Hello my friends~
I hope your holidays have been happy and peaceful, that you’ve challenged yourself a bit, learned some things, and that you’re looking forward to 2023.
This is almost the 50th issue of Thoughtbox, and my sincerest thanks for reading and sharing.
This is that weird time of year where we start thinking about what we call “resolutions”—the promises we make to ourselves. I’ve always thought that resolutions imply that we’ve somehow not measured up.
It can be inspiring to reflect — to decide to get in shape, to stop smoking, to try to give back more, to commit to being a better friend or relative, to read a certain number of books.
But what if you didn’t make any resolutions this January 1st, if you ignored the voice telling you you’ve failed, what you should do… and instead started with yes?
As you enter the new year give yourself some serious love. You are so worth it.
Start with a habit of yes, of affirmation, belief that you can, and you will.
First take a few deep breaths. Then reject negative mental body talk which can be insidious in mid life, especially during menopause – thoughts sneak in about failure, performance declines, weight gain, maybe the changing shape of your body. Get rid of them now!
Say yes to strong.
Say YES to workouts that enable you to get strong
, and to real food that you enjoy to fuel your activities, especially 30g of protein
in each meal (or spread the 90g throughout the day).
And say NO to workouts that promise “fat burning” “lose your love handle”, “shrink your belly”, cleanses, restricting calories, depriving you of the foods you love, inflicting guilt, or shame.
Lift heavy – whatever that means for you.
Cardio is fine because it’s fun – so run, ride, and do sports that get your heart pumping, but don’t depend on it as the main go-to for body composition control (fat/muscle). Don’t burn muscle – build it. I’ll keep saying it: muscle improves metabolism.
Stop believing what the media is selling – new diets, promises, fancy workout programs. Start lifting heavier, and fuel your machine.
Muscle improves metabolism. There, I said it again.
Train with focus on lifting mechanics, intensity, with progressive overload.
Make your nutrition and strength training changes sustainable so you can use your body to do the things you love and need to do. Establish habits to set you up for long-term strength and health.
You’ll often enjoy it, sometimes hate it, but it’s SO worth it.
It can be hard to schedule regular twice weekly workouts, and hard to get to bed early for a morning session. Workouts might be so challenging that you want to quit. It’s more difficult to cook at home with nutritious fresh ingredients than buying packaged meals or eating out. It’s so worth it to eat real, good food and to do strength workouts. You deserve it.
No one is born that way. Self-control, wisdom, dedication is not a biological thing.
I had to learn it.
My evolution has been from from mostly cardio, a low calorie diet, and constant frustration that the more running I did, and the fewer calories I consumed, the less effective weight management became, and I was pretty miserable. I was getting injured frequently when ran, and when when I did daily stuff like gardening. I became less and less motivated to do any exercise, and the funk was bad.
It was enlightening when I began strength training when I was in my 50s. Lifting heavy (my heavy), with a mix of cardio high intensity interval training, and low intensity steady state has helped to build a healthy ratio of muscle to fat, and has alleviated symptoms of menopause. Nutrition that works is mostly
plant-based, and higher protein – essential to building muscle. It’s definitely
not about deprivation. In fact, more
calories with essential nutrients (and make them delicious!)
will be your key to getting strong for life.
I’m here for you. Let’s do it together.
Onward to a new year!