Our youngest participant, Jenny from Exercise and Eat, is a 21 year-old college senior who will graduate in December with a degree in journalism and computer science. Jenny likes to stay active with rock climbing, sailing and traveling.
When Karen asked me to collaborate with her on a post about why I exercise, I jumped at the chance. She told me I was the youngest of the group (I’m feelin’ like a baby over here!), but any opportunity to share with y’all is welcomed by me!
I started my journey to health after gaining the dreaded “Freshman 15.” You could see my weight in my face and upper leg area the most, or at least that’s what I was most uncomfortable about, and as a Floridian college student, I felt embarrassed amongst my friends who had managed to keep their weight down or off entirely.
In my (somewhat) younger years, I was a workout snob. By that, I mean that I never thought I had to run, take a kickboxing class or lift weights (ha!) in order to keep my slim figure. I thought wrong. It took me months to get back to where I started, and I try to balance healthy eating and indulgences. Exercise plays a significant role in my life. Since I started, I’ve realized it gives me an outlet to relax during a run, or to release anger on a punching bag. Even though I’m not Michael Phelps (his female counterpart;), I love swimming. Something about the water completely relaxes me.
Overall, I suppose I mainly exercise to look good and feel good about myself. However, the fringe benefits don’t hurt- I love the added energy and how good I feel about myself when I finish a challenging Body Pump class! I’m also hoping it will help stave off illness in years to come! Now, when I step out on the beach, I may not look like Jessica Biel, my fitness role model, but I am proud of what I’ve accomplished and the muscle tone I have!
Bobbie, aka The Anonymous Fat Girl recently turned 32. She is a wife and mother of three as well as the owner of a web site design and development business. Her future plans include changing the name of her blog to "A Non-Fat Girl".
I have spent the majority of my life overeating uncontrollably and not exercising in any way whatsoever. Sitting in front of my tv or computer for hours on end was the usual activity I participated in.
Yes, I knew that the way I was leading my life wasn't conducive to good health and I knew it contributed to my obesity. Every time I visited my doctor for that annual appointment my OB/GYN would shake his finger and me and tell me I HAD to get the weight off, that my health was on the line. Why didn't I listen? Because it seemed all too hard. None of the diets had ever worked before (and they were so expensive too), so why would it be any different this time?
But then last November everything changed. One of my business clients offered to personally train me in his gym in exchange for a website design. I thought, why not? What do I have to lose? I won't have to pay for anything out of pocket; and we'll see if it works.
Not only did my client and trainer Dean set the tone for getting me off my lazy behind, but he started me down a path of health. He had some great ideas on eating right and exercising that I have applied to my life since our training sessions ended three months ago.
I know keeping things simple makes all the difference in the world. You don't need to partake in a fad diet. You don't need to have a trainer like I did. All you need is live by some simple principles:
My thoughts on what is healthy have evolved tremendously.
Eat MORE foods that come from the earth
Eat LESS processed/junk food
Get support from friends, family and the blogging community
. And the weight WILL come off.
It's not just about me losing weight and getting healthy. I have a husband and three children that are counting on me partaking in their lives. I'm still a work in progress and I still have a long way to go, but I have no doubt I will get there. I refuse to let food or obesity run my life - and I refuse to let another 30 years pass me by.
Roy of Contemplative Fitness, age 48, has been working in the field of fitness since 1980. Since that time he has worked as an instructor, personal trainer and also owned his own gym. Here are Roy's thoughts on fitness in his 40's.
I will be honest here; with respect to my amazing 20-year old daughter and my lovely fiancé, when I wake up each morning, they are not my first thought, though they are among my first of thoughts. That first though, what I do think in that first moment of consciousness each day is this,
“What will it be today?”
As in, what will be today’s daily action. Daily action is something I have been practicing since I was 12 years old.
When I wake up, I wonder; will it be a trail run, a hill climb, a paddle of the kayak in the ocean, a beach run, strength training, a bike ride with lots of hills…?
My second though is,
“How soon can it happen?”
And it always happens, I just see to it. Oh, and there are those special days, those blessed blessed days when I get to do a few of them – or all of them.
My mother, a food disciplinarian, taught me early that daily action works best when supported by good daily fuel. In fact, I think of food first, as fuel, and second, as something for the pallet. The better my fuel, the more meaningful my daily action becomes. It has been this way since my mother escorted me to a local police station when I was 12 years old. She took me to sign up for weight lifting lessons. The police had a great gym, and volunteered their time to help local kids to something positive for themselves. I was immediately hooked.
My daily action is when time stands still for me – that’s when I most believe in God, better understand my fellow man, and see the world though a clear mind. To me, daily action and good fuel are truly the stuff of life.
Jody of Truth 2 Being Fit is 52 years young. She has been passionate about fitness since her 20's and competed in and won amateur body building contests. Through her 40's and now, in her 50's, Jody participates in a number of activities including kick-boxing and plyometrics, but her first fitness love in weight lifting. Here are Jody's thoughts:
First I want to thank Karen for asking me to participate in this post. It will be interesting to see how we all look at this & if it turns out that are reasons are similar no matter what age. I do want to mention that the reasons for me losing weight & exercising when I was younger are not the same as now. When I was young, information on health & fitness was not as readily available & talked about as it is now. My prime motivation when I lost my weight way back when was to be thin (not the fat one) and to have guys like me & want to go out with me. Even in my late 20’s, it was more about looking good than anything else.
As I reached my mid 30’s, it was really becoming about being healthy, fit and maintaining that long term…. Yes, even though I still wanted to look good. I see nothing wrong with wanting to look good! As I hit my mid to late 40’s, peri-menopause or the start of the change of life hit. Man, was I glad I had established a good foundation of eating well, exercising AND lifting weights as part of that exercise. It was harder to maintain my weight, pounds wanted to stay on me & the body did not want to stay as “tight” as it used to. My ability to listen to my body & know how to change up my food & exercise helped me & is still helping me thru this time of life. The years from 50 to now have been even harder in this regard but all my hard work to this point has paid off in terms of knowing how to change things to keep me healthy & strong & fit.
In my 50’s, although still young, I hate to say but end of life does start to enter the mind. In my 50’s, I eat well and exercise to make sure I stay strong, healthy and fit for the long term. So that I can be active & take care of myself as long as possible. We also know that exercising & eating well can ward of certain diseases, cancers, diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoporosis and more! Not to be a downer but when my mom passed away from cancer just 1 week short of my 50th birthday, I was taking care of her right up to the end. At almost 50 years old, I was helping her up out of chairs & her bed, helping her to the bathroom, lifting wheel chairs in & out of cars. I know, a downer, BUT my wellness allowed me to do this for her & I know there are plenty of 30 & 40 years olds that may not have been able to do this.
Not only do I want to be able to help others, if need be, but I want to HELP MYSELF stay strong as long as possible. I feel that I am not only a good role model for older people but for younger adults too.. AND my 7 grandchildren. As one of my granddaughters said to her mom one day.. I want to be strong like Nana. That is what I am talking about!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I'd like to thank Jenny, Bobbie, Roy and Jody for giving us their thoughts on fitness through the years.
Care to admit your age and what motivates you to take care of yourself and your body?