It was our last day in Paros. It was hot and we needed a drink and so we entered a convenience store that we had visited a number of times. This store had every imaginable thing one might need including groceries, kitchen utensils, and laundry needs etc.
The usual lady was there. We had interacted with her several times. She was always smiling and extremely helpful but today something was very different. Her eyes were downcast, her shoulders and back were slumped. She gave us no eye contact. I felt an enormous saddness coming from her. I couldn’t speak Greek and she could speak hardly any English but I wanted to do something to help her, so I drew her attention. I made signs of crying and pointed to her and then I made signs of smiling while shaking my head.
She looked up at me, her eyes wide and filled with tears. Her emotional anguish was clear. She made a gesture of hopelessness and disillusionment and said full of emotional pain, “I have three children”.
I understood and gestured to her that I understood her pain. I then conveyed to her that I thought she was a beautiful and worthwhile person. I then blew her a kiss and wrapped my arms around myself to indicate a warm hug. She smiled a wistful and tender smile. I felt a closeness something special, something universal. I walked away somehow enriched. I knew I would never see her again. I still think of her tenderly.
When we look it can be incredible what we see.
Here I am on the Greek Island of Paros and tomorrow we leave for the island of Mykonos. From my hotel window I can see the deep blue and then aqua sea lapping onto the sandy beach alcoves which spread around the cove, above which, are rugged and starkly barren hills dotted with white washed Greek houses. I’m loving experiencing the Greek way of life. I find it refreshing, less up tight and I am loving the Greek food. Even the carrots, tomatoes, mushrooms and cucumber taste so much better here than in Australia. I don’t know what we’ve done to our food in Australia but something definitely has been lost.
I’m enjoying the slower pace after the enormous effort in preparation for the INBA Pro-Am World Championships. Even so, every day I still do my 30 push-ups, 30 tricep push-ups, back leg raises and two minutes of abdomonals just to keep in some sort of shape. I also do a reasonable walk each day. The burning question for me now is WHAT NOW! after this Greek adventure.
Well there’ll definitely be training as usual to keep me strong and in-shape so i can feel good and wear great clothes. I also intend to keep writing my books and blog but I know there are more adventures to be had, adventures that I hope will help others as well as myself. However I believe the greatest adventure of all is to be all you can beat whatever age and I intend to pursue just that.
Thank you to all of you who have sent me lovely and encouraging messages, I really appreciate each and every one of them.
Friday 5-7-13-Day 1
What a magical experience, competing out in the open, under the stars in a Greek amphitheater with the crowd cheering and cameras flashing with athletes from all over the world being judged one against the other. The judging finishes. It’s about 1am Saturday when I return to the motel. Judging is still going on.
The amphitheater is all of a buzz. Athletes are slapping bodies to enhance tan, smoothing on bikini bite, practicing posing, pumping up and changing costumes for different divisions. The air is electric. It’s now 9pm and athletes are coming and going on and off stage. The air is warm, the stars are bright. My anxiety is growing. It’s now 12.30am and I’m pacing up and down with number 116 pinned to my bikini. Not long to go now. Finally , I’m called. It’s 1.20 am. It’s just the routines to do tonight. Routines first and then the results. We wait in the wings and then we’re on. Masters Women is now in progress. Now it’s my turn. I do my routine to “Oh You Sexy Thing” by Hot Chocolate. The crowd goes wild. At the end of my routine the judges and many in the audience stand up and cheer. I’m living a dream! I’m stoked. Then, the announcement comes, “1st place in Grandmasters Women, Ultra Masters Women and Super Ultra Masters Women, Janice Lorraine!” I’m now standing on stage with three gold medals around my neck, cameras are clicking and my smile as wide as the Sydney Harbour Bridge. But what excites me even more is the number of female athletes that have come up to me and thanked me for showing them what is possible saying things like “I want to be like you when I’m 70” These words were music to my ears. So go girls and enjoy all of who you are! You’re not old at 30,40, 50, 60 or 70+. So go for it!
Today I”m swimming in the Ionian Sea. What an experience! The water is the deepest blue and a light aqua colour near the beach. The water feels soft and the waves are full but gentle. I feel like I’m living dream. I’m off to a big INBA party tonight!
What a day! It was like a fairy tale. I stood up on stage with four beautiful women 50+ I felt so proud of them. I came home with a trophy, First Place in the 70+ division. So girls the 70+ Division is now there. So go for it!
Keep striving to be all you can be. Keep striving to stay in control of how you age. Don’t ever let the sands of time or the expectations or unhelpful comments of others stop you from being all you can be.
