Two to Tango

I’ve found the old saying, “It takes two to Tango” applies to success in getting and staying healthy.  Having a friend to be accoutable to about eating, or exercise with, or motivate you when you’re ready to give up, is a real boost to any plan to get healthier and more fit!

I exercise 5 out of my 6 scheduled days with someone else.  I “mentor” other women my age in getting into exercise (some for the first time ever!) We have done cardio workouts, interval workouts, strength and resistance training and our new favorite Pilates for our core!  We have used resistance bands, hand weights, resistance tubes, and a huge Pilates ball.  We are getting stronger, firmer and more toned.  But best of all we are feeling better and have developed a healthy appreciation for our aging bodies!

If you have had trouble sticking to an exercise or eating plan in your attempt to improve your health, please consider “hooking up” with an accountability partner. It’s such a great support and motivator and its so much more fun than doing it alone.

The people who write the Real Age website articles agree. Click below and read what they have to say about it.  And remember in getting fit and healthy it does sometimes take Two to Tango!


Curso de Instructor de Pilates

Curso de Instructor de Pilates (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Midlife Belly Bulge

On my quest to be healthy one day at a time I have dropped some weight, worked on flexibility and strength, added more sleep to combat stress, increased my water intake, made it my goal to exercise at least 5 days a week for 30-45 minutes, and  made stretching my friend.  However at 57, it is always a challenge with the battle of the “bulge” .  The belly fat issue is a common one for most of us over 40, however I have found there are some ways to deal with it to help it be less of an issue.  My favorite way is strength training using resistance bands, a pilates ball, or just my own body with 5 basic Pilates moves that target the core and strengthen ab muscles.

Since doing strength training as part of my regular exercise routine (3 days of strength training  a week), I have toned and tightened up my weak abs and it has helped provide a “natural girdle” that holds me in better.  I do Leslie Sansone’s Pilates Mat workout  or Mari Winsor’s Pilates Basics DVDs, but there are many out there than can teach you 5 or 6 basic easy to learn moves that will strengthen your core and tone you.  I also love using resistance bands/cords which you can purchase at Walmart cheaply and they include exercises that help tone your entire body.  I put on some favorite relaxing music and do a 15 -20 minute routine with the band/cord. This has definitely affected my belly bulge.  One of my favorite tools is the big exercise ball to do curl ups for my abs.  The ball cushions my back better than lying on the floor and holding my balance while lying back and doing curls tones my abs, thighs, and legs!

Click below on the “Real Age” article  for more resources on fighting your battle of the bulge.  I’m not guaranteeing you’ll have a 6 pack, but you will tone that area and you will feel better and look better.  Happy strength training!


Healthy Snacks are an important part of my eating plan on my Healthy 1 Day at a Time “crusade”!  I actually do better at losing and maintaining weight loss when I eat about 6 mini-meals a day as opposed to 3 large meals a day.  So I have developed some mini meals that really are more like snacks to help me through the day so I don’t have a huge drop in blood sugar and get tired and am tempted to eat junk.

Click on the link below to see some recommendations from the “Real Age” website. I have probably had all of these as a snack or mini-meal at one time or another.

Here are some of MY suggestions:

Ezediel bread with thin spread of sunflower seed butter topped with 1/3 to 1/2 of a banana (sliced) drizzled with 1/2 tsp honey.

Greek yogurt with  fruit and drizzle of raw honey

Small apple ( sliced) spread with sunflower butter

Cut up raw veggies with Hummus to dip them in.

8 Flax seed tortilla chips with black beans and salsa

Small salad with garbanzo beans, assorted veggies with Olive Oil/Balsamic Vinegar sprayed on lightly.

PBJ (Nutbutter and no sugar added jelly) on 1 Slice of Ezekiel bread.

Pico de Gallo with flax seed tortilla chips (8) and a TBSP of Salsa or in a whole wheat tortilla soft shell with beans and lettuce.

1 cup of Progresso Light Soup (100 calories) or make your own.

1 cup brown rice with black beans and tbsp of salsa

Fudgesicle (no sugar added) 40 calories each

ALWAYS:  DRINK LOTS OF WATER!  A full glass each hour is a good rule of thumb that works for me.

We can make it through the day healthy by limiting the sugar and salt we take in and getting full on veggies instead.


