I was asked recently to do a post on how I stay fit and have so much energy. I wrote the post but haven’t been able to push the publish button till now. I am not suggesting anyone do this, but this is what works for me. I fear it might be too much info, but here it goes!
Basically, I am a boring person. I get plenty of sleep, exercise regularly, and watch what I eat. That’s it. I weigh just a little more than I did in high school and often describe my body as that of a twelve year old with cellulite. I’ll break it down for you and might end up sharing more information than you have any reason to be interested in.
1. FOOD – I count my calories daily…..not in an obsessive way, but I am always aware of how much I am eating every day. Do I ever overeat? Of course. But when I do, I’ll pull back the next day. I know that I can eat around 1,800 calories a day and maintain my weight. If I eat up to 2,500 any day, then the next day I’ll pull back to around 1,200. It always evens out in the end. Do I eat dessert? Yes, I love sweets, but I seldom eat an entire dessert after a meal. I usually will have just a bite. Also, I factor it into my total calorie intake. I know that eating is all about choices. I might opt for an apple rather than an apple pie. I love my chocolate and like to have mini bags of M & M’s on hand or mini Snickers. I’ll eat a bag of M’s or a mini Snickers in the afternoon, and that will satisfy my craving. I never feel as if I am sacrificing. If I want to eat something, then I’ll eat it, but I don’t overdo it. I always order my salad dressings and sauces on the side. I eat plain baked potatoes or plain sweet potatoes and plenty of fruits and steamed or roasted veggies. I seldom eat anything fried (except my mother’s fried chicken). I haven’t eaten much pork nor any beef in over 20 years, but I do eat fish and chicken. I’ll have bacon now and then, and that’s my pork intake. If I am at home, my typical lunch will be a large serving of fat-free cottage cheese (I love the texture) with fresh fruit, usually grapes. In the winter I often eat homemade soup for lunch. I have a serving of cheese crackers or chips on the side but just a serving. I love a glass of Pinot Grigio or a mixed drink if we go out or are entertaining, but I’ll just have one.
2. WEIGHT – I am 5 feet 8 inches tall and weigh 125 pounds. At this point I should probably mention that I am in my early 60’s. (Is that T.M.I???) During my two pregnancies, my OB/GYN didn’t want his patients to gain more than 20 pounds back then. I wore my regular clothes home from the hospital. I was so glad that I didn’t have to deal with a new born and a diet to lose weight at the same time. I think maintaining my weight is a key reason why I am so healthy. My body doesn’t have to be constantly adjusting to weight changes. It just is what it is. I weigh myself a once or twice a week. I have always been flat-chested, have a long torso and long arms with shorter legs.
3. EXERCISE – I work out at least six days a week, and I love it. I started working out regularly in my 30’s. I go to a 6 a.m. weight and aerobics class at the Y three mornings a week and walk or do a tread mill three mornings a week. I wear a fitbit so I make sure to get my 10,000 steps on most days. In warm months, I also ride my bicycle 30 to 50 miles a few times a week. If you have been reading us for a while, then you know I love to bicycle, and we ride all over the world. Those trips can be strenuous and require me to be in tip-top shape. For instance, when we rode across the USA a few years ago, we averaged 80 miles a day. One day was even 120 miles. I worked really hard to get in shape for that trip and the ones that followed. I won’t go on any bicycle tours now that average more than 60 miles a day. That is a very doable amount of mileage for me. More than that takes away some of the joy because there’s no time to stop and “smell the roses.”
4. SLEEP – I get seven to eight hours of sleep a night. When I worked full time, I only got six hours some nights. I love to read right before I go to sleep. I find that I sleep better after reading than I do if I watch Bravo and the housewives (my station of choice) right before bedtime. We also keep our bedroom fairly cool at night. Mr. Right gets a massage every Friday afternoon (when he’s in town), and I will use that time to take a nap. It’s my treat for making the most of my week.
5. HEALTH – I get a check-up twice a year and paps and mams annually. Sugar diabetes is in my family, and it scares me. One of the people who has it is my skinny and active uncle. I feel that if he can get it, then I can get it. That’s a huge motivator for me to stay active and trim. I also know that tall and thin women are more susceptible to osteoporosis, and I take daily vitamins including calcium to help with that. So far, my bones are equal to someone in her 20’s. I’ll take that.
6. WHAT I DO WRONG – Now I certainly need to let you know my bad habits while I’m at it. I love a Diet Coke in a can – right out of the can. I have cut way back, and now will only have one if I am in a restaurant or deserve a reward or treat. It has to be Diet Coke, and it has to be in a can. Also, I use sweeteners in my tea, which is decaf, by the way (this is my favorite tea, and I LOVE it). I know sweeteners get a lot of bad press, but I use them anyway. Probably the worst thing of all is that I am not a big water drinker. I have to remind myself to drink it.
So, that’s it. There are no surprises and no magic. I just live a healthy lifestyle, and that’s why I have so much energy. I apologize if your eyes have glazed over by now. If you have any questions, I would love to answer them. Meanwhile, I’m going biking.