When I was reading through Tybi’s perspective on fitness, one word really hopped off the page at me. Balance. It is an aspect of her personality I don’t think I fully grasped when I was working with her. In our sessions we were always focused on the workout, gaining strength, and helping her implement some nutritional strategies. I really missed how good she truly is at achieving and maintaining balance, something I constantly try to emphasize with women I am working with.
Tybi is busy with family and career, but she has managed to find a fitness plan that is working for her. She is honest when she shares that exercising is not her passion, and she doesn’t have hours to spend at the gym. Her passions lay elsewhere with motherhood and teaching science to mid school children. However, she does want to look good, feel good, and stay healthy.
The first thing I noticed when reading her story was her healthy relationship with food. She is not afraid to eat nor is she depriving herself. Rather, she is practicing portion control and making good eating choices most of the time. The second thing I noticed was her great attitude about exercise. She is not worrying about how many minutes she is exercising or whether it is enough. She is doing what she can each day and enjoying the feeling of being outdoors and moving her body. Third, Tybi practices consistency when and where she can. When it comes to staying fit, every little bit makes a difference. That walk at lunch, leaving a little food on the plate at the end of a meal, or having a healthy snack all add up to big changes over time.
I know that there are those who would disagree and maintain that certain cardio and strength programs would be better for Tybi. They may indeed be right on some levels. However, I would argue that any plan you cannot implement in your lifestyle is the wrong plan. We are in this for the long haul and it’s really about finding consistency in the areas that you can on a daily basis.
Here is Tybi’s perspective on staying fit and maintaining consistency in her own words.
As a young child I grew up in San Francisco and our family walked everywhere. After I moved to Albuquerque, I danced for a few years, but I never considered myself athletic and neither did my parents. However, they did teach me the value of home cooking, portion control, and balanced, healthy eating habits. We ate very minimally processed food and small portions.
During my twenties my weight was never a problem. I worked out sporadically but kept within my ideal weight range. I ate what I wanted but never overindulged. When I became a teacher I never had time to go out to lunch. So I got in the habit of packing small portions and healthy snacks.
At the age of 36 I had my daughter. During my entire pregnancy I frequently walked and taught an after school yoga class for parents and people within the community where I worked. I was also careful with my eating habits. My husband is a great cook and that has made it easy to stay on track with home cooked, well balanced meals. Because of the consistency with my activity and eating habits, I did not gain an excessive amount of weight during my pregnancy.
In my forties things began to shift, and I really started to notice the weight creeping on. I also noticed a loss of muscle tone. My husband and I recently bought a boat and reached a point in our lives where we are able to frequently travel to warm places. This meant I would be spending more time in a bathing suit. I signed up to work with a personal trainer, Carol Covino in January of 2016. I have to admit that one of my main goals other than staying healthy was to feel good in a bikini. I worked out with Carol 2-3 times per week for six months. It was a wonderful experience and I learned so much about nutrition and fitness. I lost ten pounds and have kept it off. I am much more toned, feel stronger, and am comfortable in a bikini. Yet I feel there is always room for improvement.
One of my biggest struggles with exercising is finding time in my busy schedule. I don’t hit the gym as much as I did when I was working with my trainer, but I have kept fitness as a big part of my weekly routine and try to make finding time in my schedule a priority. I attend the gym about two to three days per week. I power walk a mile every weekday during my 30 minute lunch and eat a light lunch that I have packed during the walk. Someone might think five miles a week is not that much but it is so much better than nothing and it feels great to be outdoors. When I go to the gym, I lift and do 30 minutes of cardio. If I can’t make it to the gym, I work out at home. With the help of the internet you can find so many ways to work out at home with minimal equipment.
As far as eating goes I limit portions and simple carbs but don’t deprive myself. I do struggle with staying consistent with both food and exercise when we are traveling. We are taking more vacations, and I am still learning how to moderate my eating and make time for working out when I am out of my daily routine. A cruise need not turn into a week long binge session.
My thoughts about health have really changed as I have gotten older. I look at people in my life who have embraced aging, remained active, and are more fit than those who are decades younger. I am inspired by these women! I will never be a fitness fanatic but I aim for consistency with my current “fitness plan,” and am determined to remain active and healthy as I age. With this frame of mind I believe I will be looking forward to the next decade and beyond instead of dreading it. I hope that someday I will be lucky enough to chase my grandkids!