If you’re in your 50s, or you haven’t ever lifted before and feel a little intimidated, or maybe you struggle with all-or-nothing thinking, this episode is going to be for you. Our guest, Karen Pickett, gives some wise tips about how to get through those different phases and work through issues that come up. I'm just so excited for you to hear the wisdom that's come from her as she's gone through her journey. So let's jump right into today’s “I Did It” episode!
Find show notes at bicepsafterbabies.com/201
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- Age won’t hold you back from your goals (9:01, 9:29, 12:25)
- Perfection isn’t required. Make each day count, take action and show up for yourself. (11:02, 11:45)
- Benefits of weightlifting (12:49,17:08)
- Start with something rather than wait to deal to start (15:56)
- Internalize self-love and self-acceptance (18:58, 20:34)
- Try not to do it alone and get with people who will help you and encourage you along the way (22:46)
You're listening to Biceps After Babies Radio episode number 201.
Hello and welcome to Biceps After Babies Radio. A podcast for ladies who know that fitness is about so much more than pounds lost or PRs. It's about feeling confident in your skin and empowered in your life. I'm your host, Amber Brueseke, a registered nurse, personal trainer, wife, and mom of four. Each week, my guests and I will excite and motivate you to take action in your fitness as we talk about nutrition, exercise mindset, personal development, and executing life with conscious intention. If your goal is to look, feel, and be strong and experience transformation from the inside out, you, my friend are in the right place. Thank you for tuning in, now let’s jump into today’s episode.
Amber B 0:47
Hey, hey, hey, welcome back to another Friday episode of Biceps After Babies Radio. I'm your host, Amber Brueseke. And today we have Karen Pickett who I'm interviewing. And if you are somebody who is in your 50s, or you're somebody who maybe hasn't ever lifted weights before, and that feels a little bit intimidating or if you're someone who struggles with all or nothing thinking, then this episode is going to be for you. Because those are the topics that we cover in this episode. And Karen gives some amazing tips, some really wise tips about how to get through those different phases and those different things that come up because she's experienced all of them. She's experienced surgeries, she's experienced being 70 pounds overweight, she's experienced never touching, you know, weightlifting until she's in her mid-50s. And I'm just so excited for you to hear the wisdom that's come from Karen and her experience as she's gone through her journey. So let's jump right into that episode with Karen Pickett.
Amber B 1:48
Welcome to the podcast, Karen. How are you doing?
I'm doing great, Amber. Thanks for having me.
Amber B 1:53
Yeah, I'm excited to be able to share you with my audience. So let's start with just introducing you. So can you just tell us a little bit about yourself and a little about what your fitness journey has looked like in the years leading up to where you are today?
Okay, I'm 56. I work full time. I've been married for 23 years. I'm a mother of two children and four bonus children, and I'm a Nana to 13 grandchildren.
Amber B 2:20
Oh my gosh, it's amazing. I love it.
And I joined MACROS 101 in September of 2020. And after finding your Five-day Weight Loss Challenge on Instagram. My fitness journey has only been dieting my entire adult life since my first child was born 36 years ago. I would lose weight but never learned how to keep it off. I did Weight Watchers and Nutrisystem. And I did like a 1200 calorie diet that MyFitnessPal said would work for me and I didn't know how to keep it off. I didn't know there was a middle ground. Either I was all in or I was completely off the rails. I didn't know there was any other way to do it. So I just had to keep doing it, losing that weight, gaining it, losing it, gaining it. And when I was a young mom, we didn't have cell phones or mobile apps or Instagram. So that's the only thing I knew was to eat less and be starving all the time.
Amber B 3:32
Yeah. And can I ask you a question? What kind of emotional toll did that play on you that yo-yo diet or that up and down of feeling successful losing the weight and then regaining it, what was that emotional roller coaster like?
I felt like I was a failure. I thought I was doing something wrong. There was something that I wasn't doing or was doing that was keeping me from being successful. And I didn't have anywhere to go to find out anything different.
