Exercise and Weight Loss, Wellness

What’s Your Biological Age?

Me biological agePeople often tell me that I look younger than I actually am. When I tell some people my age, they swear that I’m lying. I must admit that I do not look like I am 41 years old. But I don’t think it has anything to do with genes or anything like that. I think it has a lot to do with my every day lifestyle choices. I was thrilled today to learn that my biological age is actually 26! That’s 11 years younger than I actually am! That makes me feel so good. It’s okay to look younger than your age but I think the more important thing is how old you are biologically. How much the cells in your body have aged. Because the truth is that we are all aging every single day. It’s just that some persons age slower than others because of their choices.

So what’s your biological age? You can find out your biological age here by just answering a few questions about your lifestyle. It pays to stay active and to get lots of sleep and to eat right. The more active you are, the more you sleep, and the healthier your food choices, the younger your biological age will be. Even if you find out that your biological age is more than your actual age, there are practical things that you can do to improve it such as incorporating more exercise into your daily schedule, getting sufficient sleep, having a support group and eating a balanced and highly nutritious diet. You can also quit unhealthy habits such as smoking or drinking too much alcohol or even eating too many sweets.

Now I must admit that for me, I sometimes stay up too late working and I also tend to eat very badly sometimes. So those are areas that I definitely need to work on.

From a young age, I had an interest in staying fit and that interest has never waned. If I go several weeks without doing any physical exercise I start to have backaches and my sinusitis tends to flare up. Then I know that it’s definitely time for a workout. So I try to always get some exercise in, even just 15 minutes per day is better than nothing.  No I don’t have the time to go to the gym so I work out at home mostly.

Thank God for blessing me with good health so that I can exercise and stay physically fit. As a matter of fact, I have recently started doing those Insanity workouts! Let me tell you, they are tough! But at the end of the session I feel revitalized and refreshed. Being a type O blood type also, I thrive on vigorous workouts. But exercise not only makes you feel better. It makes you age slower and it makes you look better as well. With all the benefits of exercise why would I allow laziness to rob me of all those great benefits? Why would you allow laziness to rob you of all the great benefits of exercise. Some time ago, my motive for exercising was mostly for looks. Now that I’m older, looks still matter but my health comes first. Because the fact is that I can look like a million bucks but still be unhealthy. Which means doctors visits which means unnecessary spending and unnecessary stress. Things I would rather do without.

When I started this blog, my emphasis was on being ‘fabulous’. Now my emphasis is more on being ‘fit’ but at the end of the day I want both. Let’s lift our glasses to fitness and ‘fabulousness’! Cheers!

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Exercise and Weight Loss

Zumba Anyone?

Sometimes in life we just need to change things up a bit. If we continue to do the same things every day, eventually there may come a point when we get bored. This applies as much to exercise as to marriage and relationships and work. Today I was just not feeling like exercising the usual way. So I decided to do some Zumba and it was so much fun! I love Zumba!

Even though I was a little awkward doing some of the moves, I thoroughly enjoyed it. So much so that I went for 45 minutes instead of my usual 30 minutes. The workout was actually several short choreographed dance moves. It is always nice to learn about the music of other cultures and it was inspiring seeing and following the dance moves from the Latino culture. This is the session I enjoyed the most:

One thing is for sure. I will be doing this more often. Sometimes we just need to forget about the results and just have fun doing what we’re doing. I haven’t danced in awhile and this brought back memories of my younger days. It was fun!

Until tomorrow, take care ….keep dancing 🙂

Exercise and Weight Loss

Slow and Steady Progress – Week 2 Results

It’s been 14 glorious days since I embarked upon my 8 weeks ‘Fit n Fabulous’ mission! Today marks the end of my second week and I am happy. Can you tell how happy I am?

Weight Loss progress
Happy with my progress 🙂

So it’s time for my weigh in and I couldn’t be any more pleased with the results. I managed not to miss any of my workouts this week and the scale has reflected my dedication. There are some fluctuations in my numbers due to water retention but that is to be expected. I must say that consistency really is the key to achieving any worthwhile goal. I tend to want quick results at all times but I know that when it comes to weight loss, slow and steady is the best way to go. This is especially true because I really am aiming for a lifestyle change and not just a one off weight loss episode. That’s why I am not dieting per se. All I am really doing is cutting down on my portions and eating foods that are compatible with my blood type. Whatever I am doing has to be something that can be sustained into the future. Without further ado, here are my readings for this week.

May 2, 2015                        April 18, 2015                        Difference

Neck 12 1/4 in.                      12 3/4 inches                           1/2 inch

Shoulders   39 in.                   40 1/2 inches                           1 1/2 in.

