Today I got the best text from my mother, simply a photo of her in a plank position and a message reading, “Watch for me in next month’s issue of Senior Ninja Bitches.” As you can tell she’s where I got my good humor and fabulous genetics!
As a trainer people assume that I train my entire family, which is simply not true. I’m not the boss of anyone, according to them. So when Al and I visited her over the holidays, I was stoked when after reading Zen Mind, Strong Body, she seemed decidedly interested in kick-starting her training. Now as I mentioned before, my family has some amazing genetics, with almost no obesity in my family or hereditary diseases to my knowledge. But genetics can only take you so far, because lack of activity, poor diet, and stress will eventually catch up to you. Whether you’re slightly more overweight then you were in your younger years, or just don’t feel that great all the time, both can be factors that will naturally wear on your well-being.
After our visit, she kinda yo-yoed with the idea of training, started increasing her walks and I didn’t hear much about it til now. As I said I’m not the boss of anyone in my family, so I didn’t want to push the issue much. I feel the more someone pushes you to do something, the less you feel inclined to do so. YOU have to come to the realization yourself. And she did! After sending me the plank picture, I pried for more information about what other exercises she was implementing in her routine. Again, my jaw dropped after she explained it to me down to the letter. Her daily routine was as follows:
5 reps of Supermans (great as an introductory dynamic backbend) :
30 Leg Raises :
20 Crunches/Bicycle Crunches :
20 Flutter Kicks
20s Plank Holds, working towards 60s
4 sets of 10 reps of Assisted Squats, sitting down and standing up with the help of a chair :
She also had a pedometer with the goal of 10,000 steps per day!
(All bodyweight, no weights, no machines! Go Ninja Mom!)
When I asked if she’d noticed any body composition changes she said her clothes are already starting to fit better. She noticed a decrease in her “love handles,” and an increase in overall energy. She also proceeded to say how her food intake had also changed! She has more awareness for what she is putting in her body and thinking twice before eating certain things. For breakfast she has a grapefruit, cup of chai green tea, 1 hard-boiled egg and 2 strips of bacon! For snack she eats some blueberries, almonds, lots of H20, and even makes Al’s “Old School PB&J” smoothie that he suggests in ZMSB.
A big part of making fitness a part of your lifestyle is realizing that not only do you have to consistently train your body, you have to train your mind! Becoming increasingly aware of all the self-talk and how to sift through the negative, critical thoughts to create positive, uplifting mantras/affirmations instead to compliment your healthy lifestyle. Going back to my mama, she’s even added a Tibetan meditation practice to her routine.
If you’ve ever tried to meditate, you can attest to how difficult it can be just to sit still! She admits it is tough, but says she is noticing the benefits already, where she feels more focused on the task at hand.
The few times I’ve attempted to meditate, I also remember feeling initially a resistance to it as your mind wanders and you can only think about what you’re going to do next. But the more you stick with it, the easier it gets. Sometimes the monkey mind does slow down and there are glimpses of peace and “Ah-Ha” Eureka! moments that you otherwise wouldn’t have had you not allowed all the thoughts swirling around in your head to fully form.
I’ll admit it’s been awhile since I’ve meditated formally, sitting in lotus, but there are other ways, too. Just allowing yourself to be completely present, and invested in doing the most mundane task like chewing, or chopping vegetables, or walking can be a great way to begin developing “mindfulness.”
Well if I can leave you with anything it’s this amazing quote from my mom, “If I’ve learned something valuable is that looking and feeling good is not just doing one thing to achieve your goals. It is a combination of many things, i.e. (eating) the right foods, exercise, and staying focused even if you don’t see results right away. It won’t happen overnight!”
Thank you ninjas for taking the time to read about my Ma’s progress along her exciting new fitness journey! (Thank you Ma, for providing all these awesome photos and sharing your inspiring story! And for giving birth to me and my 4 amazing siblings! You rock! Keep it up!) We will be updating again in 2 months to see how much progress she has made!
Remember, you can start at any age, and the most important thing is that you start NOW! Now is the only time we ever have! The only limitations we have are the ones we impose on ourselves! Go beyond them, and miracles will happen. ❤
Feel free to share this article with your Moms, Pops, Abuelos, Y Abuelitas or anyone else you may want to inspire to move better! 😀