Tag Archives: healthy

No Hold Barres Ever Again

A few weeks ago I took a Barre class with a good friend of mine. This Barre class really was of no interest to me.

Why not?

Because I’m embarrassed to say that the most exercise I’ve had in the last couple years has been random walks around the block with the dog, and twenty (really fifteen) minutes on the elliptical at the gym during my “I’m going to get healthy” phase that lasted all of two weeks.

So, how did I get roped into this Barre class thing, you ask?

The Kid and I were spending the weekend with a friend and her step-daughter. Every Saturday morning they take a Barre class. Who were we to stand between these ladies and their routine?

Besides, I soon found out that pretty much death is the only thing that could come between my friend and her Barre class.

So we scheduled a class for the next morning. Bright and early.

On a weekend. When I was supposed to be sleeping late, drinking cocktails, catching up with my friend and doing nothing. Let me repeat…doing NOTHING (all caps, bolded and italicized in case you didn’t quite get the gist).

Anyway, when the two young’uns woke up with liquid coming out of both ends due to eating a bowl of bad Acai berries, I thought we would be off the hook. In fact, I was pretty sure we were. You know, off the hook.

Remember I said only death would come between my friend and her Barre class?

It wasn’t a lie.

I supposed if two food poisoned-stricken young ladies could muster up the energy to sit (sit really isn’t the correct word here) through a fifty minute Barre class, then so could I.

I was wrong.

Upon our arrival, I warned the cute little class instructor that I was going to look like a complete jackass to which she replied, “oh, you’ll be fine.”

She soon discovered the joke was on her.

If you have never been to a Barre class (Is this even a proper noun? Is it really deserving of capitalization?), the room looks like a long and narrow torture chamber. With mirrors lining one entire wall so that you can watch yourself looking like the complete jackass you claimed you are (I certainly didn’t want to disappoint anyone).

Oh, and there are bars. Or Barres. Running up and down two walls. The kind of bars you would find in a ballet studio.

Except this was no ballet class. Not that I’m saying ballet is any easier. But I was in a room with ballet bars. I mean, why?

The instructor had us do some stretches. I think. I’ve blocked some of it out. I’m sure my brain went into protection mode.

You may think I’m being a tad dramatic, but I’m not. It was bad. And it hurt. It hurt in places that I didn’t even know existed.

During the first three minutes, I discovered that I could no longer touch my toes. The last time I couldn’t touch my toes, I was nine months pregnant. That should tell you something.

Apparently, the purpose of Barre class (there goes that capitalization again) is, and I quote, “to perform multi-directional dynamic movements to target different muscle groups simultaneously.”

Well, let me assure you that there were muscle groups in my body that were in a deep hibernating state since 2014 and they were none too happy with me.

It brings a whole new meaning to the phrase, “…a long winter’s nap,” don’t ‘cha think?

After correcting me seventeen times in the first twenty minutes, the instructor shrugged her shoulders and gave up.

There was not one move I could accomplish. I stood/sat/died there for most of the class, with my eyes averted. Looking on the ground pretending an earring dropped out of my ear.

And I don’t wear earrings.

I kept peeking around the room to see if I had a partner in crime. Someone I could be in cahoots with. Someone who was struggling like I was because, as the saying goes, “misery loves company,” and that expression could not have been more true during this fifty minutes of hell.

But nope, I was the only jackass in class. Everyone looked like they knew what they were doing and doing it well.

Even the food-poisoned young ladies.

IMG_8375After sweating through class, with my heart pounding so hard I was concerned the paramedics were going to be called, I realized one thing:

I am out of shape.

And not just out of shape. My body is completely deplete of any shape at all.

I am a fifty-year old woman whose body is that of a seventy-year old (I apologize to all you seventy-year old women right now, because you probably still look and feel better than I do but if I put the number any higher, I will most likely drop dead of a stroke from the thought of it).

When I get out of bed in the morning, it takes a good five minutes to warm up. My back hurts, every bone pops, and forget about my knees. Those babies are shot and are in dire need of a repair.

I can no longer sit on the floor. If I do, I resemble one of those baby elephants trying to get a feel for standing except the baby elephant has a higher success rate.

After I prayed hard for the class to end, it finally did. I glared at my friend and pretty much threatened her life. “NEVER AGAIN,” I proclaimed for the entire class to hear.

The instructor actually breathed a big sigh of relief.

There was one benefit to this class. And that is I realized how badly I need to make some changes.

If I don’t start moving my ass, I am not going to be in good shape by the end of the decade. I mean, even worse than I am now. And that scares the hell out of me.

