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Posts Tagged ‘over 40’


losing love handles

It has been 2 weeks since I started seriously working on a healthier me. I am happy to report I have lost 4 pounds. I am also happy to report that I have lost almost 3 inches, mainly from my love handles and hips (my hips are the biggest part of me, thanks to my heredity!)

Sidetracked by snow and ice

I did great with recording everything I ate for the first week, but the second week we had a snowstorm which turned into ice. Hubby went to work late and got home early every day, my older kids were hanging out here since they couldn’t drive all around, which means I had to cook meals they would eat too. I think I could’ve lost another pound or 2 this past week if not for that, but I digress.

I have actually increased my exercise, other than a few days last week (which caused me to get stiff and achy in my back again!)  I am doing what is called High Intensity Interval Training. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is about mixing high intensity bursts of exercise with moderate intensity recovery periods. It’s brutal but has incredible advantages. It’s the quickest way to get in fit, lose fat and build stamina.

High Intensity Interval Training

When we do aerobic or cardio exercise, we were always taught to stay within 60-80% of our target heart rate. When you utilize HIIT, you work at the lower heart rate for a specific period and then you do a short, high intensity burst, pushing your heart rate to close to its max.

I use a treadmill for now. When the weather gets nicer, I will go outside some, but for now, I like to be able to control the workout with the treadmill.

treadmill High intensity training intervals

I can tell a HUGE difference in my stamina. I can walk up a flight of stairs without huffing and puffing, and 2 weeks ago, we went to a local mountain for a hike. While I didn’t do fantastic, I could tell my body was in better shape than it had been. I am looking forward to climbing to the top of our little mountain very soon!

There is lots of info on HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) online. I am going to show you how someone who was horribly out of shape put this to work.

A workout for an overweight, out-of-shape 40 something woman

A few notes- 30 minute workout, base speed is determined by you, mine has increased as I have gotten in better shape, I usually drag out the last slowdown and cooldown a few minutes. And this workout can be for anybody, lol*

*I am not a doctor or medically licensed individual. Please check with your doctor before beginning an exercise program!

Interval timer Intensity Speed Incline
1- warmup 0-4 min 4 base speed 0
1st hill 4-6 min 6 base speed 6
slowdown 6-8 4 base speed 0
1st speed burst 8-10 6 base +.4 0
slowdown 10-12 4 base speed 0
2nd hill 12-14 9 base speed 8
slowdown 14-16 4 base speed 0
2nd speed burst 16-18 9 base speed +.8 0
slowdown 18-20 4 base speed 0
3rd hill 20-22 9 base speed 8
slowdown 22-24 4 base speed 0
3rd speed burst 24-26 9 base speed +.8 8
slowdown 26-28 4 base speed 0
cool down 28-30 3 base speed -.2 0

This is basically 2 minute intervals of lower intensity and higher intensity. The better shape you are or move into, the higher the levels will need to go. I am actually in the process of moving my intervals to 3 minutes on, 1 minute slowdown, but not quite at it yet, more like 2.5 minutes high intensity and 1.5 slowdown. Download a printable copy of HIIT workout.

What progress can you expect?

FYI- when I began walking on the treadmill for 15 minutes a day in November, my base speed was 2.5. I could not do 2 minutes at an 8 incline. My base speed is currently 2.8, my max speed is 3.5. It is not quite a jog, but almost there! I also do one interval on elevation 6, the other 2 on elevation 8. I like to hike, so speed is not my only goal. I need to be able to climb hills, so using the elevation on the treadmill really helps with this.

For someone who is an athlete, this may not look like much, but it has made a huge difference to me. Whenever I exercised before, I never really felt a difference or saw something I could measure, but by using the HIIT and monitoring my heart rate (I just use what is on my treadmill, although I would like a fancy, schmancy one!) Because I can see the difference, I am motivated to stick with it, unlike ever before.

I believe that by continuing at this rate, I will be able to reach my goal of losing a total of 25 pounds by April!

