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Author: Linda Stephens

Being a fit and forty something woman I get approached by many other women of the same demographic asking me how I stay in shape and what my diet is like. When I tell them of my workout schedule and my clean eating regime I usually get interesting looks and many say “I could never do that!” and I always come back with “why not?!” They usually answer saying something like, “I don’t have time to workout” or “it’s too hard to eat that way with kids in the house.” I tell them I have kids, a house and all the responsibilities that go with it too. But, I still make the time to exercise and eat right. Now, I do understand that not everyone wants to push it as hard as I like to in the gym, but each individual has to find his or her comfort zone and work within it.

I know there are a million excuses as to why you can’t find the time to exercise, but you are only defeating yourself. Exercise is the one most important thing that you can do for yourself! Exercise can make every aspect of your life more efficient and enjoyable. It gives you more energy to manage your children if you have them, more energy to get up for work every day and perform to the best of your abilities and you’ll burn more calories at rest. It improves your self-esteem and how you view yourself and how others in turn view you. I haven’t even started to list all the health benefits that exercise accomplishes. Exercise will lower your resting heart rate allowing your heart to work more efficiently. How about low blood pressure, low body fat and body mass index as well as increasing longevity coupled with less trips to the doctor for aches, pains and sickness. It certainly sounds worth it to me!

As a personal trainer, I work with many different people within all fitness levels. Working with folks who are already fit, but just want to be pushed a little more is challenging and fun for me. I also enjoy my clients that are pretty new to the gym and really need to build strength and learn how to eat properly. It’s usually trying for them initially, but once they get the “high” that comes from feeling your body tighten and lighten up they are hooked! My favorite moment as a trainer is when I get a text from a client telling me they’ve lost weight and feel great. That to me is priceless and reinforces why I became a trainer and to pursue my master’s in nutrition. Every one has it in them to be in the shape they dream of. I feel it’s my calling to assist them in their quest to learn their way around the weight room and in the grocery store.

Whether you are single or raising a family, when you learn to eat well you’ll feel full of energy and zest. If you are raising a family, your habits will spill over to everyone else in your household. They may protest at first, but I guarantee they will embrace it over time. My kids eat most everything that I do because I eat quality food that tastes great. Now, I’m not saying that I don’t let my kids have candy or ice cream or even Frosted Flakes from time to time, but they indulge in moderation. I’ll buy them a box of Frosted Flakes and tell them when the box is empty we are back to the normal routine. They learn that a treat is just that and it’s not the norm. Oh and yes, I even take them to McDonald’s occasionally because it’s a treat and it’s fun for them. A healthy lifestyle doesn’t mean you can’t have that glass or two of wine or enjoy that pasta dish with a piece of bread (my personal favorite!) But, at your next meal you get right back to clean eating. There’s nothing wrong with a cheat meal, but NOT a cheat day or weekend. That will definitely derail your progress.

One thing I like to ask my clients is “what weight do you feel your best at?” Tell me a reasonable weight that you can manage everyday and not feel deprived, but satisfied. After they answer I have them write down their food consumption for a few days as that helps me figure out how to tweak their habits. Eating healthy shouldn’t feel bad or hard. I realize it will be an adjustment at first, like anything new usually is, but it’s so worth it.

The exercise piece can be challenging because there never really seems to be a “right” or “easy” time. Once again it’s an adjustment, but once you fit it into your schedule and make the commitment it becomes like brushing your teeth. You’ll want to do it every day or you won’t feel right. I know personally I have to do something every day even if I only have time to jump onto my elliptical machine and do some sit-ups and pushups. I still feel much better than if I had not done anything at all. I revved my metabolism, got my heart beating and broke a sweat. There are mornings when I’ll get up earlier than normal to get it done because my day is full and I know I won’t want to do it later on. I FIND the time to get it done and feel self confident and strong.

Only you can change how you eat and add exercise into your daily routine. Don’t you want to feel and look better? Have more energy and look super in your swimsuit and not feel like you have to hide out in your cover up or with a towel wrapped around you? There’s no time like the present and now is YOUR time. Make the commitment and your body will thank you by looking and feeling better! I have many great ideas and tricks of the trade! It would be my pleasure to assist you in any way I can. Feel free to contact me at Linda.steph42@yahoo.com. Be well!

Linda Stephens

Credentials:
Certified by National Association of Sports Medicine
NPC National Figure Competitor
Masters of Clinical Nutrition, University of Bridgeport (Expected graduation Spring 2013)
Scivation Representative

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Website: http://lindastephensfitness.com
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