Looking at life through the filter of gratitude

“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”-Wayne Dyer

This is a great quote to read as I decide on my three daily gratitudes (coming up with 3 things to be grateful for is part of the FFF Guide). 

Today: 
1) Trees (and shade!) 

2) Olympic athletes who inspire 

3) my daughter, who lovingly encourages me to be better and reach higher 

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Michael Phelps

Michael Phelps is an overcomer.

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Water

IMG_8410“He who has health, has hope. And he who has hope, has everything.”

-Benjamin Franklin

The easiest FFF habit is to drink water. It may be the easiest, but you have to pay attention. Then, after awhile it becomes a habit.

If you aren’t in the habit yet, start small. Drink one cup of water. Drink it in the morning, or as soon as you can. Drink it before your coffee, or tea…before you do anything else (except maybe pee, lol).

What kind of water? I’m talking plain water. No flavors or added chemicals. It can be tap, bottled or filtered. Cold, warm or hot.

I have a Brita pitcher, and it makes tap water taste better (and filters out some of the chemicals). We also have water delivered from Crystal Springs at home – especially handy because you can choose cold or hot water. At work, we have Crystal Springs filtered water, too, with the same options.

In the car, I either have a water bottle, and as a back-up, regular bottles of water (I keep a case of water in the trunk).

Not too hard, right? One cup of water is a measly eight measly ounces.

Want flavors, or sweeteners?  You can have those, later. Heck, you can even have a diet soda. After you drink one plain cup of water.

Your ultimate goal is to get drink six cups per day (48 ounces). But making big changes all at once? It doesn’t last. So start small: just drink one.

Wait. Do you REALLY need to drink water? Some people say you don’t. But if you want to be a Fairly Fit Female, you need to drink water.

Let me tell you a story:

A few years ago, my dad mentioned that his doctor told him he didn’t need to drink water. According to his doctor, “you can get the water you need from the foods you eat.”

I told my dad that sounded “Cray Cray.”

(I had to explain – he’s not super-hip like me.)

Fast forward to November. Steve, Kelly and I spent Thanksgiving with family at my cousin Blake’s house. A group of about twelve of us spent the whole day cooking, socializing playing and eating and drinking.

After dinner, we were playing cards, when my dad started to slump over. Scary! I grabbed him, and asked what was wrong. My dad said, “I can’t see very well…”

My cousin Craig, who is a nurse, immediately launched into medical mode, trying to analyze the cause of my dad’s collapse.

One of the most frightening possibilities: my dad was having a stroke. Craig instructed him:

“Bill,” he said. “Hold your arms straight out in front of you.”

My dad was slurring his words. He couldn’t hold his arms up.

The hospital was only two blocks away: could we get him there? My dad is 6’3 (maybe a little shorter, he’s shrinking, lol) and weighs about 175 pounds. As we tried to lift him, he felt like dead weight.

You know how bad things seem to happen in slow-mo? That’s what it felt like. It was great to have Craig there, as he rationally listed our options.

“He needs to get to the hospital. But if we try to lift him and can’t, he could fall and hit his head.”

“Call 911,” someone said.

The ambulance soon arrived, and in walked the stereotypically hot EMTs and Paramedics. (One of them was a woman. I’m not ashamed to say she was also hot!)

Long story short: my dad collapsed because he was dehydrated.

I was shocked. He’d never appeared drunk, or even tipsy, but he’d been drinking Scotch all day – like we all had.

In the ambulance, dad was hooked up to an IV. I followed the ambulance to the hospital, as I said only two blocks away. When I walked in, there he was, already in the ER, sipping a cup of water. Looking perfectly perky.

All that worry, inconvenience and cost (the trip to the ER was billed to Medicare at $10,000) for something that could have been prevented with a little water.

Now I’m on my dad constantly about drinking water. Especially when he’s drinking coffee, or alcohol. Or, when it’s hot out (okay pretty much all the time).

NOW do you believe you should drink water?

But wait, he was already in his late 70’s when this happened…

The same thing happened to a friend of mine, only she was much younger, and she happens to be a teetotaler (I’m a party girl, but I’m open to having friends of all kinds.)

This friend was/is a Girl Scout leader – actually a regional director. She was on official business at the Girl Scout HQ when suddenly, she fainted.

I wasn’t there, but the people who were, called 911.

At the time, she was barely 50. She wasn’t drinking alcohol, or even caffeine. But she WAS running in a million directions, like a lot of us do. Though she’s normally great about drinking water, she had been busy, and somehow hadn’t.

