Finding Fit at 50! Interview with Sue F.
Sue Fraser, Self Employed Ranch Wife, 50 years old
“I have been married happily for 30 years with 3 grown children, and 1 grandchild. I have been fortunate enough over the years to be a stay at home mom to raise my children, as well as work from home for our company. Our lives have been more than busy these past 20 years, as my husband competes as a Chuckwagon drivier, so we live a life on the road for 3 months with another 3 of training before we head out. The other half of the year, we continue to care for our 30 plus head of horses.
Over the years, I always would be conscious of my weight, never letting things go out of control. I am the type of person to be going 100 miles an hour, looking after things. In the winter months, I would curl and join a trainers evening fitness class a couple times a week. My nutrition was basically whatever I made I ate. I love food.
As age 50 was approaching, I was unhappy with my weight. I was never in the obese category throughout my life, but was overweight just the same. I went through a foot surgery October 2014 and I promised myself I would be careful not to gain weight as I knew it would put me down for a while using crutches and not being so active. I gained 15lbs in 2 months. I was devastated and embarrassed with myself. I wore baggy sweaters and sweats, because they were comfy, and frankly my jeans didn’t fit anymore. One of my biggest fears in life has been “becoming obese”. I needed to do something.
My goal was to be Fabulous and Fit at 50!”
During the challenge, how did you manage to fit in eating healthy and training with everything that you do?
When I began my first challenge, I found that menu, meal, and food preparation plus fitness did consume a fair bit of my time. But having saying this, at the end of the day, it was “ME” time that I never was utilizing before. I am a person that tends to meet everyone else’s needs first. So, I had to mentally get around, that it was okay to put others aside, and put me first, as this was important. As they say “You can’t pour from an empty cup. Take care of yourself first.”
What was the hardest part about the challenge?
The hardest part of the challenge for me was learning to be consistent of keeping track of all my nutrition I was consuming. This made me realize the total importance of it. For when I wrote down everything, the journey went according to plan. If I refrained from doing it, it was very easy to overeat, yet thinking I was spot on. “Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail” So important. Sometimes I’m a slow learner, but I’m getting there.
What was the easiest part about the challenge?
I found the easiest part of the challenge was my ambition to do my fitness program. I am an early riser, so made sure that this was when I had fitness me time. I knew that if I did not complete it in the morning, then it would not get done that day at all. Love my mornings!
What was the one most important thing you learned from the challenge?
The most important thing I learned from the challenge, was that my health and well being are most important. First to me, then to my husband, then to my children and grandchild, then friends and community. I learned that in order for me to be able to give to others 100%, I needed to be 100%.
What is your motto?
“Its not about having the skill to do something. Its about having the will, desire and commitment to be your best.”
What was your eating habits like before the challenge, what types of diets have you tried in the past. Why do you think you failed?
Before the challenge, I enjoyed food! I pretty much ate what I liked, yet still being mindful to a degree, not to become obese. In the past, I attended weight watchers and another weight loss plan. Both had worked if I had stayed according to their instructions. What I found though, was there needed to be informative information on the maintenance area of things. This is where I failed, going back to what I knew.
What is your favorite clean eating meal that you go to now?
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE seasoned oven baked sweet potato fries, green beans and oven baked chicken. With a serving of Chocolate Cheesecake Mousse for dessert. (A recipe from Nadine Dumas’s eatFIT compilation)
You did the challenge 2 times before this current challenge, why did you want to continue to do them?
After completing my first challenge, I found it was a challenge to continue on with things as the months progressed, with my busy lifestyle in the summer of Chuckwagon Racing. Through some stressful days, my nutrition intake had fallen to the wayside somewhat and I had gained a few lbs. back. I knew I wanted and needed to have some accountability back into my routine. With my husbands highest support I applied and was accepted. After my 2nd challenge, I still was not where I wanted to be with my physique, so again I found that with accountability, a person continues to try and work harder towards their goal. There was more I needed to learn as well, in terms with nutrition and my body intake and how things were responding at my age.
What is one word of advice that you can give to others that have started a program, challenge etc and found themselves reverting back to old habits?