My Journey to Balance

While working on the body, I am also working on my emotional and mental health over at my other blog. If you feel overwhelmed with your life, I encourage you to come on over and participate! It’s FREE!

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The look at what worked for Christmas and what didn’t was very helpful for me so I thought I would try the same approach for looking over this past year. The year 2010 was a pretty tough one for me!

What didn’t go so well this year-

My year started out with me working in corporate America. I had come through a very stressful Christmas season dealing with some family drama (a mentally handicapped brother, and another brother and his family, long story). I had spent Thanksgiving week in the hospital as I thought I was having a heart attack.

In my job, as a sales manager, I was responsible for the “sales quota” for my district. Being in recession, and a very slow 1st quarter, it was difficult to accomplish what was being asked from me. I increased the number of hours I was working, upwards of 80 hours a week. I could not turn off my work, it was always there with me. My boss even realized how tough it was on us and scheduled a retreat at the end of May. It was nice to get away, but we STILL had to get the work done.

I started writing my personal blog in May, Ramblings of a Woman. It was a way for me to vent, but it was also a way for me to learn about the blogging world and how it all works. It was a huge learning curve at first, so much to know! I realized, though, that I love to write and connect with my readers!

In June, I served on jury duty for the first time. It was a very interesting experience. I can’t say I would want to do it again, but it truly opened my eyes to my community.

Winding up tighter and tighter

All the while, my stress level was compounding. I always felt like I was climbing out of my skin and got to the point where I had to have a glass of wine every night just to be able to sit still. I talked to my doctor about how I was feeling (I was already on some meds for depression and anxiety). He suggested I wait until after my upcoming vacation and see how I felt.

Vacation was good, although it took me too long to unwind. When I returned home, my stress was all still right there. One of my last straws was my boss’s boss stating in a broadcast message that to be able to accomplish the company’s objectives, we were to put forth effort 24/7. It was the next week that I had to prepare and present a mid-year review to my boss.

The meltdown

I could not concentrate on the reports. I could not wrap my brain around what I was supposed to be presenting. I could not find info I needed. My mental capacity was decreasing daily. I could hardly talk to my staff, and only left the house for absolutely mandatory meetings. Everything else I did by email.

When I met with my boss for my review, I fell apart. Into tears. Could not make it through, could not intelligently present my data. I left and immediately called my doctor. I believe I would have checked myself into a hospital if I had known where to go at that point.

My doctor immediately pulled me from work and put me on medical leave. He added and changed some medications. And I had to try to explain to everyone what happened to Superwoman. The one who had it all together.

Wearing the mask

You see, nobody knew I was suffering. Nobody at work, nobody at church, not my friends, and not even my family knew just how bad it was. I think my husband was getting a clue, but I did so well at pushing on, pressing forward, that people were shocked when I dropped off the face of the earth.

***And I want to reach out here to you, my reader. I know that there are some of you out there who feel this same way right now. You are overwhelmed and drowning and yet you won’t cry out for help. Since I didn’t ask for help sooner, I had to completely step away from my life. You may or may not need to do that, but the sooner you ask for help, the better.

Find someone you can talk to ~~ Be very blunt with them ~~ Tell them what you need help with~~ Make some changes for your sake and the sake of those around you!

While this post ends on a heavy note, be sure to read the next one! I will be talking about what went right this year, and what I learned from what went wrong.

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There are always areas of our lives that we want to work on or improve. We all don’t necessarily have the same things to work on, but we all something we want to improve. And we usually complain about those areas in our lives quite a bit, but don’t end up doing much about it anyway.

As I am preparing for some major changes to my blog in near future, I came across some great 31 day programs! There are 8 different areas of focus, I encourage you to take a peak at each and see which ones reach deep in your heart and go for those! Do NOT try to read and implement these 8 blogs over the next 31 days! You cannot effectively change that much at one time. Good news is, they will be archived, and once you work through one or two areas, you can come back to a different one to work on next!

I appreciate the time and effort these talented women are putting into these projects!

