Last week, I shared with you thoughts about my aging body. Turning 50 has made me very critical of myself, as I want to be sure that I have done everything I want in life, lived life on my own terms, and still feel that I “am myself” as I continue to navigate through life. What I did not share with you is how I continue to preserve and care for my body.
If there is anything I learned this past year it is truly that our health is very important….and without it, you just do not know what could happen to you with illness and stresses that are out there. I have been very fortunate to not really have been affected too much from the pandemic. I do have some “acquaintances” that did not do so well with this virus. But, I also have to say, I have friends and other people in my life that even before this crazy virus, have had several health problems that potentially lead to unfortunate resolutions. Now, as a former PE major in college, and a current runner, of course, I thrive to keep myself as healthy as I can….not just concern about the “image” of it all!
So, how do I do it? Let me outline my daily, weekly, and monthly routines.
- Sleep! I am not a great sleeper. Sleep is so important, and it is a struggle for me. I fall asleep, but I cannot usually stay asleep. So, I allow myself to sleep when I can. If I want to stay home and go to bed early on any given night, I do it. If I want a nap, I take it. If I want to sleep in late, I welcome it! This is my ME time….and I have trained myself to take full advantage of it.
- Water! I start my day with a large bottle of water (equivalent to 4 servings). This is a daily routine, no matter what. I know it helps flush my system out each morning and starts my day out strong. Throughout the day, I continue to drink 2-4 regular size bottles of water (more if I work out). Then I finish my day with the large bottle of water to clean out anything from the day and settle my system.
- Food! I have learned over the years that I can no longer eat whatever I want. However, I cannot stay with a diet. I follow the rule, everything in moderation. I always start my day with breakfast. And, this is where I try to consume most of my carbs. I am a creature of habit and I LOVE peanut butter…so it is usually two slices of wheat toast with all natural peanut butter (currently I am eating Smuckers). Then, I have a small snack later in the morning (on work days). This includes carbs if I am planning a workout later in the day. I make a protein shake for lunch each day. I include “super fruits” in this smoothie, and I am NOT a milk drinker, so it is always almond milk. However, this keeps me full for about 3 hours…and especially if I am working out later, I need an additional snack. So, I eat a protein bar later in the afternoon. I LOVE Quest protein bars….and I am pretty particular on flavors….but these do keep me going during that afternoon slump and keeps me full through the evening workout. And, finally, I usually eat a sensible dinner (expect on Fridays and Saturdays…these are truly my cheat days!). But….I am the first to say…I don’t turn down a good sweet treat! And, I am ok with allowing myself this every once in a while!
- Wine and Margaritas! Again, everything in moderation….most weeks (haha)! Who doesn’t love a good Margarita! I limit myself during the week, most of the time, and allow myself to enjoy life on the weekends.
- Exercise! As you have heard me say, I do strive to workout 3-5 days per week. I always ensure that my weekend workouts are longer, as I have more time. I do a little bit of everything. I LOVE my running days and training seasons. But, when it is hot….and it is in Houston….I also dabble with HIIT workouts, kickboxing, and spin classes. And, no matter what, I include some weight training each week. This will be something I am planning to increase doing now that I am aging, and anticipate that will make a bigger difference and affect my slowing metabolism.
- Vitamins and Supplements! Ok…here is where you are going to call me a little flaky! I totally believe in vitamins and supplements! Here is what I take daily: a multivitamin, a probiotic, a metabolism booster, calcium (remember, I do not like milk!), vitamin B complex, vitamin C, vitamin D, and this year I added elderberry with zinc. It seems like a lot, but so, so, so important! I really do swear by these. I truly believe this is part of what keeps me going on a daily basis.
In addition to all of this, I do make sure that I see my gynecologist yearly. I don’t have a general doctor, as I do not get sick, but I do take my daily allergy medicines AND I did get a COVID vaccine. Also, I ensure that I hug my dog every day! I also truly believe this has such a calming effect and it surely keeps me grounded! My daughter is the joy of my life! I talk with her at least 3 times a day….and it keeps my (and hopefully her) stress level in check. I even have been thinking recently about a statement she made. She told a friend one day, I live a life of peace. I feel that is what we try to do. We have stressful jobs and of course, things happen out of our control….but staying away from people who are negative and enjoy “drama” is not something we practice. My friends are important. I make as much time for them as I can…and we try to ensure we talk about life….not just work. And, finally, I try to ensure that I make time for my family. They all live far away, so seeing them regularly is hard, but with the new technology discoveries this past year, we have learned to love zoom!
10 days as of today until birthday number 50. I am ready! I am looking forward to seeing my aging body continue to conquer this world! Stay tuned, my friends!