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The Curvy Spotlight- May 2011

Posted May 20 2011 10:00am
I love the Curvy Spotlight. It is one of my favorite things to post here on The Curvy Life. It is a way to showcase others who are working hard to impact their lives and their health for the better! This month- I am SO honored to have my friend Revenda be showcased as our Curvy Spotlight. Revenda is someone who has always encouraged me to get healthy. She was the first person who said to me “It is not about a diet, it has to be a lifestyle change!” That I didn’t want to smack! LOL I knew she was living that lifestyle, that she knew what she was talking about, and that she was not just trying to placate me or talk down to me.  She wanted me to feel better and she invested time in giving me healthy hints and tips and things I could integrate into my life right then to help me start my journey.  When I realized I HAD changed my life- It WAS a lifestyle for me now- I was so excited I got on the text/email and let her know how much she had meant to me in this journey! I love she!

One of the things I have been recently thinking about is how this IS a lifestyle. It has been a weight loss journey for me… as it is for so many of you all. But once that weight is gone- what we have is how our lives are changed and good healthy habits that should last a lifetime. Not everyone has the weight loss story to tell, but they may have a healthy lifestyle that has inspired others and that they adhere to as just “matter of fact.” I wanted to be able to showcase a little of both here at The Curvy Life. In order to do
that- I asked Revenda to be my first “Purely healthy lifestyle” Curvy Spotlight. She has been such an inspiration to me- I know you will enjoy what she has to say about her journey and how she maintains her healthy life! Thank you Revenda for honoring us with your story and personally for the support and encouragement you have given me over the years! You rock!!

How do you stay Motivated? I have a family history of heart disease, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Granted, the family members who suffered from these problems have been overweight and did not exercise on a regular basis.

Knowing that genetics are stacked against me, I decided early on to do my best to prevent history from repeating itself.  Soon after the birth of our son, I added regular exercise to my weekly routine. I also wanted to teach my children how to eat-to-live rather than how to live- to-eat.  So, I began feeding my family foods that would properly nourish their bodies without risking their health in the future.

My body craves healthy food and feels its best when I maintain a healthy weight and regular exercise routine.  I have more energy and less stress when I lead this healthy lifestyle. If I eat foods high in fat and sugar, my body feels bloated and sluggish… almost toxic.

I recently came across a sign that read, “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels”!  It made me chuckle, but I think I would like it better if it read, “Nothing tastes as good as fit feels”!  I do not like the term skinny, as it does not imply fitness.  After all, one can be
skinny-fat!

How often do you work out? I work out in the gym 5 days per week.

And what do you do? My workouts vary from week to week and from day to day.  I may have a boxing session with my trainer, lift weights, sprint on the treadmill, spend some time trekking, do a circuit session with kettle bells, work with the TRX  h ttp://www.trxtraining.com/ , take a spinning class, climb a 25 degree incline for 40 minutes, take a boot camp class or simply work with the machines in the gym.  I enjoy variety, and changing my workouts keeps me from getting bored.

Favorite exercise/workout? I enjoy so many different exercises, but I would have to say that my favorite is boxing. Done right, boxing is an intense cardio and all over body strength conditioning form of exercise which leaves me feeling like I have accomplished
my workout goals every time.

Favorite healthy foods? This is a hard question for me as I enjoy fueling my body as much as I enjoy healthy foods that taste just like the earth they come from. Some of my favorites include; fish especially salmon and tilapia.  Of course, sushi is on the top of the list in the fish department.  Greek yogurt with fresh fruit is always yummy.  Several others include butternut squash, brown and wild rice, almonds, Kefir, strawberries and cottage cheese.

Best “quick food” that fits into the plan but is easy to get on the table? When
I need to get something on the table within 20 minutes, I can always sauté some fresh vegetables and tilapia and serve it over brown and wild rice.

What do you consider a splurge- and how do you keep it under control? Here you are looking for my dirty little secrets!  Well, my splurge would be ice cream.  I love the stuff… especially if it has chunks of very bad for you Reese’s peanut butter cups in it!  The only way for me to keep this little naughty under control is to not allow it to cross the thresh hold of my house.  Seriously, if it is in the house I WILL EAT IT!  So, when I want to splurge we go as a family to the local ice cream parlor for a treat.

How has changing to a healthier lifestyle impacted your life? The late forties can be a challenging time for many women.  Metabolism has slowed down and natural muscle
loss progresses resulting in an increase in body fat.  By maintaining a healthy lifestyle, my lean muscle mass is better than ever and my fat to muscle ratio is lower than it was in my 20’s. I have been able to maintain a consistent weight for the past 25 years and have never suffered from any health issues.  I rarely get sick save for a cold or two every few years.

What is your biggest challenge to staying on “the plan”? And how do you overcome it? Probably my biggest challenge is getting enough protein in my diet.  Naturally, we all lose lean muscle as we age and maintaining this muscle is dependent on getting the proper amount of protein and participating in weight bearing exercises.  To overcome this challenge, I track my protein intake on a daily basis, writing down the protein I eat with every meal.  If I am a little low, a protein shake in the evening will help.

What kind of foods do you eat now vs. before?  (Chips before/ apples now) Typical foods for me include; lean meats such as chicken, fish and beef tenderloin.  I love all fresh fruits and vegetables, Greek yogurt, hard-boiled eggs, organic peanut butter, cottage cheese, almonds, almond milk, brown rice, wild rice, beans and eggs are all staples in my food diary.  When I was in my late teens and early twenties, I would sometimes choose hamburgers and french fries over a more healthy option.  But, my making healthy
living a lifestyle, those foods do not appeal to my pallet.  I dislike the coating of fat left on my tongue and the saturating the roof of my mouth. I would much rather feel the sweet juice of strawberries dripping down my throat.

Top Three Best Tips?

1. Add weight-bearing exercise to your workouts.  From the age of 40 on up the body can lose a quarter-pound of muscle each year, which is replaced with fat.  Lifting weights 3 times a week for a half-hour can easily replace that lost through natural aging. The more lean muscle you have the more calories you burn. Plus, muscle is just way sexier than fat.

2.   Choose fresh! Fresh foods will nourish your body and leave you more hydrated than things like crackers or chips.  Plus, they provide more nutrient value and your body will be craving the vitamins when under stress.  Try to eat as close to nature as possible.  Ask yourself, can this be grown or killed.  If the answer is yes, then eat it.  Oreos are not grown or killed… so not a good option!

3. Give them a chance. As humans, we like habits and routines, so much that we often keep doing the same things even when we know they aren’t good for us. Changing bad habits takes time and effort.  No matter what changes you are making, give them enough time to become part of your daily routine.  Exercising for me is like brushing my teeth
in the morning… it is part of my daily routine.

Thank you Revenda!

Thank you for showing us that Healthy Eating and MOVING can be a way of life and that we can look and feel great if we stay focused!

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