Health & Fitness,  Lifestyle,  Self Care

Finding balance between fun and fitness in your 40s

Is “living your best life with balance” the new “fit”? If how I’m feeling these days is any indication, then, Hell, yeah, it is! I’ve had such positive feedback lately and many people have asked what I’ve been doing. So I thought I’d give you an update…

Ice cream, skinny jeans and #sweatyselfies is the new "balance" to fun and fitness in your 40s. Read more at www.ericablogs.com.

Ice cream, skinny jeans and #sweatyselfies

I firmly believe a life lived with balance is a life well-lived. That being said, some days I couldn’t find balance if my life depended on it — not even if it reached out and slapped me in the face — and other days I am balanced AF. Loosely translated: you eat the damned ice cream one day and rock the hell out of those skinny jeans the next. YOU do YOU.

The truth is, I feel good. Not only do I feel good, I feel strong and proud and, yes, some days I even feel hawt. But it certainly didn’t happen overnight. Nor did it happen without putting in the effort.

In my last post I touched on how, between mid-December to mid-January I’d been brought down by a back injury, then flumaggedon, and, finally, lice. The only balance happening throughout that gong show was ensuring everyone got equal say in what to watch on Netflix. Ultimate Beastmaster for the win. Things began to improve around the second week in January when I finally felt well enough to jump back into my daily fitness routine. Never was I so happy to break a sweat that wasn’t fever-induced. More importantly, the morning InstaStory #sweatyselfie posts were back!

 

If you’ve been following my blog then you may have stumbled upon the beginning of my fitness journey nearly three years ago. At the time, I was on a quest for weight loss after hitting rock bottom. Even then I spoke of the tools I was using to fuel my goals and the areas that needed improvement. Ironically, my basic methodology has changed very little: use tracking apps, move my body, eat reasonably well, and dream of getting more sleep.

The programs that helped me find balance

While I had kickstarted my exercise routine myself, what really took it next-level in the summer of 2015 was when I began implementing the Power 30 ritual of the Whole Life Fitness Manifesto (WLFM), a program I followed religiously up until this past December (which continues to be offered free, by the way). That’s not to say I haven’t had setbacks — there have been several — which is why I felt ready to, once again, push out of my comfort zone kick things up a notch. I needed a goal reset; this time my focus was less on the scale and more on strength.

Recently, I’ve had many people ask what I’ve been doing differently. Well, friends, there’s no magic involved, merely science sprinkled with a little blood, sweat and tears. But you asked, so here’s the skinny on how I’m eating the damned ice cream and rocking the skinny jeans I never thought I’d wear. In January I began Dai Manuel’s RBT Shred which is basically the next level up from the WLFM.

After two six-week sessions, the change has been remarkable. I see it and I feel it. I embarked on this new six-week program primarily because it offered a range of workouts each week that included weight training whereas up until then I had only been doing workouts using body resistance. The awesome daily support and accountability of our private Facebook group along with a six-week meal plan, shopping list and recipe book are just a few of the added bonuses.

A day in the life of this 40-something mom-on-the-go

Before I go any further, keep in mind, what I’m sharing is what is working for me. What works for me may not be your jam. However, this program is totally adaptable whether you workout at home or at a gym. Plus, you can be as diligent or as flexible with the meal planning as works for you. I’ve been a little loosey-goosey in this department but every recipe has been SO GOOD and none of the food or snacks have been a stretch.

In a typical day I:

  • get up between 7-7:30am
  • make my hot lemon water with a dash of cayenne and collagen powder which I sip throughout my workout
  • set up my workout space in the basement and hit “start” on my workout which I’ve preprogrammed into the “Seconds” app (so glad I upgraded to the paid version of this app; it has saved me so much time)
  • work out for about 25-30 mins, sweat a lot and curse a lot more
  • cool down with 5 mins of guided meditation

  • prepare my morning green smoothie to take to work and pack my snack/lunch for work
  • walk to and from work, which, combined with my workout, usually helps me achieve my 10,000-step daily goal which I track with my Fitbit
  • throughout the day I drink about 2500 ml of water + coffee + sometimes wine at dinner
  • ensure I have quick snacks ready to grab-n-go like deli turkey or nuts
  • in the evening I check into the Facebook group, log my food diary in the MyFitnessPal app, which is synced to my Fitbit, and do a little reflection/jounaling
  • after running the kids all over town, eating dinner and getting the kids to bed I then do some mindless Netflix-and-chilling or Instagram-scrolling for an embarrassingly long time which is my downfall because I inevitably end up snacking at some ungodly hour and going to bed at an even ungodlier hour

Striving for progress, not perfection

My key takeaway is this: to be flexible and accept that even in the face of an imperfect system we are capable of achieving big results. The changes are clearly noticeable and I haven’t had to sacrifice or deprive myself of my indulgences to get to where I am. Could I have had even more epic results had I gone all “hard core”? Of course. And, sure, some days were better than others. But ultimately my goal wasn’t perfection, it was to continue to build upon my progress. And that’s what is inspiring others — the sheer normalcy of it all.

So, I’ll just be over here, being all balanced. And, since it’s Friday, that “balance” might include a martini. I am in a good place mentally, physically and emotionally. The perpetual exhaustion I attribute to the irrational FOMO that keeps me up until 1am checking just “one more thing”. What’s the saying? “I’ll sleep when I’m dead”? Yeah, this is me, I guess. (Relax, I’m kidding.) Are you ready to take that next step? Join me for the next session of the RBT Shred!

Ice cream, skinny jeans and #sweatyselfies is the new "balance" to fun and fitness in your 40s. Read more at www.ericablogs.com.

Erica writes with humour and heart about family, #fit40s and living life in the carpool lane. Part-time banker by day and Netflix-addicted-cake-decorator by night, Erica's in-between time is spent dreaming up ways to ruin her kids' lives. Obviously.

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