Healthcare Mistake #3 Eating Like a 25-Year-Old

Monitor your eating habits. Stop eating like a 25-year-old. While the milkshakes, burgers, and fries may not have wreaked havoc on our wellness journey when we were younger, a fast-food diet can derail the progress we have made.  As we get older, our metabolism changes and our bodies no longer burn calories as quickly as it did when we were younger.  Stop eating late at night. Eating and drinking late at night could cause reflux, weight gain, and interfere with our ability to get a good night’s sleep.

Once you hit 40, it may be a good idea to meet with a nutritionist or health coach to assist you with mapping out a new way of eating that allows you to lose weight, energize your day, and stave off disease.  Also, watch your snacks. “Eating snacks between meals can help to keep your appetite at bay and your energy up throughout the day. The key to snacking is to choose items that will boost your health rather than cause harm.”    To boost your metabolism, get plenty of sleep, move your body, and add weight training to your workout plan.  Changing your eating habits can be difficult, but you can do it. 

With Peace and Love,

Renee

Work with me!  Apply Here This program is for midlife women between the ages of 45-60 whose lives have been frozen due to trauma, guilt, emotional neglect, disappointments, unforgiveness, or harsh breakups.  Each week we will dive into a lesson from my upcoming course, A Mindful and Graceful Life. If you are looking to live a mindful and graceful life if you feel that it’s time to lose weight naturally, reduce your stress, increase your joy, and begin the journey of making peace with your mind and body this is the program for you. This individual program is by invitation only,  if you are ready to up-level your life and heal, Apply here. 

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Embrace Imperfection and Enjoy Your Life

Listen to Episode 44 Welcome To Your Life! Midlife Made Easier Podcast -Embrace Imperfection and Enjoy Your Life

Midlife can be hard on our self-confidence and self-esteem.  If you have any contact with social media, you will have noticed how everyone is striving to be perfect. Suddenly you cannot post a selfie without at least one filter or go out for dinner without showing your curated plate of food. Even your dog must look perfect.

It is easy to get stuck in comparison mode, and if we are not careful, we will lose our joy.

What if you just decided to take a step away from all the competition? Leave all that clamoring for likes and hearts to others? What if you chose merely to enjoy your life without sharing it with the world?  Here are four ways to reclaim your life and reenergize your joy.  

  • Stop judging

You can decide right now to stop analyzing other people, looking for what is wrong with their face or their body or their life choices. Refocus your mindset so that you stop seeing differences as flaws, but as ways that make each of us unique.

Let go of the urge to criticize others, and you will notice that your negative self-talk will begin to diminish.

  • Accept your imperfection

Wanting to be the best version of you is not the same as being a perfectionist. A perfectionist is never happy with who they are, how they look, or how they are doing.  There was a time when I would not post a video unless I was in full make-up.  I can laugh now, but it seriously hampered how I was able to connect with you guys.  I realize now that being my best means I work hard, and I do not give up.  Stop blaming yourself when things are not perfect, learn from the setbacks and failures and recalibrate, and never take failure personally.

  • Relax and enjoy the process

Do you ponder every detail of your plan until you get nothing done?   My coach is always telling me that “done is better than perfect”.  Trying to wait to do something fantastic in your life until everything is perfect will only put your life and dreams on hold.   When you embrace imperfection as a natural part of life, it frees you up to enjoy the ride.

Obstacles become challenges that make life more enjoyable. You can slow down and notice all the good things there are in your life.

  • Adopt imperfection as a way of life

Once you make peace with imperfection, you can be a lot more objective about your life. Your perspective changes, and what once seemed overwhelmingly important suddenly does not matter so much. All our experiences become just another aspect of a life lived richly. These experiences, no matter how jacked up, will help you to create the person who is continually evolving.

