When my youngest was about 3 years old, I was frustrated with my lack of progress after working out for a solid year to get my pre-baby body back. I went on an evening walk with my husband to rehash my “lack of progress” issue for what felt like the millionth time.
I hired my husband to push me through more challenging workouts, fired him when I didn’t get the results I desired, re-hired him, and then fired him again! Thankfully he’s humble and forgiving. Lesson learned: he’s not a personal fitness trainer with a proven system. He’s an engineer with a huge heart who takes his exercise quite seriously.
Through my trial and error process and working with other women, I discovered the biggest secret to being fit in your 40’s and beyond. If you’ve been frustrated, overwhelmed, or flat-out depressed about nothing working, get excited! I’m going to lay out how to get in the best shape of your life in three simple steps. Following these steps consistently, I now realize the importance of using a proven system with an expert guide to get your desired results.
THE SECRET TO BEING FIT IN YOUR 40’s & BEYOND
On my quest to get my pre-baby body back after kids, it never occurred to me that stress was the obstacle in my way. I thought I just needed to eat better and work out harder. None of us can get rid of stress (unless we’re dead.)
During my pediatric residency, I was stressed but had youth on my side. A colleague shared raising children is more stressful than residency because you’re “on-call” 24/7. True! My most challenging parenting “season” came when the youngest was in preschool, and the older two were in K-3 elementary school. I limped along for months with my “crutches” – caffeine, sugar, and wine – and paid the price!
Ongoing stress imbalances a hormone called cortisol. When your cortisol is ‘unhappy,’ it can raise a ruckus: food cravings, sticky pounds, digestive problems, insomnia, exhaustion, foggy brain, and mood swings. I’m guessing you’ve experienced at least one of these. Thankfully, you can get your cortisol back on track and even get in the best shape of your life in three simple steps.
If you’ve been frustrated, overwhelmed, or flat-out depressed about nothing working, get excited! I’m going to lay out how to get in the best shape of your life in three simple steps.
EAT THE RIGHT WAY FOR YOU
The biggest mistake you might be making is eating the wrong healthy diet. I know I did! On my ten-year quest to find the right healthy diet, I tried so many different ways of eating it became a standing joke amongst friends and family. There’s no one right diet for everyone. I wish there were! That would make life so much easier. Eat this, not that. There, done! But, a diet that supports my health might not benefit yours.
It turns out where you and I genetically differ most is how we process protein, fat, and carbs. That’s why some people burn fat on a Keto (high fat) diet, and others stack on the pounds eating the same way! Discover how to unlock your diet type, eat for your genetics, and align your diet and lifestyle with your DNA.
A word of caution: you’re more than what you eat. You’re what you eat, absorb, and release. For years I hyperfocused on what I was eating and neglected my inability to absorb that nutrition and remove toxic waste. Don’t do what I did. Do what I do now. Check out The Easy Button for Nutrition. It blends the best of science and nature together and arrives at your front door in a brown box. You unpack the box, follow the plan (with a guide and tribe), and get your results. Hello, Easy!
There’s no one right diet for everyone. I wish there were! That would make life so much easier. It turns out where you and I genetically differ most is how we process protein, fat, and carbs.
“I’ve got sh*t to do!” Yep. That’s what I blurted out loud to my chiropractor while face down on his table during an adjustment. Nice Sue. “Wow. I’d meditate on that one,” was his reply. Ugh. At the time, I was seriously frustrated with my lack of health progress. His comment called attention to my obstacle: too much doing, not enough rest.
When I work with women frustrated with their health journey, I always ask if they struggle to fall asleep, stay asleep, or sleep during the day. Usually, I’ll get one of three answers or some combination of the below.
- I’m exhausted, but it can take me hours to wind down and fall asleep.
It’s like I’m wired and tired at the same time.
- I struggle to sleep through the night and often wake up with my endless to-do list between 2 and 4 AM. (That was me!)
- I can fall asleep quickly, but I’m dragging throughout the day.
It takes high-octane coffee to keep me going.
All three of those patterns are signs of imbalanced cortisol. Remember, when your cortisol is ‘unhappy,’ it can raise a ruckus: food cravings, sticky pounds, digestive problems, insomnia, exhaustion, foggy brain, and mood swings. You must slow down, rest, and sleep more if you want to be fit in your 40s and beyond. Here’s Your 3 Step Plan for Better Sleep and How to Sleep Better According to Your Genetics.
You must slow down, rest, and sleep more if you want to be fit in your 40’s and beyond.
HIIT YOUR WORKOUTS IN LESS TIME
For me working out is Type B fun: fun after it’s done! I learned about Type B fun from my Outward Bound instructor somewhere in the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range ascending towards our 14,000-foot peak. Sunny clear skies created suncups – open bowl-shaped depressions in the snow tightly packed together in a honeycomb pattern.
Fields of suncups forced us to walk on narrow ridges that would sometimes collapse under the weight of my feet. My instructor flowed gracefully through these suncups while I had no rhythm on the dance floor. The experience pulled, stretched, and exhausted me. At times I was laughing hysterically, at other times crying. Just like when I work out today!
To be super fit in your 40’s and beyond, you must move your body in ways that pull, stretch, and exhaust you. Which can take a lot less time, by the way! Going for an hour-long walk in nature is incredible. However, you’ll reap very different results even in the first 12 minutes of a HIIT workout.
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) and resistance exercise increase metabolism and keep it elevated far more than standard cardio workouts. If you’re new to HIIT or resistance exercise, start off slow and grow. I do HIIT and resistance workouts in my basement using two apps (HEF Training App and Peloton App) that combined cost around $25 a month.
The biggest secret to being fit in your 40’s and beyond is getting your cortisol to behave and stop raising a ruckus. If you’ve been frustrated, overwhelmed, or flat-out depressed about nothing working, start eating the right way for you. Prioritize your sleep. And please HIIT your workouts in less time. Following these three steps consistently have brought me incredible results in my 40’s. I’m truly in the best shape of my life! If I can achieve vibrant health, you can do it too with clarity, a proven strategy, and aligned action.
#WeAreInThisTogether for #HealthyChange
P.S. Life’s too short to stay stuck! You can’t continue on the same path and expect a different result. After working with thousands of families over two decades, this is where I see people get stuck time and time again. They want different results, but they’re afraid to change. They fear the change will be too hard, to which I reply: “What part of the change can be easy?” They fear they’ll lose something or someone when they embrace the change, to which I reply: “What will you gain when you change?” Flip change on its head. Instead of focusing on the negatives that come with change, allow the positives aspects of change to permeate you.
About the Author: Dr. Sue
Sue McCreadie, MD (aka Dr. Sue), is a Pediatric Physician and Breakthrough Coach for Midlife Mamas. For over two decades, she’s helped thousands achieve vibrant health as a wellness expert. Bringing three daughters into this world, she lost four along the way, and crossed the pregnancy finish line a digestive–hormonal–emotional mess. But, over the following decade, she found a deeper meaning for miscarriages, reclaimed vibrant health, and grew emotional resiliency. Dr. Sue is obsessed with living her soulFULL purpose and helping other growth-minded Mamas do the same. She believes we are in this together to rise up, realize our dreams, and feel fulfilled in every facet of our lives.