Welcome to the Website of Best-Selling Author Patricia V. Davis
Fit and Fifty
"Discipline is just choosing between what you want NOW and what you MOST."
A Page About Mind, Body and Spirit Health for Divas, Harlots, and Everyone Else.
Photos of Patricia were taken at The Spa at Ravella, in Lake Las Vegas, 2011.
At 56 years old, I am healthier now than I was when I was thirty-five. Once I made the decision to try to keep age-related ailments (osteoporosis, heart disease, diabetes, etc.) at bay, the next step was finding out how to achieve my goals. Believe me, if I can do it --- Ms. I-Hate-Exercise, I-Love-Food --- you can, too. Most everyone in my entire Italian-American family loves to cook and loves to eat. And a number of us suffer from all sorts of ailments as a result of being overweight. When I saw what the health setbacks were for older family members due to smoking, overeating, and lack of exercise, I decided it was time for me to get my act together before it was too late. I've committed myself to a lifestyle of good nutrition and exercise, and I hope that commitment pays off in my continued health and doctor's amazement that I'm not on any medications as of yet. (Fingers crossed.)
Weight lifting is a vital part of any fitness routine for women, not just cardio.
I admit I had help at the beginning. I hired a personal trainer to assist me in my dietary changes and on pretty much everything else that involved fitness,including how to find my way to the local gym.
Now I know many will say, "I can't afford a personal trainer." I agree that the price of this kind of service sounds high at first, until you compare it to how much heart surgery and monthly doses of blood pressure medication and insulin shots will cost down the line, if we don't get off our bums and start moving them a bit. And you only need hire on with one for a few short sessions, just to get you motivated in the right direction. I learned how to do all the exercises you see me doing in these photos from training classes. Me--in training classes --- a gal who never stepped inside a gym until she was well over forty. Nope, I preferred to step into a Carvel or a pizzeria. (Yum.)
Hold this "Plank" position for 30 seconds at a time as you move your pelvis up and then straighten it out to tighten your ab muscles.
With patience and expertise, my first personal trainer showed me how to change my diet and what else I would need to do to reach my fitness objectives. The hardest part was working through my body and mind’s initial resistance to exercise. That’s where the trainer really helped. Working out with my first personal trainer. Simon, was fun --- like having a caring friend and a coach all rolled up into one. He showed up every time, on time, and persistently put me through exercises even as we chatted and joked. (You can see Simon's website at http://livefitgym.com. Didn't hurt that he's fun to look at, too.)
This exercise strengthens shoulders, back & helps prevent "old lady osteoporosis."
One day, about two months after I'd started, I realized I'd achieved some very positive changes, not only in my physical well-being, but in my mental attitude. I eventually started to enjoy going to the gym (can you believe that?) and it's become such an ingrained part of my routine now, that I have no problems getting there on my own. I never thought I would say that. When I want to re-energize my routine, I'll still occasionally use a trainer to give me a fresh idea and to really challenge me. ('High five' to Ann Marie Singh and Justin Oliver--- best trainers at Fairfax Health Club. Check out Justin's band site, too. Yes, he's another cutie, but I didn't pick them like that on purpose, I swear.)
This exercise is for balance, coordination and strengthening quads and gluts. (Back of your thighs and your bottom.) A) Stand in front of a bench. Lift up onto bench...
B) ...with first one leg then the next, while also lifting bar up and down. It's actually fun. You can pretend you're dancing in Pippin.
I know it sounds hard to believe, but for me, training sessions are a treat --- it's like a day out shopping, getting my nails done, or having lunch with my friends. (All of which cost far more than one session with a trainer, by the way.) I think feeling healthy and strong is another method of empowerment for women. Exercise is something we do strictly for ourselves alone and we deserve it. We deserve to take time for ourselves, we deserve to exercise. Exercise is not a punishment, it's a reward. It keeps our bodies agile and our minds sharp. It reminds us that we don't exist only to take care of the people who are important to us. It's says to us that we are more than what we do for a living or what we do for others. We should be on our own lists of what's important, too.
To help encourage you and get you started, go to my online magazine, Harlots' Sauce Radio, where I'll have an exercise and/or diet tip brought to you from the best fitness personnel I know. (Shout out to George Louris, our health columnist.)
Don't feel like going there? Below are some quick tips, and if you like what you read, please go over and read our Health and Fitness Column at HS Radio e-magazine:
TIPS for Health
Keep your goals realistic and attainable, because every small success brings you closer to a giant one. For some professional help, try
this online programme,at http://www.gamercize.net/ It has been receiving good reviews from users. (There is a fee involved, so you'll need to check pricing on their site.)
TIP # 2
Eating a little bit of protein at every meal, keeps us from feeling hungry and helps build muscle. Muscle burns more calories than fat. So, if you don't eat breakfast, you are sabotaging your diet. Start each day with breakfast and add some low-fat cheese, cereal, or other protein to it. (Cereal is a protein, did you know that? I didn't.)