Imperfection stops being something to avoid at all costs. Think about it like this: perfection implies stasis, something you achieve and have to tend. It is fragile and vulnerable. It puts an end to growth. And then what? You do not want to stop learning and growing and developing, do you? Embracing imperfection means there is always an opportunity to learn and grow and become a better person.

Say it with me, from today forward I will enjoy my imperfect self.

With love and peace,

Renee

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How Can I Help My Family Members Understand My Mental Illness?

Note:  Today’s blog has a new format; I will be answering a question from one of readers.  If you have a question you would like to ask about health and wellness, relationships, or life, please email me at info@reneereid.net, and your question could be featured on a future podcast.

Today’s question is from Brandiss, she writes, I am 50 years old and was diagnosed with depression about six years ago.  I am married and have two teenaged daughters, I have been trying to explain my diagnosis to my family, but they don’t seem to understand what I am going through. Now that we are all stuck home together, I thought this would be a good time for us to have an honest conversation.  How should I start?

Brandiss, thank you so much for your question; I know that the pandemic, social isolation, and sheltering in place has been a trigger for many of us suffering from a mental health disorder.  I am so grateful to be out of bed today.  As a Mental Health Practitioner, I worked with families to help them to understand their loved one’s diagnosis so that they can be a natural support for them once our services ended.  Sometimes, it worked.  Sometimes it didn’t.  

I know we have made a lot of progress, but there is still a stigma attached to a mental health diagnosis.  I applaud you and anyone who has the courage not only to face their diagnosis but also to share it with their families so that they can begin to understand and provide valuable help when it is needed.   I have four tips that I think will work well for you and anyone dealing with a chronic illness.  Your mental illness is probably not going to go away but can be managed successfully.  These four steps should get the conversation started.

  1. Education:  Don’t skip this step; it would help if family members had a bird’s eye view of exactly what symptoms and causes of your mental health diagnosis.  They don’t need a dissertation; you can simply give them a pamphlet, article, or book.  You can provide the information and then give them time to digest it and ask you questions.  Check out this TEDx talk by Dr. Lloyd  Sederer entitled When Mental Illness Enters a Family.  You and your family can watch Dr. Sederer’s talk together.
  2. Be Clear on What You Need:  This is not the time to have family members guessing on how to help you, guesswork will just increase the stress for both you and your loved one.  So, tell them, when I feel this way__________, I need you too___________.   Remember that you and your family members are dealing with something that even the medical community doesn’t fully understand.    For example, when I am having an anxiety attack, I need you to remind me of one of my coping strategies, whether that’s journaling, walking, listening to a meditation recording, or yelling into a pillow.  Knowing what to do will empower your family members.
  3. Explain your triggers:  If you have worked with a mental health practitioner, then you’ve heard of triggers.  Discuss yours with your family so that they can be aware that a person, place, thing, or event can trigger an episode for you.   About three years ago, I was working with a client who was diagnosed with OCD.  We sat down with her kids and explained to them that leaving the shoes and bookbags at the front door when they came home from school was a trigger for mom.  Instead, we asked them to take all their belongings to their room.  Because when they dropped them at the door, this triggered mom to want to clean for two or three hours instead of cooking dinner.  If possible, schedule a meeting with you and your family and your therapist.  They can provide real support for you as you try to explain to your family how they can help.
  4. Guard your feelings: sometimes, family members and friends can be very supportive and loving, and sometimes they will just not understand.  You do not have to argue with them or try to convince them that what you are feeling is real.   Remember that Supportive Loved Ones Come in All Shapes and Sizes, if you cannot find natural support from your family and friends, look for it in the form of professional assistance from a therapist, case manager, or coach.  Search for online support groups or start your own.  While you want family members to be there for you, give yourself permission to focus on getting well.

If you are trying to provide support for someone who has been diagnosed with a mental illness check out Nami the National Alliance ON Mental Illness -they have an excellent program called Family to Family that is designed to help family members have a better understanding about mental illness and how they can be supportive. I took this program way back in 2010 and it was a great resource.

