April 15, 2014

No pain, no gain


---- — Be careful what you wish for.

In January, I stood in the Press-Republican newsroom and told colleague Ashleigh Livingston I was in need of a makeover.

My wishful thinking was answered in a blaze of the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women.

I’m in week four of a 12-week makeover with 13 other local women participating in Plattsburgh’s Go Red BetterU Makeover Challenge at the Eclipse Fitness and Spa.

Working hard to improve their heart health are Suzette Dupell, Jamie Cross, Judith Fallon, Cindy Thayer, Sarah Duquette, Judy Akey Denise Prell, Donna Matkoski, Ann Lamora, Tara Judge,  Elizabeth Dubay, Lisa Lemieux-Scribner and Ellen Bouchard.

We are getting schooled about how to eat, what to eat and when to eat along with how to confidently and effectively use Hoist, Hammer Strength, Cybex CR2 and Free Motion by Michelle Mosher, a health pro and personal-health coach at Eclipse.

Beyond the expense of a gym membership, I think the greatest obstacle to maintaining fitness is time.

I have a full-time and part-time job but fortunately, I’m a free agent. I have no significant other, child or care-giving responsibilities to stretch my energy and focus.

For me, it’s all about time: scheduling time for the gym, planning and preparing as-organic-as-possible meals in advance, eating every three hours the way Mosher told us to raise our internal combustion to burn fat and lose weight. Our goal is to get our body in ketosis, when we feel less hungry, eat less, and our body becomes a fat-burning mechanism instead of a carb-burning one.

During our initial weigh-in, Mosher gave us a formula based on our weight to determine our maximum caloric intake a day.

For me personally, I’m not to exceed 1,876 calories. Today for breakfast, I whacked away 540 calories eating a spinach-and-artichoke soufflé at Panera Bread. In my defense, I was in the tax crunch. This was not a morning for steel-cut oatmeal with fresh-sliced strawberries.

Our goal is to eat more complex foods with a low-glycemic index between 0-55.

Basically, if it’s packaged, don’t eat it. Red meat is out. Alcohol is out. Sugary anything, including bananas, is out.

For fresh fruits, we can berry all we want at the moment.

Mosher told us 90 percent of our success is what we put in our mouths or don’t. The other 10 percent is what we do in Eclipse or while engaged in physical activity outside of it.

For the first two weeks, I relocated muscles frozen in the Polar Vortex of my fitness inactivity.

When I came to Plattsburgh in 1987 via the U.S. Air Force, I was in the third-best shape of my life after Navy wife and best all-around athlete in high school.

When my lats and glutes were talking to me in excruciating tones, I reflected on how I got here: I forgot to play.

So if you know or see any of the other Go Red BetterUers, encourage them, walk with them, run with them, and play with them — tennis, bowling, shoot hoops.

Their and your heart will beat better for it.

Email Robin