Tag Archives: fit over 40

When It’s Good to be INFLEXIBLE

Be inflexible!

Huh?

“Wait a hot minute, Tammy!  What are you talking about?  Aren’t you all about flexibility and balance????”

I am!  I’m flexible about many things…

  • food choices
  • working around obstacles
  • the “plan” to reach a goal

But not in all things.

Inflexible Pin
I am NOT flexible about…

  • reaching those goals
  • keeping my word
  • acting with integrity
  • embracing the grind

 
The ends do not justify the means if short cuts were used or if too many compromises were made.

This applies to many things in life besides fitness, but it is important to your health to use science-based best practices for nutrition.  

If the results aren’t sustainable, they aren’t really results.

(Humans are not supposed to always be on a diet.  The metabolism will adapt because it’s designed to do so.  How many times do people keep doing battle with the same 20 pounds just to get to the point where nothing works anymore?)

Short cuts are long-term self-sabotage.

And there are health concerns, too.  Some need to repair some damage from years of being busy, taking care of everything, everyone – expect themselves.

Most just want to feel better so that they can fully participate in life with loved ones.

For those of us who are a little older, it’s easier to accept that there isn’t time to try every diet that is out there anymore.

That’s when it’s important to be inflexible.  It needs to be done the right way this time.  We don’t want to waste time wondering if we’re doing it right.

Sticking to a plan?  Well, that’s a different beast, isn’t it?  That’s where the accountability and mindset work becomes critical.

I never did my work alone. I still don’t.  I rely on my coach to do some of the thinking for me and for accountability.

Are you ready?  

Are you ready to be inflexible about your own success??

site icon

1 Comment

Filed under Life, Motivation, Nutrition, Weight Loss

WHY Did I Keep Quitting?

DISCLAIMER: As much as I’d like to have a visit with you if you think I might be the right coach for you, this post isn’t about coaching. Even if you work with someone, they might just focus on the program and not get into a topic like this – even though it’s critical for long term success. This post is based on my personal journey since 2010. I don’t expect it to resonate with everyone, but it might help one person.

You’ve done it before.  You’ve started a program.  And…then you quit.

I started and quit many times.

And then something changed. 

You might know my story, but I’m digging a bit deeper in this post.

There are several things that contribute to “success”.  Let’s use a working definition of success in terms of a heath transformation as…

HEALTH TRANSFORMATION SUCCESS: Sticking with a program long enough to reach a goal and then having the tools to maintain it.

I didn’t have the THE mysterious thing that I needed to make a health transformation success happen before. Was it a piece of knowledge I was missing? Was it a character flaw? Was it a weakness in my personality??

And then *POOF* it all clicked. It made sense.

It wasn’t fear of dying early was on my mind this whole time, even though the doctors were quite clear about that risk. That was the catalyst for the real work I needed to do.

It was a mindset shift! I needed to figure out WHY I was OK with quitting repeatedly. That’s actually out of character for me.

I needed to be willing to be vulnerable, get my ego out of the way, and be brutally honest with myself as I looked for answers to questions I didn’t want to ask.

I did this to myself.  That’s obvious.  But WHY?????

The reflective work to find the “WHY do I keep quitting” was THE thing I needed to do.

Highly successful people have demonstrated motivation and determination in other areas of their lives.  But they will still sabotage their own self-care!  Right?  I did.  And then I used “lack of motivation” as an excuse.   Or blamed my screwed-up priorities. Those are easy to grab.

But they aren’t the reasons. They are the results of something else.

As a math teacher, I dealt with this daily. Apathetic teens were willing to give up the high school diploma instead of challenging their fixed mindset about how they couldn’t learn algebra and/or geometry. (And I suspect there is at least one adult reading this right now who probably had to power through that particular mindset, too!)

This health stuff and the math stuff are more closely related than most people think.

Be brave.  Ask yourself the hard questions…

  • WHY are you repeating this pattern?
  • Why don’t you think you deserve to fix this??

It doesn’t matter if you’re doing this alone or working with a trainer or coach.  If quitting feels like a better option than pushing through and figuring out WHY you want to quit, there is something underneath that is the driver for what you might think is a a lack of motivation or a weakness in your determination-muscle.

Even if you have a coach who is willing to engage in the work with you about these hard questions, if you’re not willing to dig in, the result will be the same.  The pattern will repeat.

