Survival of the fitness: Holiday feeding frenzies

00182714I’ve had a whirlwind couple of weeks. Two road trips (one 30 hours round-trip), a girlfriend getaway (more on that in a future post), my first ever spa treatment, and a lot, lot, lot of food.

I officially fell off the wagon, or as I like to call it, “the back of the food truck” somewhere in Birmingham, Alabama after a barbeque feast fit for a queen. Due to a meat induced high, the details are somewhat sketchy, but there was roasted corn, potato salad, grits, biscuits, sausage and cinnamon buns, and that doesn’t even include dinner. *Sighs*

Today, back to reality. And as 40 year old bodies often do, mine is reacting negatively to the meat parade that just worked its way through my system. I have no one to blame but myself though, so you’ll hear no moaning from me. Instead I’m stocking up on the veggies my body is now most certainly craving and drinking water like I just got out of the desert.

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Somewhere outside a cafe in Italy…

00305920 When I launched this site I was 38. It had just dawned on me that at the rate I was going 40 wouldn’t, by any stretch of the imagination, be what I thought it would be.  I started asking myself some tough questions and began examining the things in my life I was unhappy with. On Monday I asked you some of the same questions. These questions related specifically to living your dream life. What would that life look like and where would you be living it, were just two of the questions.  Today I’m answering those questions myself, and the answers may surprise you…

What would you be doing? If you know anything about me you know that I love reading and writing just about anything I can get my hands on. I can spend days doing (almost) just those two things. If I could read and write for a living that’s exactly what I’d be doing right now. The truth is, reading and writing is what I spend most of my time doing, it’s just that I’m not always reading and writing the kinds of things I want to, and the making a living part has been hard to come by. In my dream world I’d be editing or writing an article/post/book while (and this is where the ‘Where would you be doing it?’ question comes into play) sitting in a cafe somewhere in Italy. Or I’d be writing about my experiences while visiting South Africa or France or *closes eyes and picks a place on a map*, on the plane ride home. Continue reading Somewhere outside a cafe in Italy…

Speaking of losing weight…

pea on fork Editor’s Note: On Monday I shared with you the fork in the road of my ongoing health/exercise/weight loss/fitness battles. Sadly, I’m no stranger to fad and starvation diets. But today I’m sharing a great post from Esther Kane on a better path to weight loss. As a social worker, counselor and “ardent anti-dieter” Esther’s take on dealing with unwanted weight gain in our 40s is enlightening, and she offers a softer, gentler way to achieving weight loss.

Balanced Weight Loss by Esther Kane

Normally, I try to avoid talking about weight loss, being an eating disorders therapist- it can be a touchy subject indeed. But lately, I’ve come to realize that there is what I believe to be, a balanced approach to losing a bit of extra weight if you really need to for health reasons. How did I come to this realization, you ask? Personal experience of course!

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On the road again

00387446 After weeks of laying off the knee I injured in the embarrassing incident now known as The Matrix Paper Retrieval Incident (TMPRI), I finally took the old knee for a test drive. It was a short one. A one and a half mile walk, with Kingston along for support. I even prepared for it by getting myself a pair of those butt/calf toning sneakers (not the Reebok version shown in their soft-core porn ad, but a cheaper, less salacious brand), and donning a knee brace. The verdict – the walk was great – until the day after. My knee, sadly, is not back to its pre-Matrix-move state, and my walks, which had gotten up to five times per week, will probably only be two to three times weekly for the next few months. It’s a fork in the road to fitness I hadn’t expected.

It’s ironic that just before the TMPRI, I’d decided that since so much of what happens to us in life seem out of our control – jobs, lay-offs, the economy – we should take ownership of the things we actually can control. Eating and exercising was at the top of my “Things I can control” list. Or so I thought. The next day I broke the record for the most embarrassing knee injury story ever. Coincidence? I’m not sure.

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Metabolism Madness and Turning 40

00410155 If you tuned in to The Dr. Oz Show on Monday, it probably confirmed some things you’d already suspected. To use myself as an example, why after months of walking, cutting back on my food consumption, and eating (most of the time) a pretty healthy diet, was I not losing weight? According to Dr. Oz, the answer is simple; After 40 your metabolism decreases 5% every 10 years. And, if like me, you’ve been yo-yo dieting your entire adult life, the news gets even worse. Crash diets, disuse of muscles and a drop in testosterone level all add to the metabolism dive. The drop in testosterone was news to me and the rogue hairs that keep popping up on my face (why couldn’t the testosterone drop do something useful like vanquish those hairs?)  So, what’s a women at 40 to do?

While there are a lot of great things about turning 40, rogue joint poppage, mutinous facial hair and decreased metabolism aren’t any of them. So here are a couple of suggestions for managing the post- 40 metabolism slow down:

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