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I’ve been working out since late January. I’m trying so hard to get myself in shape! It’s coming along, slowly but surely. Since my daughter is home for the summer, she’s joined me at the gym. I’ve learned a lot of things during my journey to get fit. Besides learning the difference between being hurt and being sore, the most important thing I’ve learned is that I must properly fuel my body. I’ve never met a carb I didn’t like but that way of eating doesn’t give me enough fuel to really push myself though a workout. It’s like everyone always told me…you need protein! I try to find ways to add protein to things that I never did before. For example, one of my favorite breakfast meals is oatmeal with bananas but adding a peanut butter energy bar topping gets some protein in there too. Plus, this oatmeal recipe is awesome.
You know what’s hard? Besides working out. Try working out with someone half your age. Yeah. You know all that progress that took you months to make in your 40?s? Check out how long that progress takes when a 20 year old tries it. Two words for you there: Harsh. Reality. I think I had about a half a muscle when I started working out with my trainer in January. My daughter probably had one whole muscle when she started training three times a week at the beginning of June. Now we’re both able to lift the same weights, except she’s quickly moving ahead of me. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve got my head on straight and I’m proud of her. What I walk away thinking is…Joy, why didn’t you start working out at 20?
Make no mistake, there’s a difference between being fit and being thin. I was thin for about 38 years. That’s about when the rubber meets the road and your body says, “Yeah, you just keep doing what you’ve always done but I’m tired. I quit. You do the work.” If you’re like me you just say to your body, “Hey, I heard you but I know you don’t really mean that so I’ll just keep on doing what I did and you…well, you just do your freaking job. Ok?” That’s when my body stopped talking to me and started laughing quietly with it’s head turned, so I didn’t really notice. Then I got fat. Ha ha, very funny metabolism. You’re a riot. Stupid mid-life. I ignored it for a few years and then I hired a personal trainer at my local gym. Recently, he opened his own gym and my training is taking off like never before. I’m definitely getting stronger!
Because I think I know everything, it took me a really long time to acknowledge that I’m absolutely no different from any other human being on Earth. I need to eat a well balanced diet, which includes carbs AND protein plus all those other things that make you able to function properly. I’m happy to say that I’ve finally turned a corner though. I’m exercising with more weight, trying much more advanced exercises than I could do when I started AND I even ran a little one day. (Shocking!) I found that my workouts really suffered when I didn’t fuel my body properly and it also took me longer to repair my muscles. Okay, I’m a believer now!
I really, really wanted to doctor these photos but I didn’t. It’s tough to show how you look, when you’re not where you want to be yet. That being said, I’m better than I was and that’s worth something. If you’re struggling to get into shape…just begin. The little things that you do each day really add up, whether it’s substituting a protein bar for a bag of chips, parking further out in the parking lot so you get a few extra steps in or moving instead of sitting. My trainer reminds me that each little thing builds on itself. It’s up to you whether that’s a good thing being built or not. So true!
Instead of coming home ravenous from a workout and stuffing myself with whatever I can quickly grab (hello potato chips, you’re a potato and you’re easy to eat…wait…old thinking) I make sure I keep on the go snacks on hand (at home and in my gym bag for after the workout) to refuel my body. It’s just as easy to grab a protein bar as a potato chip. Life Choice Protein Bars, sold exclusively at Walmart, are a good source of protein that will help your body recover from even the toughest workout.
Savings!! Take a Life Choice Bars coupon with you when you head out to Walmart!
Now go get fueled up and get your awesome self moving!