Bust  35 in.                            35 in.                                       –

Waist  31 1/2 in.                    32 in.                                     1/2 in.

Hips  37 in.                             37 1/2 in.                               1/2 in.

Calves  12 1/4 in.                    12 1/4 in.                                  –

Biceps   10 in.                          10 in.                                         –

Weight  129 lbs                       133 lbs                                   4 lbs.

So I have lost a total of 4 pounds and 3 inches over the past 2 weeks. I expected the fluctuation in the inches because of water retention but by next week, I should get a truer reflection of what my progress has been. As you may notice, my bust figure has not moved and I really don’t want to see any movement there unless it is UP! Sorry, I cannot afford to lose anything in that department. My biggest problem area is my stomach and the progress for this area has been slow. My aim over the 8 week period is to lose 6 inches from my waist to end up at 26 inches. This means that I would need to lose an average of 3/4 inches per week. As you can see, I am behind on that so I need to change things up a little in order to meet my goal. I think I need to make the change in my eating to see the best results there. Nevertheless, I am still happy about the results so far.

Doing my exercise in the mornings has made me more productive throughout the day since I have more energy. I have had to be mentally tough to stay on course. Apart from not always wanting to exercise or to eat right, there are people out there who are just negative and who try to discourage me along my journey. As the saying goes

Never stop doing your best just because someone doesn’t give you credit.

The key to success is keeping company with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best.

Keep strong folks. Latah 🙂

Exercise and Weight Loss

8 Weeks Challenge – Day 12

surround yourselfAs you may have noticed, I like lots of variety in my workouts. So you will hardly find me doing the same type of workout more than once on a weekly basis. Today I actually worked out twice. Yes, you heard me right, twice. I was feeling very energetic! For my morning session, I worked out with one of my favorite instructors, Bipasha Basu. It was a 30 minute cardio workout and it was wonderful, not too difficult and not too easy. In the evening, I went for a jog with hubby in the neighborhood. It was exhilarating to be outside in the fresh air. We did 5 laps around the neighborhood. Running (jogging) has always been a very effective exercise for me. I find that I drop weight easily when I jog on a regular basis.

I find the eating part of this challenge to be the hardest part. It has forced me to become more creative and more organized where meal planning is concerned. I have a weakness for white flour and especially soft doughs. As a matter of fact, invariably I prepare fried dumplings for breakfast. I love them, hubby loves them and my boys can’t live without their fried dumplings. I have to make a real effort to slowly cut down on the amount of white flour that we consume. And rice. Oh boy, the rate that we consume white rice, you may be led to wonder whether rice is a part of the national dish. On the positive side though, I had a very healthy lunch consisting of steamed vegetables and jerked chicken. No rice. I need to be very careful to establish good eating habits since diabetes runs in my both sides of my family. But that doesn’t mean that I have to get it. This is one of my motivations for taking on this challenge. I don’t want to ever have diabetes so I am taking the necessary preventative steps from now. Since diabetes is a lifestyle disease, there is much that can be done to prevent it like regular exercise and a balanced, healthy diet. The last time I did a check up my blood sugar levels were fine and I received a clean bill of health. With God’s help and some discipline, I hope to keep it that way for a very, very long time. There is nothing more motivating than seeing an older person who is physically active, looks healthy, vibrant and who has adopted a healthy lifestyle.

I am feeling great about this challenge. It has given me something to look forward to on a daily basis and it has helped me to become more disciplined. I have started taking my flaxseed oil supplements and I am looking forward to the health benefits that flaxseed oil is supposed to provide. It is a good source of omega 3 fatty acids and it has been touted as being great for skin, hair and nails. Also, it helps to lower cholesterol levels. The part that I like best is that it is a natural oil. I would much rather have something natural than something processed. The seeds also provide lots of fiber which also helps with weight loss. However, I will only be using the oil this time around. I will have to get my fiber by some other means.

flaxseed oil benefits

Hubby has been dropping complements here and there. That’s a perk that will definitely keep me moving! Until tomorrow, take great care of yourselves and keep moving. Latah 🙂

Exercise and Weight Loss

8 Weeks Fitness Challenge – Day 11

Ladies push ups
Me doing ladies push ups

Pilates are my favourite set of exercises for strengthening and flattening my abs and lengthening of my muscles. I fell in love with these exercises after I had my first son. They helped tremendously to help flatten my stomach, and tone my legs soon after having that first c-section. I usually do them in combination with cardio exercises because by itself, Pilates does not burn much fat. Today was a Pilates and cardio day for me.

