I’m at a crossroads here, folks. It’s not even New Years, but it’s time for some resolutions. After months of home buying and selling madness that led to an unscheduled visit to the emergency room for an intestinal infection, I find myself in the worst shape of my life. Which is a complete bummer, because, before I derailed, I was in Week 9 of the Couch to 10K program and was getting faster every week. I was also an active participant in my hiking group and was covering 7-9 mile hikes at least twice a week. But, sadly, when you are over fifty, it takes about 12 hours to completely lose all that fitness.
So resolution time, and now desperate measures are called for. For me, that would be dieting. Which, full disclosure, I’ve never really done in my life. I was under the impression that I didn’t need to. I hate soft drinks, cookies, candy and especially cake and cupcakes. If I have dessert, it’ll be a few squares of chocolate. I eat pretty healthy. Well, as healthy as one can living with an Englishman who hates all vegetables. Usually that plays out with me eating double portions of vegetables as I coopt the vegetables that Andy has pushed to the side of his plate. But is a second helping of Chard really ever a problem?
Nope, my diet downfall is unfortunately, my profession. I’ve reached the sad conclusion that, to make this big push for health and weight loss, I need to cut out wine. Except maybe for weekends. And special occasions. And when friends are around. No wait, I need to cut out wine.
Next thing, of course, is exercise. I’ve dropped dress sizes before. It was all through exercise. Sadly, I’m starting to realize, this isn’t something that happens easily over Fifty. Although it was happening slowly back before I fell of this latest health wagon.
In fact, my biggest success story was completely achieved by exercise. I decided to hire my business partner’s personal trainer. But he was a Gay bodybuilder and he said, “I barely even know any women. I don’t have the first idea how to train a woman.” So I told him, “Then just train me like a man.” He did. I got down to the point where I was wearing clothes from high school — when I weighed 104 lbs. — except that I was 120 lbs. The big take-away: muscle really does weigh more than fat! Sadly, trainers are much more saavy these days and I can’t seem to find one who doesn’t do modified girly training. So — all things being equal — I decided to go for the trainer who had the body I wanted. I chose an elegant African American woman. Think Angela Bassett. After one incredible session, she was poached by Facebook as chief trainer at their in-house gym. (Damn those Facebookers! They get everything.) But she introduced me to the trainer she’d picked to carry on with me. He’s a huge bodybuilder. So maybe, it’s fate and this will all turn out for the best.
As for the running? I’ve dropped back from the Week 9 schedule to the Week 7 schedule. I’m so much slower that Everymove.org, where I log my runs, won’t even give me credit for a run. Based on the MPH, it calls it a “walk”. Well, it’s about getting out there.
On the hiking front? Well, that’s going to take a little longer. So far, my excuse has been that it’s too hot. But in reality, I know I’m not ready for the technical level of hikes my group does. And I don’t want to be That Hiker, who holds up everyone. And I would hold up everyone. We hike in Mountain Lion country, so the group rule is that no one charges ahead or drops behind alone or in groups smaller than four. At this point, I’d be on track to ruin three other people’s hike.
Yes, I know there is possibly nothing more boring than listening to someone else’s health and fitness resolutions. But somehow, when you write it down on a blog, it puts it out there to the point where you kind of have to stick with it. Which is why I record my runs so they post to Facebook. Then my friends, who are almost all doing better at this than I am, can give me a ration if I’m off track. I did get some encouragement this week as I hopped painfully back on the exercise track. Through my pain, I posted that “Well, I’m trying”. To which the most athletic person I know answered:
“Do or do not. There is no try.”
Thanks, Yoda. That’s what I’m talking about. So please, folks, keep up that Social Media shaming. I need it.
I do watch my weight, don’t diet and try to eat healthy, as you do. By following fhe family mantra : eat less, excercise more, I’ve been able to maintain my pre-menopausal sveltishness. Walking a SFT an hour or more a day is a BIG help; it means I can still drink wine! And Django is as cute as any personal trainer, with more personality.
Lisa: We all fall onto the wagon and have to jump back off again from time to time…life happens. It’s a bummer when you were making such progress, but use that as your inspiration…hey…look what you already know you are capable of. Once you get back there, can you do even better? Of course you can. You do more difficult things than walk a steep path every day — garden with deadly snakes at your fingertips, harvest hndreds/thousands of pounds of grapes in a flash, under excruciating deadlines, fend off invasive species of animals and plants, fight for the rights of indigineous every things….so what’s a little poundage compared to all that (and even more?) Ha. You’re no shrinking violet. (I hope that’s not non-native to California!) Those fat cells don’t stand a chance. My best move is Le Tredmill. Why? The sheer boredom of sustained walking, even if it is a hike in the beautiful wilderness. UNless I”m running after a ball or playing a game of some kind and doing something that teks my mind off the fact that if I’m walking or running in one direction I’m eventually going to have to come BACK the same way, I can’t stand it. BORING. Drudgery. So I read. Nothing makes time stand still, fly by, the world disappear for me like reading a great story. ANd who has time for reading these days? So I get in a two-fer. Befoer I know it I’ve been at a very fast speed, on a decent elevation for an hour, and have whipped through quite a bit of book on my old Kindle DX (which, sadly, they don’t make anymore, because the toggle is cracked so I have to baby it). NOt the same, but my iPad works as well in a pinch. You eat better than I do. I know exercise it the key to my weight control, and I went super post-menopausal at 37 with surgery for ovarian cancer, and scooping everything out meant instant lack of hormones and a metabolism of zero. So the weight went on, aided by the steroids they pack into the chemo bags. That really sucks too! So keep on walking. Glad to hear you are up and at it again, and if you don’t feel you want to try to keep pace with your walking group, I’m sure Oscar and Lucy will oblige you any time, any where.