Amber B 4:09
Yeah, yeah. And it's funny that you bring up this, you know, the fact that there was no Instagram, there's no like cell phones, there was like, I grew up at the tail end of that. And you know, I remember going to the encyclopedia, like you want to look up something about a country like going to the encyclopedia and looking it up. But I imagined that there was nothing in the encyclopedia about like, actually, like weight loss, like how to do it the right way and how to like, not to starve yourself. And so it's like, where are you supposed to learn these things? They don't teach nutrition really in high school, you know, like, people just didn't learn these things. And you know, for all the negative stuff that comes with social media and the Internet, if you can make a good point there's a lot of positives that come that you can have knowledge that you guys didn't have. You just kind of try to do it blindly alone. And your experience of feeling like a failure and feeling like I'm doing something wrong, and why can't I get my act together is such a common feeling of people who go through that yo-yo diet, it's like the highs, and then the super lows and feeling like everything's wrong with you. And then you know, you get back on the train, and then it's like, the high again and then it's that cycle of like, over and over and over again. So I think, you know, a lot of people are gonna really resonate with that, that feeling that you had. So one of the things that you told me about, and one of the reasons I want to bring you on, is that you've been through several surgeries in your life. And I'm just curious how that has impacted your journey over the years.
Well, I had a complete hysterectomy when I was 45. And I had both my knees replaced at 50. I was miserable, I had a really bad quality of life at that time. I didn't go anywhere. I didn't do anything. I didn't feel good. I couldn't walk without pain. I wobbled everywhere, it was bow-legged because my knees, the joints on the inside of my knees collapsed. And it was bone on bone. And it was just, it was a really low time of my life before knee surgery. And then once I, you know, went on hormone replacements after my hysterectomy, and then I experienced weight gain from that and then also not being able to do any kind of movement without pain. I was in a wheelchair to go to the grocery store. I mean, it felt like I was 100 years old or so.
Amber B 6:41
Yeah. And how did that impact your physical health and your perception of yourself?
Oh, gosh. My physical health was, I mean, it was there. It was non-existent. There was no physical at all. I mean, I just never wanted, you know, wanted to go anywhere or play with my grandkids or do anything because I was just 60-70 pounds overweight and just miserable. My mental health was awful. I, yeah, I feel terrible.
Amber B 7:23
Yeah. And so what happened post-surgery? Did you feel like you have a new lease on life?
Yeah, well, it took me a while. The rehab from knee surgery. I got depressed after that because I thought I would bounce back faster.
Amber B 7:39
You do have expectations, you have unmet expectations.
Yes. I thought, oh, you know, this is gonna be great. And after I had the second one I was a little bit better. But after the first one, I did not know what to expect, and how long it took to feel better. I was in pretty much a depression at that time to just try and to try to do my exercises and think, oh my gosh, this does not feel good. And this is not what I thought it was going to be. But then after I had the second knee and got over that with all the therapy and stuff, it's been, I mean, it's been life-changing as far as how I can do things now that I couldn't do before it was totally worth it even though it was hard.
Amber B 8:26
And so you said you were like 60 to 70 pounds overweight before that. So what happened after the knee surgery?
I didn't do a whole lot at first, because I was, you know, still overweight and it was still hard to do things because I was overweight but I did start just walking and doing, you know, grocery shopping without a cart. Just doing some things and then I started feeling better. And that's when I found you.
Amber B 9:01
Awesome. So one of the things that hold a lot of women back from their goals is their age. And you know, you said you're 57 So talk to me a little bit about and I've never been 57, sorry 56. Oh my gosh! 56. Let's not make you a year older than you are. Nothing wrong with being 57 but talk to me a little bit since I've never been in my 50s. Talk to me a little bit about what's different in your 50s and how you haven't let that stop you.
What's different in my 50’s is MACROS 101. I wish I would have found you about 20 to 30 years ago. You're a baby then. Oh gosh, I never knew I had an all-or-nothing mentality. I didn't even know that was a thing until I joined your program and found out that that's what I was doing. I was making that thought that I had to do everything. All my life that I had to do everything perfectly or I couldn't do anything at all. It was, it was everything. And I had no clue until you taught me that and it's been huge for me, it's changed, it's changed so much. Knowing that I don't have to. I know I can't do half of what people my age can do. But that's okay, I can do what I can do a little bit better each day. And that has made such a difference. Knowing that, you know, still adding a little bit each day and doing a little bit more, and working towards my goals a little bit at a time has been huge for me. I have no idea that it would work for me that way.
Amber B 10:56
Yeah, that's awesome. So what would you say was your biggest breakthrough in MACROS 101 or, and Beyond MACROS 101?