I’m off to Greece on Sunday to compete in the WORLD PRO-AM CHAMPIONSHIPS. Who knows I might start a 70+ Internationally!
Only ten days to go before my first competition at age 70. I’ve been training so hard sometimes I feel a bit like “Rocky.” I’m happy with the results I’ve achieved and I’m happy to announce that I’ve noticed some considerable improvements in my physique.
Although I’ve been training consistently for 14 years I have put my all into my preparation for the upcoming competitions. The first comp is on 23rd June in Melbourne and the second one is in Zakinthos in Greece.
Although I’m very excited I’m also very nervous and a bit tired. I get up at 5am four days a week and workout at the gym for three hours. On the off days I usually walk 8km and do my usual push ups etc. In some ways I’m looking forward to scaling back my training a bit after the competitions.
By my competing at age 70 I’m hoping that those who fear older age will take heart by seeing that one doesn’t have to fall into frailty or melt into obscurity simply because one is older and that you can be feminine, muscular, in-shape and vital even at the age of 70. Go for it girls! Show how fantastic you can be!
Generally speaking we don’t think about how we eat. We picked up ways of eating when we were children and kept eating the same way. There are, however ways of eating that can help you to stay slim.
1. EAT SMALL MOUTFULLS: It’s difficult to really taste the food you’re eating when you are shovelling it in. If you eat more slowly you will be better able to appreciate the individual flavours and textures of the food and you’ll be less likely to over eat. Eating big mouthfuls quickly doesn’t allow your stomach enough time to tell your brain that you’ve had enough to satisfy your hunger, and so you over eat and most probably end up feeling bloated.
Learn to take small bites of food. You’ll not eat as much and you’ll enjoy the experience for longer and in social situations you’ll be able to eat less and not be conspicuous.
2. USE A SMALL UNTENSIL: Some people say, “If I ate with a small utensil I’d have to take twice as many mouthfuls.” If however these people tried eating with a small utensil they’d find they’d eat less and enjoy the experience more.
I always use a small utensil when eating. I eat my cereal with either a teaspoon or a parfait spoon. If I ever have a piece of cake I use a cake fork. Using a small utensil makes the enjoyment of eating a longer experience and as an added bonus I find I feel satisfied with less food. My armoury of a teaspoon, parfait spoon and cake fork works well for me.
3: CHEW MORE: Chew more and you will eat less. A correlation has been found between chewing and the amount of food necessary to switch off the hunger trigger. in short the more chewing you do the less you’ll need to eat to feel satisfied. As a general rule I choose food that requires more chewing. For instance I’d choose a biscuit over a piece of cake or raw vegetables over cooked vegetables.
If you do choose something that cannot be chewed, for example trifle, take a small portion and eat with a small utensil for example a cake fork or a small tea spoon and you’ll be surprised to find how much less trifle you’ll need to eat to feel satisfied.
Try these ways of eating. They work for me!
Many of us are attracted to the look of food or the idea of it and eat it, not because we are hungry, but because it is there, after which we feel bad and often extremely uncomfortable. Try not to eat when you are not hungry. It might be difficult at the time to refrain from eating what your mind is admiring but if you do not succumb you will feel great afterwards.
The first question to ask yourself when tempted by the idea of food is, “do I want that custard tart or those hot chips because I am hungry or do I want them because I like the idea of them.
The next question to ask yourself is, “if I ate that custard tart and those hot chips what would happen to them?
The chances are extremely high that, the custard tart and those hot chips would journey from your mouth to your belly and sit as extra fat in your Omentum and the more you succumb to eating when you’re not hungry the bigger your belly will become and the less healthy and less streamline you will be.
I believe far more is possible and permissible for retirees than most people think. If you have a limited idea of what you can do, enjoy and achieve in retirement, you might think that the best thing to do is to stay in a job you hate and as a result, end up sentencing yourself to years of unnecessary drudgery when you could retire and be exploring and enjoying exciting activities and interests in a multitude of diverse areas. My Natural Bodybuilding adventures could be considered extraordinary or even ‘out of the box’ but my very different adventures in Natural Bodybuilding have clearly shown that far more is possible for retirees and for older people, particularly for older aged women than most people think. I hope that by doing what I have done and speaking about it as I am doing in the photo in this post, others will be encouraged to step outside the safety of the norm and pursue whatever it is they might want to pursue.
I believe we retirees need to develop a mindset that is open to the exploration of all possibilities, a mindset that invites exploration, adventure and living to the full.