Confession time: I’m going to turn 40 next year. I’m not completely happy with the shape that I’m in, but I am healthy. I want to keep it that way.
I have a fair amount of vanity so I’m not bad to look at. I’m curvy in a visually pleasing way and let’s face it, I’m cute.
But I am carrying around some extra weight. It impacts some of the things I can do as well as my comfort in certain situations. I was just bitching the other day about how uncomfortable I am in airplane seats because the armrests dig into my thighs for the entire flight.
The greatest thing that comes with age for a woman, if she allows it, is a new perspective on her physical appearance. She comes to see her own beauty, which has nothing to do with current trends or standards. What we choose to do for our health and fitness can now come from a place of want rather than the urgency of need. I need to be thin so I can [find a boyfriend, fit into my skinny jeans, step on a beach, etc.]. It was like our lives were on hold, even if only for 10 pounds.
The urgency of age is still there though. I know from seeing what my grandmother went through at the end of her life, extra pounds will most likely impact my health, mobility and, if it ever comes to it, others’ ability to take care of me. I say this jokingly but I mean it truthfully—I want to be able to wipe my own ass until the day I die.
If I am going to maintain my current state of health, I will need to move more. I can no longer fight this reality. Exercise and I have always had a somewhat contentious relationship. As a child, I was a book-worm and I loved movies and TV over running around in the yard.
So the game I’ve been playing is to try out new classes at the gym. My gym is offering an incentive to do this in the form of a raffle if I take 10 classes in the three categories of cardio, strength training and mind/body.
Hands down, mind/body is my favorite. I could do yoga every day happily. Some tai chi would be a great way to start the day. I like lifting weights and can deal with strength training in moderation. But cardio is my personal circle of hell, right in between gluttony and sloth.
No pain, no gain is the motto of the athletic-types. Perhaps for you. For the rest of us, it should be more like no action, no gain. Why suffer? Granted, it’s a catchy rhyme, but it’s completely unrealistic for the long haul. If I don’t want to power through an exercise for an hour that leaves me feeling drained and like I’ve been punched in the chest, how the hell would I continue to do that ongoingly?
I tried this class called Pound where we were constantly hitting drumsticks together or on the ground. My ears were ringing by the end of it. Fuck that.
Woody Allen once quipped that, “Eighty percent of success is showing up.” Perhaps running around like a crazy person to the point of exhaustion might make me lose the weight a little faster, but will I show up for it? Not bloody likely. With the perspective of knowing that I am a beautiful woman in my own right comes the autonomy to say what I will do and what I won’t do, and accepting the consequences of my actions.
It’ll probably take me six extra months to reach my goal at the pace I’m going. But in the end, I will still make it if I keep on the path… that is unless a bus happens to cross my path at just the right time. Then it won’t matter what shape I’m in when I’m a stain on the pavement. Perspective, bitches!