I haven’t done Pilates in awhile and I found that my muscles were indeed a bit stiff. However the various Pilates moves helped me to loosen up considerably and helped to lengthen the muscles. I experienced quite a bit of soreness in my hamstrings from yesterday’s workout but soreness is good. It simply means that my muscles are being torn down and when they are built back up, they will be stronger. That’s the whole aim of this whole challenge, right? So that’s a great thing. The stretching from the Pilates helped to soothe the soreness a little and I was able to go through the entire workout.

There is nothing like having nice, toned abs and great legs. I have quite a bit of work to do on my abs, having undergone 3 c-sections. However, there are women who have had as many c-sections as I have and who still manage to have a flat stomach. Some people like to blame it on genes but in my case, I’m going to blame it on ‘not making enough effort’. Or should I blame it on incorrect form? My husband tells me that if the abs aren’t exercised with proper form, there is a possibility that they will bulk up rather than flatten. I have proven this for myself over the years so when I am doing abdominal exercises, I like to pay careful attention to my technique and my form. So I try to use a mirror to ensure that I am doing the exercises correctly. With Pilates, it is important to always pull in the stomach while the various exercises are being performed. It is also important to breathe while going through the routine and not to hold the breath in. While other forms of exercise may target the larger muscle groups, Pilates targets the smaller groups.

Regarding my legs, I want a long, lean look. The next best thing after having toned abs is having toned legs. By the time summer gets here, I should be ready to hit the beach. And no, not in a T-shirt. In a proper bathing suit even if its not a bikini. The aim is to feel comfortable enough to not have the need to cover up on the beach. Of course I don’t believe in showing too much skin as there are some people who really take it to the extreme. But I want to have the option of wearing a bathing suit if I want to or not. I need to feel comfortable in my own skin.

By the way, I know that push ups don’t count as Pilates but that’s the photo I chose to use with this post because I was having trouble uploading my Pilates shots. Here is one that I borrowed:

Pilates

Looking forward to tomorrow’s challenges. Until then, take care and keep on going.

keep going

Exercise and Weight Loss

8 Weeks Challenge – Day 10

strong womanIt’s the beginning of a brand new week and I am looking forward to what lies ahead in this 8 week journey to a better me. Like I said I would, I switched my exercise routine to the mornings because that is when I am most alert and have the most energy. It wasn’t an easy switch however.

I set my alarm clock to alarm at 5 am instead of the regular 5:30 am so I would have enough time to get 30 minutes of exercise in after I complete my daily morning devotions. So, as planned the clock alarmed at 5 am. Of course, you know who hit the snooze button! I was not ready to get up yet. But my husband would not have it. He refused to allow me to get in a few extra minutes. He flipped on the lights and proceeded to throw off the sheets so that there was no way I could go back to sleep. Thanks D! Thanks to him, I got up and I proceeded with my workout as planned. I was happy that I went through with it because afterwards I felt energized and ready to take on the day. There’s nothing like a workout to get the blood pumping and the body moving.

So I chose to do Jillian Michael’s Ripped in 30 week 2.

I like Jillian’s workouts because they are tough and they make me sweat. If I’m not sweating I don’t feel like I’m accomplishing anything. And my blood type (O +) thrives on vigorous workouts. I enjoyed it.

Oh before I forget, I have to tell you about what happened to me yesterday, my designated rest day. So at the beginning of this challenge, I vowed to stay away from all dairy products and especially ice cream and cheese. So my fridge was cleared of any trace of dairy products. I was doing okay for the first half of the day until the afternoon when my neighbor came over with 4 full servings of ice cream for me and my husband and my 2 sons! What are the chances? Just when I was trying to avoid dairy, here it was right up in my face. My neighbor was celebrating his birthday and decided to share some ice cream with us. Well, I didn’t want him to feel like I was ungrateful so I accepted his gift. I took 3 small spoons of it and put the rest in the fridge. I was not about to blow the results that I got last week and I was not about to suffer with a headache for the rest of the night. My sons gladly ate the remaining amount of ice cream to ‘help me out’.

