Fitness at Almost Fifty

You can go straight to the work outs and nutrition plan here.

Writing out that I’ll turn 50 this year is a little bit mind-blowing for sure! I’ve been sharing on Facebook and Instagram a little about my fitness history. I was “skinny fat” most of my life which means I was thin but not at all healthy and had ZERO muscle tone. I used to joke that my legs looked like Wilma Flintstone’s because they were thin and fairly shapeless. Even after having 3 kids, I pretty much lost all the weight and went back to skinny……and a bit saggy (am I painting a picture for you here? lol).

At some point, my children reached an age where I could stick my head up, take a breath and look around. I wanted to work toward some mainly aesthetic, changes to my body. My husband has always been fit. Fitness and sports were his game and he had learned a LOT over the years about how to achieve the look and the level of fitness that you wanted. Of course I never listened.

He would watch me doing countless cardio videos that promised to deliver the look of the women in the video who were toned and had definition and SHAPE. They weren’t just thin. He would say, “Those women are doing weights to look like that- not just all cardio.” Being THAT wife , I ignored his advice and continued killing myself with cardio with absolutely ZERO visible results.

Fast forward to when my husband began his career in Intelligence and was on countless, multiple deployments over and over. He really got back into lifting and staying fit, so I thought I’d give lifting a shot so that we would have something we could spend time doing together. Game. Changer.

I finally began to see the results that I had wanted all those years! My body started building muscle………and BURNING FAT! I felt amazing. I was eating to facilitate what I wanted and it worked. And lets face it- when you reach the point that you begin seeing results, it’s not hard to keep going! I loved it.

I wanted to share this with other women because I really wanted to share how possible it is to really feel and look great. Too many women seriously think it’s not possible! I got my certification as a fitness trainer and went to work! For years I encouraged and trained other women to reach their goals.

Fitness at almost fifty. How to get healthy and fit again.

Fast forward again through life: Job changes, multiple moves through multiple states, starting several companies and having to spend A LOT of time at my computer,………… I just stopped. At first it was sporadic, I would get in a workout here and there but I couldn’t seem to get a routine going again. And then I just sort of ignored it. I ignored the fat accumulating around my middle, the food that I was eating in sort of a mindless way, and I ignored the subtle aches and pains and general stiffness that was creeping in.

Well friends, I’m not sure what motivated me the most, but at some point I just had to face it. I mean, my choices were to just keep ignoring it- and go ahead and accept that I’d just stroll right on into fifty accepting the fact that I would be rolling the dice with my health and that I’d just be able to do less and less over time. Not what I want. So the only other choice was to make it a priority and then keep going! And that’s really the key: MAKE IT A PRIORITY AND THEN DON’T STOP.

My First Steps

I set myself up for success. Anytime you are trying to create a new habit, it’s hard. Seriously, the TINIEST thing can derail you. (Oh- my workout clothes are in the laundry- I’ll just do it tomorrow.) I made 2 small routines for myself that I needed to stick to:

AM Routine

Drink a full glass of water upon waking.

Make my bed.

Put on my work-out clothes.

Coffee and Bible reading

Breakfast (planned) , vitamins and supplements

PM Routine

Clean my face, add Retin-A, moisturizer

Lay out workout clothes, including shoes.

Drink full glass of water.

Read or listen to something relaxing.

Turn the heat down or open a window, lights out by 10.

Making a Plan

While the above routines definitely help me, I needed a good plan for how I would get fit. Basically starting at level zero. We have no space for a dedicated workout area in this house, so going to the gym would be a necessity. I figured out the optimal time to go each day- about 1pm, when I’m worn out from staring at the computer and could use the break (also the gym is pretty much empty!).

In writing my plan, I knew I didn’t want to do so much that I would be too sore to get through the week but I also knew that I would be pretty sore this week no matter what. Muscles only grow and get stronger when they are taxed.

Maybe even more importantly was that I would need some sort of plan for my eating. I dusted off my My Fitness Pal app and began logging in my food to see where I was at. Then I calculated my calorie needs so I could be sure I was in the right ballpark. I don’t always track my food, but when I’m starting out, it’s important to do it for a little while so that I KNOW I’m eating for my goals. The most important changes I made to my eating this past week were to vastly increase my protein intake and cut out all simple, processed carbohydrates ( regular bread, pasta, sweets, etc). You can see my exact work out and nutrition plan here if you’re interested.

Fitness at almost fifty. How to get healthy and fit again.

That’s it. Too many changes when you start can also derail you, so keep it simple for a few weeks and add changes gradually. Know that every single change is moving you forward to your goal.

I will be publishing these posts on Fridays, so if you want to follow along you have the weekend to do your planning. I am no longer a certified personal trainer, I’m just someone who wants to be fit and healthy well after 50! The Exact work-out and nutrition plan can be found here.

Week 1 – How’d I do?

If you’ve been following my IG stories, you’ll know that I DID NOT want to go to the gym even one time this week. It was a struggle every day. But I went. And after I got past the warm-up, I felt really good. It is difficult to push yourself into an “uncomfortable zone”, but that’s where the change is. My cardio is bad and I’m sucking wind big time! I was really sore almost every day this week. I definitely did not OVER-DO on weights, I’m just that out of shape (praying some muscle memory kicks in at some point!). My nutrition stayed pretty consistent with the exception of a stray piece of pizza that somehow happened when our kids were over one night, lol.

If you’re struggling to get back into fitness I would encourage you to sit down this weekend and set yourself up for success. Figure out where your stumbling blocks will be and plan ways around them. Make small changes in your routine and above all, just keep going. I’m hoping that next week will feel a little less “unnatural” and I’m sure I won’t be as sore, so that will be a huge bonus! Just knowing that I did something to move my own health and fitness forward all week is incredibly satisfying and encouraging to me I hope that maybe some of this can encourage you too. We have to cling to the fact that we are doing the right thing , long before any visible results show up. Get strong. Get healthy. Feel good. 🙂

Have a great weekend!!

Fitness at almost fifty. How to get healthy and fit again.

I am not a certified trainer or a health care professional. 

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2 Comments

  1. Dolores Harmon Doxey
    April 13, 2019 / 9:32 am

    This was a very interesting article. I will have to remember each Friday to read your link on nutrition plan. You have very good information in your articles and enjoy reading them.

  2. April 17, 2019 / 12:10 pm

    I’m going to be 59 this year and boy things don’t get any easier to stay in shape. I have done it all to stay fit (excluding any fades), I eat well, (80% rule), I find running or at least walking is my meditation and weight lifting a constant struggle in that I find it boring and hate to be sore all the time. Muscle memory is a real thing and I think I lost mine! Ha ha. But I think as I get older it is even more necessary. So I am trying to make it fun because I do things better if I am having fun. Lastly yoga keeps me flexible and actually reduces the soreness weight lifting can cause me. Its also great for my balance. I can still stand on one leg for long periods of time while trying to pull off skinny jeans or leggings! It is comical but can be done! Can’t they come up with a pill for all this? I mean they can send a man to the moon!

    Great post!

    Peace!
    Cheryl

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