A New Beginning

screenshot_20180922-092401~21373938071..jpgPhysical Activity Scorecard

How physically active are you?  For each answer choice or question answered yes, give yourself the number of points indicated.  Then total your points to determine your score.

 

  1. I participate in active recreational sports such as tennis or racquetball for an hour or more a. about once a week (2 points) b. about twice a week (4 points) c. three times a week (6 points) d.four times a week (8 points) e. not at all (0 points)
  2. I participate in vigorous fitness activities like aerobic dancing, roller blading, jogging or swimming (at least 20 minutes per session) a. about once a week (three points) b.about twice a week (6 points) c.three times a week (nine points) d.four times/week (12 points) e.not at all (0 points)
  3. At least 2 times/week I work out with weights at least 10 minutes a. 2X/week (2 pts.) b.3X/week (3 pts) c.4X/week (4 pts) d.not at all (0 pts.)
  4. At least 2X/week I perform floor workouts (sit-ups, push-ups) a.2X/week (2 pts) b.3X/week (3 pts) c. 4X/week (4 pts) d.none at all (0 pts)
  5. At least 2X/week I perform yoga/stretching. a. 2X/week (2pts) b.3X/week(3 pts) c. 4X/week(4pts.) d.not at all (0 pts.)
  6. I walk to/from school/work 2X/week (1 pt)
  7. I climb stairs rather than use elevators every other day or more. (1 pt)
  8. My school/work/home routine involves activity that fits the following category a. light (1 pt) b. moderate, farm work, walking or similar activities (4 pts) c.several hours of heavy physical activity such as shoveling  (2 pts/day/week)
  9. I do several hours of lawn, garden or similar hobby work/week (1 pt)
  10. At least 1/week I dance vigorously for an hour or more.(1 pt.)
  11. In season, I play 9-18 holes of golf at least once/week and do not use a power cart. (2 pts)
  12. I walk for physical fitness or recreation a. 1-2 hours/week (1 pt) b. 3-4 hours/week (2 pts.) c.5 or more hours/week (3 pts) d.not at all (0 pts)
  13. In addition to the above, I engage in  other physical activity a.1-2 hours/week (1 pt) b.3-4 hours/week (2 pts) c.5 hours (3 pts) SCORING: 0-5 INACTIVE  6-11 MODERATE  12-20 ACTIVE  21+ VERY ACTIVE If your score relegates you to INACTIVE or MODERATE think of activities that can raise you to ACTIVE¹ ¹https://ng.cengage.com/static/nb/ui/evo/index.html?elISBN=9781305396418&nbld=320412&snapshotld=320412&

Seven months ago, I deadlifted 50#.  This past Wednesday, I deadlifted 140# for reps.  Seven months ago I squatted 35#.  Wednesday I squatted 110# for reps.  As of today, I fall into the “Athletic” Body Fat Percentage according to the U.S. Navy Body Fat Calculator.  I am at 19% and yes, I know, that isn’t exactly Olympian but it IS “Athletic”.  I began at “Obese”, moved through “Overweight”, “Average” and “Fit” and now have arrived in “Athletic”.  It’s a good day.

I had lifted and swam and walked and ran and did all kinds of exercise for most of my life but the sad truth is, I had been working for Weight Watchers for about a year and had begun to take meetings that required me to travel, a lot, and was spending long hours behind the wheel of my car and sitting more and more.  At 60, this could have been a deadly decision on my part.  My fitness was failing.  I was missing an occasional workout.  That, along with the travel was destroying me fast.  I was also living in a psychologically abusive environment.  It’s hard to convey the speed with which my utter demise was approaching.  I was changing rapidly and there seemed to be no solution.

A Decision

In January 2018 I decided that my entire life needed a drastic overhaul.  I was a miserable person who had created a miserable life for myself.  Although I had always been fun-loving, I had created a life for myself that was anything but.  I began to remake my life with the basics.  My physical fitness was the first issue to address.  I knew that I had changed since I began traveling but oh my goodness! I had no idea how much! Strength and physical fitness had been my icon for years. I swam laps 2 hours a day for 10 years! I lifted!  The problem was, “I didn’t know, what I didn’t know.” (David)  I recognized David’s knowledge in this area and asked him to help me.  He laid down some pretty serious ground rules concerning my dedication to the process.  I had to be 100% on board.  He would accept nothing less.  I accepted the challenge and began eating David’s Way, including Intermittent Fasting to lose the excess weight that he said that I needed to lose.  I also began strength training via video.  I had been at my Weight Watchers goal for about 2 years and had no idea that I needed to lose any more weight.  David told me to lose 20#, which was a shock, but it was his way or no way, that was the agreement, so I did just that in record time and my fitness began to accelerate.  I started gaining strength and feeling so much better.  My confidence soared.  I began to look better.  I was fast becoming a new person.