If there’s one important thing that I’ve learned so far in this journey of mine, is that nutrition and fitness are a lifestyle. Not a 12 week program. Doing a program such as a 12 week challenge, is an excellent start to a lifestyle change. And once you start, and you see changes in yourself, it becomes addicting to become a better you each and every day, because you feel so much better about yourself inside and out. And the best part of this, people begin to take notice and want to know what you are doing to make changes in your life. This opens the door to share your journey, and inspire others to do the same.
What is one thing you would say to others that are on their health and fitness journey and hit a road block like you did, to keep them going?
Don’t be afraid to call out and ask for help and that you need accountability again. We all have road blocks and hurdles in our life that may set us back. We are all in this together.
For those that are in the Chuckwagon community and think its impossible to stay the course of living a healthy lifestyle, what advice would you give them?
Living and traveling the Chuckwagon trail for the past 20 something years, has been a very rewarding but yet very challenging at times. It consists of 3 months of horse training, following 3 months of traveling to race meets every week. As in any daily routine, there needs to be schedules and the horses have theirs with their stall cleaning, exercise pen time, feeding time, practice runs, race days and down time. Anyone in the Western Heritage lifestyle of Chuckwagon and Rodeo, can incorporate a healthy nutrition and fitness regime. I have allotted some very important me time in our busy lifestyle. I don’t need to attend a gym. I utilize the great outdoors to go running around the local area, as well as run the bleachers of the grandstands, a very good work out. As for nutrition, the local grocery store carries everything I need, and my house on wheels, the traveling trailer, supplies me with a full kitchen to prepare many healthy meals.
What have you learned from all of this from a mental stand point?
The most important thing I can take away from this journey, is that being a women, wife, mother, grandmother, friend, and ambassador to the Chuckwagon world, I need to be well in order to give back in my utmost capacity.
What would you say to others that are interested in joining the challenge?
Over the last while, many friends and people have questioned me on what I have been doing to shed my weight and that I look so good. Proudly I tell them about Nadine Dumas’s 12 Week Challenge.
I express to them that if they are interested in making a change in their life, that this would be a great start. Its been good for me. And I must say, Nadine is real, down to earth gal. She has your health in her best interest. There are no quick gimmicks with her. Its a program of healthy living.
You said that your husband has always been fully supportive to your goals, how important is that to ones drive?
I couldn’t have asked for a better soul mate in Rick. He is supportive in all things that I do. He is the one that pushes me to get out and have girl time, join up to curl, have bowling nights with friends. He knows as a women, I need that in my life. With these 3 challenges, he has been most supportive. He praises me on how I look and feel. His encouragement helps me to continue on. This is so important to ones drive, especially because you are a partnership in life. I also want to look good for him, as this is very healthy for any long-term relationship.
Your goal when we first met was to be fabulous at 50! Do you feel you achieved that goal? Has your outlook on what that meant back then compared to what it is now changed?
Yes! My goal was to be “Fabulous and Fit at 50!” and you know…………..I have achieved it! Is there a real perfect body shape? NO! But what I do have is a body that I am comfortable in, I feel better today than I did a year ago. I have more goals set that I want to achieve. There will never be an end to goals because as one is met, another is set. As I close in on the end of my 50th birth year, I wouldn’t change anything for the world. It may not have all been perfect, but through all this, I have grown as a person, changed and learned many things about myself along the way.
You are a blogger, correct? can you tell us what you blog about and what your site address is?
Yes, I have been blogging for the last five years, although only this past year did I set up a public blog page. I blog about my personal journey throughout my families Chuckwagon life. My beginning blogs were just emailed out to friends and fans. Then it was suggested by someone to go public for others to read, share and understand what we do. My daily stories consist of what a day in the life of “Sue” consists of, right from spring training at the Ranch to life on the road for the 3 months of competition and there after. I have found, that I quite like writing and many have commented at how well I do write. Who knew? Also in my blog, I submit photographs that I take of people, horses and nature. I am so thankful that I have started this as it will be a great gift for my kids, grand kids and great grand kids. Over this past year, my blog has reached people in as many as 22 countries around the world. WOW! If you are interested in checking it out, go to www.travelintrailer.com
I have some new ideas and goals for my blog in this coming year, so please check it out.