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your look ● ﬁtness By Sharon Turrentine Consistency is the Key Being truly ﬁt requires making consistent healthy choices; there’s no quick ﬁx W e all want to look better and feel better. We all want our personal level of physical ﬁtness to be the best it can be. This cannot, however, be accomplished with a hit and miss program. Once you begin a ﬁtness program, sticking with it is the key to success. I have often heard women refer to their “pageant diet.” I never understood this concept. It means, “Well, I’ll just starve myself for a couple of weeks prior to my competition, lose some weight, and everything will be ﬁne.” I am here to tell you, everything is not ﬁne when this is done. It may work the ﬁrst or second time, but as time goes on, this se- verely takes a toll on the body and breaks you down. First of all, there is a saying: “The last one standing gets the crown.” If you have starved yourself in order to be a size or two smaller to wear “that dress,” you have also weakened yourself. You need your strength and stamina to make it to the ﬁnals! And I am talking about ﬁnals is all phases of life, by the way, not just in competition. Your health truly suf- fers in the long term with yo-yo weight gain/loss. Find the bodyweight that feels comfortable to you and maintain that weight. Remember, when you are on that runway, they are not guessing your weight, they are judging your level of ﬁt- ness. There’s a big difference. FOOD CHOICES We do have the holidays that try to undermine all of our efforts towards healthy eating. I have a tip for you concern- ing all those hors d’oeuvres you will encounter: eat some- thing before you to go the party. An apple, tuna sandwich, turkey sandwich, banana, something. Let me clarify the “tuna sandwich.” Notice I did not say “tuna salad sand- wich.” I mean good, clean albacore tuna on wheat bread. Skip the mayo and avoid the fats in that. Don’t want the tuna? Get some freshly sliced turkey or lean beef from the deli. People will make comments like, “Oh, you can eat that, you are so tiny.” They don’t seem to realize that you are tiny because you don’t eat that stuff. It is much, much eas- ier to resist reaching out for that gooey sweet thing on that 66 PAGEANTRY beautiful tray, or even a little bite of cheese, if you have eaten something before you ever even got there. You won’t be hungry, so you can focus on your personal goal of per- sonal health and just turn your head. Or, gravitate to the raw vegetable plate. People will admire you for your will power. Well, yes, this takes will power. Doesn’t competing take will power and inner focus? It’s the same thing. Going out for dinner? This is a bit more challenging. But if you are very precise in how you order, you can stay within sensible healthy guidelines. Fish, is a great example. Specify you want your ﬁsh grilled with no salt and no but- ter. Ask for a lemon wedge to squeeze over the ﬁsh just be- fore you dig in. If you order grilled chicken, request the skin be removed before it is cooked, thereby eliminating the vast majority of the fats. And sauces? Just. Say. “No.” No, thank you, that is. FITNESS CHOICES I began my physical ﬁtness lifestyle at the age of 36. At that time my goal was to be “cute and darling.” Now at 73, I am so glad I have remained consistent in my commitment all these years. I now have the strength and stamina to get through life as a mother, grandmother, and leader in my community. I have the strength and stamina to face each and every day with a smile on my face, a skip in my step, and a song in my heart. My goal is to reach 107, and I truly believe I can and will make that goal. Every day is a new day and the ﬁrst day of the rest of my life. How wonderful FITNESS Continued on page 80