Four years ago...FOUR lousy years ago! It took me over a year to lose 30 pounds, and mere months to put them back on. WHY????

Four years ago…FOUR lousy years ago! It took me over a year to lose 30 pounds, and mere months to put them back on. WHY????

How in the world did I let myself go? Four years ago I was running five miles three to four times a week. I could run circles around most of the young people I knew. I was thirty pounds lighter, fit, tone, and best of all I felt amazing.

Now?

I’m just a fifty-year old woman stuck in a seventy-year old body who can’t do Barre class without looking like a walrus trying to scratch his own back.

I don’t really know what that means, but believe me it can’t be pretty.

Cheers to healthier days. Maybe next time you see me, I will look less like zoo animals, and more like a woman in the prime of her life.

I’ve Lost a Bowling Ball

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I know this is me. I promise to stop soon.

Remember my post on January 22nd about how I gained a bale of hay?  Well guess what?  I’ve started to lose some of that bale of hay.  How do I know?  Let me count the ways:

  1. I can actually get my wedding bands off without the use of motor oil.
  2. When I sit, people don’t rush up to me asking when the bakery opens.
  3. I now only have enough chins to share with 1 other person instead of 4.  Sorry people.  I am a registered organ donor, not a body part donor.
  4. I can fit a kitten in my bra, WITH my boobs in it.
  5. On the subject of bras…they now ride up on me.  Even on the tightest setting.  That poses a real problem at My Retail Job.
  6. I no longer need a shoe horn to get into my jeans.
  7. When I walk across the floor, objects don’t fall off the dresser.
  8. I haven’t been mistaken for a Chicago Bears Linebacker from behind in quite some time now.
  9. There is a dot of light coming through between the upper part of my thighs.  Enough to light the head of a pin.  But light just the same.
  10. My arms stop waving about 3 seconds sooner than before.

It would seem that I have lost the size of a bowling ball that is used by an average adult male.  I don’t know.  I think that’s pretty cool.  And that bowling ball is staying where it belongs…in the lane, the alley, the gutter.  Wherever.  Just not on me.  I’m good with that.  I’m happy with that.  So happy, I could go bowling.

Manufactured Reality

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A friend shared this picture on Facebook a couple of weeks ago.  These fine ladies were spotted in a Swedish retail establishment.  There was a bit of an outrage over them.  It seems that they “condone obesity.”  I have something to say about that.

First, kudos to this store.  America should follow suit.  Second, please define “obese” because I don’t understand.  They look pretty damn normal to me.  In fact,  I think they are hot.  They are curvy, voluptuous and sexy.  They look like you and me.  Not some undernourished, unrealistic waif.

I have a serious problem with the mannequins stores use today.  Because these “models” are probably about a size 0.  A size 0 mannequin is on display in a store that I shop in.  A store that is meant for women.  Most women I know are not a size 0.  These plastic bimbos get us in the door because we want what they are wearing.  So, we go on a quest to find the item in our size, try it on, and inevitably are disappointed because it doesn’t fit us like it fits the chick in the window, who by the way, has her clothing held on by a big-ass binder clip.  There is something wrong with that.  And it’s called false advertising.

I’m guessing that if the media, magazines, STORES, stopped portraying women and girls like this:

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my arm is bigger than this chick’s thigh.

…the percentage of eating disorders would drop.  It’s just a guess.  Because I am no expert.  I have fallen under the spell of advertisers. Until the realistic part of my brain makes me come to my senses.  But I worry about the young girls of our society.  They have to look at this same crap.  And feel the same way.  Except it’s way worse for them because they don’t have the ability to always think sensibly and are swayed by false advertising more than we are.

I don’t know about you, but I want my teenage daughter to feel good about herself.  To have high self esteem.  I don’t want her feeling badly about herself because some plastic bitch said she was fat.  It just makes our jobs as parents more difficult.  And can possibly undo years of hard work we put into our children.

So, shame on you retail stores, magazines, the media.  And bring on those size 12 mannequins. They are more than welcome here!

 

How I Am Getting Healthy

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Mr. Martian enjoys my elliptical more than I do, I’m afraid to say

I posted today on my Facebook page that I lost 8 pounds.  One of my followers wanted me to share how I am doing it.  Basically for me, it’s a life change.  Not a diet.  Besides having high cholesterol and suffering from reflux, I am at the stage in my life where if I don’t start taking care of myself, the kid will have a problem on her hands.  I don’t want to be her problem. I would like to control what I can.  And I would like to enjoy my Golden Years when the time comes.  With my hubby.  Who is healthy.

