Tuesday, July 26, 2016

How was your physical fitness 20 years ago?

I have been thinking about why I was 20 pounds thinner, had more stamina and was stronger 20 years ago. I don't want to give more credit to aging and menopause than is appropriate!

Eating:

I have been contemplating how my relationship to food was different when I weighed 20 pounds less. Yes I was 20 years younger and pre-menopause but I also ate differently as I recall.

What we ate was very similar but there was very little snacking and definitely not the going out for coffee drinks and sweet desserts in the afternoon. I ate smaller portions - for example half a sandwich not a whole one with the same amount of meat, tomatoes, lettuce but half the bread. Going to think about this some more and really think about portion sizes and servings per day in different food categories.

I found this visual on portion sizes very helpful too. A sign of cultural changes perhaps that now protein portion size if represented by a cellphone instead of a deck of cards? Check it out here Visual food portion recommendations

Drinking:

My husband and I talked about this and as we recall there was rarely alcohol in the house. Yes we would have a beer when out for Mexican food but not drink regularly like we do now.
 
Boredom & Stress:

I've also realized with further thinking that I rarely ate when I was bored. I tended to go for a walk instead but then I lived in S. California which was more conducive to that than Atlanta often is. In fact I walked a lot back then. 

I do recall feeling more stressed but boredom when near a refrigerator of coffee house is not being dealt with the same healthier habits.

So what to do? 

I am definitely focusing on portion sizes and healthier snacks. I am also trying to ramp up my exercise in the face of walking outdoors being unpleasant. I had been only going to Pilates once a week with minimal exercise except for short dog walks and daily activities otherwise.

I am ramping up my use of my 30 minute gaiam stretching DVD. I tried the Wellness Center's stretch class but found the instruction lacking so back to the DVD.

I am determined to become able to swim laps for exercise. I have only gone once and am going again this afternoon. Hard work and my stamina is low right now so actual swimming time is short. Should get better if I stick with it.

I tried using light weights for upper arm exercises and need to do more of that.

The big decision is coming up as to whether or not to continue my expensive private Pilates sessions. I do think they are beneficial but need to combine them with a lot more exercise if I am to get strong again.

  

6 comments:

  1. Wow. Really good insight here. I'm going to have to give this a lot of thought about my own habits and history. Loved the link for food measurement.

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    1. Thanks and good luck with your own analysis.

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  2. I do find a strong correlation between my level of activity and stability of my weight and fitness level. I am still dealing with a chronic knee issue, so I have had to be creative in keeping up my activity level.

    Have you tried Piyo? It is a combination of pilates and yoga. I love it. Way more challenging than pilates by itself. It has improved my flexibility, core, stamina and overall strength.

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    1. Thanks for the recommendation and I'll look into it.

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  3. Thanks for this! Twenty years ago, I was the parent of a 3-year-old and was stuck in the work-daycare-kid activity grind. I ate more fast food and packaged foods. I didn't have any time to myself. I am 100% healthier now :)

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    1. Isn't it interesting how the total of our lives changes over time.

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