Just taking action, just messy action, just stop worrying, I stopped worrying about how to do something perfectly, or if it needed to be done this way or that way. I stopped just reading all the things and started doing little things every day. Just adding something to my routine every day, or just making each day count, and taking action and showing up for myself. And that made me proud and that made me want to keep doing it.
Amber B 11:45
I love that. I love that. That's so true. It's like we sometimes get stuck in this, like analysis paralysis, where it's just like, let me read more. Let me read a little bit more before taking action. And when you just get in and you just like it's not gonna be great, that can be perfect, but that's okay, perfection isn't required. You can really start to work through some of those things. You know, as someone who self-proclaimed, you said that you were never an athlete, and you didn't really enjoy working out when you were younger. So how did you shift because now you have a home gym, and you love weights, How did you shift at? Like, how did you make that shift in your 50s to being an athlete like, welcome to be an athlete?
Well, thank you. Um, yes. So, last April, I was on my first I may have watched, I quoted all the coaching calls I could make. But it was the first one that I jumped on and shared a win. And my win was, I've worked out every other day, I think it was for a month. And I said-
Amber B 12:47
I remember this.
And I said that it's not where I want to be but it's a start and you said girlfriend, it's more than a start. That gave me so much encouragement to know that, you know, what I was doing was heading you know, in the right direction. I was doing the right thing. And so yeah, growing up in my family, we were never involved in any sporting activities. I didn't play sports in school, I hated gym class. I purchased the Build Your Own Workout program and never in a million years would I think that I would have my own home gym, never, especially now. Every exercise I did in the past was cardio or floor exercises or Jane Fonda videos and I hated all that stuff. But I didn't enjoy doing it so I didn't stick with anything. And you introduced me to weightlifting, I just fell in love with it. I took a while to get in the groove. I think I had a gym membership. And I figured out that I didn't like going to the gym, I was always making excuses. So I wouldn't go after work, I was too tired. I knew you knew that wasn't right for me. So then I started getting up at five o'clock and going to my little room with my little hand weights and working out every morning or every other morning or like twice a week or something like that with hand weights and then that just kind of clicked and I just kept getting up every morning I would say to myself, show up for yourself, take action, be proud, you know and I would get up and go and all I had to do is walk to my back bedroom. And I started out slow with just hand weights and then I got an adjustable bench, and then I got some barbells and a rack and I worked out three times a week. And then I hung up a mirror and my vision board and some vinyl affirmations on the wall and just fell in love with my little workout room. And now I have some plates. And I work out 45 minutes every morning, Monday through Friday, and I am so freaking proud of myself. And I love it. I love the way that I feel. And I love muscles popping up in places that I've never had before. Just the other day, I was shaving my legs and these long, skinny muscles showed up in the front of my legs. I'm like, Whoa, that's never there.
Amber B 15:33
But wait, you can't build muscle in your 50’s. I feel like that's like so many people think it's like, oh, I can't build muscle in my 50s.
Oh, no, no, that's not true. Yeah. It's great to see, like, you know, shape arms and like, look at that muscle, how it looks underneath my arms. I mean, I've got their little baby muscles, but hey there they're new at that level.
Amber B 15:56
Yeah. Well, and I, you know, for everybody who's listening, I really want to, I hope what you heard in Karen's response, was her embodiment of the answer before that she gave about just starting and just having to be messy and not having to be perfect and then just layering that on overtime. It's like you didn't start out with barbells and plates and 45 minutes Monday through Friday like that's not where you started. You started out a couple of days a week. Yeah. And you like layered it on. And like, once that became easy, then you added another thing. And then you added another piece of equipment. And I just am so happy to hear you share that example with people. Because I do think sometimes people are like, Oh, well, I have to build out this whole home gym, and like, have a whole workout routine before I can even get started. And you did it exactly the opposite. And here you are a year later, loving it, enjoying it feeling good, like seeing results, because you started where you were at. You started with something rather than saying you have to wait to deal to start.
Right. That's all or nothing.
Amber B 16:59
Yeah, that all is coming back up. I mean, it's everywhere. Right? Yeah. So what do you feel like weightlifting has done for your body and for your mind?