31-Days-550x344

Emily is the hostess for 31 days of Grace :: Chatting at the Sky

Kendra is hostess for 31 Days to an Inspired Table :: My First Kitchen

The ‘Nester’ is hostess for 31 Days to a Less Messy Nest :: Nesting Place

Emily is hostess for 31 Days of Living Simply :: Remodeling This Life
31-Days-1

Melissa is the hostess for 31 Days of Autumn Bliss :: The Inspired Room

Jennifer is the hostess for 31 Days to More. . .With Less :: Beauty and Bedlam

Darcy is the hostess for the 31 Days to a Better Photo :: My 3 Boybarians

Sandy is the hostess for the 31 Days to Stress Free Entertaining :: Reluctant Entertainer
31-Days-2

Once you decide which programs you are going to follow this month, leave me a comment here so I know who I will see and where!

I have written quite a bit about several of these subjects as well. Feel free to check out my archives to read more about my journey!

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We watched ‘Under the Tuscan Sun’ last night

under the tuscan sunI am a bit envious of Frances’ freedom to just buy a villa in Italy. Now, granted, she got that freedom by her husband having an affair and and a nasty divorce, so I don’t envy that part! (if you have not seen it, you can watch the trailer here). She arrived there with the one suitcase she was traveling with. The ability to start afresh with no physical burdens to bear is an awesome thought.

Minimalism

There is a move in this country, and even the world, called minimalism. It has also been called voluntary simplicity. As we have achieved and acquired so much in our lives, it now feels if IT is weighing us down.

The more stuff you own, the more your stuff owns you.

As I have been journeying down the road from my mental meltdown, and working through the healing process, I have been trying to redefine who I am, what I want from this life and what I want to give back to those around me.

I know now that I do not care for this house full of stuff. (I am so glad we didn’t upsize 3 years ago!)   I grew up in a very cluttered home and have realized the clutter makes me anxious (don’t need any more anxiety!)  So I am working currently on beginning to clear some of the extra stuff from our home. I want to create some ‘white space’ around me, room to breathe and create a beautiful yet simple home for us to relax in.

The more things you commit to, the less of ‘you’ there is.

Speaking of relaxing, the minimalist movement is not just about reducing stuff, it is about creating space in your life, space for the things that are most important to you. Living life YOUR way, with balance and peace in the areas that matter the most to you.  People who live a minimal lifestyle are living intentionally. They may be involved in activities or committees, but they choose intentionally how they want to spend their time by what is important to them.

Minimalism does not look the same for everyone.

There are some who are part of the 100 item challenge, I don’t think I’ll ever be there! Maybe 1000 things?

Others reduce their belongings and purchases to leave a smaller footprint on the earth.

Myself, at this point, am at the point where I am minimalizing mentally and emotionally, to quiet the noise in my head from several years of overload. The piles of clutter around me are indicative of what is happening inside my head. 

As I begin to quiet the noise and be comfortable with who I am and see the beauty inside, I am ready to create some beauty around me. I finally feel I deserve it!

The Healing Process

As part of my healing process, I have greatly reduced the things and activities I am committed to, even my job (currently on medical leave). The majority of what I am currently involved in either has to do with taking care of my body, soul and mind (gym, doctors, and church!) or spending time with my family. These are the most important things in my life!

Eventually I will have to add back in other things, but at this time, I am enjoying gaining peace within my soul and mind. God has been gracious to come down and meet me where I am, broken and desperate, and move me towards healing.matthew 11:28 poster

What are your thoughts or experiences with simplifying your life?

My goal is to help as many women as possible with these issues we all deal with! Be sure to subscribe via email or RSS so you don’t miss any posts! If you know of someone who would benefit from the info in this post and in my blog and you would like to share with them, please click on the appropriate link below!
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Resources for minimalism and voluntary simplicity

http://zenhabits.net/

http://www.zenfamilyhabits.net/

http://www.becomingminimalist.com/

http://www.choosingvoluntarysimplicity.com/

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I am participating this week in a challenge for Get Back to Blogging and Jumpstart Your Blog. I will be redoing and reposting some of my earlier posts to improve them and also share with some of my newer readers who may not have seen them.