This occasion cemented in my mind the importance of being mentally prepared for unexpected circumstances in life. Things will not always go as planned and we have to resolve in our minds before hand that whatever happens, we will not be side tracked. Focus is so important in achieving our goals. From here on out, I’ll be putting on my blinders and moving in one direction….forward!

commitment

#missionfitnfabulous 🙂

Exercise and Weight Loss

8 Weeks Challenge – Week 1 Results!

a thousand miles

Today marks the end of my first week on my Fit n Fabulous mission. At the end of this challenge I should be fitter, stronger, healthier, and more fabulous! So my results are in and I am feeling great. My efforts are paying off! So without further ado here is what I managed to accomplish in my first week. I will also post my starting measurements so you can see the progress that I have made so far in this journey.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step – Lao Tzu

April 18th 2015                       April 25th 2015          Difference

Neck       12 3/4 inches               12 1/2 inches                  1/4 in

Shoulders 40 1/2 inches              38 3/4 inches                 1 3/4 in

Bust   35 inches                          35 inches                           –

Waist  32 inches                         31 3/4 inches                 1/4 in

Hips    37 1/2 inches                   36 3/4 inches                3/4 in

Thighs  21 1/2 inches                 19 1/2 inches                 2 in

Calves  12 1/2 inches                  11 3/4 inches                3/4 in

Biceps  10 inches                         9 3/4 inches                 1/4 in

Weight 133 lbs                             132 lbs                        1 lb.

The Verdict

Woohooo! I am feeling great about these results. All my efforts were definitely not in vain. So if my math is correct, I lost a total of 6 inches and I also lost 1 lb of body weight! Not bad for just a week of work without any supplements. Imagine what will happen when I start supplementing! Anyway, I feel great not only because I got good results but I am proud of myself for setting a goal and actually making progress towards it. Yes, I missed a day of exercise but I didn’t beat myself up over it. I realize that things will not always go as planned but as long as I get back on course, I will get closer and closer to my goals. I am also happy that I decided to document this journey and to announce the challenge to whoever would care to listen. This has given me just the motivation that I need to see this through. And there is a saying that “whatever gets measured gets done”. So that’s why I’m measuring each and every little thing. The numbers say it all. I didn’t get many people to journey with me on this challenge but that’s ok. Everything will happen in good time. In the meantime I am going to continue to do my thing, for me, for MY health, for MY well-being. Because at the end of the day this is something that nobody can do for me.

Looking back over the week, and going into week 2, there will be at least one change that I will be making. Going forward, I will be doing my workouts in the mornings instead of in the evenings. I am a morning person and that is when I have the most energy. It therefore makes more sense for me to do my exercise at that time. It will also give me energy for the day and will keep my body performing optimally throughout the day. Because I tend to feel tired at the end of the day, this could give me an excuse to skip the workout. I don’t want to give myself any excuses for not doing this. So I will be getting up at least 30 minutes earlier than I normally do so I can get it done and out of the way early.

I also have to organize myself better in terms of what I eat. I will have to make a greater effort to have healthy foods in stock in order to resist the temptation to eat whatever because that is what I have at hand. So I will be doing some meal planning with my husband’s help and I will be eating according to my blood type. More about that another time.

I hope I was able to inspire someone with these results. Please share your feedback with me in the comments below. Also, please feel free to subscribe to get daily updates straight to your inbox by clicking the follow button in the bottom right hand corner below. Until tomorrow, latah!

Exercise and Weight Loss, Wellness

8 Weeks Fitness Challenge – Day 7

Today was a very productive day. My workout was the toughest one yet. It was soooo intense…the type of workout that I love. I burned a whopping 300 calories in 30 minutes!  Here is what I did today:

Warm Up 

Jog on the spot – 30 seconds

Football quick feet – 30 seconds

Jumping Jacks – 30 seconds

All this was repeated 3 times. After that I was sweating already. Then it was time for the Upper Body Circuit

Upper Body Circuit

Plank and rotate side to side (x 12 reps)

Push up and jack feet (x 12 reps)

Shuffle side to side with high knees on 3rd shuffle (x 12)

Again this series was repeated 3 times

Lower Body Circuit

This circuit required the use of dumbbells. I used 5 lb weights to do this round.

Reverse lunges and bicep curls coming up (x 10 reps each side)

Squat and press with dumbbells (x 10 reps each side)

Mohammed Ali shuffles on the spot (x 30 reps)

Series was repeated for 3 rounds

Ninja Circuit

As the name suggests, this circuit was T-O-U-G-H!

Squat and side kick (x 12 each side)

Side planks with knees to elbows (x 12 each side)

Only two moves were in this circuit but again, each round was repeated 3 times.

Full Body Circuit

This was the last circuit.

Burpee Walks (x 16 reps)

Mountain Climbers (x 18 reps)

High Knee Sprinters (x 30 seconds)

This was repeated for 3 rounds.

Tomorrow will mark the completion of week 1. I am looking forward to finding out what my results look like. In the meantime, here is some fitness motivation for you…….and me too 🙂

I can do thisI will not be stoppedShe is fierce