Wishing You Peace and Love,

Renee

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Overeating Does Not Make You a Lost Cause or a Bad Person- It Makes You Human!

So, you had a bad eating day, who hasn’t, this journey toward health is a marathon, not a sprint, so allow yourself some grace, or you won’t last.  If what you’ve eaten today does not necessarily line up with your healthy eating plan.  Write down why!  What happened that threw you off track:

Did you forget to pack your lunch?  Did you skip breakfast? Did you stay up late watching the news and didn’t get enough sleep? Are you sad? 

When you take a step back and look at the day through your logical eye and not emotions, you can pinpoint the trigger and correct your course.  Overeating does not make you a bad person or a lost cause.  It makes you human!

So, you had a bad eating day, who hasn’t, this journey toward health is a marathon, not a sprint, so allow yourself some grace, or you won’t last.  If what you’ve eaten today does not necessarily line up with your healthy eating plan.  Write down why!  What happened that threw you off track:

Did you forget to pack your lunch?  Did you skip breakfast? Did you stay up late watching the news and didn’t get enough sleep? Are you sad? 

When you take a step back and look at the day through your logical eye and not emotions, you can pinpoint the trigger and correct your course.  Overeating does not make you a bad person or a lost cause.  It makes you human!

So, you had a bad eating day, who hasn’t, this journey toward health is a marathon, not a sprint, so allow yourself some grace, or you won’t last.  If what you’ve eaten today does not necessarily line up with your healthy eating plan.  Write down why!  What happened that threw you off track:

Did you forget to pack your lunch?  Did you skip breakfast? Did you stay up late watching the news and didn’t get enough sleep? Are you sad? 

When you take a step back and look at the day through your logical eye and not emotions, you can pinpoint the trigger and correct your course.  Overeating does not make you a bad person or a lost cause.  It makes you human!

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Self-Care In the Time of Covid-19

Hello, my friends,
I am sending so much love your way, these are challenging times, and some of you may already be experiencing significant financial hardship due to your company shutting completely down or having your work hours drastically cut. I feel your pain, Monday was my last day of work.
I am very grateful that my last child has finally returned home. I am here with my aunt, able to ensure that she is doing well and has everything she needs; still praying that my husband will get to join us soon.
Wakeup calls come in many forms, being let go from a job, the breakup of a relationship, or a pandemic that threatens the whole world. While it is inevitable that you will feel some fear and trepidations at the thought of an unknown future, this is your chance to take stock of your life and finally make the changes you have been putting off until someday. Someday is now!

I am asking that you replace your panic and fear with faith and action.  This is not the time to put your self-care on the bottom of your “to do”. Besides the precautions suggested by the CDC – you can read them here.    You need to be focusing on your physical, emotional, and physical health is what is going to get you through this crisis.  I have put together eight tips that I know will help you take care of yourself and remain calmer during this crisis.

These tips have helped my family,  friends, clients and me to stay in the present and cut our worrying in half.
1. Take quiets moments throughout the day for prayer/meditation: The early morning or late evening hours tend to be the best time to make this happen. But whether you are home “self-isolating” or still working, take a moment throughout the day to pray, meditate, reflect, and journal your thoughts. This will help you to manage your stress.
2. Eat whole foods: I have also been tempted to munch away on a bag of M&M’s my favorite candy in the world. But this is not the time to put your wellness journey on hold. Your immune system needs you to consume whole foods to keep it running at its optimal health. Whole foods are minimally processed and have little to no refined sugars. These foods include vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, seeds, and nuts.
3. Exercise 30 minutes per day: Don’t forsake your daily exercise. I know the gyms are closed, but a home workout will yield some fantastic results. Check out YouTube for complete workouts lasting from 10 to 60 minutes. Or you can download my friend Laurie’s complete at-home workout guide here.
4. Stay connected: write, call, or facetime family and friends: While you may not be able to be in the same room, thanks to technology, we can still connect. Surprise someone you haven’t had time to speak within a while with a long-overdue phone call.
5. Focus on the positive- gratitude: “Making gratitude a daily practice is like taking a vitamin,” says David DeSteno, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at Northeastern University in Boston and author of the book Emotional Success.

