My new exercise regime - doing nothing!! Yes I am being very bold and taking a break for a few weeks and here is why ...
I have spent the last, probably 18 years, looking for an exercise I love - possibly longer! And still not found it. I totally agree that we should all move more and that exercise is important. I have tried it all - from using a creche at the local sports centre for my daughter so I could do a class or go for a swim (I hated leaving her) to doing four weights workouts a week guided by The Body Coach. I've had PT's, I've tried yoga and pilates, I have even tried running (hated it and it's not great if you are prone to stress) but I did manage to complete a 5 mile road race. I also did the Palace to Palace bike ride which was a fabulous experience but I have no desire to repeat it.
In particular though I have loved the results from lifting weights. I love to feel strong and I love the shape it gives my body. It's an excellent full body workout for those approaching 50 and beyond. For the past 8 years I have had a wonderfully supportive friend and PT to guide me and her help has been invaluable.
I have always been petite and my figure hasn't changed much since my twenties and although midlife meant I gained a stone or so a few years ago, I did lose it with the help of The Body Coach SSS Plan and despite many of the high profile Coaches knocking his method, I found it did lead me onto educating myself a lot more and was a fabulous spring board for understanding nutrition and exercise and what I want to achieve.
Below, I'm happiest when I am on the ski slopes ... but clearly that is no good for a weekly exercise routine!
I've exercised with friends, I've been away on fitness weekends, I've joined Facebook support groups, I've exercise at home. But I still don't love it. I do it because I really should and because I want to maintain my fitness and my shape and look after my health.
Then a few weeks ago after I had to cancel yet another PT session due to illness my friend and PT messaged me and said may be it is time to take a break and try something new? And do you know what, I really appreciated that she didn't just want to take my money, that she really could see I was struggling with it all and needed to reconsider.
Below, I really enjoyed Nordic Walking when I tried it last year.
What do I really want to achieve?
I want to move more for my health.
I want to maintain my youthful looks and shape - genes to play a big role here - my mum is still the same size she was in her teens/twenties.
I'd love to lose the stubborn fat that has always plagued my middle region (the bit no one else ever notices) even before I had two children - but I also accept the lifestyle changes I'd have to make are probably too extreme for me!
During my reading and researching, working with coaches and listening to podcasts one thing that keeps popping back into my consciousness is the impact stress has on our body and especially how excess cortisol finds its way to our tummy and stays there in the form of fat.
And yes I am very stressed. I take on too much. I suffer from anxiety and I am no stranger to depression. I have a phobia that I deal with although nowadays it is less of a problem. I worry constantly and suffer from mummy guilt despite the fact I have two grown up children who have become amazing young people with happy and successful futures ahead of them. My parents are not getting any younger and need me a little more than they did, thankfully they are local.
Then I beat myself up if I don't exercise!
Something had to change.
I recently won a Bucks Buoys charity auction bid for a one to one consultation with Vicki from Strong Mama in High Wycombe.
"From pregnancy fitness through to post natal recovery and pelvic-floor-friendly strength training, to nutrition that will help you heal and balance your hormones all the way through to the returning athlete and the peri to post menopause years."
It was such a helpful consultation and whilst there are lots of factors I need to address, stress and cortisol plus my tendency towards insomnia, are really not helping and the conclusion was to take a break from it all. Sit back and think about what type of exercise you might want to try.
And use the time to sort the stress - for me that is going to be to finally finish the decluttering of the house I have wanted to do for so long but never have time. It is going to be about creating a better infrastructure in my life. A better self-care routine. Then trying out different workout options.
And have you noticed there is a gradual shift away from diets, fads, diet clubs, plans etc ... I have heard of two books that have launched since Christmas both focusing on dispelling the myth that we need to diet, that there are healthy and unhealthy foods, that sugar is the enemy etc etc. None of which are true and none are scientifically proven and yes I have changed my mind on this!
The books are:
Eat it anyway: fight the food fads, beat anxiety and eat in peace
101 way to lose weight and never find it again
and are worth getting.
The best thing for your health and your weight - slow down, prioritise sleep and self-care, eat a bit less (calorie deficit) and move a bit more (go out for a walk, take the stairs etc). Don't demonise any food just eat in moderation, a wide range of different foods, as natural as possible. Drink more water and less alcohol.
So a very honest post! I will let you know how I get on!
Welcome to Fifty & Fab, a lifestyle blog to inspire you. I am a blogger with a passion for writing about style, beauty, health and fitness with a focus on the over 50's. I am based in Marlow but work across London and the South East.
Hi, I’m Michelle and my blog Fifty & Fab is all about my journey into and through my fifties. I share style tips, health and fitness inspiration, I talk about my holidays and days out and I tell you about my beauty regime and my lifestyle. I hope you might pick up a tip or two and get some inspiration!
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