Sigh. Here’s the story:
The skinny girl stays skinny until she ain’t skinny no more. (Tear)
And if you weren’t the skinny girl, you’re probably thinking, ‘GOOD– Karma!’ Well, thanks for having my back, sistah.
I am one of those blessed to have maintained a fairly slender figure for most of my life without too much effort. But after bearing two children and reaching the top end of my thirties, things began to slip. My schedule sped up, and my metabolism slowed down (just as they said it would). (I hate ‘they.’)
I was tired, I was sad, and yes, I was gaining weight. I needed to be shut off.
Yet. Food is love. Food is life. (Full disclosure: I’m a foodie.)
What to do?
I’ve tried diets where starvation is the key to success, but hangry doesn’t win you friends (and your spouse wants to murder you in your sleep). I dreeeeaaaam about food. I cook. I host. I savor the flavor. Dare I say, it feeds my soul? Yuuuum!
I’ve tried the ‘This Is Who I Am Now’ approach as well. Inching my way up the size chart while my self-esteem and confidence took a nose dive. It’s superficial, but I don’t like being big either. I physically didn’t feel well.
Let’s face it. If my extra weight morphed me into a curvaceous, busty Marilyn, I’d be more comfortable with it–but busted cantaloupe was more my look. Something (besides my waistband) had to give.
After years of mediocre effort to stay healthy or fit, the proverbial fat lady had finally sung. Off to the gym, she (I) went. Like Goldilocks, I’ve tested out every “fun” fitness activity– but I wanted to find one that was just right.
Sergeants yelling: No thanks.
Muscles as big as my head: you can keep that.
Competition and grit? I’m a delicate flower!
Do it on my own? Riiiiiiiggghhht.
I needed something to balance my needs: motivational, small, close to home, and a place to make friends.
I will never be the gal who pops out of bed pumped to get pumped. But the conflict between wanting to eat (and drink) EVERYTHING and wanting to maintain some kind of human-shaped physique as I step into my forties means I must exercise.
I work hard at the gym. I make new friends. I mutter under (and over) my breath. I get it done–and while I don’t look like a pillar of fitness, I am stronger than I’ve ever been.
Food continues to be my frenemy. I’ve had to become more careful about what I choose, and when I get to indulge…and like good friends, food and I still get crazy sometimes. But now I’ve got fitness to back me up, too.
I’m writing this as I’m slipping backward, so I’m still a work in progress. (Too much 40th-birthday-celebrating!) Hoping to motivate myself, you, or anyone who needs it, here I will share my five best hacks to survive the fitness world. For those of you struggling with your love of food and your “distaste” for working out, I’ve got your back…no matter the size.
FIVE FITNESS HACKS FOR THE FOODIE AT HEART
ONE: CHILDS’ POSE
The cozy release of all effort when you curl up, stick your head between your legs and count the minutes until class is over. Let your belly hang out and sway between your knees. Tick tock. Take all the time that you need down there. A close second– happy baby.
TWO: THE DARKNESS OF SPIN
Spin class is the one place nobody will see just how uncoordinated your body (or outfit) is. The lights dim and you can fade away from all things pretty. Don’t wear anything cute. Unkempt hair, don’t care. Crush it with your nasty, bad self. Internally mock the double entendres of spin– you know the references about adjusting your knob, pushing harder, and positions to pick it and stick it. (You’d like to live in my head wouldn’t you?)
Deodorant is required; we can still smell in the dark.
THREE: THE SPOT NEXT TO THE SPEAKER
A good instructor is like having a personal DJ. THEY PLAY MY JAAAM! Find your place close to the speaker and turn.up.the.beat. Nobody can hear you panting. It’s the best place to mutter mean, unladylike swears at your instructor (without her hearing a word you say).
Instructor: How y’all doing?
Me (mouthing with a glare): I will staaaaab you…
Just keep fuc&ing smiling.
FOUR: ‘WATER’ BREAKS (or bathroom breaks, depending on the day)
Staying hydrated is an important part of your workout. Every good instructor will tell you that. But what’s in your bottle is YOUR business. Vodka is the color of water, just sayin’. Drink up! That post-delivery bladder is sure to fail you, in the best way possible. Take some time to hop, skip, jump into the bathroom– you may miss star jumps or better yet, burpees. Oopsie!
It’s the right thing to do. We take classes in bare feet and we must do what’s right for the greater good. Your civic duty. Regular pedicures are now part of my weekly routine, to the delight of those around me. Win, win. We’re all happy. TOE-tally great!
So if you’ve been fighting the idea of getting back to the gym, just go. You’ll be fiiiiiiiiiiine. It’ll be great, blah blah blah….
You’ve got this. And just think (!), you can eat what you want because you worked for it…
Oooooooh! I get it now… That’s NOT how this is supposed to work?!