I got into exercising and working out in my early twenties, and it became a part of my daily routine. I maintained a "decent" physique until I stopped at the age of 50. I thought to myself, "no problem, my job is very physical." What a mistake! After 8 years of not working out, my energy level slowly went down and my eating habits got worse and worse. I also went from a size 6 to a size 12 -- depressing? YES. It seemed those days of self discipline were gone and I simply accepted that attitude. That was until Peter and Patricia, owners of Blue Mountain Organics (TM), encouraged me to participate in the fitness program they are sponsoring. Although I don't consider myself as a contestant in the program because I am employed by BMO as the Plant Manager. I was not exactly the perfect icon for BMO, which is all about pure, nutritious food and it's healthy effects on the body. I was sort of like the auto mechanic who drove the worst running vehicle on the lot. But thanks to Peter and Patricia, my way of thinking about food has changed, and working out has come back into my daily routine.
Please understand it had been 30+ years since I had been in a gym (when Nautilus was the first gym to open up to the public). The first day in the gym, Patricia guided me through some routines. It was exciting and painful (in a good way, muscles were getting a work out). Then I was on my own and determined. The next day (5:30 am) I walked into the gym with instruction book in hand and a workout schedule that Patricia had created for me. I kept thinking, which machine do I need to use? I looked and looked and finally got frustrated and and thought "Claire, you are 58 years old, just go for it!" After fumbling with the machines a couple of times and losing track of my reps, I finally got it. Now I understand the machines and it feels good!
Giving up Doritos and other junk food is something that I hadI thought would be a challenge, but not at all. The menu I was given offers a lot of food and alternatives. There are some days that I don't eat all of the food that is allotted for a day, whether it be a time factor or just not hungry. There hasn't been a time I have felt deprived or a craving for something other than what is offered on the menu.
Into the first few days of the program, my energy level soared, and clothes were fitting better. Now after the first week and a half I have lost 3 pounds -- doesn't sound like much, but it is definitely motivation to work harder. Patricia keeps reminding me that if I lose the weight slowly by eating a healthy, balanced nutrient-dense diet combined with a fitness program, I will be more likely to keep the weight off through the healthy routines that I am establishing and will be more likely to stick to the plan because I am not walking around hungry all of the time. So with that said, I am quite happy to lose 3 pounds in 10 days!
I look forward to going to the gym every day to challenge myself to do more. This weekend I have dusted off my old ankle and wrist weights, strapped them on, and strutted off to the hills for an at home workout. I FEEL GREAT!
Information about Claire's Nutrition and Fitness Plan
Claire does weight lifting 3 times per week for 45 minutes on alternating days. On the days when she is not weight lifting, she does 20 minutes of high-intensity interval training on a treadmill, mostly by varying the incline. Claire wears a heart rate monitor and tries to maintain her heart rate between 70% and 75% of her max heart rate, except when she is peaking the intensity level for brief periods of time. Claire's workout is adapted from Bill Phillips "Body for Life - 12 Weeks to Mental and Physical Strength", Copyright 1999, which is an excellent basis for a program that will shape you up without taking a lot of your time.
Sample Weight Workout
Lower body one day, upper body another day, with cardio days in between weight lifting days. Four sets of each exercise with the last set being a "double set". First set of each exercise is low intensity, and each successive set is of a higher intensity, using lower reps and more weight, if possible.
Smith machine squat
Standing low pulley abductor pull (stand sideways at the cable machine – pull weighted leg away from your body)
Standing low pulley adductor pull (stand sideways at the cable machine – pull weighted leg toward your body)
Back extensions (with machine)
Dumbbell front raises
Skull crushers (with dumbbells)
Bicep curls with sissy bar (bent bar)
Nutrition and Meal Plan
Claire eats 5 meals evenly spaced throughout the day, each a mixture of protein, carbohydrates and good fats. Here is a sample mid-day meal:
Chicken or tuna or lean grass-fed beef: 60 grams or 2 ounces
Vegetables: one to two cups
Hemp Protein powder: 1 scoop w/water
Apple: 1 medium (can combine with Hemp protein powder, ice cubes and water for a smoothie)
We at Blue Mountain Organics (TM) are so proud of Claire --- keep up the great work!