6. Don’t Overload on Information: Decide on what time of day you will consume information about the virus and then stick with your plan. Cut down your watch time into 10, 15, or 30-minute chunks no more than that, or you will get sucked in and find yourself watching news coverage all day.
7. Say a prayer for others: One way to take your mind off yourself is to pray or send kind thoughts to others in need. This virus has affected all of us, and we need to come together to provide love and support.
8. Get some rest:   While you may want to stay up all night, doing a virus vigil can wreak havoc with your health. Like healthy eating, your immune system needs you to be well-rested to help it work properly. Regular sleep will also help you to be at your emotional best. Stick to a regular sleep schedule and throw in a power nap if you need it. Your body will thank you for it,
You will get through this; don’t give in to fear and worry; instead, take the necessary precautions and stand firm in your faith. This is your time to shine! Be the leader you are called to be, even at this moment in time, you still have the power to create the life you want to live.
I will be coming to you each day with new tips and resources to steady your mind, help you keep your health promises, and to just keep you busy, so don’t forget to follow the blog so you don’t miss any upcoming posts.

Wishing you peace and love,

Renee

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When Your Motivation to Exercise Weans: Four Tips to Get You to Your Wellness Finish Line

 

download finish line

Last year, no matter how many times I repeated the Nike chant, “just do it,” I found it very difficult to maintain a regular workout routine. The truth of the matter was that I allowed everything to get in the way, and it showed not only in the tightness of my dress slacks but in my attitude. I was mean. If anyone is reading this and you were a victim of my wrath. I am so sorry.
Exercise is not only the way that I keep off the pounds, but it is also my way of managing my mental health. So, I realized that I had to stop waiting to be motivated and make it as much a part of my daily routine as brushing my teeth and putting on lip gloss. I would never leave home without doing either one of those things.
Now, maybe you are having the same problem; it’s so easy to lose your motivation, especially during the winter months. Unless you are training for the Olympics, who wouldn’t rather stay in bed snuggled under your favorite blanket than venture out to the gym in the dark and cold. Motivation is not enough to keep you moving; when it disappears, so can all the dreams you had of getting in shape and taking control of your health.
To combat this from happening, you must make working out a habit. According to Sandy Joy Weston, author of the My 30 Day Reset Journal, “the secret is repetition plus consistent time and cues because the brain creates neuronal connections when you do something, and with each repetition, the connections get stronger and the action takes less effort”.
How long will it take for you to make exercise a habit? According to a study conducted at London University, it could take an average of two months.
The following four tips will help you to work towards making exercise a habit and help you to get back on the treadmill or in that yoga class and moving forward towards your wellness goals.
Tip 1: Don’t beat yourself up: we spend so much time telling ourselves that we are bad people for not working out, this negative self-talk is not going to help you to get back on track. Be kind to yourself! Take into consideration where you are physically and emotionally and create your plan. Tell yourself that it is going to be okay. Pick your start date and start. On a side note, your start date is arbitrary; a Friday works just as well as Monday.

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Tip 2: Reward yourself, while exercise is a reward within itself, it helps to have some shiny bobble to look forward to at the end of your workout week. I made a list of things I want to add to my spring wardrobe; to earn them, I am committed to working out for two weeks to get each item. When I try to talk myself out of working out, I just looked at my list and laced up my sneakers.
Tip 3: Find an accountability partner: I cannot stress enough how important it is to find a workout buddy. My friend Lisa and I have resumed our twice-weekly spin cycle classes, and it has been great. Because we keep each other accountable, and in six weeks we have only missed one class because I had to work. A workout buddy is a great way to strengthen friendships and reduce your waistline.
Tip 4: Make your workout fun- if you don’t like running, cycling, or swimming, then don’t do it, choose a belly dance class or Zumba. Pick an activity that will bring some joy into your life. If you enjoy the class, the instructor, and your fellow participants, this will all work together to keep you coming back.
As midlife women, we know that working out is the best way to lose weight, boost our energy, and manage our mindsets. But, knowing something is good for us, and doing it consistently does not always work hand in hand. Making exercise a habit will take the stress out of moving your body regularly and get you to this segment of your wellness finish line.

