How I Started: I began my fitness journey at age 50. I focused on my appearance first. I was not only overweight, but my body had the appearance and feel of bread dough. I was exhausted. I no longer had the strength, stamina, or balance to perform tasks that at one time were automatic. So I joined a gym and started working out.
How I Progressed: I changed my diet, began walking, and I made some progress. I did not have the knowledge to make real progress. I became discouraged. Fortunately, I met a trainer and in a moment of desperation, I sent a text to him that read, “Help Me”! Ten years into my journey and at 60 years old, he is still helping me. If you choose the right person to support your fitness journey, that person will individualize a plan.
Keeping On Course: The more consistent my routines, goals, and meal plans, the less I need to track all the details. My family learned that my scheduled workouts were nonnegotiable unless there was a true emergency. Taking those precious hours for myself did not result in any family or work-related crisis, but it did help me bring a stronger, energized, happier giver to everyone.
My Diet: I take the time to sketch out a meal plan. I will usually prepare some protein (25-30 grams each meal), a hot or cold salad, grains, and vegetables so I have food available.
Drinking 80 to 90 ounces of water is my daily goal. I start each morning with at least a 20-ounce glass of water and then enjoy my cup of coffee (no sugar). I never skip breakfast. I eat three meals and two snacks per day and try to stop eating by 6:30pm.
Breakfast could be one whole egg and an egg white, boiled or fried in light olive oil. I often enjoy a thin slice of whole grain/seed bread toasted with avocado and egg, sprinkled with Everything Bagel. I also prep overnight oats made with Bob’s Red Mill Muesli and almond or oatmilk.
Lunch often includes a mixed leaf salad with tuna or Perdue lightly breaded chicken breast tenders (100% natural) with tomatoes, peppers, onion etc. I use olive oil as a dressing and Italian seasoning or Everything Bagel.
Dinner includes a lean meat or salmon and lots of grilled or broiled vegetables. I usually broil a large sheet of broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, brussel sprouts, mushrooms, etc. drizzled with olive oil and some seasoning of choice.
On workout days, I drink at least one protein shake. I keep Premiere Protein shakes on hand for those times I am rushed and they are great for traveling. I also make green smoothies and include Orgain Organic Protein powder.
Snacks include nuts (carefully measured out and with light or no salt) and Two Good greek yogurt with fruit. For those days I really want something more dessert like, I will add a measured amount of dark chocolate chips to the yogurt.
Salty snacks with a crunch are my kryptonite. I have to really be mindful when it comes to these snacks. If I plan to bring those type snacks into the house, it would include Blue Diamond Almond or Pecan crackers and PopCorners with sea salt. Both have few ingredients and the portions are sastifying.
At my age I am trying to include 25-30 grams of lean protein in each meal. Maintaining muscle helps to keep me strong and manage my weight. Muscle burns more calories than fat.
To Others: Don’t wait until you “feel like it”. Do it, your feelings will catch up as you begin to see positive changes in your mental and physical health.
By Dot Malone | Photos by Erika Doll