by Buzz author Lucie Smoker
I am a sugar head. Anyone who knows me knows the reason I took up weightlifting was so I could eat whatever I wanted–um theoretically. I have no diseases, good blood pressure and cholesterol. I eat whole grains, lean protein, limit starches–and have had several disagreements with my trainers about the “benefits” of chocolate ice cream–but two years later, I’m mostly happy with my results. Approaching 50, I’ve decided to cut 10 pounds. How can I do that and still keep some sugar, my drug of choice?
- Weightlifting is fabulous for women’s health and great for building personal confidence
- Pumping iron slashes cholesterol and prevents osteoporosis. It requires that you actually eat food, not diet. Because you sweat hard and rev up the blood flow through your whole body, your skin will look radiant and clear.
- Maintaining a healthy weight is a mental game and confidence is like a trump card. I love walking past tough guys in the gym and lifting much more than they think I can. And weightlifting is a lifetime sport. You can do it when you’re 75 as well as when you’re 30. For more information on lifting as you age, read Younger Next Year by Chris Crowley. Mostly, keep in mind that you’re not trying to be twenty again. but in becoming the best 40 or 60 you can be.
You’ll need to meet with a trainer to start lifting properly. Form is more important than weight in any regimen. My workouts consist of the following:
Monday and Thursday, Arms and core:
20 mins cardio, plus 40 mins of yoga, weights and calisthenics
30-40 mins of straight cardio.
Tuesday and Friday,
Legs and core: 20 mins cardio plus 40 mins of yoga, weights and calisthenics
Here are three exercises that I consider key as I age:
The back of your arms is one of the first places where a woman shows her age. If you do these or another exercise targeted to the back of the arms, in combination with cardio and weight control, you can avoid feeling batty.
2. Back extensions:
The lower back is one of the most susceptible to injury, yet most people don’t actually work out their back. Extensions build flexibility, give you a lower back workout, plus a glute squeeze.
3. Squats and Lunges:
Talk about chopping off the love handles. These will do more for your overall body confidence than anything else I’ve tried.
I’m about to turn 50 in April, so I’ve decided to “cut” 10 pounds. Love the way female body builders call it cutting. It sounds more controlled–and is. I met with my trainer this morning to develop a realistic, controlled strategy. Staying on target with my weight means maintaining a balance between exercise, nutrition and, separately, keeping my sugar intake within reason. Fact is, I would rather get my sugar in a delicious chocolate than hidden in everyday foods. The trainer gave me a few tips to get rid of hidden sugar:
1) Make my own green tea drinks, vinegar-based salad dressings and dinners.
2) Control my weakest time slot (evening after my part-time job) with a healthy, but low calorie shake.
3) Add lemon when possible, eat grapefruit 20 minutes before the evening meal, and eat an orange if I’m craving bad sugar.
And by all means, allow myself that occasional small bowl of ice cream or that daily bite of excellent chocolate. I will defy any “diet” that forces me to give up my sugar. Life’s too short to try to be a martyr.