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Stopping Skipping Meals To Lose Weight

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I see this quite often in my health coaching practice, and I used to be guilty of it myself. It’s common for people to think that when they skip a meal, they are ‘saving’ calories. What happens though is it backfires! By mid-afternoon or early evening, they’re starving, and then they feel like they have no ‘will power.’ Our body needs fuel in the form of food to function, so when it’s deprived, it screams out for what it needs – food! Your willpower is no match, and then you end up feeling guilty. Skipping meals sets you up for failure and feeling guilty.

Here a just three things that happen to your body when you decide to skip meals.

1. Skipping meals will ruin your metabolism: “Yo-yo dieting can mess with your resting metabolism, which is the way your body burns calories in order to function. Because your meal times are so unpredictable, your body will keep what it can and won’t burn calories efficiently. If you want your weight loss to last you have to provide your body with the fuel it needs to maintain a healthy metabolism. This will help you to burn calories efficiently.

2. Skipping meals will affect your blood sugar: When you skip a meal your body relies on glucose reserves to provide it with energy. This will trigger a drop in your blood sugar and make you feel sluggish and moody. According to Licensed dietitian Brigitte Zeitlin, “It can also make it hard to concentrate because your brain doesn’t have the fuel it needs to think straight. Other low blood sugar symptoms can include shakiness, sweatiness, and irritability.”

3. You will not be able to maintain the weight loss: Yes, you will lose weight by consuming less calories but, you won’t be able to sustain it and the weight will return. You body will fight for the food it needs to survive and your dieting willpower is no match for your body’s need for self-preservation. I remember when I was training for ballet, and wanted desperately to lose my black girl hips, (that is what my mother called them) I ate one piece of boiled chicken and a lettuce and tomato salad with vinegar. I lost ten pounds in two weeks, I looked fantastic, but I didn’t feel well. My mom made we realize that I should be proud of my body and my black girl hips and eat something. I obliged her by and then stuffing my face at Sunday dinner. As hard as I tried to resist the smells of southern fried chicken wafting through the house, I lost big time.

Whether you decide to eat six mini meals of three meals a day and healthy snacks when needed. You’ll notice you get through the day with more energy, and when you plan your meals out during the day, you can make healthier choices. It’s much easier to make unhealthy choices when you need to eat something now, and you just grab the closest thing you can find.

Plan ahead and to ensure that you do not skip meals, you will notice the difference in how you feel during the day. An added bonus, is that you will probably end of eating fewer meals.

  • Get into the habit of meal prepping. Maybe you don’t for the entire week to start, try prepping two days at a time. Plan your menu for two days and then make sure that you have everything in your kitchen to prepare a nutritious breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Prepare breakfast the night before so you have something ready to eat the next morning. Batch cook soup soups in a nice healthy broth can be great for meals and snacks.
  • Keep healthy snacks at the ready. Life gets busy, be prepared to crush the munchies with healthy snacks at your finger tips. Snacks to have on hand include roasted almonds, low-sugar protein bars, and low-fat, plain Greek yogurt with fresh fruit.
  • Pair a meal replacement shake with a healthy snack. If you don’t have time to sit down and eat a nutritious meal that consume healthy meal replacement shake with a healthy snacks. Please be aware that meal replacements can be high in sugar so real the label, you do not want to be substituting a milk shake for a real meal. Drink your meal replacement shake in conjunction with any of the following a banana, natural peanut butter and celery sticks , carrots and hummus. You should be aiming to stay between 325 to 400 calories, 15 to 25 grams of protein, five grams of fiber, and 10 to 13 grams of healthy unsaturated fat at each meal. Remember, this is for emergencies and should not be used as a regular meal replacement.

