Sunday, August 10, 2014

Published 9:30 AM by StilettoLova with 1 comment

An Aging Woman's Journey Back Into Fitness: This Stuff Ain't Pretty, Y'all

An Aging Woman's Journey Back Into Fitness - This Stuff Ain't Pretty, Y'all | Yes, We Rise
Losing weight is a challenge for many, while some have the will, drive, and determination to achieve success reaching their weight loss goals.  On the one hand, you have someone who spent her entire life in the struggle, lost the weight and never looked back, and then you have me, who, like Lot's wife in the Bible, suffered because she kept lamenting over what had been.

Food had become my friend and constant companion.  It accompanied me over many of life's twists and turns.  Now, don't get me wrong, folks.  This isn't one of those cases where, I'm keeping a wrapped up pork chop in my purse just in case of emergency, but this is definitely one of those cases where I often looked to food whenever I had a stressful moment.  Leisure had become sheer joy.  I relished eating a meal filled with thousands of calories and topping it off with a good sleep after watching my favorite television shows.  I looked forward to naps.  I, (insert grimace here), NEEDED them.

I used to be a very, and I do mean VERY active person.  At age 23, I could work a full-time job on my feet for eight hours, go home, shower and change, go to the club, dance until 3:00 a.m., go home, sleep for four hours, get up, shower, grab a bite, and be out of the door for work again at 7:30 a.m.  As a teenager and young adult, I took modern and jazz dance.  I taught dance for the youth at local recreation centers, participated in dance competitions, and modeled in local fashion shows.  I LIVED for the opportunity to "shake a tail feather" and constantly found myself in somebody's club doing so - sometimes 2 to 3 times a week.  I'd grown up on good eating, but it wasn't a big deal to me.  I was one who could appreciate a plate filled with ham, macaroni and cheese, collard greens, and cornbread, with a side of apple pie ala mode.  However, I could also eat a quick salad or snack on the run, and be alright with it.  Either way, I wouldn't gain a pound, and if I did, my dancing and constantly moving around would surely fix that.  Ahhh, the good old days!


Ask me if I can do that at age 43!  You will see a look of horror that you've never seen before!  I laugh to myself as I type this, because heck! I'm tired right NOW!  I still have the spirit of that 23 year old.  I look back and admire her energy and zest for life!  However, today's realities of cracking bones, stress, and, I'll admit it here, laziness and procrastination, have hindered me in my desire to lose weight and get down to my desired weight of 175 pounds. 

An Aging Woman's Journey Back Into Fitness - This Stuff Ain't Pretty, Y'all | Yes, We RiseI did lose 40 pounds.  I once carried 208 pounds on my 5'3" frame.  I used to hear, "Girl, you are just solid", or "You are just big-boneded", or "You weigh HOW MUCH? I can't tell."  In a previous offering, I shared how I saw a picture in which I did not recognize myself.  That experience prompted visits from personal trainers, daily, agonizing, and I do mean agonizing, visits to the gym, and, (Lord, help me!) changes in eating habits.  I was successful, and the pounds began to melt away, but I have to admit, I missed being able to eat what I wanted, in the portions that I wanted.  I missed eating until I was sick with laziness.  I hated the results of this sloth behavior, but I loved the road getting there. 

My southern roots craved a bowl of chitlins (or, as some of you more affluent folks call them, chit-ter-LINGS), fried cabbage, sweet potatoes, black-eyed peas, and some corn bread, with a side of peach cobbler!  I missed stuffing!  I missed drinking my Riesling, Moscato, and beer.  I love beer!  I missed good eating, and like Lot's wife, I looked back and turned to stone, paralyzed by what used to be.  I loathed going forward - the maintenance, the aches and pains that remind me of my age, the constant food measuring and counting calories, not being able to maintain my natural hair in a straight style due to the constant sweaty workouts.  I loved being able to fit into things that I hadn't in years.  I appreciated the complements I received.  I enjoyed encouraging others on the journey.  Heck, sex was even better!  Who wouldn't appreciate that?  However, I secretly had begun to loathe this health journey.  There!  I said it. 


An Aging Woman's Journey Back Into Fitness - This Stuff Ain't Pretty, Y'all | Yes, We Rise
Black Girls Run!
I'm still at it.  I've leveled off so to speak.  I no longer eat after 8:00 p.m.  I eat what I want, but only every now and again.  For the most part, I make healthier choices.  I have renewed my love of fruit - especially watermelon and honeydew melons.  I still love chicken, turkey, and fish - baked, that is.  I love my collards, turnips, cabbage, and spinach, but I cook them with turkey necks as opposed to ham bones.  I will have an occasional desert, but in smaller portions.  I constantly drink water, and lots of fresh juices, but will have an occasional glass of wine or my beloved beer.  I no longer party like Lindsey Lohan three times a week, but I will go out to an occasional cabaret.  I am a walker, however, and will walk at least 6 to 8 miles every other day.  If I miss, then I use my DVDs I have at home.  I lift weights, and through every cracking bone, I find a way to fit movement into my life, and it works.  I have plateaued.  However, I do intend to ramp up my exercise more as we head to the fall and winter months.  I enjoy being lazy, so I already have to have a plan in motion for the "hibernation months".

Right now, as I write this, I need to work out.  I want to go back to bed.  Which choice will I make?  Well, now that I've revealed my truth, I guess I'd better get up and out of here to the gym.  I don't want you guys fussing at me....


photo credit: darkmatter via photopin cc
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photo credit: Christopher Chan via photopin cc

1 comment:

  1. Love this! I work on a college campus and one of the biggest things students need, more than money, is the active participation (support) of BOTH PARENTS. It's starts when they're young!