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My Life Is Not A Movie

“We middle-aged women have to learn to speak up and proclaim what we need loudly. We’re the ones going through the most hell and yet remain the most guarded of our secrets. Well, middle-age weight gain isn’t a secret you can keep for very long. Might as well speak up and suffer or succeed together!”

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If it were, I wouldn’t need this damn blog.

I’m literally at my wits’ end. I’ve never been skinny. I’ve always been fighting. Ever since I was a little kid, when my mom looked at me and said, “You’re too skinny. You look like a starving refugee,” I’ve been taught that food was love. And I piled on the love and piled on the pounds.

If this were a movie, you’d see me at my lowest (probably crying at home, alone, surrounded by cartons of empty Haagen Dazs), and then the catalyst would appear (probably some gorgeous object of my affection), and then the montage (honestly, I love cheesy montages of people making progress), and finally the reveal (me, looking fabulously fit, of course), followed by the twist, and the real lesson (me, understanding that it wasn’t the weight that I needed to lose, but the dislike for the heavier me).
See, I’ve been waiting for that to happen, but alas. That shit’s not real.

At one point in my life (about 12 years ago), I thought that food was poison. I didn’t stop eating it, but I felt shitty and guilty every time I indulged in anything that wasn’t kale, quinoa, or a boring boiled chicken breast. God forbid I should give in to the See’s candy!

Luckily, I’m at a point where I like myself, and I love food again. I now know that food isn’t the culprit here. My choices are. But I also know that I’m carrying around a lot of fat around my gut. I keep hearing the words, “adipose fat, adipose fat,” playing over and over in my head, which translates to “deadly fat, deadly fat.” I was checked out earlier in the year because I’d had palpitations on again and off again for a few weeks. The stress-echo test (which was scary as hell) came back just fine, thank God! Now I’m under the care of an awesome acupuncturist/herbalist who’s gotten the palpitations (and any other menopausal symptoms) under control.

At my lowest (in 30 years), I weighed 161. I looked good! I felt good. Back then I just wasn’t as hungry and I walked briskly almost every day. I never planned on losing weight, it just happened and I (and everyone else) just sort of noticed it one day. I kept it off for a year and a half, but that’s because I started dating someone much, much younger than me who was very health conscious. He’d lost 70 lbs of his own and never wanted to gain it back. So we chose healthier options, did something active almost every time we were together, and the weight stayed off. Worth mentioning is the fact that I was also 10 years younger and menopause was nowhere to be seen. I’m not putting all the blame on the ever-shifting hormones, but the truth is, they do make a difference.

My family is supportive but not motivated. I’m the only overweight person in my home. Even my dogs are in shape. But I want to be around for my family a while longer. I’m in my mid 50’s, but I look like I’m in my 30’s. That’s not a brag, it’s a factor in my lack of motivation. People think I’m much younger and want me to keep up with them during activities. They literally gasp when they learn my age. We middle-aged women have to learn to speak up and proclaim what we need loudly. We’re the ones going through the most hell and yet remain the most guarded of our secrets. Well, middle-age weight gain isn’t a secret you can keep for very long. Might as well speak up and suffer or succeed together!

Also, in my line of work, it’s paramount to always appear “together.” Someday, if I reach my goals, I’ll share all of that with you here.

Well, here are the very first photos I’ve ever posted of myself without clothing. This is a huge deal for me. I’m currently 193.8 lbs. I think this is the closest I’ve been to 200. I’m only 5’5″, so that’s not a healthy size. And like I said, I carry most of my fat around my mid section. I’m so tired of people assuming I’m pregnant. If they knew how old I really was, they wouldn’t assume.

(I removed the photos. They’re too painful to look at.)

 

My plan of attack? I’m not sure, but I’m thinking – brisk walk for 25 mins on my treadmill in the mornings, and food journaling. I’ve tried both before, but never consistently.

If you’re reading this, I want you to know that I’m scared of failing, I’m nervous about sharing so much that I’ve kept hidden, and I feel very alone in my journey. If you’re feeling this way, I guess we’re both not alone. I’ve got an ear for anyone who’s feeling like me right now, so feel free to drop me a line. I’m also a very trustworthy person, so rest assured that whatever you share with me will not end up on this blog.

So when do I start? I guess I just did.

 

Day 1.

week 1 copy

I was tempted to start this blog with an inspirational quote about beginnings, but meh. The truth is, starting any routine/journey/challenge that’s supposed to help you get better is fucking hard. If it were easy, it wouldn’t be called a “challenge.”

I woke up at 6 AM. Then I woke up at 6:30. Then I actually got up at 6:55, put my workout clothes on and got ready to take this “7 minutes for 28 days” challenge that I’d found online yesterday. A bit of advice – make sure all your clothes and shoes are laid out, ready to go or even the slightest bit of delay can cause you to start making excuses for starting tomorrow, instead. I couldn’t find my hoodie and I almost took it as a sign that I wasn’t supposed to start today, which is bullshit.

My husband has decided to take this challenge with me. He’s in pretty good shape, so I know that he’s doing this for support, and I wholeheartedly appreciate it. We got out our yoga mats (better than a hardwood floor), I put on my short workout playlist (entitled “Work, bitch.”), and we rolled through the 7-minute workout. Just to be clear, when I say, “rolled,” I don’t mean that we breezed right through it. We both winced, grunted and groaned, and not in a happy way. If you have any misconceptions (like I did) that a short workout would be fairly easy, you’re in for an unpleasant surprise. Shorter, in this case, means tougher. They’ve gotta pack as much of a workout as they can in those 7 short minutes. My upper body hates me. The good news is that, as tough as it gets, it’s over in 8 minutes (you need 10 seconds of rest between exercises). Suffering for 8 minutes doesn’t seem so bad when you think of it that way.

I still need cardio, but I’m heading to Japantown and then to Ocean Beach with my dogs, so I can move at a brisk pace for 25 minutes somewhere along the way.

I don’t feel that differently, but what did I expect? I do feel better knowing that I did something good for my body. I like getting up and getting things done, not having to worry about where to fit them in later.

The other part of this fitness equation is healthy eating. We can work out all we want to, but if we eat crappy food and we eat too much of it, we’re gonna end up with crappy bodies. I’m heading over to Japantown to grab some fish and rice and veggies. Ever watch Samurai Gourmet? I’m obsessed with that show lately. I read somewhere that Asians outnumber everyone else in the world for most octogenarians. I live between two Chinatowns and one Japantown. I can vouch for the amount of elderly people who are still up and walking around, doing their own shopping, enjoying their golden years. The diet and daily exercise that they follow is obviously working. Besides, I love Japanese and Chinese Food.

Anyway, Day 1. Not horrible. We’ll see how I feel tomorrow when my muscles have realized what I’ve done to them.

Here’s a link to the 7-minute challenge if you want to try it out for yourself. I hope you love it, or at least love hating it for only 7 minutes.