I recently came to the conclusion that I need to get my shit together health-wise. I was never what you’d call a fitness buff — I ran for a while, I boxed for a while, I biked for a while, but I never stuck with anything. However, I always maintained a healthy weight for my height.
Then this menopause thing happened. You know how when the auto plant or the steel mill shuts down and the surrounding area goes to hell in a handbasket? That’s pretty much what happened to my body when my ovary popped its last egg and went out of business. And that’s ovary — singular. I only have the one. A few years ago, the other one got a little too big for its britches. Literally. Rather than being the standard walnut-size, mine had reached baseball proportions, so it had to go!
So anyway, when the egg factory stopped producing, my hormones got right on board with that and took my metabolism with them. In what seemed like an instant I had packed on some serious poundage. The thing is, I wasn’t doing anything different than I’d ever done. I was living and eating the same, but my inner furnace that once burned up all those calories had all but sputtered out.
I once heard a woman who’d struggled with her weight all her life say after losing it all, that inside, she still felt like the big girl she’d always been. And I can relate to that. Having never had a weight problem, I often forget that now I do. Sometimes I catch I glimpse of my reflection in a store window and am quickly reminded, “Oh, that’s right, I’m fat now.” It’s rather disconcerting because I haven’t been fat long enough to feel fat inside yet.
And that (along with not wanting to drop dead from a stroke or heart attack) is a big part of what’s got me wanting to get my body back now. I’m afraid that if I let myself get used to it, it will just become part of who I am and I’ll lose the will to change things.
But it’s not all vanity. I’m not married, not in a relationship (and don’t see myself in one anytime soon) and have no kids. I’m kind of planning on a future where I’m looking out for myself. If that turns out to be the case, I need to be healthy and able to do so. I’m not afraid to admit that the thought of ending up sick and alone in some nursing home scares the shit out of me.
So, I’ve pretty much cut out the sugar. Except for in my coffee, of course. I cannot, will not, drink my coffee with any of that artificial crap in it. I feel good enough about exorcising the candy and sweets, so I’ll leave it at that. I’ve reintroduced myself to fruits and veggies. I was really missing them, anyway, so having back in my life is really a welcome treat. And I’m done with the fast-food — of which I was eating waaay too much.
Now, if I were twenty-two, those changes alone would probably cause the pounds to start melting away because youngsters have the metabolisms of hummingbirds. Alas, I have the metabolism of a cow – I could gain weight from doing nothing but breathing and eating grass.
In an effort to try and rev up what little calorie-burning capabilities I have left, I knew I needed to work some exercise into my life. I started by walking a couple of miles a day. That didn’t kill me, so I got the bright idea to add in a little yoga. I found a 30-day yoga challenge on YouTube and decided to give it a whirl. How hard could it be?
Well, guess what? Yoga is hard when you haven’t done any meaningful exercise in years! There are lunge-y things and push-up-y things and stretches in places my body doesn’t stretch. I’m still in the first week and wondering how the hell I’m going to make it to the end of the month without dropping from that stroke or heart attack I mentioned earlier.
Now, don’t worry that I’m going to turn this into a workout or weight-loss blog. I know that’s not what you want to hear about every time you stop by. If I get down to my goal weight or get stuck in Pretzel Pose doing yoga, I might drop a note about it. But mostly I just wanted to put my plan out there because it’s harder to quit something once it’s been shared with the world. Or, at least my little corner of it.