Feeling Ageless

The Benefits of Keeping Your Mind and Body Strong

My weight loss and fitness journey started when I was in my mid 50’s. Due to a chronic condition that developed in my left leg, I was told by my orthopedist that I could no longer walk long distances, which was my main form of exercise at that time. He told me that the only exercises I could do without hurting myself were riding a stationary bike (the upright kind only), or swimming. I knew how to swim, and enjoyed recreational time in the pool throughout my life, but swimming for fitness was out of my realm. And besides, I had already been coloring my hair for some time, and didn’t want to risk damaging that! So I joined a gym, and started riding the bike for a half hour at a time, with the intent of increasing that in increments as I got into better shape. I dabbled with upper body nautilus machines, and stretching, but overall I was so bored. I was also in denial about my weight.

After a few conversations with my neighbor about this, she convinced me to get into the pool. She had been on swim teams as a kid, and wanted to get back to it herself, so after a heart to heart about hair conditioners, I went for it, with my beloved neighbor at my side. It was slow going at first. I could barely get across the pool twice that first day. Soon I was swimming half miles, then finally a full mile. I got up to swimming 100 lengths at one point. I loved it! I started swimming a minimum of 3 times a week. I was becoming more aware of my 200 + lb weight and especially my size 16/18 physique, but I thought, “now that I’m swimming, the weight will melt right off”…. WRONG! So after a couple of particularly embarrassing photos I saw of myself during the holidays of 2011 (age 56), I made the decision to join WW.

It took me 3 years to lose 47 lbs, which I know is really slow, but I persevered, and today, at age 65, my weight is down an additional 3 lbs for a total loss of 50 lbs. And I am in the best shape of my life! I feel younger, and I look younger. At the family Hanukkah party my niece asked me if I was aging backwards. Of course I said yes! I am still working full time, I take great care of my skin (always have), and now my body is strong too. Yes, I have a few orthopedic issues, but I keep them managed with the pool workouts, which now include water jogging 3 times a week, and lap swimming on Saturdays and Sundays, daily stretching, and an anti inflammatory diet.

Make the most of your age. Here are a few suggestions to help you get to a younger mindset:

Try Something New

Keep an Open Mind About What Aging Looks Like

Tune Out the Negative Self Talk

Find People Who Inspire and Encourage You

Keep Moving

Focus on Goals and Celebrate Success

Me and my WW Tribe. These ladies have been my rock. Note that most of us are different ages and in different stages in life. And we are an extremely diverse group. All feeling happy, strong, and good about ourselves.

Today’s meal prep celebrates the end of winter with one last squash dish. I made a warm salad with a base of quinoa tossed with a tiny bit of parm, toasted chopped walnuts, and flavored with a little lemon zest, and topped with arugula, roasted delicata squash and scallions. I’ll be topping it with Trader Joe’s Shrimp Burgers. Here is the original recipe, which I hacked into a Baby Boomer Mermaid style lunch prep: https://naturallyella.com/arugula-delicata-squash-pasta/

Baby Boomer Mermaid style Roasted Delicata Squash and Arugula Salad with a Quinoa Base

I used 1 packet of Trader Joe’s Frozen Organic Quinoa, which is a full cup in total, and tossed it with salt, pepper, and a pinch of chile flakes, about 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese, and about a tablespoon of chopped toasted walnuts (which I keep handy for snacks – they are high on the list of the best anti inflammatory foods). I also added a little lemon zest. All the seasoning was per the original recipe, which was actually meant for pasta. I divided the quinoa into 1/4ths, and divided it into my containers. I topped that with raw arugula, then topped that with my roasted squash and scallion mixture, which I prepared according to the recipe. I pan fried the shrimp burgers to top off what will be my warm salad desk lunch, which I will heat up in the microwave at the office so the arugula will become slightly wilted and warm as well. I am figuring the whole plate at about 4 – 5 points (on the Blue Plan), counting the olive oil I used to roast the vegetables with.

This is what I like to eat. Please – scour the interwebs and find meal prep inspiration for yourselves.

My breakfasts this week will be blueberry yogurt bowls mixed with cinnamon, ground flax seeds and chia seeds topped with a sprinkling of Julian Bakery Pro Granola, which I have mentioned to you before. I’ll also take a mid morning snack to work consisting of a hard boiled egg (seasoned with Everything But the Bagel Seasoning), as well as an afternoon snack of a couple of mandarins and a light string cheese. That is my perfect pre workout snack, by the way.

Aging gracefully is a practice and a gift. Take care of yourselves. Thank you for stopping by today. Your comments, critiques, and questions are always welcome.

Find me on social media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marshaleeg54/

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A Moment of Clarity

Just want to share this awesome moment in time that happened yesterday. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to go for a rare mid week swim. As happy as I was to be at the pool, my head was cluttered with “to dos” and the general weight of my current situation. As I was getting ready to get in, I noticed the gentleman in the water that I had seen from time to time since I’ve been swimming, over the last 12 years or so. This man had had a stroke. When I first saw him all those years ago, he could barely move. He needed help getting in and out of the water, and was in a wheel chair. He was definitely using the pool as physical therapy at that time. Over the years, I have seen him slowly improve to the point where he now walks with a cane. He also now swims just like any of us. So I sat down to swim in the lane beside him yesterday. He looked up at me with the biggest smile you have ever seen and said, “Hello beautiful person”! All of my cares dropped away at that moment and I was filled with pure joy. Oh what a feeling! And how grateful I felt to be healthy and free to live my life, financial and job problems aside. This is the true meaning of life, I thought, as I went on to swim my laps.

Today, starting a new day, I am carrying that joy with me, feeling grateful for everyone and everything. I am healthy, I am happy, I am loved, and I feel love. What else is there?

The beautiful Santa Monica Swim Center
My “Magic Place”

Happy 4th of July, y’all!

Sunday Food Prep 1/6/19

Hi, Friends,

I am gearing up for another week. Work is stressful these days, so it’s really important that I stick to a meal plan. I have been known to “stress eat”. I make sure that I don’t have any trigger foods in the house, and that my breakfasts, lunches, and snacks are healthy, hearty, and tasty.

I don’t have time to do anything extravagant. I’ve become expert at what I call “dump” recipes. I keep a pantry full of healthy convenience foods. Frozen veggies are a staple. This week I prepped veggie omelette muffins for breakfast. If I don’t want that one day, I’ll switch it out to a yogurt and berry bowl one day. Or overnight oats that I keep in the fridge in jelly jars. For lunch I made Asian chicken veggie soup. I also made a dessert snack of slow cooked apples. I don’t really use recipes. I am attaching photos of the ingredients I used today, and of finished products for you to see. They are all low cal, and low WW points. If you have any questions about what you see, feel free to ask. I will answer the best I can.

My exercise plan this week is to aqua jog Monday, Wednesday, and Friday after work, and swim laps on Saturday and Sunday. That is my usual routing, and it works great for me. The aqua jogging allows me to decompress after work, gives me the cardio and the physical therapy I need for my back. And the lap swimming, well, that is just what I love to do. And it is the best exercise for everyone, but especially people with orthopedic issues.