My New Workout: Getting Back to Basics
Confession: I gained weight in spring of 2020, lost it over the summer, then gained again over the past several months. We allowed sweets to creep into our pantry during 2020, excised it and then went back to it again. As I look at the yoyo-ing- I can only figure I’ve been a little more stressed than I realized.
Prior to 2020, I ice skated three times a week and went to the gym off and on—usually a couple of times a week. I ate a low carb diet that was made up of protein (mainly chicken and fish) vegetables, healthy fats, and low carb bread occasionally. The beginning of March 2020 was the last time I skated or went to the gym. When Florida “reopened” in May 2020, Covid ripped through both the gym and the skating rinks, so we stayed away.
During that time,I purchased chocolate croissants we made every Sunday morning, little pound cakes we got from a local business up the road, and Jason’s peanut butter cups which I treated myself to a couple of times a day until June 2020 when I decided I had to get things back under control.
Instead of ice skating, we began walking about five miles a day, once the parks opened. Just walking and cutting the sweets out had me back to my “normal” weight in about two months time. As we headed into fall, I was mildly depressed and felt trapped at home-even though we could pretty much do what we wanted. We continued to walk each day until Christmas. Brooke came home, we got busy—walked much less and enjoyed sweets and Christmas treats. Once again, the weight began creeping back on.
Here are a few Diet basics I implemented
- We cut out all sweets/carbs–we did it gradually–we got rid of snack foods and sweets over a few weeks.
- We increased protein and healthy fats. We have two larger meals and one small one in the afternoon
- Increased water consumption.
- I started tracking what I was eating on a fitness app
In April I cut out the sweets, and recommitted to walking. To that we added going to the gym twice a week. This time, the weight hasn’t come off as easily as it did before. I feel bloated, I’ve gained weight, and once again, I am working on getting things back under control.
This past weekend, I spoke with Deb Gutierrez from @debghealth on instagram and shared our discussion on Instagram. Deb has been a personal trainer, and is a functional nutritionist who specializes in working foundational and holistically to restore the body’s balance. I was pleased by her no nonsense approach, and focus on keeping things simple and easy to incorporate. You can watch our discussion here.
She suggested I get back to basics—my basic diet—the healthy one that actually worked—gentle intermittent fasting—-and that I get back to basics in the gym too. We suspect that I have lost muscle mass from not being as physically active last year so job number one is to start working on rebuilding muscle mass by lifting heavier weights and focusing on a just a few basic exercises three times a week. I will be walking the other days. (Plus, I will be doing my morning yoga session just because I think stretching and balancing is really important and it feels great as well)
Deb encourages getting a good night’s sleep, and spending time outside every day in addition to maintaining a simple, healthy diet, walking, and a workout plan centered around weight lifting. Now, here I want to point out that I am not a huge fan of weight lifting. I spent a lot of time in the gym in the 1980’s-and1990’s and got really burned out on it. It just got really boring and complicated at the same time. It was boring to do and we kept trying new techniques and supplements—mainly my former husband—after about fifteen years of it, I had had enough.
When Deb suggested I go back to lifting heavy weights, she recommended just a handful of exercises that don’t have to take hours—which I was glad of. The exercise she recommended were lunges, bench press, rows, deadlift and pull ups. I know that some women fear that if they lift weights they will get “big” or masculine—I have not found that to be true. The only women I knew in all the years of weight lifting, who got “big” were taking hormones or steroids. Plus, the idea is to work on my diet at the same time—plus, when I was young and worked out all the time I never got “big” so it really isn’t a worry for me.
My Basic Workout
We started by using machines for several weeks, slowly increasing weights. I then went to the “free weights” part of the gym. I do lunges, leg presses, sit ups, rows, dips, bench press, and deadlifts.
I tax myself, but I don’t go overboard. I like to track the weighs and reps so I can see my progress. Right now, I am using a paper notebook–I haven’t found a fitness app I love yet.
I plan to change up the exercises I am doing after six weeks. I recommend working with a personal trainer–look for one who works with older people–for the first few sessions so you learn to do the exercises properly.
I look at this routine as an opportunity to tune up my health—all of this leads to a healthy immune system, a healthy weight, and hopefully energy and vitality. If ever there were a time to really dive into a healthy lifestyle, It would be now, so I hope that you will join me in prioritizing a healthy lifestyle and implementing healthy habits.
I thought I’d update you once a month on Mondays to let you know how things are going, and invite you to join me in making these tweaks to a healthier lifestyle. I am a believer in tracking progress—I keep a little spot at the back of my organizer to track various things each week, and will be tracking my progress along the way. Plus if you want to see some behind the scenes of my workouts and progress, check out my instagram stories.
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For more fitness outfit: Complete Guide to Workout Clothes For Women Over 50
For more on fitness and getting in shape:Wellness Wednesday: baby step your way to fitness