Epiphany

After tornadoes destroyed my home while I was in it on March 19, 2018, I pushed for more changes in my life.  I extricated myself from the abusive situation that I was living in and reinstated my nursing license that had lapsed over a 25 year stint as a stay-at-home-mom.  The strength and health gains that I was experiencing was carrying over into every aspect of my life.  I have never looked back.  My choice was to be strong and healthy or to be abused.  Thank God for Davis’s Way.  It took strong “medicine” to recreate me physically and mentally after years of abuse and that’s just what I got.  My M.D. had told me that I wasn’t “really overweight” and did not encourage me to make any changes.  I cannot imagine the rest of my life like I was. Now, I have no limitations.  Now, I am physically fit and pressing on towards super fitness.  Now, I have a full-time job with almost unlimited earning potential.  Now, I come home to peace.  Life is good.

The Food

The first question that I am asked by so many people is “What do you eat?”  The first rule here is what I DON”T eat, added sugar.  NO SUGAR.  Some sugars are naturally occurring such as those found in dairy products.  That’s not what I’m talking about.  I’m talking snack cakes here.  You know the difference.  I eat David’s Way, low carb, (NOT no carb!!!), high protein.  For me, that is about 100 grams of carbohydrates and 126+ grams of protein/day.  There is the great debate about how much is too much protein and I understand the concerns because this is a long debated discussion.  At this time, the official recommendations are 0.8 grams/2.2 lbs. of body weight for an average person and 1.2-2 grams/2.2 lbs. of body weight for a strength athlete.  I push myself as hard as I possibly can and it’s getting harder so I eat a LOT.  I build muscle easily now and have no bad effects from the amount of protein that I eat.  I stay satiated.  I don’t have cravings and my lab work makes my M.D. envious.  I am 62. I am doing an Intermediate strength training program that takes all I’ve got so I eat extra protein.  The upper limit for me is about 126 grams.  I eat a lot of eggs and meat and have great cholesterol levels.  You decide what is best for you along with your M.D.  This is what works for me.  If we do not eat carbohydrates at all, our bodies quickly go into ketosis and our energy levels fall and every area of our life can be negatively impacted.  I’ve lived that life.  I simply won’t EVER do that again.  Eat some carbs, you need them, but make those healthy carbs.  Simple sugar is a carbohydrate and breakfast pastries and cookies will sabotage your efforts to be healthy.  Let your carbs be complex sources of energy like beans and baked potatoes.  Whole grain bread is a good choice on occasion and maybe a little fruit.  Don’t go overboard with fruit though because it is a source of sugar that you really don’t need.  Too much fruit can stall your weight loss efforts.

 

ernestine-shepherd-e1339431406886651210177071382736.jpgThe Workout

You can be slim and healthy without aggressive strength training, but it only takes a minute of googling this subject for you to learn that some type of strength training is integral to a complete, comprehensive exercise program.  It can simply be body weight, like good old fashioned calesthenics, but if you have your M.D.’s approval, I strongly encourage you to find the strength training that works for you.  I absolutely cannot live without it and for me, it has to be pretty intense.

I began my strength training this year on the Starting Strength program.  It is simple, easy to learn and very effective.  Even though it is “Starting” Strength, it is still demanding.  The Iron is a commitment that demands dedication and commitment.  It is not to be taken lightly…(Oh my goodness, did I say “lightly”?)  I progressed as far as it seemed that I could, beginning to stall, and David moved me to Mad Cow.  It is Intermediate and OMG, it feels like it.  I began to drop inches in my waist and hips again  and today I’m officially considered “Athletic”, according to the U.S. Navy Body Fat Calculator, at 19% Body Fat.  I am pursuing a V-taper and 6-pack abs and will not be denied.  “Can’t never could do nuthin”.  There is no turning back.  There is no stopping point.  Age is not relevant to this process except to cause you to work HARDER.  Everything is still possible that was possible when you were younger if you want to work hard ENOUGH.  The decision is yours. If you don’t believe me look at pictures of Ernestine Shepherd (above) or Clarence Bass.  Ernestine is 82 years old and rocks a bikini in body building competitions to this day.  She is a Champion.  Clarence Bass is 81 and still puts the “Speed” in Speedo.  I’m not kidding, another Champion.  Age is not an excuse for mediocre. You may not want this and if you  don’t, that’s fine.  You find your activity and do it religiously.  You will reap the benefits that that particular activity can reward you with.  I like to be strong and compact so strength training is my first love.  I also hike as far as I possibly can according to time limitations.  My most recent hike was 8.6 miles. It was a hot day but we got through and I can feel a unique type of strengthening from that kind of hiking. I use trekking poles that work the upper body as well as the lower and it turns the hike into a very enjoyable day.  The poles increase calorie burn and safety margins on the trail.  They give me more sure footing and catch me if I slip and are a type of weapon if that should be necessary.  I love my poles!

Sleep

Ah…this is still a challenge for me but as the Iron works it’s magic, sleep is naturally taking it’s rightful place.  We cannot build muscle if we only spend time using it and tearing it down.  Eight hours is the Golden Standard and I actually got about 7 and 3/4 hours last night.  Get your sleep.

In Closing

The true “secret” of health is making it a priority.  If it is our ultimate priority, we will arrange our lives so that we will naturally gravitate towards healthy choices.  When we make healthy choices, our lives will show it.  We will take care of ourselves and enrich the lives of those around us.  So, in all things, take care!

 

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