Take the American Heart Association's 12-week Go Red BetterU Challenge today! Join Julie, Laura, Molly, Pamela, Paula, Renee and Ruthann in this journey to better health. BetterU is a free online tool that provides resources and tools for women who want to improve their health. Start! now so you can be on the path to becoming a BetterU!

Monday, March 29, 2010

The end; the beginning...

Sunday March 28 marked our last official day as participants in the 12-week Go Red Better U Challenge -- but life goes on.
To get that message across on Friday, the always-benevolent American Heart Association in Indy sent all five of us challengers an incredible edible basket of fruit flowers, along with other motivational goodies -- a large sippie cup for water, (what else do you call it? That's what comes to mind...vocabulary now reduced to a 3-year-old) a pedometer, a squeegie ball and a cool little pin-on button with the single word: START. For 12 weeks, our color has been red; now it's bright apple green. I get it, I get it...
Don't quit; don't make an end: START.
True, we're on our own now: no more trainers at Lifetime, no more cardiology appointments with the wise and amusing Dr.Branyas, no more facial treatments with Dr. Turkle's staff, dietician sessions, etc. etc. etc.
That's really what we did last fall, when we interviewed for and committed to this program. For me, it really was a brand new ballgame. The writing was on the lab results: cholesterol up and weight up. Throw in family history and a total lack of cardio, plus some other bad habits, and I was ready for a change.
The heart association has provided the tools. They got me STARTED.
It's been really rewarding to see results: 9 lbs. weight loss since January, plus numbers that are all in the normal healthy range. IN cardio, I can rev my heart up to 135-140, and I have nothing but improvement to look forward to on that horizon (well, within limits; I am 63, and age does dictate to a certain extent how high I want it to be).
But I know I'm going to continue to lose weight; I know it, because I'm not in a rush this time, just taking it nice and easy.
START it is, every day....and like Dr. B said at that first breakfast, if you have a bad day, don't beat yourself up; just do it right the next day.
Look forward to the future, especially July 5, when the five challengers will reunite. Unitl then...well, you know.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Benefits

I did it! I got in my car after work yesterday, workout bag already in the car, and I just drove to Lifetime Fitness without thinking about it. Don't get me wrong, my brain wanted to think about what I was doing but I just couldn't let that happen. Self-talk all the way baby and when I got there I happily parked a little further away than I usually do and I practically skipped to the front door. I felt like I had a delicious little secret and it felt good to follow through!

Kara was surprised to see me - that was fun. I took to the treadmill just a wee bit easier today - that was fun. I remembered some of the routines I've learned and did as much as I could to work up to pain and sweat - that was fun too!

But the biggest fun and a BENEFIT of working out that will keep me going back - ahhh, he was cute, like a teddy bear, with the deepest dimples, the sweetest smile and a flirty little wink to boot! Now ladies...I did not pretend to get stuck in the leg press machine. I really could not remember how to get in and out. Imagine my delight when this smooth fellow walked over to show me how to properly use the machine. And he doesn't work there so he was not duty bound - I think he thought I was cute - that's my story, my fantasy and I'm going with it! That's all I needed today to walk around my office doing lunges and squats. Seriously! That's all I need tomorrow to hit the treadmill at work and that's just about all I need to keep my training appointment!

Hope he's there! Leg press, here I come! I found a new motivator and it's workin' for me! Find your motivator and meet me at the gym~

That's all for now~

Sweet dreams!!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Never too late to begin again...


Well friends and family...here I am again. Not sure if you're still following but I'm still trying to make this change stick!
One thing I can say that I am forever grateful for is God's unending grace and mercy. I appreciate His kindness when He says there is no failure. Because ladies and gentlemen, can I just tell you that the struggle continues, especially since I'm not working towards the fashion show runway. Now I'm working towards the rest of my life and though some of my changes have stuck...some of them have run out of glue.
Kara sent an email recently that says we still have until April 15 to workout at Lifetime Fitness. Melissa sent an email that says we can be in touch for nutrition help until infinity. I'm seeing Dr. Vohra, sleep doctor, tomorrow and soon I will have one more visit with Dr. Nancy Branyas, cardiologist.
These are all great things for me to look forward to and so I am looking forward and upward. The stuff I ate before this last 2 minutes of blogging is now gone and I can't do anything about my past bad choices. I hope I'm not bumming anybody out...I just want to encourage some lady who is just like me...I am determined to see a brand new and better me, no matter what. I can do that and so can you! Will you write back and let me know how you're doing? In the meantime, you can still get fit with me by going to: http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=3063592

And, I just found out last week that the 5 of us Indy Challengers have been invited to ride on St. Vincent Hospital's parade float on July 5th! Another goal, Thank you Lord!

Here's an old pic I found of me recently...I like it so I thought I'd share!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Take three minutes for your health....