Losing weight and keeping it off is hard. If anyone tells you otherwise they are lying. You can try any diet out there including skipping meals to lose the weight but keeping it off is the real battle. That requires a change in mindset, and change in your relationship with food. Eating mindfully will help you accomplish both of these tasks. I teach my clients the right system, support, and accountability is what needed to get healthy. When you are ready to make peace with food, let’s talk.

Talk soon,

Renee

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Welcome To Your Life! Midlife Made Easier does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Any information published on this website or by this brand is not intended as a substitute for medical advice, and you should not take any action before consulting with a healthcare professional.

Is Your Weight Holding Your Life Hostage

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How many of you have said, the moment I lose this weight, I will plan my dream vacation.  I am going to get some new sexy underwear.  I am going to get a new hair cut or get rid of this soul-sucking relationship.  “When I lose weight, I will get my teeth whitened.”  I was working with a woman who told me she was waiting to get her teeth whitened until she lost the weight.

Today I want to talk to you about not waiting until you reach that magical number on the scale and begin to live your life. I want to share with you three ways that you can start living your life right now!

Stay Present:  You have to start loving where you are right now, stop warring with your body and learn to love it just the way it is rolls and all.  Do not dwell on your past or on the future.  You cannot change the past, and your future depends on what steps you take today.  When the negative self-talk begins, counter it with this exercise. 

  • Close your eyes-be still-take a deep breath in through your nose and out through your nose (three times)
  • Continue breathing, and on each exhale repeat to yourself, I am enough just the way I am. (Three times)
  • Repeat until you have quieted your spirit or calmed your nerves

Do this regularly, this mindfulness tool will help you to reign in those negative thoughts and begin the work of repairing your mindset.  Until we treat ourselves with love and respect regardless of our dress size, no one else will. 

Go shopping now:  Get out of that worn sweat suit, black yoga pants, and hot polyester outfits.  Dress the body you have, I thought buying clothes that fit me was a sign of weakness.  I was telling myself that I would never lose the weight and I felt uneasy about dressing my new curves.  Then I caught my reflection in my full-length mirror as I was leaving home one day.  Who is that? I almost asked myself, dressed in an oversized gray t-shirt and a pair of black stretch pants.  This was my daily uniform.  I felt sad and depressed, and it showed in the way I carried myself and my interaction with everyone I encountered, I went out that day and purchased some new clothes. 

Dressing my new curves gave me more confidence.  I felt polished, and it ended the overwhelm I felt each morning when I went into my closet, trying to find something to wear.

[A capsule wardrobe is] a practice of editing your wardrobe down to your favorite clothes (clothes that fit your lifestyle + body right now), remixing them regularly, and shopping less often and more intentionally.

My advice is to create a capsule wardrobe.  Shop for a few essential pieces that you can mix and match.  I purchased four pairs of knit slacks in black, burgundy, gray, and navy.  Four knit skirts in the same colors with a nice wide elastic band.   I stayed away from buttons and zippers.  Opting for wide bands are best because they prevent the top of your clothing from rolling down under your belly.  Then I purchased 8 pretty tops, a couple of cardigans, two blazers, and a denim jacket.  With these pieces, I could dress up or play it casually.  Now, I had a wardrobe to take through the seasons and help me to feel comfortable and pretty.  I wore these pieces until I lost the weight.  It was a wonderful experience, and my weight loss journey much easier.

     Finally, start doing the things you love; do not be afraid to go out to dinner just plan.  Buy those tickets to see your favorite band, each week you should be doing something fun.  Make fun Friday a reality, stop living vicariously through the IG photos of family and friends, and start posting your own.  The truth is we don’t know what tomorrow holds, so live your life each day as though it was your last.  Smile, and be happy!