Size Matters

http://bcove.me/vgmi13tg  Check out this video!

The size of our portions does matter. I like this simple “plate” plan as a visual that helps me keep things under control and that reminds me how much of each food group I need to eat. The rule of thumb is 1/4 of your plate should be grain, 1/4 protein, and 1/2 vegetables.   No, sorry, I couldn’t find a visual that had a portion of the plate  with a sugary dessert!  You can have more veggies  as a second helping, but you have to watch the meat(protein) source and keep it at  about 3 oz..   Also, we don’t want to overdo the grains in proportion to the veggies.   I love brown rice, whole grain pasta products, and Ezekiel bread and oatmeal as my go-to grain sources.

This is one of the ways I practice being healthy 1 day at a time. How about you?

Seriously, why is it that when we say “no” to someone’s request for our time or talents, we suddenly feel like we have spewed a four letter word at them?

Part of taking care of the whole of who we are, includes proper use of the “no” word.  Not knowing how to say “no” brings a whole assortment of uglies our way.   I’ve found it better to just be honest, say “no” to what we feel is the right answer for us to give than to lead others on by postponing the “no”.  When I truly need time to deliberate my decision, I let the person know I will give them my answer in 24 hours if at all possible, so it doesn’t continue to hang over my head causing undue stress!

Knowing our limitations is a very important part of the yes/no conundrum, as is knowing if we lean toward people pleasing or co-dependency issues.  Clearly if I am honest with myself, I know what I am able to handle without totally stressing out and making others very sorry they asked me in the first place!  I’ve found honesty is by and large the best policy after all.

For me, prayer is a priority in deciding if I can or can’t do something that someone asks me to do. I find that the good Lord gives me clarity right away on my available time, skill, limitations, and desire to do the requested activity.  I don’t however tell people when I feel led to say “no” to their request that it is because God told me to.  That’s between me and Him!

I grew up with co-dependent, people-pleasing  tendencies and so had to learn it was really okay and not “obnoxious or mean” to say no when that’s what I needed to give as my answer to stay sane and in balance in my own life.  It was a long-fought battle for me, but overcoming the “need to please” has brought me much joy and hugely reduced stress in my life.  That reduced stress has translated into better health for me.

Do you end up juggling way too many things, have no time for yourself or doing the things you need to do, and instead suffer with recurring stress and related health issues?  Maybe it’s time you invoked the four letter word, “No”, a little more often.  Oh, and it’s okay to say No, thank you! :-)


One of the things I’ve learned in my journey to being healthier, is that it is a CHOICE , I have to make each day.  I can’t rest on yesterday’s good choices, I have to make good choices today.   Because I believe in being healthy in a holistic sense, I believe that I have to choose to be healthy in my body, my mind, and my spirit.  As I shared in my last post my word for this year instead of a list of resolutions is BALANCE.  So I must make choices everyday that keep a balance in my body, mind and spirit.  If I neglect one of these areas it will throw me off-balance in the others, are you following me here?  This was huge for me to learn and understand.  I might do really good at eating and exercising and resting, but be really out of control in thinking too negatively about myself, my relationships, or others and that might cause me to have an emotional response that I then try to fix with food and before I know if, I”m out of balance and into unhealthy patterns again.  Or, I focus too much on the physical and mind things and don’t feed my spirit by worship, prayer, meditation, and I start seeing bad attitudes and wrong thinking creep in and I lose my joy and before I know it there is an effect of stress which may trigger not sleeping or eating right.  God made me a very cohesive, connected person and when one area is out of balance, I feel it affects the total me.  So to be healthy, I must make it my priority to choose balance in these three areas that make up me.  I have so much more joy and success since I recognized this. In the book of Deuteronomy in the Bible, God says: I put before you life and death, choose life.   I realize that God is always wooing me to choose life if I will listen.  I am thankful that it is possible to do so by taking on one day at a time and living fully in that day and not worrying about the mistakes I made the day before or worrying about tomorrow,  but choosing TODAY to do better in keeping these areas in balance.  What an awesome and powerful thing God granted us: THE POWER OF CHOICE, and yet he also lavished us with GRACE, by letting us start fresh everyday to make better choices!

