Aged to Perfection
I've been working hard with the owner of a new gym to bring members on board during our special pre-sale promotion while the space is still in build-out. So many excited people looking forward to the opening of the place where they will go to get help in changing their physiques. I know this feeling: it's the allure of anything new and the potential it holds. I also know how short-lived that love affair can be because we bring ourselves to the table and don't consider how much our attitude fluctuations affect the equation. That saying 'Wherever you go, there you are' seems to be right at home when it comes to exercise and diet. These members have told me how much help they need with motivation, while also being nutritionally challenged. They've also told me how much they look forward to being coached. I wonder how much they look forward to committing to the discipline it will take to reach their goals...
I've been considering all this as I wrapped up the photo shoot done on my 57th birthday. Since the last one done on New Year's day 2017, I've been busting butt in the gym with the goal of getting as strong as possible while staying within 1,600 - 2,000 Kcalories/day. I've had 2 cheat episodes (one involving 10 oz. of chocolate covered almonds, the other a small organic veggie pizza) in the last 4 months and while that is hardly enough to make any kind of difference, I only mention it for the sake of posterity. I'm in the groove with clean-eating and I've hit my stride. In other words, since the start of Fiftyfierce.com, I've reached the goals I set out to achieve and now the new behaviors have become habit. Still, I daily re-commit to staying focused and on track, embracing the sense of sanity and peace I've discovered through getting diet and exercise positioned as priorities in my life. It was a challenge in the beginning but now? Well, the hard work seems like a lifetime ago. It's the journey through the HELL that makes most give up and I know this is what members are relying on me to help them with.
Here I could insert motivational-quote-after-motivational-quote because this is a big part of what helped me stay the course but the truth is, one must WANT to change above all else and one must WANT the changes to last. I've heard so many times how boring my diet must be, and because I rarely eat out and rarely touch alcohol, I've taken a lot of pot shots on that, too. It's my choice. I'm fine with it, I feel better than I have in my life and don't miss a thing. My way of accomplishing what I've accomplished may not be the way for everyone, but it's been my way and has worked perfectly for me. I only intend to serve as a source of inspiration for others that no matter where one is at in age, fitness level or diet, change for the better is always possible and will always be worth the effort. The fact is that I simply made it the one thing that I had to achieve. No negotiation.
As usual, let's start with the basics. Since I opt for measurements over scale weight, here is the comparison after one year - from the start of Fiftyfierce.com on 1/01/2016 to 1/01/2017:
Statistics: 1/3/2016 1/3/2017 Change:
Waist (over navel): 32" 29" -3"
Hips: 39 1/2" 36 1/4" -3 1/4"
Right Thigh: 23 1/4" 22" -1 1/4"
Right Calf: 14" 13 3/8" -5/8"
Left Thigh: 23 1/4" 21 5/8" -1 5/8"
Left Calf: 14" 13 3/8" -5/8"
Total inches lost over 1 year: 10 3/8"
4/22/2017, on 57th birthday: Change since 1/01/2017:
Waist (over navel): 29 1/2" + 1/2"
Hips: 36 3/4" + 1/4"
Right Thigh: 22 1/2" + 1/4"
Right Calf: 13 3/4" + 3/8"
Left Thigh: 22" + 3/8"
Left Calf: 13 3/4" + 3/8"
Total change in inches since 1/01/2017: + 2 1/8"
Now, if this were a scale-weight comparison, the gain might have me a bit concerned. Because my goal was to change my diet and stop eating from a place of bulimia/BED and ALSO to put on size in my muscles, I am fine with the numbers. Scale weight as an indicator for fat-loss is too vague. A mirror is a far better way to determine the need to lose fat and taking measurements is a far more positive way to track progress. I also didn't do any special prepping for these photos, other than a spray tan, though I am reminded that I simply must start work on posing. Here are the photo results:
4/22/2017: On 57th Birthday
The photographer does not like this picture but I am pretty fond of it as I finally see some size coming into my deltoids, traps and triceps. I also see a slight bit of improvement in the glutes and hamstrings. This is a LOT of hard work! I mean, I have been pushing myself to lift heavy. I track my workouts and increase weight regularly and appropriately. I eat very well. This is also a weight I can easily maintain and feel good training hard at. It is not my intention to become any bigger really but now to start going for more definition. To do this, I'm adding a bit of cardio training 3X/week.
I kept it pretty light for this shoot as I just wanted to stick to my goal of posting AFTER photos regularly (the starting BEFORE photo can be seen at the top of the HOME page), about once every 4 months. This is because: 1) I said I would; 2) to continue to track affects of weight training for a menopausal female; 3) hopefully continue to inspire and motivate others, and 4) keep me focused on my personal commitment to clean eating.
A gym friend approached me at one point and told me what he thought I needed to do, part of that being to go out and have some drinks and enjoy Miami's night life; he said that I then wouldn't be so miserable. Wow...this is from someone who has had conversation with me but mainly about himself and he knows absolutely nothing about me on a personal level. He made a ton of assumptions, all incorrect about what I need though his worst faux pas was to presume I am miserable. I know a lot of women who say that their inability to reach their goals is because they don't get the support they need at home. To them I say - How badly do you want to become your best in your life? My greatest fear is that I will never realize my full potential. I wake up every day and promise myself to strive towards being my best, not just as it pertains to training and diet but in all endeavors. Never let anyone tell you who they think you should be, or how you need to live to be happy. When you develop your inner champion, life's greatest treasures become yours. There is an infinite amount of happiness in this! And this girl below? AGING to perfection and trust me - it starts from the inside!