BBG Girl Interview: Fit By Fifty US a.k.a Carrie
Meet Carrie a.k.a fitbyfifty.us. Carrie wakes up every morning, has a coffee, feeds and takes her 4 dogs out and then gets ready to begin a workout. It is 6.30am by this point. Wow. As someone who is totally NOT a morning person, this fascinates and inspires me. Carrie is 18 weeks into her BBG journey and has completed every single workout with her boyfriend, Michael, #relationship goals.
Carrie tells us in her Instagram bio that she refuses to wear a tankini and that turning fifty does not scare her. One look at her page and you know that there are definitely NO tankinis in Carrie’s future. However, this wasn’t always a certainty for Carrie,
“What motivated me [to start the BBG program] was looking at myself in the mirror and being disappointed with my body. It was bad enough that I tried to avoid being in a bathing suit at all costs, but I also started having to be aware of sleeveless tops, shorts and anything that showed too much skin because I was seeing cellulite, flab, no muscle tone, and aging skin. I started shopping for clothing that was looser and what I like to call, “mom clothes”. I stopped feeling confident and sexy and almost allowed myself to believe it was all part of the aging process since I was turning 48. I am only 5’1″ and was never more than about 15 pounds heaver than my ideal weight but for my height it did make a difference”, said Carrie.
No matter how strong the motivation, sticking to an exercise program is not always easy. When I asked Carrie how she tackles energy slumps and general feelings of meh, she answered,
“When in a mental slump or not motivated I have a quick little pep talk with myself and tell myself it’s only 28 minutes, I can do it. I don’t let excuses dictate whether or not I get the workout in, you have to be stronger than the excuses. Of course, if there is an illness (which I haven’t encountered yet) it’s time to listen to your body and take the needed break to avoid injury or making your health decline even more”.
I also asked Carrie about her workout routine, diet, what it’s like working out from home and more. Read the rest of the interview below. As with my interview with Dr Ally, I highlighted parts in bold that I find to be particularly useful.
1. When did you start the BBG program and how many rounds have you completed?
The first time I started the BBG program was in January of 2015. I purchased the printable guide for my daughter months earlier. She was 15 at the time and had been following Kayla. After it sat around, my daughter and I finally decided to start the workout together. We only made it to week 9 and let our busy schedules force us to stop. About a year later I attempted the BBG again myself, made it to week 10 and again, quit 🙁 .
In February of this year  I was talking about the workout with my boyfriend and I told him I wanted to start up again. He said he would do it with me. We started on the 22nd of February and have completed every single workout together.
I have now completed BBG 1 (weeks 1-12) and am now completing BBG 2 (weeks 13-24).
2. What was your first workout like?
My first workout was pretty tough. I had completed the 4 week pre-workout with my daughter years earlier so we started on week 1 and it was a killer. I kept up running throughout the years but even with that I felt very weak , uncoordinated, and had low stamina. There were many times I found myself wondering if I could and make it to the end of a workout, but we pushed through every time.
3. What does your weekly workout schedule look like?
I complete a Kayla workout three times a week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
I also do LISS (Low Intensity Steady State) cardio 6 days per week for 45 minutes per session.
At this time, I do not do any HITT exercises and I do not go to a gym. I wanted to see if I could actually see changes to my body from doing an “at-home” workout because my entire life I was sceptical about this.
I’m here to say now that I was totally wrong and you can absolutely get in terrific shape right in your own home.
4. What advice do you have for people who workout at home?
I had to learn to schedule my workouts and found that early in the morning is best for me. I wake up, have coffee, feed and take the dogs out (all four of them) and we usually start our workout at 6:30 a.m. I try to do LISS immediately following the BBG workout, then shower, get ready, have breakfast and go to work.
I realised that even when trying to schedule other appointments (doctor, dentist, hair, etc etc) I will not allow myself to schedule anything on Monday, Wednesday or Friday mornings because I don’t want any reason to skip a workout or get off track. I need a strict routine. I used to do laundry in the morning , balance my cheque book and other home chores, but I reorganised when those things got done so I have no excuse to miss a workout. My advice is to do the same. Mark it on your calendar if you have to, train your brain to know that those time slots are taken up with the workout and don’t let anything get in the way if you can help it. It’s no different than keeping an appointment with someone else, in this case you are accountable to yourself and can’t be a “no show”.
5. What is your diet like? Any favourite meals you eat regularly?
My diet is pretty simple and boring. I eat 3 -4 meals per day and make sure they have approximately 24 grams of protein, and 25 grams or less of carbs. I try to add a fruit in the morning and vegetable with the remaining meals. I immediately look at the fat grams for each meal and try to stay at around 5 grams or less for daytime meals and 10 grams or less for dinner.
For protein sources, I eat chicken, pork, fish, eggs, tuna and occasionally cottage cheese. I eat rice, baked potato, sweet potato, couscous, cream of rice, oatmeal, and sometimes pasta for my carbs. I allow a cheat meal or two on the weekend and that’s usually pizza or a great big Italian meal.
6. What advice do you have for BBG newbies?
My advice for newbies is to set a goal, know what you want the end result to be and always remind yourself of that as you are working on that goal.
Be patient. Make the commitment and stick to the program.
Listen to your body and modify the exercises if needed but don’t just skip something because it’s too hard.
Take many before photos even if you hate looking at them.
Start a fitness account if it will help you stay on track and hold yourself accountable. Seek daily motivation. Don’t be upset if you don’t see changes right away…. if you’re doing the workout and adapting a healthy diet your body will respond and you WILL see change.
Everyone’s fitness journey is unique , we all have different levels of fitness background, challenges to face, obstacles in our way, so results will come in different lengths of time but stick with it. Don’t give up.
7. Do you ever modify the workouts by doing things like swapping out exercises or taking longer breaks between circuits?
Yes , we have taken longer breaks at times and yes, we have modified. I have a condition diagnosed as Frozen Shoulder, there are a few things I need to be careful of and may need to modify but it doesn’t stop me and I make sure to substitute where needed. That’s only happened a few times.
As for other modifications, we actually use heavier weights than what is noted in the guide and that’s only because we know we can. I’ve always been strong for my size and I know what I am capable of and I feel that you get better results when you are able to push yourself just past your comfort zone when weights are concerned.
I tell people that if you aren’t struggling to get those last couple reps out then it’s time to consider increasing your weight. Don’t get comfortable. Form is very important though, so do not use heavier weight if it compromises form. We also sometimes increase the reps to get a little more burn, because we know we can.
8. Do you have any fitness inspirations? Celebrities, friends, IGers that you look up to?
Yes, of course. I started this time after seeing a post by @healthybyfifty (click here to read an interview with Dr Ally a.k.a healthybyfifty) so I look to her for inspiration as well as many other women on IG, especially those in my age group. I’m very impressed with Katie Crew and her strength so I’d love to try some of the exercises she does. Obviously I look up to Kayla (although I am old enough to be her Mother ;-).
I’m basically motivated by all of the BBG girls, as they are all working so hard to improve their health and wellness and feel good in their own skin.
Images: All images courtesy of @fitbyfifty.us.
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