Fit Life Essentials for Real Life


141101_AnnBoeckman_FitnessPortraits_1000px_-2Welcome!  I’m Ann, and I created Fit Energies to explore and share ideas for whole life fitness—that delicious intersection of feeling strong, looking great, and rocking all kinds of goals.   My love of all things fitness started with a rather simplistic desire to “fix” what I saw as midlife flabbiness (once and for all, missy, we’re gonna get these thighs into shape) but thankfully blossomed into a healthier fascination with fitness as a lifestyle.  It’s a mindset, and it’s really helpful when real life—such as a completely unreasonable work schedule—seems determined to get in the way.  My fit life manifesto: I don’t care what your schedule is, or what life asks of you, you deserve to be healthy in every possible way.

So here’s my story.

From Flabby Thighs to Whole Life Fitness

I’m a mom, a nutritionist, and a lawyer.  A dreamer and a planner, I’m intensely curious and collect ideas the way some people collect stuffed hippos or snow globes.  I love nothing more than a good brainstorming session, except maybe pumpkin pie.  There’s not much I love more than pumpkin pie.

I’m also a recovering stress addict, which means I’ve spent far too much time worrying over one thing or another, and putting work ahead of everything else, including my health.  I’ve known 2 am conference calls, Friday evening projects that are due Monday, and that awful feeling when your daughter learns your work number before she knows your home number.  Because she wants to know if you’re coming home tonight.

A few years ago, I hit 40 and felt a sense of urgency about getting in shape.  It’s a little embarrassing now, but it was really more about disdain for what I perceived as flabby legs than any lofty goal of whole life fitness.  My brilliant plan: I was going to work with a trainer for a few months to “get toned” and learn some new workout ideas.  To my surprise, I fell in love with weight lifting and physique-style clean eating, which differed so much from the traditional nutrition training I had received as a Registered Dietitian.  The more I looked, the more I learned.  For example, I slowly came to realize that years of relentless sitting and stressing had taken a serious toll.  I worked steadily to unglue my stiff tissues and adopt a healthier outlook.

Too Much Stuff to Do: Learning to Love the Uphill

I love just about any health-related topic, but want to know what really gets me going?  The challenge of fitting good health into lives that are too packed with other stuff.  Isn’t it crazy that we know what is good for us, yet we routinely put off critical life-enhancing steps, like exercise, sleep, or eating well, for another day?  And you know what?  When we don’t consistently do what our bodies need, we say “no thank you” to our true potential!  We may never know just how strong we can feel, how good we can look, and how impressively we can perform in our work or just about anything we set out to do.

It’s far too easy to see busy schedules, to-do lists, the needs of others, and even our moods as barriers to fitness and good health.  No time.  No energy.  Not me.  Not today.  I love the idea of embracing these would-be barriers as an important part of my journey, and I tend to think of them as similar to a hill.  A hill can be a beautiful thing, no?  It may challenge you at the bottom, but it is possible to climb it, and doing so makes you stronger.  At the top, it will reward you with a beautiful view, or at the very least, a different vantage point.

Fit Life Essentials

If any of this resonates with you, I encourage you to check out the Fit Life Essentials I’ve outlined.  They represent my non-negotiables, the things I commit to doing every day: nurturing the right mindset, getting enough rest, generating energy with delicious food and good hydration, and keeping my body in motion (hint: it’s a lot more than “exercise”!).  It all starts with getting organized, with figuring out your own essentials—the steps you’ll take on your own fit life journey, no matter what.  I’ve outlined these essentials in case they are helpful to you on your own journey, wherever it may take you.

I believe passionately that we can find a good life amid the sea of e-mails, work projects, texts, errands, and other demands that compete for our attention.  We all stand to benefit from encouragement, information, and ideas (ahh, brainstorming), so I’d love to hear about the challenges you have.  How do you define whole life fitness, and what gets in your way?  You know you need to sleep, eat well, and so on, so why aren’t you doing it?  I’m a huge believer that together, we can adopt rock solid, healthy habits and reach our fitness and life goals.  We got this!

Obligatory legal note: since I’m a lawyer, of course I have to say the content here will be based solely on my own experience and musings.  I’m not giving medical advice or legal advice, and while I love to share thoughts about food and nutrition, I’m not currently in a position to provide individual counseling to address specific dietary goals or situations.  Always contact a qualified professional to understand and address specific health needs and questions.