Fat to fit at forty…

Yesterday I “revealed” that I was still fat at forty and sick of it. Today, my partner in crime – and in triumph – weighs in (I couldn’t resist) on the subject.  Here’s Rachel on going from fat to fit at forty…

rlw bnw The end of 2009 found me feeling happy and fulfilled in so many areas of my life. Life was good; strong and meaningful faith, great family and friends, wonderful man in my life, good health, steady paycheck…Aside from the recent hair color snafu, no complaints. But as I sipped on my eggnog and nibbled (okay, DEVOURED) that piece of velvet cake I had to rethink and retract one of the aforementioned blessings: good health. Thankfully, I am not currently in need of surgery, cancer treatment, anti-depressants or other daily medicine. But as I look in the mirror and wonder aloud, “WHO is this fat woman and WHY is she trying to squeeze herself into my clothes?” I am experiencing an epiphany—a moment of clarity. How healthy can I be if I’ve gained weight?

Never has it been more evident to me that gone are the days of eating anything I’d like and not seeing it deposited squarely on my thighs or tummy. I lovingly reminisce about the late night suppers with cocktails and dessert followed only a few hours later by breakfasts and brunches with friends over waffles, salmon croquettes, grits and mimosas. Yeah, I know it really is more about the people than the food, but honestly, I can better recall the hors d’oeuvres at most parties than the guests who attended.

I used to be so much more active. Living in a desert climate afforded me an easy opportunity to work out daily in optimal weather conditions. During most of the year I could walk, hike or run on sunny mornings, never giving much consideration to the weather. During the harsh summer months, I either arose before the sun or hit the pool instead. Either way, getting in my workout was easy. Now, Old Man Winter has me trapped inside with all of the cookies, cakes, pies and candy canes from the holidays. Each time I make up my mind to head to the gym or go for a brisk walk, Mr. Winter firmly reminds me exactly who has the upper hand in this relationship and sends me back inside to seek solace in a hot cup of cocoa and something warm and starchy.

It all boils down to mind over matter. I know how to prepare and eat nutritious, healthy and delicious foods; I have a gym membership—heck, I have a treadmill and a Bowflex at home! It is time to put my money where my mouth is, or really, put my willpower where my mouth is and my body where the fitness equipment is. Too many of us make this so much harder and more complicated than it needs to be. We all know how to lose weight, tone and sculpt—I know I do and have done it in the past. The problems are the excuses and the procrastination: “I’ll start after the holidays/Monday/the first.” “I feel a sniffle so I should wait until I’m feeling 100 percent.” “I need to trim the budget so I’ll have to cancel the gym membership.” There are excuses ad infinitum but really, none of them hold any merit.

So here I am, making the transition from fat to fit at almost forty years old. I wasn’t always heavy so I have an advantage—my body remembers being fit and wants to experience it again. The hard part will be countering the excuses, but I’ve planned ahead and am ready. My better half has moved things around so that my treadmill is easily accessible in the living room where I can walk while watching the big t.v. He has also promised not to bring naughty foods into my home and to cut down on the date night dinners out. When I tire of the treadmill, there are the workout videos, yoga ball and the gym for workouts. If I feel discouraged and feel like giving up on workouts, I have a Wii Fit as well as several games to make exercise fun.

There are no more valid excuses; there is no more time to waste. I’ll be turning forty in April and I am determined to look as fabulous as I feel before I say goodbye to my fortieth year! These extra pounds may have crept up on me over several months, but the next several months will be spent shedding the weight and re-embracing the good, healthy habits I’ve known for most of my life. I may be getting older, my metabolism may be slowing, but my will is strong and my mind is focused. Accountability is key, so under the watchful gaze of Grace and the readers of Women at Forty, I know I have to do my best. Everyone’s goals are different and thus all of our journeys will differ as well. Join Grace and me on the road to looking and feeling fit at forty! If you see (or read) us straying off course, leave us a comment and help us get back on track. We’ll do the same for you!

I can’t believe it’s 2010 and I’m still…

grace savannah 2 Fat. There, I said it. If you’d told me 20 years ago that I’d still be struggling with this issue, I’d have told you you were crazy. I would have explained to you how I was an intelligent, spiritual, hard working woman who wouldn’t need two decades to get it. It turns out, I’ll need three. The reasons I’m fat and 40 are too numerous to list here, but after spending the last two decades trying unsuccessfully to figure out why, I’ve decided this year to worry about the why later and fix the what, now.

For the past several years, I’d begin every year with a carefully planned, often color coded chart detailing my “can & can’t eats” my weight loss goals and my workout schedule. And every year, usually on about January 2nd, I’d diverge from the plan – significantly. It’s funny and sad at the same time. So how do I make this year different? What do I do in 2010 that will make this year different from all the others? How do I approach my health, my well-being, and my weight loss goals in a way that makes me more likely to succeed than fail? Well, for one, I want to hear what worked for you. I know I’m not the only one struggling with becoming fit at forty, and while the reasons we’re not fit are innumerable, the desire to be fit is universal. Notice I didn’t say skinny, or thin, or cite a number on the scale. The fact is, fit is as fit does. A 175 pound woman who can run a marathon is healthier than a 110 pound woman who can’t climb a flight of stairs without passing out.

Another thing I’m doing differently this year is “going public.”  No, you’re not going to see me on The Biggest Loser squeezed into spandex, clutching my heart and cussing Jillian. For me the public part part is about me saying publicly that I’m not ok with being unhealthy and overweight, and that I can’t do this by myself. Part of my going public is talking to Rachel about it. Some of you may be familiar with Rachel. She’s a frequent contributor to Women at Forty, a fellow writer and blogger and when she answered her Five Question Challenge – monkey on her back question with “my butt”, I chuckled and knew exactly what she was talking about. We exchanged a few emails about it, and have agreed to partner with each other in our health goals. Right now we’re not sure what that partnership will look like, but we do know it isn’t limited to just the two of us. As such, we’ve created a sub-category under Health & Beauty called “Fit at Forty” which will feature fitness and diet related posts, personal stories of progress and stories of all of you who have joined Women at Forty in our quest to be fit at forty. Here’s to being fit at forty, for life!

Send your fit or fat at forty stories to contribute@womenatforty.com. We’ll share them with our readers and feature them in our new “Fit at Forty” sub-category located in the “On Health & Beauty” category.