You are beautiful at your present weight.  Losing weight may give you more confidence in the short-run, but if you do not heal your mindset and say present in your life, the weight is going to come back, and you will be back on that diet merry-go-round of self-defeating, negative self-talk which leads to self-loathing and comfort eating.  You deserve more than that.

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You Want to Lose Weight? Cook More Meals at Home

Download Your free guide here Beating the Midlife Slump 10 Strategies to Boost Your Self-Confidence, Self-Care, and Self-Love

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You’ve been trying to lose weight; you lose a few pounds only to gain them right back and sometimes more.  It could be that the food you’re eating when you dine out is the culprit.  Eating more meals at home is strategy number 2 of our guide Beating the Midlife slump 10 strategies to boost your self-confidence, self-care, and self-love, you can download your free guide here.

Eating more meals at home is especially helpful when you are at the beginning of your wellness journey.  As it will allow you to control the portion sizes of our meals.

When you cook more meals at home, not only do you tend to eat healthier, but you can also save time, money, and calories. If you prepare a meal and make a double or triple batch, you’ll have leftovers for lunches or another dinner.  By cooking once and eating two or three times, you are becoming incredibly efficient with your time, money, and calories.

I have to admit that when Dunkin Donuts introduced their Beyond Sausage sandwich, right after Burger King announced the Beyond Sausage Whooper, I was overjoyed. I cannot tell you how many sandwiches I ate, but let’s say it was a daily occurrence for at least a month and a half. Finally, one day when trying to put on my favorite jeans, I discovered not to my surprise that they did not fit. Eating all that bread everyday had finally caught up to me. Even though I was still exercising everyday. It’s true what they say, you cannot exercise a bad diet.

What we have to realize ladies, is that once you hit midlife, the way your body burned calories is not the way it burned calories at 25 or 35. There will be some foods that we can’t eat or we have to eat in moderation.

It’s much easier to eat healthy when you’re the one selecting the ingredients and preparing the meals. I know it takes more time to plan and prepare yourself, but if you are looking to lose or maintain your weight, feel better, and save money, it’s worth the effort. On the nights that you have other activities going on with the kids or community functions, the crockpot is a HUGE help!

Need dinner ideas? There are so many great websites for recipe ideas, including:

  • Allrecipes.com
  • Hellofresh.com
  • Forks Over Knives
  • eMeals.com (this is a paid service that sends you 5 dinner recipes each week based on the dietary style you choose)
  • Tasty App

If life is just way too hectic, you can use services like Hello Fresh, I have used them often, and the meals are excellent. They provide you with an excellent menu for the week and send you all the ingredients you need to create a healthy, delicious meal in the comfort of your own home. Most meals are done in less than 45 minutes, and you might even have some leftovers for lunch the next day. This option is super convenient!

I get asked a lot by single women, do I have to cook at home or could I just go out and eat dinner? I hate cooking for one person. And my answer is the same there is no one more important for you to cook for at this time of your life than you. Single ladies, make eating your meals at home a joyful experience. Purchase new cookware or dinnerware. Set the table, put on your favorite music, and enjoy your meal.

As with any change, you don’t have to jump in with both feet, baby steps are okay, if you are making positive movement towards your wellness goals. Just ask yourself, what one action step can you take this week to prepare more meals at home?

Download Your free guide here Beating the Midlife Slump

Join the Welcome to your Life! Midlife Made Easier Facebook Group

Five Tips on Finding a Gym You’ll Love and Use This Year!

I know it’s the middle of January, but, Happy New Year, my sister, I know that 2020 is going to be a fantastic year for us, as we grow spiritually, heal emotionally, and get physically fit.  Like millions of midlife women across the land, you have probably decided that it is time for you to revisit the idea of regular exercise.  I don’t have to tell you the benefits of regular exercise especially for women over 40, but my momma/coaching instincts are kicking in, and I want to make sure that you understand that putting in the physical work now could save you from not just weight gain but brittle bones, compromised immune systems, loss of energy, Type 2 Diabetes and heart disease.

