The warm-up kicked my…

j0400933 Last night during the first of our weekly “Fit at Forty” check-ins, I promised Rachel that the following morning I’d get up at 7 and either walk for an hour or work out for an hour on my Wii. Rachel wisely suggested that since I hadn’t worked out in a while that I start at 30 minutes instead. Thank God for wisdom.

This morning when the alarm went off at 7, I opened one eye and said “*&@##.”  Then good old fashioned shame kicked in along with a good measure of fear (Rachel said she’d be checking in with me and I was scared.) 20 minutes later I was up. A quick check of the local news revealed that despite this being Georgia it was 18 degrees outside. Walking was out and the Wii was in. Until that is, I realized my Wii remote batteries were dead and I didn’t have a single AA battery in the entire house. I had D, C and a couple of 9V – do they even still make those? – but no AA. So, I popped in my Crunch Fitness Cardio Salsa workout DVD. It is as funny as it sounds, and me trying to do it for the first time in a while is even funnier.

I was working up a good sweat moving to the Latin rhythms and laughing at the drummer’s highlights until Giselle said, “Alright! Now that we’ve warmed up, we’re ready to SALSA!” Warm-up? Warm-up! I’ve only done the warm-up?!? If the warm-up kicked my ass, this is going to be a long 30 minutes…


Grace is a blogger and Women at Forty editor who lives outside of Atlanta, GA. She shares her weight loss challenges and experiences weekly in our Health & Beauty – Fit at Forty section.

Why Margaret loves Queen Latifah, turning 40 and focusing on a better Margaret

So, I’m trolling the web for women talking and writing about turning 40 and come across this great post at a blog called Just Margaret. It’s called Why I love Queen Latifah and being a fan of “The Queen” myself, I checked it out. Turns out, Margaret is turning 40 soon, is “kind of” excited about it, has lost 25 pounds along the way, and like most of us turning 40 is doing a bit of reflecting…

Why I Love Queen Latifah
by Margaret Barney


This woman is amazing.

I *love* Queen Latifah. She’s intelligent, funny, incredibly talented. I see her on talk shows, and I just adore her–I want to *know* her because I get the sense that she’s just got so much love and goodwill emanating from her…and that she shares that with the people around her.
So, she was on Ellen the other morning. (I am also a huge fan of Ellen, for pretty much the same basic reasons.) And she’s talking about this being the year that she’s turning the big Four-Oh. Ellen asked her what she thought of it, and I was so thrilled to hear her say that she’s not all worked up about turning forty. That she’s sort of looking forward to it, and that she feels good about it.

I actually think that I really *love* that woman. Because her attitude about getting a bit older is right on! I guess it doesn’t hurt that I happen to be feeling the same way. But I’m thrilled to see my contemporary say loudly and proudly that, “Hell Yeah! I *am* getting older!” Older, better, growing and learning. My concerns, my quiet little “frettable” thoughts (I made that word up–‘frettable’–meaning something over which I will likely fret) are shifting. I worry less about appearances, more about substance. I feel as if I’ve only just begun (yeah, I know you hear the strains of The Carpenters when you read that!) and that there is opportunity awaiting me–mine for the taking.

Turns out…Queen Latifah’s birthday is the day before mine. She is exactly one day older than me (and shares the birthday with one of my older sisters). I always thought of her as younger than me, not that it mattered all that much to me, but I somehow was a little bit thrilled at how close in age we really are.
I’m kind of excited about turning 40. And admittedly, I’m also doing a bit of reflection–there’s quite a few more wrinkles than when I got married 10 years ago. Definitely more grey hair. I’ve not taken to covering those greys, either, and boy are they prolific! My feeling is, “Damn it! I earned those!” They’re my badge of survival. Not just survival…success!

And I’ve changed. I’ve grown. I’ve soldiered through some serious challenges in my time on this planet. And with Forty on the horizon, I decided to spend a bit more time focusing on my own health

Continue reading Why Margaret loves Queen Latifah, turning 40 and focusing on a better Margaret

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 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.