TIP # 3
If like me, you're used to cooking with olive oil and putting it on salads, remember that olive oil is 140 calories per tablespoon. Substitute half the olive oil oil you use in cooking with chicken broth. Use only one tablespoon on your salads. You'll be surprised how far one tablespoon goes.
Did you 'cheat' this week? Don't try to make up for it by eating less the next day. Just do an extra workout instead. Eating less will only backfire on you, because as you get hungry and frustrated, you'll 'cheat' again, for sure.
TIP # 5
Adding weights to your workout will help build muscle, which in turn will help melt away fat all the faster. Many women leave out this crucial step in a weight control and fitness programme.
A sustained, steady walk for a longer period of time burns more fat than a short run. A run forces the body to burn the carbohydrates from your last meal, while a long walk burns stored fat. So, go for a walk with your dog, or your husband. (I didn't mean to put them in that order, necessarily.)
If you're still not convinced that you be visiting your local gym regularly, here are TWO more very compelling reasons why you should go. If you click here to see what they are, I PROMISE you will not regret it.
All photos of Patricia on this Fitness Page were taken in August 2011 at The Spa at the Ravella Resort in Lake Las Vegas
FIRST Week's Goals:
How many miles did you walk last week? If it was more than zero your goal this week can be to double it. If it was zero, your goal this week should be to START a walk and log how long you walk.
Remember: Even if it's only ten steps, that's ten steps more than before!
Goal for Week Two:
Keep a food diary. Go on --- do it. And, don't pretend you don't know what you've eaten, either. Write it down, just for this week and then you can more accurately examine where you need to make changes.
Goal for Week Three:
Now that you've reviewed what you're eating, check that you're having at least some protein at every meal. Can you substitute any of your choices for healthier ones? Example: Parmesian cheese (at 20 calories a tablespoon) sprinkled on bread instead of a high-calorie cheese slice.
Goal for Week Four:
If you've gotten off track, simply restart. Write down what you're eating each day and record your calories. This is an ongoing process, not something you will get used to all at once.
Goal for Week Five:
If you've been doing 'cardio' exercises, such as walking, running or cycling, it's now time to add a light weight lifting workout to your weekly work out sessions. Cardio exercises help burn fat, but weights will help strengthen the muscles, thus burning fat more quickly. If you workout at a gym, ask a professional there for recommendations on how to begin to add weight-training to your week. (and no, you will not bulk up like Hulk Hogan from lifting a 10 lb. weight. Geez---It should be that easy.)
Note: All photos of Patricia on this page were taken August 2011 at The Spa at Ravella in Lake Las Vegas.
Patricia will be appearing at The Spa for a Diva Dare Event in January 2012. Check this website for dates and details TBA.
For information about spa services and Patricia's events there, contact:
*The Spa at Ravella
1610 Lake Las Vegas Parkway
Henderson, Nevada, 89011
Recommended Websites for Mind, Body and Spirit:
Great Website for the mind, body, spirit.
Most uplifting site on aging on the net.
George Louris, our health staff writer at HS Radio e-magazine
has some award-winning tips for you to stay fit even if when you're too busy to go to the gym.
For healthy, yummy recipes
For advice on healthy living/eating (and to find out how old you really are.)
For image consulting, pilates, and wonderful articles on looking and feeling fabulous.
For great suggestions on helping other women and more. Maria is one amazing woman!
Glorious paintings by artist Nancy Calef to lift your spirits, inspire and revitalize.
More great artwork in a gallery owned by the fabulous Malissa Feruzzi Shriver. (Yep- quite a family of fabulous women.
Great laughs (and advice you may not want to hear) for mental health, which is equally important to physical health.
A fun look at living your best life at any age.
Like Gossip Girls meets People magazine meets Slate.com, only much smarter. Run by Cate Sevilla, a dynamite woman entrepreneur.
This NY Times bestselling author devotes much of her time to diabetes research. Please get involved in her online auction. An important charity run by a lovely human being....
In honor of my Italian roots, here's an award-winning blog about growing up first-generation Italian-American, travel to Italy, social commentary, and more.
And for those who share my love of Greece, two websites: Yasas.com is a fantastic directory of Greek Festivals in the United States, Greek Organizations and Greek Foods.
Taxidi 2 Greece(Trip to Greece) is a terrific Greek e-magazine about all things Greek, updated daily, in both English and Greek.
The inspiring story of Noah and Logan Miller, identical twin brothers who wrote, directed and produced their own independent film, starring Ed Harris.
(Pssst --to hear a podcast of their wonderful interview with me on Harlots' Sauce Radio, click here.)
And finally, when all else fails, for a wonderful place to go to renew and relax...
*Many Thanks to the staff at The Spa at Ravella for their support.
All photos of Patricia on this page taken by Niko Volonakis
Copyright Patricia V. Davis All rights reserved.