CAROL’S CORNER

Welcome to Tuesday's Edition of Carol's Corner. Just about back to feeling myself again. My exercise is back on track. It's funny how much I hate it when I can't work out. Who knew I could ever be an exercise fanatic. Today wearing my favorite color, purple and my ” Hot Mama ” skirt. I calling this ensemble ” Purple Tiger”.

This FitBit duo totally matches the purple tiger theme.

Tonight's discussion is centered on “creeping obesity” . I'm basing this discussion on something from Fit Chicago, with an article titled ” When Subtle Weigh Gain Turns Into Creeping Obesity”. The author is Traci D. Mitchell.

A few stubborn pounds is not cause for alarm, but when subtle weight gain turns into creeping obesity, something needs to be done.

So what do you think creeping obesity is?

Well it's exactly what it sounds like. So tell me does the following scenario sound at all familiar?

One day you wake up, and realize the scale is reading a few pounds more than it did last month . No big deal. Truth be told, maybe you don't even worry too much about it. A few weeks later you get on the scale again…oops, another pound. But it's just one pound , right? An extra pound here, an extra pound there-they all add up.

At the end of the year , you might be ten pounds up. Clothes are fitting tighter , so you buy a different size. In my experience this is when it all starts going downhill. Another year goes by and another few pounds are added onto your waistline. This is exactly how my scenario went and there came a point that I just gave up and said, “What am I going to be able to do about it at my age?” I let myself balloon up to my highest weight ever and in reality hated myself for it.

So back to our story. One day you go to the doctor's and hear the words” you're overweight”. Before long, those extra pounds that crept on bit by bit, become what's called “creeping obesity”. (For myself it wasn't “you're overweight” that became my epiphany moment, it was realizing all the medical issues that would arise from uncontrolled Diabetes and Chloresterol levels, that finally brought me to my senses.)

SO WHAT CAN YOU DO?

1.) Get out of your head: The first thing a lot of people do when they've reached their body's weight-related tipping point is overanalyze or overplan. They say something like this,” I'll start eating better on Monday” , or “I'll start in the New Year, everyone else will start their resolution then”. No, No, No!!! Big mistake. (My words, not hers.) Start right now. You don't have to kill yourself, deprive yourself, or do a complete overhaul of your life, but you do need to take better care of yourself little by little. Stop thinking about it and do it. What's the worse that can happen?

2.) Don't Diet: The author wants to emphasize this, because it's probably the first thing people will do. If you diet by popular terms, you 'll likely try to eliminate fat, cut too many calories, and eat diet foods- all of which will absolutely positively make you gain weight.

3.). Do eat clean: Eating clean isn't a trend, it's not a gimmick . It's what you need to do to maintain an optimal weight. What's clean? Look at the back of anything that you eat. If you can't pronounce it, or if it contains more than a few ingredients ( give or take), it's probably not clean. If it can sit on a shelf for months without getting moldy, it's probably not clean. If it contains the words high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils or enriched flours it's not clean. Eat exactly the opposite of these foods and you'll likely clean up your diet a lot. I readily admit I am not really good at what is said here and have to try a little bit harder in that area.

DON'T DO SLOW AND STEADY CARDIO: Cardiovascular activity is good, but slow easy cardio-particularly for long periods of time- will likely store fat and kill muscle.

DO START DOING HIGH INTENSITY INTERVALS: If you do high intensity interval workouts religiously and don't overeat, you will not only lose weight, you will shape your body. Combine this with strength training and you've got a magical fitness combination. According to the author, all you need to do is three to four, 45-60 minutes workouts a week to reap the benefits. That's it , do what you enjoy and do it with vigor. I still try to do some kind of workout every day. My body needs it for many reasons.

So many people believe weight gain is inevitable as we get older. Certainly a 40 year old body doesn't have the advantages of a 20 year old body ,or a 60 year old one to a 30 year old one, but weight gain isn't mandatory. You can actually do a lot to take care of your body to help maintain a closer-to -optimal weight range at any age.

I am living proof that age does not have to be a detriment to weight loss and fitness success. I am more fit and in better shape than I ever thought possible. I have chronic health conditions that will always be a part of my life, but I have overcome the odds and I plan to continue to do so. My fondest desire is to continue to be an inspiration to everyone on this journey to health and fitness and especially to seniors everywhere. You can be vibrant and fit at any age. You can feel good about yourself in all areas of your life; body, mind, and spirit. You owe it to yourself to persevere, even if the going get's tough. You are worth it. Never forget that. I leave you with this.

Till next time, God Bless.

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