted to stay healthy, fit into my clothes nicely, and enjoy being a fit person. I celebrated turning 50 with a photo fitness shoot because at that point I was the fittest that I had ever been and had a great relationship with food. Today I still lift weights three times a week and now I really enjoy doing infrared sauna workouts to mix things up and recover two to three days a week. I make sure that I stretch on a daily basis. You can read about my “winddown routine” here.
I eat a 98% gluten, dairy and soy free diet. My diet is full of fresh fruits and vegetables and I eat all sorts for protein from vegan protein powder to fish, chicken, lamb, pork, and beef.
What does “fit” mean to me.
- It means that I can go to the gym and enjoy my time there. Yes, I still push myself and try to get stronger, but I am not worried about having to be there daily.
- It means that I feel good about the way I look. Is my body “perfect”? No, it is not and that is OK. Are there things I would still like to improve upon? Yes, and that is why I still make sure I lift weights regularly.
- It means that I feel good about the way that I look in clothes which makes me feel more confident in all that I do .
- It means that I can enjoy a guilty pleasure of food from time to time and not worry about it because I have a good metabolism and it is good to shake things up from time to time.
As I age I am sure that this definition of “fit” will change and evolve. The activities that I enjoy and do regularly will have to be adjusted. That is what life is all about. Constantly challenging yourself to new things and learning.
Make sure you have a little SaSs in your day!