Different story, same moral: drink water.

Your mission as a FFF is to start small. From now on, drink one cup of water, in the morning, as soon as you can. When you’re finished, congratulate yourself. You did one healthy thing! You’re a Fairly Fit Female, and you’re a success.

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Dealing with temptation

img_8428.jpgI just came back from a relaxing and fun weekend with my FFF sister Trudy. There was a neighborhood reunion at her beautiful vacation home on Hood Canal. I was lucky enough to be invited along – a lot of people, fun and FOOD. (And luckily some walking.)

The food was so good! Fresh crab and oysters…and a plethora of gourmet choices to go with them – prepared right at the beach. It’s hard not to overdo it when there are so many choices. I thought I’d share my best strategies for dealing with temptations when they come up. Basically, you have THREE Fairly Fit Female options:

  • Say no. It’s hard to do, but sometimes your willpower comes out of hiding (lol) and you’re able to turn it down. (I did that with the brownies and chips.)
  • Embrace it. Eat whatever tempts you and savor every bite. Immerse yourself in the experience so that when you’re finished, you got your money’s worth (or calorie’s worth) in pleasure. No guilt, just the awareness that you just enjoyed a special treat. (I did that with the rice krispy treats and french fries.)
  • Eat it, but eat less of it. This is the best option, but how do you do it?  I have FFF Tips and tricks to help you do that (some of the best are in my FFF Startup Guide). I’ll give you one for now: eat P+P with your treat. You’ll eat less of it than you would if you ate it alone (I did that with the veggie frittata I had for breakfast – which I ate with my treat – a croissant.)

Those are my strategies for dealing with temptations. Pick one, and make a Fairly Fit Female decision. If it’s not the best one, let it go and get back on the Road to Florida.img_8438.jpg

 

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Happy Birthday to me

Mom Kel obsidian3Today’s my birthday. My daughter, Kelly, told me once that if you’re going to lie about your age, you should lie older. That way people will think you look really good for your age. So today I turn 60.

Okay, that’s not true. Today’s my 57th birthday. But I do like the way I look. I feel good, too. I have some pretty good genes to work with. But I still have to work at it. When I made a shift to being a Fairly Fit Female, it made a huge difference. I started focusing on getting healthy. I stuck to a process, instead of trying to lose weight (which I’d done many other times. Diets always led to temporary results.)

Along with looking and feeling good, I’m confident I’ll continue to be strong and fit as I get older. What do I do? I follow the Fairly Fit Female Plan. You can read the plan in the 30 Day Startup Guide, or the Road to Florida Travel Companion Guide.

The plan  sounds so simple, you might think it’s too easy. But it’s not. The challenge comes in making it an ongoing lifestyle, and not a temporary fix like most other programs out there.IMG_3929

The good news is, I can do this. You can too. We can live the Fairly Fit Female Lifestyle. We can be strong, healthy and fit, for the rest of our lives.

Click here for my FREE Fairly Fit Female Cheat Sheet – with the FFF Plan and some super-cool tips.

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Protein keeps your brain in your head

IMG_8283I know what it’s like to be outta control when it comes to eating. Usually it’s when I let myself get too hungry. My brain flies out of my head, and the mini donuts go down the hatch.

If you’re reading this, I’m guessing you can relate.

We resolve to make smart, sensible, healthy choices.  We’re going stay away from empty carbs, processed foods, the drive thru….blah blah blah. Then we wait too long to eat, and our best intentions are out the proverbial window.

Of course, there are a lot of reasons for overeating. Food is complicated. We eat to deal with everything from stress to boredom. But some overeating is caused by plain old hunger. Being too hungry usually leads to bad choices. The best way to prevent this from happening is, well… prevention.  My Fairly Fit Female advice:  make sure you don’t get too hungry. Your best weapon in this particular battle is protein.

Lean meats, eggs and low-fat dairy are all high in protein (I choose low fat dairy over non-fat. It’s tastier and more satisfying). The Fairly Fit Female plan includes 5 P+P meals and snacks a day (Protein + Produce).

This is a super important concept. Baby carrots, apple slices and bananas are all healthy. But add some protein so you don’t set yourself up for hunger – and failure. Protein will stick with you and keep you in control.

If you’re on the go, you need some portable protein sources. Here are a few ideas:

Pumpkin seeds. 1/4 cup = 9g protein

Dried Soy Nuts. 1/4 cup = 11 g protein

Beef jerky. 1 ounce = 12 g protein

Cashews. 1 ounce = 8g protein

Peanut butter. 1.5 oz = 8 g protein. (I like Jif portables for dipping my apple slices on the go).

