The devil is a liar and so is that scale I stepped on this morning…

In my fantasy world, at 40+ I wouldn’t still be having this conversation/battle/issue.  My MIND knows that the scale is not the only indicator of health, what I did or didn’t do right last week, or how great a human being I am. My mind knows this. My HEART though, sinks, every time I get on that *&!#@ scale and it hasn’t budged, a bit. Or worse, displays a number that is mind bogglingly higher than it was the day, week or month before. Sinks. Every time.

I’ve been journaling since I can remember. I have years worth of cute little journals dating back from when all I longed for was for so-and-so to do such-and-such or my heart would shatter. As I got older the heartfelt pining  evolved into writing about my faith, the world around me, gratitude – you name it. The one constant? Writing about my weight – how much I weighed. How much I didn’t weigh. How much weight I would lose this week and the week after that. When I got computer savvy I even started including charts and graphs detailing goal weight vs. actual weight, calories, carbs, proteins… I may have even included some algorithms and theorems. No.

All of this plotting, planning and predicting served to place the emphasis on the numbers on the scale and not what I was putting into my body. Ironically (or not) the time in my life when I was at my healthiest – when I was taking Karate classes (yes, I am, in fact, a yellow belt), playing tennis a couple of times a week, going out bowling with friends and eating a mainly vegetarian diet, I didn’t own a scale. I had no idea how much I weighed, and I couldn’t have cared less.  I also couldn’t have been happier. I miss being in that place. My mind misses that place, and so does my body.

So, why do otherwise intelligent women beat themselves up about that number? Why do we abuse ourselves mentally (and sometimes physically) in a manner we wouldn’t allow anyone else to treat us? Is it about health? For many of us yes, but it goes beyond a quest for health for many others and borders on the edge of self-acceptance and self-worth.

As I was reviewing the draft of this post I came across this post from a blogger I follow. It talks about the vicious cycle of daily weighing and why we shouldn’t do it. I couldn’t agree more. Yet, I still find myself wanting to check the scale more mornings than not.

What’s your relationship with your scale? Is it different now than it was when you were younger? Please share your thoughts in the comment section or on the Facebook page.

Born to run…or walk at a relatively fast pace

As a sheltered kid growing up on the mean streets (not really) of Teaneck, New Jersey, my overprotective mother would allow very few activities where she couldn’t keep a vigilant eye on us. That left us with precisely two play areas – the backyard and the short stretch of pavement at the end of our dead-end street.

Back when kids still played in the street, my sisters, cousins and I spent hours racing down to the end of that dead-end. In my memory, I was fast. Really fast. I would also say I won all the races. And while my memory of my win/loss record is sure to be called into question, (see I’d forgotten about that for more on my awful memory), one thing I do know for sure is that I loved the way I felt when I was running.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t confident enough at the time to transform that love into joining the track team or even taking running up as a hobby.

Fast forward 25 plus years and I still love the feeling of running.

When I imagine doing it.

In my mind.

Because when I’ve actually tried to do it, the feeling I get is not the same as the one I got years ago.

Running down that dead end street as a kid I felt fast, carefree and like I could run like that forever.

Now when I run I feel…my right hip, my left knee and the chafing of my construction grade sports bra against my back. *Sighs*

A younger cousin ran for a while and wrote about the hip pain she felt that led her to give up running. I now understand. And the truth is, no matter how much I want to run, me, on all fours (crying) on the corner of “bless her heart” and “she just wouldn’t listen” is not a good look. And not good to look at.  And hollering at the local hotties while sweating in the fetal position on the sidewalk is no way to meet a man.  Not one with teeth anyway. Trust me.

This is not to say that women runners in their 40s and beyond aren’t tearing it up on the side streets of America. I know they are – the bright light of their fitness glory blinds me each and every time they whiz by me on my WALKS. Kudos to them and those aerodynamic baby pusher things that have them navigating through the streets of Oakhurst like they’re training for decathlons.

As for me, I’ll keep watching the runners enviably from the sidelines. In the meantime I’ve got my walking and I’ve found a new workout muse – Michael Jackson The Experience. Michael Jackson and I have been tearing it up on my Wii.  If enough of you ask I’ll even video a session so you can get a good ab workout from laughing with me while you watch. No, not really.  Image: Not me running – Source:Flickr: Emanuel Leanza “Eleanza”

What’s your fit-at-forty story? Share in the comment section or on our Facebook page.

 

Survival of the fitness: Holiday feeding frenzies

00182714I’ve had a whirlwind couple of weeks. Two road trips (one 30 hours round-trip), a girlfriend getaway (more on that in a future post), my first ever spa treatment, and a lot, lot, lot of food.

I officially fell off the wagon, or as I like to call it, “the back of the food truck” somewhere in Birmingham, Alabama after a barbeque feast fit for a queen. Due to a meat induced high, the details are somewhat sketchy, but there was roasted corn, potato salad, grits, biscuits, sausage and cinnamon buns, and that doesn’t even include dinner. *Sighs*

Today, back to reality. And as 40 year old bodies often do, mine is reacting negatively to the meat parade that just worked its way through my system. I have no one to blame but myself though, so you’ll hear no moaning from me. Instead I’m stocking up on the veggies my body is now most certainly craving and drinking water like I just got out of the desert.

Continue reading Survival of the fitness: Holiday feeding frenzies