Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Getting fit and staying healthy

"The first wealth is health."
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

I have a confession to make--I'm terribly out of shape--I mean like really bad.  When I walk up the stairs in my house--I get winded.  When I unload the groceries from the car and after bringing a few loads into the house…I'm completely zapped and need to sit down and rest.  Now that's sad!!  I'm also ashamed to admit that I have not been to a gym to work out IN YEARS.

Like so many women, when I look in the mirror…I don't always like what I see staring back at me.  Instead of appreciating and seeing the God-given features that I've been given physically as a woman---I  instead so often just see the flaws.  I'm been avoiding the harsh reality that if I want to make changes in how I feel physically…and if I want to get more physically fit…I have to put forth the effort to get my body back into shape.  I've been doing some soul searching and I know it's time to make this a priority….I need to do a better job about taking care of my body and staying healthy.  While I'm not overweight, I know that I need to get into shape and be more fit for me to live longer and stay healthy.

In my younger years…and really when I think back, probably well into my early 30s,  I was in great shape and very fit.  It was not uncommon for me to work out 3-4 times a week lifting weights, taking a yoga class and running on the treadmill.  I was also a dancer which made staying fit actually fun---it was a love and passion of mine.  I first began taking dance classes from a very young age (3 yrs. old)…so this was primarily my main form of exercise for so long.  I took tap, ballet, lyrical and jazz well until high school.  While in high school, I was the captain of the dance team for 3-years --which definitely helped keep me in shape.

After graduation, I continued to stay active and fit by working out and taking advanced dance classes through my college years.  I danced with a modern dance company at Ricks College (now BYU-Idaho) and after moving back to Texas, I was active in the dance departments at both the University of North Texas and Texas Woman's University studying both modern and ballet dance forms. So for many years, this was my main and most enjoyable form of exercise. 

But as I grew into adulthood, graduated from college and started working as a teacher and later, a school administrator--there was really no time to continue my hobby of dancing.  I tried a few adult dance classes over the years, but felt a little foolish in the classes …I was surrounded by 18, 19 and 20-year old dancers.  I was the "old lady" in the room, so I ended up just quitting all together.  And then, not long after,  I married and became a stay-at-home mom--and well---as the story goes...working out on a regular basis just wasn't a priority for me any longer….my family was. And now that I have three young children, working out has became a rarity for me.

Like many stay-at-home moms, I've struggled over the years with keeping my weight off and staying fit.  Especially now that I'm in my 40s….wowzers... I've learned firsthand the harsh reality of how much harder it is to keep the weight off.  Now I've never really been heavily overweight "by definition"…but I've definitely struggled with staying the size I feel most comfortable and confident at as a woman.  In fact, I rarely ever get in a swimsuit anymore in the summers because I feel so icky about my body.  

When I do make time to go to a gym…I really only like weight training.  I hate running--REALLY HATE it.  So outdoor running-- or-- running on a  treadmill is never appealing to me.  I don't enjoy aerobic classes AT ALL…all that jumping and bouncing around is SO NOT my thing.  But I do enjoy Zumba classes--they are a blast---but the problem is trying to find child care so I can attend on a regular basis.  My husband does a lot of business travel or has church commitments during the week, so I can't rely on him to watch the kids.  And, I have never been comfortable with the child care centers at most gyms….especially where we live now.

But here lately….I've decided it's time to do something about my health and making it a priority to stay fit.  I realized it was time to get in shape and take my health (and my family's) more seriously.  For too long I've let excuse after excuse keep me from working out on a regular basis and staying fit. There are oodles of statistics and research out there that should motivate any woman to want to get in shape and stay fit.

I've had to re-train my mindset and that I don't have to go to a gym to get fit…. I'm learning that there are all sorts of alternatives out there to getting in shape and staying fit other than joining a gym.  Over the past several weeks I've discovered some really effective ways to get into shape all the while staying in the comfort of my own home.

First step to get more fit at home:

The hubby ordered and I have started doing the Beachbody 10-minute daily workout with him--it's a challenging work-out program and what's great…it only takes 10-mintues out of your day to do. Beachbody is a great fitness program.  I also like how they have great online support and free coaching available.

Here's an example of one of the 10-mintute trainer workouts that we've started…

My second step:

I am supplementing the 10-minute trainer with the new PIYO home workout plan.  And oh my….I REALLY LOVE this one.  If you enjoy yoga and want to strengthen your core and flexibility…this is perfect.  You can order the PIYO DVDs here.

Here's a little promotional video that tells you a little bit more about PIYO…

Third step:

For better nutrition and energy, I'm supplementing workouts with the Beachbody Shakeology protein shakes as a meal each day.  After one week of drinking Shakeology, I'm already feeling better physically and have more energy.  You can order the shakes here.

And a little extra link…. for you former dancers out there who may be reading this….in addition to the Beachbody and PIYO workouts, I found this AMAZING free ballet workout online (see below).  I wanted to share it because if you enjoy dancing and/or have experience with ballet--you'll love this one.  It's definitely a booty-kicker!!

I will warn you though it relies pretty heavily on the basic tenets of ballet…this is partly why I enjoy it so much, but even if you don't have ballet training--you'll be okay--you just have to pace yourself. I think any novice dancer can do this workout.  You just have to build up to it and you'll become familiar with the basic ballet positions as you follow along.

Also…in addition to making it a priority to work out more regularly, I'm also working on making healthier meals and snacks for my family.  Here are a few websites I've discovered that I really like with some great recipe ideas...


Keeley McGuire

Savory Sweet Life

Rouxbe Online Cooking School

Healthy Seasonal recipes

Eat Nutritiously

Cook Simple

Finger prickin' good

“If we are creating ourselves all the time, then it is never too late to begin creating the bodies we want instead of the ones we mistakenly assume we are stuck with.” 
 ― Deepak Chopra


  1. Thanks for sharing Jennifer. I too have found that after hitting 40, I have gained a bit of weight and have had trouble losing it. Partly due to a thyroid issue which is finally being addressed as well as my gluten sensitivity. I hate gyms. I own a recumbent bike and a treadmill...just need to get my butt out of bed early and get to it. While I focused on the necessary dietary changes last year, this year I want to concentrate on being more fit and active.

    1. Yeah….the whole age thing stinks doesn't it when it comes to the metabolism. It sounds as if you have a plan in place and can now focus on the fitness side of it. :-)

  2. Thanks for the inspiration. I will be checking out those websites. My friend just became a Beachbody consultant so I've been hearing a bit about it from her. She's never felt better!

  3. Thanks for the resources! It is hard to make one's health a priority when you're busy caring for everyone else!


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