My hard truth was that I didn’t believe I deserved to treat myself better. It felt like I hadn’t earned it.

My self-worth was based on what I did for others.  I was invisible unless I was reflected in another person’s opinion of me.  I wasn’t actually me.  I was some type of character in my own life based on my “roles” (wife, teacher, daughter, sister, etc). 

I’m NOT blaming anyone other than myself for how I felt.  No one expected me to become invisible – quite the contrary. 

People usually want the people they love to be happy and thriving.  But I wasn’t happy, wasn’t thriving, and nothing was going to change until I figured out why I didn’t care enough to change.

I’m not a psychologist, so I’m sure there is more under there to explore, but I needed to have the epiphany that I wasn’t properly caring for one of God’s kids…me.  I needed to step back and look at what was really going on.

And I needed to accept that my self-neglect, which I thought was honorable because I was putting others first, would actually harm them over time as I developed more serious health issues.

Sick, unhappy Tammy would not be a good partner for my husband and would not be a good teacher for my students.

After that, I approached everything like it was a problem at work.  What’s not working?  What will fix it?  Work. The. Problem.

The answer for me was to give up pretending I knew what I was doing, give up control, get help, and do what I was told.  Period.

I resigned to trust that process and be patient.

There have been a few changes on “Team Tammy” as people either needed to leave or I needed something different.  That’s OK and expected.  It’s part of the growth process.  If you take this route of working with a trainer or coach, your job is to find the right one to be on your team.

Refer to DISCLAIMER above! I am NOT the right coach for everybody. Not even going to pretend that’s the case. There are plenty of coaches and trainers out here doing this work online and in person. Do your research. Trust your gut!

My underlying resolve to keep all of this going for myself remains in tact because I was able to adopt a mindset that values self-care without making it seem like selfishness.

8 Comments

Filed under Life, Motivation, Weight Loss

Protein: How Much and Why?

Protein.

You need it.  And maybe more than you’re eating now.

 

Protein 2

If you’re having a strong reaction to reading that, I get it.  But this is an important thing to get right nutritionally.

Food is made up of 3 macronutrients – protein, carbohydrates, and fats.

All foods have some combination of the big 3.  If we purposely avoid one of the macronutrients, and it turns out that your body needs more of that particular macronutrient than you think, there will be problems.

Arguing with that is like saying gravity is a theory and you’re not convinced. 

And there you sit.  Not floating.  (Ok, I’m assuming you’re not floating.  You could be in a hot-air balloon. Gravity is still working, though.)

That said, there seems to be a fear of protein out there lately. Or at least some misconceptions.

I think that’s a backlash to the high protein diets that were popular a few years ago.

The medical profession started throwing up red flags – rightfully so.  I hope they would do that anytime a popular “named” diet is unbalanced.

I’m not getting into food preferences because I strongly believe food preferences need to be personal.  Sustainability is about flexibility.  What I am saying – what I’m not flexible about – is that the human body needs protein.  I’ll explain why.

Humans run on calories.  And we need them from proteins, carbs, and fats in some combination for optimal recovery, energy, hormone health, and mood regulation.

People need micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, etc.) from those foods for optimal functioning of – well – everything inside our bodies that has a function.

Protein and the Immune System

Speaking from experience, teachers are on the front lines of the cold and flu season every year.

sick teacher

After I started lifting, I noticed that I didn’t get sick as often as I used to.

Asked around at the gym and the guys said they didn’t catch many colds.

Why?

One reason may be dietary.  Lifters usually make sure they are getting enough protein.

Dietary protein bolsters the immune system.

Did a little research to find out why.

Can’t lie – I’m not a biochemistry major so most of what I found was written in academic language that was a little dense.

I did find several studies that started with a sentence that said something like…

 

 “We’ve known for a long time that protein malnutrition increases the likelihood of infectious diseases”.

 ~ Dietary protein intake and human health

But why??

Pulled out a nutrition textbook and the explanation there was about the immune response.  Antibodies are blood proteins.  They specifically described how antibodies attack a cold virus.

Protein malnutrition compromises the immune system.  Lifters tend to consume a lot of protein to help us recover from our lifts.  (There are lifters who live full-time in a caloric deficit and they tend to catch colds more often.  That just makes sense.  Fat-loss phases are meant to be temporary because they are hard on the body and the immune system cannot keep up.)