Below the first line is my very 1st post. Take a quick glance and then scroll down past the second line to see the updated version. In the beginning, I didn’t know anything about formatting or pictures! Very BORING, LOL!

_______________________________________________________________________________

How did I end up here? Are any of you asking yourself that question?  I know that I am.  On one hand, I can’t believe what I HAVE been able to accomplish, and on the other, I say, “Is this all there is?”

I am proud of what I have done. I have raised 4 amazing kids (with the help of my dedicated husband and by the grace of God!). I have 6 beautiful grandchildren, with another on the way (can’t wait to meet Kenley Grace in September!) My children put us through some rough times, and I will say that, as teenaged parents, we put THEM through some rough times. 

We were two messed up teenagers from two messed up homes, trying to create a family, a home.  I feel that we did a pretty good job with what we started out with.  Don’t get me wrong, as my kids have grown up I am sure they will be the first to point out mistakes we made!  The thing is this, we sincerely had their best interests at heart. We wanted more for them than we had, and I am not talking about “stuff”.  I am talking about love and security and connection, a sense of belonging.  The cool thing is, that as they get older, we able to talk about how they felt growing up.  About the mistakes we made and they made.  And, as they take issue with some of what we did, and they see us as the imperfect parents we are, they understand that we are not perfect, we are human, just as they are, and they begin to understand why we did what did and still do what we do. 

I just pray this, that they will carry our successes and learn from our failures to the next generation.  Will they be perfect parents?  No, there is no such thing.  But, maybe, just maybe, they have learned that the most important things are not things at all. It is about relationships, about connecting, about experiences, about loving one another and being loved in return. 

Is our family perfect now?  How boring that would be!  I have 4 adults/young adults who are trying to figure out who they are and what they want to be when they grow up, and how they want to live their lives.  It is an exciting journey to watch.  In my generation, you were supposed to know “what you wanted to be when you grew up”.  I want my children to know, and I want you to know and understand this, that that journey began when we were very young, and it will continue till the day we leave this earth.  The parents of our generation were taught to get an education, get a job, and settle in for their “life”.  This generation is SO different!  I think that so many of us in my generation feel discontent because we don’t feel right settled into our “life”. 

I will be writing more on this subject as it is close to my heart, but let me leave you with this question?  Have you settled?  Are you still settling?  This doesn’t mean you don’t love your husband, family, children.  Just think about it.  The first step to finding ourselves is to admit we are lost. As we begin this journey, I would love to hear from you and read your comments.

______________________________________________________________________________

Revised Post

How did I end up here?

Are any of you asking yourself that question?  I know that I am.  On one hand, I can’t believe what I HAVE been able to accomplish, and on the other, I say, “Is this all there is?”

I am proud of what I have done. I have raised 4 amazing kids (with the help of my dedicated husband and by the grace of God!). I have 6 beautiful grandchildren, with another on the way (Kenley Grace arrived on Labor Day!). My children put us through some rough times, and I will say that, as teenaged parents, we put THEM through some rough times. 

family picture

In the beginning…

We were two messed up teenagers from two messed up homes, trying to create a family, a home.  I feel that we did a pretty good job with what we started out with.  Don’t get me wrong, as my kids have grown up I am sure they will be the first to point out mistakes we made! 

The thing is this, we sincerely had their best interests at heart. We wanted more for them than we had, and I am not talking about “stuff”.  I am talking about love and security and connection, a sense of belonging. 

The cool thing is, that as they get older, we able to talk about how they felt growing up.  About the mistakes we made and they made.  And, as they take issue with some of what we did, and they see us as the imperfect parents we are, they understand that we are not perfect, we are human, just as they are, and they begin to understand why we did what did and still do what we do. 

I just pray this, that they will carry our successes and learn from our failures to the next generation.  Will they be perfect parents?  No, there is no such thing.  But, maybe, just maybe, they have learned that the most important things are not things at all. It is about relationships, about connecting, about experiences, about loving one another and being loved in return. 

Perfect family?