Let me start by saying that I am a foodie.  A major foodie.  There isn’t a food I won’t try and there isn’t much I don’t like.  I’ll even eat it if it falls on the floor, has a little mold or is a bit past the expiration date.  Remember, I hate throwing food away.  And I’m gross.

I don’t believe in fad diets.  I’ve tried them all from cabbage soup to Atkins.  And then only to have every pound plus some jump back on me within a few short weeks.  Although it took me months to lose it.  I believe it’s a conspiracy.

So here’s what I am doing.  I cut a lot of fat from my diet.  I try to eat at least my daily allowance of fruits and vegetables.  I am eating a healthy snack that I enjoy in between my meals so I’m not starving when lunch and dinner comes along.  I LOVE me my carbs but they had to be reduced.  Reduced, not cut.  I am not into depriving myself of All Things I Love. That doesn’t work for me.  Like I said, I am a foodie.  Depriving a foodie is like depriving a fish of water.  Not a good outcome.

I don’t put a crapload of food on my plate like I used to.  I had a really bad habit of eating way beyond the point of being full.  You know that feeling where you just can’t move?  It’s completely unnecessary.  I haven’t done that in over 2 months and I couldn’t be better.  And I never need to reach for my bottle of Tums anymore.  Ever.

I abhor exercise, so I chose something I know I can do and stick with.  I walk 3 miles 4-5 times a week.  Fast walking.  With some hills.  I plug my earphones into my iPhone and go to town.  Before I know it, it’s 45 minutes later and I feel great.  It’s completely invigorating.  If it’s crappy outside, I try to get on my elliptical for 30 minutes.  I hate it.  It’s boring and there is no fresh air.  But at least I’m moving.  No more excuses.  I have grown tired of excuses.

I will be happy if I could lose another 8-10 pounds.  But I know my limits.  I will never have that 120 pound body ever again and I am at peace with it.  I will not lose weight that I know isn’t realistic for me.  I don’t need to look like a super model.  The point here is to get healthy.  Besides DH likes me with curves.  And who am I to deprive him?

The Hungry Lion

African Lion Roaring Animal ModelI have been pretty good the last 2.5 weeks.  Actually, I have been really good.  Exercising pretty much every day, not drinking wine, making healthy choices (mostly).  But this week I am having some troubles because I am experiencing a bit of PMS.  I know you understand.  I tried to explain it to DH and although he tries to be sympathetic, he just doesn’t get it.  The urge to eat is so strong.  It doesn’t come from hunger.  It comes from this evil, dark place deep within.

I don’t like to call my journey a “diet.”  I like to refer to it as getting healthy.  Changing my habits.  Exchanging the bad for good.  I’m hoping to trick my brain into enjoying and preferring a salad for lunch over a ham sandwich with a side of chips.  When I lose this extra weight, I do not intend to fall back into my bad habits again.  Of course, I will allow myself a burger and fries.  But only sometimes.  I know if I completely deprive myself, I’m just setting myself up for failure.  It’s like telling a lion he can’t have meat anymore.  I am a carnivore.  I need my fix.  That’s just the way it is.

Yesterday evening my brother paid us a surprise visit.  He lives in North Carolina and I usually only see him once a year.  So it was a really great surprise.  The plan for dinner was a healthy meal with whole wheat pasta, peas and kale. My brother is also a carnivore.  And I knew that just wasn’t going to cut it.  So, I went to the store and bought some steaks, baking potatoes and beer.  While I was there, I picked up a bag of freshly made sour cream and onion potato chips.  I had the kid with me and her 14 year old self wanted them.  Two things to never do when going food shopping:  bring a teenager and go hungry.  I broke the two cardinal rules of grocery shopping in one day.  Shame on me.

While I was making the salad, I partook in the activity of having a chip.  Or 2.  Or 3. What could it hurt?  At dinner, I made myself a sweet potato instead of a baked potato which would have otherwise been slathered in butter and sour cream, had a small piece of steak and a big salad. That part went well.  But bro was having a beer.  Who am I to make him drink alone?  He was a guest in my home after all.  So I asked DH to make me a cocktail.  Then another.  And another.

I even said to him that I would regret this in the morning.  And I did.  I’m afraid to step on the scale.  Well, I’m not going to step on the scale because it will make me angry.  It just tears my ass knowing that those 3 chips (ok maybe 7, not to mention the cocktails) most likely added a pound or possibly more.

I guess I will just have to double up on the workouts and eat really, really sensibly for the rest of the week.  The worst week of the month in a woman’s life.  No cocktail, no chips, no piece of chocolate, no steak.  None of it for me.  But that lion in me is not happy.  Roar.  Why couldn’t I be a goat?