How Much Protein Do You Need?

If you are completely sedentary, the recommendation is 0.8 g per kg of body weight.  That’s about 0.4 g of protein per pound.   So, a 150-pound person who is completely sedentary will need about 60 grams of protein.  If that 150-pound person was maintaining their weight consuming 1800 calories a day, those 60 grams of protein would only be 13% of their total calories!

 

 

Most people who don’t try to eliminate protein sources from their food choices probably eat enough without trying. 

    • 2 large eggs = 12 grams of protein

 

    • The peanut butter on two slices of toast = 7 grams of protein

 

    • Fast food chicken sandwich = 36 grams of protein

 

    • One slice of pepperoni pizza = 16 grams of protein

 

  • Added up = 71 grams of protein.  And carbs and fats.  Most foods have all three.

(This isn’t a suggested food list, but just examples for a frame of reference.  These are estimates. The typical American diet, even in a high school cafeteria, probably has enough protein for the completely sedentary human.)

However, if you get up and go to work or school,  walk a bit, do chores around the house, go to the gym a couple times a week – you need more.

 

If you’re not exercising, but aren’t completely sedentary, I’d suggest 0.6 grams times your body weight. 

That same 150-pound person would want 90 grams, or only 20% of intake from protein. 

Some will argue, cite sources, get all upset with me – which is fine.  Really, it’s OK.  What you eat is your choice.  If I’m not your coach, your personal protein philosophy is none of my business. 

But…

  • if your appetite is out-of-control
  • if you get hurt frequently
  • have issues with recovery from your workouts
  • catch every bug that comes floating by

…I’d encourage you to reflect on whether your body-chemistry is actually on the same page as your opinions about how much protein you need.  Just sayin’.

 dumbells

If you lift or exercise regularly with a favorite activity, go for something in the range of 0.8 g to 1.2 g per pound of body weight.

If you’re an overweight lifter, that might be a lot.  In that case, estimate your lean body mass and then multiply that by 0.8 to 1.2 per pound of lean body mass.

For example, when my body fat was estimated to be 40%,  that meant my lean mass was 60%.  I would take my scale weight times 0.6 to estimate my lean body mass in pounds,  then take that number times 0.8 for a minimum protein intake.  Use 1.2 for a maximum protein intake.

Personally, I like 1 gram of protein per 1 pound of actual body weight because it’s easy.  I train hard, so I don’t feel it’s necessary to worry about whether I’m getting a little too much protein by not calculating my lean mass weight.

Regardless of math and philosophy, if you’re not giving your body the amount of protein it needs, the reality of that will present itself if you start to feel beat up by your workouts. 

If you’re not recovering, look at that protein intake.  That might not be the reason, but it’s a variable that needs to be considered.

 

A Tiny Bit on Protein and Fat-Loss

If you are in a fat-loss phase, those calories from protein are helpful. 

Protein helps regulate hunger.  After eating protein, you may feel fuller longer, which is nice when you’re living in a caloric deficit.

When you exercise, you want to burn fat, right?  

If there is sufficient protein in your diet, the body is more likely to use stored fat as an energy source. 

If you’ve ever heard the phrase “muscle-sparing”, that’s what they mean.  When protein intake is high, the body won’t metabolize muscle for energy instead of fat.

 

Balance First

I know there are different opinions on the issue of protein intake.  However, the majority of adults are busy, don’t have time to research it, and rely on trusted resources.  I hope I’m a trusted resource, and I take that responsibility seriously.

I’m all about balance and am prone to be suspicious of any source telling me to eliminate a macronutrient for an otherwise healthy human’s nutrition.

Coming soon!  

I’ll put together a post about alternative protein sources for people who do not want to eat meat.  There are a lot more options out there than there were just a few years ago. 

I need a little time to research because I’m mostly plant-based eater who gets most of my protein from poultry and animals with hooves.  The animals ate plants – but I’m pretty sure that’s not what you meant, right?  😉 

 

Need more?  You don’t have to figure it out on your own.
For more information…

I’d like to invite you to join my Facebook group that’s focused on nutrition and mindset challenges.  Click here to join>>>

My book about the challenges of reversing your health with busy-adult life is available now.  Click here to find out more>>>

If you would like to learn more about coaching programs, click here>>>

 

https://liftingmyspirits.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Protein-3.png

1 Comment

Filed under Nutrition