Thanks to all who were able to attend the Indianapolis Go Red For Women Luncheon and see our fabulous BetterU Challengers in the fashion show.  They looked fantastic!!

By participating in the Luncheon or simply by reading this blog, you’ve begun to empower yourself, and the other women in your life, to take control of your heart health. Now you’re ready for step two – and we’re here to help you get started!

The American Heart Association has a new resource to help you improve your overall cardiovascular health and reduce your risk for our No. 1 health threat, cardiovascular disease. Please take three minutes to complete My Life Check, a health assessment tool that will help you understand your current level of heart health, assess your own health needs, and create a customized action plan that will move you closer to your personal health goals.

I also encourage you to forward My Life Check at http://mylifecheck.heart.org/ to your family and friends and help them begin their own journey to better cardiovascular health. Thanks for helping to spread the word!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Today I made a plan...

and executed on the plan! That's right...after getting through the past few days without the limo, the paparrazi, the fashion, the firemen - whewww - it's been tough getting back to normal but now my work really begins. No longer working towards the fashion show which by the way, hope you've seen the pictures, but now working towards LIFE and the new me! These next 2 weeks are important but I'm really excited about the next 2 months, the next 2 years. My body loves exercise, whether it knows it or not (LOL) and I love what changes are happening inside and outside of my body. I hope you're all still working hard and encouraging yourselves. That's the key...encourage yourself...motivate yourself and as Kara, my personal trainer said to me last week..."make yourself a priority!" Every day since the fashion show has not been perfect but everyday has been a brand new start full of brand new opportunities to make the RIGHT choices on my own. I'll let you in on a little secret. I have not been writing down what I eat but I started recording today...very enlightening and an extremely disciplined approach to controlled eating. I love it!

Well, I'll sign off for now - keep on keeping on and don't lose sight of the new and improved you that is a major art in progress...yes, I meant art...you and I are both works in progress but the outcome is pure art, pure beauty. Go for it...we deserve it!


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Still plugging away


Apologies for a two-week silence, but I've enjoyed reading Kim and Amy's reflections here. Also sending love and props to Jessica and Dee -- how are you, ladies? Looking forward to that day in the not-too-far-distant future, I hope, where all 5 of us connect again. For some social lubrication! (inside joke).

Oh, my -- that luncheon was something else. I think all five us of were blown away by the sheer electricity and excitement of the moment. Besides that, it was just plain fun: getting our makeup done by our friends at Phases (Dr. Turkle's office) and then riding in a lino with our good buddy Sandy, who gave us all goody bags. Wow, talk about feeling spoiled. And the firefighters from Lawrence who were our escorts;forever grateful, guys.

My issue was being ill that day, with what turned into bronchitis, but honestly, the sense of being underwater did not diminish my impressions and sense of good fortune. Gratitude and grace...

Also, this heart plan really works. Got some new numbers from my personal physician Dr. Rea, and EVERYTHING IS IN NORMAL RANGE. Hoo-rah! It was a pleasure to show these figures to Dr. Branyas, because the last time I saw her, the numbers were bad (or not within normal range).

I am looking forward to climbing back on that old treadmill and seeing Abby for weights/reps tomorrow....weight continues to come off slowly, which is as it should be...that's how it was put on. The only fly in the ointment is missing the other challengers; getting together with all of you was "the time of my life." Thanks for the memories....Good luck to all, sleep tight and heart you all!

Monday, March 8, 2010

On guard

We're a little over a week past the Go Red for Women luncheon and about three weeks from the end of the Better U challenge. Since my first appointment with Dr. Branyas in mid-December, I've been watching what I eat and adding exercise to my normal routine.

Even so, I find that healthy eating and exercise is not automatic to me yet. I still have to be on my guard.

My husband hurt his leg over two weeks ago and has been unable to get around very easily. So the lion's share of the housework, kid-toting, grocery shopping, etc. has fallen to me. He doesn't sleep well, which means I don't sleep well.

All that can add up to an "I don't want to" attitude about my healthy lifestyle habits. To be honest, I've given in to that attitude a few times over the past few weeks. While sitting on the couch still seems to be my default setting, overriding that setting is much easier than it was when I started the Better U challenge.

So this morning, when my hind end, my hips and my thighs (that would definitely include my lower thighs) were aching from Saturday's workout with Kyle at LifeTime Fitness, I stuck my fingers in my ears and shouted "lalalalalala, I can't hear you" and put on my workout clothes anyway.

I took the kids to school and headed for the gym. After 45 minutes on the elliptical, I felt better -- emotionally and physically. Who knew the key to dispensing muscle pain is to work through it?! To me, the victory is not just getting myself to the gym, but also recognizing that I have to stay vigilant about staying on the road to a better me.


Amy Magan