Tuesday, January 31, 2012
"I am pushing sixty. That is enough exercise for me."
Leave it to Mark Twain. I will be 60 years old this year. mind you, I have a few months left but i'm already thinking about it. Thirty, fourty, fifty -- I didn't think twice about those milestone birthdays but 60 is the one.
Truth be told, I am afraid, not of dying but living into my mid-90s -- fat and arthritic with little energy for anything save sitting at the computer and watching my "stories" on TV. The women in my family have for many generations lived well into their 90s. that's 35 more years of life for me.
I started on a quest for renewed youthfulness six years ago. I quit my career of 25+ years, traveled for a year and then went back to school to get a Master's in Social Work. I graduate in May and had my first job interview this morning. I want to work in direct care with young people -- best way to stay young is to be around young people.
I've been in therapy for six years. I can honestly say I get glimpses of what it is like to love myself. That's huge improvement from where I started. Most difficult, I ended my marriage of 26 years and "came out." Thankfully, my husband has been incredibly supportive and we remain a close-knit family. Now I've embarked on the next phase of this quest: eating healthy and moving more.
I've lost 40 pounds since november 2009, when I first joined SP. I have 80+ pounds to go to reach a sustainable, healthy weight. To make the next leap, I joined a medically-supervised weight loss program. I drink meal replacements when I'm at home and eat naked salads with all the goodies removed when I'm out with friends. And yes, I splurge on a glass of wine when I'm out with friends. Maha worries that I'll gain all my weight back b/c of the meal replacements but I live alone. I can control what food is in the kitchen at home. My problem is social eating. I go out a lot.
And now we're back to Mark Twain ... pushing sixty is enough. I don't need exercise. Motivation to exercise has been a real problem. Ramona gave me a quotation yesterday that helped put this motivation thing into perspective ....
"A man ought to take exercise not because he is too fat, but because he loves foils or horses or high mountains, and loves them for their own sake."
~ G.K. CHESTERTON
It has to be fun or don't do it. What do I love? I love being outside riding a bicycle with the wind blowing through my hair (as long as it's not a 20 mph headwind). I love feeling my muscles during and after a good workout on the machines. I love to do water aerobics .... the water is so relaxing. I love to dance even though I have two left feet and questionable rhythmic abilities. I love to paddle a canoe ... although not a lot of exercise. As my knees and ankles get stronger (and the pain diminishes), maybe I'll even enjoy short walks.
I have accountability partners. I ride with Maha and Leslie. Leslie and I are going to train for the Tour de Rock, the family fun ride but a challenge for us. Maha and I are going to do the 15 mile loop that starts at my apartment complex one day soon. I have a deal with my cousin ... if he reports his trips to the gym ... I'll go to the gym every time he goes. He reported going to the gym this morning so before bedtime tonight I will spend 45 minutes at the gym. And my brother emails every couple of days with his progress on losing weight. He's lost 15# and I've lost 17# this go round (that's part of the 40# since 2009). And I weigh in weekly at my weight loss program, go to nutrition classes weekly and see the doc every two months. And I don't buy groceries. My cupboards are bare!
Even with all these adjustments ... sixty is a BIG one for me. But what to do ... the alternative is not pretty. So my goal is to love 80 pounds between now and October 23 -- an average of 2 pounds/week. Ambitious yes ... but within the realm of possibility. Wish me well. Encourage me on the way. Give me h*ll if I fall along the wayside. Share the journey.