Is our family perfect now?  How boring that would be!  I have 4 adults/young adults who are trying to figure out who they are and what they want to be when they grow up, and how they want to live their lives.  It is an exciting journey to watch. 

silly family pic

Here they are being their 'true' selves!

In my generation, you were supposed to know “what you wanted to be when you grew up”.  I want my children to know, and I want you to know and understand this, that that journey began when we were very young, and it will continue till the day we leave this earth.  The parents of our generation were taught to get an education, get a job, and settle in for their “life”.  This generation is SO different!  I think that so many of us in my generation feel discontent because we don’t feel right settled into our “life”. 

I will be writing more on this subject as it is close to my heart, but let me leave you with these questions? 

Have you settled?  Are you still settling? 

This doesn’t mean you don’t love your husband, family, children.  Just think about it.  The first step to finding ourselves is to admit we are lost. As we begin this journey, I would love to hear from you and read your comments!

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Do you ever feel as if you are juggling and just waiting to drop something?

As women in America, most of us are taught from a young age, even if is subconsious or by the media or by our peer groups, that we must be productive. We must learn to run our homes, raise our children, volunteer for every cause that comes along, care for our aging parents, reach out to those around us, oh, and did I mention working a fulltime job, whether by choice or necessity? And we are to be a caring and attentive spouse or partner.

And in most Christian circles, we are taught to put all of the above before ourselves, to be selfless and giving. In many ways this is true and biblical, however, I don’t believe that God wants us to pour oursleves completely out for others without getting a refill.

See that is what happens, we give and give and give, until there is just nothing else in us to give. And then the guilt sets in. How could we be so selfish because we haven’t spent enough time for ourselves?

But think of our lives, our energy, our gifts, however you want to picture it, as filling the cup of our life. As we give and share of ourselves that cup gets drained, and once it is empty, it becomes near impossible to continue to give. This is where I ended up a few weeks ago.

What we have to do, is become aware of the level of our cup. We must learn what things drain it too quickly and try to back away from those things, if possible. We also have to find the things that fill our cup. Some of these things will be the same for all of us, but we will have our own individual things that work the best for us.

Some of the things that help refresh me and fill my cup are:

writing
playing with my puppy
sitting by water, preferably an ocean or creek
spending time with my husband
reading a book JUST FOR FUN
attending church
yoga
praying

I am learning that I will have to regularly include these things in my life to keep me full enough to give back.

What about you? What things fill your cup?

My goal is to help as many women as possible with these issues we all deal with! Be sure to subscribe via email or RSS so you don’t miss any posts! If you know of someone who would benefit from the info in this post and in my blog, please click here to share!

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This video shows that social media is BETTER than sliced bread! If you are not using social media, you will very possibly get left behind in this Social Media Revolution. Stick with it, the data is mind-boggling!


Ok people. I admit it. I am slow-going when it comes to social media. I only got on Facebook at the beginning of this year, and that was mainly because I needed to use it for my job. Once I was there, however, I realized I enjoyed reaching out to new people and making friends all over the country, and even the world. I love that my daughter can post pictures of my grandkids getting on the bus on the first day of school instantly. I love that you can share a link that you find funny, helpful, or inspirational with your friends, instantly.

I do have a twitter account. I have 2 followers. And I am not following anybody. I guess that is not a good thing. I have to jump on the twitter wagon as well. I just don’t seem to get it. Can’t get it to click in my brain. I felt that way about facebook too, at the beginning. 

I am enjoying blogging and learning something new everyday. Had no clue there was so much to know about the bloggy world!

What say you? What forms of social media are you most comfortable with? If you don’t mind telling, can you give an age range as well? I am curious to know what ages are utilizing what platforms! Oh, and if anyone has some basic info on twitter, that’s be great!

Here are 2 links that have helped me a bit in my learning process-

Build Your Following Through the Power of Social Media
Social Media Marketing and Blogging Tips by Annabel Candy

My goal is to help as many women as possible with these issues we all deal with! Be sure to subscribe via email or RSS so you don’t miss any posts! If you know of someone who would benefit from the info in this post and in my blog, please click here to share!

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