Well, I definitely feel more confident and stronger now. I feel capable of doing harder things like when we remodel something in the house, I can help lift a new toilet out of the truck, you know, I can, I can help my husband do more things. I can, you know, lift all the stuff from the grocery store and bring it in the house and do more laps doing than my husband can do. We have osteoporosis in my family. And everybody has really, you know, weak bones. And so I know that weightlifting is good for my bones. And I'm going to have a bone density test next coming up sometime this year. And I'm really anxious to see how much better it will be this time than the last time I took it. So I just, I like how my body feels with muscle on it. I mean, I still have got a long way to go because I'm still new. And I know it'll take the more I have on me then you know, the longer it will take but that's okay, I'll just, I'm gonna keep doing it because I love it and I love the way it feels.
Amber B 18:36
One day at a time. So one of the things that you talked about me is how you, like so many women feel like in the past, you've always had to go outside of yourself looking for love and acceptance and validation from outside sources. So talk to me a little bit about how that has shifted in the last little while and what's different there.
Yeah, I had always thought that to make myself… For love and acceptance from other people, I had to do things for everybody else. I had to even if I didn't want to. I was people-pleasing all the time just trying to do what everybody wanted me to do so that they would like me or they would love me or I would be popular in school. I always felt I didn't know that I needed that for myself until I took this program. I didn't know that outside love and acceptance that wasn't where it was at that time. It was inside that I needed to feel for myself before anybody else could feel that way for me. I was always trying the opposite way that I should have been. I didn't realize that until this program and learned that I need to love and accept myself for other people to be able to do that.
Amber B 20:15
Yeah, it's beautiful. And if someone's listening in, they're like, okay, but that you just made that sound really easy, Karen. How do I do that? You know, what are some of the things that helped you to move that needle and really internalize that self-acceptance and self-love?
Working through the MACROS 101 modules. The self-affirmations, I had never done that before. I have an alarm on my phone every morning, as soon as I'm done with my workouts, they will, my alarm goes off saying, say your affirmations. And I say them every day. And I have quite a list on my phone. And I'm looking at myself in the mirror and saying, I love and accept you the way you are. And you're gonna, you know, I love you the way you are but I'm working towards more and better. I mean, it's just, it's a constant daily trying to catch yourself talking to yourself wrong and say, wait a minute, now that I hear Amber's voice, no, that's not easy to turn that around, and think positively about yourself. And it's just, I mean, I still have a long way to go. And it's been, you know, a year or so that I've been working on this a little over a year. But yeah, it's, I can feel myself changing with things that it sounds weird but when something comes up, that happens in my life with things, when things go wrong, I can feel myself changing and how I respond to things and how I don't know, it's hard to explain. But it's, it's a process. It's, it's long, and it's hard, and it makes you dig deep and think about things. And I mean, you just gotta keep internalizing the things that happen and turn them around, make them positive.
Amber B 22:37
So good. All right. This has been awesome. Karen, what closing like, advice or thoughts do you have for someone who's listening?
My biggest thing that I can think of to say is, don't do this alone. If you are wanting to change your body, or lose weight or gain muscle or just your mind's thought process about how you feel about yourself, don't do it alone. When I would diet I wouldn't tell anyone because I thought if I failed at it, but no one will know, right. So when I found MACROS 101, and I was around like-minded people who wanted the same thing, and if I had a struggle I would get into the Facebook group and people would answer me and help encourage me and I have an accountability group that I can talk to anytime something comes up. So I would just encourage people not to try to do it alone to get with people who will help you and encourage you along the way as MACROS 101 has done for me.
Amber B 23:58
That's awesome. Thank you so much for sharing your story, Karen for sharing all the things that you've learned, and for coming on the podcast today.
Thank you so much for having me.
Amber B 24:10
I hope you enjoyed Karen's story. As always, my goal is for you to find parts of other people's stories that resonate with you. And that feels like oh, that's you know, that sounds like me that's a little bit like me. And then listen and listen to what the lessons are that someone is presenting to you and the advice and the tips that they're presenting to you and see how that can impact your journey as you start to apply those things. I hope that you're loving the “I Did It” Series, we've gotten great feedback from people and if it's something that you love, shoot me a message on Instagram, that's @biceps.after.babies. Let me know what you want to hear more of on the podcast or if you like the “I Did It” Series if it's something that resonates with you, and you know specifically you loved Karen's story and want to give her a shout out.
Amber B 24:55
That wraps up this episode of Biceps After Babies Radio. I'm Amber now go out and be strong because remember my friend, you can do anything.
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