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Include protein with every meal and snack. You’ll be more likely to make good food choices – and keep your brain in your head!

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Magic of momentum

starsThe more you do something, the more you want to do it. It’s all about the magic of momentum.

Isaac Newton said it something like this (I’m paraphrasing): an object in motion tends to stay in motion, and an object at rest tends to sit on the couch.

Getting started is always the hardest part. That first decision to eat something healthy isn’t easy. But once you do it, you feel better. You feel a sense of pride, a little “zing” of satisfaction. You do it again. Pretty soon you’re in a groove, momentum kicks in, and it gets easier.

Of course momentum’s evil twin is inertia. You’re sitting on the couch, or in your favorite recliner. You’re watching TV, checking your phone. You know you should walk. It will be good for you. You’ll feel better after you do it. But, dang…it feels so nice to just sit.

Remember this: the magic of momentum is waiting for you. Get started, and momentum will propel you ahead, and make you feel like you’re riding with the wind, instead of against it.

All you have to do is take that first step.

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What fitness is all about

IMG_8168We all know what the Hokey Pokey is all about. But what is fitness all about?

At a certain age, the point of fitness becomes less about a “Bikini body” and more about what it does for you.

I’m at that certain age.

Okay, I admit – if I’m at a pool or the beach, I want to be able to rock my tummy control tankini without embarrassing myself. But it’s more important that I’m fit enough to walk, bend, move and hike. I’m able to lift what I want to lift and carry what I need to carry. And I’m able to do things I want to do, like play golf.

On Friday, I played in the local Chamber of Commerce Golf Tournament with my buddies Leanne, Christie and Jenny. The good news: we came in second place in the Ladies Division!

The bad news: there were only two teams. Lol.

The best news of all: I’m fit enough to play golf. Even though we had golf carts, we walked a lot, and I ended up with over 16,000 steps on my Fitbit. We had a great time. Afterward, I felt tired – in a good way. I was – and am – thankful that I’m a Fairly Fit Female. It means I can do what I want to do.

How about you? You have things you want to do. Being a Fairly Fit Female expands your possibilities. Join me on the Road to Florida by drinking 48 ounces of water, walking 6,000 steps, and eating 5 servings of veggies/fruits. Together we can  stay active, healthy and fit.

That’s what it’s all about.

 

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Restaurant strategies 

13 Coins is a classic restaurant in Seattle. They’re known for 24 hour dining, great food and huge portions! Steve and I went to breakfast there this morning. Here’s what I did to make some FFF choices. Hopefully I’ll inspire you with some ideas for your next restaurant meal. (And hopefully I’ll inspire myself too – I’m not always as good.)

-Ordered a Vegetarian Frittata – packed with yummy veggies

-Decided ahead of time how much of it to eat (a quarter of it – the entire thing was the size of my head!)

-Ordered water to drink,  plus coffee of course.

-Subbed fruit for the hash browns that came with it. Said no thank you to the toast.

-Got a doggie bag and will enjoy leftovers for a week I swear!

After we left, I felt so much better then I would have if I had eaten more – which I could have – or had hashbrowns and toast. I was satisfied and didn’t feel the remorse I feel when I pig out.

It’s a journey, and some days are better than others. Today I stayed on the Road, and I have to say it felt great.

Not much else to say about that except Yay, Kay! 😉

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Cottage Cheese

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When I was a kid, my mom used to eat cottage cheese. Back then it was a “diet” food…yuck. And what was that name about? Cottage cheese? Like cheese from a cottage? The only cottages I’d heard of were visited by Goldilocks and Little Red Riding Hood.

My mom made me try cheese from a cottage once.

“I can’t believe you eat that stuff…gross, mom!”

How things change. Now I really like cottage cheese – especially as an alternative to yogurt. Yogurt gets old after awhile (and after it gets old…it becomes YOGURT)!

Seriously, cottage cheese is high in protein, and makes a great “P” to cover the PROTEIN in your P+P snack.

As for the other “P” – PRODUCE..I like fruit with my cottage cheese. Berries are great – fresh or frozen. Grapes or bites of apple are nice. Bananas are a natural, and canned pineapple, mandarin oranges or peaches (without added sugar) are perfect in a pinch.

When you’re trying to find something for a P+P breakfast or snacks. Don’t forget the cottage. Cheese, that is.

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