I don’t remember much about my colonoscopy from a few years back, which is probably a good thing. But after I came out of the anesthesia my doctor looked at me oddly when I asked him how I did. He told me everything looked fine and added, “You asked a lot of questions.” He did not tell me specifically what I asked, but I only hope they were intelligent inquiries.
It’s one thing to ask, “Do you see anything wrong up there?” versus, “Do you wear hair plugs?”
I will never know.
Apparently, it’s my thing to rattle off questions like a 3-year old even when I’m not sedated.
My husband has made me very aware of this because it seems to mortify him when we’re out in public. He’s a bigger introvert than me and would rather eat glass than be the center of attention.
Problem is, questions like mine typically turn all heads towards their source.
For example, we went to a wild animal sanctuary last year for our anniversary. Now keep in mind we paid extra (a donation to the cause) for a behind-the-scenes, personalized guided tour.
The rescue takes in wild animals including lions, tigers and bears (oh, my!), as well as other wild cats. As part of our tour we were allowed to feed these gorgeous beasts by placing various foods (PB&J for the bears — who knew?, raw meat for the cats) at the end of thankfully long steel sticks, all under the supervision of the tour guide.
So yes, I had questions. After all, how often do you get this kind of opportunity?
I learned a lot because of the questions I asked, such as, “How are lions able to eat raw chicken, which would make people sick?” Answer: Their digestive tract is much faster than ours, and they possess enzymes in their system that enables them to digest the raw meat, the guide told me.
Question answered, knowledge gained.
Part of it is my work as a writer and interviewer, my endless curiosity and my extreme nosiness. All combined, I learn a lot, even if it embarrasses those around me.
I did spare the phlebotomist who drew my blood yesterday, though. I had a zillion questions for her, too, but asked only one, “Is all blood the same color, or do some people have different shades?” Yes, some is lighter and other blood is very dark. She probably thought I was a vampire.
I’m convinced if more people asked questions we’d all be better off.
Questions can save you a lot of pain, discomfort and embarrassment. And the right ones can even help you get faster results if you’re trying to lose weight.
Ah! Finally the point of this diatribe…
Aside from questioning every bit of fitness and dietary advice you hear (e.g. “Does losing 10 lbs. in a week make logical sense?”), keep yourself in check with these.
QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER YOUR WORKOUT…
Why am I doing this?
Make it powerful. Think of yourself a year or five years from now, feeling strong, being flexible and mentally sharp. Keep the big picture in mind and it will be easier to deal with the small discomfort or lack of motivation in the present.
What main muscles am I working?
Know that push-ups work your chest, dumbbell rows strengthen your back and biceps (which I describe in all my videos) so you can focus on using them as you work out. Visualize them firm, tight and strong.
Am I working hard enough/too hard?
Your workout should be a challenge without being frustrating. You want to hit that sweet spot in order to see results. Per set, the last few reps should be challenging. Otherwise, up the resistance.
When was the last time I changed things up?
Switching around your workout, swapping exercises or trying new moves help keep you motivated and moving forward. Every four to six weeks is best.
Am I doing this properly?
Form is everything, especially after 50. Make sure you know how to do each exercise and/or know how to modify it if you have any joint issues.
QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF REGARDING EATING…
Am I really hungry?
This question hones in on emotional eating versus real, physiological hunger. If you ate only for the latter, you would be at a healthy weight. Problem is, we eat for all kinds of reasons that have nothing to do with actual hunger:
You get the idea. In short, you can always find a reason to chow down.
A secondary question to test yourself: Could you eat a salad, apple, or [other healthy food]? If it’s true hunger, it’s an easy “yes.” If no, then it’s just a craving and will pass. Drink water, make tea, call a friend, do needlework, etc. whatever it takes to keep you distracted.
Is this a healthy portion?
Protein servings for chicken, fish and lean meats should be between 3 and 5 oz., depending on your calorie needs. Measure and weigh until you learn how to eyeball portions.
Am I focused on my food?
I’m guilty of this as well, so I know the deal. When you eat don’t do something else at the same time. You won’t enjoy or appreciate your food as much. Plus, it’s easy to lose track of how much you’ve eaten. Be in the moment and appreciate every calorie.
When did I eat last?
This relates back to #1. If you find yourself reaching for something to eat only an hour or two after your last meal, either you didn’t eat enough OR you’re responding to a craving, not hunger. Eating every three to four hours is usually when true hunger truly kicks in.
Could I make better choices?
Evaluate yourself at every meal for ways to improve your choices. If it’s fruits and veggies, how many are organic? Is there a leaner way to prepare this chicken? Etc.
LET’S CHAT! … Which of these questions will you use this week? Let me know in the comments section below…
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Got questions of your own? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will respond personally.
Your Ageless Body Coach,
Linda Melone is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, certified trainer and award-winning health and fitness writer. She specializes in helping women over 50 get in shape and lose weight.