How did you get started on your fitness journey?
I got started on my fitness journey at 30 years old after taking a serious look at my family photos at home. I saw a disturbing escalation in my weight. My self esteem was also at an all time low. My daughter was three years old at the time. I was giving her all my attention along with my husband. I was unintentionally neglecting myself and it took three years to figure this out.
What would you say is the best thing you gain from working at fitness, being fit?
The best thing I have gained from being fit is having a higher self esteem. I am a woman of faith but God got me through neglecting myself to protecting myself.
I also gained so many new friendships — friends who are positive and supportive through the fitness journey because they are going through the same journey.
What’s your fitness routine?
Well, I wake up and do stretching exercises on the floor at home. This gives my body a chance to wake up and warm up before I start my day especially being in my 50’s.
Mondays, I go to the YMCA to step class for my cadio. I put in about 30 minutes after class for more stretching, core and weights.
Tuesdays is my all time favorite, Zumba class then core, stretching and light weights
Wednesdays I relax and go to midweek morning church service
Thursdays is spin class with light weights, core and stretching .
Friday is another relaxation day and I weigh in at Weight Watchers .
Saturday morning I walk in the mall with all the other committed mall walkers like myself. This gives me a chance do something different outside of my normal workout routine during the week.
Any secrets to your success or tips for someone looking to see results fast (physically or mentally)?
My secret is your nutritional balance. Watch your intake. Up the annie on your vegetables, protein and water. Pay close attention to what you bring into your kitchen so you don’t have to struggle with eating snacks and foods that has caused you to pack on unwanted weight like, chips, candy, ice cream. Find the next best thing like no sugar added ice cream, cookies etc. Go to the bookstore and read up on the Eat this, Not That list. Look at the nutritional magazines in the grocery stores also. They are a wealth of information.
Do you track your exercise, steps, or your meals? What apps or technology do you use?
I love to track my exercises, meals and snacks on my Weight Watchers app and My Fitness Pal app.
Do you plan rest? What do you do?
I try to rest on Sundays and make it a true day of The Sabbath. I go to church and meditate as much as possible. I ask God to strengthen me during this weight loss journey which started in 1993. I can truly say this journey did not get serious until about 2012 when my daughter graduated from college. Since then I have been feeling pretty groovy!
Talk about your diet strategy.
My strategy to move this process along was to first pray to God over my weight loss journey. Well, I am a woman of faith so I saw God moving in my life. I started working out in group classes. I never thought I would do this because of my self esteem. But, this gave me more motivation because we held each other accountable. I was the type that if you give me an inch, I will take a mile. I would slack off whenever I could get away with it. Then I would be angry at myself the next time I stepped on a scale. I knew I had to get serious about my mind, my body, and my spirit.
What’s an example of regular food day for you?
I like a grilled chicken or fish with spinach. I add a fruit like apples or oranges. If I don’t drink water, I like milk or a low sugar orange juice. I try to watch my weight watchers points daily so I don’t go over my goal for the day.
What do you do to help your mind/spirit/emotional health? Any “exercise” routines or practices?
I pray first daily, turn on gospel or motivational music to calm my mind while doing my morning stretches on the floor. I don’t do a lot of yoga but when I do, it feels so good to my body.
What would you suggest to someone who is over 45 who wanted to get fit? Where do they start?
Start with getting a fitness coach. I believe the YMCA gives you some free coaching sessions to get you started . Don’t waste time like I did. You can only run for so long. The YMCA also offers periodic nutrition and weight loss classes during the year.
What would you say to someone to encourage them to start working on their fitness?
Put this acronym on your refrigerator, tablet or whatever you look at everyday.
PUSH- push until something happens. NEVER give up on your journey!
Talk about your husband/wife being on this fitness journey with you? Do you work out together? Did you get started together or did one start and motivate the other?
I have been married 32 years and for the life of me, I could not get my husband to work out in a facility with me until we had been married about 11 years. He would walk and do his own weights at home. Now he motivates me to get up and go when I want to lay around sometimes. This has moved my weight loss and fitness goals into a more aggressive direction. My husband likes the weights and swimming. I go to alot of different classes that also incorporates the weights. Just the other day he said he wanted to try the Yoga class. What!!!!!!!! I couldn’t believe it. After 32 years of marriage! He said another guy at the YMCA told him about the class and motivated him to try. Yepeeeeeee, I said!
By Sharon Williams | Photos by Melissa Donald
P.S. Check out more ways to start getting fit here.
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