I hope if you are struggling with health issues, or a stressful life  that you will consider the holistic approach to getting your body, mind, and spirit in balance.  Choose balance, choose LIFE.  Rest in and enjoy your life each day instead of spinning your wheels.  Make a good choice each day for your body, mind and spirit.  That is where we find true freedom.

Here’s an example of choosing for today:

I will eat slowly and enjoy my food and not overeat today.

I will try to be aware to catch negative thoughts running through my head about myself (I’m stupid, fat, not pretty, lazy…..) I will replace that thought with a positive thought about myself: (I am teachable, I am able to make good choices in my eating,  I have beautiful eyes, I like to walk)

I will connect with God and feed my spirit.  Today I will read a passage from the Bible and listen for God to speak to me from it. I will make a thankful list today of all that is going well in my life and the blessings I have today.

Fresh vegetables are important components of a...

Image via Wikipedia

LIFE TODAY IS ON FULL SPEED.  We need to take responsibility to slow it down to a pace where we can put balance in it by our CHOICES that lead to a good LIFE and not choices that will lead to DEATH.  To just go with the flow, leads to DEATH.  Be willing to be counter-cultural.  Choose small changes everyday that will help you enjoy a healthier more fulfilling life.  You will impact those around you who see the change in you.







English: New Year's Resolutions postcard

Image via Wikipedia

Resolutions? Seems like every year thousands of Americans make resolutions for New Year’s and have already been defeated in keeping them by February!  I’ve definitely been down that road many times!  Now, instead I choose to pray and ask God to reveal one area or word that I should concentrate on for the year.  I have more success with this than a list of resolutions.This year I chose two words:  Healthy Balance!

This blog which was started after my birthday in August was a one year commitment to choosing to be healthy 1 day at a time in a holistic way, not just concentrating on weight, but on eating, exercising, lowering stress, emotional wellness, spiritual wellness and even challenging my mind  in new ways to keep it healthy!

I am glad to report at this time, that I feel I have been successful at working on my overall health and wellness one day at a time.  I had lost 10 pounds and even over the holidays, didn’t put it back on ~ truly significant for me!  I am definitely stronger than I was 6 months ago because of the strength training I have been doing 3x a week.  I have worked on my core and have lost some of my midlife belly fat and have toned my arms, and legs.  I have done cardio work also.  I feel good about my midlife body.  I would love to lose another 10 pounds and will continue to work on that.  I definitely can feel the difference that dealing with stress better these past 5 months through exercise and prayer and good decision making has produced.  I have learned to choose a more healthy plan of eating for my body type.  I have struggled with but made progress in taking in more water every day.  I have reduced pain issues in my body through stretching and flexibility work and strength training with pilates and exercise bands.  I have made more time for prayer and reading God’s word on a consistent basis.  I have entered into accountability relationships with some trusted friends and mentors and that has helped me tremendously in my goals to be healthier.  I have had to let some unhealthy relationships fall by the wayside and embrace and renew healthy ones.  I have committed to not being a people pleaser but being a God pleaser.  These things have all helped me to become more healthy and I want to continue to walk in Healthy Balance throughout 2012.

That is a commitment that takes consistent effort and monitoring, but I choose to do this one day at a time.  Each day I commit to choosing healthy behaviors for that day and if I fail in some area, I note it in my journal and recommit to doing better the very next day in that area.  I don’t waste time or emotional energy on self condemnation.   Romans 8:1 says “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.”  So as a woman of faith in Christ, I will not condemn myself if He doesn’t even condemn me for stumbling.  I am encouraged by the word where it says “Don’t be weary in well doing, you will reap a harvest if you don’t give up!”  That tells me, “pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start over again the next day.”  Much healthier thinking than I used to engage in.

My prayer for anyone reading this is that you will try being healthier a day at a time, not trying to change everything at once, but taking baby steps each day to replace old unhealthy patterns and behaviors with new, healthier ones.  I’m not talking WEIGHT LOSS PROGRAM here, I’m talking HEALTHY THINKING AND HEALTHY LIFESTYLE.   The rewards are much better!  Don’t condemn yourself for failure, focus on celebrating daily successes……that is much healthier and you will want to repeat that.  Blessings on each of you this year as you get HEALTHY 1 DAY AT A TIME!

Healthy New Year!