When The Going Gets Tough

THE TOUGH GET GOING! Tough is surely an understatement for most of us this year, living through a pandemic that is affecting each of us very differently – health wise, financially, and how we individually cope. We have lost many things that were great sources of pleasure – concerts, theater, bars, parties – but they will all be back in time…it’s a waiting game that is out of our control. What source of pleasure is 100% in your control? Being fit. What you eat/drink and your exercise routine – it’s all up to YOU. You need not spend much money. You need no gym. You only need to make up your mind.

I made up my mind on November 8th to kick things up, to stop the slow creep of weight gain, to come out of this pandemic maybe looking better than when it all began. So far, so good and it’s not really that difficult – if you are committed. Here are the basics of my current regimen:

#1 – WHAT YOU EAT/DRINK MATTERS MOST

I have three meals a day that are high in protein and veggies, minimal carbs…no mid-morning snack, instead, green tea or black coffee…mid-afternoon I may have a handful of almonds or a cup of popcorn. Breakfast: small serving of berries, 2 eggs with spinach, sometimes 1/2 slice of cheese, no toast. Or, oatmeal with fruit, no sugar. Lunch: salad with fish or chicken, or a bowl of soup with a small sandwich made with pita bread. Dinner: anything and everything from steak to fish to pasta – heavy on the salad, light on the carbs, close attention to portion size. Alcohol three times/week. Sweets once a week.

Do I ever cheat, eat french fries, or birthday cake? Of course I do, but not often. It’s your daily practice that counts the most.

#2 – MAKE EXERCISE A HABIT

Since March of 2020, my bedroom is my workout space…six days a week in the morning, for 30-40 minutes, trying new exercises I see online, along with the tried and true, such as squats and crunches…in this pic I am using a resistance band (Home Goods, $5.99) that is a great cardio and glute exercise…the trick here is to keep the resistance as you move from side to side or lift your heel to your butt…not easy but much more tolerable with good music on! (The bands come in a set of three at different levels of difficulty)

Another new exercise I have started doing is the posterior pelvic tilt…in the top pic I am just relaxed, you can see space under my waist…in the bottom I am pushing my back to the floor and holding it for a few seconds…this is great for strengthening abs as well as lower back muscles…another more challenging version is in the top photo, where I am doing a standing pelvic tilt (pushing my butt forward) on one leg, while doing shoulder and bicep exercises…a great core workout!

Don’t be fooled and think I enjoy working out – I don’t! I like getting it over with, I like how it makes me feel, and I like how it makes me look…

This pic was taken on December 22nd, in the midst of considerable Covid related stress and ten days away from my 63rd birthday.

There are many things in life that we cannot change. I will never have long legs, the smooth skin of a 25 year old, or 20/20 vision without glasses. But – I CAN control my weight and fitness. While my parents blessed me with good genes, I would look VERY DIFFERENT without paying close attention to diet and exercise.

Yes, it is effort. Nothing good comes easy.

Stay well. Dress well. Enjoy the NOW.

Candy Costas

6 Comments

  1. Great inspiration! You look fabulous! One question- hormones… yes or no? If yes, what hormones?

    • Thank you kindly Marie. As for hormones the answer is yes. I started taking Activella (a combination of estradiol and norethindrone) in my early 50s when menopause kicked in. I feel so great that I have never wanted to stop; it is a discussion with my physician every year and supposedly I am ok continuing…it certainly is different for everyone based on health and risk factors. I also take a DHEA supplement daily (recommended by my MD); it is over the counter, supposedly it boosts immune system, increases libido, slows aging, promotes weight loss – no real proof that it does any of this, but I feel great so I’m not stopping. 🙂

  2. While I get plenty of cardio (cross country walking 2 – 4 miles, 7 days/week) you have inspired me to add resistance training to my regimen. 😀

    • Wow – if you are active every day, that’s half the battle! It’s always good to change things up and challenge yourself even more…

  3. I love this post!! Very inspiring and helpful info!! You are the best! Thank you for sharing your journey!!

    • Thank you Donna! Staying fit through this pandemic is one saving grace! 🙂

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