An old high school friend I’ve had the pleasure of reconnecting with recently said to me, “Damn Kimberly…..we’re not spring chickens anymore are we?!”, to which I retorted a hearty, “Speak for yourself!” I had to laugh, though, as yet another birthday looms on the horizon… inching me closer to a new decade (eek!). Grays sproutin’ along my hairline (I wear those suckers with pride, dagnabbit— they’re my wisdom hairs… and I earned every single one of them!). I find myself appreciating the fact that I get carded everywhere I go. It used to be an annoyance, but now- a compliment in the highest form. Guess I must be doing somethin’ right!
I’m often asked what exactly that “right” is that I’m doing to stay fit and ‘young’. Well, gosh. First I must give a nod to the ‘rents for gifting me with the genes I have, of course. Secondly- lifestyle. Fitness and overall health is a lifestyle. It’s daily habit and priority. It’s figuring out your nutritional needs, eating a diet that stays far away from extremes and is ‘plant strong’. Keeping your body moving, discovering and developing your faith and spiritual side, getting enough sleep, drinking enough water, knowing your limits so you don’t overextend yourself- in various areas, managing your stress in healthy and positive ways, creating and maintaining a community of amazing, inspiring, positive and supportive people in your life, getting fresh air and connecting with nature/ the natural world, exploring your creative spirit.. knowing yourself, honoring yourself and respecting yourself enough to give yourself all of these things. Waving farewell to excuses and saying hello to adventure, discovery and accountability. It’s a positive and ‘healthy’ perspective from which you approach the world. Lastly, it’s maintaining your sense of humor and not taking yourself too seriously. Keeping your childlike curiosity and youth 🙂
Most people assume because I’m so health-conscious, that I’m a vegetarian. I always get a chuckle out of that. I simply call myself a “Kim-itarian”. I eat what I feel is best for me given my likes, tastes, and physical needs. I do eat meat, but I know where the meat came from, what it’s diet was like, and how it was treated when it was alive (animal abuse is rampant among farm animals and is heart-breaking. I refuse to support it by buying the standard grocery store meat, eating meat from cheap-quality fast food joints, etc. In addition to actual physical abuse, animals are force-fed to fatten them up, stuffed silly with hormones and steroids, and kept in extremely confined crates and cages so they cannot even turn around to scratch an itch….. it’s a horrific scenario and is so common. Most people have zero idea where their food comes from and how it is ‘produced’. Do the research, people! Stand up for what is ethical, humane.. and simply right! *slams hammer on podium*).
Anyhooooo….here are a few simple rules of thumb:
– Eat for your activity level.. and stay ‘plant strong’ (not ‘plant only’, if that doesn’t float your boat…’plant strong’). If you’re not very ‘mobile’ throughout the day, the last thing you need to do is pile on those complex carbo’s (aka ‘energy food’; ever heard of triathletes ‘carb-loading’ the night before a big race? There is reason for that.) like pasta, bread, crackers, etc. every meal of the day. ‘Plant strong’. Make friends with colorful vegetables and sautee yourself up some delicious side dishes. Veggies go with ev’-reh-thang. Eating is a pleasure, yes; but it is also nutrition and sustenance. Portion it all out to fit your height, weight and you-nique demands, and seek balance.
– Shake your groove thang. Meaning- MOVE YOUR BODY. We are energetic beings. Keep the blood flowing. Move your limbs. Get a lil’ muscle involved so that they don’t decide to peace-out from lack of use (we naturally lose about a 1/2 lb of muscle mass every year we age after 30-ish, so keep in touch with your muscles). Make sure you have a healthy mix of cardio, strength training, core training and flexibility training. All promise to result in a symmetrical, balanced physique :)..and if you have a dog? The perrrrrfect workout buddy- most are always willing to get out and about and explore the outside world.
– Educate yourself. Read. Expand your mind and perspective. Become the ‘forever student’. The minute you assume you know all there is to know, is the minute you stop growing.
– Drink plenty of water/ green tea/ detox tea (my ultra fave is Yogi Tea- there are these totally awesome inspirational quotes on each tea bag tag. Super like.). And if you go for an adult bevie, opt for a glass of red wine. There’s a reason why Jesus turned water into wine.
– Create a community of loving, supportive, inspiring, positive people to surround yourself with.
– Even if you are not doing your ‘passionate work’ full time, make sure you have an outlet for it outside of your day job.
– Explore and develop your spiritual side. Afterall, we are spiritual beings having a human experience.
– Deal with it. Do not play the victim. Know that you have a choice in everything. You choose how you act and react to a situation. You choose how you allow someone or something else to affect you. You choose how you manage your stress and time. Use your intuition, your 6th sense to help guide you and you will make the right choice every time.
– Manage your stress in a healthy way. Journal, take a walk in a park somewhere, do yoga, meditate or sit quietly, vent to a friend whom has the ‘art of listening’ down….
– Manage your time. Wisely and better.
– Be accountable. Make excuses a thing of the past. Practice what you’ve set in motion, and keep your faith in yourself strong.
– Make sure you’re getting fresh, clean air in your lungs! Get outside (hopefully you have ‘clean air’ where you are).
– Steer clear of harsh and highly toxic cleaning chemicals! Opt for more eco and family friendly cleaning supplies (Seventh Generation, Method, Mrs Meyers, etc— and you can find printable coupons for these items! See February Blog “Eat Healthy and Organic… and SAVE!”).
– Your skin is your largest organ. Did you know that? So what you put on it matters, y’all. Use organic, natural skin care, lotions, hair care, etc. I’m diggin’ Dr. Hauschka (kinda’ costly, but you can usually find great deals on Amazon.com and if you google “Dr. Hauschka Sale” : D), Evan Healy (ditto), and a line I just recently stumbled upon— SkinCanDo. Little glass jars full of organic faaaabulousness. You can find it at www.skincando.com.
– Swap out your anti-perspirant for natural deoderant. Folks, there is a reason we sweat. Our glands are just doing their job. Putting anti-perspirant on is like giving your body the middle finger. Perspiration is our body’s natural way of cooling down, detoxing, etc. If you tend to attract flies in mass quantities without your ‘armpit stick’, choose a deoderant to mask the scent. Tom’s of Maine has several wonderful scents to cover your stank, in a most natural, uninvasive way : D
– Learn how to balance your financial life. This is often an added ‘stress’. Get. Out. Of. Credit Card Debt. It will continually haunt you. When you use your credit cards, not only are you using money that you don’t have and paying for things you cannot afford- but you’ll end up paying more for whatever it is you’re buying ‘cuz you’re using money that is not your’s. Credit cards are not a part of the American Dream. If you use a credit card, pay the balance off immediately. And if you are using a credit card that gives ‘rewards’, you’ll rack those up without getting yourself in debt- too.
Just a few tidbits. Start slowly… then build your ‘super self’ muscle by practicing each to the best of your ability. And, of course, HC is here to help you- so feel free to reach out! 🙂