I have to say…
I’m pretty excited that I have a couple of fantastic questions to answer for this edition of “Ask Dana”.
I’m also thrilled that you guys have been sending them in. The truth is, I can always come up with topics that I think you’ll want to read about, but it really helps to be able to address your personal concerns in regard to weight loss and well-being. Others will benefit from what you’re looking to know, so I encourage you to continue to submit your questions so that everyone who reads these posts will benefit from the information.
This month, the topics will include staying fit over 50 and how to keep weight down following an accident when exercise isn’t an option.
So without further ado, let’s get started.
Question 1 –
“I am over 50 and most people think I am in pretty good shape “for my age”. I really hate those three words! I always thought I would be okay with just looking good “for my age” but that was before I realized what that looks like. I already do everything your book suggested so I was very glad to see that I was on the right track! Is there anything else you can suggest for women over 50 to improve their abs? Mine have pretty good definition, however, they remain a bit hidden beneath too much sagging skin. Because of this, I have actually considered a tummy tuck. One plastic surgeon said I was an excellent candidate because I was in good shape and would be pleased with the results; while another said I had a “great tummy” and should be glad I look like this “for my age”. Thanks for any advice you may have!”
Well I can certainly understand how frustrating it is to hear the term “for your age”. Being that I am over 40, it’s a phrase I find being directed toward me every so often…and while I know it’s meant to be taken as a compliment, it’s still a little strange to hear.
In regard to your question about improving the appearance of your abs, if it’s a situation having to do with the loss of elasticity of the skin – and you have well developed muscles underneath, then I’m afraid that the only known solution for this would be surgery.
You could always continue to do core exercises using a variety of different fitness programs, such as yoga, plank varieties and pilates.
So now that the suggestions have been made, I’m going to ask you a pointed question…
If you’re happy with the definition you currently have, and you already do everything you know how to do to live a fit and healthy life, then what makes you think you need improvement?
Do you compare yourself to others? Magazine models or younger women?
And if so, are you aware that this is a no win situation?
I know this may not have been what you were expecting to hear, but the truth is…if you’re taking good care of yourself (and it sure sounds like you are), and you already look toned, then how is this not good enough?
I’m going to be blunt here and say that I personally feel that the “image of health and fitness” has become an unfortunate measuring device that too many of us base our worth on.
We judge each other, and ourselves by whether or not we measure up to some standard that society has of what it means to be beautiful, desirable and attractive, but if we were to honestly contemplate that for a moment…I think it’ll be accurate to say that such standards are based on nothing but an idea that has been planted in our minds.
My advice is this…
Keep doing what you’re doing and realize that you’re already gorgeous. You don’t have to fix anything. You’re fit and healthy and you obviously care about your well-being.
As far as I’m concerned, that has more value and worth than any tucked tummy ever, EVER could.
It may not be the answer you were looking for, but I feel it’s the best, and most responsible answer I can offer based on my interpretation of your question.
I hope you continue on your path to optimal health and don’t let age (otherwise known as maturity/wisdom/natural progression of womanhood) convince you that you are anything less than fabulous.
Question 2 –
“I recently was hit by a car about 2 months ago. I have recovered for the most part, but my right leg is broken and still unable to bear weight. Both leg bones as well as my ankle were compound breaks. I am having trouble with weight for the first time in my life due to inactivity. My leg needs to stay elevated for most of the day and like I said, I can’t put weight on it. Also, I can’t make it to the store often enough to get fresh produce so my diet has been somewhat limited. I won’t be able to walk for another 12-15 weeks. I am 5’3″ and usually weigh about 115 lbs but am now at 130 lbs. Any advice you may have would be very helpful.”
To start with, I am relieved to hear that you’re alive and ok following such a serious injury (and I’m sure your loved ones are as well).
I am also glad to hear that although it may take a little while, it sounds like you’ll be up and moving around again, even if it’s later rather than sooner.
Due to the severity of your injuries, and the fact that I am not a medical professional, nor a physical therapist directly working with you, I obviously can’t offer any fitness advice other than recommending that you ask your attending physician(s) if there are any upper body exercises you can do to help burn some additional calories while keeping your heart muscle fit and active.
As far as your nutrition, it’s understandable that you can’t make it to the store as often as you’d like, and for this, I happen to have several realistic suggestions for you.
- When you do get to the store, buy high quality, organic/non-gmo grains such as quinoa, brown rice and gluten free pasta – as they’ll keep in the cabinet and won’t go bad. Make large batches of these foods (combined with veggies) to keep food ready and available when you need it.
- Load your freezer up with fruits and vegetables (to keep costs down, follow the organic buying guide for produce by clicking here).
- Consider purchasing organic, healthy foods online to be delivered to you. Here’s a link to some additional info.
- Visit Local Harvest.org and enter in your zip code to see if there are any local farms or CSAs (community supported agriculture) that deliver fresh produce in your area.
- Keep non-perishable healthy snacks around like nuts (with no salt added) and organic/non-gmo bars.
- Make sure that whatever meat or poultry you have around is from organic, cruelty-free/humanely-raised grass fed animals. It’s a cleaner and more nutrient dense way to consume this type of protein.
- See if any of your friends/loved ones are willing to go to the store for you every so often and if any of them cook, ask if they would be willing to prepare some easy recipes for you in bulk.
And now for the most important recommendation – your mental state of being.
If you can keep your mind geared toward well-being as your injuries heal, there is a likelihood that this could play a positive role in how your body responds to the physical trauma it is currently dealing with.
Try to keep your mind focused on anything and everything that has to do with optimal health and wellness. You’ll continue to come across ideas and inspiration that may or may not play an immediate role in weight loss, but none the less, could possibly help to prevent any additional weight gain.
Stay hydrated and well nourished.
Read articles about healthy living, enjoy sipping on soothing, organic teas and drink green smoothies.
Infuse yourself with high quality nutrition and think about what you’ll do once you’re able and ready to get moving again.
These are the best suggestions I can offer, but I think they’ll serve to be useful, in addition to being realistic and empowering.
Let me know how you’re doing, and if there is anything else I can add.
Ask Your Questions
I really appreciate the questions you guys have sent in so far.
They allow me to give you the insight you’re looking for, in addition to my own perspective – which is always geared toward empowering the individual with a good dose of honesty and the suggestion of questioning your thoughts.
Our mental state of being plays a HUGE role in our well-being – and this includes health and fitness.
Are there any questions you want answered?
Image courtesy of Huffingtonpost.com