Baby Ginger ~ As a young kid and preteen, my fitness journey was filled with weekend camping trips, softball summer camps and playing outside until it was time to come in for dinner, we did not have the chance to plop in front of the television for endless hours of boob-tube entertainment or video games.
Teen Ginger ~ As a teenager in middle school, my fitness journey was filled with after school volleyball practice and doing my homework while waiting at parent pick-up or on the activity bus ride home. Coming home and doing chores outside and being an all around fearless tomboy! Riding my three-wheeler until it got dark out. Weekends of boating and water sports. Then, in high school I alternated seasons between winter volleyball practice and late nights of spring softball practice followed by full evenings of part-time jobs and homework as soon as I could get to it.
Fierce Fitness Ginger ~ Fast forward to my twenties and I found myself feet first in the gym for at least 2 hours, 6 days per week (only because they were generally closed on Sundays). Maintaining a tiny figure for more than 3 years. How? LOTS OF DISCIPLINE and Sacrifice! But, you can only keep up such strict discipline for so long.
Focused Ginger ~ Now, approaching my 40’s, I realize just how important it is to keep up a healthy balance of diet (eating habits that is, not starving or depriving) and reasonable exercise along with finding a balance for dealing with stress and other life obstacles that come up. Writing about my journey, sharing recipes and reaching out, it’s what I live for!
One of the hardest things to change these days, in my opinion, are my eating habits. It is so important to feed your body what works best for your body, while not depriving it of essentials necessary for muscle growth, overall health and prevention of disease. I’ve talked in the past about keeping journals, making notes on how foods make you feel (good or bad) and changing how you approach food in general. I’ll say it again, planning is key! The days that I have the hardest times sticking to my healthy eating are the days that I have not planned ahead for meals or days that I did not have time to pack my proper lunch and snacks for the day. That equals an afternoon crash for me or deviation from my healthy habits and that is not good.
As for the exercise, I’m loving that I have gotten back into running at my own slow to moderate pace and that I am really loving the cycle classes (spinning class for my old school followers) which is improving my leg strength and more importantly, my flexibility. So often I have heard, “youth is wasted on the young” and I believe at times, that is oh so true! So many times I have found myself thinking back to days when I worked out for hours and ran hills and did endless Joe Holland Jump-Squats (Yeah those Holland girls have a spit-fire Dad that whipped us into shape!) at afternoon softball practice then to come home and start all over again the next day with very little or no pain. Oh those were the days!
Now in a time of diet pill mills, endless nutrition supplement peddlers (myself included, as an AdvoCare distributor), promises of quick fix weight-loss and an endless array of diets and diet books to starve, yo-yo, etc. It is enough to make your head spin and your wallet to scream U-N-C-L-E! So what’s a girl to do that is turning 40 in a little over a year and a half? Get herself straight and hold herself accountable.
Moving forward and realizing that no one is perfect, nor can you realistically be 100% all the time. It is imperative that you allow yourself to indulge occasionally, just don’t fall off the wagon and get run over by the entire wagon train. Over the past few months I have pushed myself to change for the positive on my journey. Reducing the negative, reducing the stress I place on my joints, reducing the stress I put on my body to digest foods that do not agree with my system and I feel really great. Better than I did when I was in, what I thought was, the best shape of my life in my 20’s. Though I was super strict and healthy, I don’t feel I was as healthy as I am now. A large variety of eating options, more access to exercise alternatives, including studying to become certified in some fields myself, I think I’m finally getting it.
So what’s in store for me? That’s a question I always find myself asking. I want to continue in the positive direction of my fit journey and help others along the way. To continue to explore new avenues for getting where I need to be on my journey and further reducing stress, most importantly getting through unforeseen issues that may arise without completely stumbling and starting over from scratch. Stay tuned for updates on my work-in-progress. . .