But, how do you find a gym that you will love enough to use three times per week after the excitement of the New Year has subsided.  You know, there are so many weight loss programs, new and exciting exercise equipment like the Peloton bike, but the hard truth is that as a country we are more out of shape today than any time in our history.

My own quest for the perfect gym in 2019 had me feeling like Goldilocks.  The first gym was close to home but didn’t have the classes I loved or a pool.  The second gym had classes and a pool, but the yoga classes were more like physical fitness classes instead of the quiet meditative qualities I love in yoga, plus I wanted a gym that offered more fun networking events.  That led me to my third gym, it had the classes I love, a pool, and fun networking events.  But again, the yoga classes felt like I was in a middle school gym class.  So, you guessed it, I joined a yoga studio.   By the end of 2019, I had four fitness memberships.  Thankfully, they have all ended.  But I want to make sure you don’t make the same mistakes.

Here five tips that will help you find a gym that you will love or at least one that you will visit as much in July as you will in January:

  1. First, pick a gym that is close to home.  That way, whether you rock your workout at 5 a.m. or 5 p.m.  You will not have to drive more than 15-20 minutes out of your way to workout.  So, check out the gyms in your local area. Make sure that it has ample parking, and ample lighting, if you are going before the sun, comes out.  You don’t want to give yourself any reasons for not actually parking your car and walking into the building.
  2. Check your budget:  It’s always exciting to start something new, even a new workout routine, the pull of getting our bodies ready for the beach are undeniable.  But, make sure that the monthly fees fit in your household budget.  Read the contract and check for additional cancellation fees.  Nothing puts a damper in your motivation to workout than worrying about how you are going to pay the monthly fees.  Also, if your gyms fees are being automatically withdrawn, check your bank statement to make sure that you are only being charged the amount on your contract.
  3. Pick a gym that has activities you love:   If you just want to work out on the treadmill, the bike, or elliptical and lift weights, a gym like Planet Fitness could be all that you need.   I enjoyed my membership at Planet Fitness, they have enough machines and weight equipment that even during peak times you could probably get in an out within an hour.  But I also needed my weekly yoga fix, so I then had to join a yoga studio.  My advice is to look for a gym that has everything you need for a complete fitness routine.   If you enjoy aerobics or yoga classes, then look for a gym that has a regular line up of those classes.  Visit a couple of classes to get a feel for the instructor, and then choose the class you love, make a commitment to yourself to attend that class every week.  Put it on your schedule, lock it in, make it a non-negotiable use of your time.
  4. Partner with an accountability partner: most gyms have personal trainers who will help you to get back into the groove after a long fitness hiatus, but they will also act as your accountability partner, helping you get the most out of your visit each week.  Some personal trainers will even give you a call if you miss a week.  You can also grab a friend and pinkie swear to help keep each other motivated and engaged throughout the year. 
  5. Check out the culture: Every gym, like every workplace, has its own culture.  Find one that is right for you.  To do so, ask yourself the following questions, do you want a gym where you can work out and attend social activities?  Do you want a gym that is oriented more towards accommodating the needs of families? Do you want that is oriented more towards adults and children persona non grata?  

The bottom line is that you need to find a gym that is close to home, affordable, has the equipment and classes you need for a complete fitness routine.  You will need an accountability partner to help keep you going to the gym when your motivation starts to disappear, and you want to make sure that the culture of the gym is one that fits your personality and your needs at this time in your life.

There are 168 hours in a week.  We owe it to ourselves to take 150 minutes a week to get our minds and bodies in tip-top shape.  Let’s face it, you may not always enjoy working out, but exercising regularly will help you enjoy your life and increase your gratitude level.   I promise!